“The idea that folk music needs to exist in glass boxes is what tends to hold it back. Emilyn and John have a tremendous way of progressing folk music that is respectful but at the same time so freeing and playful. I wouldn’t be surprised if these tunes and arrangements are played for generations to come. It’s very hard to be unique, but Emilyn and John have such personality and playfulness that makes for an incomparable record…quite literally, there’s nothing else that sounds like it!” – Tom Power, CBC
A unique duo will be in concert on Friday April 8th – our last Home Routes bash of this season – featuring the gifted Emilyn Stam and John David Williams. They are Toronto based musicians with long resumes of achievements in the genres of world, folk and jazz music.
Emilyn, pianist and protégé of renown fiddler Oliver Schroer, and John, a classically trained clarinetist and wailing harmonica player, have joined together to produce a fusion of sounds that is creatively unique. John and Emilyn met while playing in bands “Jaron Freeman-Fox and the Opposite of Everything” and the “Lemon Bucket Orkestra” (nominated this year for a world music Juno award). Their musical relationship started when they would find a quiet place after rehearsal or between sets and improvise strange and beautiful music together. Later they discovered a mutual love for danceable traditional tunes and songs. Their duo show is always alive and evolving and spans this wide range of musical interests. Think of a repetoire pulled from the World of music: Klezmer, New Orleans jazz, the Blues, Eastern European, and Quebecois old time traditionals, all loosely knit together into free-flowing and textured melodies.
Emilyn hails originally from Smithers, BC but her musical interests and talents have called her to study and teach globally and particularly Central & Eastern Europe. She studied classical piano in the Netherlands, traveled around France playing for traditional folk dances (Balfolk) and is known for her solo improvised piano album, not mention her musical involvement in clowning! She’s been called upon to improvise violin accompaniment to poetry, write and record piano music for short films, and compose and perform in modern dance theatre pieces, all the while playing with any of the many bands she’s joined. Yet no matter what the context, the sound is clearly her own: emotive and sensitive solo piano improvisations, odd metered, jazz-tinted-chamber-folk arrangements and compositions, & groovy piano accompaniments to traditional music.
John studied classical clarinet at University of Toronto, then ventured out on his own exploration of music cultures and eras, with musical influences extending much farther back than the early 20th Century. He is known for beautiful and often wacky clarinet sounds and groovy harmonica playing, especially while fronting the New Orleans Jazz and Klezmer inspired band “The Boxcar Boys”. John’s clarinet is the source of both gorgeous classical resonations and happy honking, depending on the venue and the music genre. Improvisation and a vital performance are two of the hallmarks of John’s work. “You can really develop your music and make it slick and perfect in the studio,” Williams has stated for
the Toronto Jazz Festival blog, “but for me the beauty of music is in all of the imperfections; all those little glitches and scratches that come with acoustic performances. The scratchy fiddle sounds, the clarinet clicks … they just add something special to it.” Here’s your chance to hear that unique scratch and click, in the House on April 8th, 7:30pm Tickets available at Stationery Stories and Sounds, Rimbey. For more information call Teri at 403-843-6497.
Check out their individual websites for more info: