Headliners

Big Sugar

BIG SUGAR churn out their unique blend of roots-rock-reggae, soul and dub with double neck guitars and dreadlocks flying through the air. Gordie Johnson and his Rasta brethren are well known for their thundering live performances spiced with epic dub excursions that keep crowds grooving. Big Sugar’s style has even inspired many other notable artists, including THE BLACK CROWES and GOV’T MULE. A platinum recording career that spans over 20 years includes their latest releases Revolution Per Minute, concert dvd Eliminate Ya! Live and a recent collaboration with Reggae legend Willi Williams on Bust No Guns. The Edison Award winners are looking forward to returning to Europe Spring 2014 for a live concert tour.

Big Sugar is:

-Gordie Johnson – guitar/vocals
-Garry Lowe – bass
-Kelly Mr Chill Hoppe – harmonica/sax/melodica
-Friendlyness – keyboards/toasting
-Stephane Bodean Beaudin – drums

The Philosopher Kings

Two decades ago, The Philosopher Kings took the Canadian music industry by storm with their infectious melodies, undeniable energy and a unique combination of pop and alternative rock. 

Winning a Juno Award in 1996 for Best New Group and landing on the U.S. Top 40 chart that same year with the hit single Charms, the band criss-crossed the country, becoming one of the most sought after and popular live acts on the circuit. Ten years ago, in 2006, the band took a hiatus as the members of the group became busy with individual producing and recording projects. 

Fast forward to 2017, The Philosopher Kings have reunited with a renewed energy, revitalized focus – and brand new material. Fans of the band will get a chance to once again hear the eminently memorable, groove-infused songs that made them a live event favourite, including I Am the Man, Cry, Hurts to Love You, and Castles in the Sand, as well as some new favourites.

The band’s lineup is comprised of long-time members Gerald Eaton (vocals), drummer Denton Whited, keyboardist Jon Levine and guitarists James Bryan and Brian West. The talented quintet has been sequestered in their rehearsal space honing their live show, but also composing and recording hotly anticipated new material. 

The band’s recording career began with its self-titled debut in 1994, which spawned the hit single Charms, with the album eventually earning Gold status in Canada. Their commercial, critical and popular breakthrough occurred with the release of the second Philosopher Kings’ album, Famous, Rich and Beautiful in 1997, which was certified Platinum. 

A live album, One Night Stand was released in 1999, followed by Castles in 2006, whereupon the band took an extended break. In the interim, Eaton continued to sing as a solo artist under the nom de plume of Jarvis Church, and has collaborated with the likes of K’naan, Nelly Furtado, and Esthero. He is also one half of the production duo “Track & Field” with band mate Brian West, who has had great success in his solo songwriter and production endeavours which include Maroon 5 and Nelly Furtado’s Latin Grammy Award winning album Mi Plan (2009). 

James Bryan has also remained immersed in the music industry as a producer and songwriter, including being one half of the animated pop duo Prozzäk, and earning writing credits on hits by numerous artists including Jessie J, James Blunt, Jason Mraz and Olly Murs. 

Jon Levine is also a producer and songwriter of note, collaborating with the likes of Rachel Platten, Andy Grammer, Drake, Selena Gomez and U2 front man Bono, while Denton Whited is an in-demand live and studio drummer and percussionist. 

As busy and fulfilled as they are with their individual careers, the call from fans to return to The Philosopher Kings fold could no longer be resisted and the band members are thrilled to be able to bring their songs, their superior showmanship and their high-octane, invigorating live shows to stages worldwide.

 

 

 


Featuring

Thursday, September 21st

 Mary Barry
Denis Parker
Ouroboros 

Friday, September 22nd

Johnston and Lear
Power House Blues Band
Brad Jefford Trio 

Saturday, September 23rd

Lori Cooper Band
Dave Mundy and Callum Latta
Dana Parson Trio
Earle and Coffin 
Denis Parker and John Clarke
Beauwater
Linda Jaine Trio
Kate Hopkins Trio

Sunday, September 24th

Barbra Lica Quintet
East Coast R&B All-Stars
Heather Bambrick Quintent
Janet Cull and the Native Side

Chris Kirby and the Marquee

 

Biographies


Linda Jaine

Linda Jaine’s voice has been described as “epic” with audiences saying they could listen to her all day long. With a diverse vocal range, Linda has performed several genres of music throughout the years; beginning with the rock/alternative band, Kronic, in early 2000.

As Linda matured, her taste in musical performance moved from the allure of hard rock to a love of Motown, Blues, R&B, Funk and Jazz. After performing together at a book launch, she and former Shy Mary guitarist, Geoff Smith, formed the 5-piece band, Funk Island; which regulary performed at The Fat Cat, was featured on Out of the Fog, and developed a clear following of groove-based music lovers.

