Performers 2015

  • Ann Downey

    Ann Downey

    Ann Downey

    Ann Downey sings and plays (upright bass, clawhammer banjo, and guitar) in a wide range of styles, ranging from old-timey Appalachian to jazz, and most of what happens in between. As a vocalist she’s drawn to arranging harmony, as well as yodeling and wacky songs. Originally from the southwestern U.S. she’s performed in Europe and all of Canada and the U.S. She’s sung, played and recorded with Finest Kind, Sneezy Waters, The Old Sod Band, and Pat Moore and the Vinyl Frontier, and the Toasted Westerns, as well as on studio projects with other fine Ottawa area musicians. These days Ann can also be found playing bass in Just Friends, a brass quintet centered jazz combo, The Shirt-Tearing Boys, Kanata Symphony Orchestra, jamming in people’s kitchens, and teaching clawhammer banjo at the Ottawa Folklore Centre.

    At Ottawa Grassroots Festival 2015, Ann will be part of a duo with Vince Halfhide.

  • Brothers Aloud

    Brothers Aloud 2015

    Brothers Aloud 2015

    Brothers Aloud is a group of men who sing folk, pop, country, gospel, protest and a cappella songs for fun. Audiences enjoy their positive musical energy and their knack for putting smiles on faces. The group gets together on Mondays from 7 to 9 pm in a room at the Georgetown Pub. New members are always welcome! Director Chris White is dedicated to freeing people’s voices and connecting them with music — contact him at

  • Bytown Ukulele Group

    The Bytown Ukulele Group (BUG) is for people of all ages with an interest in singing and playing the ukulele together! All levels welcome. Beginners – don’t be shy! We have so much fun!  We bring song binders to each meeting for people to share. We also project the words and chords on two large TV screens in the room.
    Regular BUG jam is on the 3rd Wednesday of every month. It’s free!
    Ukulele Slow Jam is on the 1st Wednesday of every month at a small $5 cost, led by local music teachers/performers.
    Where:  Clocktower Brew Pub, lower level, 575 Bank Street, Ottawa
    When: 7 to 10 p.m. But come early and join us downstairs for a delicious dinner, snack, or drinks, anytime after 5:30 – meet new friends, and share ukulele tips and tricks.

    Come out to strum, sing, eat drink and be merry! We have up to 90 people participating in our sessions! Come see what all the excitement is about!
    If you’d like further information, please visit our website at



    BUG started in Ottawa in the fall of 2008 with about 6 members, but has grown by leaps and bounds since then! We now have over 130 members with 50 or more members showing up at each and every BUG jam session!

    As well as our monthly jam sessions, BUG participates in many other activities, such as:
    community events by request:

    • Ottawa Folk Festival – jam sessions and uke workshops
    • Music and Beyond Festival – jam sessions
    • Ottawa Farmers’ Market
    • Ottawa Folklore Centre 35th Anniversary Concert
    • Ottawa Grassroots Festival
    • In From The Cold at Parkdale United Church – annual jam sessions
    • Dundonald Park jam session for Active Places, Healthy People initiative for the Centretown Community Health Centre
    • performed on stage with the Lucky Uke band at the Just for Laughs Festival (Montreal, July 29, 2011), to break the world record for most ukuleles playing the same song together – 1288 ukuleles playing Twisted Sisters’ “We’re Not Going to Take It” for 5 minutes!
    • Ukulele FLASHMOBs in downtown Ottawa
    • Ottawa Folklore Centre 35th Anniversary Concert
    • Organized BUG workshops with Manitoba Hal and Ralph Shaw
    • led the jam session/sing-a-long after the screening of “Mighty Uke” at the Mayfair Theatre
    • Ukulele Caribbean cruises 2013 and 2014
    • road trips together to see James Hill, Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Jake Shimabukuro

    An unofficial history of the ukulele:

    Over a hundred years ago, in 1879, a ship arrived in Hawaii from Portugal with over 400 men, women and children aboard. They brought with them small stringed instruments called machêtes. They would play their machêtes together outside in the evenings. The Hawaiian people loved the sound of the machête! The King and Queen both learned to play the machête and encouraged Hawaiians to play the traditional Hawaiian tunes with it. The machête became wildly popular in Hawaii!

    Why did the machête become known as the ukulele? Nobody knows for sure. One story is told of a British soldier who worked with the Hawaiian King and would play the machête at the King’s parties. The soldier was small and sprightly, and he played the machête very energetically, so the Hawaiians gave him the nickname of ukulele which means “jumping flea” and that nickname simply spread to the instrument he played. Another story told is that the fingers of a good player flying up and down the ukulele were like the movement of “jumping fleas”.

    In 1915, a World Fair was held in San Francisco that ran for 9 months and attracted 19 million visitors. At the Hawaiian Pavilion, a ukulele band was playing. The people visiting the fair fell in love with the wonderful sound of the ukulele! The ukulele quickly became a huge sensation all over the world. Because it had only four strings, people found it was easy to play! And with only 3 chords they could play hundreds of songs right away! You can too!

    Come be part of the ukulele revival! Join us – the more, the merrier!

  • Connie Kaldor

    Bio and picture Connie Kaldor 798x900Also see:
    Saskatchewan, 1953; Connie Kaldor is born into a May blizzard that hits Regina on the heels of a heat wave. Her life has been a study in contradictions ever since, but this is a woman who weathers the changes. There’s no doubt, she’s prairie to the bone.

    Music was a fact of life for Connie from the start. Her mother swears she sang from the cradle. She developed her range every Sunday in the local church choir, where Dad directed. Mom and Connie’s twin sisters played piano, and her brothers played guitar, tuba and trumpet.

    In school Connie pursued her love of performing arts with a theatre degree from the University of Alberta in 1976. She went on to work with alternative theatre companies the Mummers in Newfoundland and Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto, but ultimately it didn’t leave enough time for the music.

