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Kiwanis festival is a lot of fun with lots of talent

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The Kiwanis Music and Speech Arts Festival has been a showcase for up and coming talented performers for the past 80 years. It’s been a way for  musicians and performers to get their performing feet wet and pick up a  few tips on their performance from experienced adjudicators, not to mention win a few prizes.Erinn Roberts tells Carole Roberts who she thinks should perform at the Stars of the Festival Concert, March 27. Photo by Richard Amery
The first big show to end the first week of the two week festival  is tonight’s (March 20) Third Annual Musical Theatre Showcase, which gets underway at 7:30 p.m. at the Yates Centre. It features some of the best musical theatre performances from the past week.


“We had over 100 entrants in musical theatre. They had costumes and props and make-up. It was amazing,” enthused Carole Roberts  who is enjoying her fifth year as the festival’s executive director, she said, pointing out Stephen Nguyen and Matthew Blackburn’s performances in Piano Concerto — Classical-12 and Under and Provincial National Pianoforte solo  respectively as highlights so far.
“They did concerts that left us speechless,” Roberts said adding this year’s festival has over 1,400 entrants and 5,000 participants including members of bands, orchestras and choirs.


“We’re seeing more this year,” she observed adding this week has included not only musical theatre but vocals, piano, solo instrumentalists, choruses, choirs and bands.
“It’s growing each year,” she said adding the entrants are choosing unique  numbers to perform, utilizing the Internet and YouTube for extra hints and ideas about their performances.
“It’s been great. The adjudicators have noticed they’ve really been refining their performances.”
Concerts have been happening throughout the week at  the Yates and Sterndale Bennett Theatres, as well as at the Lethbridge Public Library Theatre Gallery, Note-able Music, Southminster United Church, St. Augustine’s Hall.

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 20 March 2010 16:46 ) Read more...
 

Alvin, a guilty man and a guilty woman at the Geomatic Attic

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Two guitars, one guilty man, one guilty woman, and a lot of roots-rock mayhem with a touch of blues and folk. That’s what people checking out Dave Alvin at the Geomatic Attic, March 22 will experience.
“There’s been all girl pop bands  like  the Go Gos and all girl punk bands like Sleeter-Kinney and all girl bluegrass combinations, but there’s never been an all girl roots rock band, well other than me,” said Alvin over the phone, eating lunch en route to two weekend gigs in Calgary.Dave Alvin and some guilty women will play the Geomatic Attic on Monday, March 22.


“So when people  see it, it’s so muscular and powerful. It’s just amazing , the looks on their faces.  Especially on the women, they say ‘we could be doing this,’” Alvin enthused adding he won’t be bringing all of the guilty women, which includes some of Austin’s best female performers ( Cindy Cashdollar on steel and lap steel guitar, Weissenborn; electric guitarist Nina Gerber; violinist Laurie Lewis, bassist Sarah Brown; drummer Lisa Pankratz or violinist Amy Farris who passed away last year. But he will be bringing Guilty Woman vocalist  Christy McWilson who used to play in ’90s grunge band  the Picketts and Chris Miller from  Alvin’s Guilty Men band.
“It’s a lot more looser but we all know how to play. I’ll be playing  music from throughout my career,”  Alvin said.


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Twilight Hotel keeps the crowd dancing

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Award winning Austin via Winnipeg Juno nominated jazz/blues duo, Twilight Hotel members Brandy Twilight Hotels Brandy Zdan with brad Brouwer on drums  in the background. Photo by Richard AmeryZdan and Dave Quanbury added Brad Brouwer on drums for an excellent show at the Slice, March 11 which showcased both Zdan and Quanbury’s voices, guitar chops and respect for  the traditional blues  and jazz sound.

They played original music and old school covers of songs by the likes of Big Mama Thornton who recorded the original version of ‘Hound Dog’ which Elvis made a hit.
They had the audience dancing throughout their second set which ended on the sultry jazz tinged ‘Twilight Hotel’ sung by Zdan who also played accordion on it as well.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 March 2010 16:57 )
 

Living Luca and Sevenday Sin help fight malaria with music

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Local bands Sevenday Sin and  the Living Luca raised over $700 to buy mosquito nets for people in Bridgette Yarwood belts out the rock and roll. Photo by Richard AmeryMalawi to help fight malaria during a special show, March 11 at Henotic.

Approximately 70 people were in the audience for the show.

Living Luca singer Bridgette Yarwood was a bundle  of energy as usual, belting out the lyrics with leather lunged lustre,  bouncing all over the stage and dancing to the band’s special brand of modern hard rock.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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Carson Downey Band takes no prisoners

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Carson Downey  showed  some deadly guitar skills, March 10. Photo by Richard AmeryAnother big March 10 show had about a dozen people out to see  the Carson Downey band tear some ears off with scorching guitar and a bassist and drummer playing in perfect synchronicity.
 The Halifax-area blues rock trio, who also hosted a blues jam at the slice the night before, were exceptional.

They were full of boundless energy as frontman Carson Downey displayed deadly guitar skills as he strangled every raw note out of his battered Stratocaster, broke a string with ear bending Hendrix style string bends with a raw guitar sound  reminiscent of Hound Dog Taylor and a voice like Robert Cray’s. Then he switched to another Stratocaster which had quarters embedded in it.

The bassist grooved throughout, playing in the pocket with a  huge R and B influence with a touch of the funk. It was excellent. They will be back in Lethbridge in September with a brand new studio CD.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 March 2010 16:41 )
 
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