Old Church Theatre

James Brown

James Brown (Guitarist, Composer, Educator) is one of Canada’s most talented and versatile musicians. 

He has preformed and recorded with many leading artists and ensembles and has recorded three critically acclaimed CD’s of original music.  His 2009 recording, “Sevendaze” features Don Thompson, Quinsin Nachoff, Jim Vivian, and Anthony Michelli. Other recordings have featured Andrew Downing, Ernie Tollar, John Obercian and Christopher Lee.

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James has also performed with The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (with Eric Idol), Toronto Philharmonia, Sound Streams Canada (with The Hilliard Ensemble),  Art of Time Ensemble and CanStage. He also performed in the Canadian premiere of 2X5: a new work by New York composer Steve Reich.

James’ compositions range from solo guitar to symphony orchestra and have been performed and recorded by numerous ensembles and soloists including: Orchestra Toronto, Trinity Chamber Ensemble, Jeffrey McFadden, William Beauvais and The Montreal Guitar Trio.

James has a Master of Arts Degree in Composition from York University and is currently on Faculty at The Oscar Peterson School of Music (formerly: The Royal Conservatory School) and Metalworks Institute.

His recent composition “The Mosley Street Suite” was premiered  at Koerner Hall in August 2021 and his fourth studio album “Song Within the Story”, (featuring Clark Johnston, Anthony Michelli and Mike Murley) will be released on NGP records in March of 2022.


Jocelyn Pettit & Ellen Gira

From Canada and the US, Jocelyn Pettit & Ellen Gira are a dynamic fiddle & cello duo. First meeting in Scotland in 2018, they joined their musical forces, and have since been gracing stages and captivating audiences in both North America and the UK.

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Fusing together traditional and contemporary influences, Jocelyn & Ellen create powerfully uplifting and soulful music. Their instruments weave a rhythmically driving and textured sound, with nuanced fiddle-cello interplay through delicate and fortissimo arrangements. They bring life and fire into their original melodies, and high-energy tunes from Scotland, Ireland, North America, and Scandinavia – complemented by richly interwoven vocal harmonies, and lively Canadian stepdancing.
Performance highlights include Celtic Connections (Scotland), Niel Gow Festival (Scotland),
Edinburgh Castle (Scotland), Northwest Folklife Festival (USA), and Folk Alliance International
(USA). They have also performed for HRH Prince Charles, and been featured in live broadcasts on
BBC Radio 3. Their debut album, “All It Brings”, will be released in Summer 2022.
About the artists:
From the West Coast of Canada, Jocelyn Pettit is a vibrant fiddle player, stepdancer, and singer.
With grace and passion, she has delighted audiences and ignited stages across Canada and
worldwide, appeared on national television and radio, performed with internationally-renowned
groups including The Chieftains, and released two multi-award-nominated albums.
From the East Coast of the USA, Ellen Gira is an accomplished cellist who has performed throughout
North America and the UK. She has collaborated and recorded with numerous acclaimed traditional
musicians, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Scottish Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

[Insert Funny Name Here] with the Improvmonauts

Wow! Live performance is back and we need to get our act together…literally. Join the Improvmonauts on the patio for [Insert Funny Name Here] and help us get our funny back. See! We need your suggestions or else this show will be full of holes.

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Come see a show rated by three out of the five Improvmonauts to be the best Improvmonauts in the Belleville area…excluding Stockdale.

Steve Payne with guest Al Lerman

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Steve Payne has been described by many as one of the most unique guitarists, multi-instrumentalists and singer/songwriter/performers of the modern day Blues/Roots genre. He has joined the ranks of the “almost legendary” in the Roots/Blues community, and has shared the stage and bill with many of the greats of the Blues and Folk world, including BB King, Dr John and countless others. Starting off in the UK Blues and Folk clubs in the mid 70’s Steve P has swerved, never bypassed, contributing musically through decades of musical trends. Throughout he has managed to retain his fresh and unique style as a player performer and composer.
Al Lerman is no stranger to the Old Church Theatre. Outside of his 2X Juno Award winning band Fathead, Al has built a solid career touring as an solo blues/roots artist, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar and rack harmonica. Considered among the top harmonica players in the country, his prowess on the instrument has earned him several Maple Blues nominations.
See Steve with Lyndon Webb, Billy Boy Miskimmin and  Pete Lane – Dead Man’s Shoes -21st Century Blues:  

Charlie A’Court

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

Tom Savage – CD Release Concert

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.

James Anthony

Blues Hall of Fame inductee James Anthony plays solo, acoustic on the patio at the Old Church Theatre! 

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James Anthony grew up in a Suburb of Toronto, Etobicoke. A natural musician at age 10, played Ontario Place at 15 and turned pro at 17. He went on the road at 17 with Cougar TCB, one of the first Reggae bands in Canada led by Jay Douglas. in 1974, James Anthony joined Edward Bear and various Toronto bands. In 1978 had one Album on RCA with Mondo Combo. The 80s James played country sessions, TV and radio shows. As part of the Lulu’s House Band in the 1990s in Kitchener, Ontario, James Anthony performed with over 150 touring Artists, including, Sam Moore of Sam & Dave, Denny Doherty of The Mamas & the Papas, Gary U.S. Bonds, and The Platters. He hosted an award winning Roots musical variety show “The Midnight Hour” on Rogers cable in the 1990s, and “James Anthony Live” on Cogeco Cable in 2011-2013.

Anthony was inducted into Blues Hall Of Fame USA on September 22, 2013 in Detroit.

James Anthony now resides in Burlington, Ontario and owns and operates Sound Investments Recording Studio. He is still active in the blues, jazz and roots music community as a session musician,producer, and arranger. Anthony writes for and produces other artists, jingles and film scores and performs at blues festivals. James’ experience in the music industry is reminiscent of legendary players of the past.

His favourite guitars are The Telecaster,Les Paul,ES 335 and Stratocasters.Lately playing a Godin Premier jazz Guitar. Amps are Fender Tweeds,Deluxes and Black face models also a VHT modded by Ric Anderson.

“Soul is Born, Blues is Earned