Feb 21 – 23, 2020

WFXIII Bios for Program

WFXIII Bios for Program

Feb 18, 2015

ACOUSTIC HARVEST run by promoter Lillian Wauthier, has been presenting Saturday Night Monthly Concert Series since 1997. Back again at Winterfolk, tonight Lillian will present some of Canada’s top performers including Jon Brooks, Meg Tennant, Clela Errington with Jocelyn Barth, Suzie Vinnick, Laura Bird and Kelli Trottier.

AL LERMAN is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and leader of the two-time Juno Award winning (Canada’s Grammy) band FATHEAD. Outside of the band, he has built a solid career touring as an acoustic solo blues/roots artist, accompanying himself on guitar and rack harmonica. He has released two critically acclaimed solo discs to date. A pro musician for over forty years, he occasionally works as a guest sideman, recording and touring with a myriad of top-notch bands.

ALFIE SMITH is a prolific songwriter, an accomplished performer and talented multi-instrumentalist. Known best for his resophonic guitars, brazen slide licks and uncompromising vocals, he has been nominated for a dozen Hamilton music awards including Best Male Vocalist and Best Guitarist, and has represented Toronto in the Memphis International Blues Challenge. To date, Alfie has released six records, his most recent being Sometimes the Rain. He is currently signed and distributed through Busted Flat Records

BEN SURES is a great storyteller, often hilarious performer and songwriter who has been touring Canada and elsewhere for close to 20 years. Originally from Winnipeg he lives in Edmonton. He has played guitar for acts like Paul Reddick, Rita Chiarelli, Angie Nussey and many more. Ben has seven critically acclaimed albums, and is a multiple international songwriting contest winner.

BRIAN BLAIN Originally from the hills of rural Quebec, now based in Toronto, Brian “Colorblind” Blain has been performing his unique brand of slow-cooked, solid-groove folk blues for more than 40 years – soulful, thoughtful, always entertaining. His guitar style is as authentic and soulful as you will find in any blues, but his lyrics reveal a unique, contemporary point of view. His vocals do not sound like some old blues guy, yet he is an old blues guy, with 60 years of life experiences and 40 years writing and singing about them (on the same guitar).

BRIAN GLADSTONE is a prolific songwriter, dynamic performer, and inspired storyteller. Founder and Director of the Winterfolk Festival, Brian wears many hats. A self-taught and ambitious guitar player, he now partners with Tony Quarrington as the Amazing Flying Fingers and has recorded several albums with timeless original songs.

BRIAN LITVIN  is a versatile finger-picking guitarist and songwriter. His band JABULANI perform their colorful, unmistakable, upbeat South African music, singing in both Zulu and English. The band’s infectious tunes are a skillful blend of diverse musical styles rooted in South Africa, such as Township Jive, Traditional Zulu music, and Cape Town Jazz. The beautiful harmonies, characteristic of music from that region, combined with Brian’s first-hand anecdotes as a protest singer in apartheid South Africa, provide the listener with a truly mesmerizing and enjoyable experience.

CLELA ERRINGTON & JOCELYN BARTH Clela is a singer, instrumentalist and songwriter with a unique blend of folk and jazz influences that create the perfect vehicle for her intimate and dynamic vocal delivery. A classic late bloomer, Clela produced her first of four independent albums at the age of 43. In 2014, Clela released her album, More Love and Happiness, produced by Juno Award winner Alec Fraser, it features the stunning vocal harmonies of her daughter Jocelyn Barth. Clela and Jocelyn perform regularly in Toronto.

DARCY WICKHAM With a professional musical career spanning three decades, D’Arcy Wickham brings maturity and depth to his performing and songwriting talents. The Toronto Star says “He showcases an exceptional facility with all styles of guitar picking, from elegant folk to atmospheric blues, and with his gifts as a composer of comfortingly retro, acoustic-based pop songs. He’s in fine voice as well – a full, truly pitched baritone graces his compositions.” D’arcy is a 2007 Winner in “Songs from the Heart” Competition for his song “Feather Fingers” and a 2009 Canadian Region Finalist in the Mountain Stage NewSong Contest.