    In 1979 she left theatre to pursue her musical career full time, setting out to blaze a trail on the Canadian folk scene (at places like the very first Canmore Folk Festival) with friend and then manager Jarol Boan. She packed her suitcase full of theatrical wisdom, threw her guitar into the back seat of an old Ford and she’s been on the road ever since. Female singer songwriters were somewhat unusual in those days, but nonetheless Connie sang solo and played guitar and piano herself; and broke with tradition even further by talking and joking with her audience, breaking down the wall that often separates spectator from performer. Her seamless combination of musical skill and engaging repartée still sets her apart today.

    In 1981 Connie established an independent record label, now called Coyote Entertainment. She has recorded 15? albums. In 1983 she joined Fleming and Associates, a major independent acoustic music agency, and by the following year was headlining folk festivals across the country. Performing along side talents such as Stan Rogers, Ferron, Valdy, Roy Forbes and Stringband, Connie’s music contributed to a newly emerging and distinctly Canadian sound.

    Connie has toured extensively ever since, bringing her music all over North America and to India, China and Europe as well. She has shared the stage with innumerable artists, including Shawn Colvin, Tracy Chapman, Sylvia Tyson, the Chieftains, and Daniel Lanois. In 1984 she received a Most Promising Female Vocalist Juno nomination for her album Moonlight Grocery, and Lullaby Berceuse took home Best Children’s Album in 1989, as well as the 1990 U.S. Parents Choice Award. She took Best Children’s Album again in 2004 with a new book/cd format entitled A Duck in New York City. In 2000 Love is a Truck was nominated for a Juno in the Folk Roots category.

    This versatile performer also penned the prairie musical ‘Dust and Dreams’, and has written music for both dance and theatre productions. She co-wrote and performed the theme song to the animated television show ‘For Better or For Worse’, which debuted on Canada’s Teletoon network in 2000.

    In 2002 she received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the arts in Canada.

    In 2003, Connie hosted Connie Kaldor @ Wood River Hall, a thirteen part television series showcasing Canada’s finest folk and roots music performers. The title of the show is taken from what is probably Connie’s best known song, Wood River, from the 1992 album of the same name. Considered by many to be the quintessential Saskatchewan tune, it was named one of the top Canadian songs by Canadian Geographic Magazine. Recorded live, the show presents a rich variety of music, from the extraordinary songs of Bruce Cockburn and Sylvia Tyson, to James Keelaghan, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, The Duhks, the Wailin’ Jennies and more. Look for broadcast times and dates at (still?)

    Her 2005 c.d. Sky with Nothing to Get in the Way is full of pure prairie imagery, and seems an apt release for the year in which she sang at the Saskatchewan Centennial for her Majesty Joni Mitchell as well as the Queen of England.

    In recognition of her contributions to Canadian culture, in 2007 Connie received the Order of Canada. That year she was also honoured with an alumni award from the University of Alberta. Connie has also recently received an Honorary Doctorate in Performance/Fine Arts from the University of Regina.

    The new album, Postcards from the Road, has just been completed and is sure to be a favourite with fans new and old.

    Married in 1990 to music producer and Hart Rouge member Paul Campagne, the couple live in Montréal, Québec with their two sons, Gabriel and Aleksi, who show signs of being as talented as their parents.

  • Crisol: Raimundo Pizana and Tohid Modbeigi

    Crisol (formerly known as Soul Journey) is an Ottawa-based guitar duo that was formed in 2012 when the two guitarists met and quickly discovered that they shared a commonality of views.  They decided to make music together, sharing their musical influences and skills to create their unique blend of New Age Fusion with echoes of Latin, Persian and Flamenco rhythms.

    Raimundo Pizana

    Raimundo Pizana

    Raimundo Pizana, originally from Mexico, is a seasoned professional on guitar and bass.  He was influenced by Rock music (Santana, The Doors, and others) and also explored flamenco styles and world beats.  While playing with his band in Mexico, Raimundo was discovered by a Canadian entrepreneur and invited to continue his musical career in Canada, where he has played ever since with various Latin and Rock bands.

    Tohid Modbeigi

    Tohid Modbeigi

    Tohid Modbeigi was born in Tehran, Iran, where he started playing flamenco guitar at the age of 14.  Four years later, he organized his first band, playing a fusion of Persian, Flamenco and other styles of music.  On July 1, 2012, he moved to Canada.

    Crisol has performed throughout Ottawa for numerous fundraising events, at various clubs and cafes, the National Library and Archives, and for corporate events and weddings.

  • Eric Dubeau

    Eric Dubeau

    Eric Dubeau



    Le chanteur-compositeur Eric Dubeau écrit des chansons riches, inspirées tour à tour par la vie quotidienne dans un village du Nord canadien, le récit de légendes locales en Croatie, la quiétude du paysage patagonien ou l’énigme du sphinx. La musique d’Eric Dubeau convie l’auditeur à un rendez-vous musical doux, intense et exaltant. En 1997, Dubeau lançait son premier album, intitulé Par chez nous, dont la chanson Les lumières de la ville s’est classée parmi les finalistes des Songs from the heart du Conseil ontarien des festivals folk. En mars 2001, Eric dévoilait un second album, intitulé Cœur et âme.


    Singer-songwriter Eric Dubeau writes songs that are rich. They are inspired variously by daily life in a village in Northern Canada, local legends heard in Croatia, the tranquility of the landscape in Patagonia or the riddle of the Sphinx. Dubeau’s music invites the listener to a musical encounter soft, intense and exciting. In 1997, he released his first album, Par chez nous. From that album the song Les lumières de la ville was a finalist in Songs from the heart of the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals. In March 2001, Eric launched his second album, Coeur et âme.

  • Fiddleheads



    FIDDLEHEADS is a group of around 30 energetic young performers in the National Capital Region, under the direction of Trish Barclay, who sing, dance, act and fiddle their fingers off! They performed their first original musical theatre show “Gatineau River Reel“, a foot-stompin’, home-grown, historical musical, in July 2011 to enthusiastic audiences in Chelsea, Quebec and again in July 2012 to thrilled audiences at the Wakefield, QC theatre.

    Fiddleheads young performers help to create the original full-length musical shows in collaboration with professional artists. They are involved in the entire process, from helping conceive of the story and characters, to building costumes, sets, and props. In addition to sharpening their fiddling skills with a multi-ethnic repertoire, the young performers hone their skills acting, singing and dancing on stage.

