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August 2018

Solo Piano Double with Treasa Levasseur & Jesse Whiteley

August 13, 2018 @ 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm EDT
Hugh’s Room Live, 2261 Dundas St. W.
Toronto, Ontario
$20 – $25

Buy 3 Get 1 Free Bundle Our “Solo Piano Double” series is an intriguing concept in that each artist will give a 45 minute set – they will not likely be sharing the piano stool and dueting, although that is possible but not requested! We are offering a wonderful incentive to pick four concerts and pay for just three. It all comes down to great playing, open minds and the spirit of discovery. Monday, August 13 will feature two of the most creative songwriters from the songwriter-blues world – Winnipeg-born North Bay raised, Treasa Levasseur, who has a wonderful way of instilling the love for music to very young souls and is known and loved as a pianist/songwriter in the blues, country and folk worlds, and Jesse Whiteley who comes from one of this country’s most successful musical families and is known and admired as a pianist, composer and singer in blues/jazz/swing and beyond… Treasa Levasseur Everything about Treasa Levasseur, and the songs she writes, is as true as a carpenter’s rule. There are plenty of singers who plumb the depths of personal experience, but few have Levasseur’s sense of humour, or her sharp eye for detail. Treasa plays almost any style imaginable from folk, blues and country to sunshine pop, heavy metal and hip-hop, and she is a multi-instrumentalist as well, playing piano, accordion, guitar and mandolin. An in-demand musician and versatile session vocalist, Treasa has worked with such varied acts as the Robber Who Robbed the Town, Rhymestone, Pan Con Queso, House of Velvet, and Lab Cap and the Monkey Mob, among others. Under the alias Slim, she released an EP, Me and the Boys, in 2002. She went with her own name for the self-released Not a Straight Line. The passion and fire of her first album, Not a Straight Line, has been applied to even better songs on her second and latest recording, Low Fidelity. The sophomore album is a collection of personal songs and stories, but it’s never mawkish or sentimental. Levasseur plays piano, accordion, guitar and mandolin. In May 2008, she won CBC Radio’s “Ultimate Sideman Showdown” with her trusty accordion and charming stage presence. Heavily influenced by such soulful artists as Mavis Staples, Carole King and Annie Lennox, she remains musically versatile and has played everything from heavy metal to hip-hop, country, sugary pop, and thoughtful folk music. Since first visiting the South in 2006, she’s begun to draw more of her inspiration from classic old-school soul. Above all, Levasseur has a passion for making music. She simply wants to play — and, in addition to her own career, she makes the time to play with at least three other bands regularly in her longtime hometown of Toronto. In the summer of 2008, she played festivals across the country almost every single weekend as a member of Claire Jenkins’ band. You can find her most Thursdays playing with singer songwriter Corin Raymond at the Cameron House. And she’ll pop up at tiny bars in the city’s Parkdale neighbourhood, singing backup or squeezing the accordion for whoever’s onstage. She’s also been a welcome player at recording sessions for more than a dozen other distinctive musicians, including Raymond, The Undesirables, Evalyn Parry, Justin Rutledge, Madison Violet, David Baxter and many others. Jesse Whiteley Toronto native Jesse Whiteley is a young and passionate multi-talented pianist/keyboardist, singer, composer, arranger, and bandleader.  He comes from a third generation of one of Canada’s most renowned musical families, the Whiteley family. Throughout his diverse musical life, Jesse has performed the gamut of musical genres from blues, jazz, swing, boogie woogie, rhythm and blues, to roots, and country.Jesse began working professionally at age 17 with the Toronto All-Star Big Band. Throughout his years with the Big Band, he has worked as both a pianist and conductor and has been a featured performer with such luminaries from the blues and jazz world as Clark Terry, Jackie Richardson, Oliver Jones, Cleo Laine and John Dankworth, and Doc Serverinsen.From 2014 to 2017, Jesse toured and recorded as a member of The 24th Street Wailers, playing across Canada and The United States. He has also recorded and toured throughout Canada, The United States, and Europe with Ottawa’s JW-Jones. He has appeared on recordings with legendary blues musicians Curley Bridges, Little Charlie Baty, Charlie Musselwhite, dad, Chris Whiteley and uncle, Ken Whiteley.After graduating with honours from the Contemporary Music Program at Toronto’s Humber College, Jesse completed a Masters Degree at York University in Music Composition.Jesse has worked as Musical Director and pianist for Etta James Tribute Shows and a Three Kings (B.B, Freddie, and Albert) Tribute show at Toronto’s Hugh’s Room. He continues to work in Toronto as an in demand sideman and is broadening his horizons with a solo career.

