The next Ashcroft Music in the Park concert

Creative Current with Nadine Davenport

Whodunit? Murder mystery just one event coming soon to Ashcroft

Jazz and Blues at this Wednesday’s Music in the Park

Winding Rivers Arts and Performance Society presents “Music in the Park” in Ashcroft every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month in summer. The next concert is on Wednesday, Aug. 14 and will feature the sweet soul/blues sounds of the Andrea Smith duo from Nanaimo. Andrea is a velvet-voiced blues, roots, rock, and jazz singer falling somewhere between Bonnie Raitt and Kathleen Edwards, with hints of Eva Cassidy.

Andrea Smith has been playing music professionally for the past 25 years. She studied songwriting with Mae Moore and Ron Hines at the B.C. Festival of the Arts in 2001, as well as jazz performance at the VIU, where she graduated in 2011. Her style—described as crossover—is influenced by blues, country, pop, and jazz idioms. In 2005 Andrea won first place in the songwriting competition at the Shuswap Lakes International Writers Festival. In 2007 her second CD, Sweet Embrace, took home both the Female Songwriter and Producer/Engineer of the Year (for Pat Coleman and Rick Salt) Awards at the Vancouver Island Music Awards.

Karla Cummins will be our local opener. Bring the whole family to a great night of music; don’t forget the lawn chairs or a blanket. The music starts at 7:00 pm, and the concert ends at approximately 9:30. Pass-the-hat-donations are encouraged. Be sure to come early—the park fills up fast!

Adult acting classes, and a murder mystery

Winding Rivers Arts and Performance Society is pleased to offer adult-only acting classes that will run from Aug. 13 – Sept. 3. This set of workshops will focus on how to spend your time on stage, and acting with an ensemble.

These acting workshops will help cultivate some great actors for our upcoming community play performance of a unique kind—a murder mystery. Cafe Murder is going be held at a local venue, with dates and prices to be finalized soon. Rehearsals for Cafe Murder will take place from Sept. 10—Oct. 8, with casting happening in late August. There is the possibility of multiple casting depending on the number of people who want to take part. The play is about Rosemary Saint-John, a loud, annoying hypochondriac convinced she is allergic to water. While celebrating her birthday at a restaurant with her four kooky siblings—a hippie, a valley girl, a trucker, and a banker—Rosemary makes enemies with everyone around her. When she disappears and is presumed murdered, the only objective witnesses in the restaurant are the audience members, who must cast their vote.

Whodunit? Was it one of Rosemary’s siblings? The self-taught detective? The passionate French chef? The polite and proper mâitre d’? The sarcastic waiter? No one is above suspicion in this delightful dinner theatre murder mystery!

For more information please e-mail windingriversarts@gmail.com or phone (250) 453-9100.

Ashcroft Fall Fair entertainment line-up

This year’s Ashcroft Fall Fair is just three weeks away, and takes place on Sunday, Sept. 11 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm at the Drylands Arena. Blue Jeans and Country Scenes is what you’ll see at this year’s Fair.

Come learn the history of denim, and ways to repurpose those old jeans. Listen to country music while you check out the variety of vendors and the homemade products on display. There will be children’s entertainment and lots of activities to keep them busy.

The headliners this year are a great band from Vancouver called Backdoor Slam. You can enjoy some great country and western swing from Kat Wahamaa (guitar/vocals), Jennie Bice (fiddle/vocals), Tony Rees (guitar/vocals), and Joe Samorodin (upright bass/vocals). Collectively, they’ve received rave reviews for their music all over the globe. Soaring vocals, strong harmonies, flying fiddle, swingin’ guitar, harmonica, bass, mandolin, and washboard comprise their unmistakable sound.

Their name comes from a line in a 1946 version of the tune “I’ll Get Mine Bye and Bye”, and you’d better believe they are all invested in “getting their own” brand of music out to the hungry ears of the listening public. The music they play? Country and Eastern, roots and branches; down in the dirt stuff including country, blues, bluegrass, and Western Swing; traditional music of the British Isles; and even Finnish folk. They infuse these styles with elements of East Coast kitchen party, punk rock-a-billy, and a penchant for swing and rhythm. They play with such exuberance and feeling you’ll want to get up, dance like Jed, join them with a comb and a piece of wax-paper, or cry like a baby!

West Coast Music Award nominee Kat Wahamaa is a songwriter/recording artist often compared to kd lang, Emmylou Harris, and Lucinda Williams, among others. With “a voice you can take a bath in” and her irreverent sense of humour, she has delighted audiences throughout Western Canada, Japan, and the U.S. Her experience as a disciple of the danse du ventre, or so-called belly dance, is evident from the hip style rhythm guitar, mandolin, and washboard. Kat’s website is at www.katwahamaa.com.

Fiddle player Jennie Bice came to Vancouver in search of other musicians driven enough to play the speed she wanted, and bold enough to try some of her ideas. Jennie’s recordings and concerts span many genres, along with Celtic styles, and include Cuban Latin, jazz, rockabilly, classical, country, and Cajun, amongst others, which accounts for her unique playing style. Jennie fronts the band Prydwen (www.prydwen.com), also plays with such folks as “Mad Pudding”, and has toured internationally.

Tony Rees was born in Bristol, England and was drawn to the folk music scene that flourished in the U.K. during his teens. He is a proponent of Bob Wills, Memphis Minnie, and the Blasters. Tony plays swing, folk, and blues guitar, and the harmonica, and has a decidedly unique vocal sound. Take a look at www.shinybuckle.com for info on his Western Swing ensemble Shiny Buckle Band. He and Kat tour as a duo internationally.

Joe Samorodin’s roots stem from the west. He’s a restless soul, which causes him to redirect the energy of a performance into a non-stop dance that sometimes ends up in the audience. He feeds on this, and his fretless and stand-up bass playing reflects the many rhythms that have crossed his path and become ensnared in his persona. Joe can also be found at www.prydwen.com.

Backdoor Slam will be performing two afternoon sets at the Arena Stage, which will no doubt be a very fun time. Other entertainment throughout the day will be Filetta Fish and her One Woman Circus; and don’t miss Ashcroft favourites The Kamloops Old Time Fiddlers. It will be a great time for all.

Don’t forget to get your entries in for this year’s fair. Program books are around town, and forms are online. See you there! www.ashcroftfallfair.net.

Nadine Davenport

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