    The young artists, ranging in age from 6 to 16, are mentored by professionals, who rehearse and perform alongside them.  A community of committed parent volunteers contribute their skills and energy to help make the show a success. From the artistic nurturing and support of all involved, a wonderfully inspired musical theatre experience grows!

    It is Fiddlehead‘s dream to tour their shows, sharing their music and learning from other young musicians and diverse cultures around the world.

  • Jam Session led by Paul Spafford and Presented by the Spirit of Rasputin’s

    Spirit of Rasputin’s Folk-along Jam

    Spirit of Rasputins Folk-along Jam

    Spirit of Rasputins Folk-along Jam

    The Folk-along Tuesday jams continue at the Georgetown Sports Pub (1159 Bank St., south of Sunnyside) for the foreseeable future…great fish ‘n chips and apple strudel to die for.

    The Spirit of Rasputin’s Folk-along Jam has had a number of homes over the past few years. First The Georgetown, then Elmdale Tavern, then the Xpresso Café. Now it has turned full circle and returned to the Georgetown Sports Bar. The jam starts at 7:00 pm. It is an acoustic open jam, where musicians sit in a circle and take turns leading songs of their choice. While the jam sessions are not structured as a performance per se, everyone is always welcome to come and listen in, or join in the circle to play or sing. If you’d like to lead a song everyone might not know, or one of your own, chord sheets come in handy.

    Paul Spafford Bio

    Paul Spafford

    Paul Spafford

    Paul Spafford comes from the back woods of Odessa, Ontario, and moved to Ottawa in the mid-90s. After six years of Conservatory piano lessons, and a misspent youth of 70s punk guitar (after the 70s weren’t cool anymore), Paul discovered folk music. Now he plays mandolin and banjo, and is a regular at the Rasputin’s open stage, as well as hosting the Spirit of Rasputin’s weekly folk jam.

    Paul writes songs that give his unique perspective on whatever happens to be going on in his life at the moment, and also creates his own interpretations of songs by some of his favourite artists.

  • Jill Shipley

    Jill Shipley

    Ottawa-based but raised in Canada’s cool west, Jill likes to warm things up with great tunes! Jill sings cover songs in open mic venues, song circles, choirs and wherever else opportunity takes her! She comes from a musical family and is a self-taught 12-string guitar player. When she was 16 she worked at a children’s camp, where she participated in leading sing-songs. Harmony is an effortless passion for Jill and other singers have often called upon her to set harmonies with them.

  • Jody Marsolais

    Jody Marsolais

    Jody Marsolais

    The Rythym Room
    We spend 9 months of our lives 6 inches away from our mother’s beating heart,
    the beat of the drum is in us all.”

    Jody Marsolais is a Vic Firth Certified Instructor/Facilitator who offers:

    • dynamic team building for corporations and agencies
    • stimulating school workshops
    • serene crystal singing bowl meditations
    • effective programs for individuals or groups with special needs
    • entertainment for groups i.e. birthdays, Jack/Jill parties, weddings, etc..

    Jody manages his private practice, The Rythym Room, teaching
    instrument lessons and supports the Community through

    Jody’s passion for music launched him into a full time career
    as a music instructor and workshop facilitator. Jody provides services to retirement
    homes, daycare centers, corporations/agencies, churches and schools.

    At the age of five, Jody’s zeal for music and performance began. Jody would attend his
    Mom’s performances at various events such as receptions and gatherings. Terry, his
    Mom, began to introduce him to various instruments. Since then, Jody has become
    proficient at percussion, drums, and guitar. His abilities extend to reading and writing
    music theory.

    Quantum physics, philosophy, creative visualization and meditation resonate with Jody’s
    spirit. From these teachings, his desire has become rooted in the understanding that
    healing can be achieved through a variety of sound modalities. His holistic workshops
    have proven to be inspirational as the audience experiences a sense of peace and wellness
    through the soft sounds of crystal singing bowls and meditation.

    Building confidence and team skills through drumming has become popular in both the
    profit and not for profit sectors. These workshops help develop focus and productivity
    while increasing the ability to concentrate, retain and recall information. Jody’s school
    workshops meet the Ontario Music Curriculum as a guide lines. These workshops are an
    excellent form of ‘brain gym’, reduces bullying and builds self confidence.

    The Rythym Room is a proud member of the both the Ottawa and the Cornwall Chambers
    of Commerce. Visit or phone 613.937.3800 to learn more!

  • KidZone – Maya Muller and Selina Bishop

    Selina and Maya

    Selina and Maya

    Maya Muller and Selina Bishop

    Maya and Selina are a mother-daughter team who have been doing KidZones at Festivals for over 10 years. Maya is a nursing student and Selina is a public servant by day. Both are really both just big kids at heart. Maya and Selina love playing music, making stuff, and learning about the world.

  • Kristine St-Pierre

    Kristine St. Pierre

    Since first bracing the stages of Ottawa in 2006, this Ottawa-based singer-songwriter charms her audience with her voice and beautifully crafted songs. From finger-picked folky ballads to rollicking, bluesy melodies, Kristine’s style has been described as both fresh and raw.

    Each year brings on new achievements, gaining her more and more attention on the Canadian music scene. In 2015, Kristine was invited to sing the Canadian and U.S. national anthems to more than 20,000 people during a Senators game at the Canadian Tire Centre. She also performed as part of numerous festivals including Megaphono, Ottawa Grassroots Festival, Ottawa Bluesfest and CityFolk/Marvest and received her first nomination during the 8th Gala des prix Trille Or in the best female singer category.

    In addition to three solo tours, which have taken her around the world, Kristine has released two bilingual albums: Stand Still for a While (2010) and Call Me Crazy (2012). She is currently working on a new album to be released in 2016.


    Depuis son entrée sur scène en 2006, Kristine St-Pierre charme le public avec sa musique acoustique et sa voix mémorable. À la fois auteure, compositrice et interprète, elle s’inspire non seulement de ses expériences de voyage, mais aussi, et surtout, des personnes qu’elle a rencontrées sur son chemin. Avec son style folk-roots-pop qui lui est propre à elle, cette artiste bilingue sait comment captiver son auditoire et lui faire vivre une panoplie d’émotions.