DAN MCVEIGH has performed from Alberta to Newfoundland and everywhere in between, for enthusiastic audiences. He started out as a keyboard player/lead vocalist in a number of Top 40/Country music groups before working on his career as a solo artist. McVeigh released his first CD (Love & Bridges) in 2001 after numerous requests from people who wanted to buy a CD after seeing him perform his live show. McVeigh’s  latest CD Drove has garnered great reviews and  achieved national radio airplay

DANNY MARKS is a celebrated musician, broadcaster, and veteran to the Toronto music scene. This iconic rocker’s roots go back to the sixties as a founding member of Capitol Records’ group, Edward Bear. After a span as a journey man session musician throughout the seventies, Danny settled in to the club scene, establishing a cult following as a genre-bender in music and humor.

A house band gig at Toronto’s famed Albert’s Hall led him to host his own nation-wide TV show, Stormy Monday. Through the eighties, Danny starred in CBC radio’s hit series the Hum Line. Most recently, Danny Marks recorded two original music albums, Guitarchaeology and True. Danny’s in his thirteenth year as the radio host of JAZZ.FM91’s Saturday night blues show, bluz.fm.

DAVID ESSIG is one of Canada’s finest roots/blues singer/songwriters and a helluva slide guitarist. ESSIG was introduced to Canadian audiences in 1971 as a “talented newcomer” at the legendary Mariposa Folk Festival. Now, nearly 40 years later, he has an international career as one of Canada’s finest interpreters of original, contemporary folk music. Always paying homage to his roots in Bluegrass and Country Blues, David uses these traditions to create timeless new songs.

FRASER & GIRARD Allan Fraser and Marianne Girard are a powerful songwriting and performing duo. Their set shows all the magic that can occur when two gifted singer-songwriters join forces. Both have great songs. Both have everything it takes to completely satisfy an audience on their own. Together they offer an abundance of riches. And while each of them complements the other’s songs in ways that reflect their own strong musical identity, both are focussed only on the song at hand. The resulting musical chemistry unfolds in spontaneous and unpredictable ways, creating one moment after another of unexpected grace and joy.

Gary Kendall is an award-winning bass player and everyone knows him as oft-elected Maple Blues’ Bassist of the Year, blues man about town and keeper of the bottom end for Downchild. But Gary’s alter ego is found in his much beloved Gary Kendall Band – a band in which each carefully selected player is equal and accountable. Formed in 2005, Gary reached out to some of Toronto’s best musicians to create a turn-on-a-dime squad of blues marauders and build a loyal following for their own brand of music – and for doing exactly what they like to do on any given night – play the blues.

GLEN HORNBLAST & THE QUEEN ST. COWBOYS are a frolicking, rollicking country-rock band in the style of The Byrds or The Eagles – playing original country, blues and folk. From Hornblast originals like “Loretta” to old Bob Dylan standards like “Girl From The North Country”, Glen Hornblast & the Queen St. Cowboys are sure to be an entertaining ride. The Cowboys are: Glen Hornblast on guitar & vocals; Greg Lapointe on percussion; Doug Snow on bass; Phil Ciglen on elec. guitar, Rob Murphy on piano and Dean Cavill on pedal steel guitar.

HOTCHA! is an award-winning, high-energy hillbilly swing duo that blends old-time Western, bluegrass, early swing and country gospel, delivered with the energy of a runaway train. Their rustic, rural songs of work and faith combines Beverly Kreller’s soaring voice, lively accordion and big-beat bodhran with Howard Druckman’s rough-hewn harmonies, gritty guitar and wailing harmonica. Their album, Dust Bowl Roots: Songs for the New Depression, won two Toronto Independent Music Awards in 2012 and is a tonic for the times we live in.

