Recent Posts

Sled Island returns to Calgary: A cornucopia of musical flavours!

Really, it’s not “Sled Island in Calgary” so much as “Calgary at Sled Island”. Because we are, finally (at Sled Island again), and there are (Calgarians listening and performing here), ecstatically! We’re happy to be talking to new Calgary musical adventures, as further proof of the fertility of the local musical garden; not just a reaction to our pandemic isolation, but a result of the cross-fertilization that we’ve somehow achieved out here on the prairies.
Continue Reading >Sled Island returns to Calgary: A cornucopia of musical flavours!

Crystal Shawanda isn’t bigger than the blues, but her voice might get close!!

Crystal Shawanda is driving fearlessly across Michigan while we speak: unlike earlier less-pragmatic musicians we’ve spoken with (I’m looking at you, Ms. Hou!) she’s a passenger in the Shawanda travelling revue, and the simple fact that this exists following the Dark Ages of the Covid Times is a delight!
Continue Reading >Crystal Shawanda isn’t bigger than the blues, but her voice might get close!!

John & I: These Rutherfords got the blues

On October 19th, 2021, after potentially crossing each other’s music trails since about 1985, John Rutherford and I sat down to have only the 2nd conversation we’ve ever had. the first was on the night of the 44th Canadian federal election a month ago, as I left the scrolling numbers to listen to his set in the hallowed Blues Can, and was finally able to break our dialogic silence.
Continue Reading >John & I: These Rutherfords got the blues

Kurt Loewen and Folk friends: A human touch despite social distancing

Listen to an excerpt of this interview on Apple Podcasts

Kurt Loewen has been to Calgary before: in fact, his parents still live here, as evidenced by them sitting just behind us when he and other locals performed at an outdoor concert in Ramsay in mid-September. It was a very folky, friendly, family event with other young adults and some parents and acquaintances wandering through the shared 2-yard space
Continue Reading >Kurt Loewen and Folk friends: A human touch despite social distancing

Keep the fire Burning Part 4: In front of an audience with the Mountain View Festival!

When I start complaining about my insistent cat, and how she’s determined to have her own opinions shared during my interview with the Mountain View Festival Artistic Director, her dog very quickly decides to voice his own remonstrations for the recording as well.

Arn’t we here to talk about the first live performance with an audience in over a year for the International Festival of Song and Chamber Music Society? Or are we here to complain about pets? The … Continue Reading >Keep the fire Burning Part 4: In front of an audience with the Mountain View Festival!

Keep the fire Burning Part 3: When pop met jazz at the proArts Society

When MUSICAlive! first gets Mark Limacher on the phone after listening to his most recent collection of piano improvisations, Things That Seemed Important At The Time, we were left wondering how this interesting assemblage of “quiet, slow, boring” works related to the boundary between pop and jazz music of the 1910’s that he would present online Wednesday.
Continue Reading >Keep the fire Burning Part 3: When pop met jazz at the proArts Society

Keep the fire burning Part 1: The Blues Can Survives!

I’ve got a briefcase over my shoulder, a white cane in my hand, and three layers over my head and covering my ears and shoulders in something that isn’t quite enough. My legs already hurt from the cold, and I’m not even at the bus stop yet!

Fortunately, the driver knows where the Blues Can is, probably because he drives past it daily in Inglewood along 9th Avenue at 14th St. He looks longingly at the curved roof with its promise of fresh as live music, and fresh as local beer.
Continue Reading >Keep the fire burning Part 1: The Blues Can Survives!

Andrea Koziol: ‘Let’s just make a record!’ Folk? Jazz? Improvise!!

As to where she’s been geographically, Andrea Koziol has performed from the east to the west coast of Canada, and up north and down in the prairies as well. Musically, though, the trail has been less clear.

“Both of (my most recent) albums I worked on with my husband, Tom Neuspiel, who … Continue Reading >Andrea Koziol: ‘Let’s just make a record!’ Folk? Jazz? Improvise!!

Gabrielle Papillon not just a Troubadour Singer/songwriting while Social distancing

When we originally contacted Gabrielle Papillon through her Pigeon row Records promoters, she was completely thrown by the phone call.

We had arranged to give her a day’s breather after arriving home in Canada from songwriting work in England, as it seemed likely she’d want some time to recover from the jet lag. Then the pandemic caught fire! Given that the tour she was returning home for was subsequently cancelled, and that there had been some question of her even managing to get on a flight with the Covid-19 wildfire sweeping across Europe, the last thing Gabrielle … Continue Reading >Gabrielle Papillon not just a Troubadour Singer/songwriting while Social distancing

Perfect Cadence Wind Quintet: ‘Chamber Music is Conversation Among Friends’

Listen to an excerpt of this interview on Apple Podcasts

We sit down with Jonathan Gresl, the bassoonist of the Perfect Cadence Wind Quintet. and His Fox Renard 222 looks impressive at their recent performance.

“It is not even the most expensive bassoon you can get,” explains Jonathan. “This one is…” … Continue Reading >Perfect Cadence Wind Quintet: ‘Chamber Music is Conversation Among Friends’

A ‘Femme Wave’ brings art & music awareness in Festival form

When MUSICAlive! first hears about the 2019 Femm Wave Festival, it’s only a few days away! But it sounds too cool to miss, and fortunately both our photographer and the Board Member manning the front desk are willing to help us put it together for our fearless readers: we made it to Calgary’s Feminist Music & Arts Festival!
Continue Reading >A ‘Femme Wave’ brings art & music awareness in Festival form

Wicked Grin Believes the Blues Can Help Good People in Bad Times

When MUSICAlive! first learns about Murray Kinsley’s guitars for the blues-rock mix of Wicked Grin’s latest album, it’s pretty encouraging!
“I use a Fender Telecaster modified Thinline (and) I call it the ‘Frenken-Tele’ that’s the modified part); I have a 61 Strat that I used on it, and a … Continue Reading >Wicked Grin Believes the Blues Can Help Good People in Bad Times

From the Beauty to the Pragmatics of Performance: Karl Hirzer and the Calgary Philharmonic

Listen to an excerpt of this interview on Apple Podcasts

MUSICAlive caught up with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra’s newest Associate Conductor, Karl Hirzer. After some back and forth, the conversation started with the absolute basics.
“What is your job as a conductor?” we ask.
Continue Reading >From the Beauty to the Pragmatics of Performance: Karl Hirzer and the Calgary Philharmonic