    Chaque année, Kristine se fait connaître de plus en plus sur la scène nationale. En 2015, elle interprète, devant une foule enthousiaste, les hymnes nationaux américain et canadien au Centre Canadien Tire et participe à de nombreux festivals de renoms dont Megaphono, le Ottawa Grassroots Festival, Ottawa Bluesfest and CityFolk/Marvest. Cette chansonnière canadienne obtient aussi sa première nomination lors du 8e Gala des prix Trille Or dans la catégorie Meilleure interprète féminine.

    En plus de trois tournées solo qui l’ont emmenée à travers le monde, elle a sorti deux albums bilingues : Stand Still for a While (2010) et Call Me Crazy (2012). Présentement, Kristine se prépare pour le lancement d’un troisième album prévu en 2016.

  • Mark Delorme

    Mark Delorme

    Mark Delorme

    Born in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, Mark Delorme has been involved in festival and event production since his early days with Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario and the legendary CANO collective. Mark has played roles as production manager and lighting designer for countless events, including Northern Lights Folk Festival, La nuit sur l’étang, Le festival franco-ontarien, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Canadian Special Olympics, Ottawa Bluesfest, Ottawa Folk Festival, Ottawa Dragonboat Festival, Folkzone and many more. His ongoing goal is to support artists as fully as possible, while delivering the best possible audience experience.

    Né à Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, Mark Delorme s’est joint au Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario, à Sudbury, en 1972. En 1975, il devenait membre de CANO Musique. Fort de cette expérience, il est devenu concepteur d’éclairage et directeur technique pour de nombreux festivals. Mark compte au nombre de ses clients la Danny Grossman Dance Company, CBC, CTV, La nuit sur l’étang, Le festival franco-ontarien, la Corporation de la capitale nationale, TVO et plusieurs d’autres. Mark vit dans la région d’Ottawa depuis 1991, où il a travaillé comme coordonnateur de production pour le Musée canadien des civilisations et le Musée canadien de la guerre. Aujourd’hui, il continue de faire des éclairages pour des événements comme Contacts ontarois, La nuit émergente, et il enseigne l’éclairage au Collège Boréal de Sudbury.

  • Mark Weinstock

    Mark Weinstock

    Mark Weinstock

    Mark Weinstock is a popular singer-songwriter and children’s entertainer, combining his experiences as an award winning songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and respected educator. He continues to perform across the continent and overseas, picking up new instruments and stories along the way. His unforgettable concerts and workshops have become festival favourites, encouraging group participation and combining an effortless blend of musical styles.

    He honed his craft while making music around the world. Along his adventures, he performed in Himalayan villages, the jungles of Australia, Cambodian orphanages, interfaith communities in Jerusalem, and festivals across North America. He loves to travel but Ontario remains his home.

    Mark’s songs have been placed in feature film and television, while his written works have been published in several languages. Over the years, he has collaborated with an eclectic mix of musicians including Ken Whitely, the All Gods Children Harlem Gospel Choir and greats from bands such as Janis Joplin’s Full Tilt Boogie Band.

    Mark’s concerts and albums continue to receive glowing reviews from the media and music circles alike, establishing him as one of Canada’s preeminent emerging talents and one of its best-kept secrets.

    “His warmth on stage emanates…he is as talented as they come.”  -Jen Bill, 24 Hours Newspaper
    “Beautiful songs with meaningful lyrics.” -Ted Kartzman, JamBase San Francisco
    *OCFF and Folk Alliance Int’l Official Showcase Selections
    *Canadian Folk Music Awards Nominee
    *Parents Choice Awards –two time winner

  • Maxim Cossette

    Maxim CossetteMaxim Cossette is a bilingual recording artist. He’s been playing the banjo for a decade and has performed across Canada, the US and Ireland. His lyrics and engaging style are inspired by his travels and personal experiences. Maxim is the front man of Sick Sick Sicks, who play “Djanjobilly” music, a cross between Django Reinhardt gypsy jazz and 50s Rock and Roll. He’s been performing for longboarding and permaculture communities for over five years.

  • Neptune’s Music Workshops

    Neptunes’ Music Workshops, Dawn and Joe Reynolds, have run alternative music workshops, talent shows and community spirited music events since 2007. Their focus is to inspire music appreciation in all ages and encourage the celebration of music in local communities.

  • Old Man Luedecke

    Old Man Luedecke

    Old Man Luedecke

    See also:
    Old Man Luedecke isn’t afraid to put his neck on the line. His latest album, Tender Is The Night, goes beyond his beloved solo, banjo-driven folk tunes. Driving a Nashville band from beginning to end with his recognizable voice, this is an artist honing his cunning lyrical flair – tenderly pushing the boundaries of his storytelling with his unique mix of folk, bluegrass and pop hooks.

    Old Man Luedecke has a penchant for language. Based in Chester, Nova Scotia, the award-winning roots singer-songwriter’s latest album, Tender Is The Night, gives nod to F.R. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel, a title lifted from John Keats poem, ‘Ode To A Nightingale.’

    With skillful precision and a storyteller’s heart, Luedecke’s narrative-driven folk songs are playful, coy, and soul warming. Rich in metaphor, heart and instrumentation, Tender Is The Night muses on love, art and purpose.

    “I am running like everyone else. Laughing just to keep from crying. I am always trying to find a way to express,” says Luedecke. “I am a prisoner for my appreciation for language; language that moves me is language that is unusual. I feel like it’s an important thing I can contribute to songwriting.”

    After touring the globe, winning multiple Juno Awards, and becoming a father to twin girls, Luedecke has finally found confidence in himself, and his art. Tender Is The Night is a balancing act, a collection of songs artfully crafted, and tenderly performed.

    “The songs are about a variety of topics, a meditation on art and ambition is present in a lot of what I do. Art and whether there is spiritual success without worldly success, that’s at the heart of Tender Is The Night,” says Luedecke.

    Recorded live in Nashville at The Butcher Shoppe in four days with producer Tim O’Brien, Old Man Luedecke’s fifth album Tender Is The Night, follows up My Hands Are On Fire and Other Love Songs (Black Hen Music, 2010), Proof of Love (Black Hen Music, 2008), Hinterland (Black Hen Music, 2006), and Mole In The Ground (2003).

