Victoria Bluegrass Association Logo: Bringing People together for the Preservation, Enjoyment and Advancement of Bluegrass and Related Acoustic Music.

Past Events -2012
Tuesday January 10th 8:00pm Orange Hall, 1620 Fernwood Rd (map)
Special Concert: Tony Furtado with Luke Price
Tony Furtado began his recording career with a 10-year stint at Rounder Records working with the likes of Allison Krauss, Kelly Joe Phelps and Jerry Douglas. During that time, he was drawn to slide guitar by players like Ry Cooder and David Lindley. Over the years,Tony continued to broaden his musical palette and began singing and songwriting as well. He’s been called a genius on banjo and slide guitar and his own hybrid of Americana and indie rock is captivating. Onstage, whether playing with a band or solo, he owns the room, mixing stories of his travels with musicianship that is off the charts. Now, a confident, charming live performer, Tony’s newer material reveals a range of topics and emotion far beyond the expected.
Luke Price is a talented young player known for his great balance of taste, rhythm, and technical ability. He pushes genres, styles, and fellow musicians into new territory while respecting the great musical traditions that have come before. At a young age, Luke began competing in fiddle contests and made a name for himself winning the National Title at ages 12 and 17, along with many awards from contests all across the country including the Fiddlers Frolics in Hallettsville, Texas and Grand Masters in Nashville, Tennessee. While continuing with Texas fiddling and contest traditions, he expanded his playing to many other styles: jazz, soul, blues, funk, bluegrass, and pop. After completing his B.A. in Professional Music at the esteemed Berklee College of Music, he moved west to Portland, where he continues to record and perform his original music. He teaches privately, while also serving as an Associate Professor at Lewis & Clark College. Luke is passionate about passing on fiddling traditions, while creating new music measured with taste, technical control, and joy.
Doors open: 7:30 pm
Tickets: $20 general, $15 for VBA members, sold at any VBA event or tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca
More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca

Wednesday January 11th 7:30pm to 9:30pm Location TBA
Workshops: Tony Furtado -and- Luke Price
Tony's banjo workshop will cover various techniques and tunings that he employs in his style that others might find interesting and rewarding to explore. There will be plenty of room for questions and sidepaths.
Luke has found that bowing and improvisation are the areas where most string players can improve the greatest.
His fiddle workshop will focus on bowing and improvisation in various styles.

Both workshops are intended for intermediate/advanced players, but anyone is welcome. Hands on for those who like, or folks can just come, ask questions, record/video, listen. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from a couple of masters.
Fees: $30 general, $25 for VBA members
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Space is very limited. You must pre-register, and to avoid disappointment please register now.

Tuesday January 17th 7:45pm Orange Hall, 1620 Fernwood Rd (map)
Theme Jam: Songs of Hank Williams

For our first theme jam, we move slightly outside the traditional bluegrass tent to sing and pick in honour of Country Music's greatest legend. Larry Stevens and Bob McKechnie lead this jam devoted exclusively to the songs of Hank Williams.

These jams are like any other - you are welcome to join the inner circle - but need to bring along a Hank song to share. You are strongly encouraged to bring songs you have rehearsed and can perform comfortably. Some of you like to work from a songbook or chart, and that is ok, but everyone will have the most fun if you can perform without burying your face in a book. Players need to be proficient enough to follow the chords, keep a good rhythm, and perhaps take the odd break. Listeners and quiet plunkers outside the circle are welcome too.

Admission: Players: $3 general, $2 VBA members, Listeners: by donation
More info: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Saturday January 28th 2:00pm to 4:00pm Location TBA
Workshop: Rhythm Guitar with Chris Herbst
Eschew the G

Are you stuck in G-position, a little nervous about trying out something fancy in another key ? In this workshop, you will learn to play bluegrass and country guitar classics in keys other than G. We'll check out the different qualities of each position, all without a capo.

Tabbed handouts in the keys of E, D, A, C will be provided, showing basic bass runs and some tag licks.

This workshop is for players who know basic chords, and who are comfortable changing between them. Space is limited. You must pre-register, and to avoid disappointment please register now.

Fees: $25 general, $20 for VBA members
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday January 31st 9:00pm Orange Hall, 1620 Fernwood Rd (map)
Feature Act: The Sirens

Lisa Feeney and Jamie Elliott met in 2005 at the University of Victoria and ever since they've been singing and playing all over town. The girls developed a love for old-time music and started a trio with banjo player Caroline Tanner. The three girls danced and sang and played for many joyful years until Caroline headed south, leaving Jamie and Lisa as a duo.

This past summer, the two sirens were dancing around, as they do, and fate came a knockin'. An endlessly beautiful and talented young woman named Ali Romanow would soon be persuaded to join the fun with the two singing sirens. They will make their guitars, banjos, fiddles and occasionally trumpets ring through the rafters for all to enjoy.

Stay well away if you fear enchantment !

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 250-886-2614 or email openstage@vicbluegrass.ca

Admission: $7 general, $5 for VBA members, free for open stage performers
More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Saturday February 11th 10:00am to Noon Location TBA
Workshop: The 'Nome and You with Shanti Bremer
Using the Metronome Effectively
. . . and other counting exercises

We will learn how to use a metronome, and how to employ the 'Nome to improve your timing and rhythm. We'll explore using these skills for other areas of playing, such as kickoffs and going between breaks and backup. The goal will be to learn to love the 'Nome, and to develop an intimate relationship with this amazing tool!

All levels and all instruments invited. Space is limited. You must pre-register, and to avoid disappointment please register now.

Fees: $25 general, $20 for VBA members
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday February 14th 7:45pm Orange Hall, 1620 Fernwood Rd (map)
Theme Jam: Valentines Day Massacre

Ah, there is nothing like a murder ballad to stir the soul of a bluegrass fan. Knoxville Girl, Banks of the Ohio, Pretty Polly, Caleb Meyer, Katy Dear - you get the idea. Cluny Macpherson and Chris Herbst host this romantic evening of songs about murder, mayhem and madness. Bring along your main squeeze and a bloody weapon, er, song.

These jams are like any other - you are welcome to join the inner circle - but need to bring along a song or tune to share. You are strongly encouraged to bring songs you have rehearsed and can perform comfortably. Players need to be proficient enough to follow the chords, keep a good rhythm, and perhaps take the odd break. Listeners and quiet plunkers outside the circle are welcome too.

Admission: Players: $3 general, $2 VBA members, Listeners: by donation
More info: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Saturday February 25th 2:00pm to 4:00pm Location TBA
Workshop: Vocal Basics with Ali Romanow
Power and Protect Your Voice

Singing is the bedrock of bluegrass music, and everyone possesses the required instrument. But like any other instrument, the voice needs care and practise to be at its best.

We'll study proper breathing techniques, how to safely expand your vocal range, and how to keep good vocal hygiene. Plus some basic lead and harmony singing.

This workshop will be an interactive and supportive group class for all levels and abilities. Space is limited. You must pre-register, and to avoid disappointment please register now.

Fees: $25 general, $20 for VBA members
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday February 28th 9:00pm Orange Hall, 1620 Fernwood Rd (map)
Feature Act: The Riverside Trio

The Riverside Trio is a high energy and entertaining gospel group with a soulful sound inspired by faith and bluegrass gospel traditions. Angus MacKenzie (guitar) and Eric Adams (bass) have been hammering out bluegrass music together for the past decade, and with the addition of Paul Lange (mandolin) the harmonies are even sweeter. They bring it home everywhere they perform to the delight of audiences of all ages.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 250-886-2614 or email openstage@vicbluegrass.ca

Admission: $7 general, $5 for VBA members, free for open stage performers
More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Saturday March 3rd 2:00pm to 4:00pm Location TBA
Workshop: Bluegrass Fiddle with Miriam Sonstenes

Bluegrass Fiddle Basics

If you're a fiddle player eager to try out some of the challenging and exciting elements of bluegrass fiddling, this workshop is for you! We'll be covering all the basics, from using a melody to build a break, to chopping and backing up a singer. Chording, bow technique and exercises for improved intonation will also be covered, to help get you sounding like a bluegrass fiddler and knowing what to do in a bluegrass jam!

This workshop is for intermediate and advanced players, but listeners and novices without their instruments are invited too. Space is limited. You must pre-register, and to avoid disappointment please register now.

Fees: $25 general, $20 for VBA members
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday March 20th 7:45pm Orange Hall, 1620 Fernwood Rd (map)
Theme Jam: Spring Break-Up, Spring Make-Up

On this first day of spring, Colleen O'Brien and Elizabeth Bergen guide us through the confounding seas of broken hearts and rekindled love.

These jams are like any other - you are welcome to join the inner circle - but you need to bring a song or tune to share. You are strongly encouraged to bring songs you have rehearsed and can perform comfortably. Players need to be proficient enough to follow the chords, keep a good rhythm, and perhaps take the odd break. Listeners and quiet plunkers outside the circle are welcome too.

Admission: Players: $3 general, $2 VBA members, Listeners: by donation
More info: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Saturday March 24th 2:00pm to 4:00pm Location TBA
Workshop: Banjo Backup with Doug Van Dine
Introduction to Banjo Backup

In a bluegrass band or jam setting, being able to play banjo in an accompanying or back-up role is extremely important. In this 2-hour workshop, Doug Van Dine will present his 12-step program for relatively simple, yet effective 5-String Bluegrass Banjo Back-up.

Although geared to intermediate players, less advanced players will benefit from attending and taking home the handouts. Space is limited. You must pre-register, and to avoid disappointment please register now.

Fees: $25 general, $20 for VBA members
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday March 27th 9:00pm Orange Hall, 1620 Fernwood Rd (map)
Feature Act: Bryon Clayton Thomas

These Cowichan Valley favourites have been harmonizing together for over a decade. Bryon Thompson, Clayton Long and Tom Horsfal share music gathered from many styles across folk and bluegrass traditions. Something serious, something new, always engaging, always entertaining, they'll share some songs and a laugh or two. We welcome them back to the VBA after a long hiatus.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 250-886-2614 or email openstage@vicbluegrass.ca

Admission: $7 general, $5 for VBA members, free for open stage performers
More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Friday March 30th 8:00pm Orange Hall, 1620 Fernwood Rd (map)
Special Concert: The Canotes

Hearing single, seeing double! With fiddle, banjo, ukuleles and genetically matched voices, identical twins Greg and Jere Canote bring back fun, vintage American music – including forgotten fiddle tunes, swing classics and quirky novelty songs. National Public Radio fans may remember them as the affable side-kicks on Sandy Bradley's Potluck for 13 years.

You just gotta see them, she's a-gonna be a hum-dinger !

Doors open: 7:30 pm
Tickets: $20 general, $15 for VBA members, sold at any VBA event or tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca
More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Saturday March 31st 7:30pm St Matthias Church Hall (map)
Contradance: The Canotes

That's right, The Canotes are in town all weekend. During the day on Saturday, they will be leading some fiddle, guitar and ukelele workshops at Larsen Music. Check it out.

The third part of the Canote Brothers Trilogy is a contra dance with music by two great foot-lifters. All dances taught on the spot, no experience necessary. For all ages. Presented by Victoria Contra Dance

Introductory session at 7:00pm
Admission: $8 general
More info: 250.384.7823 or email info@VictoriaContraDance.com
Friday April 6th 6:30pm and 9:00pm Orange Hall (map)
Concert: Foggy Hogtown Boys with Ivan Rosenberg

The Foggies love Victoria, and we love the Foggies. Every spring, as winter lingers in Hogtown, the boys make a western pilgrimage, to taste the air and breathe the water of the eternally-green west coast.

This year, they are carrying a brand new CD produced by Portland's dobro deacon Ivan Rosenberg, and engineered by Andrew Collins. The Hogtown Sessions features 7 golden age covers and 4 original tunes, presented in a pre-modern bluegrass style - raw and uninhibited with life's pleasure and pain brought right to the surface.

Expect stellar playing, edgy harmonies, and a full house for Canada's best-known bluegrass band.

TWO SHOWS: 6:30pm and 9:00pm
Tickets: $20 general, $15 for VBA members, sold at any VBA event or
email your reservation here for the early show or late show.
More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca

Saturday April 14th 2:00pm to 4:00pm Location TBA
Workshop: Arranging for Performance with Mike Brooks
Arranging Bluegrass Music for Performance

What does it mean to "arrange" a tune? Depending on the type of music and the situation, it can mean many things. In blues-based forms such as bluegrass, it's usually a matter of working with a fairly simple verse/chorus structure. Yet within that limitation there are many possibilities for presenting a song or tune that show the signs of having had some thought put into it. Singing, rhythm, solos etc. are all important and once those elements are in place, you have a cake. Arranging is the icing on the cake and that's what this workshop will cover.

There will be some talking, some listening, time for questions and finally, a live demonstration where we'll arrange a song on the spot. Space is limited. You must pre-register, and to avoid disappointment please register now.

Fees: $25 general, $20 for VBA members
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday April 17th 7:45pm Orange Hall, 1620 Fernwood Rd (map)
Theme Jam: Gospel Songs

No matter what your spiritual leaning, there is no denying that gospel songs are a wonderful and powerful force in bluegrass music. Cluny Macpherson will guide us to the light, so come just as you are to walk that golden road into the safety of the everlasting arms.

These jams are like any other - you are welcome to join the inner circle - but you need to bring a song or tune to share. You are strongly encouraged to bring songs you have rehearsed and can perform comfortably. Players need to be proficient enough to follow the chords, keep a good rhythm, and perhaps take the odd break. Listeners and quiet plunkers outside the circle are welcome too.

Admission: Players: $3 general, $2 VBA members, Listeners: by donation
More info: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday April 24th 9:00pm Orange Hall, 1620 Fernwood Rd (map)
Feature Act: Four Chords of Wood

These boys lay down hard-driving traditional Bluegrass, from gospel to foot-to-the-floor ravers, original compositions and timeless classics. Their authentic sound is brought to life by first-class arrangements, soul-inspired lead vocals, and experienced heartfelt harmony. This band puts on a show. Beneath the sartorial splendour of white Stetsons, they weave around a single microphone to deliver tight harmonies and superb instrument solos in a captivating performance with a truly unique retrophonic twist.

Phil Shaver from Erin Ontario fronts the act with his solid rhythm guitar and classic bluegrass voice in the key of high lonesome. Aaron Murray out of Moncton New Brunswick adds a traditional bluesy Monroe-style mandolin and a solid tenor voice. They work together on the songwriting. Dave Klassen out of Vancouver anchors the band morally and musically with his straight-forward upright bass. Banjo & Fiddle will be covered by our west coast local guns, Mike Kraft & Adrian Dolan.