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Jim Kweskin

August 17, 2018 @ 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm EDT
Hugh’s Room Live, 2261 Dundas St. W.
Toronto, Ontario
$20 – $25

Jim Kweskin is probably best known as a singer and bandleader. He also created one of the bedrock guitar styles of the folk revival, adapting the ragtime-blues fingerpicking of artists like Blind Boy Fuller to the more complex chords of pop and jazz. He has maintained a remarkably consistent musical vision since his jug band days, continuing to explore traditional folk and blues with the sophisticated sensibility of a jazz musician and jazz with the communal simplicity of a folk artist. He has recorded solo ventures, as a member of the U and I band, and with U and I bandmate Samoa Wilson, and continues to perform widely in various formats. In recent years he and Geoff Muldaur have often appeared as a duo, revisiting and expanding on their Jug Band repertoire.

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Beppe Gambetta

August 20, 2018 @ 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm EDT
Hugh’s Room Live, 2261 Dundas St. W.
Toronto, Ontario
$20 – $25

BEPPE GAMBETTA It is the smile that is the key for reading the musical universe of Beppe Gambetta. An open and disarming smile that is also the contagious and irresistible smile of a person who invites you to a musical journey with light heart and curiosity. The destination, as for any traveller, is not totally defined because it is beautiful, at the very last, to find ourselves where we never would expected to be. With the horizon’s line as a challenge and attraction, Beppe is continually composing his personal mosaic of sounds and flavours. From his unique background as an Italian musician in love with both American roots music as well as the music of his native country, Beppe has travelled the world and even crossed the “Iron Curtain” to dazzle and charm music enthusiasts everywhere. After eleven CDs, DVDs, teaching books and collaborations with many other top-flight musicians, Gambetta is increasingly known as one of the true live master innovators of the acoustic guitar. While Beppe still lives in his native Genova, he travels to North America at least three times each year. His reputation in the U.S. and Canada is reinforced by his participation in prestigious festivals like the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas, Merlefest in North Carolina, the Four Corners Festival in Colorado and Canadian Folk Festivals in Winnipeg and Edmonton, as well as events like the radio shows “All Things Considered” and “E-Town”. Beppe has performed in prestigious rooms like the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In his career he has performed with some great heroes of the folk scene like David Grisman, Gene Parsons, Doc Watson, Norman Blake and with the band Men Of Steel: an international guitar summit (Dan Crary, Tony McManus and Don Ross) of different guitar schools with complex musical interactions. In a world dominated by the trends and logic of the market Gambetta’s playing and singing stand out for their intimate emotions, communication, research in tone, sobriety and humour. An inspired music thattmodestly avoids relying solely on his high level of technical excellence, but also reveals the innermost feelings of a brilliant, playful mind that is always exploring and innovating while staying firmly routed in tradition. With America in his heart and his roots in the sun and the olive trees of the Mediterranean sea, he naturally and seamlessly bridges the shores of the two continents, creating in spite of the interposed ocean a musical “koiné” (fusion) where American root music and Ligurian tradition, emigration songs and folk ballads, steel string guitars and vintage harp guitars not only co-exist but interact, weaving a deep dialog unaware of any rigid classification. Music on its way, proud of the past but looking to the future, able to talk to us in the present because it is rooted in the history of generations of men and women so different but so equal to us. Strolling music, intolerant of frontiers and passports, exclusions and obsessions. Vital music, passionate but sober. It is waving to us. Let’s follow it.

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October 2018

Pee Wee Ellis & Jason Wilson

October 6, 2018 @ 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm EDT
Hugh’s Room Live, 2261 Dundas St. W.
Toronto, Ontario
$30 – $35

