Meet the Artist: William Prince

Meet the Artist: William Prince

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The Mariposa Folk Festival 2024 headliner is a rising star in the Canadian music industry.

In 2017, a singer-songwriter from Winnipeg, Manitoba sent ripples through the folk world, winning the Contemporary Roots Album of the Year JUNO Award for his debut, Earthly Days.

Since then, William Prince has become a fixture in the Canadian folks scene, thanks to his distinctive soulful baritone and compelling storytelling. That JUNO winning album sent his life on a new trajectory; in the years that followed, he released the critically acclaimed albums Reliever (2020) and Stand In The Joy (2023), opened for Neil Young, and collaborated with Serena Ryder on the singles “Sing Me A Song” and “River Of Tears.”  He’s played Massey Hall, the Grand Ole Opry and an NPR Tiny Desk Concert. And this summer, he’ll be  headlining the Mariposa Folk Festival. 

Despite a seemingly quick rise, Prince’s musical journey was a decade in the making. Prince told CBC News that it took him 10 years to complete that first album. At first, he tried to emulate other artists, but eventually he embraced his calm, introspective sound. “I’ve always had a lot to say,” he said about his songwriting. “A bad day becomes a song, but good days become songs, too.”   

The Anishinabe artist hails from Peguis First Nation in Manitoba’s the Interlake region. He learned a love of music from his father, who died shortly before Earthly Days’ release. 

“I would have spent a lot of time playing music with my dad,” Prince told The String. “He was raised on Johnny Cash gospel and Charley Pride and stuff. And it was always around our house. And so I learned from him to sing those kinds of classic songs—Hank Williams, Willie Nelson songs. As well as on Sunday, you know, he’d be preaching, he’d be leading the country band that we had there. And I was 14 or 15 when I would have started out on guitar playing music with him.”

That classic country influence is clear in songs like “Breathless” and “The Spark,” which combine catchy hooks and a lonesome drawl with thoughtful, relatable lyrics. Yet, through it all is a note of optimism—and a whole lot of love.        

Prince’s latest album, Stand In The Joy, won the JUNO for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year and the Canadian Folk Music Award for Contemporary Album of the Year. This is Prince’s most life-affirming release yet, unapologetically joyful without losing the qualities fans have come to expect.  

“That’s what I can do for this northern sound,” Prince told The Toronto Star. “I grew up on a reservation, you know, and lived a life that maybe people aren’t familiar with. The best thing I can do is to keep singing about the truth and things I’ve seen in my life.”

YouTube Links:

The Spark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=se2ydGeArdo

Breathless: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPGvW8XTzps

Bruce Cockburn To Be Inducted Into Mariposa Hall of Fame

Bruce Cockburn To Be Inducted Into Mariposa Hall of Fame

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Photo credit: Bruce Cockburn performing at 1972 Mariposa Folk Festival. Photo by Edwin Gailits.

RUMOURS OF GLORY? “Mariposa has been at various points a really important part of me being able to get my songs out to people.”

ORILLIA – MAY 9, 2024

The Mariposa Folk Festival will enshrine Bruce Cockburn in its Hall of Fame at this year’s festival, July 5 – 7, at Tudhope Park in Orillia.

“Bruce Cockburn is a courageous and inspiring Canadian artist who first played the festival in 1968 and has graced our stage 8 times over the years,” said Festival president Pam Carter. “We’re honoured to induct him to the Mariposa Hall of Fame this July during his 9th appearance,” added Carter.

“It’s of course an honour,” said Cockburn in reaction to the news. “Mariposa has been at various points a really important part of me being able to get my songs out to people.”

He recalls his first unplanned mainstage appearance at Mariposa: “I was supposed to do an afternoon set – which I did. And Neil Young was on the bill and Neil had to cancel because he had an ear issue or some problem and – all of a sudden – I was on the main stage so I got up and played my songs and people liked it and it went on from there.”

Cockburn and the Mariposa vibe seem to have always dovetailed. While his songs of protest, love, and spiritual quest have moved many Mariposa audiences over the years, in typical Bruce Cockburn fashion, he remains humble in the face of his Hall of Fame induction.

“I actually look forward to being at the festival more than I look forward to getting this. At the same time, it is an honour and I’m very pleased about it,” said Cockburn who, like many patrons, has appreciated opportunities to immerse himself and discover new artists while at the festival: “The famous people were less interesting to me than the people I had never heard of,” he said regarding his multiple appearances at Mariposa.

A special live and pre-recorded tribute to Cockburn will be held on the evening of Sunday, July 7 at Mariposa’s Gordon Lightfoot Mainstage to commemorate the Hall of Fame induction. “You don’t want to miss the special tribute we have planned for Bruce,” said Carter. “It will be an evening to remember.”

The three-day Mariposa Folk Festival (July 5-7 2024, at Tudhope Park, Orillia, ON) features more than ten stages of top folk-roots music, along with presentations of story, dance, and craft. All ticket categories are on sale. Kids 12 & under are admitted free. The festival has special pricing for youth and young adults. Onsite camping is sold out.

Emerging folk musicians to showcase their talent at upcoming April performance

Emerging folk musicians to showcase their talent at upcoming April performance

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Spotlight Article appeared in Orillia Matters on April 19, 2024

The Emerging Artists Showcase is free to attend on April 27th

On April 27th, St. Paul’s Centre in Orillia will be filled with fresh music and a sense of electricity and excitement as ten bands take the stage to compete for a spot at the Mariposa Folk Festival in July.

Starting in 2010 as a way to discover emerging folk music to share with the Mariposa audience, The Mariposa Folk Festival’s Emerging Artists Showcase has become a launching pad for many careers. This year, 291 Canadian artists applied to perform, but only ten were lucky enough to be selected.

“It blows you away the amount of pent-up talent out there that is just looking for their first break,” says Chris Hazel, manager of the Mariposa Festival, adding that although only three of the ten acts will be selected to play at the Festival in July, they’re already all winners because they beat the odds of being selected for the Showcase.

Rebekah Hawker — who describes her music as between the intersection of folk and country — has been applying to perform at the Showcase for the past four years and will take the stage this year.

“…To keep working at something, to get better, and to just have that acknowledged, it feels really good,” Hawker says about being selected. “Honestly, it’s a nice little pause. I don’t think I get to pause very often and be like, “Hey, I think I might be getting better, and this is resonating with people, which is the whole goal.”

Originally from Barrie, ON, Hawker has known about the festival since she was a kid and is excited to connect with and play for the Mariposa folk community.

Sammy Johnston of Sammy & the Band will also be playing at the Emerging Artists Showcase and says it feels great to be grouped alongside the other amazing musicians chosen to play.

“I’ve seen so many musicians that I’ve looked up to at folk fest in years past, from the big stage to the beer tent, so it would be amazing to be a part of that. I remember meeting the Larkin Poe girls after their show in 2018 and feeling extremely inspired. We’re so lucky to have this happen in Orillia,” Johnston says.

Bandmember Jennie Davis adds that she’s personally stoked because she’s been attending the festival since she was 11, and it has always been a dream of hers to perform as an artist at the festival.

Some of the bands that previously played and won the Emerging Artists Showcase, including Union Duke, Cat Clyde, James Gray, and Doghouse Orchestra, will also perform at the Mariposa festival this summer, a testament to how the Showcase can have a lasting impact on music careers.

“Union Duke won the showcase back in 2013, and they’ve gone on to be one of the Mariposa Folk Festival fan favourites, with people going out of their way to see them,” Hazel says.

James Gray, one of the four artists selected from the Emerging Artists Showcase in 2019 to play at the Mariposa Festival that year, says he’s extremely grateful for festivals like Mariposa that give emerging folk singers a broader audience.

“It’s not based on your clout or your experience in the music industry; it’s based on what is coming into their ears,” Gray says. Connecting with other artists and people at the festival and having that community behind him has also helped with his career, he says, and he’s excited to be returning to play at the festival this summer.

All ages are welcome to The Emerging Artists Showcase that is free of charge on April 27th at St. Paul’s Centre in Orillia starting at 1 p.m.

To learn more about all the artists performing, visit the website here.

Orillia Artist Tony Bianco Creates ‘Quintessentially’ Mariposa Folk Festival Poster

Orillia Artist Tony Bianco Creates ‘Quintessentially’ Mariposa Folk Festival Poster

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“The simple essence of sharing music together as friends and family”

Link to Video Interview with Tony Bianco and Leslie Merklinger

ORILLIA ONTARIO – April 18, 2024, 10:00 am

Artist, Tony Bianco, has teamed with the Mariposa Folk Festival to create an event poster for this year’s gathering (July 5 – 7, 2024) at Tudhope Park, Orillia.

“We’ve been looking forward to working with a local artist on this exceptional, artistic collaboration,” said Mariposa Festival President, Pam Carter. “And what Tony has imagined is nothing less than quintessentially Mariposa.”

The campaign theme of the 2024 festival, Playing in Harmony, helped spark Bianco’s creativity.

“Inspiration always starts with an idea. For me that’s got to be something that has meaning and value,” said Bianco. “I’m not interested in pretty pictures.  A good idea conveys a truth, and it should do so clearly.  What inspired me for this piece was the idea that music draws us together; families, old and new friends, a community, all gathered around this magic of hearing and making music.”

Mariposa Folk Festival Manager, Chris Hazel, believes sales will be brisk and points out the limited quantity available: “We chose to have only 300 prints created. Tony collaborated with the craftspeople at Rose Printing to adjust the colour and oversee the lithography for optimal reproduction.”

The prints will retail for $25 plus HST and sales will officially launch at the Mariposa Showcase Auditions, April 27th at St. Paul’s in Orillia. They will also be available for purchase at the Mariposa offices on Peter St. in Orillia.

Bianco, who’s studio is nestled in the woods of Severn Township, is a strong believer in the mission and tradition of the festival.

“I’m an artist, and so I believe in truth and beauty, whatever it’s form,” said Bianco. “Mariposa is a real-world opportunity for us to be connected socially around beautiful truths expressed in musical form.  In an increasingly polarized and fragmented world, we need that more than ever.”

The broad age range and welcoming vibe of Mariposa followers, fans, and patrons guided the artist’s creative process.

“I start a project like this with a lot of looking and thinking.  Sometimes I sketch from life, or from imagination, until a simple but meaningful idea shows up,” said Bianco. “Then I chase it down, trying to refine and edit it.  In this case I was able to access many years of Mariposa archives.  Using that imagery, I tried to find a theme that spoke about the simple essence of sharing music together as friends and family.  I also wanted it to look like home, and appeal to multiple generations, because that’s who Mariposa attracts.”

The Mariposa Folk Festival was founded in Orillia, Ontario in 1961. Through the years, it has grown to become Canada’s most legendary musical gathering. The 2024 lineup will include: Old Crow Medicine Show, Bahamas, Band Of Horses, Noah Cyrus, William Prince, Bruce Cockburn, Amigo The Devil, Donovan Woods, Dwayne Gretzky, Jesse Cook, Joseph, Maestro Fresh Wes, Modern Biology, The Secret Sisters, and many more.

