Printable brochure of 2019 lineup IRF19 Brochure
Digital copy of our 2019 Season IRF19 Program Final
Frank Leahy is a renaissance man of our time. He has performed with over 2000 symphony pops, original music theatre performances and live concerts all over the world. Frank Leahy performs on the late Don Messer’s violin, which was given to him by the Messer estate. Leahy created a full-length stage production “Don Messer’s Violin” which premiered on Prince Edward Island almost 20 years ago.
JUNO Award recipient and winner of the 2018 prestigious Polaris Music Prize, this Tobique First Nation classically-trained tenor, musicologist, activist, and performer’s art is rooted in his Wolastoq heritage, where tradition and cutting edge modernity ignite.
Presented in partnership with Farmed Market and Music Manitoba.
Roots powerhouse duo The Small Glories are Cara Luft & JD Edwards, a musical tour-de-force partnership planted on the Canadian Prairies. Thrown together purely by accident for an anniversary show at Winnipeg’s venerable West End Cultural Centre, The Small Glories is a partnership that could almost make you believe in fate.
With a stage banter striking a unique balance between slapstick and sermon, these veteran singer-songwriters have a way of making time disappear, rooms shrink, and audiences feel as they are right there on the stage with the band — writing the songs, living the songs, performing the songs. It’s not uncommon for listeners to find themselves laughing, dancing, crying, or caught up in a good ol’ fashioned sing-along. “We’re folk singers, we try to write stuff that people can relate to,” says the multi-instrumentalist Edwards, whose looming stage presence and penetrating eyes find him the yin to Luft’s petite, snort-laughing yang. The material of a Small Glories concert is rootsily welcoming in terms of subject, folk-pop melody and instrumentation — songs of love, loss, and environment, delivered with soaring, interwoven vocals on various combinations of stomping clawhammer banjo, guitar and harmonica. However, a Small Glories performance is really about what happens in-between the songs. “The feedback we get from a lot of audiences is that it’s not just about the music for them,” Luft says. “It’s the whole package.”
On record, Luft and Edwards take the musical synergy honed from hundreds of shows together, and expand it into a new soundscape amplified by pounding drums and other textural embellishments which only reinforce the magic of their innate chemistry — a chemistry labeled the “Lennon-McCartney syndrome,” by Americana UK, writing, “Some things just work together… to witness a performance by The Small Glories is a rare opportunity to experience that indefinable quality that creates perfection.”
Luft, one of the original members of folk trio The Wailin’ Jennys, and Edwards duplicate and reinforce each others’ many strengths and yet allow their distinct personalities to shine through, resulting in a live show that is as heartwarming
as it is hilarious, as finger-picking proficient as it is relatable, and as Canadian as, well… it’s very Canadian. But that hasn’t stopped ‘em from winning over audiences from Nashville to the Australian outback. Their highly anticipated
sophomore album “Assiniboine & The Red” comes out June 2019 on Compass/Red House records.
Shari Ulrich celebrates 45 years as a touring recording artist and multi-instrumentalist (violin, mandolin, piano, guitar dulcimer, & harmonica). From Pied Pumkin through The Hometown Band, and on as a solo artist and multi-instrumentalist has lead to 23 albums – including her collaboration with solo artists Bill Henderson and Roy Forbes (UHF), Barney Bentall & Tom Taylor (BTU), and The High Bar Gang, a 7 piece bluegrass band with Barney Bentall . Her work has garnered 2 Juno awards, several Juno nominations, an induction into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame, and a 2014 CFMA for English Songwriter of the Year. Shari will be releasing her 10th solo album “Back to Shore” on Borealis Records in June, 2019.
The CBC called them Canada’s “hottest” guitar ensemble. Multi-award winning MG3 brings virtuosity, creativity and irresistible audience engagement with their programme “Danza”, blending flamenco and sultry jazz with classic Spanish masterworks.The CBC called them Canada’s “hottest” guitar ensemble. Multi-award winning MG3 brings virtuosity, creativity and irresistible audience engagement with their programme “Danza”, blending flamenco and sultry jazz with classic Spanish masterworks.
In partnership with the PEI Potato Growers
Catherine MacLellan has become one of Canada’s finest and favourite singer-songwriters on her own merits. She’s kept away from the media circus and celebrity scene, preferring to live at home in rural P.E.I. She’s worked diligently at her craft, releasing a series of remarkable, creative albums, culminating in the Juno Award-winning The Raven’s Sun from 2014, to go along with multiple East Coast Music Awards, Canadian Folk Music Awards, and Music PEI Awards. Most impressively, she has chosen to carve out her career path without trading on her family name.
It is Movie Night at IRF!! Charlie Chaplin’s classic “City Lights” follows a thrilling performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, arranged by pianist extraordinaire, Dmitri Levkovich. The big silver screen and popcorn (!) come to IRF.
Lithuanian pianist Agnė Radzevičiutė has been praised by the press for her “sincere and meaningful” interpretations, and “exquisite musical sensitivity and conviction” (Seven Days of Art). Performance credits include a solo recital at the United Nations Concert Hall in Geneva, and she has won prizes in a dozen international piano competitions, notably the First Prize at the International Fryderyk Chopin Competition for Young Pianists.
Dmitri Levkovich is a highly praised Ukrainian-Canadian pianist and composer whose performances have been praised for “artistic sophistication far above the ordinary”(Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung).
Dmitri honed his skills on the piano under the guidance of Sergei Babayan for 11 years and in composition at the Curtis Institute of Music. He is the winner of more than a dozen international piano competitions, and has earned numerous ‘audience favorite’ awards and special prizes.