Early Spirit | Ben Sures
MEL LEHAN HALL AT ST. JAMES i
3214 West 10th Ave, Kitsilano
Accessible All ages
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Early Spirit is Gabriel Dubreuil (violin), Ben Kelly (percussion), Aidan Goheen (bass) and Jay Knutson (guitar and vocals). This musical outfit is as intriguing as their diverse musical backgrounds and as captivating and exciting as a live band can be. From the first electrifying chord they will lead you through the musical mosaic of their own unique West Coast “Rockin' Folkin’ Rollin’ Jazzin’ Celtic Swing-Grass”.
Since the release of their album “Unrelated” (2018), the band has been sought after from coast to coast, and they covered a good chunk of it chasin’ down the Spirit trail, getting folks from Victoria to Inuvik and Winnipeg to Moncton up out of their chairs and dancing. They invite you along to throw convention out the window, let loose and rise up to Early Spirit!
2018 saw the release of Early Spirit’s debut album “Unrelated”, which was produced by Grammy and Juno award winning musician and producer Leonard Podolak (The Dhuks), and featured Natalie MacMaster, Geoffrey Kelly, Leonard Podolak and Michelle Campagne. The record helped place the the band on folk club and festival stages around the Pacific Northwest, including Mission Folk Festival, Northwest Folk Life, Salmon Arm Roots & Blues, and the Rogue Folk Club, and across Canada.
Early Spirit’s second album ‘The Hollow Tree’ is set to be released on May 6 2022. The album features guests François Houle, Andy Hillhouse, Geoffrey Kelly, Michelle Campagne and William Chernoff.
Jay Knutson sings the lead vocal for Early Spirit. Previously, he arranged, performed, and wrote Celtic folk-rock music with John Mann and Geoffrey Kelly in their band Spirit of the West. Later, Jay worked with major Canadian artists including Hart-Rouge and Connie Kaldor. His solo material, a constant throughout his career, draws from rock, jazz and roots music. As a singer-songwriter, Jay “puts the soul back into music, fun back into instruments, and conviction back into lyrics” (The Chronicle Herald, Halifax). He uses wisdom gathered from over 50 album projects to write for and perform with Early Spirit. Few performers in folk music can combine their experience with raw energy like Jay.
Ben Kelly is an organic and earthy drummer hailing from Vancouver. Raised on a sturdy diet of music of all kinds as a whippersnapper, he took took to drums at a young age. Working with such artists as Fish & Bird, Carmanah, Alexandria Maillot, and Jenny Ritter, Ben has spent the better part of 12 years recording and touring across Canada, USA, Europe, and the UK. Ben enjoys whiskey and can converse with you about power pop and new wave music until the sun comes up again
Gabriel Dubreuil is a violinist, and composer. A musical chameleon, he feels at home and blends naturally from Celtic, to jazz to classical. He is an established violin teacher and is a musical director for Vancouver’s North Shore Celtic Ensemble. He one half of the ‘Loose Root Duo’ with Toronto cellist George Crotty, a session musician having recorded and performed with local and international acts. Gabriel graduated from Berklee College of Music (Boston, USA) in 2016. His solo album ‘Back to Back Bay’ was released in 2016.
Aidan Goheen is a bassist and educator. He enjoys playing in a wide variety of styles stretching from punk to folk to jazz. As a school teacher and lifelong learner, Aidan believes that a curiosity for the world and the arts is the key to a good life. Aidan holds a Bachelors of Music from Capilano University. He is the band leader and founder of ska and funk band ‘Big Madge’.
Early Spirit is an ensemble that spans decades and was created through a unique take on folk music. They invite fans of all ages to remember how much they love music and get dancing!
"After catching Early Spirit at the 2018 Mission Folk Festival I immediately hired the group for the 2019 Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival. This is one inspired quartet that delivers superb stand alone concerts and one that can help take the process of collaboration and spontaneous interplay to a most memorable level in workshops and side stage settings. Exceptional instrumentalists, fine singers armed with a deep songbook that draws on all sorts of influences, makes Early Spirit is a festival programmers dream." - Peter North - AD, Salmon Arm Roots and Blues
"This is a hot example of Celtic music and jazz fused together by superb musicians." - The Celtic Connection
"A delicate balance between electric and acoustic songs,dark and catchy rhythms, soft and the ethereal" -The Ottawa Citizen
"The sound is a unique blend of rock and roll energy, of folk lyrical conventions centered around various facets of Canadian life" - Vancouver Province.
Singer/songwriter Ben Sures will open the evening. He is a winner of the prestigious songwriting contest - the John Lennon songwriting contest and the International songwriting contest. He has traveled across Canada and the UK performing at festivals, small clubs, fairs, town squares and living rooms. He is well known for his work on CBC Radio as part of ‘The Irrelevant Show’ as well as the many interviews and broadcasts on Canada Live, The Round Up, Morningside, Madly Off in all Directions, The Vinyl Café and more.
Ben isn’t the only member of his family to work in the arts. His grandfather drew cartoons for the New Yorker and designed posters for the movies; he was rumoured to have designed and built the fruity hats of Carmen Miranda. His mother is a painter, while his classical guitar playing father was a recipient of The Governor General’s Award as well as the Order of Canada for his work in ceramics, receiving the honor in the same year as Leonard Cohen.
Ben's brand new album 'The Story That Lived Here' is a wonderful collection of singer-songwriter instant classics. His first children’s story was recently published by the Manitoba First Nations Education resource, the story is based on his song 'The Boy Who Walked Backwards'. Fans have said that Ben has the rare gift of connecting with audiences on multiple levels, he is a great performer, songwriter and is also very funny.
Our COVID-19 Policy: We will continue to require vaccination passports for all our events. We will continue to make masks mandatory when not seated - and recommended at all times. We will continue to limit the room capacity to 70%. We will continue to offer streamed concerts as a safe alternative to attending shows in-person.
The Rogue Folk Club is pleased to provide great Sponsorship Opportunities for all our shows. For a nominal cost, individuals or businesses can sponsor any of our shows and reap a number of benefits - free tickets, reserved table, recognition on literature, our web site and at the concerts. For more information simply contact our Sponsorship Director Morris Biddle at firstname.lastname@example.org