The three-day gathering features 11 stages of top folk-roots music, along with presentations of story, dance, and craft. Children 12 & under are admitted free. The festival has special pricing for youth and young adults. Onsite camping is sold out. Tickets for Mariposa are on sale via the festival website.

Tony Bianco

Mariposa 2024 Lineup Announcement: Old Crow Medicine Show, Bahamas, Band of Horses, Noah Cyrus, William Prince, Bruce Cockburn, Amigo The Devil, Donovan Woods, Dwayne Gretzky,Jesse Cook, Joseph, Maestro Fresh Wes,Modern Biology, The Secret Sisters, and More

Mariposa 2024 Lineup Announcement: Old Crow Medicine Show, Bahamas, Band of Horses, Noah Cyrus, William Prince, Bruce Cockburn, Amigo The Devil, Donovan Woods, Dwayne Gretzky,Jesse Cook, Joseph, Maestro Fresh Wes,Modern Biology, The Secret Sisters, and More

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ORILLIA ONTARIO – Feb. 29, 2024, 10:00 am

The Mariposa Folk Festival returns July 5 to 7 to Tudhope Park in Orillia with a lineup that includes Old Crow Medicine Show, Bahamas, Band of Horses, Noah Cyrus, William Prince, Amigo The Devil, Donovan Woods, Dwayne Gretzky, Jesse Cook, Joseph, Maestro Fresh Wes, Modern Biology, The Secret Sisters, a special performance by Bruce Cockburn, and more.

The lineup was revealed today for the 2024 edition of the iconic music festival. The Mariposa Folk Festival was founded in Orillia, Ontario in 1961. Through the years, it has grown to become Canada’s most legendary musical gathering. Tickets for Mariposa are on sale via the festival website.

“The festival consistently sells out well ahead of time, and with such a well-crafted lineup, don’t wait much longer before purchasing your Mariposa 2024 tickets,” said Mariposa Folk Foundation President, Pam Carter. “We’re thrilled that families and groups of friends have chosen our event as their essential annual gathering. For 64 years, Mariposa has evolved while staying true to our roots for generations to come.”

In crafting his first Mariposa lineup, Artistic Director, Spencer Shewen, looked to present an engaging roster of talent that recognizes the Festival’s storied history while creating the opportunity to showcase new and exciting artists. “With the lineup we are presenting at Mariposa this year, our attendees are going to be able to see fan-favourites who they know and love as well as many great new and emerging acts that are starting to make waves on the world stage. I have no doubt that our guests are going to come to the Festival to see someone they’ve been listening to forever and, at the same time, leave the weekend with their new favourite band! I’ve always found that the most powerful thing about music festivals is the discovery piece – the opportunity to find something amazing that you didn’t know before attending, that could be the next big thing.”

The 2024 lineup will include: Old Crow Medicine Show, Bahamas, Band Of Horses, Noah Cyrus, William Prince, Bruce Cockburn, Amigo The Devil, Donovan Woods, Dwayne Gretzky, Jesse Cook, Joseph,Maestro Fresh Wes, Modern Biology, The Secret Sisters, Alex Nicol, Amanda Rheaume, B.A. Johnston, Balaklava Blues, Ben Caplan, Benjamin Doerksen, Billianne, Blue Moon Marquee, Bry Webb, Carleigh Aikins, Cassandra Lewis, Cat Clyde, CJ Wiley, Colin Linden, Crystal Shawanda, Doghouse Orchestra, Ellen Froese, Fellow Camper, Field Guide, The Fuddles, Good Lovelies, Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys, Hussy Hicks, Irish Mythen, James Gray, Jeremie Albino, Jessica Charlie, Jiggity James, Jon Muq, Ken Whiteley,  Kim Churchill, Lawrence Maxwell, Leeroy Stagger, Mattmac, Mia Kelly, Nancy Kopman, Okkervil River, Old Man Luedecke, Onion Honey, The Paddling Puppeteers, Rick Fines, Rose Cousins, Royal Castles, Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, Shad, Shaina Hayes, Shawnee Kish, Shebad, Splash’N Boots, Union Duke, The Vaudevillian, Willows, Wyatt C Louis, Young Maestro, and Special Guest Tom Power.

Shewen is particularly pleased with the number of exceptional songwriters in the lineup: “With such gifted composers and lyricists as Donovan Woods, Cat Clyde, CJ Wiley, and many others, I look forward to magical Mariposa moments in workshops, on side stages, and on the Lightfoot Main Stage.”

The three-day Mariposa Folk Festival features 11 stages of top folk-roots music, along with presentations of story, dance, and craft. All ticket categories are on sale. Children 12 & under are admitted free. The festival has special pricing for youth and young adults. Onsite camping is available. https://mariposafolk.com/

Mariposa-In-Concert Presents Boreal

Mariposa-In-Concert Presents Boreal

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ORILLIA ONTARIO, 10:00am January 17, 2024

As the snow melts, the sap runs, and the days grow longer, the popular Ontario-based trio, Boreal (Katherine Wheatley, Tannis Slimmon, Angie Nussey), takes the stage to celebrate the awakening of spring with their show “Songs of Renewal,”

Mariposa In Concert’s final concert of the 2023-24 season is slated for Saturday, March 9, at St. Paul’s Centre, 62 Peter Street North, Orillia. Doors open at 7 p.m. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 (all fees and taxes included) and are available at the Mariposa Folk Foundation office, 10 Peter Street South in downtown Orillia, or online at this link.

“The musicianship, intricate vocal harmonies and heartwarming songs that Boreal brings will undoubtedly warm the chills of March,” Mariposa Folk Foundation President Pam Carter said. “This will be the last Mariposa In Concert offering before the 2024 Mariposa Folk Festival arrives.”

Boreal’s spell-binding harmonies, combined vocal prowess and tour-de-force songwriting make for a powerful musical event. With humour, storytelling and heart-melting honesty, they take their audience on a journey of friendship, laughter and connection.  

Boreal is the magical musical collaboration of Orillia’s songstress Angie Nussey and Guelph musicians Tannis Slimmon and Katherine Wheatley. These three hard-working singer-songwriters, each with their own longstanding, award-winning careers, simply love playing music together. In the winter, they shine their collective light on Canada’s coldest months with their show “Songs for the Snowy Season.” March, April and May are reserved for “Songs of Renewal”, a show that anticipates spring with sun-loving, moon-watching, finger-snapping, heart-touching and deeply uplifting songs.

While these three great friends love to perform as a trio, they also encourage a balancing of their respective solo careers. Angie has been touring and promoting her latest solo album and book, both titled “I Have No Idea What I’m Doing”. Tannis has been performing with multi-instrumentalist Lewis Melville, singing with Guelph’s Ondine Choir, and touring the chateaux of France. And, as well as leading choirs, online sing-alongs and touring with the duo, “Wendell and Wheat”, Katherine has been working as a nature-guide/musician aboard an adventure ship in Alaska.

“Their harmonies were exquisite…not sure there’s another 3 women band in this country that could dream of sounding that good together.”

John Law, Artistic Director, Kingsville Music Society

Boreal started in 2006 at a tea party for three: Tannis Slimmon, Jude Vadala and brand new Guelphite, Katherine Wheatley. They started singing around the table and a few weeks later played their first two shows. The trio’s first CD, “Winter’s Welcome” (2014), is a collection of winter-themed songs, from seasonal classics to original jazz, folk and gospel-tinged dedications to ice and snow.

Angie Nussey is the most recent member of Boreal. She lovingly replaced Jude Vadala in 2019. The trio had one season with Angie before the world changed. In isolation, they worked together-apart, writing and recording songs. Boreal continues to work on their new album, their first with Angie. It will be released in late 2024.

The Mariposa Folk Foundation’s 2023-24 Concert Series is sponsored by Alleycats Music & Art, Amy & Al Wallace, Apple Annie’s Café, Bell Chiropractic and Soft Tissue Centre, Cathy Cleary Design, Colour n’ Light Muskoka, Dapper Depot, Dentistry on West, Lavender Hills Farm, Paul Raymond, Susie Q Fudge and Gifts and Tim Lauer, Sales Representative, Royal LePage Real Quest Realty.

Mariposa’s Annual ‘Evening of Blues & Gospel’ Show Feb. 3, 2024

Mariposa’s Annual ‘Evening of Blues & Gospel’ Show Feb. 3, 2024

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ORILLIA ONTARIO, 11:00am December 15, 2023

Mariposa in Concert’s (MIC) wildly popular ‘An Evening of Blues & Gospel’ Show returns Saturday Feb. 3, 2024 at the Orillia Opera House with another incredible lineup of all-star vocalists and musicians assembled, arranged and directed by Orillia’s own JUNO award winning producer, Lance Anderson.

“This is our 12th annual Blues & Gospel Show and it comes at a perfect time as a mid-winter relief,” Mariposa Folk Foundation President Pam Carter said. “This music definitely lifts your spirit.”

Tickets are $35 (all fees and taxes included) and are available at the Orillia Opera House Box Office or online at orilliaoperahouse.com. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.

Please note that the elevator at the Orillia Opera House will be undergoing maintenance and will be unavailable for patron use for this show.

Winner and 2020 nominee for the Maple Blues Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year, Lance Anderson, is musical arranger and director of the show. Seven-time Maple Blues award winner Kenny (Blues Boss) Wayne is headlining along with the phenomenal talent of Jordan John and legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Famer bassist Prakash John. Local Blues favourite from Rama First Nations Ronnie Douglas will bring his guitar-based rockin’ blues and soulful voice to the stage. As in past years Lance will introduce an artist that is new to the Mariposa audience, the incredibly gifted pianist Michael Shand, from Toronto.

“Lance Anderson’s musical connections run deep in the industry and he always assembles a stellar group of artists,” Carter said. “We sell out this show every year and people are well-advised to pick up their tickets as soon as possible. They make excellent Christmas gifts.”

Kenny (Blues Boss) Wayne

Award winning international piano blues artist on Stony Plain records, Wayne was born in Spokane, Washington, and raised in New Orleans, Los Angeles and San Francisco.  He started playing piano at 13 and has been performing for over 50 years.

Over the years he has performed with and shared the stage with a great many of the world’s most influential blues and rock pioneers, including Jimmy Reed, Pinetop Perkins, Johnnie Johnson, Joe Louis Walker and Floyd Dixon, and as a guest performer with well-known rock and soul artists that have included Ike Turner, Sly and the Family Stone, Delaney and Bonnie and members of Santana and the Doobie Brothers.  And recently, performed as a guest artist with the Legendary Downchild Blues band at Massey Hall in celebration of their 50 + years of playing the blues.

