2017 Friday Headliners

Featured

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Shout Sister! Ottawa and Durham County Poets join headliner line-up in April 2017

November 30, 2016 – The Ottawa Grassroots Festival (OGF) is pleased to confirm that Shout Sister! Ottawa Choir led by Jody Benjamin and The Durham County Poets and will co-headline the Friday night (April 21) at the festival in Old Ottawa South. Now celebrating its 6th year, the event will take place from April 20-23, 2017 at The Southminster United Church, 15 Aylmer Avenue, Ottawa.

shout-sisterShout Sister! Ottawa Choir numbers 100+ female singers. They sing a fun variety of music from pop and Motown, to folk, to a touch of country and blues and pack venues, wherever they perform. New members are welcomed into a warm and supportive community of singers, without the stress of auditions. The act of singing with others is both powerful and joyful and, while their choir fills the need for those new to singing in a choir, experienced singers will find the relaxed atmosphere and alternative repertoire a refreshing change.

“We have had the Shout Sister! Ottawa Choir perform at the Ottawa Grassroots Festival as part of our daytime programming, which is completely free to the public.” said Bob Nesbitt, Festival Producer. “Their unique method of welcoming singers of all abilities is a winning formula and is a perfect match to what our festival values. They are a lot of fun and are back by popular demand!” exclaims Nesbitt.

durham-county-poetsDurham County Poets are a lively and soulful five-piece folk and roots band from Southwest Quebec’s Chateauquay Valley that performs an eclectic blend of blues, folk and rock with tinges of country, gospel and swing tossed in for good measure.  Its members collectively have more than a century of diverse musical experience – having previously played in blues, rock, country, Cajun and vaudeville outfits.

Reflective of the variety of genres its members have delved in over the years, the band’s musical influences include a broad range of artists — The Band, Eric Bibb, Dire Straits, Jimmy Reid, Leon Redbone and James Taylor among them. All of the Durham County Poets are songwriters. Either individually or collaboratively, they compose a musical potpourri of ballads, gospel, blues and country-rock songs – making for varied sets while performing in concert.  The obvious joie de vivre they feel playing together is reflected in the good-time feel the Durham County Poets share with concert audiences and listeners to their two recordings to date — Where The River Flows (2011) and Chikkaboodah Stew (2014).

Upcoming line-up announcements for the opening night of the festival, showcasing Franco-Ontarian performers is expected by mid-December. This festival values inclusivity and one can look forward to a mosaic of musicians offering rich performances that will ultimately expand your musical palette.

Tickets for Ottawa Grassroots evening performances will be available online before Christmas. They are priced to be affordable for families (children 15 and under are free when accompanied by an adult). The daytime events on both Saturday and Sunday are FREE for everyone!

The Grassroots Festival is a family-friendly gathering of folk music, dance and spoken word. This not-for-profit organization is run entirely by volunteers and prides itself for the participatory workshops it provides, cultivating community and nurturing inclusivity in a fun and friendly way.

Media contact:   Bob Nesbitt, 613-794 9161, e-mail: nesbittr@sympatico.ca

For more information:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ottawa-Grassroots-Festival
Twitter:     https://twitter.com/OttGrassroots

“The Ottawa Grassroots Festival: Cultivating Community.”
– 30-

Grammy and Juno nominated Ken Whiteley and The Beulah Band Headlines The Ottawa Grassroots Festival in April 2017

Featured

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 20, 2016 – The Ottawa Grassroots Festival (OGF) is pleased to confirm that Canadian folk/roots music legend, singer-songwriter, Ken Whiteley and The Beulah Band will headline the Saturday night (April 22) at the festival in Old Ottawa South. Now celebrating its 6th year, the event will take place from April 20-23, 2017 at The Southminster United Church, 15 Aylmer Avenue, Ottawa.

Deeply rooted in traditional North American folk music, Whiteley and the band have performed together for over 10 years! They will deliver songs rich in roots, blues, gospel, swing, string and jug band sounds.  The Beulah Band is comprised of great harmony singers: Ben Whiteley (Ken’s son) on string bass, banjoist, Frank Evans and fiddler, Rosalyn Dennett. Their arrangements come alive with  a three part vocal blend. Canadian folk legend, Ken Whiteley has a long and honored history on the roots music scene.  He has received Juno and Grammy Award Nominations, a Canadian Folk Music Award, a Genie Award for the Best Original Song in a Canadian movie and Lifetime Achievement Awards from Folk Music Ontario and the Mariposa Folk Festival.

“I sometimes joke that I never went to university” said Ken Whiteley. “I went to folk festivals instead, starting from when I was 13 years old. I think that’s where I absorbed the idea, that there are connections between music all over the world, that the lines which divide us are pretty arbitrary, and that music has the capacity to bridge some of those lines. I remember being up in the highlands of Haiti in the late ’70s with my guitar where no one spoke English and my Canadian French was useless too, but we could play music and sing together.” For a guy who found his ‘promised land’ in music decades ago, the Beulah Band seems to be one of the most satisfying encounters yet. (Reviewer: Rob Levesque, Penquin Eggs, 2015)

The Ottawa Grassroots Festival prides itself in bringing together music of different genres and languages that encourages audience participation. “It’s an honour to have one of Canada’s most respected roots musicians headline for us in 2017 ”says Bob Nesbitt, Producer of the Ottawa Grassroots Festival. “He’s energetic, funny  and you’ll love how he gets his audience participating in humorous ways.”

Nesbitt is finalizing the line-ups for the Thursday and Friday nights, with more announcements coming soon.  This festival values inclusivity and one can look forward to a mosaic of musicians offering  rich performances that will ultimately expand your musical palette.

Tickets for Ottawa Grassroots evening performances will be available online before Christmas. They are priced to be affordable for families (children 15 and under are free when accompanied by an adult). The daytime events on both  Saturday and  Sunday are FREE for everyone!

The Grassroots Festival is a family-friendly gathering of folk music, dance and spoken word. This not-for-profit organization is run entirely by volunteers and prides itself for the participatory workshops it provides, cultivating community and nurturing inclusivity in a fun and friendly way.

For more information:
Facebook
Twitter
Additional artist information:
Website
Video

Ottawa Grassroots Festival 2016 Video Summary

Featured

We are an inclusive, family-focused and volunteer-driven celebration of folk music that takes place early every April just as winter is giving way to spring.We are especially proud of being inclusive by involving people of all abilities in our event.Take a look at this video snapshot of the 2016 Ottawa Grassroots Festival, shot & edited by Chad Kirvan. This was the 5th edition of the festival, and our first time in our new location at Southminster United Church, in Old Ottawa South beside the historic Rideau Canal. The video helps explain why so many volunteers, sponsors, artists and community partners get involved every year!