ISABEL AND THE UNCOMMONS’ leader Isabel Fryszberg, is a singer, fiddler and songwriter based in Toronto. Formerly a founding member of acclaimed klezmer-swing sextet, Sisters of Sheynville , Isabel makes her solo debut with her newly released and heart-breakingly beautiful HEARTS AND ARROWS album. Hearts and Arrows, spans the range of emotions of the human heart. Each song springs uniquely from true stories of picking up the pieces after a broken relationship. Her genre-jumping songs come from the music she loves, embracing rock and roll, country, blues, Americana, Appalachian fiddle music, folk, Tin Pan Alley and traditional jazz.

JACK DE KEYZER is a multiple award-winner including two Junos, and has a hot new album. This legendary guitarist and his Electric Love band will keep you rocking all night long. An incendiary live performer, soulful vocalist and world class song writer, de Keyzer performs an average of 180 shows per year and has brought audiences to their feet at many major jazz and blues festivals including the Montreal Jazz Fest, Blues Sur Seine (France), and The Ottawa Blues Festival.

JOJO WORTHINGTON’s infectiously catchy and whimsical melodies, are going to blow your brains to smithereens. JoJo Worthington is an independent folk/alternative artist from Waterloo, Ontario, known for her avid songwriting and dynamic use of the ukulele. By using loops, reverbs, delays and even distortion, JoJo creates a euphoric atmosphere that can win the heart of any audience. She is the 2014 winner of Best Folk and Best Song at Toronto Independent Music Awards.

JON BROOKS is one of our finest singer-songwriters and a dynamic performer. His new album, The Smiling and Beautiful Countryside, crashed the folk/roots party in late 2014 with a death count of 75. It’s an album of Canadian murder ballads and was recorded in Toronto by well-awarded and oft-acclaimed producer/engineer, David Travers-Smith. Jon’s 5th full length release is an intrepid solo set that defies categorization and resists any ‘folk,’ ‘singer-songwriter,’ or ‘solo acoustic’ description. Equal parts local Canadiana and universal horror, this is a collection that has buried all the trademark Jon Brooks social commentary in a shallow, roadside grave. Philosophical paradox, gallows humour, impossible love, titillating gore, adulterous sex, serial killers, gun dealers, rampage killing, missing women, First Nations catastrophe, necrophilia, Shakespeare, and John Milton: The Smiling and Beautiful Countryside is neither an album for casual fans nor is it music that will ever be heard in your dentist’s waiting room.

JORY NASH is an award-winning singer-songwriter and storyteller who blends elements of folk, jazz, blues, pop & soul into an original stew of sound. He has recorded 7 critically acclaimed albums. In 2013 his most recent release Little Pilgrim was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award (CFMA) for Best Producer. His 2009 album New Blue Day was named Penguin Eggs Magazine Critic’s Choice Album of the Year. Jory Nash also received a CFMA nomination for New Blue Day. He is also a previous winner of the OCFF Songs From The Heart Award for his song “When I Walk Out”.

JULIAN TAYLOR is a soulful, award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter who began his music career as a teenager playing at open stages around the greater Toronto area. Persistence and a never-give-up, hard-working ethic are at the core of  this Toronto native’s accomplishments. Those humble beginnings have led him down a storied path that includes the release of seven albums and 10 top-forty hit singles.

KELLI TROTTIER is a triple threat with a distinctive musical style. Her angelic voice and crisp fiddling are enhanced by her own songs and fiery step dance. With nine independent recordings; singing, dancing and playing her way to the top of her musical genre, Kelli Trottier is an unforgettable and enchanting artist, consistently delivering performances that raise her stature in the hearts and memories of audiences everywhere.