His many awards include seven Maple Blues Awards (Toronto Blues Society) for ‘piano player of the year’ and three outstanding keyboard awards from Living Blues magazine, in which he was hailed as “an artist bringing the piano back to the front ranks of contemporary Blues.” In 2006 he won a Juno Award for Best Blues Album and was nominated three times afterwards.  2023 nominated for Pinetop Perkins ‘Piano Player of the Year’ from the Blues Music Award.  The Blues Boss has been on many covers of blues magazines worldwide including the Living Blues Magazine 2022 June/July issue.  This year, Kenny recently received the prestigious ‘Bobby Blue Bland’ Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jus Blues Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia.  And he is also nominated as 2023 Keyboard player and traditional blues band of the year by Blues Blast Magazine. Kenny now resides in beautiful Burlington, ON.

Jordan John

International lead vocal & multi-instrumental sensation Jordan John is a more powerful, polished & accomplished musician than many players twice his age.  Adept on drums, keyboards, guitar and bass, he is a uniquely diverse & refined sonic embodiment of sheer talent & pure artistry.

Be it performing in front of 20,000 + as a lead singing, guitar wielding frontman opening for The Queen of Soul, Miss Aretha Franklin (at her personal request), jamming at age 16 on drums with the artist formerly known as Prince, performing as a featured lead vocalist and guitarist for 16x Grammy Award Winning Producer & Hitmaker David Foster at the 30th Anniversary of the Blue Note Tokyo or appearing as interim bassist for famed Canadian rock trio, Wide Mouth Mason, Jordan’s talent & energy excites & delights spectators as well as his industry peers and musical luminaries all over the globe.

Garnering praise from the who’s who of the music industry such as world renown producer David Foster, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Bob Ezrin, Steve Jordan, Keith Richards, Robbie Robertson, you may begin to register the proper amount of astonishment his musicality can command.

Jordan’s diverse multi-instrumental ability has allowed him to perform & record at the highest level on drums, guitar, bass & B3 Hammond organ for the following Canadian, American & U.K. artists: Jeff Healey, Martin Short, David Foster, Burton Cummings, Colin James, Wide Mouth Mason, Ronnie Spector, The Trailer Park Boys, Johnny Reid, Deborah Cox, Divine Brown, Lucky Peterson, Matt Schofield, Pinetop Perkins, Elise LeGrow, to name but a few.

Bolstered by a world class band featuring legendary American Rock ’n Roll Hall of Fame bassist Prakash John and some of Canada’s brightest young, up and coming musicians, Jordan’s refreshing interpretation of soulful classics and original repertoire are sure to captivate and amaze both avid and casual fans of music well into the next decade and beyond!

Prakash John

It would be hard to find a musician anywhere who’s had a career as diverse and successful as Prakash John. As the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame bassist for George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic forges ahead in his fifth decade in the music business, there are still few artists of any age who can match his proficiency, energy, groove, and commitment.

His acclaimed career boasts a thorough pedigree of touring and recording credits.  Namely, iconic classics such as Lou Reed’s ‘Rock’n Roll Animal’ & ‘Sally Can’t Dance’, Alice Cooper’s ‘Welcome To My Nightmare’ & George Clinton’s ‘Parliament – Chocolate City’ & ‘America Eats Its Young’ to name but a few.

In addition to being the leader for 40 years of Canada’s Premier Rhythm ‘n Blues band The Lincolns, John has appeared as a sideman in film, studio and on stage for stars such as James Brown, The Blues Brothers, Dr. John & The Night Trippers, Paul Shaffer, The Trailer Park Boys, Rory Block, Pinetop Perkins, Frank Zappa, Gene MacLellan, Junior Wells, and Mike Bloomfield.

Ronnie Douglas

Ronnie Douglas is no stranger to the Orillia music scene. He is a two-time Maple Blues Award nominee for Best New Group/Artist and two-time Canadian Aboriginal Music Award for Best New Blues, Ronnie Douglas’s music has been featured nationally in blues radio programs and on the Aboriginal People’s Television Network (APTN) Rez Bluez series.

Since forming his group in the mid ’90s, notable festival performances include the Great Canadian Blues Festival, the Mariposa Folk Festival, the Southside Shuffle, and the Orillia Spring Blues Festival. Ronnie comes from a long line of great blues musicians from his community that included his brother Larry Douglas.

Michael Shand

Over 30 years of performance worldwide has earned Michael Shand his place in the upper echelon of keyboardists in all of Canada. Despite, in just four years, having achieved a grade 9 Royal Conservatory of Music classical piano certification, his musicality has been deeply rooted in jazz, having been immersed in it since birth in the home. He then went on to study jazz at York University where he was a recipient of the Oscar Peterson Scholarship Award.

However, it is the diversity of his musical influences that have uniquely molded his playing style and made him a top choice for so many artists, across so many genres. Shortly after leaving York, Michael, then 22, was pianist and musical director for the quintet, Kollage, which featured Archie Alleyne and Dougie Richardson, pillars of Canada’s jazz community. His professional career was on it’s way. The people he has worked with since, on the road and in studio, are some of the ‘who’s who’ of the Canadian music scene. They include jazz vocalists Molly Johnson, Jackie Richardson, Kellylee-Evans, Micah Barnes & Bille Newton-Davis (The Nylons), Matt Dusk, Sophie Milman, Laila Biali, Heather Bambrick (Jazz Fm 91.1) and instrumental artists Joy Lapps, Larnell Lewis (two-time Grammy winning drummer of Snarky Puppy), Alexis Baro, Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, Pee-Wee Ellis (James Brown Band), Roy Hargrove & Gregory Hutchinson and Caribbean jazz sextet Kalabash.

Michael Shand as also worked with: Soul/R&B artists Sean Jones, Glenn Lewis, Omar Lyefook (UK), Divine Brown, Jully Black, Shakura S’Aida, Jarvis Church (Philosopher Kings), Haydain Neale (Jacksoul), Kreesha, as well as hip-hop artists Kardinal Offishall, Maestro Fresh Wes, and Partynextdoo.

He is currently musical director for, Johnny Reid, with whom he has completed six sold out Canada-wide tours over 11 years, countless worldwide concerts since 2010, performed on the Junos thrice, and received his first Certified Canadian Platinum Award for his piano work on Reid’s album “A Christmas Gift to You” (2019). Michael has earned a Gemini award for his performance with Kollage on a CBC tribute to legendary singer, Salome Bey, and a Grammy nomination for his songwriting work on the Gramps Morgan reggae album, “Positive Vibration” (2021). Michael has also released his debut album, “Patience for Life” (2012) which features Larnell Lewis, Ross MacIntyre, Kelly Jefferson, Kevin Turcotte and more.

Lance Anderson

JUNO award winning producer Lance Anderson returns once again to reprise his role as musical arranger/director behind Mariposa in Concert’s annual ‘An Evening of Blues and Gospel’ Show.

Anderson, who has been performing for 50 years, was nominated for the Maple Blues Award for Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year, and his new band Matchedash Parish was nominated for 2 Maple Blues Awards in 2020 for: New Artist/Group of the Year and Record of the Year (Saturday Night).

The Orillia resident has still had a busy year with a new show that premiered to rave reviews at the Kitchener Blues Fest – GET BACK The Rooftop Concert the BEATLES Never Gave. The Last Waltz – A Musical Celebration of The Band; and Everyday People – The Music of Sly and the Family Stone, are two theatre shows that played festivals and concerts this past summer. His new jazz project Lance Anderson and World Jazz Asylum was a hit at the Orillia Jazz Festival this fall. Add to that the 60th Anniversary show ’60 in 60’ that was commissioned by the Mariposa Folk Festival in 2022, which was repeated at the Opera House in November of this year.

In 2015, Anderson and Kelly Peterson, widow of the late Oscar Peterson, co-produced a three-CD set of Oscar Peterson classics entitled Oscar, with Love. Anderson himself contributed two performances – Sir Lancewell, an original composition Peterson wrote for him, and O.P.s Boogie, which Anderson wrote for Peterson based on some lines from one of the jazz legend’s solos.

Still one of the busiest producers and arrangers in Canada, Anderson looks forward to another year of projects, including a new CD by The Matchedash Parish, his new, large ensemble featuring Matt Weidinger. This group played to rave reviews at the Mariposa Folk Festival, Montreal Int. Jazz festival, Mont Tremblant Int. Blues Fest and the Kitchener Blues Festival in 2019.

He has a new N’Orleans based band called the NOLA Parish that is performing in Panama February 2024. Anderson is currently co-executive producer of the Boquete Jazz and Blues Festival and the Beaches Panama Jazz and Blues Festival both in Panama.

Mariposa selects Spencer Shewen for Artistic Director

Mariposa selects Spencer Shewen for Artistic Director

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ORILLIA ONTARIO – October 26, 2023, 10:00 am

The Mariposa Folk Foundation is pleased to announce that following a thorough search, Spencer Shewen has been hired as Artistic Director. Shewen replaces Liz Scott who recently stepped down after 7 successful years.

Mariposa Foundation President Pam Carter oversaw the Foundation board’s recruitment and interview process. “We were looking for someone who can continue to build on our vision for the future. It wasn’t enough to appreciate our history – although that was essential – we needed someone who can deliver on the Mariposa promise of being true to our roots for generations to come and we are confident that we found that person in Spencer,” said Carter.

Shewen is well respected, with a wealth of experience and a demonstrated history of success in supporting the Canadian live music scene. Since 2014, he has been the Artistic Director at the celebrated and fast-growing Riverfest Elora, a complementary role to his new one with Mariposa that he will maintain. Shewen also holds positions on the Board of Directors for the River and Sky Festival in Sudbury and the Elora Centre for the Arts. Previously, he has held seats on the Board Of Directors for the Halifax Pop Explosion, the Hillside Festival, worked as Artistic Director for Waterstock, curated the Fortnight Music series and acted as Label Manager for SunnyLane Records.

“I’m extremely excited for the opportunity and I am aware of the weight that this role represents and the importance of this festival to so many people,” said Spencer. “Mariposa holds a unique place in the Canadian live music landscape.” What can Mariposa patrons expect from their new Artistic Director? “Not only will we see many well-known Mariposa favourites but our patrons will also have the opportunity to discover their new favourite performers.”

Founded in 1961, the Mariposa Folk Festival is one of North America’s most iconic annual gatherings. Over the years the Main Stage – which was renamed this year in memory of hometown hero Gordon Lightfoot – has featured such artists as Joni Mitchell, Pete Seeger, Buddy Guy, Leonard Cohen, Joan Baez, Odetta, John Prine, Bonnie Raitt, Spirit of the West, The Barenaked Ladies, Serena Ryder, Blue Rodeo, Jason Isbell, Feist, and of course, Lightfoot himself. The two most recent Mariposa Folk Festivals sold out of weekend passes. The lineups for the 3-day Mariposa Folk Festival (July 5-7, 2024) include upwards of 60 acts performing on 10 stages of top folk-roots music, along with presentations of story, dance, and craft. Kids 12 & under are admitted free. The festival has special pricing for youth and young adults. Onsite RV and tent camping is available. Tickets for the 2024 edition are available now at the Mariposa website: https://mariposafolk.com/

Mariposa Artistic Director leaves strong legacy – Liz Scott steps down after successful 7-year run

Mariposa Artistic Director leaves strong legacy – Liz Scott steps down after successful 7-year run

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ORILLIA ONTARIO – July 31, 2023, 10:00 am

The Mariposa Folk Foundation announced today that Artistic Director Liz Scott is stepping down after 7 successful years and two consecutive festival sell-outs. 