If you are a lover of bluegrass, expect to be entertained with this must see combo.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 250-886-2614 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: $7 general, $5 for VBA members, free for open stage performers
More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Saturday April 28th 2:00pm to 4:00pm Location TBA
Workshop: Mandolin with Aaron Murray
The Blue Side Of Bluegrass Mandolin

We will have an interactive look and listen to our favourite genre's darker and mournful qualities. We will get comfortable tapping into this emotional style of playing by exploring a little bit of history, a little bit of theory, and a whole lot of jamming. Aaron will have some hand-outs, but bring a recorder if you wish.

Space is limited. You must pre-register, and to avoid disappointment please register now.

Fees: $25 general, $20 for VBA members
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Saturday May 12th 2:00pm to 4:00pm Location TBA
Workshop: Swing Rhythm Guitar with Paul Washington
Beginning Swing Rhythm Guitar

For those who want to get started in the exciting world of swing guitar. It's easy when you know how! You will learn the essential, moveable chord forms used in swing, the string-damping technique used in the chording hand, and what to do with your strumming hand and arm. We start with simple songs. We build up to understanding the typical chord progressions used in western swing, early jazz, the "standards," Broadway show tunes, etc. If you like to sing, so much the better. The workshop is for those already comfortable playing "regular chords" used in bluegrass.

Space is limited. You must pre-register, and to avoid disappointment please register now.

Fees: $25 general, $20 for VBA members
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday May 15th 7:45pm Orange Hall, 1620 Fernwood Rd (map)
Theme Jam: Ramblers, Robbers, Wrecks and Runaways
Train Songs

Barney Hiney and Elizabeth Bergen listen to the jingle, the rumble and the roar, building steam as they bring Old 97 and its lonesome whistle through the curves, fills and tunnels, making up time, avoiding Jesse and the boys, bringing in the Georgia mail.

These jams are like any other - you are welcome to join the inner circle - but you need to bring a song or tune to share. You are strongly encouraged to bring songs you have rehearsed and can perform comfortably. Players need to be proficient enough to follow the chords, keep a good rhythm, and perhaps take the odd break. Listeners and quiet plunkers outside the circle are welcome too.

Admission: Players: $3 general, $2 VBA members, Listeners: by donation
More info: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday May 29th 9:00pm Orange Hall, 1620 Fernwood Rd (map)
Feature Act: Elena Yeung & Karl Sommerfeld

When you first listen to Elena Yeung perform, you’ll probably wonder from which old folk record or songbook she dug her repertoire from. Growing up in Carberry, Manitoba, moving to places far and wide in Canada including St. John’s, NL and Inuvik, NWT, and finally settling in the agrarian community of Creston, BC, Elena’s songwriting is inspired by timeless and universal themes of day-to-day life. Though most songs are presented with Elena’s persistent, driving banjo roll, the music often has elements of folk, old-time, and country.

Elena is joined by Karl Sommerfeld on fiddle and harmony vocals. Beginning at age 5 by learning Canadian fiddle tunes and classical violin, Karl began playing with local country bands and other eclectic musicians when he moved back to his hometown of Creston in 2005.

Elena and Karl began playing together in 2009, when Karl became addicted to the endless pursuit of bluegrass music. His playing and singing are featured on Elena’s newest CD, Dandelion. At times appearing as a 4-piece band, Elena and Karl also put on a pared-down performance combining fiery fiddle/banjo chemistry.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 250-886-2614 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: $7 general, $5 for VBA members, free for open stage performers
More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca

Summer is here, and the bluegrass focus changes from the Orange Hall to the various festivals, jams and gatherings in the area. Our regular Tuesday night jam at the Orange Hall continues over July & August, as a festival-style jam. All pickers and singers welcome.

We are busy planning the fall schedule, including feature acts, workshops and special concerts. See you all in September !

By the way, this 2005 photo shows Jack playing the bass from Don Messer's band (now George Robinson's instrument).

Are you from out-of-town and looking to pick some tunes ? Give our president Alan Law a call at 250-388-4520 or email president@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday September 25th 9:00pm Orange Hall, 1620 Fernwood Rd (map)
Feature Act: The Maple Mountain Boys

The Maple Mountain Boys are a bluegrass band based in the Cowichan Valley who are quickly becoming fan favourites. Bringing together a group of veteran and new musicians, they showcase their own unique style of hard driving bluegrass that ranges from easy listening to traditional flavoured songs. A crowd pleaser, they will definitely make you sit up and take notice! Lead by multi-instrumentalist Jeff Ellis on mandolin and vocals, they feature Mike "Boomer" Boyd on guitar and vocals, Mike Dempster on banjo and Barry Fairall on acoustic bass.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: $7 general, $5 for VBA members, free for open stage performers
More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday October 16th 8:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Special Concert: The Downtown Mountain Boys

Based in Seattle, this band is Washington's most exciting and accomplished bluegrass band. Veteran bluegrassers Terry Enyeart (bass and vocals), Dave Keenan (banjo and vocals), Don Share (guitar and vocals), Tom Moran (mandolin), and Paul Elliott (fiddle), seen for years in many bands and many styles, have come together in a match made in musical heaven. Take three-part harmonies that send shivers up your spine, add dazzling instrumental firepower, and you have the sound of The DownTown Mountain Boys.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
Tickets: $20 general, $15 for VBA members, sold at any VBA event or tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca
More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday October 30th 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: The BAADD Boys

The BAADD Boys love playing together and you can see it. Bring on the honkytonk - bluegrass, country, and western swing, styled explicitly for the enjoyment of of a listening audience. Featuring Bob McKechnie (guitar), Aaron Murray (mandolin), Aaron Ellingsen (fiddle), Doug VanDine (banjo), Dave Klassen (bass)

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: $7 general, $5 for VBA members, free for open stage performers
More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday November 27th 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Clover Point Drifters

Way back at the turn of the century, these experienced and distinguished gentlemen combined their considerable years to form the Clover Point Drifters. They have been local favourites ever since. Bluegrass Unlimited said of their latest album: "traditional bluegrass at its finest." Yes, indeed. Don't miss these guys - always an entertaining show. Featuring Alan Law (guitar), Dan Parker (mandolin), Larry Stevens (dobro), Mike Kraft (banjo), George Robinson (bass)

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: $7 general, $5 for VBA members, free for open stage performers
More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday December 18th 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Holiday Jam and Fundraiser

Holidays got you bent out of shape ? Well c'mon down to the VBA party !

This fundraiser event for the Mustard Seed is our annual end of year holiday event. All proceeds from this evening including your regular jam admission fee will be donated. Also we will be collecting canned goods, gently used clothes, particularly outerwear), blankets, bedding, towels and last but not least, financial donations.

Doug Van Dine will be running his famous bluegrass oriented auction. Let us know if you have something entertaining, quirky, or bizarre that you think might be an interesting auction item.

Come for the whole evening and enjoy snacks and festivities with friends new and old. Please bring your favourite finger food to share (savoury or sweet); your instrument if you plan to jam or enter the band scramble, and deep pockets for Doug’s fabulous bluegrass oriented auction.

We'll also have a Band Scramble - where bands are formed via selections from a hat. Bands are then given a few minutes to name their group, work up a song and later perform it on stage. You won’t want to miss this event.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The deadline for signing up for the band scramble is 7:45pm, so don’t miss out.

Admission: $3 general, $2 for VBA members, and bring a donation to the Mustard Seed
More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca

Past Events -2013
Tuesday January 22nd 8:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Special Concert: David Grier

Born in Washington, D.C. in 1961, a family move to Nashville at age 3 fully immersed David Grier into the bluegrass music world, and at age 6, he began playing the guitar. Today, he is regarded as one of the premier acoustic guitarists in the world, along with his early influences, Doc Watson, Tony Rice, and family friend Clarence White.

Recognized by Acoustic Guitar Magazine in 2000 as one of the Artists of the Decade, and named Guitar Player of the Year three times by the International Bluegrass Music Association, Grier has played on four Grammy Award-winning albums (True Life Blues: A Tribute to Bill Monroe; The Great Dobro Sessions; Alison Brown’s Fairweather; and Amazing Grace 2: A Country Salute to Gospel).

Having released four albums on Rounder, beginning in 1988 with Freewheeling, Grier launched his own label, Dreadnought Recordings, with the 1998 debut release, Hootenanny, with Dirk Powell and Tim O’Brien (“endlessly inventive and tasteful” - All Music Guide). His most recent release, Evocative (Dreadnought 2009), featuring 10 original tunes and a rich complement of collaborators (Victor Wooten, Paul Franklin, Stuart Duncan and more), has been hailed for its “deep musical introspection” as well as its “unmatchable mastery of the guitar” (Martin Mull). Other Dreadnought releases include the highly-acclaimed Live at the Linda (2007) and I’ve Got the House to Myself (2002) (“unfettered explosive invention” - Tim O’Brien).

Doors open: 7:30 pm
Tickets: $20 general, $15 for VBA members, sold at any VBA event or tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca
More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Wednesday January 23rd 7:30pm location TBA
Workshop: Intermediate Flatpick Guitar with David Grier

Already on your way but not sure where you're going? Award-winning flatpicker David Grier will help you figure out how to move from "just getting by" to truly being proud of your picking.

David really individualizes his classes so bring your questions and challenges to this workshop. He'll know exactly how to move your playing to the next level.

Space is limited. You must pre-register, and to avoid disappointment please register now.

Fee: $50 Special deal for VBA Members only: Concert + Workshop for $60 !
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Saturday January 26th 2:00pm to 4:00pm Location TBA
Workshop: Bluegrass Fiddle with Miriam Sonstenes

Bluegrass Fiddle Basics

If you're a fiddle player eager to delve into the world of bluegrass fiddling, this workshop is for you! It's part 2 of last year's workshop, but part 1 is not a prerequisite. We'll be reviewing all the basics, from chopping and backing up a singer, to using a melody to build a break. Basic chording, bow technique and exercises for improved intonation will also be covered, to help get you sounding like a bluegrass fiddler and knowing what to do in a bluegrass jam!

This workshop is for intermediate and advanced players, but listeners and novices without their instruments are invited too. Space is limited. You must pre-register, and to avoid disappointment please register now.

Fees: $25 general, $20 for VBA members
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday January 29th 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Tad Ruszel and Miki Klaver

Tad and Miki have been playing music individually for over 15 years, and together for 4. Their experience with music and life lends an authenticity and sense of fun to their harmonies, picking and playful performances. Their influences range from Tim O'Brien to Hazel Dickens, with the occasional original song thrown in the mix.

Tad discovered bluegrass during a reggae jam at Islands Folk Fest. He has been a part of the Island Bluegrass scene the past 3 years with his former band Skagway, who have played Sooke, Coombs and Lighthouse Bluegrass festivals to name a few.

Miki came to bluegrass after studying Jazz at McGill University. She is currently touring and playing in the oldtime duo, Lonesome Pine Special whose debut CD is set to be released in early February.

Join them for an evening of old and new time bluegrass songs, along with some very special guests.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: $7 general, $5 for VBA members, free for open stage performers
More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Saturday February 16th 2:00pm to 4:00pm Location TBA
Workshop: Banjo with Shanti Bremer

Finding the Melody on Your Banjo

Whether you play Scruggs or Clawhammer style, this workshop will help you improve your ability to find and pick the melody to any tune.

We will go over a few scales, then look at finding basic melodies on the banjo. Once you get the melody, we'll explore how to "banjo-fy" it, for either style.

This workshop is for beginning and intermediate players, but listeners and others without their instruments are invited too. Space is limited. You must pre-register, and to avoid disappointment please register now.

Fees: $25 general, $20 for VBA members
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Saturdays Feb 23rd and Mar 2nd 2:00pm to 4:00pm Location TBA
Workshop: Harmony Singing with Bryon Thompson

Bluegrass Harmony Singing

Bryon Thompson is a graduate from both UVIC Music and Malaspina Jazz departments. His love for vocal harmony is evident in the music of Bryon, Clayton, Thomas and various other groups he has performed in. His favorite thing to do is to help others discover their love of music by using their unique built in instrument.

In this workshop we will learn healthy singing practices, how to find your singing voice/key, how to sing harmonies, build dynamics and practise the art of blending. We will also cover some music theory basics.

Students in this workshop don't need to have any harmony singing experience. Come ready to sing out and have fun! At the end of the two workshops, you will be on your way creating two, three and four part bluegrass vocal harmonies.

Space is limited. You must pre-register, and to avoid disappointment please register now.

Fees: $40 general, $30 for VBA members (both sessions) or $25/$20 for one session
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Saturdays Feb 23rd and Mar 2nd 2:00pm to 4:00pm Location TBA
Workshop: Harmony Singing with Bryon Thompson

Bluegrass Harmony Singing

Bryon Thompson is a graduate from both UVIC Music and Malaspina Jazz departments. His love for vocal harmony is evident in the music of Bryon, Clayton, Thomas and various other groups he has performed in. His favorite thing to do is to help others discover their love of music by using their unique built in instrument.

In this workshop we will learn healthy singing practices, how to find your singing voice/key, how to sing harmonies, build dynamics and practise the art of blending. We will also cover some music theory basics.

Students in this workshop don't need to have any harmony singing experience. Come ready to sing out and have fun! At the end of the two workshops, you will be on your way creating two, three and four part bluegrass vocal harmonies.

SOLD OUT, sorry.

Fees: $40 general, $30 for VBA members (both sessions) or $25/$20 for one session
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday February 26th 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Zev Roman and Friends

Zev Roman formerly of the Moonshiners and Last Train, has been singing and playing bluegrass in Victoria for many years. With some close musical friends, he will be sharing some of his favorite folk and bluegrass songs.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: $7 general, $5 for VBA members, free for open stage performers
More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Saturday March 9th 11:00am to 1:00pm Location TBA
Workshop: Dobro with Chris Herbst

Making Use of Patterns

Students will learn to visualize several different patterns that will allow them to play in both major and minor keys up and down the neck. We will look at some useful ways of using the open strings even when we are not in the key of G or capoed and we will also explore some of those pesky slant chords that everybody loves.

Feel free to bring a recording device and lots of questions.

This workshop will be tailored for all levels of player. Space is limited. You must pre-register, and to avoid disappointment please register now.

After the workshop, we'll all head down to Logan's for the Bluegrass Brunch !