KEN WHITELEY is a Canadian roots music legend. His musical journey has taken him from jug band, folk and swing to blues, gospel and children’s music. Among numerous accolades, he has been awarded a Canadian Folk Music Award, Genie Award for Best Original Song in a Canadian film, Lifetime Achievement recognition from Folk Music Ontario (Ontario Council of Folk Festivals) and Mariposa Folk Festival. He has also been nominated for 7 Juno awards and 14 Maple Blues Awards. Ken’s live performances showcase his outstanding musicianship on guitars and mandolin, award winning original songs and his powerful vocals, called “…a cross between Pete Seeger and Tony Bennett on 11!”

THE KITGUT STRINGBAND plays the mountain music of whiskey revelry and gospel salvation…a thirsty combination fueled by fiddle, banjo, guitar, bass and hollering harmony. The band is made up of Toronto musicians Frank Evans (banjo), Rosalyn Dennett (guitar), Tony Allen (fiddle), and Neal Evans (bass). The band became a legendary fixture at Grafitti’s Bar and Grill during their 3 year weekly residence … inspiring a following of singing, dancing and sidewalk shenanigans. Kitgut’s infectious energy is captured on their recent CD, Rebel Raid

KRISTINE SCHMITT AND WILL MEADOWS Kristine Schmitt is a Toronto-based singer-songwriter. A sought-after vocalist both live and in the studio, she excels in a wide range of roots and jazz styles. She’s performed at numerous festivals and venues in Canada and the United States, primarily in bluegrass and traditional country acts, and more recently with her honky-tonk swing group Kristine Schmitt and her Special Powers. Joining Kristine for Winterfolk is award-winning mandolinist and singer Will Meadows (best known for his work with Ontario bluegrass outfit Hard Ryde). Kristine and Will have been playing together every chance they get for almost ten years – this will be their first performance together as a duo! Laura Bird draws inspiration from colorful palettes of folk, roots, bluegrass and jazz standards.

LAURA FERNANDEZ was born in Madrid, Spain, and is now based in Toronto. She is a sultry singer-songwriter, pianist, music producer, painter, award-winning illustrator and designer. She is also producer and host of Café Latino on Toronto’s JazzFM91. Laura grew up in a household where art, creativity and culture were valued and encouraged, and she excelled in academics and ultimately dedicated her life to art. She released her critically acclaimed CD, Un Solo Beso in 2010.

LINDA MCRAE is a dynamic multi-instrumental performer with a new acclaimed CD 50 Shades of Red. She is a Canadian, US-based singer-songwriter who has built a following through amazing albums and a tireless international tour schedule. She has performed in venues as diverse as Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre with the Vancouver Symphony, to New Folsom Prison with their “in house” blues band! With a voice equally warm and world-weary McRae’s stories are stand-alone gems, that sketch out solitary men as convincingly as forthright female romantics. One song breaks your heart, the next one puts it back together. Her quirky melodies, clever lyrics and sophisticated musicianship make her one of Canada’s most captivating and sought-after artists. 

LYNN HARRISON Known for life-affirming songs that speak to the soul, Lynn Harrison has been connecting with Toronto audiences for many years through her compelling performances and recordings. A prolific songwriter with a gift for melody and a way with a guitar, Lynn will release her fifth CD The Conversation in 2015. She is also a candidate for Unitarian Universalist (UU) ministry, another place where her “spiritual-yet-not-religious” songs are loved by people of all generations.

LYNN MILES is one of Canada’s most awarded and accomplished singer-songwriters. With twelve albums to her credit, the winner of multiple Canadian Folk Music awards (2011 English Songwriter of the Year), and a 2003 Juno award for Roots and Traditional Solo Album of the Year, she has certainly found her strength over time.

MEG TENNANT’s songs are “beguilingly beautiful” according to Steve Edge, artistic director of BC’s Rogue Folk Club, where Meg opened shows for the likes of Tom Russell and Eliza Gilkyson.  Meg has returned to her home province of Ontario after many years on the west coast raising two daughters and nurturing her music dreams.  Her solo CD Driving With You was released in 2001, exquisitely produced by John McArthur Ellis. Penguin Eggs, Canada’s Folk, Roots and World Music Magazine said “Her crystal clear and inviting voice shines on this collection of ten original songs.” Meg’s a capella songs are currently being performed by choirs in BC, Australia and Sweden.