“Liz Scott shared the duties of Artistic Director with Mike Hill for the 2017 festival and took sole control of the artistic reins in 2018,” said Mariposa Folk Foundation President, Pam Carter. “During her tenure, our lineup continued to receive critical acclaim, our audience grew, and we were successful in attracting new fans. As I am fond of saying, Mariposa is true to its roots – for generations to come – and Liz has made an outstanding contribution to that end.”

The two most recent Mariposa Folk Festivals sold out of weekend passes long before gates opened. The ratio of younger demographics flourished during Scott’s tenure helping to secure Mariposa’s long-standing leadership role in the industry.

The Mariposa Folk Foundation Board unanimously thanked Scott for her dedication, creativity, and unique talent for assembling multi-layered lineups – always with something for everyone.

In crafting lineups, Scott was inspired by the beauty of Mariposa’s natural setting and her belief in the importance of in-person connections: “Pulling together the program is so exciting. New artists are there to be discovered from stage to stage to stage. That’s the trust audiences have had in Mariposa for over 60 years. It’s simply the best annual reunion of beautiful souls in a glorious setting.”

“We know that someone with Liz’s talent will continue to influence live music in Canada and the board wishes her well in all her future endeavours,” added Carter.

The Mariposa Folk Foundation anticipates launching the process to recruit its next Artistic Director by the end of the summer.

The three-day Mariposa Folk Festival features more than ten stages of top folk-roots music, along with presentations of story, dance, and craft. Kids 12 & under are admitted free. The festival has special pricing for youth and young adults. Onsite RV and tent camping is available. Tickets for the 2024 edition will be available for purchase this fall.

Lance Anderson’s ’60 in 60′ – A Celebration of the Mariposa Folk Festival

Lance Anderson’s ’60 in 60′ – A Celebration of the Mariposa Folk Festival

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Reprise of Mariposa Folk Festival ’60 in 60’

“A Celebration of 60 Years of Music from the Mariposa Folk Festival” was a show-stopping audience favourite at the 2022 Mariposa Folk Festival… and now it’s back to open Mariposa in Concert’s 2023-24 season!

This time, award-winning keyboardist and producer Lance Anderson will expand the 60-minute musical trip down memory lane into a 90-minute show at the Orillia Opera House on Saturday, November 18.

“Lance’s ‘60 in 60’ tribute opened the main stage at our 2022 festival,” Festival President Pam Carter said. “Everyone loved it and it wasn’t long before we started receiving requests to have it performed again. It truly is back by popular demand and will likely sell out quickly.”

The concert takes place at the Orillia Opera House, 1 West Street North in downtown Orillia on Saturday, November 18. Doors open at 7 p.m. and concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 per person (includes processing fees and taxes) and can be purchased at the Orillia Opera House Box Office or online at orilliaoperahouse.ca.

Anderson will regroup his all-star cast of performers to take on this challenging task once again. Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Matt Weidinger, gospel and soul sensation Quisha Wint, the fabulous Selena Evangeline on guitar and vocals plus a band of some of the most versatile musicians in Canada including ethnomusicologist Dr. Mike Daley (guitar, mandolin, vocals), Wayne Deadder (guitar and vocals) Russ Boswell (bass) Bucky Berger (drums) will anchor this ensemble with musical director Anderson at the helm.

The concert will cover the many genres that have been a part of the Mariposa experience. Folk and singer songwriters but also blues, gospel, vocal groups, alt. country, roots and traditional music from many cultures. The emphasis will be on the Canadian artists and icons but will not be limited to any borders.

It will not be a medley of songs, but a linear display and reminder of the historic significance of the Mariposa Folk Festival. The songs will not be recreated but will be interpreted by the performers to continue the creative evolution of the art of songwriting.

Lance Anderson’s musical connections run deep in the industry and he always assembles a stellar group of artists.

Matt Weidinger 

Matt Weidinger has a voice like no other. The 28-year-old Kitchener, ON native is a passionate young songwriter, who is well known for his mature rock/soul vocals and impressive multi-instrumental (keyboards, guitars, mandolin) talents. His unmistakable earthly tones captivate the hearts of anyone who hears it. He performs like a veteran musician on the piano and organ, and is equally proficient on guitar, bass or mandolin.   

Although some consider him a throwback of the ’60s, he still has the capacity to grab the attention of both the old, young and everyone in between. He’s an “old soul” who easily commands the attention of any crowd.  His passion for music and performing is contagious.

Quisha Wint

This phenomenal and expressive vocalist proves that you can live out your dreams through inspiring others. Quisha Wint is an accomplished songstress, performer, arranger and songwriter who was born to sing and entertain.

She grew up in a Jamaican home listening to Reggae, Motown, Gospel, R&B, then expanded to jazz when she entered the well-known jazz program at Humber College in the mid ’90s. From there she embarked upon her dream of performing with well-known Toronto musicians, which took her to exciting overseas hotel engagements. Since then, Quisha has sung in many parts of Asia, Europe, North America, and Caribbean, leaving her audiences applauding and wanting more of this dynamic performer.

Quisha’s voice is mesmerizing and captures the soulful sounds of the legendary artists (Anita Baker, Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, and Aretha Franklin) who’ve paved the way before her.

Selena Evangeline

Selena Evangeline is a world-class singer. The sounds of Ella Fitzgerald, Chaka Khan, Prince and Stevie Wonder helped shape the musician she is today.  As a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, her songs are musical snapshots of real life and emotions, from a real woman. Those “snapshots” helped to win her an Ontario Independent Music Award for Best Urban, Barrie New Music Award as well as honourable mention in the John Lennon Song Writing Competition.  

By way of her travels through various countries Selena has shared stages with Sheila E., Patrice Rushen, Jocelyn Brown, The Nylons, Delta Goodrem, Ivete Sangalo, Latin Grammy winner Maia, and the list goes on. Recently, you may have seen Selena on stage backing Canadian icon Amanda Marshall as well as CMA winner Johnny Reid.

Selena’s newest release “Left Alone” is the third in the Slaight Music/7 Arts Entertainment signature series of duets with pianist Bill King and Canada’s top vocalists. Evangeline charts her own direction focusing on songs remembered through women who made them classics – Gladys Knight, Dinah Washington, Dionne Warwick, Sarah Vaughan, Patti Labelle, Diana Ross, Billie Holiday and others. It’s her musical letter of thanks; paying homage to the great singers and songwriters who have come before us.

Lance Anderson

JUNO award winning producer Lance Anderson has been performing for 49 years, has once again been nominated for the Maple Blues Award for Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year, and his new band Matchedash Parish was nominated for 2 Maple Blues Awards in 2020 for: New Artist/Group of the Year and Record of the Year (Saturday Night).

The Orillia resident has a number of popular tributes shows to his credit, including The Last Waltz – A Musical Celebration of The Band; Everyday People – The Music of Sly and the Family Stone; Queens of Soul, that was performed by the Windsor Symphony, featuring Shakura S’Aida; Oscar Peterson – The Jazz Legend and the Man I Knew and Take Five – Dave Brubeck.

In 2015, Anderson and Kelly Peterson, widow of the late Oscar Peterson, co-produced a three-CD set of Oscar Peterson classics entitled Oscar, with Love. Anderson himself contributed two performances – Sir Lancewell, an original composition Peterson wrote for him, and O.P.’s Boogie, which Anderson wrote for Peterson based on some lines from one of the jazz legend’s solos.

Still one of the busiest producers and arrangers in Canada, Anderson looks forward to another year of projects, including a new CD by The Matchedash Parish, his new, large ensemble featuring Matt Weidinger. This group played to rave reviews at the Montreal Int. Jazz festival, Mont Tremblant Int. Blues Fest and the Kitchener Blues Festival in 2019. Anderson is currently co-executive producer of the Boquete Jazz and Blues Festival and the Beaches Panama Jazz and Blues Festival both in Panama.

Mike Daley

Mike Daley is a guitarist and singer based in Toronto. A professional musician for over 30 years, Mike has toured Canada, the United States and England and has recorded extensively in a variety of musical styles. He is a longtime member of Fraser/Daley with bassist Alec Fraser and is also proud to work with a variety of bands around Toronto including the Tom Waits Appreciation Congregation, the Travellers and others.

Wayne DeAdder

Wayne DeAdder is a “musician extraordinaire” and a JUNO nominated songwriter, guitarist and bassist. Wayne has contributed his inspirational talent to dozens of American and Canadian bands and solo artists. He has worked with the likes of  Jeff HealeyDavid WilcoxMichael Pickett and Richard Bell (The Band, Bonnie Raitt), and written songs for two-time JUNO nominee  Johnny Max Band, and Project 360, Davis Hall and the Green Lanterns, and the Beat Heathens among others. He also toured in Europe in 2010 with the JUNO nominated band of an award-winning singer and songwriter Jimmy Bowskill.


Bucky Berger

Bucky Berger has been a professional musician for over 51 years and still going strong. He has recorded many albums over the years and has had a wide and varied career touching on many genres of music including: blues, soul, soca, calypso, salsa, klezmer, rock, folk, New Orleans, Cajun, country, and jazz.

Bucky Berger, originally performed with the band Rough Trade, which was formed by vocalist Carole Pope and Kevan Staples in 1968. Berger was the drummer with the band from 1978-1982 when he would leave to pursue a freelance career. Over a long career, he has played and/or recorded with Murray McLauchlan, ChilliwackDavid Wilcox, Dr. John,  Ken Whiteley, Raffi, Danny BrooksCurley BridgesElvin BishopEddie Cleanhead VinsonMaria Muldaur and many others.  Berger spent nine years with Fathead, and would receive a Maple Blues Award in 2009 for Drummer of the Year.

Autumn Mariposa III

Autumn Mariposa III

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The Mariposa Folk Foundation has slated Saturday, October 14 for Autumn Mariposa III, an open-air afternoon concert featuring four popular musical acts.  

Mariposa Folk Foundation President Pam Carter said, “Our first Autumn Mariposa took place in 2021 with five different venues in and around Orillia.

“Last year’s Autumn Mariposa at Bayview Memorial Park in Oro-Medonte Township, was a sold-out success, thanks to a great musical lineup, an enthusiastic audience and great weather!”

Autumn Mariposa III will take place at the Orillia District Agricultural Society (ODAS) Park, 4500 Fairgrounds Road, Township of Oro-Medonte on Saturday, October 14, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and will feature performances by Mariposa fan favourites Aysanabee, My Son the Hurricane, Aleksi Campagne, and Angelique Francis.