Fees: $25 general, $20 for VBA members
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday March 26th 8:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
All Open Stage Night

Since there is a big show on Saturday, instead of a feature act we are holding an open stage night. Get your bluegrass/old time band together and work up a few songs to play for the appreciative crowd. Solos, Duets, Trio, and full bands welcome--we’d like to see something from everyone. Admission by donation for all players and viewers (we have to contribute to the rent somehow!)

Doors open: 7:30 pm
You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca. Admission by donation.

More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Saturday March 30th 8:00pm Oak Bay United Church (map)
Special Concert: Local All Star Bluegrass Celebration

The Sooke Bluegrass Festival has been reborn, and to celebrate (and gather some seed money) the Sooke River Festival Society has teamed up with the VBA to produce this gala event. Victoria's finest bluegrass bands are on the bill, and it's sure to be a great show. Featuring Clover Point Drifters, The Sweet Lowdown, Riverside Trio, and The Moonshiners.

Tickets: $20 general, at McPherson box office and Oak Bay United Church.

SPECIAL PRICE OF $15 FOR VBA MEMBERS, available at VBA events or by reservation only.

To Reserve: phone Colleen at 250-388-4520 or email tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca
Friday April 12th 8:00pm Fairfield United Church (map)
Special Concert: Foghorn Stringband

Internationally acclaimed Foghorn Stringband has been at the vanguard of a revival in American old-time music for over a decade now. They've traveled the globe and inspired a new generation of old-time musicians without compromising their love of traditional American music. But they've gathered new ideas and new band members too. Their unique sound is rooted in the fiery, intertwining melodies of Stephen "Sammy" Lind's fiddle and Caleb Klauder's mandolin, supported by the bedrock-solid rhythm foundation of Reeb Willms' guitar and Nadine Landry's bass. And when it comes to vocals, they deliver; four powerful and exceptional voices resulting in countless combinations of harmonies. A typical Foghorn set is based around exquisitely rare old-time tunes and songs, but a vast knowledge of early country music and recent explorations in Cajun song traditions have molded a powerful new sound. Any band would be happy to have mastered one music genre, but Foghorn Stringband have a roaming spirit, and are already sparking new revivals of American roots music traditions.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
Tickets: $20 general, $15 for VBA members, sold at any VBA event or tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca
More info: bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca

And there is more !
The Foghorns will be in Victoria all weekend, hosting various workshops on Saturday afternoon and playing for a dance on Saturday night. Check out the other events below.

Saturday April 13th 2:00pm to 4:00pm Fernwood Comm Ctr (map)
Workshops: Foghorn Stringband

Fiddle: Sammy Lind

Bass: Nadine Landry

Harmony Singing: Caleb and Reeb

We can't think of a better way to spend an afternoon than to sit down and study with these masters of old-time music.

The workshops are for all levels of player. Space is limited. You can pre-register, and to avoid disappointment please register now.

Fees: $30
To Register: workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Saturday April 13th 7:30pm Fairfield United Church Hall (map)
Dance: Foghorn Stringband

We top off our tidal wave of old-time music with a dance in Fairfield United Church Hall. We'll have a special surprise caller, and no experience is needed - all dances will be called on the spot, and all ages are invited.

Tickets: $15 general, $12 for VBA members
To Reserve: tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca

Before the dance, at 6:30pm there will be a SPECIAL FLATFOOT CLOGGING WORKSHOP,
led by a great dancer. Admission by donation, must also have a Dance ticket.
Saturday April 20th 2:00pm to 4:00pm Location TBA
Workshop: Mandolin with Michael Brooks

Old Time Mandolin

We will begin with an overview of mandolin in old time music, including recorded examples and a discussion of the differences between old time and bluegrass styles. Playing techniques will be demonstrated through the teaching of two or three tunes. A list of resources for more information on old time mandolin will be distributed but NO TAB.

Please bring a recording device. The workshop will be recorded and a copy will be available at a later date.

Instruction will be tailored for a Beginning/Intermediate level of player. Space is limited. You must pre-register, and to avoid disappointment please register now.

Fees: $25 general, $20 for VBA members
To Register: workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday April 30th 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Pennyless Duo

Pennyless is a young and captivating old time duo based here in Victoria. Featuring Lisa Feeney on guitar and Damian Ritchie on fiddle, this relatively new combo formed in 2012. They inject new energy into timeless standards of the past. Their traditional performance & pure enchanting voices will have you toe tapping & singing along.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: $7 general, $5 for VBA members, free for open stage performers
More info: bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Saturday May 11th 2:00pm to 4:00pm Location TBA
Workshop: Old Time Fiddle with Miriam Sonstenes

Southern Old Time Fiddle Tunes for Jamming

Come learn a set of Victoria's standard old time fiddle tunes and be able to join in the next jam! This course will focus on tunes that get played, so you can apply what you learn and experience the fun of playing with others right away. We'll work out bowings, syncopations, and all the fun stuff that make these tunes "old timey". Tunes will be taught by ear with sheet music provided afterwards. Please bring a recording device.

This workshop is for intermediate and advanced players, but listeners and novices without their instruments are invited too. Space is limited. You must pre-register, and to avoid disappointment please register now.

Fees: $25 general, $20 for VBA members
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday May 28th 8:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
All Open Stage Night

Due to popular demand, we are having another open stage night. Get your bluegrass/old time band together and work up a few songs to play for the appreciative crowd. Solos, Duets, Trio, and full bands welcome--we’d like to see something from everyone. Admission by donation for all players and viewers (we have to contribute to the rent somehow!)

Doors open: 7:30 pm
You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca. Admission by donation.

More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday June 4th 7:30pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Annual General Meeting

The AGM is your opportunity to get involved, to give us input on what type of activities you would like to see the VBA organize, and to make suggestions on how to improve on anything we are doing at the present time.

If any member has "Other Business" they wish to raise at the AGM, please submit it in writing to any current board member, or call 250-388-4520 (Alan Law).

Only paid up 2013/2014 members can voice an opinion and vote at the meeting.

The meeting will be followed by a jam, so don't forget to bring your instruments. Cake too !

Tuesday September 3rd 7:45pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Beginner's Jam Resumes

Labour Day is past, Summer's almost gone, winter's coming on, so it's time to put away the white pants and head down to the VBA Slow Jam again.

Full details here.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday September 24th 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Tishomingo String Band

For the past 10 years the Tishomingo String Band have been treating Vancouver audiences to their own particularly haunting brand of high energy acoustic music. Featuring Colin Cowan (Dan Mangan/ Analog Bell Service) on upright bass, Chris Russell on guitar, Jacob Russell on Mandolin and Devon Wells (Clumsy Lovers) on banjo the group performs original and traditional material that runs the gamut from tender heartbreakers to barn burning instrumentals. Combining the drive of classic bluegrass with a notion to explore and a sense of humour the Tishomingo boys like to keep things lively and unpredictable.

The band has performed at various outdoor festivals and hosts a regular Sunday night bluegrass show at the Portside Pub in Gastown. They were featured on the cable access variety show Paul Anthony's Talent Time as well as the live music website Everyday Music Project and in the documentary film O World. They have one album Tish Boogie and are dangerously close to completing a second record.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
More info: bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Thursday October 3rd 8:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Special Concert: John Reischman and the Pine Siskins

The Pine Siskins is a new group John Reischman assembled to perform the music from his recent solo CD, Walk Along John. The all-instrumental recording includes nine new John Reischman originals, a few hand-picked traditional tunes, and a remake of the very first tune John wrote.

"Expect to find Walk Along John on a whack of 2013 top 10 lists, including mine." - Alex Varty, The Georgia Straight

This will be an opportunity for the audience to hear John play with a new cast of characters and features Steve Charles on bass, and Eli West on guitar and bouzouki.

As one of the acoustic music world's top-ranked mandolin players and composers, veteran artist John Reischman is renowned for his exquisite taste, tone and impeccable musicianship. As an original member of the legendary Tony Rice Unit, John helped to define the "new acoustic" instrumental scene in the early 1980s with appearances on the band's groundbreaking Rounder albums Still Inside and Backwaters. He cemented his reputation touring and recording for many years with the Bay Area's eclectic Good Ol' Persons before moving to Vancouver in the early 90s to pursue a solo career. His mastery of the instrument is showcased today in two primary musical outlets - the Juno-nominated bluegrass band John Reischman and the Jaybirds, and his instrumental duo with highly-regarded acoustic guitar stylist John Miller.

Eli West is one half of the highly acclaimed Northwest duo Cahalen Morrison & Eli West. He is an adventurous soloist equally adept at playing fiddle tunes and slow ballads. His rhythm playing features unusual and sophisticated chord voicings that strongly support the melody. Also adept at bouzouki, mandolin, and clawhammer banjo, he finds his musical identity in collaboration, and has created music in the Northwest with John Reischman, Tony Furtado, and many others.

Steve Charles is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and musical director from Vancouver, BC. He tours internationally with bands Viper Central, The Redboot Quartet and The Fugitives and is very active in Vancouver's music scene. He produced Whiskey Hollow Bound, a compilation CD of local Bluegrass and Old-time music. Highlights of the past few years include performances at many Folk Festivals, Fringe Festivals and Jazz Festivals across Canada, the U.S., and Europe. He arranged Leonard Cohen's music and acted in the productions of Chelsea Hotel at the Firehall Theatre.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
Tickets: $22 at Larsen Music, Long and McQuade. $18 for VBA members, sold only at VBA events. You can reserve tickets by sending your request details to tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca.
More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday October 15th 7:45pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Theme Jam: Fiddle Tunes

For our first theme jam of the season, we're making it easy for all you pickers to join in. While these tunes may have originated from old-time fiddle music, they are played by all bluegrass instruments. And you're welcome to sing any lyrics that go with these tunes. Moderated by Paul Moquin.

These jams are like any other - you are welcome to join the inner circle - but you need to bring a tune to share. You are strongly encouraged to bring songs you have rehearsed and can perform comfortably. Some of you like to work from a songbook or chart, and that is ok, but everyone will have the most fun if you can perform without burying your face in a book.

Tunes/Songs must meet the theme, and you cannot pass when it's your turn to select a tune. If you do not have a tune to lead that is in the theme, you must leave the circle, making room for someone else. Similarly, you cannot pass when it's your turn for a break (you can opt to play rhythm instead of taking any breaks).

Players need to be proficient enough to follow the chords and keep a good rhythm. Listeners and quiet plunkers outside the circle are welcome too.

Admission: Players: $3 general, $2 VBA members, Listeners: by donation
More info: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday October 29 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Dirksen Stevenson Trio

The Dirksen Stevenson Trio are award winning musicians Don and Therese Dirksen and Garry Stevenson. The trio has a choice repertoire of contemporary and traditional Bluegrass drawn from favourites compiled over many years.

The Dirksen's fine vocal blend has taken them to Louisville Kentucky, as finalists in the Pizza Hut International Bluegrass Showdown. Don is a multiple banjo contest winner, including two times Western Canadian Banjo Champion. On upright bass, Therese is a gifted luthiere, who studied with legendary luthier and musician Michael Dunn. Among the many fine guitars, mandolins and fiddles that she has built, is the banjo Don performs with. Therese and Don have two recordings featuring members of their award winning group, Goldstream.

Guitar wizard Garry Stevenson is a three time Western Canadian Guitar Champion and highly sought after performer, guitar and mandolin instructor. He is also a founding member of 5 On A String, one of the hardest working and enduring Bluegrass Bands in B.C. 5 On A String has multiple recordings and toured Vancouver Island this summer.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
Saturday Nov 2nd 2pm to 4pm Viv Shoemaker Activity Centre (map)
Workshop: Harmony Singing(1) with Bryon Thompson

Bluegrass Harmony Singing

Bryon Thompson is a graduate from both UVIC Music and Malaspina Jazz departments. His love for vocal harmony is evident in the music of Bryon, Clayton, Thomas and various other groups he has performed in. His favorite thing to do is to help others discover their love of music by using their unique built-in instrument.

Last year we learned how harmonies are built. This time round we will be focusing on learning actual harmonies from 6-10 Bluegrass Standards. Includes Mp3's plus charts, taught over two sessions (also Dec 7th: you can attend one or both.) you can add a handful of songs to your repertoire and enhance your jams with harmonies as well.

Come prepared to have fun. Bring instruments as well if you are comfortable with reading charts, but the class will be focusing on the singing. You don't need to have any harmony singing experience.

Fees: $40 general, $30 for VBA members (both sessions) or $25/$20 for one session
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Saturday Nov 9th 2pm to 4pm Viv Shoemaker Activity Centre (map)
Workshop: Flatpicking Guitar with Tad Ruszel

Beginning Flatpicked Guitar

Tad grew up steeped in acoustic music, but as a young teenager he was also a lover of the complexity and speed of metal guitarists. He quickly grew tired of the loudness and distortion, so when he heard Tony Rice's The Bluegrass Guitar Collection he realized that was what he wanted to do. It took a few years to start his own musical career, but 4 albums later, he is still as excited about it as when he heard Blackberry Blossom for the first time.

Tad performs regularly in many styles, and he has been a staple the Coombs and Sooke Bluegrass Festivals with his earlier band Skagway, and now his present group, The Mighty Moonshiners. He was also the guitar teacher at Mulberry Lane School of Music in Duncan BC.

In this workshop you will learn simple ways to train your hand and ear, learn the 2 most common chords shapes to flatpick out of, the scale patterns that go with them, a tune or two in each position, hand strengthening exercises, and how to begin finding the melody in a jam.

Please bring a capo. You will be welcome to record audio/video for your own personal use later on. Tad will summarize each lesson block at the end of each session.

Fees: $25 general, $20 for VBA members
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Saturday Nov 16th 2pm to 4pm Viv Shoemaker Activity Centre (map)
Workshop: Improvising with James Whittall

Improvising around a melody

Learn how to build solos and have them sound like the melody, while never playing the same thing twice.

This workshop will be focused on improvisation and how to use the main melody notes as a guide to creating your own solos. Expect to learn about major and minor pentatonic scales, blues notes and arpeggios and how to utilize and properly apply them in your "break". Then we will look at how to identify what scale/mode to use to try and capture the overall identity of the song. We will go over some "tricks" used by some of the best players in bluegrass music and much much more.

This workshop is for all melody instruments. Taught by a master of the form, for much less than the cost of a private lesson of the same length.

Fees: $25 general, $20 for VBA members
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday November 19th 7:45pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Theme Jam: Bluegrass Gospel

It seems mighty right that the next Theme Jam will be Bluegrass Gospel. Be prepared to join in and inspire the inner circle of like minded players. The Gospel jam will be guided by Bruce Bowering, who has a real interest in this genre.