MIKE MCKENNA is a professional Canadian rock/blues guitarist noted for his electric slide playing. He is headliner for the Mike McKenna Band. McKenna began playing professionally in the early 1960s in Yorkville where he formed the group Luke & The Apostles. He was one of the first Toronto rock guitar players to play a hollow body, while most rock musicians were still playing solid bodies. McKenna got a particularly rich sound by playing through 200 watt Marshall Plexi stacks and using banjo strings on the high end to make note bending easier. Other groups include, Mendelson Mainline, Downchild and the Kendall Wall Blues Band.

  1. RICKis your escort to a rich musical intersection. Genre lines blur and then disappear. Country blends with rural blues. 50’s–era rock’n roll blends with swing, creating a down home finger-pickin’ stew. Then timelines blur and disappear too. What era have we arrived in?  Mr. Rick and the Biscuits will release their 4th CD this year. Having hit a milestone in 2010, Mr. Rick & The Biscuits celebrated their 15th Anniversary and were featured on CBC’s VINYL CAFE.

NICOLA VAUGHAN Nicola Vaughan is a captivating singer/performer with a wealth of experience and style. She toured many years with top-40 bands, and has performed live and/or recorded/demoed with Platinum Blonde, Kenny MacLean, Candi, Dan Hill, and Alannah Myles. In the 1990s Nicola founded Chain Gang [a Pretenders tribute band], and her own band, playing across Ontario. She now hosts open mics at Grossmans, Black Swan, and Hirut.

NICOLE COWARD is a ‘60s-influenced singer/songwriter with a new EP Strong Enough For Love receiving global airplay. Toronto native Nicole “Songbird” Coward demonstrates, power in softness and depth and meaning in her songs.

NIK BEAT TRIBUTE – Nik Beat had been interviewing celebrities authors, writers, actors, musicians and media players for 20 years including The Late poet Jim Carroll, Richard Hell of Television, Alannah Myles, Robert Priest, Max Layton, Nobel prize nominee David Kilgour, Lydia Lunch, singer songwriter and Madonna collaborator on Masterpiece song, Julie Frost. The tribute is hosted by Michael Oesch and artists include Jennifer Hosein, Nancy Bullis, Laura L’Rock, Pat Kelly, Michael Marion, Michael Marion, Pat Connors, Laura Fernandez and more…

NOAH ZACHARIN is a Montreal-born, Toronto-based award-winning poet and singer-songwriter. He is a guitar virtuoso as acknowledged by CBC radio host Holger Peterson, a powerful singer and prolific writer of literate, moving, and intelligent songs. Musician and producer Paul Mills calls him a “stunning performer.”  Zacharin has recorded seven CDs to date and his set include blues, jazz, country, folk, and bluegrass.

NSAI PRESENTS Nashville Songwriters Association of Canada showcases their finest songwriters. Hosted by Dan McVeigh, who has been involved with the NSAI since 1994, which is the world’s largest songwriter organization. He is the lead coordinator for the Toronto NSAI Chapter for the past 14 years.

ONION HONEY was originally a duo with Dave Pike and Esther Wheaton, but they have lately grown to four players, with the addition of Michelle Horel and Stuart Cybulskie. The band utilizes banjo, mandolin, guitar, banjolele, double bass, and washboard, in their pursuit of the sounds of the past. They have toured Southern Ontario and the Maritimes – downtown streets and uptown theatres, sunny fields, dingy cafés, rustic barns, living rooms, farmers’ markets, librarians’ parties, and once, a hot air balloon festival. Together they make a deliciously stellar blend of original old-time and traditional folk tunes that will tug at your heartstrings and set your feet a-tappin’.