Performers and audience members will have seating under a large tent and have the option of bringing their own camp chairs. Free on-site parking is available. This is a licensed event and a food vendor will be on-site.

Tickets are $50 each, and are available at the Mariposa Folk Foundation office in downtown Orillia or online here.

Aysanabee

Juno-nominated artist Aysanabee is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and singer songwriter currently based in Toronto. He is Oji-Cree, Sucker Clan of the Sandy Lake First Nation a remote fly-in community in the far reaches of Northwestern Ontario.

Solemn and soaring, backed by a swirling blend of indie, soul and electronic soundscapes, mournful saxophone and pulse-quickening finger-picking, Aysanabee’s striking sound is equal parts hypnotic and melodic which has been compared to Bon Iver, Matt Corby, Don Ross, Kim Churchill, Kings of Leon and Sam Smith.

His debut album, Watin (Nov. 2022) named after his grandfather, includes 10 tracks and nine interludes featuring the voice of his grandfather and is both part music and journalism, artistry and expression. 

“Watin actually started out as a series of conversations between myself and my grandfather,” says Aysanabee. “We spent the first year of the pandemic talking about things we’ve never spoke about, his life on the trapline on Sandy Lake First Nation, falling in love, his life in residential school and then leaving everything behind. We never spoke of it until now. Even though we were over 1,000 kilometres apart, it was probably the closest we’ve ever been.”

In a short amount of time, three singles were released including “Ego Death” (Oct 2022), “Nomads” (Aug 2022) which charted on Billboard Canada and became #1 on CBC Music and went #1 on Alternative Radio, making Aysanabee the first Indigenous artist to reach #1 on any mediabase chart. Finally, “We Were Here” (July 2022), which charted on the Indigenous Music Countdown and featured in an episode of Station 19.

In a whirlwind year, Aysanabee performed more than 100 shows on major stages and festivals and venues across the country and across the ocean including Ottawa Bluesfest, Montreal Jazzfest, Mariposa, Riverfest, Summerfolk, Mission Folk, Alianait, Wake the Giant and many more.

The artist has shared the stage with such notable acts including The National, Digging Roots, Amanda Rheaume, Sam Roberts, Our Lady Peace, DJ Shub, Julian Taylor, Jeremy Dutcher, Dan Mangan Mavis Staples, July Talk, Half Moon Run, Tokyo Police Club, Steven Page, Aqua, and more.  The album is being released through Ishkode Records, founded by Amanda Rheaume and Shoshona Kish, one of the first Indigenous and women-owned labels in the country.

My Son the Hurricane 

My Son the Hurricane is a multi-horn, multi-drummer, multi-singer brass funk beast from Niagara, Ontario. The 12-piece brass dance crew has toured through multiple countries and played some of Canada, USA and Europe’s biggest festivals. Over 45 sold out shows in 2022 proves that there is no live show like My Son the Hurricane. The band features trumpets, saxophones, trombones, drums, guitar, keys, percussion and a wild front woman … we dare you not to dance! In 2023, the band will take on an over 70-date Canada, United States and Europe-wide tour and share the stage with acts like Foo Fighters, Jason Isbell and Colin James. The talented group played the Mariposa Folk Festival in 2019.

Aleksi Campagne

Aleksi Campagne is uniquely qualified to offer a contemporary, indie-folk take on the time-honoured fiddle-singing tradition.

Aleksi grew up on stage. At five years old, he began performing alongside his mother, Canadian folk icon, Connie Kaldor. At nineteen, Aleksi moved to Paris to study under Jazz-violin legend Didier Lockwood. At twenty-one, Aleksi became the only student to have ever been accepted into the classical violin, the jazz violin and the jazz voice performance programs at McGill University. And, by twenty-five, with only a six-song EP, Aleksi graced the lineups of some of the most competitive folk festivals across Canada for three consecutive years – including the Regina, Canmore, Bear Creek and Mariposa Folk Festivals.

More recently, Aleksi received both a Canada Council Grant and a FACTOR Grant to fully fund the recording and production of his highly-anticipated 10-song debut album “For the Giving”, launching fall 2023. Still based out of his hometown of Montreal, Aleksi floors audiences by singing while bowing his violin and seamlessly navigating songs in English and in French. His original music blends folk songwriting with an edgy, multi-layered sound resulting from his unique combination of voice, violin, and looping-effect pedals.

Angelique Francis

JUNO Award winning artist Angelique Francis, is a versatile and exceptionally gifted musician. This multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist, multi-genre singer song writer and composer has wowed audiences across the globe with her electrifying performances, instrumental abilities and powerful textured vocals.

Angelique has appeared in Orillia three times, the first time at the 2018 Festival, then as part of Lance Anderson’s annual Blues and Gospel Concert in 2020 and lastly at the first Autumn Mariposa in 2021.

She is known for her eclectic mix of various musical genres including Blues, Soul, Folk, Americana, Jazz, Gospel and Rock. Angelique has shared the stage/opened for a large roster of well-known musicians such as Gary Clark Jr, Joe Bonamassa, Eric Gales, Keb’ Mo’, Jimmy Vivino, Beth Hart, Tom Cochran, Burton Cummings, Sugar Ray and the list goes on. Her diversity, passion and love of music can be heard in all of her original compositions.

The Way We Feel – A Lightfoot Celebration

The Way We Feel – A Lightfoot Celebration

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Friday, July 7th at 5pm – Don’t Miss It!

The 2023 Mariposa Folk Festival main stage has a very special opening act: The Way We Feel — A Lightfoot Celebration.

The late Gordon Lightfoot once said that song writing is “15 percent inspiration and 85 percent perspiration.” All that hard work paid off: over a career spanning 65 years, Lightfoot penned numerous timeless classics, many of which were covered by artists ranging from bluegrass to dance-pop. His unforgettable lyrics — a mix of wit, poetry, and sometimes vicious honesty —

paired with hauntingly beautiful melodies make for some of the most compelling songs ever written. Every artist claims to have a “unique” style — Lightfoot truly did.

And what better way to celebrate a legend like Gordon Lightfoot than by playing his songs?

The Way We Feel — A Lightfoot Celebration does just that:  bringing together Canadian musicians from various backgrounds and styles to perform Gordon Lightfoot’s songs. This multi-artist celebration was first conceived of over 20 years ago and has been an annual event at Toronto’s Hugh’s Room since 2003 (minus a few years). The act has toured Ontario as well but went on hiatus in 2017 — before being resurrected at the 2022 Mariposa Folk Festival, with Gordon watching for the side stage. Now, the celebration is making its return to Lightfoot’s hometown, at the first Mariposa folk fest since the artist’s death on May 1, 2023.

Lightfoot himself was a fan of the project and appeared onstage to join in the music-making several times at the Hugh’s Room performances. Over the years, the celebration has featured more than 100 Canadian musicians from roots, blues, folk, jazz and more, including Juno, ECMA, WCMA, Maple Blues and CFMA-award winners.

Participating Musicians

Joining Mariposa to honour the late song writer this year are artists: Matthew Barber, Lori Cullen, DALA, The Good Brothers, Meredith Moon, Kevin Fox, Jory Nash, with an All-Star House Band featuring Burke Carroll, Jason Fowler, Anne Lindsay, David Matheson and David Woodhead with emcee, David Newland.

Matthew Barber

Matthew Barber is a Toronto-based singer-songwriter who has been active in the indie pop scene for 20 years. His single “Soft One,” off of his album “Sweet Nothing,” is his biggest hit to date — but he’s had several well-received releases since then, including several collaborations with his sister, Jill Barber. Matthew is also a producer and occasional drummer.

“Matthew Barber has quietly prevailed as one of the Great White North’s musical treasures for well over a decade.” – Peter J. Hoetjes

Lori Cullen

Juno nominated vocalist Lori Cullen has one of the most distinct sounds in the contemporary Canadian folk scene. Clear as a bell, sweet and highly emotive, Cullen has been described as a “searingly direct and authentically driven artist” by Vivascene. She’s a highly versatile artist whose unique blend of folk, pop and jazz offers something for everyone’s tastes.

DALA

Folk duo DALA, made up by Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine, are darlings in the Canadian music scene. Juno nominees and winners of the 2010 Canadian Folk Music Award for Vocal Group of the Year, DALA offer angelic vocal harmonies over minimalist acoustic sets. The duo has been winning hearts all over Canada since 2005, and have toured with acts like Matthew Goode, Stuart McLean, and folk-legend Arlo Guthrie.

The Good Brothers

Offering a tantalizing mix of bluegrass and twang since the 1970s, The Good Brothers are established veterans in the Canadian country music scene whose reputation precedes them: The group’s achievements include an impressive streak of eight consecutive Juno wins for Best Country Group, being inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame (2004), a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Toronto Musicians Association (2015), being inducted into the North American Country Music Association International Hall of Fame (2016), and receiving the Impact Award from The Country Music Association of Ontario (2019).

Meredith Moon

Folk musician Meredith Moon is a familiar face in the Ontario festival circuit. The talented multi-instrumentalist has graced the Mariposa Folk Festival no less than five times, and is known for her heartfelt singing and traditional, old-time style. Being Gordon’s daughter has never defined her — but will certainly make for an especially meaningful tribute at the celebration.

Kevin Fox

Kevin Fox is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer, as well as an accomplished singer and songwriter. Although he is known for his signature instrument — the cello — Fox has earned a reputation for composing and arranging as well. He’s worked with artists like Jim Cuddy, Justin Bieber and Kathleen Edwards.

Jory Nash

Award-winning folk artist Jory Nash is a singer-songwriter known for his warm vocal tones, charm and knack for spinning yarns. He’s a skilled multi-instrumentalist — although he’s most often found on stage behind a guitar or piano — and is much loved in the folk space. Nash co-founded The Way We Feel tribute series.

The Way We Feel — A Lightfoot Celebration takes the Mariposa main stage Friday, July 7 at 5 pm. We recommend attendees arrive at the Tudhope Park festival gates with plenty of time; this will be an act you won’t want to miss.

Find Your Voice – Get to Know Some of Your New Favourite Mariposa Artists

Find Your Voice – Get to Know Some of Your New Favourite Mariposa Artists

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Ammoye

Ammoye is a Jamaican-born Canadian artist making waves with her distinct, reggae-fusion style. Taking influence from dancehall, gospel, and R&B, she’s a fiery vocalist, whose sultry, fierce tones are distinctly her own.

This six-time Juno nominee writes about life, love, and social justice, and is one of Canada’s most dynamic and multidimensional acts. She’s been invited to perform on stages all over the country, as well as in Brazil, the US and the Netherlands.

Ammoye’s been described by Exclaim! as “traditional yet future-forward reggae sound,” with Top Shelf Music confidently asserting that she’s “ready to take the world by storm.”

ammoye.com


Fast Romantics

The  band Fast Romantics is an established act with long-standing recognition in the Indie rock scene. The band won Pop Group of the Year at the Sirius XM Indies in 2014, and their single “Julia” won the SOCAN national songwriting prize in 2016.

