Old Church Theatre

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Jun
3
Fri
2022
Nick Maclean Quartet featuring Brownman Ali
Jun 3 @ 6:00 PM
Nick Maclean Quartet featuring Brownman Ali @ Old Church Theatre
 

This contemplative and often thrilling quartet’s explorations of modern, original repertoire is led by a fast-rising star in Toronto’s jazz piano community, 29 year old NICK MACLEAN.


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  Formed in 2016, Maclean’s foursome delivers jazz between the two poles of thoughtful introspection and powerhouse conveyance, taking influences from Herbie Hancock’s primordial 1960’s Blue Note era recordings, while paying tribute to some of the greatest improvisers in jazz history.

Repeatedly regarded as a modern take on the ferocious and hard-swinging post-bop era, the group is frequently lauded for the strength of their collective improvisatory vision and features one of Canada’s most provocative improvising trumpet-playing iconoclasts Brownman Ali, standing shoulder to shoulder with Maclean & two of Toronto’s top-tier rhythm section 20-somethings: Ben Duff on bass (in for Jesse Dietschi) and Jacob Wutzke on drums. The synergy of the 4 is always palpable in concert.

The group has toured across Canada as well as internationally and has been featured in numerous festivals and concert series including the Regina Jazz Society, the Altrincham Jazz Festival, and multiple appearances at the Toronto Jazz Festival both as a featured ensemble and an often requested backing band. In addition to their original material, the ensemble has also mounted several popular tribute series to jazz masters including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Clark Terry & Cole Porter.

The quartet’s debut 11-track full-length album “Rites Of Ascension” features 6 Maclean-penned compositions, 1 Brownman original and 4 re-imagined Herbie Hancock classics, all recorded at the renowned Canterbury Studios in Toronto.  Produced by Brownman Ali, this new disk was released on October 31st, 2017 and was nominated for CJSF’s ‘2018 Julian Award of Excellence’, it won a ‘Gold’ Global Music Award in the ‘jazz’, ‘band’, and ‘album’ categories, and was featured as one of the Global Music Awards’ ‘Top 5 Albums of Spring 2018’. The group is hard at work on their next studio album slated for release on Browntasauras Records in winter 2023.

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Jun
4
Sat
2022
Simon Kempston
Jun 4 @ 6:00 PM
Simon Kempston @ Old Church Theatre
 Simon Kempston is ‘one of Scotland’s very best songwriters’ (The Sunday Herald), a composer and leading fingerstyle guitarist based in Edinburgh, Scotland.


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There are very few artists who manage to create a sound on an acoustic guitar which is distinctive, instantly recognisable.  Simon’s complex finger-picking style, which draws from the disparate genres of classical, celtic and blues (amongst others) confirms he is certainly one such artist, his subtle style providing the perfect accompaniment for his rich, powerful and compelling tenor vocals.
 
His outstanding songs showcase thought-provoking, inspiring poetic lyrics which often sidestep the usual themes of love and attraction, in favour of offering crucial, important political and social commentary.  Fascinations with architecture, travel and English literature have all informed his impressive lyrical style, words which can stand alone as poetry in their own right apart from the music.
 
Live performances are well-known for their intensity, Simon’s true passion for music and songs shine through in his critically acclaimed shows.  With more than a decade of international touring behind him in 31 European countries, Siberian Russia, Uzbekistan (the first Scottish artist to do so), Canada (6 tours) and New Zealand, he has performed at a countless number of esteemed venues, festivals, and on a plethora of international radio and television stations.
Simon’s latest album (his eigth as a singer-songwriter), saw him reignite his relationship with Ian McCalman as producer and it is his most honest, direct and heartfelt collection of songs yet, the perfect companion piece for these troubled times.   ‘Hand On My Heart’, released in late 2020, showcases his sheer talent for songwriting of the highest order, winning him frequent comparisons to amongst others, Richard Thompson, John Martyn and Bert Jansch (view Simon’s contribution to the official ‘For Bert’ project here).
 
Never one to follow expectations, only his prolific, creative muse, in early 2020 Simon released his fourth guitar instrumental album, a four-part suite for solo acoustic guitar entitled ‘In Gratitude of Solitude’.  Immerse yourself in the soundscape of this incredibly talented performer and allow his beautifully crafted music to transport you on a uniquely Scottish journey.
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Jun
5
Sun
2022
Tragedy Ann and Basset
Jun 5 @ 6:00 PM

Tragedy Ann and Basset, a pair of Ontario-based folk duos, are emerging from the pandemic together to facilitate intimate musical gatherings between Ontario and the Maritimes.