    As Nashville provided an inspirational backdrop, Luedecke surrounded himself with the top players in folk and bluegrass music, including: multi-instrumentalist and producer O’Brien, bassist Mike Bub and drummer Kenny Malone.

    “I have always liked and modeled myself on the ruffian qualities, I was attracted to the purity, misguided notions, and honesty,” says Luedecke. “I love Tim’s playing. I listen to his records all the time. He’s top of the heap, in my mind, when it comes to traditional music, specifically American music.”

    “Kingdom Come,” opens the record with a heart rendering declaration of belonging. “Jonah,” explores a character struggling, crying out from inside the belly of a whale. “Tortoise and the Hare,” is an ode to the push for success. With splashes of somber sentimentalism, “Little Stream of Whiskey,” leaves listeners savouring the last sip.

    “A&W,” cheekily pokes fun at post-bar boozy cravings, where a cabbie and drunk find themselves at a drive-thru. “This Might Hurt A Bit,” gets your toes tapping, and sifts through the endless layers of love. “Tender Is The Night,” is a poetic and pensive testament to longing. “Long Suffering Jesus,” closes the album with biblical flair and optimism.

    “These are songs of reassurance, the only way I can reassure myself is writing uniquely and successfully as possible,” says Luedecke. “Pop songs are all about how things are going to be okay, music should make you feel good.

    “The way I can make you feel good is saying the decisions that you make that aren’t popular, or going with the mainstream, are going to work out.”

  • Old Time Jam (Kate Greenland and Trevor Pool)

    Kate Greenland and Trevor Pool



    Kate Greenland and Trevor Pool are both active musicians in the Ottawa music community. Kate plays mandolin and sings lead vocals in The Monroe Sisters, who can be seen regularly at Pressed for Monday Night Bluegrass. Trevor plays in The Noisy Locomotive, an Old Time trio active in both Ottawa and Montreal. 

    In addition to their own groups, Kate and Trevor make up two thirds of a new folk/country trio Bay, Black and Roan. With a strong interest in the sounds of Appalachia, and surrounding regions, the two found themselves connecting with other Ottawa area players, sharing tunes, continuing the tradition. The two have organized a handful of successful Old Time jams together at local venues and plan to do more in the future.

  • Open Stage led by Sjef Frenken and presented by the Spirit of Rasputin’s

    Some Notes About the Spirit of Rasputin’s Open Stage

    7pm every Monday evening upstairs at Whispers Pub, 249 Richmond Road

    The original Rasputin’s Folk Café opened its doors in 1981 and ran continuously at its Bronson Avenue location for 27 years, until a fire forced its closure on 8 July 2008.

    Rasputin’s was not only a place for local singers and songwriters, poets and story-tellers to test or showcase their material, it was somehow also the focal point for the entire community of folk enthusiasts in Ottawa. Its closure was a great loss.

    Perhaps the most distinctive quality about Rasputin’s Folk Café was the real Spirit of Rasputin’s – its “listening environment” – the audience showing its respect for the performers by being silent during the songs, poems and stories, something much appreciated by the many artists from all across Canada, the United States and the rest of the world who performed there, whether as guests on the Open Stage, or as headliners of concerts.

    In an interview with CBC, Rasputin’s founder and owner, Dean Verger said “I think it needs somebody with passion who has a new vision to take it forward, whether it be an individual or a community.”

    It didn’t take long for that passion to show itself. Shortly after the fire, a handful of Rasputin’s regulars began holding open-air get-togethers in the park beside the Museum of Nature on McLeod Street. With winter looming, an effort was made to find a more suitable venue for the day when wind, rain and snow made outdoor concerts impossible. Happily the Canadian Legion on Kent Street welcomed “Rasputin’s Refugees” and hosted their weekly sessions for a year until the Open Stage was moved to the Elmdale Tavern in July of 2009. In August of 2010, the Open Stage moved to the second floor room at Whispers Pub and Eatery on Richmond Road (at Tweedsmuir) where in continues to this day.

    In the meantime the various activities centered in the original Rasputin’s came together again under the umbrella of the not-for-profit organization The Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society that responds to Dean Verger’s call for passion and vision.

    The Spirit of Rasputin’s Open Stage runs Monday nights. The music starts at 7:00 pm, but performers are asked to get there earlier to sign up. Performers typically present two songs or literary works for a maximum of 10 minutes. There are three sets of 5 performers each. There is no cover charge, and food and drinks are available.

  • Rowena Pearl

    With her unique enthusiasm Rowena Pearl’s talent shines especially bright when she engages all ages in making music together.

    Rowena brings her love of music to audiences as a music director of school, church and community choirs in the North Gower area. She is also a very popular music teacher, introducing a love of Piano and the Ukulele to dozens of students. In addition to participating in the Ottawa Grassroots Festival, Rowena is currently Musical Director of The Little Princess coming this summer to the Station Theatre in Smith Falls.

  • Sarah Bradley


    SarahBradleySarah Bradley est une musicienne située à Ottawa, en Ontario. Aux côtés de son clavier, elle captive son auditoire avec ses compositions émotives et sincères. Ses influences musicales sont tirés d’un large éventail de genres, mais son style pop-ambiant lui appartient.

    Sarah est une artiste émergente qui s’est forgée une place prestigieuse sur la scène musicale franco-ontarienne. Ses prestations solo lui ont mérité la deuxième place au concours La Brunante en 2009, puis le Prix de la Première Chaîne de Radio-Canada au concours Ontario Pop en 2010. Elle a depuis eu l’occasion de partager la scène avec des artistes francophones établis, tels que Louis-Philippe Robillard (au Centre national des Arts), Andréa Lindsay, Caracol et Soir de Semaine.