These jams are like any other - you are welcome to join the inner circle - but need to bring along a song or tune to share. It helps if you bring songs you have rehearsed and can perform comfortably. If you can deliver your song "off-book", even better! Players need to be proficient enough to follow the chords, keep a good rhythm, and perhaps take the odd break. Listeners and quiet plunkers outside the circle are welcome too.

Admission: suggested donation $3 general, $2 for VBA members
Saturday Nov 23rd 2pm to 4pm Viv Shoemaker Activity Centre (map)
Workshop: Stand-Up Bass with Oliver Swain

Technique for Stand-Up Bass

Oliver Swain, a Juno and WCMA nominated Americana and Folk-Noir bassist and vocalist, spent a dozen years in some of North Americas most loved roots bands (Outlaw Social, The Duhks, The Bills) before releasing In a BIG MACHINE in 2011 to rave reviews. Oliver has drawn on 20+ years of bass playing to create a style unique and well informed by tradition. He's studied with many of the greatest bassist in North America including Marc Schatz(Bluegrass), Marc Ruben(Slap) and Gary Karr(Bow).

The workshop will cover everything from basic technique, strength and precision building exercises, to slap and bow technique.

Get some ideas on how to build your part based on the song and the soloist/vocalist, as well as where and when the bassist can guide the jam.

All skill levels are welcome.

Fees: $25 general, $20 for VBA members
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday November 26 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Bowker Creek

Bowker Creek draws its musical influences from folk, country, rock and roll, old time, swing and, yes, even bluegrass. They perform both original compositions and tunes from a wide range of artists from Alison Krauss to Ray Charles.

Bonnie Jean Duncan (vocal and guitar), Duncan Sutherland (guitar and vocal), Martin Matychuk (standup bass and vocal), Dan Ready (mandolin, 6 and 12-string guitars) and Doug VanDine (5-string banjo).

And most of them live within a banjo-throw of Bowker Creek.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
Saturday Dec 7th 2pm to 4pm Viv Shoemaker Activity Centre (map)
Workshop: Harmony Singing(2) with Bryon Thompson

Bluegrass Harmony Singing

Bryon Thompson is a graduate from both UVIC Music and Malaspina Jazz departments. His love for vocal harmony is evident in the music of Bryon, Clayton, Thomas and various other groups he has performed in. His favorite thing to do is to help others discover their love of music by using their unique built-in instrument.

Last year we learned how harmonies are built. This time round we will be focusing on learning actual harmonies from 6-10 Bluegrass Standards. Includes Mp3's plus charts, taught over two sessions (also Nov 2nd: you can attend one or both.) you can add a handful of songs to your repertoire and enhance your jams with harmonies as well.

Come prepared to have fun. Bring instruments as well if you are comfortable with reading charts, but the class will be focusing on the singing. You don't need to have any harmony singing experience.

Fees: $40 general, $30 for VBA members (both sessions) or $25/$20 for one session
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Saturday December 7th 8:00pm Cordova Bay United Church (map)
Special Concert: John Reischman and the Jaybirds

Christmas Bluegrass Concert & Benefit

In what has become a Victoria tradition, John Reischman and the Jaybirds are fluttering into town for their 5th Annual Christmas Concert and Benefit. The show has moved to the larger confines of Cordova Bay United Church, but you can expect the usual intimate performance, stunning instrumentals and soaring harmonies from these masters of acoustic music.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the music, John Reischman is one of the acoustic world's top-ranked mandolin players and composers, renowned for his exquisite taste, tone and impeccable musicianship. He is revered for his ability to play genres ranging from bluegrass to jazz to hot swing to Latin and beyond.

John, now living in Vancouver, toured and recorded for many years with California's eclectic Good Ol' Persons playing traditional and contemporary bluegrass and acoustic music, and helped define the groundbreaking new acoustic instrumental scene as a member of the Tony Rice Unit with appearances on the band's groundbreaking Rounder albums Still Inside and Backwaters.

The Jaybirds are four musicians renowned in their own right: Jim Nunally, guitarist, vocalist, composer and producer from the San Francisco Bay Area; Trisha Gagnon on bass and vocals from Chilliwack, BC; Nick Hornbuckle, from Nanaimo, on 5- string banjo, and from Spokane, Greg Spatz on fiddle.

The band has accumulated several European and North American tours, five critically acclaimed albums, two Juno nominations and two Canadian Folk Music Award nominations. Like the mandolinist at its helm, the group fashions a stylish, elegant take on bluegrass that is at once innovative and unadorned, sophisticated and stripped-down, happily old-fashioned, yet unselfconsciously new. Their live show has a genial blend of story-telling and side-show humor behind their studied performance of original songs, instrumentals, and freshly arranged traditional material.

$5 of every ticket sold will be donated to Our Place Society.

This show is a co-production of Sooke River Bluegrass Festival and Victoria Bluegrass Association.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
Tickets: $25 at TicketRocket 250.590.6291, $28 at the door.
VBA members price is $20, sold only at VBA events, or members can reserve tickets by email tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca.
More info: 250.388.4520
Tuesday December 10th 8:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
All Open Stage Night

Due to popular demand, we are replacing our regular jam night with an open stage night. Get your bluegrass/old time band together and work up a few songs to play for the appreciative crowd. Solos, Duets, Trio, and full bands welcome--we'd like to see something from everyone. Admission by donation for all players and viewers (we have to contribute to the rent somehow!)

Doors open: 7:30 pm
You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca.

Admission: suggested donation $5
Tuesday December 17th 7:30pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Holiday Jam and Fundraiser

Holidays got you bent out of shape ? Well c'mon down to the VBA party !

This fundraiser event is our annual end of year holiday event. All proceeds from this evening including your regular jam admission fee will be donated to The Mustard Seed. Also, we will collect canned goods, gently used clothes, (particularly outerwear), blankets, bedding, towels and last but not least, financial donations.

Doug Van Dine will be running his famous bluegrass-oriented auction. Let us know if you have something entertaining, quirky, or bizarre that you think might be an interesting auction item.

We'll also have a Band Scramble - where bands are formed via selections from a hat. Bands are then given a few minutes to work up a song and later perform it on stage. You won't want to miss this event.

Please bring your favourite finger food to share (savoury or sweet); your instrument if you plan to jam or enter the band scramble, and wads of cash for Doug's fabulous bluegrass oriented auction.

Come for the whole evening and enjoy snacks and festivities with friends new and old.

Doors open: 7:30 pm The deadline for joining the band scramble is 7:45pm, so don't miss out.
Admission: suggested donation $3 general, $2 for VBA members, plus your donation to the Mustard Seed

Past Events -2014
Tuesday January 28 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Riverside Bluegrass Band

Riverside Bluegrass Band holds some of the best players and singers on the Island: Angus MacKenzie on guitar, Larry Stevens on dobro, Mike Kraft on banjo, Paul Lange on mandolin and Eric Adams on bass. Talented, energetic, exciting and always fun to watch.

In 1996, certified luthier Angus Mackenzie joined Nova Scotia band Grassfire, which went on to win five East Coast Music Awards (he was also nominated for Male Vocalist. He moved to Victoria in 1999, met bass player Eric Adams at a VBA jam, and soon after they formed the band The Lost Connection. They have been picking together ever since.

Larry Stevens moved to Victoria from Vancouver 15 years ago. While living on the continent, Larry played in many bands including the New Nash Ramblers, Sons of Bluegrass and the Bluegrass Princesses. Yes, he was a princess. He also plays in other bands, and he frequents several jams around town. His velvet-throated baritone shines on country and bluegrass ballads.

Paul Lange started at a young age in his family's band, performing gospel and country music. After several recordings and years honing his musical skills he went on to play with numerous bands, performing across western Canada and the northern USA. We are fortunate that he now calls Victoria home.

Mike Kraft acquired his musicality from his father, who was always willing to play and teach, whether it was a bass line or a vocal line. Like so many, when Mike heard Earl Scruggs he was smitten by the 5-string banjo and its role in bluegrass music. Country, swing or bluegrass, he shows an innovative and playful presence. He moved to the Island from Quebec over 30 years ago, and he enjoys playing in a number of local bands.

Eric Adams started playing and singing bluegrass music 30 years ago when he formed a band in Regina called the Rusty Musket Finance Company. Since then, he has played in numerous bands across western Canada, including the Award winning New Nash Ramblers, The Lost Connection, and Last Train. Eric provides passion, an energetic persona, and a hard-driving upright bass to the band.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
Tuesday February 25 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Twin Bandit

"Jamie and Hannah, your two original duets were simply some of the sweetest, most lovely things I've ever heard, and I regret that my most prosaic of souls could not express that in any more meaningful way that evening . . . I can't remember the lyrics or the melodies of the music you offered, but I will never forget how it made me feel."
- Jonathan Andrew Govias, Conductor

Vancouver's Twin Bandit is Hannah Walker and Jamie Elliott. Together they create an intimate acoustic performance with strong harmonies and original songs. Victoria fans know Jamie from her time there as part of aptly-named Sirens trio.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
Tuesday March 25 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Cluny Macpherson and Mick Baker

Mick and Cluny's friendship began in 2011 during a jam at Cluny's house in Victoria. They kept bumping into each between Mick's summer tree planting contracts, always finding time to play a few tunes together. Then, in 2013, Mick joined Cluny in the Moonshiners as their mandolin player. The two have been honing their chops together ever since. Soon they will go into the studio to record some original songs with producer Adrian Dolan and bassist Oliver Swain. Join the duo as they showcase their talents on banjo, guitar and mandolin.

And be sure to check out Cluny's Indiegogo Campaign to raise funds for his solo studio project.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
Friday/Saturday March 28/29 St Andrew's Presbyterian Church (map)
2nd Annual Old-Time Tidal Wave

Two days of concerts, workshops, and dance in downtown Victoria BC, featuring: Squirrel Butter (Seattle), Oliver Swain (Victoria), The Cumberland Brothers (guess), Hi-O Revelers (Bellingham), Twin Bandit (Vancouver), YOMADA House Band, and more. Full details at YOMADA.

FRIDAY 7pm Concert at St. Andrew's Church 4 acts. $15adv/$20door

SATURDAY Brunch and Clogging Workshop at Logan's Pub, Instrument Workshops at Fernwood Community Centre, 7pm Old-Time Honky Tonk Dance at Kirk Hall, featuring 3 bands and 3 Callers $10adv/$15door. Kid's Dance Kick-off with Paul Silveria (Vancouver), Kids FREE ! All dances taught on the spot.



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Tickets are also available at Solstice Cafe.

Saturday April 05 1pm to 3pm location TBA
Workshop: Singing with Oliver Swain

Taking the Lead

Oliver Swain is a Juno and WCMA nominated Americana and Folk-Noir singer whose education in vocals includes studying with Ginny Hawker & Tracy Swartz(New Lost City Ramblers), triple Grammy Nominee Toni Childs and collaborating with dozens of great singers including Ruth Moody and Pharis Romero.

Great singers of all genres seem to know just the right time in a song to hit that high note, hushed tone or throw in the perfect ornament. Oliver will explore treating every song and performance individually to draw out the meaning and find the opportunities to strut your stuff. Basic ornaments and technique, following the narrative, pitch stability and discovering your voice will all be covered in this workshop.

All voices are welcome.

Fees: $25 general, $20 for VBA members
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Saturday April 12 2pm to 4pm location TBA
Workshop: Bluegrass Harmonica with Buddy Greene

Buddy Greene brings a wide variety of southern Americana influences to his music to create a unique musical hybrid of country, bluegrass, folk, gospel and traditional blues. In addition to his solid reputation as a singer-songwriter and guitarist, Buddy has established himself as one of Nashville's finest harmonica stylists. His live concerts are equal parts hymn sing, jam session, church house revival, and journey through his own musical history.

"I've spent 40 years looking for ways to adapt the harmonica to bluegrass music. It's got a history in old-time, country, and Celtic music, but bluegrass, being more of a string band format, can pose a challenge. However, throughout the history of bluegrass music, there have been innovators who have made room for instruments other than those traditionally associated with bluegrass. I'm thinking of the Osborne Brothers using drums and electric guitar, or Flatt and Scruggs using Charlie McCoy on harmonica, or even Bill Monroe who, for a short while, had an accordion player in the band. I'd like to talk about and demonstrate how I have met that challenge as a harmonica player. If folks want to bring their instruments to interact and play, I would welcome that."

You can also catch Buddy Greene with Jeff Taylor at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, as part of the Tribute to Nashville concert series.

Fees: $25 general, $20 for VBA members
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Saturday April 26 1pm to 3pm location TBA
Workshop: Bluegrass Jamming with Tad Ruszel

Ever been curious about how everyone in a bluegrass jam just seems to know what to do: what harmonies to sing; when to take a solo; how to lead a jam? Fear not, there are simple tips and tricks to knowing how to fit in on your instrument. There is no "right way" to jam, but there are some tried and true methods for jamming that can help you get the most out of your experience

Tad Ruszel (The Moonshiners, One Bright Morning) will teach the basic roles of each instrument and how they all fit together to make a happening jam. You will learn about listening to others, supporting the lead player or singer, and even how to lead a jam yourself.

Some skills you can expect to walk away with are: knowledge of the Nashville numbering system, controlling volume, transposing keys, using a capo (guitars only), staying in tune/in time, following or leading a song, offering breaks, starting and ending smoothly, and singing harmony on the fly. How can we learn all that in just 2 short hours? You'll just have to show up and find out for yourself !

All traditional bluegrass instruments are welcome, including fiddle, banjo, mandolin, dobro, guitar and bass. There is limited space for some instruments so please sign up soon.

Fees: $25 general, $20 for VBA members
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday April 29 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Andrews and Lawrence

The Victoria Times-Colonist called this duo the "finest example" of old time gospel "to come out of this region, perhaps even Canada." In addition to their reputation as performers of traditional material the duo also features the original songs of member Andy Ruszel, whose songs have been covered by Juno award winners like Charlotte Diamond and the Rovers.

Andy's daddy was a railroad man, he went to a little white church on Sunday, and he grew up on an old dirt road just outside of Toronto. His gospelating compadre is Larry Lawrence who plays lead guitar and handles the tenor harmony lines. Larry grew up and has deep musical roots on the streets of Kansas City.

You don't have to know a lot about Old Time Gospel music to get caught up in their sing-along atmosphere, with enough story-telling and humour to bring along folk, country and bluegrass audiences alike for the ride. You will walk away with a heart that has been cheered.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
Tuesday May 06 8:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Special Concert: The Kathy Kallick Band

The Kathy Kallick Band had a fabulous 2013, including a hit album/song, cover story in Bluegrass Unlimited and nice article in Acoustic Guitar, accolades aplenty, and some great concerts and festivals (RockyGrass, Strawberry, Pickin' In the Pines, High Mountain Hay Fever, IBMA showcases, etc.)

