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Singing for kidney patients

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A couple of local singers are getting together to raise money for southern Albertans with kidney problems.'
 Erica HuntNew West Theatre veterans Nicole Higgenson and Jordana Kohn will be performing at the Sterndale Bennett Theatre, Feb. 5-6  during the third annual ‘Just Cuz’ benefit. Erica Hunt, Scott Carpenter, Jessica Ens and Mary-Ann Boorsma are also going to take the stage for a couple numbers.
“This has been  a great fundraiser. These girls do so much work to put it together,” said Sheila Fazio, regional fundraising coordinator of Southern Alberta branch of the Kidney Foundation of Canada, adding it has raised approximately $10,000 during each of the past two years of the event.
“ There is definitely a lot of musical range. The girls will be performing solos and they’ve asked some of their friends, so there will be group numbers too.”
 There is a mix and mingle at 7 p.m. including a dessert , wine, beer table and a silent auction. The event begins at 8 p.m.
“It is a total variety show from classical to contemporary music,” Fazio said adding all of the money raised stays in Southern Alberta to help people with kidney problems pay for travel expenses and treatment.
Tickets cost $25 in advance from the ticket centre (403-329-7328). Though sales are slow now, the event sold out last year.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor
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Geoff Berner among cool shows this week

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It is klezmer week at Henotic, as they are bringing in not only the Geoff Berner trio, Feb. 4 but on Feb. 5 are welcoming Calgary’s Plaid Tongued Devils, who are rescheduling a December visit which was canceled because of a blizzard.
 Living luca frontwoman Bridgette Yarwood played laid back jazz and pop at the Mocha Cabana, Jan. 29. Both are going to be high energy shows. Especially Berner’s politically charged and humour filled performance which also features Rae Spoon.
 L.A Beat  gave away a pair of tickets to Berner’s show, to Jana McKenzie who was the first person to e-mail the answer to the question “Where is Geoff Berner from?” to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Geoff is from Vancouver. He also  once ran for the Rhino party and the Green party. Also at Henotic the same night, the Living Luca will be performing. The Living Luca are a revamped version of local hard rock band/ classic rock riff heavy inspired band NSR fronted by Bridgette Yarwood.
Acclaimed roots players Dan Mangan and Aidan Knight hit the Slice on Feb. 4. Tickets are $15 or $12 in advance. Mangan’s CD  “Nice, Nice, Very Nice” hit number one on iTunes’ roots chart and #7 on Earshot! (college and Co-Op radio) chart. And Mike Grabow is back from Mexico for a while. He’ll be playing a Feb. 6 gig at Mood with the Ben Brown Trio.
The Slice has a couple excellent blues gigs, Feb. 6 with Darryl Düus and Papa King. Admission is five dollars. And Paul Kype and Texas Flood host a blues jam, Feb. 9.
The Lethbridge Folk club has an excellent, laid back blues gig, Feb. 6.
Lester Quitzau, who was last here with Tricontinental, will be playing with bassist Farley Scott.
Also don’t forget about an excellent fundraiser for the Kidney Foundation of Canada featuring New West Theatre veterans and fantastic singers Nicole Higgenson and Jordana Kohn and some special guests. (see related article in music beat) It takes place at the Sterndale Bennett Theatre, Feb. 5 and 6. There will be a silent auctions and refreshments. Tickets cost $25. As always, there are a plethora of open mics this week. David Renter hosts a jazz jam at the Slice tonight, Murray Nelson hosts Henotic’s open mic on Wednesday, Greg Gomola and Paul Kype and friends host Beaches open mic on Thursday and Jon Vornbrock is hosting a brand new open mic at the Sandman Inn on Sunday, Jan. 7. So check them out.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 February 2010 10:14 )