    Sarah est également un fier membre de la scène électro à Ottawa. En 2011, elle s’est joint à la formation électro-indie-rock FEVERS, dont l’album acclamé, No Room For Light, a connu un succès fulgurant. Sarah et ses acolytes se sont ainsi retrouvés sur les planches des grands festivals ottaviens : le Ottawa Bluesfest, le Festival des tulipes, Fierté dans la capitale, JUNOFest et le Festival de l’Outaouais Émergent (FOÉ). C’est un projet qui demande beaucoup d’elle, mais elle s’assure de bien répartir son temps et ses efforts pour ne pas délaisser son projet solo.


    Sarah Bradley is a musician based in Ottawa, ON. Alongside her keyboard, she captivates her audience with her soulful voice and her songwriting—full of emotion and sincerity. Her musical influences are pulled from a wide array of genres, but her ambient-pop sound remains her own.

    Sarah’s solo singing and songwriting has earned her an esteemed spot in the Franco-Ontarian music scene. In 2009, she participated in the competition La Brunante, where she finished in 2nd place. She then took part in the contest Ontario Pop in 2010, where she won the prize of Prix de la Première Chaîne de Radio-Canada. She has since had the opportunity to open for established Francophone artists such as Louis-Phillipe Robillard at the National Arts Center, Andréa Lindsay, Caracol, and Soir de Semaine.

    Sarah is also a proud member of Ottawa’s electro scene. In 2011, she joined the electro-indie-rock band FEVERS, who’s quick success has had her and her bandmates playing major festivals in Ottawa, including Ottawa Bluesfest, Tulip Festival, Capital Pride, JUNOfest and the Festival de l’Outaouais Émergent.

  • Shawna Caspi

    Shawna Caspi

    Shawna Caspi


    “The power of one person and one instrument – engaging and exciting in itself. I believe that’s the root of folk music”.

    With her third album, Apartments For Lovers, Shawna Caspi taps right into those folk roots, stripping away the session musicians and elaborate arrangements of her previous records in favour of a simple, authentic sound – her solo guitar and voice. The result is a collection of songs that is close-up and honest, showcasing her warm vocals, classically-trained fingerstyle guitar playing, and intimate songwriting in a genuine, powerful way.

    On Apartments For Lovers, Shawna creates delicate, quiet moments that are vulnerable and accessible even when she’s writing about someone else. Her songs are snapshots – moments that may appear small, but which subtly carry weight and offer greater depth thanks to her well-crafted lyrics.

    “Some musicians make songwriting sound less of a craft and more of a life affirming obsession. Caspi’s compositions stand out as beautiful, complex and intricate…” – NOW Magazine, NXNE preview

    For 15 years, Shawna has been playing the guitar she bought at the Ottawa Folklore Centre, one of Canada’s best loved music stores. This cherished instrument has accompanied her on tour through seven provinces, where she has played festivals including the Blue Skies Music Festival, the Summerfolk Festival, and the Deep Roots Music Festival. It was also her constant companion as she played on the long haul trains between Montreal and Halifax and between Vancouver and Toronto as part of the VIA Rail On Board Entertainment Program.

    While she never had one particular musical influence growing up, Shawna found inspiration in a wide variety of independent Canadian singer/songwriters as she played and sang her way through the folk music scene. Some of these artists are now her peers, and she has shared the stage with several of her favourites, including Rose Cousins, Jon Brooks, James Keelaghan, Suzie Vinnick, and Garnet Rogers.

    “Shawna Caspi has the rare gift of presence that immediately invites audience engagement, from the first strum of her skilled guitar playing to the last exquisite note she sings”. – Andy Frank, co-founder of Roots Music Canada

    From cafes, soft-seat theatres, living rooms, festival stages, and yes, even trains, Shawna is making her living singing her stories across Canada. She loves the landscapes of her home country and while weaving them into her songs, she has also been portraying them on canvases. Shawna paints one-of-a-kind works of art inspired by the rich scenery she sees in her travels and makes them available for sale with her merchandise. Two of those paintings make up the front and back cover artwork for Apartments For Lovers.

    Shawna’s Canadian folk roots are an intrinsic part of who she is. In fact, Shawna as a solo musician is exactly who she is as a person – warm, inviting, a storyteller, a traveller, a Canadian, an authentic artist. “And at the heart of everything”, she says, “I’m just a really big music fan”.

  • Shout Sister Choir

    Shout Sister Choir

    Shout Sister Choir

    The Shout Sister Choir takes an unorthodox approach to choral singing.  We do not audition and we sing a fun variety of music from pop and Motown, to folk, to a touch of country and blues.  We learn from recorded tracks so we require no reading of music.  Our method is fresh and fun and we are a warm and welcoming community.
    The act of singing with others is both powerful and joyful and, while our choir fills the need for those who have never sung with others, experienced singers will find the relaxed atmosphere and alternative repertoire a refreshing change.
    You are welcome to attend a practice with no obligation and new members are welcome at any time.

    Ottawa Centre Chapter

    Choir Director: Jody Benjamin
    Choir Manager: Nancy Greig


    Tuesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
    St. Barnabas Church
    394 Kent St.
    For security purposes, the door to the church is locked at 7:05. If you are late use the doorbell on the James St. entrance.

    Ottawa Afternoon Chapter


    Wed. 1:00 3:00 p.m.
    Rideau Park United Church
    2203 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa 

    Ottawa West Chapter

    Choir Director: Jody Benjamin
    Choir Manager: Nancy Greig


    Thursday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
    Woodroffe United Church
    207 Woodroffe Ave.
    Entrance door at North side of Church.

    “Singing is as basic to being human as walking upright on two legs. If the professionals have taken it away for themselves, then it’s time the amateurs took it back.” – Robert Fulgham

  • Stef Paquette

    Stef Paquette

    Stef Paquette



    Stef Paquette a entrepris une carrière solo en 2002 en lançant son premier album intitulé L’Homme exponentiel, mis en nomination dans la catégorie Album de l’année et dont la chanson titre a remporté les hommages de Chanson de l’année aux prix de musique franco-ontarienne de 2005. Son second album solo, intitulé Salut de l’arrière-pays (The Salvation of the Hinterland), a été lancé en 2011 et a remporté de nombreux prix, notamment le Prix Trille Or de l’Association des professionnels de la chanson et de la musique en 2013. Cet album de musique acoustique folk sans batterie a pour thème la transformation des communautés nordiques en villes fantômes due à l’exode vers les grandes villes des habitants qui promettent de revenir mais ne reviennent jamais.


