The Spirit of Yorkville: The voice of a generation

This stage will honour some of the legends of the Yorkville era of music in Toronto. Presented by The Spirit Of Yorkville, a loose coalition of former “Yorkville village” denizens and habitu鳬 the show will feature some iconic talents from the hippie haven’s halcyon era in the ’60s and early ’70s, when it was home to some of the most cherished, memorable music ever to arise from Toronto.

The artists appearing on this stage are:

Joanne Crabtree: Circa 1964, when Joanne Crabtree was still performing as Jo-Anne Hindley-Smith, a nationally syndicated magazine dubbed her “Canada’s Answer to Bob Dylan.” To this day, she continues to write and sing songs of protest, freedom, love and exhilaration — songs that embody the spirit of those deeply committed times.

Cliff Kid Martin: In the early ’60s, Martin and family moved to the Yorkville area. He started playing drums, harmonica and guitar at local jazz and folk clubs, first recorded in 1966, and would later travel and perform at jazz, blues and folk festivals in the U.S., Europe and Canada, with various artists — mainly as a harmonica soloist.

Chick Roberts: This veteran singer and musician on the Canadian folk scene began his musical career in Yorkville in the 1960s with The Sinners Trio, a solo act, and then with The Dirty Shames. He still performs as a solo act,  with his folk trio, and as the lead singer and harmonica player in The Lowdown Way Blues/Jazz Band.

Judith Orban: From the stages of The Village Corner, The Fifth Peg, Mariposa and points west and east in the early ’60s, Orban switched to the “legitimate” stage for the past 30-plus years, and is greatly enjoying her return to folk music once again.

Beverlie Robertson: She burst upon the music scene in 1961 with the trio The Chanteclairs, when folk music was mainstream, and served on the artistic advisory committee of the Mariposa Folk Festival. She continues to sing both traditional and contemporary folk music in several languages, accompanying herself on 6- and 12-string guitars, dulcimer and autoharp.

David DePoe: Better known as an organizer of the hippies in Yorkville in the ’60s, David has long been a singer and songwriter. He sings songs of that era by Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs and others, as well as his own compositions, and loves to get people to sing along.


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