Linda Jaine continues to breathe non-traditional sounds into the local music scene with high energy funk and blues performances, including being a featured performer at Canada’s Big Birthday Bash on George Street with Billy and the Bruisers and Chris Kirby & the Marquee. As much as she loves bringing listeners on a soulful journey they can’t help but move to, for Linda there’s just something about bearing your soul in jazzy standards and love songs in an intimite setting.


Chris Kirby

He’s been called ‘‘the funkiest man on the East Coast’’, but Chris Kirby is so much more. Besides working hard to fill dance floors with Chris Kirby & the Marquee, this Norris Arm, NL native keeps busy writing and producing music of all kinds, in all kinds of places. Chris has traveled internationally to create music with the likes of Matt Andersen, Wide Mouth Mason, Tim Chaisson, Stephen Fearing (Blackie & the Rodeo Kings), Charlie A’Court, Kim Wempe, Keith Mullins and more. Kirby, a 6-time MusicNL Award winner, has been touring lately with Matt Andersen & the Bona Fide, but is planning to record new CK material in 2017.

Chris is an in-demand songwriter in the Atlantic Provinces, but his songwriting activities have him traveling all over Canada, as well as Nashville and Los Angeles. His co-write Honest Man (recorded by Matt Andersen) reached #3 in the CBC radio 2 top 20 chart. “We Are Love”, a song Chris wrote with The Once, was nominated for Folk Alliance International Song of the Year in 2017. Kirby has also had songs placed in television shows, including Heartland (CBC), Seed (CityTV) and Rookie Blue (ABC).


Heather Bambrick

When Anita O’Day first heard Heather Bambrick sing, the Jazz vocal legend exclaimed “You’re good! You should have your own show!”
After inviting Heather to jam with him, renowned Jazz-fusion guitarist Larry Coryell said to her “Wow, you’re the real deal!”
To this day, flugel horn icon Guido Basso calls Heather his favourite singer.
This is the sort of praise that JUNO-nominated Jazz vocalist Heather Bambrick consistently receives from fellow musicians. Critics love her, as well. “Heather hits every right note”, says Mark Rheume of CBC Radio .
WholeNote Magazine calls her “one of the finest jazz singers in this country”, and
 
All About Jazz says her voice is a “paragon of clarity” and that “she’s the real deal in every way”.
As one o f Canada’s top Jazz vocalists, Heather has collaborated with some of the best around, including Phil Nimmons, Fred Hirsch, Gene DiNovi, Guido Basso, Lea Delaria, Anne Hampton Callaway, Carol Welsman, Jackie Richardson, Ian Shaw, as well as the late Rob McConnell and Peter Appleyard.
She’s a founding member of vocal ensembles The Beehive Singers and Broadsway, and has appeared as a guest performer with various Jazz ensembles, as well as with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, and
the Windsor Symphony Orchestra.
 
Heather’s solo recordings include It’s About Time and Those Were The Days, both of which were nominated for East Coast Music Awards and resulted in international airplay and critical acclaim.
 
Her latest recording, You’ll Never Know, was nominated for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year at the 2017 Juno Awards (Canada’s version of the Grammy Awards). It’s
been praised by critics and industry leaders, and has risen to the top of Canadian Jazz radio charts.
 
Heather’s been a guest artist on numerous diverse recording projects, from those of the Caliban Bassoon Quartet, to Sophisticated Ladies (the final recording of Jazz great Peter Appleyard), and Just Passing Through (the award-winning recording from Jeff and Don Breithaupt). She’s been honoured with Canada’s National Jazz Award for
Vocalist of the Year.
 
More than just a vocalist, Heather is also one of Canada’s busiest voice actors, appearing on numerous commercial campaigns, as well as voicing characters on several Emmy-nominated animated series, including those for Disney, PBS, Comedy Network, and NBCKids.
 
Since 2001, she’s become a beloved host at JAZZ.FM, Canada’s only all-Jazz radio station, and has twice been named National Jazz Awards’ Broadcaster of the Year.
 
Heather’s shows are described as what happens when “Ella Fitzgerald meets Carol Burnett”,combining brilliant musicianship with side-splitting laughs.
 
Part musician, part storyteller, part comedienne, Heather is more than just a singer. She is an entertainer in every sense of the word!

Dave Mundy & Callum Latta
“St. Johns has a rich blues tradition with Dennis Parker, Roger Howse and
the late, great, Peter Narvaez and more. I listened to the same music as all
these fine players did while I was growing up in Athens, Georgia. So when I
married a Newfoundland gal and moved here, I was delighted to know the
world is much smaller than it seems.”
“I met Callum Latta, my guitarist, back in November of 2017. He’s half my
age but has a very mature sound. He told me his biggest influence was Peter
Narvaez. Peter would be proud and I’m proud to announce the blues scene
here in St. John’s is still vital and vibrant.”
Reaching out to connect with the core of humanity with a big voice and
sweet harp playing, Dave plays with many of St. John’s finest. He received a
“Best Blues Recording” nomination from MusicNL for his debut, “The
Porch Album”.