    Paquette launched a solo career in 2002 with his first solo album, L’Homme exponentiel nominated for Album of the Year and the title song was winner of Song of the Year at the Franco-Ontarian Music awards in 2005. His second solo album, Salut de l’arrière pays (The Salvation of the Hinterland), was released in 2011 and won a number of awards, including the Prix Trille Or from the Association des professionnels de la chanson et de la musique in 2013. The album is acoustic folk, with no drums. Its theme is how northern communities are becoming ghost towns because people are leaving for bigger towns, promising to come back but they never do.

  • Terry Gillespie

    Terry Gillespie

    Terry Gillespie

    Terry Gillespie has been called a musical Shaman, Canada’s King of Roots Music and Mr.
    Groove for good reason – his live performances are fascinating, entertaining and captivating in a
    way that allows the audience to pay attention and not be distracted from the music by egotistical showmanship and maniacal guitar playing. He is both charismatic and soulful. His guitar is tasteful, his vocals beautifully phrased. Those in attendance at Terry Gillespie shows are part of the show, with each audience member an integral part of the music.

    Gillespie recently released his newest musical offering, Bluesoul, to extensive International airplay and reviews. On ‘BLUESOUL’ his eclectic musical taste has honed in on a distinctive highbred body of intelligent material, resulting in his first, long awaited ‘all blues’ release. “Like Mark Knopfler, JJ Cale or JB Lenior, he is a player whose comfortable voice perfectly suits his economical deep guitar grooves. Nothing’s wasted and nothing’s missing.” (Holger Petersen, CBC’s Saturday Night Blues, CKUA’s Natch’l Blues and Stony Plain Records)

  • Terry McLeish

    Canadian Singer-Songwriter Terry McLeish has been described as:

    “a Canadian songwriter whose songs and music poignantly capture the lives of cowboys, Ottawa Valley loggers, misfits and as well, the trials, humor and pathos of everyday life.”

    Terry McLeish

    Raised in a military family, Terry is based in the Upper Ottawa Valley and has worked as a grocery boy, farm hand, golf course greens man, forest fire fighter, tree planter, clerk and forest technician.

    Major influences in McLeish’s music and writing have included Steve Goodman, Ian Tyson, John Prine, Bob Dylan and Steve Earle. Bluegrass has also been a strong influence that can be heard in many of the songs on his self-titled, album, “Terry McLeish”. His music career has taken him from folk, rock and blues bands to folk/roots singer-songwriter and performer and his songs have been heard on CJOH television, CBC, CHCR radio, CHIP and Valley Heritage radio, CKCU radio, other artist’s albums and projects, compilation cd’s and a musical tour of the Upper Ottawa Valley’s Opeongo Line. Over the years, Terry has shared the stage with Colleen Peterson, Valdy, Long John Baldry, Reverend Ken and the Lost Followers, Jack De Keizer, Sneezy Waters, Ian Tamblyn, David Essig, Donnie Walsh of Downchild Blues Band, Paul Brandt, Ronnie Hawkins, Prairie Oyster, Leahy and many more. He has performed at festivals, clubs, kitchen parties, fairs and events of all kinds.

    Recently, Terry was invited to act and perform in The Stone Fence Theatre’s current production of “The Opeongo Opera” which ran throughout the summer and into the fall of 2011 and again in 2012. Three of his songs were chosen to be featured in this acclaimed two-act musical as well.  In early 2012, 2013 and 2014, McLeish hosted The Terry McLeish Show; an eight week live stage show featuring some of Canada’s best folk/roots, singer-songwriters. Terry was featured in a short film in the winter of 2014 entitled Not Without My Guitar.

    Terry McLeish is currently recording his second studio album with producer/engineer, James Stephens at Old Stove Studios. He has been performing with guitarist extraordinaire, Terry Tufts, Canadian fiddler great, Peter Dawson and bassist Grant Tomkinson.

    Email –
    Phone – 613-587-4217
    Website –

  • The Sparrows

    Sun. April 23 at 1:00 pm Fellowship Hall
    “Songs for Families”

    This sing-along family concert features The Sparrows, Anna Ludlow, Chris White and surprise guests.

    The Sparrows are a group of home-schooled children between the ages of 4 and 11 who love music. They sing, play instruments and dance under the guidance of group leaders Chris White and Anna Ludlow.

    Chris White

    Chris White

    Chris White

    Chris White is a singer-songwriter, choir leader, radio host, festival organizer and concert producer who loves to connect people with music and with one another. He received the 2012 Helen Verger Award for his “significant, sustained contributions to Canadian folk music”. Catch Chris and “Canadian Spaces” every Saturday from 10 to noon on CKCU 93.1 FM and

    Anna Ludlow

    Anna Ludlow is an accomplished fiddler, singer and songwriter originally from Antigonish who now lives in Ottawa. She performs in a variety of styles, including what she calls “Mainland Maritime Fiddle Fusion”. Anna released an album called “Reel to Reel” in 2009.


  • Todd’s Musical Petting Zoo

    Todd Crowley

    Todd Crowley

    Todd Crowley

    For more than a decade, Todd Crowley’s Musical Petting Zoo has been involved in the folk and bluegrass festival circuit in the United States and Canada.  It has appeared at close to 100 festivals and community events from Washington D.C. to Vancouver, British Columbia.  The Great Hudson River Revival, Mariposa, Summerfolk, Common Ground on the Hill, Old Songs, the Ogden Music Festival, Podunk Bluegrass, Winnipeg, Albuquerque, Ottawa and Washington Folk Festivals–these are just some of the many festivals where Todd’s Musical Petting Zoo has given countless children and grown-ups a like a chance to explore the vast world of folk instruments.

    Todd Crowley is a member of the Folk Alliance International. Todd’s Musical Petting Zoo has also appeared at the Folk Alliance Conference on several occasions in both Memphis and Toronto.

    Besides being a touring exhibit during the festival season, Todd’s Musical Petting Zoo is also a community center and resource for promoting folk music and teaching.  It resides at 216 Maple Ave Corry PA 16407 where it hosts a weekly song circle and occasional house and community concerts.

