The show starts at 2pm with a welcome from the Refugee and Immigrant Advisory Council – learn more about them here!

From there, our MC Mike Fardy will guide audiences through a number of incredible performances:
2:30-3:00  |  Stanley Braxton
3:00-3:15  |  Traditional Persian performance
3:15-3:45  |  Benjamin Rigby, solo acoustic
3:45-4:15  |  Traditional Newfoundland performance
4:15-4:30  |  Break
4:30-5:00  |  Traditional Greek performance
5:00-5:30  |  Spinoza Gambit,  electro-symphonic
5:30-6:00  |  Gerard and Max Van Herk, blues-punk duo
6:00-6:30  |  Shawn Beresford, solo acoustic

6:30-7:00  | Prize draws and closing

Artist Bios:

Stanley Braxton is an improvisational theatre group based out of St. John’s Newfoundland, and are currently the only actively performing improv group in the city. Its cast has almost 60 years of improv experience between them and as individuals have performed all over Canada and the USA (Including New York, Montreal, Ottawa, and Chicago). The cast includes Mike Fardy, Robert Robere, Tim Matson, Mike Hammond, Alex Bond, and Nick Parsons. They began improvising together in January of 2011 in efforts to take improv to a professional level in St. John’s. They specialize in long form improv, but still like to dabble in short form improv as well.

Our traditional Persian performance will feature a wind instrument called a Nay. A very ancient instrument,  depictions of Nay players appear in wall paintings in the Egyptian pyramids and actual Nays have been found in the excavations at Ur. This indicates that the Nay has been played continuously for 4,500–5,000 years, making it one of the oldest musical instruments still in use. The instrument is traditionally used to play slow, almost sombre music, and has a beautiful tone. Music will be preformed by Payam Bagheri, a recent immigrant to St. John’s from Iran.

Benjamin Rigby’s banjo playing weaves together tradition and innovation in a way that is surprising and unique. He is a composer of original instrumental compositions as well an arranger of traditional and classical pieces for banjo. As a writer, Ben is contemplative and subtle valuing space and rich tones with interesting harmony.

The traditional Newfoundland performance at the Festival has been arranged by Emilia Bartellas, a local fiddle player and avid Newfoundland musician. Emilia performs with the Dardanelles, who have recently returned from the Vancouver Folk Festival to perform in our own Folk Fest on Saturday, August 6th.

Our traditional Greek performance will also maximize on the incredible skills of Emilia Bartellas, whose Greek heritage is full of music and performance. With her family joining her, this performance is sure to be a hit.

Gerard Van Herk is best known as the guitarist and vocalist for Deja Voodoo, the 1980s punk-blues duo that invented the genre “sludgeability” and founded the Og Music record label. Max Van Herk plays bass or guitar in an ever-evolving selection of Toronto bands. Together, they’ll be playing a selection of old Deja Voodoo songs and whatever else they  can remember!

Spinoza Gambit is an electronic music project by St. John’s-based composer/multi-instrumentalist Jason Paul Hayward. The music of the project might best be described as “electro-symphonic”, combining grooves and rhythms derived from contemporary dance music with melodic, harmonic and structural elements more reminiscent of classical music, minimalism and jazz. Most recently, Jason has played keyboards on a cross-Canada tour with 2011 ECMA Award-winners, Idlers. He now works with several bands in St. John’s, including Cold River Choir and Robot Scout, and continues with Spinoza Gambit projects.

Shawn Beresford delivers soulful renditions of R&B, Soul & Motown classics, along side his original material. Over the last 14 years he has taken the stage with bands including Apt 401, Sweet Tooth, Mojo, The Shawn Beresford Trio & most recently, Shawn Beresford & The Soulution. These days, Beresford is also spending some time fronting one of Newfoundland’s most established and respected bands; Billy & The Bruisers. You can catch Shawn, solo acoustic, every Tuesday night at The Fat Cat Blues Bar on George Street.

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