 


East Coast R&B All-Stars
The East Coast R&B All-Stars is comprised of a talented and diverse gathering of musical artists, all of whom live and work in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The style of the group is both engaging and energetic combining elements of funk, soul, and R&B music into the playlist.

Featuring the multi-talented Jody Richardson on lead vocals, the rest of the East Coast R&B All-Star lineup includes:

Terry Campbell-Trumpet

Greg Bruce- Tenor Sax

Bill Brennan-Keyboard/ Percussion

Sandy Morris-Guitar

Brian Way-Keyboard

Chris Davis-Bass

Scott Mansfield-Drums

Be sure not to miss this incredible group at the Wreckhouse Jazz and Blues Festival!


Dana Parsons Trio
The Dana Parsons Trio have been performing together for 2 years now on the St. John’s music scene.

Dana Parsons and Wade Tarling sailed the high seas performing on various cruise ships with their jazz ensemble, The Moon Glow Trio for many years. Dana is the recipient of the CBC Galaxie Rising Star award in 2007 for her debut album “It’s You, Not Me”. In 2012 she followed that up with the release of her second album “Within The Dark”.

Wade Tarling performs with Hearsay, a hip-hop group as well as with The Hip Waders, a jazz/funk/rock group joined by Allan Brake on drums. The Hip Waders won the 2014 “Jazz/Blues Recording of the Year” from MusicNL! Allan has performed on stage with such groups at The Fortunate Ones, Dark Planet collective and Sherman Downey.

Each with a unique musical back ground they come together to perform Jazz Standards, original material and Motown favorites!


Janet Cull 
“All you gotta do is love me…” sings Janet Cull in that rich, earthy voice to open her debut solo album, Real Tough Love. But the subject matter of her debut is much like the artist herself… haunting, complex and beguiling. Rooted in the labours, the joys and the trials of adoration, this album has finally fully captured Janet Cull as an artist. Real Tough Love (which includes “Mommy’s Boy”, finalist for the 2017 Unsigned Only prize), examines our self-worth, our demands, the losses we are subjected to, and the losses we must choose. And through it all, it is Janet Cull’s voice that rings above all else. A voice that breathes, and sighs, yells and swoons from the very heart of these songs.

Janet Cull is one of Newfoundland’s (Canada) most prolific local artists. Cull has 2 previous award-winning albums to her credit. The first album with the Janet Cull Band (MusicNL ‘Group of the Year’, ‘Album of the Year’, and ‘Galaxie Rising Star -2004); the second, People Get Ready, her 2007 release with Kelly-Ann Evans, which earned her an ECMA nomination. She has performed in local musicals as a principal singer/actor (“Hair”, “Cats”, “DIVAS do…”, “Jesus Christ Superstar”), and additionally toured the province each year with the series of sold-out shows, she has co-produced herself: “FOREVER 27”, “Lowe Profile”, “ABBA”, “Fleetwood Mac”, “The Women of Motown”, “Tina Turner” and more.

Janet Cull will be hitting the road (Sept 3 – Oct 15), across Newfoundland and Labrador for the “Island Soul Tour”, including an opening slot for Grammy-award winning k.d. lang (September 14, at Mile One).


Earle and Coffin
National award winning duo Nick Earle and Joe Coffin are emerging blues artists from St. John’s, NL. Earle and Coffin released their debut album “Live at The Citadel House”, earning them the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Award for Young Performers of the Year, 2017 East Coast Music Award nomination for Blues Recording of the Year and a 2016 MusicNL nomination for Jazz/Blues Recording of the Year. Adopting a distinctive style which is well beyond their years, they draw inspiration from blues greats such as Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton and Muddy Waters. Rich soulful vocals and exceptional guitar playing are just two of the descriptions that come to mind when watching these two execute their skills. Earle and Coffin have performed with many of the region’s top roots and blues musicians and have learned to demonstrate the utmost professionalism and style. Reviving old blues is just one of the projects this duo has been working on, in February 2017 Earle and Coffin released their sophomore album “Wood, Wire, Blood and Bone” recorded at the Citadel House in Lewisporte, Newfoundland. Already receiving great reviews and national airplay this
“potluck” of electric blues/rock inspired originals and standards features a full band with a big sound that will surely satisfy your taste!

Johnston and Lear
“I’m looking for a bass player with whom I can develop a relationship.” So began the first telephone conversation between pianist Gary Johnston and bassist Denise Lear back in 1993. Understanding the importance of this musical relationship was not lost on either musician with such historic examples as pianist Oscar Peterson and bassist Ray Brown, Keith Jarret and Gary Peacock and Carla Bley and Steve Swallow. But neither Denise nor Gary could foresee what was to follow.

