By Barb Brouwer
It has long been known that music can take the listener to another place.
So grab a blanket or chair and head down to Centennial Park in Blind Bay on July 18 to be swept away to Africa, Cuba and more with with Kutapira.
The name Kutapira means “sweetness” in the Shona language of Zimbabwe, a fitting title for a band that plays a fusion of Zimbabwean marimba with West African and Afro-Cuban percussion.
Kutapira is part of a stellar lineup of artists, presented at Music in the Bay, a weekly summer music concert series presented by the Arts Council for the South Shuswap and sponsoring organizations.
Peter North, this year’s series presenter and artistic director of the annual Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival, uses the substantial performance budget to mine a deep talent pool.
“His expertise and connections are invaluable,” says arts council president and Music in the Bay chair Rhys Laug. “By bringing in Peter, we can provide a diverse offering of many music styles while supporting B.C. and Canadian artists, which is part of the arts council’s mandate.”
The arts council receives strong support and collaboration from the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, the BC Arts Council, BC Touring Council and Creative BC. And many local businesses provide financial support for the program, says Karen Brown, executive director for the arts council.
“You can have the most challenging day and you come down to the field to take in the music and dancing and you’re instantly reminded of what’s important here – family, community and our amazing surroundings,” she says, noting concerts start at 6:30 p.m Thursdays throughout July and August. “There is always something to eat and drink on the field, so come hungry and thirsty,” says Brown, noting pizza, burgers, hot-dogs, tacos, mini doughnuts and cotton candy are regular fare. And this year, a local beverage service is offering cold draught beer, cider and wine.
“The arts council asks that you give generously when the donation bucket comes around during the concert intermission each week,” adds Brown. “It is only through the coming-together of the many sponsors and community donations that the arts council can continue to present a great music series each year.”
Future performances include the folk, rock music of B.C.’s Lion Bear Fox on July 25 and a heady blend of Celtic folk with bluegrass and more by The Paperboys on Aug. 1.
Inducted into the Boogie Woogie Piano Hall of Fame in 2017, the legendary Kenny” Blues Boss” Wayne will bring it on Aug. 8.
Prior to her performance at Roots and Blues, Tonye Aganaba will perform her style of soul/ neo-folk/ hiphop music on Aug. 15. The following week on Aug. 22, Canadian singer, songwriter and guitarist Judy Brown will offer her take on the blues.
The summer series wraps on Aug. 29 with the effervescent Cannery Row whose skilled musicians cover an impressive sphere of genres, blending and bending blues, Latin, zydeco, jazz, Cajun, country, rock ‘n roll into a musical experience unlike any other.