The Fast Romantics’ infectious energy has won over listeners all over the country. Their singles “Why We Fight,” and “Do No Wrong” both reached the #1 spot on the CBC R2 National Charts.

The group has been constantly evolving over the last decade; today, the Fast Romantics is led by founding member Matthew Angus, a singer-songwriter, and features Orillia-born multi-instrumentalist Kirty, who’s an acclaimed artist in her own right.

fastromantics.com/


Morgan Toney

Mi’kmaq fiddler and singer coming all the way from We’koqma’q First Nation in Nova Scotia, Morgan Toney is a rising star in the Canadian folk scene. The artist released his debut album First Flight in 2021, and just a year later was nominated for Indigenous Songwriter of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards, 2022.

Toney is a passionate believer in education and social justice. His song “The Colour Red” is a call to action for the missing and murdered Indigenous women all over the world, but especially here in Canada.

In addition to his work as a musician, Tony founded “Mi’kmaq Connections” with fellow Cape Breton artist Keith Mullins. These highly interactive workshops teach about Celtic and Mi’kmaq music, history, and culture.

Folk Alley writes,“Toney’s been a ferociously experimental artist, focused on highlighting the Mi’kmaq language and songs, an artist powerfully adept at bridging worlds.”

www.morgantoneymusic.com


Showman & Coole

The old-time duo Showman & Coole are no strangers to Orillia’s folks scene. Fiddler John Showman and banjoist Chris Coole have played various stages here over the years in bluegrass outfits like The Lonesome Ace Stringband and The Foggy Hogtown Band.

Showman & Coole specialize in old-time, salt-of-the-earth Americana. They’ve played all over the world, including North Carolina’s prestigious bluegrass festival MerleFest, an official IBMA showcase, and festivals in the UK, Germany, and Israel.

https://chriscoole.com/

https://www.johnshowman.com/


Tanika Charles

Toronto musician Tanika Charles is one of Canada’s must-see acts. This is honest-to-goodness soul at its finest; it’s true to the genre’s roots, but updated for today’s listeners. She’s won praise from listeners all over the world, with Craig Charles of BBC6 Music saying she’s “One of the big hitters.”

Charles has two JUNO award nominations and has twice made the Polaris Music Prize long list. This soul artist released her debut album in 2017, and ever since, has been winning over fans on and off the stage; her music has been featured in TV series like Kim’s Convenience and Rookie Blue, and songs like “Endless Chain” and “Soul Run” played on regular radio rotation in Canada, the US, the UK and France.

tanikacharles.com/


Story credit: Sarah Milner

Canada’s Troubadour dies at 84: Gordon Lightfoot’s impact on the Mariposa Folk Festival won’t be forgotten

Canada’s Troubadour dies at 84: Gordon Lightfoot’s impact on the Mariposa Folk Festival won’t be forgotten

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Photo credit: Mike Bailey

Gordon Lightfoot, an Orillia treasure and pillar of the Mariposa Folk Festival, passed away from natural causes in a Toronto hospital on Monday night (May 1), at age 84. His death was confirmed by his longtime publicist Victoria Lord.

A singer/songwriter all his life, Lightfoot was so much more than his Top 40 hits and Platinum albums. His work has become deeply woven into Canada’s cultural fabric, and his songs have been covered by a wide range of artists around the globe. The deep and rich catalogue of Gordon Lightfoot songs have deservedly seen him placed alongside Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen in the top rank of our songsmiths.

A native of Orillia, he auditioned for the first Mariposa festival in 1961 and was rejected from performing because he sounded, “too much like the Everly Brothers.” Lightfoot’s sound fit the traditional folk genre of the early 1960s but as he progressed as an artist his songwriting became personal and showcased his poetic lyrics. 

Despite his original rejection from the festival, he performed at the 1964 event at Maple Leaf Stadium in Toronto and immediately became an annual staple of the event. 

Lightfoot was part of the reason the 1972 Mariposa festival on Toronto Island was one of the most memorable in the event’s history. He wasn’t on the bill, but showed up as a spectator with Bob Dylan in tow. Dylan’s request to perform there was turned down, but he and Lightfoot reportedly had a fun time, creating a real stir amongst the crowd too.

In the history of Mariposa written by Mike Hill, former Artistic Director of the festival, Lightfoot is quoted as remembering that fest this way: “Bob and I were acquaintances really, being part of Albert Grossman’s management stable. We saw Neil Young there. And Bob and I would get together [both that year and at other times] at my place. It was kind of party central, as I was carefree and kind of footloose at the time.”

When Mariposa was struggling financially in the late 1990s, Gordon Lightfoot headlined the festival free of charge upon its return to Orillia in 2000. Thousands of tickets were sold and the festival made enough money to survive, and eventually thrive. Mariposa Folk Foundation President Pam Carter remarks, “without his support we would never have successfully returned home to Orillia.” Lightfoot’s gracious manner and deep ties to the festival and to the town of Orillia were unbreakable. Gordon Lightfoot truly was a hometown hero. 

Year after year Lightfoot would return to either headline, put in a surprise performance, or simply be part of the audience and experience the festival. He could be seen sitting on park benches and singing with other artists or festival goers in between acts and striking up a conversation with whomever approached him. Carter remembers, “watching Lightfoot interact with the fans and people of Orillia is so humbling and heartwarming. You don’t meet a lot of artists like that nowadays.”

Evidence of the profound impact Lightfoot had on Mariposa was provided at the 1995 edition of the festival. A clear highlight of that fest was a tribute to Lightfoot, a weekend-long salute focused on the legendary songwriter’s contribution to folk music and to Mariposa specifically. Several of the workshops during the day on Olympic Island were Lightfoot-themed, and artists as varied in style as The Travellers, Murray McLauchlan, Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen, and Eugene Ripper gave their takes on the great man’s music.

Lightfoot went on to headline Mariposa in 2000, 2005, 2007, and 2010. 

In 2004, he made a headline-grabbing unscheduled appearance at Mariposa, two years after a life-threatening aneurysm. As a result of that medical event, Lightfoot had to re-teach himself how to sing, play guitar, and perform. The festival that year had a mainstage tribute to its favourite troubadour scheduled, and Lightfoot delighted the audience with his surprise onstage appearance for a single song, “I’ll Tag Along.”

“For so many in the crowd, this was spine-tingling. It was enough that he was there, and the fact that he’d chosen Mariposa as the first step on his musical road to recovery was special to the festival crowd,” said Hill.

In better health, Lightfoot returned to headline Mariposa again the following year, and once more in 2007. His headlining appearance during the latter edition couldn’t be more characteristic of his dedication to the festival. Lightfoot set foot on stage as the Orillia clouds opened and poured down rain. Without skipping a beat, he played on, and not an audience member budged from their spot as they watched Lightfoot light up the stage and bring warmth to the cold evening. As he left the stage he turned his guitar upside down, pouring out a gallon of water, and the crowd went wild.

In 2012, Lightfoot came as a spectator to the festival. He asked if he could play a couple of songs but not before making sure it was alright with headliner, Jann Arden, as he didn’t want to upstage her. “Hey it’s Gordon Lightfoot. He can do whatever he wants!” was Arden’s reply.

Lightfoot’s annual ‘surprise’ visits have been thrilling to audiences and a constant reminder of his greatness and the survival of folk festivals and folk music.

In 2016, Gordon Lightfoot attended Mariposa once more, and was honoured by the unveiling of a leaf for “Black Day in July.” This initiative’s plan is for a series of decorative maple leaves to be planted in Lightfoot’s honour along the section of the Trans-Canada Trail – known locally as the Lightfoot Trail – that winds along Orillia’s waterfront.

That year, Lightfoot stayed to catch a number of the performances, and in a post-Mariposa interview, he spoke enthusiastically about what he saw. “There was magic this past year. There were so many good moments. I always get an emotional lift at Mariposa. It has a life of its own and will go on for a long time. It’s one of the best-known festivals on the planet – internationally recognized.”

In 2022, Lightfoot was inducted in the Mariposa Hall of Fame. A who’s who of Canadian Folk performers gathered mainstage at the Festival to honour the legend. “The artists who paid tribute were so gracious and grateful. When they came together with Gord on the mainstage and played Alberta Bound, goosebumps don’t sufficiently capture it. I felt we could be witnessing a moment in Canadian music history,” said Mariposa Foundation President, Pam Carter.

Canadian musician, artist, and storyteller Tom Wilson curated the Hall of Fame performance and had this to say on Lightfoot’s passing: “Gordon Lightfoot has left us but he lives in our blood. His voice will always raise up our ghosts and reunite us with a tremendous joy we all hold in our hearts but may have forgotten about. Thank you, Gordon.”

Bruce Good, of the Good Brothers, paid this tribute to the music legend: “My brothers and I were honoured to be part of Gord’s induction ceremony into the Mariposa Hall of Fame last summer as we sang a rousing tribute of his Canadian classic Alberta Bound with Gord and several great Canadian artists. We will miss sharing our stage with him. We will miss his music and laughter, but most of all we will miss our good friend and mentor. Gord’s songs were the heartbeat of our nation and his voice was our breath. Rest in peace dear friend.”

Gordon Lightfoot’s passing is a day of national mourning for it means a symbol of grace, humility, and the power of folk music has left us. Lightfoot’s presence will always grace Mariposa as his bronze statue, encircled with a halo of leaves and portraying him sitting and playing his guitar, stands on forever as part of the festival. 

While there have been many performers who have played Mariposa, it is undeniable that Gordon Lightfoot will always be a staple of the festival. Lightfoot and the Mariposa Folk Festival will always hold one another close to their hearts, and his crucial role will never be forgotten. 

Mariposa 2023 Lineup Announcement: Paul Langlois Band, Danny Michel, Ammoye, Fast Romantics and 5 more acts added to stellar lineup

Mariposa 2023 Lineup Announcement: Paul Langlois Band, Danny Michel, Ammoye, Fast Romantics and 5 more acts added to stellar lineup

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ORILLIA ONTARIO – March 30, 2023, 10:00 am

The Mariposa Folk Festival returns July 7 to 9 to Tudhope Park in Orillia and has added nine more acts to its outstanding lineup. Paul Langlois Band (Langlois of the Tragically Hip), Danny Michel, Ammoye, Fast Romantics, Keith Mullins, Les Fireflies, Lucy Wainwright Roche, The Paddling Puppeteers and Tim Greenwood are all new additions to the 2023 lineup.

Nearly 60 acts have now been announced for the 2023 edition of the iconic music festival, including previously announced acts: Tegan and Sara, Feist, Rufus Wainwright, The Wood Brothers, The Rural Alberta Advantage, KT Tunstall, Wild Rivers, Judy Collins, Son Little, Tim Baker, Matt Andersen & the Big Bottle of Joy, Jeremy Dutcher, and more.