Gary and Denise began performing as a duo and soon formed various groups with singers and instrumentalists, provided music for the theatre, concert hall and club venues and performed on TV and radio both locally and nationally. Eventually their relationship blossomed not only musically but also romantically and on July 20, 1996 they were married. Since then they have continued to pursue both musical and romantic interests together and the result has been the CD “In A Heartbeat”. Joined by Etienne Gendron on drums the trio presents jazz standards and original instrumental material composed by Gary and performed in a smooth jazz format.

Etienne Gendron has performed extensively as a freelance percussionist with leading orchestras and brass bands in Ontario and in 2009 was the vibraphonist for Diana Krall’s southern Ontario tour of “Quiet Nights”. More recently he has been playing with the NSO, Opera on the Avalon, Atlantic Light Theatre, The Scrunchions Percussion Ensemble, Jazz East Big Band, Spirit of Newfoundland, Sideways Hand Percussion Ensemble and Johnston


Brad Jefford
Brad Jefford learned to play the guitar while in a dream. A village of smurfs residing in the belly of a rosewood dreadnaught would use the frequency of bronze to communicate to the vast world outside. These frequencies could explain theories of the night stars, meanings of the heart’s feelings, and the rhythm and rhyme found between the lines. In this state of altered consciousness Brad could understand and speak the language of the strings with ease like that of the mother tongue. His time in this world left him with memories of hertz colliding with the wonderful ruckus of his little blue friends singing and dancing until the mornings alarm left them silent. Awake, these beautiful sounds are something he can only dream to recreate, but that hasn’t kept him from trying. Each day he opens his ears and heart, yearning to bring the sound of dreams to reality, hoping that one day we can hear and understand the beauty of communication.


Lori Cooper
Lori Cooper was singing and playing piano at a young age and went on to complete a B.Mus./B.Mus.Ed. at Memorial University. She manages Take Note Music School where she teaches piano and pre-schoolers. Lori has been an active performer for 30 years starting out as keyboardist for Thomas Trio & the Red Albino and later The Plankerdown Band. In 1996 she was encouraged to sing at a blues jam, found her niche and fell in love! She formed The Lori Cooper Band and is truly blessed to be backed by local icons Mark Peddle (bass), Jonathan Lane (drums), Jonathan LeDrew (guitar), and Adam McGrath (keys). The bands 2006 CD release “No Mustang Sally” was voted #3 in the Top 20 Blind Lemon Blues list for that year! Known for her infectious energy and soulful voice, Lori has been dubbed “St. John’s Queen of the Blues”!


Katie Hopkins 
Bringing a fresh approach to jazz standards, Katie Hopkins has made a name for herself dazzling audiences with her stylish vocals. As an active member of the St. John’s music scene, Katie sings with various groups such as: Jazz East Big Band (directed by Bill Brennan), The Quintessential Vocal Ensemble (directed by Susan Quinn),The Jimmy Thomson Quartet and The Brad Jefford Trio to a name a few. Katie’s singing evokes the playfullness of Ella Fitzgerald and the soul and spirit of Nina Simone – a nice little package indeed.


Ouroboros
“Every music festival should bring Ouroboros to their patrons in the summertime. They’re awesome and irresistible.” – Vish Khanna, Exclaim!

Ouroboros is a five-piece band from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, currently thrilling audiences with the unexpectedly raw, energetic sound of horns and percussion. Combining tight instrumental harmonies with vocals and drums, Ouroboros is a versatile musical force that draws from a smorgasbord of melodies and grooves from around the world: the heavy beats of West Africa, folk traditions of Eastern Europe and a healthy dose of jazz and funk. This is music that makes you move!

The band’s self-titled debut album, released in May 2015, garnered several accolades including Instrumental Recording of the Year at the 2015 MusicNL Awards, two local People’s Choice Awards, a spot on the shortlist for the 2015 Borealis Music Prize, as well as a nomination for Jazz Recording of the Year at ECMW 2016. Their showcase at ECMW 2016 received rave reviews, after which the band was given two festival offers.

The band is currently getting ready to record their second studio album, which they plan to release in the Summer of this year. They are also looking forward to showcasing at ECMW 2017 in April and performing their first out-of-Canada shows in the UK in July.

At home in bars, school workshops and at festivals, notable performances include the St. John’s International Sound Symposium with special guest saxophonist Jessica Lurie, the Wreckhouse International Jazz and Blues Festival, the Guelph Jazz Festival, Lawnya Vawnya, C2 [Commerce + Creativity] Conference Montreal, Upstairs Jazz (Montreal), the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival and two runs of Wonderbolt Circus’ original production Bolt Out of the Blue.