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They will be intertwining their songs to present a harmony-ridden night of storytelling, transporting listeners to beekeeper’s fields, haunted second-hand store basements, the shores of the Adriatic sea, and to their hometown communities. Tragedy Ann and Basset’s music answers the call for deeper connection with each other and with the natural world.

Presenting new music recorded during a time of isolation, these concerts will be celebrations of resilience, vulnerability, and community.

To learn more about these bands, visit their websites:    Tragedy Ann and Basset

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Jun
10
Fri
2022
Shannon Linton
Jun 10 @ 6:00 PM
Shannon Linton @ Old Church Theatre

Shannon Linton is a Canadian singer-songwriter, classically trained vocalist, and music educator.


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After narrowly avoiding a career in opera, she rediscovered her passion for popular music and began performing and recording her own songs, first with Northern Hearts (2019 CBC Searchlight Top 100) and now as a solo artist.

Shannon’s debut EP, In Spite of Everything, will be released Spring 2022. She has invited a dream team – multi-instrumentalist Saskia Tomkins and the velvet-voiced Whitney O’Hearn – to join her for a series of shows across southern Ontario to celebrate the release.

You can listen to Shannon’s music at https://shannonlinton.bandcamp.com/ or wherever you stream music and follow her on Instagram or Facebook @shannonlintonmusic.

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Jun
11
Sat
2022
Tom Savage – CD Release Concert
Jun 11 @ 6:00 PM
Tom Savage - CD Release Concert @ Old Church Theatre

We’re happy to be holding the Quinte region  CD Release concert with Tom Savage and the Savage Family Band!


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Tom Savage has been making critically acclaimed music for over 20 years, but when the pandemic arrived it essentially brought him back to the beginning. Holed up at home, he began piecing together a new collection of songs much like he did when he first acquired a four-track cassette recorder as a teenager.
However, through the benefits of digital technology, Savage could now send his multi-instrumental parts to his trusted rhythm section, bassist Jason Mercer (Ani DiFranco, Ron Sexsmith) and drummer Bonz Bowering, resulting in 21st Century Lo-Fi, Savage’s most diverse album to date.
“This record has a different feel than my previous albums, largely due to the circumstances under which it was recorded,” he says. “I made use of virtual instruments—Midi, synths—to achieve the sound I was looking for, and I feel this record is the closest I’ve gotten to what I hear in my head. A benefit of the pandemic was the opportunity to focus my whole attention on this project, because in normal times, the recording process would be broken up with tour dates, and other business distractions.”
Indeed, Savage greatly expands upon his familiar roots-based sound throughout 21st Century Lo-Fi, as evidenced by “Down Here,” on which he offers a rapid-fire indictment of economic disparity overtop a pulsing beat.
“That song focuses on what I believe is a major issue we are currently facing in our society, and something that has really bubbled to the surface during the pandemic,” he says. “I am a big proponent of universal basic income and wealth taxes to right the capitalist ship that has gotten even more askew over these past two years.”
Although like most singer/songwriters, Savage cites Neil Young as a primary inspiration for the fearless trust he’s always placed in his audience to follow him wherever the music led, Savage is likely to attract many brand new ears because of 21st Century Lo-Fi’s sonic exploration. As an album that ignores any preconceived notions, it’s the pure expression of an artist taking stock of his surroundings with an unflinching eye.
 
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Jun
12
Sun
2022
Kate Weekes
Jun 12 @ 6:00 PM
Kate Weekes @ Old Church Theatre

Kate will bring her trio to the Old Church with James Stephens on fiddle and mandolin and Brian Sanderson on the sousaphone


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All albums are travelogues of sorts, deep dives into foreign (sometimes familiar) worlds undertaken with little more than a guitar, a notebook, and an unquenchable desire to explore. Few artistic journeys have been as expansive as the one mounted by Kate Weekes as she assembled ‘Taken by Surprise’, recorded in 2019 with James Stephens in Chelsea, QC. This dazzling third solo album charts a tumultuous period in Weekes’s life; her first album to fearlessly chronicle not just the physical landscape around her but also the emotional one within.
 
Now based in Wakefield, Quebec after nearly a decade spent immersed in the Yukon’s vibrant music scene, Weekes drew on an astonishing array of experiences including dog mushing-for-hire in Norway, touring China with a swing band, canoeing from Whitehorse to Dawson City and, notably, several intense personal relationships to write these by turns mournful and joyous songs.
 
That unique backstory explains why a one-genre description simply cannot capture the album’s musical scope. It’s more like: eclectic, lyrical, vocally propelled folk/pop with subtle jazz underpinnings buoyed by everything from organ to flugelhorn to trumpet. Indeed, you might say ‘Taken by Surprise’ is the ultimate sonic scrapbook of a bold life lived to the fullest.
 