Time, the CD and the song, is the hit. It's the 17th album released by Kathy, recordings which include over 100 of her compositions. Its mixture of original and classic material mirrors the distinctive combination of traditional and contemporary sensibilities that has come to define the Kathy Kallick Band. Time and the KKB's previous release, Between the Hollow and the High-Rise, and its title track Where Is My Little Cabin Home have spent more time in the national bluegrass charts than any other 2010-13 releases, and also were the highest-ranked bluegrass releases on the folk-dj chart in those years.

Kathy has won a Grammy and two IBMA Awards for her part on True Life Blues: The Songs Of Bill Monroe, received a Lifetime Membership from the California Bluegrass Association, co-founded the internationally-acclaimed band Good Ol' Persons, performed and recorded with the Frank Wakefield Band, appeared on three high-profile Rounder collections of bluegrass songs by women, wrote and recorded award-winning music for children and families, toured throughout North America / Europe / Japan, had five title tracks and albums each spend a year in the upper echelon of the national bluegrass charts, and collaborated with the country's top acoustic musicians - including her mighty current band: Annie Staninec (fiddle), Tom Bekeny (mandolin), Greg Booth (dobro, banjo), and Cary Black (acoustic bass)

"Kathy's working with the finest group she's ever assembled. Fare Thee Well is delivered with a beautifully restrained ache by Kallick, further enhanced by a tender, tear-stained dobro solo from Greg Booth that emerges right out of the shadow of Clinch Mountain, and on Long Time Travelin', Kallick's and Staninec's dour voices are positively haunting, a mood elevated to greater affect by the latter's spare clawhammer banjo and ominous fiddle cries. These and other songs make Time an unforgettable document; they seep into your consciousness slowly but inexorably, and you find yourself cueing up the album again and again. Each time you do, you learn a little more, and you're richer for the experience."
     - David McGee, Deep Roots

Led by one of the music's extraordinary composers and vocalists, the Kathy Kallick Band has nearly as much fun as the audience when performing. The material is compelling, the tone ranges from humorous to bittersweet to soulful, the instrumental playing is electric, the vocals luminous, the presentation inclusive. As was once said about another California band: They're not just the best at what they do; they're the only ones who do what they do.

"This is a top-notch band led by a woman with the warmest, richest voice in our music today."
     - Katy Daley, WAMU's Bluegrass Country



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Doors open: 7:30 pm    For this Special Concert, our regular Tuesday jam is pre-empted.
Admission: Online tickets are $22 general; VBA Members should enter the Discount Code that was emailed to them. Tickets are also sold at any VBA event. Price at the door is $25 for all. For more information, email tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca or phone 250.388.4520
Saturday May 17 1pm to 2:30pm Fernwood Community Centre
Workshops: Oldtime Instrument Styles with Roscoe's Gone

An old-Southern-style String Band

Roscoe's Gone presents string music on fiddle, banjo and guitar, with songs borrowed from the southern mountain residents of the past couple of centuries. The traditional music is extended by them through original songs and fiddle tunes in the same idioms, shaped by the long periods lived by all three of its members in several southern states while playing in local bands. The band is currently part of Seattle's intense old-time music culture, appearing on stage and at dances on a regular basis.

They are playing a House Concert on Friday May 16th, and next night they will be playing for the regular contradance at St Matthias. In between they are offering three simultaneous workshops on fiddle, clawhammer banjo, and rhythm guitar.

Hank Bradley began with fiddle and banjo in 1961, and soon learned much more during his two Army years in North Carolina. He has returned to Virginia three times as fiddler with a local Galax band, the Mountain Ramblers, where once stood the mighty Otis Burris. He was the Washington State fiddle champion of 1975, and was a founding faculty member of the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend. Hank will dig into the sounds, scales and energy of southern fiddlers, whose traditions are largely influenced by centuries of solo playing, but have recently adapted to interactions with other instruments, particularly the five-string banjo, and musical exchanges with the African-American culture of the south.

Candy Goldman has been playing and teaching clawhammer banjo for over 30 years. Her music is deeply influenced from time spent visiting and playing with tradition bearers from the southeast such as Clyde Davenport, Melvin Wine and Tommy Jarrell. She has taught at numerous music camps such as The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Mars Hill Oldtime Week and Walker Creek. Her workshop will present some songs and tunes from Kentucky fiddle/banjo player Clyde Davenport. She'll focus on the little banjo tricks that add interest and texture to your playing. This class is for advanced beginner to intermediate students that are experienced with the clawhammer and drop-thumb techniques.

Bill Meyer has been playing old time fiddle, banjo and guitar since the 1960s when he accidentally discovered it in a collection of country and blues recordings at the library. He's played in many different bands since he moved to Seattle from Ann Arbor in 1980. Bill says, "Any kind of guitar workshop would be fine with me. A little back up guitar technique, maybe Carter Family picking, too. It depends who shows up."

The musicians of Roscoe's Gone will cheerfully pass on all possible details and techniques of these musical idioms, to enable and encourage the newer musicians who will be sweeping them from the stage before breakfast.

Much of the workshop information must be demonstrated, for learning by ear. We strongly recommend bringing recording or video devices to capture permanent records, or evidence for the sheriff, as you prefer.

Fees: $25 general, $20 for VBA members
To Register: phone Ruari McLennan 250.920.6624 or email r.mclennan@shaw.ca
Tuesday May 27th 8:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
All Open Stage Night

As is our tradition, our last big musical gathering before summer is an open stage night. Get your bluegrass/old time band together and work up a few songs to play for the appreciative crowd. Solos, Duets, Trio, and full bands welcome - we'd like to see something from everyone. Admission by donation for all players and viewers (we have to contribute to the rent somehow!)

Doors open: 7:30 pm
You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca. Admission by donation.

More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Saturday May 31 2pm to 4pm location TBA
Workshop: Bluegrass Fiddle with Miriam Sonstenes

Intermediate Bluegrass Fiddle

Know a couple of bluegrass tunes already but want to play them with style and confidence? In this class we'll take a couple of straight forward tunes and add some spice to really get that bluegrass sound, while getting to know some of the key elements of bluegrass fiddling. Double stops, blues scales, bowing patterns, typical kick-offs and endings will all be explored, as well as how to embellish a tune to make it your own.

You'll walk away with some new tools, new ideas and some fun ways to approach the tunes you already know and love. Please bring a recording device!

Fees: $25 general, $20 for VBA members
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday June 3rd 7:30pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Annual General Meeting

The AGM is your opportunity to get involved, to give us input on what type of activities you would like to see the VBA organize, and to make suggestions on how to improve on anything we are doing at the present time.

We also elect our Board for the next year. If you are interested in becoming a board member, please email nomination@victoriabluegrass.ca

If any member has "Other Business" they wish to raise at the AGM, please submit it in writing to any current board member, or call 250-388-4520 (Alan Law).

Only paid up 2014/2015 members can voice an opinion and vote at the meeting.

The meeting will be followed by a jam, so don't forget to bring your instruments. Cake too !

June 13th to 15th Sooke River Campground (map)
12th Annual Sooke River Bluegrass Festival

Kick off the festival-camping season with mighty lively Bluegrass, Old-Time Music and Dance. PLUS endless jamming, happy food vendors, kids fun zone, performer seminars, and more!

2014 is packed with young, very talented acts from Boston to Tofino and the classic favorites you love too! The Lonely Heartstring Band, The Clover Point Drifters, Daniel Lapp's House of Music Students, Oliver Swain's BIG MACHINE, The Slocan Ramblers, Hub City Ramblers, James Whittall and Friends, The Poor Pistols, ... and YOMADA's House Stringband plays for a square dance Saturday night under the big top tent.

Held every Father's Day weekend at the Sooke River Campground, the festival is a family affair and very affordable, with day passes as low as $10 or weekend passes for $50 (camping extra). Check out their website, and get ready for a great weekend!
Tuesday September 30 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Genevieve and the Wild Sundays

Genevieve Charbonneau is a Cowichan Valley singer/songwriter with a brand new solo album produced by Marc Atkinson. The Wild Sundays are Kelly Sherwin (upright bass), Laura Carleton (percussion) and Chandra Crowe (mandolin). The music is rooted in folk and old-time country, incorporating bluegrass rhythms, traditional folk, Americana and pop. Kelly and Genevieve are long-time members of award-winning vocal ensemble Balkan Babes, and Laura has performed and studied choral music for many years. The women use this combined experience to create rich three part harmonies. They deliver a powerful and engaging live show, with breathtaking moments and lively storytelling.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
Tuesday October 21 8:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Special Concert: Jeff Scroggins and Colorado

Jeff Scroggins & Colorado is a high energy, high mountain bluegrass explosion, that features the amazing banjo playing of Jeff Scroggins. Jeff's fiery style and lightning fast licks have earned him many fans worldwide, and have left many a first time listener in stunned disbelief. It also features the award winning mandolin playing of Jeff's son Tristan Scroggins. Tristan is also an accomplished songwriter, and his and Jeff's original instrumentals play a large role in the band's unique and energetic sound. The band also features incredible bluegrass vocals, led by the powerful voice of frontman Greg Blake. Greg has twice been nominated for the SPBGMA Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year award, and his phenomenal bluegrass guitar playing has earned him 9 nominations and an amazing 5 consecutive wins as SPBGMA Guitarist of the Year

"Jeff Scroggins and Colorado have a wonderful emotional intensity that immediately grabs the listener. Though well rooted in tradition, they can also stretch the boundaries without taking them to the breaking point. I've known Jeff for many years, and it's great to hear how fabulous his playing has become. Taste and technical brilliance abound. The bands vocals are also smooth and inviting and the arrangements are inventive. Give these guys a listen and you'll be amply rewarded with their rich musical tapestry."
     - Tony Trischka

"In an age when bluegrass music is sounding more and more generic, Jeff Scroggins and Colorado are a cut above the rest with their choice of songs, great musicianship and devotion to fine arrangements."
     - Craig Korth

Doors open 7:30 pm    This show pre-empts our regular Tuesday jam.
Advance tickets $25 general; $20 for VBA Members (use the Discount Code that was emailed to you). Tickets are also sold at any VBA event. Price at the door is $25 for all.
More info: tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca or phone 250.388.4520
Tuesday October 28th 8:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
All Open Stage Night

Just before Halloween, our first big musical gathering of the season. Get your bluegrass/old time band together and work up a few songs to play for the appreciative crowd. Solos, Duets, Trio, and full bands welcome - we'd like to see something from everyone. Admission by donation for all players and viewers (we have to contribute to the rent somehow!)

Doors open: 7:30 pm
You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca. Admission by donation.

More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Saturday November 08 10am to 4pm 3221 Cedar Hill Rd (map)
Workshop: Harmony Singing with Sue Thompson

Harmony Singing By Ear: The Natural Way

"I've wanted to learn to sing harmony for years and now I can. Thank you!"
     - Jane, USA

"As a result of your course I am now very comfortably able to easily find a good harmony. I now can just hear it and hit it."
     - David, USA

Do you love to sing with others? Wish you could easily sing harmonies both above and below the melody? If so, come join us for a fun, high-energy day of singing and harmonizing with noted bluegrass vocal coach and harmony teacher, Sue Thompson. In this lively seminar, Sue will share her proven method for finding great-sounding harmony parts naturally and intuitively, without needing anyone else to teach you what notes to sing.

If you're new to harmony singing, you'll get the essential skills and confidence you need to figure out harmonies to hundreds of songs. If you're an experienced harmony singer, you'll get techniques you need to sing harmony on-the-fly - even the first time you hear a song - without needing to stop and work out your part note-by-note.

   • No note-reading or bogging down in music theory.
   • You'll learn to harmonize the natural, intuitive way that the pros use.
   • Seminar will include small group practice with personalized coaching from Sue.

You'll also learn how to:
   • Improve your vocal blend, even with singers whose voices are very different than yours.
   • Solve harmony problems that arise when men and women sing together.
   • Improve vocal power and projection without straining, especially on high and low notes.

"C'était très sympa et le public a adoré."
     - Pierre, France

"Thank you for making this workshop a great experience. I had great fun and I finally found a key to singing harmony that will really work!"
     - Fride, Norway

"I recognized a huge improvement in my singing after just one lesson with you. I amazed myself! And it was so simple."
     - Mary, USA

Great for bluegrass, old time, folk, Americana, worship, and many other styles of music. To get the most out of this seminar, it's best if you can already sing a melody reasonably in tune. If you're comfortable playing guitar, mandolin or banjo, please bring your instrument with you, as it will be helpful in our small group practice sessions. Come alone or bring your singing buddies or your band!

The workshop consists of two 2-hour sessions - 4 hours in total. The morning session (10am to noon) is more geared toward beginners, while the afternoon session (2pm to 4pm) will focus more on experienced singers. Singers wanting to get the most out of the workshop should enroll in both sessions.

Fees: Both Sessions (4 hours) $55 general, $45 for VBA members
          One Session (2 hours) $30 general, $25 for VBA members
To Register: phone Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Saturday November 15 8:30pm My Bar (map)
Special Concert: Caleb Klauder Country Band

Honest Country Music the Way It's Meant to Be

The Caleb Klauder Country Band represents the best of the US Northwest music scene. Leading with vocals, guitar, and a mandolin, Caleb hosts some of the area's best singers and players creating a honky-tonk band that stands out as a totem in the country music scene.

The band performs Caleb's praised original songs right alongside classics from George Jones, The Louvin Brothers and Dolly Parton, all at once sounding timeless, fresh, and alive. There is a drive to his music that makes it unique and captivating. This is country music made for people who want to have fun and who want to dance, harking back to the old dance hall days when people of all walks of life came together to simply dance, socialize, and enjoy live music.

Caleb was raised on Orcas Island, Washington and now lives in Portland, Oregon, yet his maternal family roots lay in East Tennessee. His mother, originally from Knoxville, moved her family out west when Caleb was only a year old. These deep family roots contribute to Caleb's music, tapping into old memories to bring you the strong singing and spirited attitude that give his music an edge that is both cutting and sweet.

Band members include Jesse Emerson on upright bass, Ned Folkerth on drums, Reeb Willms on vocals and guitar, Russ Blake on pedal steel and electric guitar, and Sam Weiss on fiddle.

And for the first time (thanks to revised federal regulations), the VBA is hosting a show in an actual bar. We are indebted to the folks at My Bar who are bending over backwards to make this show work.

