The following was written by organizer Don Evans.
‘Fantabulous’ lineup promised at Ashiko World Music Festival
Orillia-area fans of extraordinary music, dance and good times are in for a really big treat at the Ashiko World Music Festival, organizers say.
“We’ve succeeded in assembling a truly fantabulous festival lineup this year,” says festival artistic director Amy Mangan. “No doubt about it.”
One big draw is certain to be The Woodshed Orchestra, Mangan says. “It’s a multi-piece band that plays funk, soul, country, New Orleans blues, slinky jazz, rock ‘n roll and almost everything else you can imagine, and it’s renowned for its joyous, positive energy.”
At Guelph’s Hillside Festival, The Woodshed Orchestra “really got folks singing, dancing and creating a huge buzz,” according to media reports.
“Dave Clark and The Woodshed Orchestra have this amazing ability to make real life sound like the best musical in the world,” raved CBC Radio’s Vish Khanna. “I can’t name another group of people who sound so joyous together, get to some essential truths about living – and dance their pants off doing it.”
Another major crowd pleaser will be Autorickshaw, a band that has toured extensively across Canada, including appearances at the Montreal, Vancouver, Guelph, Calgary and Toronto Jazz Festivals, not to mention the Vancouver and Winnipeg Folk Festivals.
“This Toronto combo is based on the sounds of India, but wired through contemporary jazz and funk, a hard concept to get your head around without hearing it, it’s such a unique blend,” stated the Halifax Daily News. “Just think of Indian music, then imagine it funky and grooving.”
“The ensemble consists of Canada’s most exciting and musically interesting musicians – and when their forces are combined, the results are utterly unique and musically pioneering,” added online newspaper The Record.
Returning to Orillia by popular demand, the Nigerian-born singer/songwriter Kunle comes to the Ashiko Festival after registering as a big hit at this summer’s Mariposa Folk Festival. Kunle performs traditional and contemporary songs in English, Yoruba, Pidgin and German and creates striking sounds with his unique guitar-tapping, harmonica and talking drum.
“Young man, you were awesome,” Orillia’s favourite son, Gordon Lightfoot, informed Kunle in July. “Don’t you ever stop what you’re doing – you’ve got it going.”
Then there is ZARI, an exciting trio who present the exquisite harmonies and complex polyphony of the Georgian Republic’s ancient musical culture. It’s certain they’ll thrill Ashiko-goers who treasure making musical discoveries.
And Orillia’s own queen of creativity, Beth McKean, will be sure to please many with her Free Spirit Dance Workshop at Ashiko. “Free spirit dance speaks to the heart of every participant’s own creative fire,” she says.
The Ashiko World Music Festival is slated for Sunday, September 13 on the beautiful lakeside grounds of the Stephen Leacock Museum.
Adult tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. Kids under 12 are free.
Advance tickets are available for sale at the Downtown Orillia Farmers’ Market and The Sharing Place Food Bank website.
All proceeds will go to The Sharing Place Food Bank.