Steve's Blog
Monday April 12, 2010

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Hi everyone

We just got back from a wonderful concert of gypsy jazz at Capilano Performing Arts Theatre with French trio Samarabalouf. Check them out next time they are in town. Just prior to the show we went for a walk around Rice Lake, up the hill from the Capilano University. Nice Spring day for a walk. The signs said that the gate closes at 7pm. There are many speed bumps. The car in front went slowly. We reached the gate at 7:04pm. It was locked! It locks automatically at 7pm. Luckily someone in one of the ten cars behind us had a key to open it. So, if you're going that way, pay attention to the signs!

This is a very big week, with four concerts on successive nights, each presenting its own unique set of challenges!

On top of that, we really should have a new issue of the Rogue Folk Review, but we don't. The full Program for April In Paris, our 4th annual festival of gypsy jazz, is available now. Feel free to download and print it.

This week's shows:

1. Matt Andersen & Wil Mimnaugh, Thursday April 15th, at St. James Hall is SOLD OUT. We have NO tickets left. If you would like to see Matt, you might try Bozzini's Upstairs Lounge in Chilliwack on April 13th and 16th. The number to call is 1 604 792 0744. We'll just have to bring him back again at the earliest opportunity. This show will be recorded by Shore 104.3fm and you'll be able to download songs from it shortly after the show if you visit their website

2. Oysterband, Friday April 16th 8pm, at St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue) This is one of my favourite bands of all time, featuring the brilliant singing of John Jones and some very tasty backing by Chopper on cello and bass, Alan Prosser on guitar, and Ian Telfer on fiddle. With Welsh drummer Dil Davies, the Oysters now have two Welshmen, a Scotsman, and two Englishmen in their line-up. Tickets are going fast. This is a must for fans of Celtic music, English music, and just downright good roots music!

3. April In Paris, Saturday April 17th and Sunday April 18th and Saturday April 24th at St. James Hall. To mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of gypsy guitar legend Django Reinhardt, we are delighted to bring you our biggest and best ever annual festival of music inspired by Django and violinist supreme Stephane Grappelli. There are several hands-on workshops for guitarists and fiddle players, so please take advantage of these unique opportunities to explore this music and learn from some of the finest musicians and teachers anywhere in the world! There will also be Swing Dance lessons. Plus a full Swing Dance and three evening concerts. The bands appearing this year are:

Caravan (Marc Atkinson Trio PLUS Daniel Lapp on fiddle and trumpet and anything else he can "swing") Saturday April 17th.

Deanna Knight & The Hot Club Of Mars - three hot guitars, fiddle, sax and bass laying down the driving rhythms and gypsy swing tunes for the lovely Ms Knight to enchant you with her silky voice and charms. Sunday April 18th.

John Jorgenson Quintet - one of the world's very best guitar players, performing his favourite music (on clarinet as well as six string and bouzouki) and accompanied by his amazing young band. This will be their first ever concert in Vancouver, coming just prior to a big European tour. Don't miss this chance to see - and learn from - the first American guitarist to record an album Django-inspired gypsy jazz. Sunday April 18th.

Pearl Django - Seattle's celebrated gypsy swing quintet, with accordion and fiddle joining two guitars and bass. They have 9 CDs to their name and have become a by-word for Django style music in the Pacific Northwest. Saturday April 17th.

Roma Swing Ensemble - Romanian violinist extraordinaire Lache Cercel leads his quartet - plus two chanteuses from Eastern Europe and gypsy dancers! Saturday April 24th

Van Django - two different formats of the band - a Swing Dance Quintet on Sunday April 18th and the amazing Van Django String Quartet on Saturday April 24th.

N.B. Hot Club Sandwich were originally slated to play on the 24th, but couldn't make it this year. Roma Swing's expanded line-up will more than make up for it!

4. Le Vent Du Nord, Wednesday April 21st at St. James Hall. Stunning trad quartet from Quebec, boasting Olivier Demers on fiddle, Nicolas Boulerice on vielle a roue, Simon Beraudry on guitar & vocals, and Rejean Brunet on accordion and bass. Their 4th CD, La Part Du Feu, came out last November. Another wonderful band at the peak of their creative powers!

Also this week:

I'll be Sheryl McKay's guest on CBC Radio's North By Northwest on Saturday at 7am 88.1 fm and 690 AM on the dial

Then I'm off to CiTR for The Edge On Folk on 101.9 fm and from 8am to noon, streamed live and also available as downloadable podcasts later in the day.

Help Wanted

1. We need help with the Oysterband show on Friday, specifically, we need to rent a drum kit and some amplifiers and deliver them to the venue before the show and return them afterwards.

2. The extra workshops and dances at April In Paris are a vital part of the event and also a vital component of our programming and fulfillment of our requirements from Canadian Heritage's APC Grant. If you can get to St. James Hall between 4:30pm and 5pm on Saturday April 17th (and / or 24th) or at 1:30pm on Sunday April 18th, your help would be very welcome. Please let me know - and include a copy to Brian Jones, our Crews Controller. Tasks include setting up chairs and tables in the workshop spaces, keeping water jugs topped up, helping with bar (and sandwich) set up, arranging furniture and decor in the hall, looking after musicians, helping with staging. etc.

3. Le Vent Du Nord arrive at YVR on April 21st mid afternoon and would like to be conveyed to their hotel (The Inn At False Creek, at the north end of the Granville Street Bridge) and to the Hall for sound check and back to the hotel after the concert. There are four guys, plus instruments. Let me know if you can help.

Thanks for reading this far. We'd love to see you at a show or two this week. We promise you four evenings of unsurpassed entertainment in the wide and wonderful world of Roots Music right here in the heart of Vancouver (OK, in Kits then!)

Steve Edge