Not only do we have a top-knotch band from Portland playing, we also have a truly mighty-fine local opening band Mighty Fine Remedies, featuring Dan Weisenburger, Adrian Dolan, Cluny MacPherson, Marc Jenkins, and Sean Thompson.

Cluny is not only the bassist for the opening band, he is also the head chef at My Bar. He is working up a one-night-only Cajun Gumbo Special. So come early for some dinner.

Advance tickets $12 general; $10 for VBA Members (use the Discount Code that was emailed to you). Tickets are also sold at any VBA event. Price at the door is $15 for all.
More info: tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca or phone 250.388.4520
Tuesday November 25 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Four Chords of Wood

These boys lay down hard-driving traditional Bluegrass, from gospel to foot-to-the-floor ravers, original compositions and timeless classics. Their authentic sound is brought to life by first-class arrangements, soul-inspired lead vocals, and experienced heartfelt harmony. This band puts on a show. Beneath the sartorial splendour of white Stetsons, they weave around a single microphone to deliver tight harmonies and superb instrument solos in a captivating performance with a truly unique retrophonic twist.

Phil Shaver from Erin Ontario fronts the act with his solid rhythm guitar and classic bluegrass voice in the key of high lonesome. Aaron Murray out of Moncton New Brunswick adds a traditional bluesy Monroe-style mandolin and a solid tenor voice. They work together on the songwriting. Paul Lange from Winnipeg anchors the band with his straight-forward upright bass. Banjo & Fiddle will be covered by our west coast local guns, Mike Kraft & Daniel Lapp.

If you are a lover of bluegrass, expect to be entertained with this must see combo.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
Saturday December 6th 8:00pm Cordova Bay United Church (map)
Special Concert: John Reischman and the Jaybirds

Christmas Bluegrass Concert & Benefit

In what has become a Victoria tradition, John Reischman and the Jaybirds are fluttering into town for their 6th Annual Christmas Concert and Benefit. You can expect the usual intimate performance, stunning instrumentals and soaring harmonies from these masters of acoustic music.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the music, Vancouver's John Reischman is one of the acoustic world's top-ranked mandolin players and composers, renowned for his exquisite taste, tone and impeccable musicianship. He is revered for his ability to play genres ranging from bluegrass to jazz to hot swing to Latin and beyond.

The Jaybirds are four musicians renowned in their own right: Jim Nunally, guitarist, vocalist, composer and producer from the San Francisco Bay Area; Trisha Gagnon on bass and vocals from Chilliwack, BC; Nick Hornbuckle, from Nanaimo, on 5- string banjo, and from Spokane, Greg Spatz on fiddle.

The band has accumulated several European and North American tours, five critically acclaimed albums, two Juno nominations and two Canadian Folk Music Award nominations. Like the mandolinist at its helm, the group fashions a stylish, elegant take on bluegrass that is at once innovative and unadorned, sophisticated and stripped-down, happily old-fashioned, yet unselfconsciously new. Their live show has a genial blend of story-telling and side-show humor behind their studied performance of original songs, instrumentals, and freshly arranged traditional material.

$5 of every ticket sold will be donated to Our Place Society.

They will have a brand new EP tucked under their wings, entitled On a Winter's Night. This is a collection of eight wintery traditional tunes, largely inspired by an album of seasonal folk songs released in 1992 by the Seeger family (Mike, Peggy and Penny), and features some pared down instrument combinations as well as the full strength Jaybirds sound. John assures us you'll enjoy this album as much with a mojito next summer, as you will with your egg nog this December.

This show is a co-production of Sooke River Bluegrass Festival and Victoria Bluegrass Association.

Advance tickets at Brown Paper Tickets $25 general; $20 for VBA Members (use the Discount Code that was emailed to you). Tickets are also sold at any VBA event. Price at the door is $30 for all.
More info: tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca or phone 250.388.4520
Tuesday December 16th 7:30pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Holiday Jam and Fundraiser

Holidays got you bent out of shape ? Well c'mon down to the VBA party !

This fundraiser event is our annual end of year holiday event. All proceeds from this evening including your regular jam admission fee will be donated to The Mustard Seed. Also, we will collect canned goods, gently used clothes, (particularly outerwear), blankets, bedding, towels and last but not least, financial donations.

Doug Van Dine will be running his famous bluegrass-oriented auction. Let us know if you have something entertaining, quirky, or bizarre that you think might be an interesting auction item.

We'll also have a Band Scramble - where bands are formed via selections from a hat. Bands are then given a few minutes to work up a song and later perform it on stage. You won't want to miss this event.

Please bring your favourite finger food to share (savoury or sweet); your instrument if you plan to jam or enter the band scramble, and wads of cash for Doug's fabulous bluegrass oriented auction.

Come for the whole evening and enjoy snacks and festivities with friends new and old.

Doors open: 7:30 pm The deadline for joining the band scramble is 7:45pm, so don't miss out.
Admission: suggested donation $3 general, $2 for VBA members, plus your donation to the Mustard Seed

Past Events -2015
Tuesday January 27th 8:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Special Concert: Alan Munde and Bill Evans

Banjo Legends Together for the First Time

Join us for this very special, one-of-a-kind concert bringing together two of the most important and influential bluegrass banjo players of the last several decades, performing bluegrass, original compositions, fiddle tunes on banjo, beautiful slow songs and much, much more.

Alan Munde began his long career in bluegrass music with the 1968 recording of Poor Richard's Almanac featuring Sam Bush and Wayne Stewart, followed by a traditional grounding in bluegrass music as a member of IBMA Hall of Fame member Jimmy Martin and the Sunny Mountain Boys. In 1972 Alan Joined his college picking friend Byron Berline in the forward-leaning bluegrass group Country Gazette. Alan continued as the anchor of the group for 21 years. Along the way, he recorded many highly regarded albums including Banjo Sandwich, and the Festival Favorites series. Alan participated in the 2001 IBMA Instrumental Album of the Year, Knee Deep in Bluegrass. His most recent recording is a duo CD with mandolin player Billy Bright titled Bright Munde. He taught in the Bluegrass Music Program at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas for 20 years. Alan has also published many instructional books for Mel Bay, instructional DVDs for Texas Music and Video, and participated in music workshops and camps both in America and Europe.

Bill Evans is an internationally-known five-string banjo life force. As a performer, teacher, writer, scholar and composer, he brings a deep knowledge, intense virtuosity and contagious passion to all things banjo, with thousands of music fans and students from all over the world in a career that spans over 35 years. In the last two years, Bill has performed all across North America, Canada, England, Russia and Germany and has appeared with the San Francisco Symphony and on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. His book Banjo For Dummies, is the world's most widely read book on the instrument and his 2012 CD In Good Company charted #1 on the Roots Music Report Folk and Bluegrass Charts and the Folk DJ-List charts. Over a forty year performing career, Bill has played with David Grisman, Peter Rowan, David Bromberg, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard, Tony Trischka, and Jody Stecher, and many others. He has produced numerous instructional DVDs/books for Mel Bay, AcuTab, Homespun Tapes and the Murphy Method.

Doors open 7:30 pm    This show pre-empts our regular Tuesday jam.
Advance tickets $25 general; $20 for VBA Members (use the Discount Code that was emailed to you). Tickets are also sold at any VBA event. Price at the door is $25 for all.
More info: tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca or phone 250.388.4520
Wednesday January 28th 7:00pm - 10:00pm location TBA
Workshops: Alan Munde and Bill Evans
The traveling duo are staying over an extra day in Victoria so they can lead workshops on the night after their concert. This is a rare chance to learn from two legendary masters - players, stylists and teachers - of the banjo. Check out the workshop description.
Workshop Fee $60 general; $50 for VBA Members.
Register and pay here.
Questions: workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca or phone 250.388.4520
Thursday January 29th 8:00pm Victoria Event Centre (map)
Special Concert and Dance: Foghorn Stringband

Internationally acclaimed Foghorn Stringband has been at the vanguard of a revival in American old-time music for over a decade now. They've traveled the globe and inspired a new generation of old-time musicians without compromising their love of traditional American music. But they've gathered new ideas and new band members too. Their unique sound is rooted in the fiery, intertwining melodies of Stephen "Sammy" Lind's fiddle and Caleb Klauder's mandolin, supported by the bedrock-solid rhythm foundation of Reeb Willms' guitar and Nadine Landry's bass. And when it comes to vocals, they deliver; four powerful and exceptional voices resulting in countless combinations of harmonies. A typical Foghorn set is based around exquisitely rare old-time tunes and songs, but a vast knowledge of early country music and recent explorations in Cajun song traditions have molded a powerful new sound. Any band would be happy to have mastered one music genre, but Foghorn Stringband have a roaming spirit, and are already sparking new revivals of American roots music traditions.

Doors open 7:30 pm. Advance tickets $15 general; $12 for VBA Members (use the Discount Code that was emailed to you). Tickets are also sold at any VBA event. Price at the door is $20 for all.
More info: tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca or phone 250.388.4520
Tuesday February 24 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Blackwood Two

On the banjo, fiddle, and acoustic guitar, The Blackwood Two play an engaging blend of original folk songs and traditional numbers delivered with old-time charm. Thoughtful songwriting - heavily guided by a mutual fascination of traditional music - drives the duo's unique, yet familiar feeling sound. Warm tones and sunny melodies whisper cosmic hints from a bygone era. Making music together for over five years, they've taken their tunes to shows and festivals from coast to coast, and will be releasing a new record early 2015.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
Thursday March 19th 8:00pm Hermann's Jazz Club (map)
Concert: Foggy Hogtown Boys

Canada's Bluegrass Pals Release their 7th Album

The Foggy Hogtown Boys have become a Canadian bluegrass and roots music institution. Their sound has influenced what's become a vibrant and youthful bluegrass scene in this country. From the band's legendary 15 year residency at Toronto's Silver Dollar Room; tours across Canada, the US, Europe and Israel; teaching instrumental workshops across the county; as well as individually recording as sidemen on hundreds of of albums, it is fair to say they have made their mark.

2015 finds The Foggy Hogtown Boys (Andrew Collins, Chris Coole, Max Heineman, Chris Quinn and John Showman) releasing their seventh album Animals, Insects, and People. The new album, recorded mostly live, rings with a looseness and maturity of a band that has nothing to prove, but a whole lot to say. Strong original material, creative arrangements of traditional bluegrass and old-time, and well chosen covers (Justin Townes Earl, Roger Miller, Ralph Stanley) make for an engaging program.

Despite the band's high level of musicianship, they have always leaned away from the slick and polished sound of modern bluegrass, favoring a more weird, wild and funky approach to the genre. On stage, their personal chemistry shines through, with a shared sense of humour and fun that is infectious. Over the years their style has helped them win a dedicated following, both from within the bluegrass community and beyond.

Hermann's Jazz Club is the perfect intimate venue to showcase Victoria's favourite bluegrass band. Get your tickets early - it's sure to sell out.

Doors open 6:00 pm. Advance tickets $20 general; $18 VBA Members (use the Member Password that was emailed to you). Tickets are also sold at any VBA event. Price at the door is $25 for all.
More info: tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca or phone 250.588.2780
Tuesday March 31 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Garrett Tompson Band

Garrett has been an active member of the Victoria bluegrass scene for many years, playing with several bands and guesting with a few more. In 2009, he was the recipient of the VBA bursary to the BC Bluegrass Workshop. He is a fine picker and a terrific singer, and it is a pleasure to have this talented musician appear on the VBA stage as the leader of his own band.

The Garrett Tompson Band is a new five-member bluegrass unit from Victoria, inspired by the early J.D. Crowe and the New South. They play straight-up bluegrass, while adding material and ideas from other genres, but always keeping a bluegrass drive and harmonies. This may be a new collaboration, but all five members have been marinated in bluegrass - the drive and groove take care of themselves.

Members include Mike Kraft (banjo), Miriam Sonstenes (fiddle), Jeff Ellis (bass), Paul Lange (mandolin), and Garrett Tompson on Guitar. All members provide lead and harmony vocals, but Garrett's warm country baritone voice is what we all anticipate hearing.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
Friday-Sunday April 10-12 various venues
3rd Annual Old-Time Tidal Wave

YOMADA and the Victoria Bluegrass Association are excited to present The 3rd Annual Old-Time Tidal Wave. Together we bring mentors, instructors and musicians from across the Pacific Northwest and Vancouver Island. It's a not-for-profit 3-day festival, produced by two passionate associations.


Friday April 10th

The Tidal Wave washes ashore at sunset with The Tallboys Country Band from Seattle. They'll be floating on an ocean of honky-tonkin' good time at My Bar.  Buy tickets for this single event



Saturday April 11th

In the afternoon there will be workshops covering various oldtime music themes and instruments. More details here.

In the evening we descend on Norway House for a night of Square Dances led by callers Craig Marcuk and Charmaine Slaven. The YOMADA House Stringband and The Tallboys will be providing the downbeat, upbeat, any old beat. Beverages served. No experience necessary, all dances taught on the spot. Don't worry, you will get it. All Ages.  Buy tickets for this single event



Sunday April 12th

On the last evening of the festival there will be a very special concert at Oak Bay United Church with old friends and rising stars Pharis and Jason Romero.           Buy tickets for this single event

Festival Passes are no longer being sold, but Individual event tickets are still available. Tickets are also sold at any VBA event.
More info: tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca or phone 250.588.2780
Tuesday April 28 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Bluegrass Fever

Bluegrass Fever has developed a solid reputation as one of the most crowd-pleasing bluegrass bands. Banjo player Barrie Hemmings was a member of the original Bluegrass Fever band in Ontario in the nineteen-eighties, and re-formed the band on Vancouver Island a number of years ago. The lead vocals are looked after by Barrie Hemmings, along with guitarist Bob Johns. Bass player Guy Langlois provides some wonderful high harmonies. The newest member of the band is Steve Bastian, who plays the mandolin, and adds some wonderful lead breaks.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
Tuesday May 12 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Max's Midnight Kitchen

Max's Midnight Kitchen is a nationally touring string band based out of Portland, Oregon. Their sound is characterized by the songs and harmonies of Matt Takiff (acoustic guitar) and Daniel Nickerson (banjo and electric guitar), whose music combines time-honored folk, bluegrass, and country themes with a healthy dose of surrealism and humour. Informed by travels up and down the interstates of the US and across international borders, their songs tell stories of wily characters and paint pictures of the world as it goes by outside.

