Nov 20 2009

Roots, blues and folk musicians can audition at the Black Swan for Winterfolk VIII

examiner_logo-header Auditions for Winterfolk VIII are heating up and aspiring performers have two more chances to try their luck. The Toronto festival promoting roots, blues, folk and other musical styles has been expanded to four days. It'll be held from Feb. 12-15 in the Danforth-Broadview area at several clubs to be announced. The event is billed as a free festival, although admission is charged at a few stages. Funds raised go primarily towards artists, plus other expenses. A new twist has been live auditions held at venues across southern Ontario. Several have already taken place, but two more are planned for Nov. 24 (filled) and Dec. 1 (still open) at the Black Swan in Toronto. In last month's inaugural audition there, two folk-oriented acts topped the field. Amy Campbell's singing/songwriting talents have been compared to Joni Mitchell. Her album, Oh Heart, Oh Highway, topped CBC's Galaxie folk/roots chart last spring. Also winning was The Human Statues, comprising of Vancouver Island natives Jeff Bryant and Zach Stevenson. They've performed at Ottawa Blues Fest and their lyrics and harmonies have drawn comparison to The Barenaked Ladies. resized_Harrison_Kennedy_resizedThe latest two audition winners are Rick Taylor and Maxim, chosen on Sunday (Nov. 15) at Guelph's Garden Street Cafe. Marc Charron from Ottawa and The Swamp Ward Orchestra from Kingston also earned festival berths. They were selected last week at The Spill in Peterborough. Rosemary Phelan (with Jason La Prade) and Reverend Max Woolaver (with Rachel Melas and Michelle Josef) won auditions held earlier at Moonshine Cafe in Oakville. Prospective performers can also be selected by the artistic selection committee or through submissions. For more details about these options or live auditions, click here … More than 100 artists will perform at Winterfolk VIII, which will include workshops for guitar playing, songwriting and other skills. Since the festival started in the Spadina-College area in 2002 with 500 spectators, attendance has grown to 3,000. It's a volunteer event presented by The Association of Artists for A Better World.

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