The Mariposa Folk Festival was founded in Orillia, Ontario in 1961. Through the years, it has grown to become Canada’s most legendary musical gathering. Tickets for Mariposa are on sale via the festival website.

“Festival ticket sales are ahead of last year’s record pace and with such a diverse and powerful lineup, Mariposa 2023 is shaping up to be another amazing experience,” said Mariposa Folk Foundation President, Pam Carter.

The three-day Mariposa Folk Festival features more than ten stages of top folk-roots music, along with presentations of story, dance, and craft. All ticket categories are on sale. Kids 12 & under are admitted free. The festival has special pricing for youth and young adults. Onsite RV and tent camping is available. https://mariposafolk.com/

Mariposa 2023 Lineup Announcement: Tegan and Sara, Feist, Rufus Wainwright, The Wood Brothers, Rural Alberta Advantage, KT Tunstall, Wild Rivers, Judy Collins, Matt Andersen & the Big Bottle of Joy, Jeremy Dutcher, 39 more

Mariposa 2023 Lineup Announcement: Tegan and Sara, Feist, Rufus Wainwright, The Wood Brothers, Rural Alberta Advantage, KT Tunstall, Wild Rivers, Judy Collins, Matt Andersen & the Big Bottle of Joy, Jeremy Dutcher, 39 more

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ORILLIA ONTARIO – Feb. 21, 2023, 10:00 am

The Mariposa Folk Festival returns July 7 to 9 to Tudhope Park in Orillia with a lineup that includes Tegan and Sara, Feist, Rufus Wainwright, The Wood Brothers, Rural Alberta Advantage, KT Tunstall, Wild Rivers, Judy Collins, Matt Andersen & the Big Bottle of Joy, Jeremy Dutcher, and more.

Nearly 50 acts were revealed today for the 2023 edition of the iconic music festival. The Mariposa Folk Festival was founded in Orillia, Ontario in 1961. Through the years, it has grown to become Canada’s most legendary musical gathering. Tickets for Mariposa are on sale via the festival website.

“The festival sold out in record time last year, and with such a dynamic and diverse lineup, Mariposa 2023 is once again sure to be a hot ticket,” said Mariposa Folk Foundation President, Pam Carter. “There’s something for every age and preference. I’m particularly moved to see the number of three-generation families that gather at the festival. Some of the magic of Mariposa is our constant evolution to remain relevant and true to our roots for generations to come.”

In crafting the lineup, Festival Artistic Director, Liz Scott, was inspired by the beauty of Mariposa’s natural setting and her belief in the importance of in-person connections. “Pulling together the 2023 program is so exciting. As usual, the recognizable names are far outnumbered by the fresh, surprising, new artists to be discovered from stage to stage to stage. That’s the trust audiences have had in Mariposa for over 60 years. It’s simply the best annual reunion of beautiful souls in a glorious setting. I can’t wait!

The 2023 lineup will include: Wild Rivers, Tim Baker, The Wood Brothers, The Weather Station, The Vaudevillian, The Trials of Cato, The Trews Acoustic, The Pistolettes, The McDades, The Bros. Landreth, Terra Spencer, Tegan and Sara, Tanika Charles, STORRY, Steve Poltz, Splash’N Boots, Spencer Burton, Son Little, Sister Ray, Showman & Coole, Sam Polley & the Old Tomorrows, Rural Alberta Advantage, Rufus Wainwright, Quote the Raven, PIQSIQ, OKAN, Mountain City Four feat. Anna McGarrigle & Peter Weldon with special guest Martha Wainwright, Morgan Toney, Melón Jiménez & Lara Wong, Matt Andersen & the Big Bottle of Joy, Martha Wainwright, Lloyd Spiegel, Lisa Sanders & Brown Sugar, Lindy Vopnfjörd, KT Tunstall, Kalascima ft. Andrea Ramolo, Judy Collins, Jill Barber, Jeremy Dutcher, Jake Vaadeland & the Sturgeon River Boys, Jaffa Road, Jack Barksdale, I, The Mountain, HORSEBATH, Feist, David Francey, Clerel, Carsie Blanton, and A Sharon, Lois & Bram Singalong with Sharon, Randi & Friends.

The three-day Mariposa Folk Festival features more than ten stages of top folk-roots music, along with presentations of story, dance, and craft. All ticket categories are on sale. Kids 12 & under are admitted free. The festival has special pricing for youth and young adults. Onsite RV and tent camping is available. https://mariposafolk.com/

Mariposa’s Annual ‘An Evening of Blues & Gospel Xl’ Show Feb. 4. 2023

Mariposa’s Annual ‘An Evening of Blues & Gospel Xl’ Show Feb. 4. 2023

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Orillia, ON – January 4, 2023

Mariposa in Concert’s (MIC) wildly popular ‘An Evening of Blues & Gospel’ Show returns Feb. 4, 2023 with another incredible lineup of all-star vocalists and musicians assembled, arranged and directed by Orillia’s own JUNO award winning producer, Lance Anderson.

“This is our 11th annual Blues and Gospel Show,” MIC Chair Pam Carter said. “It is a sell-out every year and provides a much-needed mid-winter relief for attendees.”

The show will be held at the Orillia Opera House. Tickets are $35 (all fees and taxes included) and are available at the Orillia Opera House box office or online at orilliaoperahouse.ca.

Winner and 2020’s nominee for the Maple Blues Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year, Lance Anderson, is musical arranger and director of the show. Bobby Dean Blackburn, one of Canada’s earliest R&B artists will be joined by Matt Weidinger on vocals and multiple instruments, Thomas Nelson on bass and vocals and as in past years, Lance will introduce an artist that is new to the Mariposa audience. This year, that artist is Verese Vassell-Bowen, a spectacular gospel and soul vocalist from Guelph.

Lance Anderson’s musical connections run deep in the industry and he always assembles a stellar group of artists, We sell out this show every year and people are well-advised to pick up their tickets as soon as possible.

Bobby Dean Blackburn

R&B artist Bobby Dean Blackburn gained legendary status as the first black entertainer on Yonge Street in Toronto. Starting in 1959, Blackburn made a name for himself with his band, Bobby Dean and the Gems, playing in the afternoons at the Zanzibar a Go Go on the Yonge Street strip for years. The Zanzibar began as a live music venue, featuring jazz and blues. Later, it became a dance club with go-go dancers. He helped provide opportunities for musicians who followed him.

Known as “Canada’s Fats Domino,” Bobby is a world-class soulful blues man and true Rock and Roller, with over 60 years of experience entertaining audiences around North America.

In his career, Blackburn has shared his stage with many of the legends of the past including Bo Diddley, Buddy Miles, Rick James and Liberty Silver. He also inspired four musician sons: tenor saxophonist Robert; keyboardist Duane; drummer Cory and guitarist Brooke. They perform under the group name, Blackburn.

It took until 2010 for Bobby Dean to record his first album, Don’t Ask … Don’t Tell, at the age of 69.  Now, he says he’s fulfilled because all of his four sons are musicians. “They are fulfilling a dream that I always had.”

Matt Weidinger 

Matt Weidinger has a voice like no other. The 28-year-old Kitchener, ON native is a passionate young songwriter, who is well known for his mature rock/soul vocals and impressive multi-instrumental (keyboards, guitars, mandolin) talents.

His unmistakable earthly tones captivate the hearts of anyone who hears it. He performs like a veteran musician on the piano and organ, and is equally proficient on guitar, bass or mandolin.

Although some consider him a throwback of the ’60s, he still has the capacity to grab the attention of both the old, young and everyone in between. He’s an “old soul” who easily commands the attention of any crowd.  His passion for music and performing is contagious. Starting his music career at the ripe age of 15, Weidinger has had the pleasure of playing a variety of venues around Southwestern Ontario on a weekly basis. He also performs at multiple blues festivals around the province and across Canada.

Verese Vassell-Bowen

Verese Vassell-Bowen is a singer, songwriter and recording artist based in the City of Guelph. She graced the Canadian gospel scene in 2016 with her debut album Forever Praise.   This project blends a combination of traditional, contemporary, neo soul, and even spoken word into a soul-stirring musical work. Her new single I Am Enough takes you on a journey from pain to praise. 

Verese served as the Artistic Director for Guelph Black Heritage Society’s Juneteenth Celebration 2021. She has gracefully shared the stage with some of southern Ontario’s finest musicians and singers.  Verese also served as executive producer and visionary for the annual Joy in the City, A Christmas Gospel Celebration and Women in Worship (May 2018). Her music can be found on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and other digital music outlets. 

Thomas Nelson

Thomas Nelson is a Canadian bass player and vocalist. Born in Luverne, Alabama, at the age of two he moved with his family to Niagara Falls, New York during the Great Migration. At five years of age, he began singing and was a featured soloist in school and church.

Influenced by James Brown, Wilson Picket, Sam Cooke and The Beatles, at 16 Thomas formed his first band, Supreme Soul. He carved out a space in the local music scene and became a highly respected vocalist and bassist performing in events and night clubs. He is a 2020 Inductee to the Niagara Falls, NY Music Hall of Fame.

In 1970, Thomas immigrated to Canada and began performing with a variety of bands in the Niagara Falls, Ontario music scene. The late Colleen Petersons’ invitation to be in her backup band led to nine performances in the Spring of 1979 at Massey Hall, one of the nine was as an opener for Gordon Lightfoot. Thomas moved to Toronto and the music scene was very kind. For four years he toured with Mark Haines and The Zippers, and recorded the LP Radio Jungle. Al Jarreau, Keb ‘Mo, Esperanza Spalding, James Jamerson, Larry Graham, Marcus Miller, The Staple Singers, Stevie Wonder and Weather Report are a few influences.

Lance Anderson

JUNO award winning producer Lance Anderson returns once again to reprise his role as musical arranger/director behind Mariposa in Concert’s annual ‘An Evening of Blues and Gospel’ Show.

Anderson, who has been performing for 50 years, was nominated for the Maple Blues Award for Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year, and his new band Matchedash Parish was nominated for two Maple Blues Awards in 2020 for: New Artist/Group of the Year and Record of the Year (Saturday Night).

The Orillia resident has still had a busy season getting back to work after the pandemic. The Last Waltz – A Musical Celebration of The Band; and Everyday People – The Music of Sly and the Family Stone, are two theatre shows that played festivals and concerts this summer. His words and music presentation, TAKE FIVE – Dave Brubeck was a hit at the Orillia Jazz Festival this fall. Add to that an orchestral work that Lance scored of Oscar Peterson’s ‘Canadiana Suite’ that will be performed by the Windsor Symphony, Feb. 11, 12, 2023.

In 2015, Anderson and Kelly Peterson, widow of the late Oscar Peterson, co-produced a three-CD set of Oscar Peterson classics entitled Oscar, with Love. Anderson himself contributed two performances – Sir Lancewell, an original composition Peterson wrote for him, and O.P.s Boogie, which Anderson wrote for Peterson based on some lines from one of the jazz legend’s solos.