Kate will bring her trio to the Old Church with James Stephens on fiddle and mandolin and Brian Sanderson on the sousaphone.   
 
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Jun
15
Wed
2022
Charlie A’Court
Jun 15 @ 6:00 PM
Charlie A’Court @ Old Church Theatre
Planted at the crossroads of roots and soul, Charlie A’Court possesses a mighty voice, fierce guitar work and contemporary songwriting that is felt by fans across Canada and beyond. His latest album, When Country Gets The Blues, is nominated for Country Recording of The Year at the 2022 East Coast Music Awards.


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Often stylistically compared to mentors like Eric Clapton and Otis Redding, Charlie has always been recognized for exploring his musical horizons. As a five-time ECMA winner and eight-time Nova Scotia Music Award winner Charlie has earned awards for Blues, Pop, and R&B/Soul Recordings of the Year, and on multiple occasions been recognized as Entertainer of the Year. A’Court has also received multiple Maple Blues Award nominations including Male Vocalist and Songwriter of the Year.
On Charlie’s latest album, he partners up with country group, Witchitaw, and releases a live album experience that blurs the lines between blues and country music. “When Country Gets The Blues” was recorded at the 2019 Cavendish Beach Music Festival and released in the fall of 2021 supported by a theatre tour of the Maritimes. When few acts could perform due to compounding restrictions for live music throughout the pandemic, Charlie A’Court and Witchitaw, with the help of presenters, successfully delivered a full stage production to fans, reminding audiences of the thrill of attending live concerts.
In 2019, Charlie developed and launched a streaming channel called “CharliePlaysGuitars” on Twitch.tv as a way to connect with fans internationally. The platform allows Charlie to chat directly with new and existing fans in an in-formal and natural setting while delivering his his professional caliber of sound. When the pandemic struck in 2020, Charlie doubled down on his growing online base and continues to stream 2-4 times a week.
As a songwriter A’Court is sought after for his style of Canadian soul. Whether it’s a full-blown electric rocker on “Can’t Stop the Clock” for Christine Campbell and “Love & Insanity” for Mike Biggar, or acoustic grooves on tracks like “Standing On The Other Side”, “When The Lights Went Out” and “Through The Night” for folk-duo phenom Quote The Raven’s last two albums, Charlie is a stirring and poignant lyricist who just gets better with age.
Growing up on the east coast in rural Nova Scotia, Canada, Charlie spent his youth learning to play guitar while immersed in his father’s vinyl record collection – discovering singers like Otis Redding and Sam Cooke. “I remember being so profoundly moved and almost not old enough to know why” says A’Court. “There was something honest about the way they sang. They would sing with such conviction that simply commanded attention.”
It wasn’t long before he discovered albums featuring blistering blues guitar. B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton made their way to the top of the pile and to the ears of a young, imaginative A’Court. “These guys would wail in a way where every note mattered. They sang without apology and played guitar like it was their last day” recalls A’Court, “and then there was Eric Clapton. He really opened my mind as a musician. Clapton’s music showed me that my music could balance between blues and adult contemporary songwriting.”
Off stage, A’Court makes giving back to his community a priority. In 2017, A’Court launched the Charlie A’Court Scholarship for Excellence in Music, a $500 bursary awarded to a Nova Scotia high school graduate who is continuing his/her music education in university or college.
 
CASEM is also the presenting sponsor for the Portia White Youth Award at the African Nova Scotia Music Awards.
In addition, Charlie runs a grass roots initiative called Stringathon. The program collects un-used guitar strings and repackages them to be donated to local school band programs.
Charlie A’Court has enjoyed headline performances at national and international festivals like Stan Rogers Folk Festival (CAN), Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival (CAN), Great Southern Blues Festival (AUS), Woodford Folk Festival (AUS), repeat performances at Kerrville Folk Festival (USA) and has shared the stage with James Cotton, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, George Thorogood, Harry Manx, Martin Sexton, Delbert McClinton, UB40, Canned Heat, Colin James, Dan Aykroyd and Jimmie Vaughan, among countless others.
“A’Court slides into his role as smooth soul man with ease…Singing high and mighty, rising into falsetto, getting into the groove, or slaying us with tenderness, he’s a singing tour-de-force.” Bob Mersereau, CBC
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Jun
17
Fri
2022
Kim Doolittle
Jun 17 @ 6:00 PM
Kim Doolittle @ Old Church Theatre

Kim Doolittle is a Singer, Songwriter and Storyteller.
Be it performing Solo, Duo or with a Band, she brings her own particular brand of self deprecation, humor and life lessons to every performance through her own original music and carefully chosen covers. She draws from Blues, Folk, Gospel and Kitchen Party Fun reminiscent of her Maritime Childhood.