Pee Wee Ellis and Jason Wilson Legendary sax-man Pee Wee Ellis and Canadian global-roots visionary Jason Wilson are once again teaming up for a special night at Hugh’s Room. Ellis was an essential part of James Brown’s band and later served as Van Morrison’s bandleader. Pee Wee co-wrote ‘Cold Sweat’ with Brown, as well as several other instrumental hits. Jason Wilson is a two-time Juno-Awards nominee who fuses reggae with jazz and folk. He has recorded with artists such as Dave Swarbrick, UB40, Jackie Mittoo and Ron Sexsmith. Together, Ellis and Wilson’s funky-reggae mix has charmed audiences across Canada, the UK and Jamaica. Pee Wee Ellis Widely credited with inventing funk jazz, Pee Wee Ellis is a saxophonist, arranger and composer who was an essential part of James Brown’s band in the 1960s. During his time with Brown, Ellis co-wrote such classic hits as “Cold Sweat”, “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud” and “Lickin’ Stick”. In the early 1980s, Jaco Pastorius enjoyed commercial success with Ellis’ “The Chicken”. In 1979, Ellis began working with Van Morrison. Ellis appeared on several of Morrison’s albums and also served as Van’s musical director and arranger from 1979 until 1986, and then again from 1995 until 1999. The sax-man has also worked with artists such as George Benson, Hank Crawford and Esther Phillips, David Liebman and Oumou Sangare. Most recently, Pee Wee has been collaborating with Scottish-Canadian reggae artist Jason Wilson. The resultant funky-reggae mix has been charming live audiences across Canada, Scotland, England and Jamaica. Jason Wilson Dr. Jason Wilson is a two-time Juno-Awards nominee, Canadian Reggae Music Award winner and a national best-selling author-historian from Downsview, Ontario. The Scottish-Canadian musician is the protégé of Studio One legendary keyboardist Jackie Mittoo and has recorded with, among others, UB40, Alanis Morissette, Pee Wee Ellis, Sly & Robbie, Ron Sexsmith and Dave Swarbrick. Wilson’s various projects include his own Perennials (“post-reggae”), a funky-reggae collaboration with legendary sax-man Pee Wee Ellis, as well as reggae-folk combinations with such icons as Dave Swarbrick, Martin Carthy and Dick Gaughan. Wilson also wrote and produced Soldiers of Song, a touring theatrical tribute to Canada’s First World War concert party the Dumbells based on his eponymous book. The Adjunct-Professor has six books to his name to go along with seven critically-acclaimed albums. Jason and Pee Wee on Canadian TV: Jason and Pee Wee live at Hugh’s Room 2014  

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November 2018

A Stan Rogers Tribute

November 17, 2018 @ 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm EST
Hugh’s Room Live, 2261 Dundas St. W.
Toronto, Ontario
$30 – $35

Band Paul Mills (guitar) Tom Leighton (Keyboards, accordion) Andrew Bryan (fiddle) David Woodhead (bass) Featuring Ariel Rogers Nathan Rogers Matthew Byrne Dan McKinnon Beth Rogers Charlotte Moore Ariel Rogers Ariel is a familiar face at Hugh’s Room Live – one of her favourite venues in Toronto. She has overseen the legacy left behind in the wake of Stan’s tragic death and is pleased that Borealis Records will continue to nurture his music on the same firm ground. A musician in her own right, she has spent many years on stage and behind the wings in countless productions for community theatre in the Hamilton-Wentworth area. She has four very talented children who have also brought her much joy in the gift of four wonderful grand-daughters. Ariel is married to singer-songwriter Scott Cameron Smith. Nathan Rogers Maybe the expectations placed on the son of the Canadian folk icon Stan Rogers are extremely high, but he fulfills them effortlessly, with his own quality as a first class songwriter and interpreter. www.nathanrogers.ca Some say he was born into it, some that he was born with it, while others claim he has earned it. With one foot planted firmly in folk music’s traditional roots and the other reaching into its dynamic future, Nathan Rogers isn’t entirely sure what ‘it’ is; singer, songwriter, guitarist, throat-chanter, percussionist, revivalist, or innovator. Whatever it may be, “Nathan has the ability to turn the folk world on its ears.” Matthew Byrne Born into a family of Newfoundland music makers, Matthew’s repertoire is heavily influenced by that unique musical lineage – the weaving of a great story with a beautiful melody – and he supports this tradition with powerful vocals, polished guitar work, and a presence that fills the room. His repertoire transcends time and place and his live performance reminds us how satisfying traditional songs can be when stripped down to their basic elements. Dan McKinnon Blessed with a warm, powerful baritone voice and an undeniable prowess on guitar, Dan McKinnon has carved out a unique musical path. Reminiscent of the bards and balladeers of old, Dan engages the audience with his sharply observed stories and passionately delivered songs. At the heart of Dan McKinnon’s life and work is a profound respect for the past, balanced by a passionate attachment to the present. Dan’s songwriting celebrates the rich heritage of Maritime Canada, a deep inquisitiveness into the human condition, tempered by a stubborn dedication to writing songs about where, how, and who we are. “Dan McKinnon puts so much heart and soul into his music that listening to him, be it live or on CD, is a healing experience.” (Mary Beth Carty, Penguin Eggs)   Charlotte Moore Over the summers of 2000-2001, Charlotte had the great good fortune of joining the Company of “Stan Rogers – A Matter of Heart”, and we played with great heart in Hamilton, Toronto, and The Charlottetown Festival. She was also honoured to be featured as “The Woman” on the Cast Album for that show. Charlotte is a Dora-winning performer, who has appeared all over the country in roles such as Mama Rose in “Gypsy”, Fantine in “Les Miserables”, and six different characters over eleven productions of “Anne Of Green Gables The Musical”. She recently returned from Jerusalem where she was appearing as Shlomo Carlebach’s Mother in “Soul Doctor”. Charlotte has two solo CD’s to her credit – “Friends of Mine – Songs From Canadian Musicals”, and “Long Road Back”, her more recent album of all original tunes. charlottemoore.ca Paul Mills For over forty years Paul has been well-known as an award-winning producer of folk music recordings. He has produced over 200 records by various folk artists including Stan Rogers. All but one of Stan’s records were produced by Paul. He has also worked with other well-known artists such as Sharon, Lois and Bram, Natalie McMaster, Ron Hynes and April Verch. This year, Paul was named a Member of the Order of Canada in recognition of his life’s work. Paul is delighted to be once again producing the annual Stan Rogers Tribute at Hugh’s Room Live now in its fifteenth year. He will be leading a first-class house band consisting of Tom Leighton on piano and accordion, David Woodhead (a former Stan Rogers bass player) on bass, and Andrew Bryan on Fiddle.