Still one of the busiest producers and arrangers in Canada, Anderson looks forward to another year of projects, including a new CD by The Matchedash Parish, his new, large ensemble featuring Matt Weidinger. This group played to rave reviews at the Mariposa Folk Festival, Montreal International Jazz festival, Mont Tremblant International Blues Fest and the Kitchener Blues Festival in 2019. He also has a New Orleans based band called the NOLA Parish

Anderson is currently co-executive producer of the Boquete Jazz and Blues Festival and the Beaches Jazz and Blues Festival both in Panama.

Michael Sloski  – drums

St. Catharines’ based drummer Michael Sloski has performed and recorded with many of Canada’s top musicians and artists including Bruce Cockburn, (Wondering Where the Lions Are) Holly Cole, The Cameo Blues Band, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Manteca, The Domenic Troiano Band, The Dexters, Prairie Oyster, Strangeness Beauty, Danny Brooks, and The Rockin’ Revelators, Bill King’s Saturday Night Fish Fry, and has enhanced the sound on countless pop, rock and blues recordings at North America’s most prestigious studios.

He is a drummer’s drummer and has a legendary groove. Since 2003 and the release of their first CD, Footwork, Michael and Lance have played an organ and drum duo at festivals. The Joint Chiefs of Soul is the name of their next CD to be released in the spring of 2023.

The Mariposa Folk Foundation’s 2022-23 Concert Series is sponsored by Alleycats Music & Art, Apple Annie’s Café, Bell Chiropractic and Soft Tissue Centre, Cathy Cleary Design, Dapper Depot, Dentistry on West, Downtown Computers, Hog ‘n Penny Pub, IG Wealth Management; Lavender Hills Farm, Tim Lauer, Sales Representative, Royal LePage Real Quest Realty and Wildflower Farm.

Tickets selling fast for ‘Autumn Mariposa’ and Opera House Concerts

Tickets selling fast for ‘Autumn Mariposa’ and Opera House Concerts

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Orillia, Ontario – September 7, 2022 – 10:00am

Saturday, October 1 will be a big day for music fans in the Orillia area with two great live music events!

Mariposa Folk Foundation President Pam Carter said. “To further celebrate the return of live music to our area and provide another reason to visit Simcoe County, we have partnered with the county to present a unique outdoor afternoon festival.”

An Autumn Mariposa will take place at Bayview Memorial Park, 9th Concession Road, Township of Oro-Medonte on Saturday, October 1, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and will feature performances by Treasa Levasseur, Aleksi Campagne, Union Duke and Irish Mythen. Seating and limited parking is available at the park and there will be free shuttles, leaving the Orillia Recreation Centre, 255 West Street South at 12 p.m. and 12:15 p.m. and returning from Bayview Memorial Park at 5 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. This is a licensed event, and a food vendor will be on-site.

Later in the evening, the 2022-23 Mariposa in Concert season kicks off with award-winning singer songwriter Julian Taylor in concert at the Orillia Opera House. He will be joined by award-winning duo, Dala. Opera House doors open at 7 p.m. and the concert starts at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for both events are $40 each or $70 for both events, and are available at the Orillia Opera House, 20 Mississaga Street West (705-326-8011) or online at orilliaoperahouse.ca.

An Autumn Mariposa
1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Oct. 1, 2022

Treasa Levasseur

Blending old school R&B grooves with a songwriting ethic that comes from years of playing folk music, Treasa Levasseur’s smart, sassy and soulful brand of music has made her a favourite across folk, roots, blues and jazz audiences. Treasa is a JUNO nominated artist who calls Hamilton home. 

Aleksi Campagne

One of the winners at the 2022 Mariposa Showcase and a popular addition to this year’s festival, Aleksi Campagne, offers a contemporary, indie-folk take on fiddle-singing.

Union Duke

Mariposa fans may recall Union Duke, the lively band that earned a festival appearance through the 2014 Mariposa Showcase. They have been back for other performances since then. Their songs are irresistible, the perfect fit for the heatwave of the dance hall or the cool breeze of the park.

Irish Mythen

Mariposa fan favourite, Irish Mythen, was born in Ireland and now resides on Prince Edward Island. Mythen’s live performances are a thing of raw power and emotion, and the connection with her audience something that must be seen to be believed.

Orillia Opera House
7:30 p.m., Oct. 1, 2022

Julian Taylor

Julian Taylor is a Toronto-based, award-winning singer-songwriter, radio host, and label owner. Over the course of his esteemed career, which spans 20-plus years as the leader of Staggered Crossing, Julian Taylor Band, and his solo work, Julian has established himself as one of Canada’s greatest troubadours.

His 2020 LP, The Ridge, earned two Juno Award nominations, along with a pair of Canadian Folk Music Awards for Solo Artist and English Songwriter of the Year, five Native American Music Award nominations, plus a nomination for Canada’s most prestigious music accolade, the Polaris Music Prize. Julian’s new album, Beyond the Reservoir, to be released in October 2022 and preceded by the single “S.E.E.D.S,” builds on the soul-folk sound and autobiographical themes first explored on The Ridge.

Dala

Juno nominees and winners of the 2010 Canadian Folk Music Award for Vocal Group of the Year, Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine as Dala write and sing in harmony best described as angelic. They have since released six albums and toured extensively across North America.

Amanda’s ethereal soprano voice blends seamlessly with Sheila’s velvety alto, creating the unparalleled, in-sync harmonies that have become their signature. Dala are equally renowned for their hilarious on-stage banter, and their unique ability to turn first-time listeners into lifelong fans.

The Mariposa Folk Foundation’s 2022-23 Concert Series is sponsored by Alleycats Music & Art, Apple Annie’s Café, Bell Chiropractic and Soft Tissue Centre, Cathy Cleary Design, Dapper Depot, Dentistry on West, Downtown Computers, Hog ‘n Penny Pub, IG Wealth Management; Lavender Hills Farm, Tim Lauer, Sales Representative, Royal LePage Real Quest Realty and Wildflower Farm.

Mariposa to Enshrine Lightfoot in Hall of Fame

Mariposa to Enshrine Lightfoot in Hall of Fame

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ORILLIA ONTARIO – JUNE 15, 2022

o·ver·due

/ˌōvərˈd(y)o͞o/

adjective: overdue

not having arrived, happened, or been done by the expected time.

The Mariposa Folk Foundation will enshrine Gordon Lightfoot in its Hall of Fame at this year’s festival, July 8 – 10, at Tudhope Park in Orillia.

“Over the past 62 years, the number of world-class artists that have graced our stage is truly exceptional,” said Foundation president Pam Carter. “Among these, however, Gordon Lightfoot stands apart for his unique contribution and commitment. Is his enshrinement overdue? Of course, it is. And the Foundation could not be more honoured to celebrate our connection with Gordon at this year’s festival,” added Carter.

“You take care of your home – and the Mariposa Folk Festival feels like coming home to me,” said Orillia native and music legend Gordon Lightfoot. “On stage at Mariposa with the sun setting on Tudhope Park is magic – always has been, always will be,” he added.

A special live and pre-recorded tribute to Lightfoot will be held on the evening of Sunday, July 10 at Mariposa’s mainstage to commemorate the Hall of Fame induction.

Gordon Lightfoot recalled, with a smile, how he and his then singing partner Terry Whelan were turned down by the inaugural Mariposa Folk Festival of 1961. “We were hometown boys,” he stated, “but they said we sounded too much like the Everly Brothers! We actually took that as a compliment.” The next year though, Gordon was hired as a solo act and joined the likes of Oscar Brand, the Travellers, and Ian & Sylvia at the Lion’s Oval in Orillia.

In 1964, at Maple Leaf Stadium in downtown Toronto, Gordon found himself on stage with folk-blues legends Mississippi John Hurt and Reverend Gary Davis. An archival recording of that historic event has Lightfoot introducing his brilliant new song ‘Early Morning Rain’ and is featured in a recent Mariposa Virtual Stage video hosted by Shelagh Rogers.

The festival moved north of Brampton for the next few years at Innis Lake. Lightfoot shared top billing with the likes of Pete Seeger, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Leonard Cohen, and Joni Mitchell. As his career began to take off, Mariposa provided an annual venue to showcase new songs and new albums.

After a nomadic journey around Ontario, the festival finally returned to Orillia in 2000. It was uncertain Mariposa would even survive, let alone return to its past glory. Organizers announced that the hometown hero would be the Sunday night headliner. Immediately, hundreds of tickets were sold and the question of whether there would be a successful festival was put to rest. With his backup band of Terry Clements and Rick Haynes, Lightfoot put on a spellbinding performance, giving the open-air audience a taste of his hits and well-loved songs.

“Mariposa’s return to Orillia and our flourishing success ever since could simply not have happened without the support of Gordon Lightfoot,” said Carter. “When the Foundation was at its most vulnerable, he stepped in and made the difference.”

The three-day Mariposa Folk Festival (July 8-10 2022, at Tudhope Park, Orillia, ON) features more than ten stages of top folk-roots music, along with presentations of story, dance, and craft. All ticket categories are on sale. Kids 12 & under are admitted free. The festival has special pricing for youth and young adults. https://mariposafolk.com/

Gordon Lightfoot and Bob Dylan, Mariposa 1972
Gordon Lightfoot, Mariposa 1965

Mariposa Adds Blue Rodeo to Festival Lineup

Mariposa Adds Blue Rodeo to Festival Lineup

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ORILLIA ONTARIO – Apr. 11, 2022, 10:00 am

The Mariposa Folk Festival announced today that legendary Canadian band, Blue Rodeo, has been added to its already stellar lineup.

In the 35 years since forming, Blue Rodeo have sold over 4 million albums, received dozens of JUNO Award nominations and wins, played over 2,000 shows, been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, received a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame, been named to the Order of Canada and have been honoured with the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award. And they’re still as strong as ever with the recent release of their 16th album Many A Mile.

The Mariposa Folk Festival is set to return to Tudhope Park in Orillia, July 8-10, and the recent lineup announcements of Blue Rodeo and The Strumbellas are added to a remarkable list of performers that includes Mavis Staples, Serena Ryder, Lennon Stella, JP Saxe, Allison Russell, Kathleen Edwards, Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, and many more.

Mariposa Folk Foundation Artistic Director Liz Scott said, “It’s going to be fun to celebrate a Mariposa reunion this summer with Blue Rodeo, a band that is well-loved across this country. We can’t wait.”

Tickets for Mariposa are on sale via the festival website.

The Mariposa Folk Festival was founded in Orillia, Ontario in 1961. Through the decades it has found a way to remain Canada’s most relevant and not-to-be-missed musical gathering. The festival was cancelled in both 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19.

The three-day Mariposa Folk Festival features more than ten stages of top folk-roots music, along with presentations of story, dance, and craft. All ticket categories are on sale. Kids 12 & under are admitted free. The festival has special pricing for youth and young adults. Onsite RV and tent camping is available. https://mariposafolk.com/