Max's Midnight Kitchen set off in early 2015 to spend a month touring the west coast in Blake, a much-loved green minivan. Matt and Daniel made a pit stop at Coyote Hearing Studio in Oakland, CA to record a six song EP titled Travels with Blake. Working with producer Erik Yates of Hot Buttered Rum, as well as Jan Purat and Alex Bice of Steep Ravine, the recordings reflect a new direction for the group, blurring genres and creating a style uniquely their own.

In addition to their original material, Max's Midnight Kitchen performs songs from American old-time folk and bluegrass traditions, along with some rock and country classics thrown in for good measure. Whether performing in a noisy bar, a bustling farmer's market, or a hushed living room, the full feeling of their songs and stories comes through loud and clear.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
Tuesday May 26th 8:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
All Open Stage Night

As is our tradition, our last big musical gathering before summer is an open stage night. Get your bluegrass/old time band together and work up a few songs to play for the appreciative crowd. Solos, Duets, Trio, and full bands welcome - we'd like to see something from everyone. Admission by donation for all players and viewers (we have to contribute to the rent somehow!)

Doors open: 7:30 pm
You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca. Admission by donation.

More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday June 2nd 7:30pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Annual General Meeting

The AGM is your opportunity to get involved, to give us input on what type of activities you would like to see the VBA organize, and to make suggestions on how to improve on anything we are doing at the present time.

We also elect our Board for the next year. If you are interested in becoming a board member, please email nomination@victoriabluegrass.ca

If any member has "Other Business" they wish to raise at the AGM, please submit it in writing to any current board member, or email Lisa Feeney.

Only paid up 2015/2016 members can voice an opinion and vote at the meeting.

The meeting will be followed by a jam, so don't forget to bring your instruments. Cake too !

June 19th to 21st Sooke River Campground (map)
13th Annual Sooke River Bluegrass Festival

Kick off the festival-camping season with mighty lively Bluegrass, Old-Time Music and Dance. PLUS endless jamming, happy food vendors, kids fun zone, performer seminars, and more!

2015 is packed with young, very talented acts from Boston to Nanaimo and the classic favorites you love too! Viper Central, The Sweet Lowdown, The Lonely Heartstring Band, Daniel Lapp, The Clover Point Drifters, Hub City Ramblers, The Garrett Tompson Band, Mile Twelve, The Blackwood Two, Archie Pateman and Annie Lou ... and YOMADA's House Stringband plays for a square dance Saturday night under the big top tent.

Held every Father's Day weekend at the Sooke River Campground, the festival is a family affair and very affordable, with day passes as low as $10 or weekend passes for $50 (camping extra). Check out their website, and get ready for a great weekend!
Tuesday September 8th 7:45pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Beginner's Jam Resumes

Summer's almost gone, Winter's coming on, and you've laid around too long, so it's time to put away the short pants and head down to the VBA Slow Jam again.

Full details here.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday September 29th 8:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Special Concert: Tony Furtado with Stephanie Schneiderman
Tony Furtado began his recording career with a 10-year stint at Rounder Records working with the likes of Allison Krauss, Kelly Joe Phelps and Jerry Douglas. During that time, he was drawn to slide guitar by players like Ry Cooder and David Lindley. Over the years,Tony continued to broaden his musical palette and began singing and songwriting as well. He's been called a genius on banjo and slide guitar.
Very few musicians of any stripe so personify a musical genre as completely as Tony Furtado embodies Americana roots music. Tony is an evocative and soulful singer, a wide-ranging songwriter and a virtuoso multi-instrumentalist adept on banjo, cello-banjo, slide guitar and baritone ukulele who mixes and matches sounds and styles with the flair of a master chef.

Tony last played in Victoria in 2012, a dazzling show in the old Orange Hall, and we are excited to have him back again. This time Tony will be accompanied by his partner and songwriter Stephanie Schneiderman, who like Tony is celebrated for her many talents across a range of styles. Both have new albums on sale.

Doors open 7:30 pm    This show pre-empts our regular Tuesday jam.
Advance tickets $15 general; $12 for VBA Members (use the Discount Code that was emailed to you). Tickets are also sold at any VBA event. Price at the door is $15 for all.
More info: tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca or phone 250.588.2780
Tuesday October 27 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Cluny Macpherson

Cluny Macpherson is a true original. He has travelled across Canada by bus, by rail, and by thumb. His songs have been described as "perfect" and "timeless." He writes about humidity, Sudbury, globalization, tragedy and his daughter. And, he makes a mean hollandaise. He can play the guitar, banjo, bass and mandolin. He currently resides in Victoria, BC and has been said to possess Victoria's most authentic bluegrass voice. He will be performing songs from his upcoming release Country Squall, his first solo endeavour. Produced by Adrian Dolan (Ruth Moody, The Bills), the album features Cluny's songwriting as well as a who's who of roots musicians from the Pacific Northwest.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
Tuesday November 24th 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Clover Point Drifters

The Victoria Bluegrass Association is excited to have the Clover Point Drifters, Victoria's favourite bluegrass band, back on stage as our November feature act. Taking their name from a magnificent point of land that overlooks the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Clover Point Drifters have been playing together since January 2000, with each of the members having a decades-long love affair with bluegrass music. Their repertoire consists primarily of traditional bluegrass songs, with a sprinkling of country, folk, blues and pop melodies served up in the bluegrass style. Their songs feature the kind of heartfelt, high lonesome harmonies and strong banjo, dobro and mandolin accompaniment that makes old-time bluegrass music so compelling. Featuring Alan Law (guitar), Dan Parker (mandolin), Larry Stevens (dobro), Mike Kraft (banjo), George Robinson (bass)

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
Saturday December 5th 8:00pm Cordova Bay United Church (map)
Special Concert: John Reischman and the Jaybirds

Christmas Bluegrass Concert & Benefit

In what has become a Victoria tradition, John Reischman and the Jaybirds are fluttering into town for their 7th Annual Christmas Concert and Benefit. You can expect the usual intimate performance, stunning instrumentals and soaring harmonies from these masters of acoustic music.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the music, Vancouver's John Reischman is one of the acoustic world's top-ranked mandolin players and composers, renowned for his exquisite taste, tone and impeccable musicianship. He is revered for his ability to play genres ranging from bluegrass to jazz to hot swing to Latin and beyond.

The Jaybirds are four musicians renowned in their own right: Jim Nunally, guitarist, vocalist, composer and producer from the San Francisco Bay Area; Trisha Gagnon on bass and vocals from Chilliwack, BC; Nick Hornbuckle, from Nanaimo, on 5- string banjo, and from Spokane, Greg Spatz on fiddle.

The band has accumulated several European and North American tours, five critically acclaimed albums, two Juno nominations and two Canadian Folk Music Award nominations. Like the mandolinist at its helm, the group fashions a stylish, elegant take on bluegrass that is at once innovative and unadorned, sophisticated and stripped-down, happily old-fashioned, yet unselfconsciously new. Their live show has a genial blend of story-telling and side-show humor behind their studied performance of original songs, instrumentals, and freshly arranged traditional material.

$5 of every ticket sold will be donated to Our Place Society.

This show is a co-production of Sooke River Bluegrass Festival and Victoria Bluegrass Association.

Advance tickets at Brown Paper Tickets $25 general; $20 for VBA Members (use the Discount Code that was emailed to you). Tickets are also sold at any VBA event. Price at the door is $30 for all.
More info: tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca or phone 250.388.4520
Thursday December 10th 7:30pm The Duke Saloon 502 Discovery
Special Concert: Sarah Jane Scouten & the Honky Tonk Wingmen

Sarah Jane Scouten was nominated for two Canadian Folk Music Awards for her second album The Cape in 2014. The songwriter shows a signature flair for the roots of roots music, ranging from Western-swing, honky-tonk, and Cajun to Appalachian string band music with a hint of the Maritimes in her "memorable performance" (Montreal Gazette).

The Cape was recorded/produced by Juno-nominated producer Andrew Collins (Foggy Hogtown Boys, Creaking Tree String Quartet) and was mastered by David Travers-Smith. While the string band sound is at the core of the record, The Cape also features pedal steel, accordion, and drums, with her sister and fellow Montreal songwriter, Anna Scouten lending her arresting blood-harmonies.

She is touring with her country band, The Honky Tonk Wingmen (from Toronto: Ben Plotnick, James McEleney and Sly Juhas). They'll be playing original material from The Cape, songs from her upcoming EP release on vinyl, plus selected archival songs from southern BC and Alberta. The band's take on classic country moves this songwriter's distinctive sound in an exciting new direction.

Doors open 7:00 pm
Advance tickets $12 general; $10 for VBA Members (use the Discount Code that was emailed to you). Tickets are also sold at any VBA event. Price at the door is $15 for all.
More info: tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca or phone 250.588.2780
Thursday December 17th 7:30pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Holiday Jam and Fundraiser

Holidays got you bent out of shape ? Well c'mon down to the VBA party !

This fundraiser event is our annual end of year holiday event. All proceeds from this evening including your regular jam admission fee will be donated to The Mustard Seed. Also, we will collect canned goods, gently used clothes, (particularly outerwear), blankets, bedding, towels and last but not least, financial donations.

Doug Van Dine will be running his famous bluegrass-oriented auction. Let us know if you have something entertaining, quirky, or bizarre that you think might be an interesting auction item.

We'll also have a Band Scramble - where bands are formed via selections from a hat. Bands are then given a few minutes to work up a song and later perform it on stage. You won't want to miss this event.

Note the change to Thursday night, not Tuesday.

Please bring your favourite finger food to share (savoury or sweet); your instrument if you plan to jam or enter the band scramble, and wads of cash for Doug's fabulous bluegrass oriented auction.

Come for the whole evening and enjoy snacks and festivities with friends new and old.

Doors open: 7:30 pm The deadline for joining the band scramble is 7:45pm, so don't miss out.
Admission: suggested donation $3 general, $2 for VBA members, plus your donation to the Mustard Seed

Past Events -2016
Tuesday January 26th 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Hoot and Holler

Boston's favorite old time duo Hoot and Holler is escaping the throes of the New England winter for a tour of the west coast. Amy Alvey (fiddle, vocals) and Mark Kilianski (guitar, vocals) present a hearty dose of traditional songs and tunes on fiddle, guitar and banjo as well as original songs and compositions. Amy and Mark, Berklee College of Music grads, are returning to promote brand new material in addition to songs from their album released last fall, Nothing If Not Young.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
Tuesday February 23rd 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Riverside Bluegrass Band

Just as the river changes its course, so too does the Riverside Bluegrass Band. If you've been around the bluegrass scene in Victoria for a while, you probably know everyone in this ensemble. If you're not part of the scene, this would be a good time to meet these guys. Some parts of the Riverside Bluegrass Band are original, and like the banks of the river, some have changed. The new members are Steve Harrison on banjo and Tad Ruszel on mandolin and vocals. The original members are Angus MacKenzie on guitar, and Eric Adams on bass and vocals. With new members comes a new repertoire, so come and hear their new sounds and harmonies!

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
Tuesday March 29th 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Rock Island Ramblers

Times Colonist and M-award winning Oldtime, Bluegrass and Folk artist Oliver Swain and Victoria's hot pickin' mandolin and guitarist James Whittall are joined by Grand North American Fiddle Champion Ivonne Hernandez. The show will feature special guest guitar and mandolin player Jesse Cobb, whose Nashville colleagues include Noam Pikelny and Brian Sutton.

Don't miss this all-star performance.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
Tuesday April 26th 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Garrett Tompson Band

Unfortunately, The Sweet Lowdown has been forced to cancel their show on this date for health reasons. Fortunately, The Garrett Tompson Band has stepped in to fill the gap.

Garrett has been an active member of the Victoria bluegrass scene for many years, playing with several bands and guesting with a few more. In 2009, he was the recipient of the VBA bursary to the BC Bluegrass Workshop. He is a fine picker and a terrific singer, and it is a pleasure to have this talented musician appear on the VBA stage as the leader of his own band.

The Garrett Tompson Band is a five-member bluegrass unit from Victoria, inspired by the early J.D. Crowe and the New South. They play straight-up bluegrass, while adding material and ideas from other genres, but always keeping a bluegrass drive and harmonies. All five members have been marinated in bluegrass - the drive and groove take care of themselves.

Members include Mike Kraft (banjo), Miriam Sonstenes (fiddle), Jeff Ellis (bass), Paul Lange (mandolin), and Garrett Tompson on Guitar. All members provide lead and harmony vocals, but Garrett's warm country baritone voice is what we all anticipate hearing.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
Thursday May 26th 7:30pm Hermann's Jazz Club (map)
Concert: Jeff Scroggins and Colorado/

This high-energy five-piece bluegrass band from Colorado returns to Vancouver Island for a very special limited-seating show.

Fronted by internationally acclaimed two-time National Banjo Champion Jeff Scroggins, their distinct style is immediately recognizable due to Jeff's unique and diverse range of influences, which include Alan Munde, Don Reno, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton. The band also features the award-winning mandolin playing of Jeff's son Tristan Scroggins. At only 20 years old, Tristan is an award-winning instrumentalist and accomplished songwriter. West Virginia native Greg Blake provides powerful bluegrass vocals and guitar steeped in country heritage, bringing a truly authentic sound developed from a lifetime of singing bluegrass, gospel, and country. They are joined by Oregon native and festival favorite Ellie Hakanson on fiddle and vocals as well as champion multi-instrumentalist and veteran musician Isaac Calender on bass.

Opening the show is The Garrett Thompson Band featuring Mike Kraft (banjo), Miriam Sonstenes (fiddle), Jeff Ellis (bass), Paul Lange (mandolin), and Garrett Tompson on guitar.

Get your tickets early - it's sure to sell out.

Doors open 5:30 pm. Advance tickets $20 general; $18 VBA Members (use the Member Password that was emailed to you). Tickets are also sold at any VBA event. Price at the door is $25 for all.
More info: tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca or phone 250.588.2780
Tuesday May 31st 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: The Three Tims

Several years ago the idea came up to do a Tim O'Brien Tribute. It was talked about again at festivals last summer, so in the fall of last year James Whittall, Paul Lange and Larry Stevens decided to put together a set of songs written or recorded by Tim. These 3 have been greatly influenced by Tim O'Brien as a player, song writer, sideman, as well as a member of Hot Rize and Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers.

With the help of a couple of special guests, James, Paul and Larry will perform some of their favourite Tim tunes. It will be an evening to remember.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
Tuesday June 7th 7:30pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Annual General Meeting

The AGM is your opportunity to get involved, to give us input on what type of activities you would like to see the VBA organize, and to make suggestions on how to improve on anything we are doing at the present time.