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December 2018

The Mistletones

December 6, 2018 @ 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm EST
Hugh’s Room Live, 2261 Dundas St. W.
Toronto, Ontario
$25 – $30

Kick off the holiday season with The Mistletones, a 9-member a cappella group formed by John McDermott and other choristers in 1980. After years of singing together on a daily basis at St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto, this group of alumni came together, with their love of song and unique vocal blend, to continue making music. The all-male voiced group combine a rich blend of concise and complex vocal harmonics to form a unique and well-developed vocal style. A combination of choral and jazz, they perform a mix of a few sacred songs along with some popular Christmas favourites, but not your typical Christmas carols. The Mistletone’s have performed in such esteemed places as Roy Thomson Hall, Koerner Hall, the Princess of Wales Theatre and Massey Hall.

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February 2019

Garnet Rogers

February 16 @ 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm EST
Hugh’s Room Live, 2261 Dundas St. W.
Toronto, Ontario

NEW DATE Saturday, February 16, 2019 | 8:30PM Advance: $30.00 | Doors: $35.00 Garnet Rogers In a darkened bedroom, lit only by the amber glow from an old floor model radio, two young brothers aged 6 and 12 lay in their beds, listening to the country music broadcasts from the Grand Ol’ Opry, and practiced their harmonies. Two years later, the youngest one was playing the definitive 8-year-old’s version of “Desolation Row” on his ukulele. He soon abandoned that instrument to teach himself the flute, violin and guitar. Within ten years, and barely out of high school, Garnet Rogers was on the road as a full-time working musician with his older brother Stan. Together they formed what has come to be accepted as one of the most influential acts in North American folk music. Since then, Garnet Rogers has established himself as ‘One of the major talents of our time”. Hailed by the Boston Globe as a “charismatic performer and singer”, Garnet is a man with a powerful physical presence – close to six and a half feet tall – with a voice to match. With his “smooth, dark baritone” (Washington Post) his incredible range, and thoughtful, dramatic phrasing, Garnet is widely considered by fans and critics alike to be one of the finest singers anywhere. His music, like the man himself, is literate, passionate, highly sensitive, and deeply purposeful. Cinematic in detail, his songs “give expression to the unspoken vocabulary of the heart” (Kitchener Waterloo Record). An optimist at heart, Garnet sings extraordinary songs about people who are not obvious heroes and of the small victories of the everyday. As memorable as his songs, his over-the-top humour and lightning-quick wit moves his audience from tears to laughter and back again. Resolutely independent, Garnet Rogers has turned down offers from major labels to do music his own way.