RAE BILLING & THE UNPAYABLES – Rae’s voice and lyrics create a touchstone that is unique on the Canadian landscape. Her voice has been described as “shiver-inducing, honest and pure, assured and desperate at the same time.” Her lyrics and music have been lauded – “full of wide open spaces and bittersweet emotions,” and called “late night, pan-Americana rootsy songs… handled with gutsy femininity.” Her latest CD Walls and Fences has been called “Powerfully poetic” and “Captivating from start to finish” and was Penguin Eggs Magazine’s Album of the month in April, 2014.

SEB AGNELLO has been a professional musician since he was kicked out of school at the age of 14 for having long hair. His motto is: ”I live for a living and sometimes they pay me.”  Seb produced, wrote, directed and starred in the television specials “An Evening Of Phil Ochs” and “Three Faces Of Protest” for Rogers Cable. Internationally respected for his guitar playing, Seb will tell you “the guitar’s just a prop…it gets me onstage where I can shoot my mouth off.” Above all else, Seb is a protest singer – scathing, hilarious, politically incorrect and always entertaining.

SENECA COLLEGE INDEPENDENT MUSIC PRESENTS is a showcase of aspiring, young, emerging talent. It’s hosted by John Switzer and Linda M, With artists Vale Abbott, Inna Powell,  Braden Phelan, Mark Vaiana, Natasha Fisher, August Lily, Jimmy Pearson and Ben Cherry Shawna Caspi is a classically-trained folkie with a sweet-tooth for a good story, and rich vocals.

SHAWNA CASPI is a guitar-picking, classically-trained folkie with a sweet-tooth for a good story, a sly lyrical wit, and a rich, powerful voice. Her new CD Apartments for Lovers released in 2014 is a completely solo voice/guitar album. She has travelled throughout Canada, from Vancouver to Halifax, by playing music for passengers on the VIA Rail trains. Caspi sings of love, travel, home, and heart, distilling each experience into a series of vibrant snapshots, coloured with humour and grace and arranged with care and craft.

SONGTOWN – Host Pete Otis features artists who have recorded tracks on Songtown albums. Artists include James Sloan, Darwin Bruce, Paul Cross, Michael Bar, Harpin’ Norm Lucien, Pete Otis, Romas Project and Pat Little.

SOOZI SCHLANGER (queen of cajun aka swamperella) branches out into new musical territory with her debut solo CD soozimusic. Soozimusic is gritty, tough, playful, visceral, vulnerable, rootsy, gutsy and honest. Her debut solo CD released in october 2013 is roots-based to be sure, but far more! Unexpected and honest, beautifully crafted song paintings, poetic story-songs that are accessible and original. These songs are about us all.

SPEAK MUSIC PRESENTS – SPEAK Music is a publicity and promotions company that encourages and assists outstanding artists to get the recognition they deserve. With over 20 years of music industry and media experience, Owner/Director Beverly Kreller strives to bring the best of our wide talent pool to the forefront. Host of The infamous Groovy Mondays that ran for 8-years, the grass-roots company has been presenting and promoting all genres of music for over 10 years. This year’s showcase is hosted by publicist and owner, Beverly Kreller with Howard Druckman, as they feature emerging artists Isabel Fryszberg w/ Steve Briggs, Kristine Schmitt, Whoa Nellie, Clela Errington and The Wanted.

SPIRIT OF SONG NIAGARA: PEACE AND LOVE developed out of the idea to start a musical jam in perpetuity. In 2012 one of the catalyst peace projectors, Rod Standish, jammed for one hundred hours. Four award-winning creatives, from the land of falling waters, Niagara, will be performing for Winterfolk. The Peace Project is a musical and artistic expression, aiming to spread joy, peace and light. Hosted by Joanne Smale, artists include Aaron Berger, Beth Moore, C.D. Onofrio, and  Katey Gatta.

STEVE RAIKEN is recognized as an outstanding acoustic guitarist and singer-songwriter, who has been performing in Canada and the U.S. for over 45 years. His latest critically acclaimed CD was released in 2010 at Hugh’s Room in Toronto and played on radio across Canada and on folk music shows. Raiken performed as a lead-in act, as a member of a folk duo in the early 1970s for Tom Rush, Hall & Oates and George Carlin. He teaches guitar privately and gives benefit concerts at local hospitals.