We also elect our Board for the next year. If you are interested in becoming a board member, please email nomination@victoriabluegrass.ca

If any member has "Other Business" they wish to raise at the AGM, please submit it in writing to any current board member, or email Lisa Feeney.

Only paid up 2016/2017 members can voice an opinion and vote at the meeting.

The meeting will be followed by a band scramble, so don't forget to bring your instruments. Cake too !

June 17th to 19th Sooke River Campground (map)
14th Annual Sooke River Bluegrass Festival

Kick off the festival-camping season with mighty lively Bluegrass, Old-Time Music and Dance. PLUS endless jamming, happy food vendors, kids fun zone, performer seminars, and more!

The festival is family friendly and features an array of local & visiting acoustic talent, food & merchandise vendors, instrument workshops and beautiful scenery. John Reischman and the Pine Siskins, Tom Terrell, Twin Bandit, Wellesley Station, Garrett Tompson Band, Sarah Jane Scouten, The Clover Point Drifters, Riverside Bluegrass Band ... and YOMADA's House Stringband plays for a square dance Saturday night under the big top tent.

Held every Father's Day weekend at the Sooke River Campground, the festival is a family affair and very affordable, with day passes as low as $10 or weekend passes for $50 (camping extra). Check out their website, and get ready for a great weekend!
Tuesday September 6th 7:45pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Beginner's Jam Resumes

Summer's almost gone, Winter's coming on, and you've laid around too long, so it's time to put away the short pants and head down to the VBA Slow Jam again.

Full details here.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
More info: Alan Law at 250-388-4520 or email bookings@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday September 27th 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Button & String

Button & String bring you minor waltzes and ridiculous ragtime on the banjo and accordion with plans to get you movin'. Original stories, tap-dancing feet, soulful saw and happy harmonies, this duo dances and grooves in and out of folk, klezmer, balkan, swing and any old thing. Based out of Victoria, BC, you can find them playing at cafes, festivals, bars, rooftops and your own living room.

Featuring VBA bursary winner Kaitlin Chamberlin on banjo !

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
Sunday October 2nd 8:00pm Hermann's Jazz Club (map)
Concert: Jeff Scroggins and Colorado/

One of the premier touring bluegrass bands comes back to town for another fine concert of traditional bluegrass.

Fronted by internationally acclaimed two-time National Banjo Champion Jeff Scroggins, their distinct style is immediately recognizable due to Jeff's unique and diverse range of influences, which include Alan Munde, Don Reno, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton. The band also features the award-winning mandolin playing of Jeff's son Tristan Scroggins. At only 20 years old, Tristan is an award-winning instrumentalist and accomplished songwriter. West Virginia native Greg Blake provides powerful bluegrass vocals and guitar steeped in country heritage, bringing a truly authentic sound developed from a lifetime of singing bluegrass, gospel, and country. They are joined by Oregon native and festival favorite Ellie Hakanson on fiddle and vocals as well as champion multi-instrumentalist and veteran musician Isaac Calender on bass.

Get your tickets early - there is limited seating in this intimate venue.

Doors open 7:00 pm. Advance tickets $20 general; $18 VBA Members (use the Member Password that was emailed to you). Tickets are also sold at any VBA event. Price at the door is $25 for all.
More info: tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca or phone 250.588.2780
Tuesday October 25th 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Unfaithful Servants

The Unfaithful Servants were founded by prolific songwriter and performer Dylan Stone while looking for an avenue to perform his acoustic music. He connected with Nashville transplant Jesse Cobb, a founding member and Grammy Award nominee with the critically-acclaimed bluegrass band The Infamous String Dusters. The group is rounded out by Miriam Sonstenes who performs and writes with the group The Sweet Lowdown. They deliver an engaging performance displaying their varied influences of Bluegrass, Folk, Country and Rock music.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
Tuesday November 29th 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Clover Point Drifters

They may be (mostly) older than dirt, but as time marches on, Grumpy and his friends keep making better music than ever. Taking their name from that magnificent point of land overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Clover Point Drifters have been playing together since January 2000, with each of the members having a decades-long love affair with bluegrass music. Their repertoire consists primarily of traditional bluegrass songs, with a sprinkling of country, folk, blues and pop melodies served up in the bluegrass style. Their songs feature the kind of heartfelt, high lonesome harmonies and strong banjo, dobro and mandolin accompaniment that makes old-time bluegrass music so compelling. Featuring Alan Law (guitar), Dan Parker (mandolin), Larry Stevens (dobro), Mike Kraft (banjo), George Robinson (bass)

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
Saturday December 3rd 8:00pm Cordova Bay United Church (map)
Special Concert: On A Winter's Night

In what has become a Victoria tradition, John Reischman and the Jaybird Trio are fluttering into town for their 8th Annual Christmas Concert and Benefit. You can expect the usual intimate performance, stunning instrumentals and soaring harmonies from these masters of acoustic music.

This year, the evening will showcase a broader musical offering, with the Jaybird Trio (John Reischman on mandolin; Trisha Gagnon on bass; Nick Hornbuckle on 5- string banjo) being joined by guest musicians Eli West on guitar and Trent Freeman on fiddle.

Also featuring Wellesley Station (Nick Hornbuckle; Miriam Sonstenes, fiddle; and Rachel Capon, cello)

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the music, Vancouver's John Reischman is one of the acoustic world's top-ranked mandolin players and composers, renowned for his exquisite taste, tone and impeccable musicianship. He is revered for his ability to play genres ranging from bluegrass to jazz to hot swing to Latin and beyond.

The Jaybirds have accumulated several European and North American tours, five critically acclaimed albums, two Juno nominations and two Canadian Folk Music Award nominations. Like the mandolinist at its helm, the group fashions a stylish, elegant take on bluegrass that is at once innovative and unadorned, sophisticated and stripped-down, happily old-fashioned, yet unselfconsciously new. Their live show has a genial blend of story-telling and side-show humor behind their studied performance of original songs, instrumentals, and freshly arranged traditional material.

$5 of every ticket sold will be donated to Our Place Society.

This show is a co-production of Sooke River Bluegrass Festival and Victoria Bluegrass Association.

Doors open 7:30 pm. Advance tickets at Brown Paper Tickets $25 general; $20 for VBA Members (use the Discount Code that was emailed to you). Tickets are also sold at any VBA event. Price at the door is $30 for all.
More info: tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca or phone 250.588.2780
Sunday December 4th 8:00pm Hermann's Jazz Club (map)
Special Concert: Foghorn Stringband

Internationally acclaimed Foghorn Stringband has been at the vanguard of a revival in American old-time music for over a decade now. They've traveled the globe and inspired a new generation of old-time musicians without compromising their love of traditional American music. But they've gathered new ideas and new band members too. Their unique sound is rooted in the fiery, intertwining melodies of Stephen "Sammy" Lind's fiddle and Caleb Klauder's mandolin, supported by the bedrock-solid rhythm foundation of Reeb Willms' guitar and Nadine Landry's bass. And when it comes to vocals, they deliver; four powerful and exceptional voices resulting in countless combinations of harmonies. A typical Foghorn set is based around exquisitely rare old-time tunes and songs, but a vast knowledge of early country music and recent explorations in Cajun song traditions have molded a powerful new sound. Any band would be happy to have mastered one music genre, but Foghorn Stringband have a roaming spirit, and are sparking revivals of American roots music traditions.

Doors open 7:00 pm. Advance tickets at Brown Paper Tickets $15 general; $13 for VBA Members (use the Discount Code that was emailed to you). Tickets are also sold at any VBA event. Price at the door is $20 for all.
More info: tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca or phone 250.588.2780
Tuesday December 13th 7:30pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Holiday Jam and Fundraiser

Holidays got you bent out of shape ? Well c'mon down to the VBA party !

This fundraiser event is our annual end of year holiday event. All proceeds from this evening including your regular jam admission fee will be donated to The Mustard Seed. Also, we will collect canned goods, gently used clothes, (particularly outerwear), blankets, bedding, towels and last but not least, financial donations.

Doug Van Dine will be running his famous bluegrass-oriented auction. Let us know if you have something entertaining, quirky, or bizarre that you think might be an interesting auction item.

We'll also have a Band Scramble - where bands are formed via selections from a hat. Bands are then given a few minutes to work up a song and later perform it on stage. You won't want to miss this event.

Please bring your favourite finger food to share (savoury or sweet); your instrument if you plan to jam or enter the band scramble, and wads of cash for Doug's fabulous bluegrass oriented auction.

Come for the whole evening and enjoy snacks and festivities with friends new and old.

Doors open: 7:30 pm The deadline for joining the band scramble is 7:45pm, so don't miss out.
Admission: suggested donation $3 general, $2 for VBA members, plus your donation to the Mustard Seed
Tuesday January 31st 8:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Special Concert: Lonesome Ace Stringband

The Lonesome Ace Stringband brings grit, skill and abandon to old-time, Appalachian folk songs and fiddle/banjo tunes. These are songs and tunes for life and all of its occasions: festivals, dances, wars, parties and funerals. The music comes from a tradition that inspires all generations. Its themes of love, loss, hard work, hardship, faith, and everyday life, speak to everyone. The band has an instinctive rapport that comes from logging many hundreds of hours playing and entertaining together. They impart a deep respect for the roots of the music, a keen sense of innovation in their material and performance, and a transcending passion for the sound. This is old-time music for today's old soul.

Chris Coole is a cracker-jack banjo picker who has been on the old-time and roots music scene for going on 20 years. He has taught at banjo workshops and camps internationally, released several albums under his own name and with the Foggy Hogtown Boys as well as numerous collaborations with a variety of great roots musicians including Arnie Naiman, Erynn Marshall, Ivan Rosenberg and David Francey. His vision, musicality and great knowledge of the music are the driving forces of the trio.

John Showman is simply one of Canada's finest fiddle players, in any style. He is a strong, intuitive, and versatile musician best-known for his work with the Foggy Hogtown Boys, New Country Rehab and Creaking Tree String Quartet. His love of traditional fiddle music is uninhibited, and he brings music to life with inspired and forthright play.

Max Heineman's powerful and unique voice carries the listener straight to the heart of the song, with a timeless quality entirely his own yet one that hearkens back to the classic folk and country singers that shaped the style. His bass expertise supports the music, both driving the rhythm and gliding right along with the melody to shape the trio's distinctive sound.

Victoria audiences are no strangers to these fine folk, their having regularly toured the Island as members of The Foggy Hogtown Boys and various other acts. Each passing year and each new tour remind us that these stellar musicians of the Canadian scene continue to grow and develop their unique take on traditional acoustic music. We are indeed fortunate to host them once again. Get your tickets early, for our small venue is sure to sell out.

Doors open 7:30 pm    This show pre-empts our regular Tuesday jam.
Advance tickets $12 general; $10 for VBA Members (use the Discount Code that was emailed to you). Tickets are also sold at any VBA event. Price at the door is $15 for all.
More info: tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca or phone 250.588.2780
Tuesday February 28th 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Hardly Handsome

Hardly Handsome got their start playing music scores in fourth-rate movie theaters and orchestra pits of Alberta's underground theater scene. Rarely heard and seldom seen, the boys fatefully burst into the spotlight during a show in Canmore when their tarpaulin/orchestra pit came crashing down halfway through the second act.

From the far back row of the crowded basement, a woman was heard to scream, "They're hardly handsome but I'll spare a loonie to hear them play on!"

Now on the other side of the curtain, Hardly Handsome is gaining a following in Western Canada's off the beaten path bluegrass scene.


- The Underground Gazette

Over the past six years, Hardly Handsome has played at bluegrass festivals throughout select parts of North America, wowing fans with their wide ranging song selection, vibrant harmonies, dance moves, bass solos and BBQ'd tri-tip. The core members, Bill Humby on guitar and vocals, Gord Higby on mando and vocals, and Nico Humby on bass, vocals, and dance moves are pleased as punch to have fiddler fantastico Ivonne Hernandez joining them for this performance. Come for the tri tip, stay for the tunes...

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
Tuesday March 28th 9:00pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Feature Act: Tracy Lynn and Annie Savage

Annie Savage is a seasoned and vibrant fiddler who grew up studying with the likes of Bobby Hicks and Blaine Sprouse. She is a founding member of Jeff Scroggins and Colorado and recently released her latest CD project with her band The Savage Hearts. Since it's release, Playing It Forward has been in the top 5 of US Americana / Bluegrass Charts.

Tracy Lynn is a Vancouver Island-born singer songwriter who has just completed touring her 2014 CD The Young Old Woman.

Annie and Tracy bring a show filled with plenty of energy, laughs, and great music.

Doors open: 7:30 pm
The evening starts with an Open Stage from 7:45pm to 8:45pm. You can sign up for a spot on the Open Stage by contacting Jeb Gordon at 778-678-4570 or email openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers
Tuesday April 4th 6:30pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Workshop: Banjo with Devon Wells

Multi-instrumentalist Devon Wells is a founding member of the Tishomingo String Band and a solo performer. He has played with a wide variety of artists on recordings and in concert including a stint touring North America as banjoist for The Clumsy Lovers and appearances on television and in film.

As a banjoist Devon is known for his speed and clarity of tone as well as his innovative arrangements and original compositions.

The workshop will include some performance as well as address popular topics such as arranging for bluegrass banjo, developing speed, producing appealing tone and playing up the neck. Questions from the audience will be discussed in detail. This workshop is for all players, but listeners without their instruments are invited too.

Workshop starts at 6:30pm sharp, duration 1 hour. After the workshop, participants are welcome to join a VBA jam which will begin after the workshop. Regular jam fees will be waived for workshop participants.

Fees: $20 payable at the workshop
More info: email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca
Tuesday May 2nd 6:30pm First Church of Christ Scientist (map)
Workshop: Singing with Alan Law

How to Make Yourself Heard

There is more to a song than notes and words. How often have you listened to a singer who had a good song to sing, but you found your attention wandering ? The singer failed to connect with the audience, and there are some simple ways to fix it.

This workshop will focus on presentation - techniques and tricks to give your singing more impact. We'll talk about melody, phrasing, dynamics and other aspects of performing songs. All singers welcome.

Alan Law is a stalwart of the local bluegrass scene, notably as lead/tenor singer in the Clover Point Drifters. He has also produced and engineered many recordings for local musicians.

Workshop starts at 6:30pm sharp, duration 1 hour. After the workshop, participants are welcome to join a VBA jam which will begin after the workshop. Regular jam fees will be waived for workshop participants.

Fees: $15 payable at the workshop
More info: email workshops@victoriabluegrass.ca