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Van Morrison Tribute

February 23 @ 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm EST
Hugh’s Room Live, 2261 Dundas St. W.
Toronto, Ontario

Van Morrison Tribute with Matt Weidinger $25 Advance / $30 Door Born decades after Van Morrison was creating some of his most enduring music, singer-songwriter, Matt Weidinger, has a musical connection to the ’60s and ’70s, what he calls the golden age of record-making. Anyone who’s seen him perform would agree with the “old soul” label, so it’s particularly fitting that he’s taking on the songs of an old soul master with his latest tribute to the music of Van Morrison. It’ll be something of a retrospective of Van the Man’s extensive song catalogue, with a particular focus on the early stuff that was Weidinger’s introduction to Morrison’s brand of Celtic soul. “I started listening to Van Morrison in high school, with Astral Weeks … and then Moondance,” he says, soon uncovering a treasure trove of musical offerings. “He’s got a huge catalogue. With Van Morrison, there’s just so much to see, so much to discover.” Morrison has been prolific, with dozens of albums to his credit since 1967’s Blowin’ Your Mind! Fifty years on, in fact, he’s currently touring 2017’s Versatile, a collection of jazz standards and originals. For Saturday night’s show, Weidinger’s put together a seven-piece band, including two horns to reflect the sound for which Morrison is known. Weidinger’s own influences stem from the ’60s, as can be heard in both his vocals and his choice of music. Like Morrison, he began performing as a teen. For a relatively young performer, he’s already got more than a decade of experience under his belt that has earned him a solid following. In addition to singing and writing songs, he’s a multi-instrumentalist, equally at home on the piano, organ, guitar, bass and mandolin. In preparation for the show, he’s had to dig deeper into Morrison’s music, developing an even greater appreciation for it … and banking some songs for future performances. “Any time I can learn songs that I can put in my repertoire, add to the list, it’s great,” says Weidinger, adding such exercises help his own songwriting, providing a way to see words and music from a different perspective.

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May 2019

The Nell & Jim Band

May 23 @ 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm PDT
St. James Hall, 3214 W. 10th Ave.
Vancouver, British Columbia V6K 2L2 Canada
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$20.00

Listen to the music of the Nell & Jim Band, and you will be transported back to a time when artists freely spoke of their thoughts and beliefs. Steel, their brand-new album, continues the time-honored tradition of musical activism that made such acts as Janis Ian or Peter, Paul and Mary so unforgettable. Whether it be the title cut (an ode to Jim Nunally’s former life as a welder) or “Speed Limit,” a song about the fact that life doesn’t have to end at 40, the Nell & Jim Band own their story by continuing to release original and thought-provoking music. Nell Robinson has been described as a “modern day Patsy Cline” and “one of the freshest voices in roots music.” Jim Nunally is a San Francisco Bay Area native, a musician, composer, record producer, and teacher. Jim was a guitarist and vocalist with the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience for over 13 years. He also performed for many years with John Reischman & The Jaybirds. He is one of the finest interpreters and performers of bluegrass and traditional music. Jim is a recipient of two Grammy and IBMA Awards and is a two-time Western Open Flatpicking Guitar champion. An all-star band backs Nell and Jim with harmonies and virtuoso instrumentals. Jim Kerwin, on bass fiddle, is recognized by fans of musicians ranging from Jerry Garcia to Yo-Yo Ma (and he’s performed with both artists). As David Grisman’s go-to bass player for over 30 years, Kerwin can be heard on the iconic recordings Garcia and Grisman did for their band Old & In The Way. In addition to Ma, Kerwin has backed some of the finest fiddlers in the world, including Stefan Grappeli. Jon Arkin plays percussion and never fails to please; his steady beat and sonic creativity have drawn world jazz talents – including Gene Perla and Lee Konitz – to hire him. New to the ensemble this year is Rob Reich on accordion and keys. Reich’s broad appeal as a composer, arranger, and performer keeps him busy with everything from Circus Bella, to acoustic chamber ensemble Tin Hat, to his new album of originals Swing Left. "Nell & Jim Band’s Steel delivers sparkling harmonies, clever songwriting, rapturous and rollicking instrumentals, carrying us through the ambiguities and promises of life, love, and hope." - Folk Alley "The album’s title track conjures up memories of Bob Dylan covering hoe-down in compact reedy timbres...guitars infuse the music with buoyant accents. Nunally goes a cappella on 'Meditation Blues,' accompanied only by ticking clocks. This tune delivers the mood and feel of Janis Joplin’s 'Mercedes Benz'" - Rawckus Magazine Steel is tantalizingly excellent, delivering delicious down-home country flavors, creamy rhythms, and marvelous melodies. - Thrive Global

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