    Representing the musical alphabet from accordion to zither, Todd’s Musical Petting Zoo is a fully interactive, hands-on activity. Not only are festival-goers invited to examine the instruments, they are  encouraged to touch, play, and share what they discover.  All ages are welcome—from a child learning how to hold a fiddle for the first time to the old gentleman remembering Irish button accordion tunes.

    The Zoo offers the usual instruments like the guitar, banjo, ukulele, mandolin, and fiddle.  But there are also a host of other folk instruments such as the kantele, cuatro, bouzouki, and dobro.   Dulcimers, autoharps and odd musical gizmos like saws and limberjacks also abound along with drums from five continents. And too many wind and percussive instruments to name.

    This spirit of discovery is the inspiration of the zookeeper —Todd Crowley is a patient, caring man with a true love for folk music. “My belief about folk music is that it isn’t just music to listen to from a seat in the audience. Folk music is about making music of our own—on all levels—and then passing it on to the next generation.”

    “The instruments have a common DNA,” says Crowley, “just like human beings.”  From a mouth bow to a Celtic harp, from an Andean charango to a Hawaiian ukulele, Todd’s Musical Petting Zoo is a vivid and tangible display that instruments, like people, are all interconnected.
    Crowley believes a folk instrument is part of the folk tradition, where the sharing of one’s love and knowledge of the music, song and stories of the past help to keep the traditions alive. The instruments in the zoo tell a story of their own each time a child connects to the folk tradition by trying an instrument for the first time or an adult rediscovers the joy of making music.

    To book Todd’s Musical Petting Zoo for a festival or community event, please contact him by email at or by phone at 703-999-4972.  You can also “like”  Todd’s Musical Petting Zoo on Facebook.

  • Tony Turner

    Tony Turner

    Tony Turner

    Tony Turner is a product of the Ottawa’s rich roots music scene. His thoughtful and sometimes amusing tunes reveal his love of history and landscapes and a love of the precious moments of ordinary people. Blessed with an expressive baritone voice Tony has recorded two CDs – A Matter of Time, produced by Ian Tamblyn, and The Lost Sketches, produced by James Stephens and is currently working on a disc of new material with Keith Glass (Prairie Oyster). Tony also has fun playing guitar and singing pre-1950’s forgotten gems with Shirt Tearing Boys, Ottawa’s favourite soup kitchen band, as well as organizing musical events for songwriters like the Great Canadian Song-Along. Tony’s anthemic “Circle of Song” was recently recorded by Ottawa’s Tone Cluster choir and later this year will be published in Rise Again, the sequel to Rise Up Singing, the popular folk singer’s sing-along book.

  • Wayne Stoute

    Wayne Stoute

    Wayne Stoute

    Drummer/percussionist WAYNE STOUTE comes from Trinidad, which is the most southerly island in the Caribbean. “The land of steel band and calypso”, it is situated a mere eleven miles off the coast of Venezuela, South America. Because of the cultural pot-pouri of this former British colony, WAYNE grew up listening to the British Top of the Pops, American top 40, rhythm & blues, the Bollywood hit songs, rocksteady and reggae from Jamaica, the music of Venezuela, Brazil and without a doubt, steel band and calypso music. He moved to Brooklyn in his late teens where he met Ross and Andre Whiteman and joined their band, which eventually evolved into JAB JAB.

    He studied at Drummer’s Collective in New York City and Concordia University, Montreal from which he has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a major in music. Wayne has worked with some of Quebec’s top performers. He has toured with Joanne Blouin, toured and recorded with Karen Young, Haitian Pop singer Emeline Michel, South – African singer Lorraine Klaasen, blues and R & B singer Kenny Hamilton, reggae artiste Kali & Dub Inc. and has also recorded and performed with The Montreal Jubilation Choir (the album “Jubilation V: Joy To The World” won a Juno award).

    He has had the opportunity to work with most of the World Music artistes on the Montreal scene as well as the late Chicago bluesman Big Moose Walker. He has recorded sound tracks for television shows as well as the films “Taxi to L.A”, “Love and Human Remains” and the NFB production of “Christopher Changes His Name”.

    In addition to this he can also be heard on the JAB JAB cd “Jump Up And Jam” which is rich in color and rhythm, mixing the styles of Reggae, Compas, Zouk and Soukouss in an energetic base of Soca. This CD was nominated for an ADISQ award in the World Beat category in 1996.

    Wayne has been playing drums and percussion with Terry Gillespie since 2009.

  • Wise Atangana

    Wise Atangana

    Wise Atangana

    Wise Atangana is a Cameroonian musician, percussionist and music producer living in Ottawa since December 2013. Born Ernest Benoit Atangana, he goes by the stage name of Wise as a tribute to the wisdom of his ancestral people, the Fan-Beti. In his mother tongue Ewondo, the name “Atangana” means “story teller”, “communicator” or “master of ceremonies.” Wise’s grandparents passed on to him the wisdom that comes through oral story telling. In the small village where he grew up, stories were the medium for passing on knowledge and wisdom, told around a fire every night. Storytelling is an art form that Wise continues to practice through a mix of Cameroonian folk music, Afro beat, French and American hip hop. He describes his musical style as “Afro beat hip-hop fusion” and through his music he replicates what his grandparents did – shares his stories, his beliefs and his experiences as a Cameroonian, an African and a newcomer to Canada. He has collaborated with numerous musicians on various projects in Cameroon over the past years. His recordings include:

    • 2011 mixed tape « Street family » (Cameroun)
    • 2012 mini album « Paix et non violence » (Cameroun)
    • 2013 single « Le secret de l’émergence » (Cameroun)
    • 22 february 2015 single « My first winter » (Canada)

    Along with friends at the Grassrooots Festival, on April 25 at 3pm, Wise Atangana is thrilled to present a sneak preview of his mini album “Juste un peu d’amour ça va aller!” (With just a little love it’ll be fine!). The official digital launch is planned for May 20, 2015, Cameroon’s national holiday. In his new life in Canada, Wise looks forward to meeting and collaborating with Canadian musicians.