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January, 2018 marked 45 years as a Singer, Songwriter and Storyteller. Music is my life. I love to sing, write, play and tell stories about a life I had perfectly planned. Those plans went more curly than straight, teaching me that too many plans are laughable while those curves inform my Muse. My 9th studio album feels like my first. “Into The Blue”, produced and largely co-written by Ken Whiteley is the sum of a 43 year artistic journey. It comes straight from the heart and the songs reflect a deep desire to move forward in my musical life authentically, with an eye on looking back at where it all began.
 
“Into The Blue” dropped April 8, 2017, charting on Stingray Music, The Blues Radio Network, CBC, Toronto Blues Society Charts, Blues and Routes Radio, and Folk Routes to name a few. The music is heavily influenced by Blues, Roots, Gospel, Folk and the varied tapestry woven at family Kitchen Parties courtesy of my native Nova Scotian childhood.
 
I am humbled to have been mentored by Ken Whiteley, my music could not have been placed in better hands. The songs are reflective and meant to create hope and optimism through strength, perseverance, trust and spirit. We cannot get enough of that in the world.
I look forward to making your acquaintance and may all your blues be the musical kind”.
~ Kim Doolittle
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Jun
18
Sat
2022
Ian Tamblyn
Jun 18 @ 6:00 PM
Ian Tamblyn @ Old Church Theatre

We’re thrilled to welcome Officer of the Order of Canada Ian Tamblyn back to the Old Church. 


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At last count Ian has released 44 albums. His last two albums, Let It Go and Te Na Gadino were released in 2018. As well Ian has written several plays, the most recent production being Nun of It  which was presented September 15-17th, 2019 at the Black Sheep as part of the Ta! DA! Festival.

Ian has received several awards for his music, he has an honourary doctorate from Lakehead University and a Distinguished Alumni Award from Trent University. He is a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.  He is also a winner of the Estelle Klein and Jackie Washing ton Awards for his contributions to the Canadian Roots music world.

In the winter of 2020 Ian taught a songwriting course for Chelsea teenagers at the Mill Road Community Space in Chelsea through the auspices of City Folk and Bluesfest. He also has been teaching an advanced songwriting class in Wakefield at Earl’s Hall. In March, Ian will be touring on Vancouver Island.

April will mark the re-release of his album Magnetic North. The album has been remastered and will be released The Record Store. Precision Records is aiding with the manufacture and re-release of this Juno nominated album.

In recent months Ian has written several articles on music for the “Folk Roots Canada” website and he is currently researching and writing a new play set in the Gatineaus entitled Ice Storm  .

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Jun
23
Thu
2022
Claude Bourbon
Jun 23 @ 6:00 PM
Claude Bourbon @ Old Church Theatre

Ready for a unique and talented take on a wide range of musical traditions? Claude Bourbon is known throughout Europe and America for amazing guitar performances that take blues, Spanish, Middle Eastern, and Russian stylings into uncharted territories. Each year Bourbon plays more than 100 shows around the world.


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Born in France in the early 60’s, Claude Bourbon grew up in Switzerland, where he was classically trained for many years. This finger picking guitarist has performed and studied all over the world; He has played countless venues, including Glastonbury Festival, Isle of Wight Festival, Colne Great British & Blues Festival, Rock O’Z Arene, Avenches, Switzerland, among others. He has shared the stage in Europe and the USA with countless musicians, Calvin Russel, Charlie Morgan (Elton John, Gary Moore), Jan Akkerman (Focus), Steve Grossman (Miles Davis), Herbie Armstrong ( Van Morisson), Jose barrense Dias and many more.
 
Now based in the UK, some of this guitarists’ influences allow us a fascinating insight into this remarkable musician; Paco De Lucia: Deep Purple’s Richie Blackmore; Joaquin Rodrigo; JJ Cale; JS Bach….
One reviewer even noted that although “Claude’s roots were in blues, that is like saying Leonardo da Vinci was a painter”. Intrigued ? Experience an evening of exploration in the unique ambiance of the Thumb !
 
Claude’s official website : www.claudebourbon.org
“… not a same ole same ole gig…”
“ Claude Bourbon is a unique figure today… his playing is almost indescribable“ – The Hook, Charlottesville, USA
“Never heard anyone get that much beautiful sound out of a J-45”, Bob, Tucson, AZ
“A breathtaking acoustic fusion of blues, jazz, folk, classical and Spanish guitar from a stunning guitar virtuoso…”Altadena News, USA”
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