The Club Series wraps up
Even though summer has yet to heat up the valley, things at The Club are once again coming to a boil.
Having kicked off last fall, The Club Series will wrap up this summer with a final four evenings of entertainment at The Banff Centre.
Developed as a means of putting up-and-coming bands in front of valley listeners in an affordable club setting, complete with bar and somewhat cozy confines, the remaining Club Series gigs will range from a recent Juno Award-winning band to a Canmore High School student who is making noise in the music scene.
“The Club Series has been doing very well,” said series developer David Cseke. “Ticket sales have been really strong and we’ve had good feedback. I think it’s because we’re bringing in young and emerging stars, the ticket prices are reasonable and there is bar service through the shows.”
To kick off the remaining Club Series shows, Vancouver’s Said the Whale is back, with Calgary’s Boreal Sons opening, on July 6 at 9:30 p.m.
Said the Whale also performed in The Club last year. “There are artists we keep an eye on,” said Cseke, “and we tell their managers to let us know if they’re going to be in the area. They have a new CD out, they won a Juno last year and with the new album, they’ve been releasing a video for each song, April through June, which is a neat idea.”
Said the Whale is a five-piece which offers West Coast rock/pop and lyrical tributes to their Vancouver home.
Boreal Sons, on the other hand, are a four-piece from Calgary which has a new EP out with Bedtime Briar.
From a Juno winner, the Club Series moves on to more of an in-house production, the Musical Theatre Cabaret, which features faculty from The Banff Centre’s opera and theatre programs working with students, then putting a show on stage, July 10 at 9:30 p.m.
The main faculty members include Kelly Robinson, director of theatre arts, David Agler, musical director and conductor of Don Giovanni and Dominic Wheeler, conductor of Secret Garden.
“Students pick songs they’d like to work on, rehearse with faculty members and end up with opera, theatre and show tunes,” said Cseke. “It was well received when we did it last year. It’s a big show in a small club.”
Things take an eastern turn later in July (27) when Minor Empire takes the stage. Toronto’s Minor Empire has been creating a buzz in the world music scene by combining jazz, traditional Turkish music, psychedelia and electronica.
Not to be missed, said Cseke, is the playing of a Turkish Kanun, a 79-string instrument which resembles the interior of a piano. Minor Empire has won Group of the Year at an indie music award extravaganza and World Group of the Year at the 2011 Canadian Folk Music Awards.
“They are contemporary and traditional, “said Cseke. “The band is a seven-piece, and unique in having the Kanun, a trumpet and a percussion section. They’ve been number one on world radio and CBC.”
Finally, the series will close out on Aug. 3 with Local Albertans Night, which will feature Calgary’s Samantha Savage Smith and guest Layten Kramer from Canmore.
Smith and her four-piece band is a semi-regular in the valley music scene, having played different venues. She combines strong vocals, chunky guitar riffs and hints of blues, jazz and rock in a petite package. “I sing about sad stuff, but in an upbeat way,” says Smith, “Let’s get moody with it.”
Kramer is a young indie folk artist who will celebrate the release of his debut EP, The Eerie Green with a four-piece band. Kramer began singing and songwriting in high school and put together a mini tour last summer.
New to close out the series will be recording sessions of Said the Whale and Smith, which will be podcast from The Banff Centre via a link on its website.
As part of the podcast, viewers will be able to take in interviews with the performers as interviewed by members of The Banff Centre’s film and media department.
“We’ll be mixing the interviews and live music in the podcast,” said Cseke, “which is one of the unique things The Banff Centre will be doing. It’ll be a 360 degree approach, where you can see the show, then listen again later, but also meet the artists.”
In the not too distant future, said Cseke, The Banff Centre will resurrect Park Radio, which will then feature recording of concerts at the facility.
As well, plans are in the works for a new Club Series to begin in fall and continue into 2013.
Tickets range from $10 to $20 and are available through The Banff Centre ticket office at 403-762-6301.
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