Quitzau to play mellow blues

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 Edmonton born/ Gulf Island based bluesman Lester Quitzau is looking forward to playing a laid back blues/folk gig at  the Lethbridge Folk Club, Feb. 6.
Lester Quitzau. Photo by Jason StangHe will be playing with acoustic bassist Farley Scott and several different guitars.
“I’ll be playing  some acoustic, some electric, some dobro and some electric slide,” Quitzau said from a tour stop in Red Deer. He is touring in support of  his latest CD “ The Same Light.”
“Response has been good. It’s got lots of good reviews. It’s definitely very mellow and peaceful, but it reflects where I’m at in my life. It grows on you,” he said noting most of the show will consist of material off the new CD.
“Then we’ll be digging into some older material and a few covers and traditional material. It’s folk, blues and rock with a different approach to all of them,” he continued adding there is  a lot of improvising and interplay between the musicians on stage.
“We let the music take us where it wants to,” Quitzau continued.
Quitzau was last in Lethbridge last  year with Tricontinental (Madagascar Slim and Bill Bourne).
“Playing with Tricontinental is different  because we all have such different influences. We all bring a few songs to the plate and we all play on each others’ songs. But in solo shows I have a bit more freedom to be myself while Tricontinental is  more of a collaboration,” he said adding he grew up on British blues influenced rock and roll which attracted him to blues music.
“Being in Tricontinental has been a  huge catalyst to opening up my influences in regards to the possibilities of world music, but I listen to everything,” he said  noting playing with Tricontinental has added a new dimension to his own songwriting.
“Quite a bit actually. Madagascar Slim’s African music and Bill’s material is all really well structured and influential and the vocal harmonies has definitely made me better. When you surround yourself with geniuses, it has its effect.”
He is also helped record Moore’s Western Canadian Music Award nominated CD “Oh My!” with Vancouver based singer/songwriter Mae Moore.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 02 February 2010 14:41 ) Read more...

Berner to burn up Henotic klezmer style

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Punk-folk klezmer accordionist and consummate jokester Geoff Berner is looking forward to returning to Lethbridge, Feb. 4 at Henotic with Rae Spoon.
Geoff BernerThis time, Berner is bringing his trio — percussionist Wayne Adams and Montreal based fiddler Bridgette Dajczer who performs solo as Briga and with her band Les Gitans De Sarajevo. She will also be paying a solo set of her own.
“People who come to my shows are a little off the mainstream as to musical tastes,” observed the Vancouverite.
“Whenever I  play Lethbridge, it‘s a good time. It’s a university town with lots of people who make it to the show. It‘s the first time at Henotic though,” he continued.
“People realized what a passionate instrument it is. I got one of my first festival gigs because they realized  they had enough guitar players and wanted something different. People have iPods now with a thousand songs on them and want something different on them. That’s  the way it should be,” he said adding Rae Spoon’s show is a must see.
“Rae Spoon is a genius. He plays guitar and banjo. His new CD is pretty much perfect. He plays Canadian gothic music. It’s twisted folk music,” Berner said adding he just returned from another successful tour of Europe.
“It’s a little different there, it’s pretty good, it’s a little less social,” he said adding people at his shows  there are there for the music rather than socializing with each other, with the music just in the background. More people are showing up to the European shows every time. 
Though he started out in a punk band, ‘The Terror of Tiny Town,’ Berner has been interested in klezmer music since he was young.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 02 February 2010 10:31 ) Read more...

Lustre Creame is progressive rock among friends

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Local progressive rock trio Lustre Creame, is all about the friendship — and rocking out.
“We‘re not really an open mic  band,” said Lustre Creame guitarist/ singer Aaron Trozzo, trying to explain this Lethbridge based progressive rock trio’s sound. They combine impeccable musicianship while melding a variety of influences including classic rock, progressive rock, grunge and well as adding elements of jazz, blues and country lyrics. Plus Trozzo plays a really cool double necked Ibanez guitar.Lustre Creame bassist Aaron Trozzo.
“It’s silly to try to categorize us. We listen to it all and appreciate all kinds of music,” added drummer Chris Lipinski.
“And I’ve played in everything from grunge to jazz bands,” added bassist Jeff Orriss.
 They are playing with under the White Dime and Asprinaut, Jan. 29 at the Slice and again, Jan. 31 at Henotic with the Myelin Sheaths and Fist City for as special two venue fundraiser.
The band met while Lipinski and  bassist Willis (Jeff) Orriss were working together in construction when Trozzo overheard them talking about music. They instantly bonded over a common love for grunge music, but their sound quickly evolved.
Last Updated ( Friday, 29 January 2010 00:45 ) Read more...
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