SUE AND DWIGHT are a folk/roots duo originally from Winnipeg and now living in Toronto. The duo are great story tellers, with a vocal style rich in harmonies, and songs that weave stories of life in prairie towns, city streets and African villages with themes of peace, courage, and social justice. The Little Child Big World CD shared #29 honours with Fred Eaglesmith on ‘THE TOP CANADIAN ALBUMS – 2010 on the US Folkdj listserve. They have been subway buskers for seven years in Toronto’s TTC program. Sue published a book “Attention All Subway Riders” (2012) based on her busking experiences.

SUZIE VINNICK is a roots and blues musician and a force of nature with a six-string guitar. She is a ten-time Canadian Maple Blues Award winner, and she also won a Canadian Folk Music Award for Contemporary Vocalist of the Year. A three-time Juno Nominee, Mike Agranoff of The Minstrel Concert Series, Morristown, New Jersey says “She can belt out blues or croon a ballad with equal deftness. Her guitar work is effortlessly commanding and supremely tasteful. But it is her powerful presence that leaves a lasting impression.”

SWAMPERELLA is Canada’s premier Cajun and Zydego dance band and can rock your socks off with traditional and original songs. With a career spanning 18 years and with four CDs – the latest called Leopard Skin Coat – Swamperella can entertain your grandchildren or your grandpa. The band can play your kitchen party or entice a crowd to dance with their Cajun and Zydeco music. Whether Cajun waltzes or funky Zydeco, the band can do it all with ease.

THE ANDREW COLLINS TRIO are at the forefront of Canada’a acoustic music scene as they weave their way through a wide spectrum of moods: all the while blending and bending the lines between bluegrass, jazz, folk, celtic and classical music. The trio won a 2014 CFMA award for Best Instrumental Group and Andrew has won five other CFMA awrds in previous years. Andrew has also recieved five Juno nominations with other projects. In keeping with his ongoing exploration of what he calls the “Chamber Grass” genre, Collins has teamed up with Mike Mezzatesta and James McEleney to form the Andrew Collins Trio.

THE FABULOUS GLADSTONES will be hosted by Martin Gladstone, with Frank Caruso, Bonnie Gladstone, Marci Gladstone-Jameson and possibly more Gladstones Beaches musicians. Martin Gladstone and Frank Caruso have been performing together at local clubs, house parties and fundraisers in Toronto for more than 10 years and are excited to be making their Winterfolk debut this year!!

THE HEAVYWEIGHTS BRASS BAND have come up with an incredible new album Brasstronomical, that is both classic and contemporary sounding. Critically acclaimed and a big departure from their first New Orleans-style jazz release, Don’t Bring Me Down – which garnered huge attention from The Toronto Star, CBC, national and international media and radio – the new music marks this band as one of the most exciting music projects on the Canadian music scene today.

THE JESSICA STUART FEW focuses on innovative songwriting, stunning three-part harmonies and an unprecedented take on the Japanese koto (13-stringed harp). All this has landed the band on festival stages in North America, Europe, Australia, Asia and on the Top 40 charts in Japan. Critically acclaimed, the band’s latest release Two Sides To Every Story won ‘Best Album’ in the 2014 international Independent Music Awards, and was dubbed, “endlessly charismatic” by The Globe & Mail. The lead single, “Don’t Ya” from Two Sides To Every Story, was on Japanese Top 40, and Tokyo Top 100.

