Once again there will be a marvelous blend of up-and-coming and tried-and-true performers the last weekend of September at the Deep Roots Music Festival.
Folk musicians and composers Jay Ungar and Molly Mason will return to Wolfville for the opening Main Stage show Sept. 27 to help Deep Roots celebrate its 10th anniversary.
Jesse Winchester, a singer/songwriter with more than 40 years in the music business, will be on stage Sept. 26 at Kings Theatre in Annapolis Royal and on the festival Main Stage Sept. 28 in Wolfville.
Another festival kick-off event at The Al Whittle Theatre on Thursday night will be a showing of the movie Road To Baleya, which features Deep Roots performers Tannis Slimmon and her husband Lewis Melville. They will be on hand to answer any questions after the movie.
Hosting the two Main Stage concerts at Festival Theatre on Friday and Saturday evenings will be rising stars David Myles and Coco Love Alcorn, both beloved by Deep Roots audiences. Other Main Stage acts include Cuckoo Moon, Tannis Slimmon, Laura Smith, blues great Ray Bonneville, and Crabtree & Mills.
Also returning to Deep Roots Main Stage is Celso Machado, a Brazilian musician/percussionist who engages audiences in creating rhythms and soundscapes. He will also give a free children’s performance during the festival.
Everyone is invited to participate in free morning workshops of crafts, singing, drumming and Wee Giant puppets, or to join the colourful Fresh Beats Rhythm Parade down Main Street in Wolfville at noon on the Saturday of the festival. There will be free music at the Festival Tent and a Dance Workshop on Saturday afternoon at the Wolfville Market with ORO! Orkestra.
The Deep Roots late-night dance parties are particularly fun and they usually sell out early. Musician Dave Carmichael, who returns for his third year as program co-ordinator, is excited to have put together the makings of a wonderful Cajun/Acadian collaboration.
“Unisson, from Clare District, are a great Acadian band. I can’t wait for them to meet David Greely from Louisiana,” he said.
A licensed dance party, Cajun Heat, at the Old Orchard Inn Barn Sept. 27 will include Unisson, Greely, and Montreal-based Cajun/Zydeco band Grouyan Gombo. Gracious hostess for the evening is writer-dancer-actor-author Georgette LeBlanc, from Baie-Ste-Marie who earned her PhD from l’Université de la Louisiane in Lafayette.
Saturday night the focus is Blues at the Barn, with Ray Bonneville and one of the most original and exciting young bands on the scene today, The 24th Street Wailers.
Carmichael is also very excited about a couple ofcommunity outreach programs being developed and launched as pilot projects this year.
“We plan to have a band camp ‘Be in the Band’ program in association with Ross Creek Centre for the Arts with The 24th Street Wailers; as well as a songwriting workshop headed by Keith Mullins and Heather Kelday at Horton High School – along with a performance on Saturday afternoon at The Clock Park Tent,” he said.
Sunday morning's Rise up Singing is a sing-along with festival artists in support of the Wolfville and Area Food Bank. Admission is by donation of cash or non-perishable food item.
Rick MacNab, Heather Kelday, The 24th Street Wailers, Beautiful Wild Animals and ORO! Orkestra will be part of the closing concert Sunday, Sept. 29. The Festival Finale also features the presentation of the Valley Arts Award. This year’s winner has not yet been announced.
Deep Roots has always been known for the calibre of its talent and the number of opportunities for audiences and performers to enjoy ‘homemade’ music. The 10th anniversary is sure to be musical fun with something for everyone.
Tickets are available through any TicketPro outlet, including Wolfville's Box of Delights Bookshop.