Salmon Arm’s Acoustic Avenue is bringing award-winning Penticton spoken-word poet and author Shane Koyczan to town for a show at Song Sparrow Stage on April 30, 2022. (File photo)

Salmon Arm’s Acoustic Avenue is bringing award-winning Penticton spoken-word poet and author Shane Koyczan to town for a show at Song Sparrow Stage on April 30, 2022. (File photo)

Shane Koyczan to have a word with Salmon Arm in upcoming show

Award-winning spoken-word poet, author to perform at Song Sparrow Hall

  • Mar. 19, 2022 5:20 a.m.

He may not play guitar, but Shane Koyczan is bound to strike a chord when he performs in Salmon Arm next month.

The award-winning Penticton spoken-word poet and author will be taking to the Song Sparrow Hall stage in an April 30 performance hosted by Acoustic Avenue.

The world took notice of Koyczan in 2013 when his influential, anti-bullying To This Day Project video went viral. Before that, he performed at the 2010 ROOTSandBLUES Festival.

Koyczan’s emotional hurricane launches a series of concerts that reaches into Afro-Cuban jazz and Cree lyrical storytelling before amplifying emerging Shuswap artists.

“I love this diversity of music,” said Acoustic Avenue’s Ted Crouch. “With the pandemic, the first thing to go and last thing to come back was dancing. This lineup promises to bring the energy that compels the audience to dance.

“These artists are resilient. I know they’ve been rehearsing for years, and several have new albums. They’re accomplished, on top of their game and hungry to get back on stage.”

Next up in this eclectic concert series are the following:

• OKAN, May 7 – Named after the Santeria word for heart, OKAN embraces the energy of Cuban musical genres and roles historically dominated by men to create their unique world of Afro Cuban jazz fusion. This five-piece band, led by composers and multi-instrumentalists Elizabeth Rodriguez and Magdelys Savigne, followed up on their JUNO-nominated and Independent Music Award-winning debut Sombras with the JUNO Award-winning album Espiral.

• Barracuda, The Essential Tribute to Heart, May 14 – Vancouver’s own acclaimed Heart tribute Barracuda reignites the band’s beloved classics with their own style and passion. Their faithful renditions earned an official endorsement by Heart guitarist Roger Fisher, who has even joined the band on stage in past performances.

• Celebrate Shuswap, May 19, 27 and 28 – Three years after having the idea for a music series dedicated to local emerging artists and one year after creating a full-scale Shuswap music documentary of the same name, Crouch is thrilled to bring Celebrate Shuswap LIVE to the Song Sparrow Hall stage this May.

“We originally planned on doing Celebrate Shuswap as a live performance. The pandemic started and we had to pivot, but the community was also ready for the grand opening of the new Song Sparrow Hall,” said Crouch.

Acoustic Avenue and Song Sparrow Hall partnered with Single Shot Productions to film intimate concerts, and soon something bigger was born. Crouch, alongside Song Sparrow Hall’s Craig Newnes and Clea Roddick, expanded the scope to include the broader arts community and its history in the Shuswap.

“Before we knew it, we had this wonderful compelling story,” says Crouch. “This is the culmination of that Celebrate Shuswap initiative, three years in the making and three nights to bring it to a roaring finale.”

Read more: Internationally-renowned poet hits Vernon stage

Read more: Documentary to celebrate the Shuswap’s music scene

• Kym Gouchie, June 18 – With her traditional hand drum, acoustic guitar and empowering voice, Kym Gouchie uses her music to foster change and bring awareness to First Nations and women’s issues. Traditional First Nations, folk and country sounds blend with her poignant lyrics. A respected elder-in-training of the Lheidli T’enneh Nation, and with roots in the Cree and Secwépemc Nations, Gouchie is a sought-after performer and speaker whose words have a profound and emotional impact on the audience.

• Kobo Town, June 24 – Founded by Trinidadian songwriter Drew Gonsalves, Kobo Town has made its name by redefining the calypso sound. With strong roots in Caribbean folk music, Kobo Town’s joyous tunes radiate an energy that fills crowds with the urge to get out of their seats. Gonsalves weaves social commentary into Kobo Town’s JUNO-nominated sound for a danceable blend of reggae rhythm, brass and activism

Tickets are now available for select shows in Acoustic Avenue’s Spring Series. For tickets and more information, visit
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