THE MOONSHINE CAFE PRESENTS showcases live music seven nights of the week. They are committed to providing opportunities for developing artists and to providing the best experience possible for established artists and for the good folks that support them day after day. Hosted by cafe owner John Marlett, artists include John Marlatt & James MacKay, Jason Smith & Daniel LeBlanc, Megan Boni, Mark Parr, Leslie Hudson. Rob Birmingham and Neil MacNaughton

THE OPEARS are Meg Contini, Jill Harris and Lydia Persaud, three ladies hailing from different cities, who met in Toronto six years ago. They write original music and arrange favourites, old and new, to showcase their blend and tight harmony. Drawing inspiration from groups such as The Wailin’ Jennys, Andrews Sisters, and Crosby, Stills, and Nash, The O’Pears have created a vast and diverse repertoire of original folk, a cappella, R&B, celtic, and bluegrass music. These young women have performed at various venues and events in and around Toronto, including NXNE, and the Sing! Vocal Arts Festival

THE POLKA DOGS are a popular five-piece theatre/pop fusion band who have reunited after a 25-year hiatus. Still active, still alive, the band is another kettle of fish, so-to-speak. This fall marks the 25th anniversary of the band’s appearance on the Toronto music/theatre/dance scene. They were the musical engine for a number of theatre and dance projects under the direction of John Millard but they also had a dedicated club and concert following in Canada and Europe which kept them touring regularly.

THE TRIO OF FUN are virtuoso musicians Ken Whiteley, Wendell Ferguson, and Tony Quarrington. It’s always lots of fun when these boys are around, not to mention the audience is treated to great songs, guitar playing extraordinaire, and always to a good time. Of course Ken, Wendell, and Tony all have successful music careers, so when this trio gets together anything can happen – and it usually does.

THE WANTED are thrilled to return to Winterfolk with their unique sound that combines original tunes and a fresh takes on classic country and R&B, using washboard, slide guitar, cajon and mandolin. The Wanted fuse early American folk music with rockabilly, tight gospel harmonies and rock ‘n roll lap steel guitar. Their CD has been called “A fine work of contagious, hip swaying, raucous music.” They embrace early country music, blues, bluegrass and rockabilly in a style that is at once distinctive and recognizable.

THE WINTERFOLK ALL-STAR BLUES BAND is led by Jack de Keyzer, with multiple award-winner Gary Kendall from Downchild Blues Band fame, 2 x Juno Winner Al Lerman of ‘Fathead’ and more.

TONY QUARRINGTON is a veteran guitarist and has played folk/rock/jazz for decades (not to mention klezmer and Hawaiian), but has lately been emerging as a powerful songwriter with a bluesy voice and a literary flair. Tony has been on the music scene a long time, playing roots and jazz and bluegrass and everything else too, for such greats as Willie P. Bennett, Joe Hall, Laura Smith, and Daisy DeBolt.

VIVIENNE WILDER is a Northern Gothic, Toronto-based singer, bassist, and songwriter who performs a concoction of maudlin, waitsian folk-jazz. Wicked, wise, and wistful, she is an internationally touring sidewoman-turned-bandleader and has played professionally as a freelance musician for over a decade. Originally from the ancient and primeval inland sea-beds of Saskatchewan, she is the daughter of an orchestra bassist and a lounge singer. Her early musical upbringing was largely focused on playing classical (Regina Symphony Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Canada), jazz, and theatre productions.

WENDELL FERGUSON is recognized by his peers as one of the top guitar pickers in the country and known best as having one of the quickest wits in the game. Country Music News says “A talented and funny guy to say the least.”  Wendell won the “Guitar Player of the Year Award” so many times (7), they retired him. He’s no longer eligible. He was nominated for the “Album of the Year” at the 2006 CCMA Awards. Wendell Co-hosted the 2005 CCMA Awards show with Paul Brandt. The show was nominated for a Genie Award.

WHOA NELLIE! (Vera & Johnny) take a full shot of fresh originals and trad country, add a hefty dash of country-swing, rockabilly, blues, rock and footstompin’ reels, pour it over an accordion and stir with a wicked guitar. Then they set it on fire and serve it hot! Winners of the Barrie New Music Awards for Best Country album in 2010, their upcoming CD release is planned for 2015.


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