On April 15th, 2018, 1:00-4:00 p.m., at the Best Western Plus Mariposa Inn & Conference Centre, 400 Memorial Ave in Orillia., the Mariposa Folk Festival is hosting its annual Mariposa Showcase, this year with eight emerging bands and performers auditioning for three performance spots at the summer Festival.
Mariposa Showcase has been a launching pad for some great talent. This includes Union Duke, a Toronto based folk quintet that melds indie rock vibes with the absolute best parts of bluegrass and country. In 2014, they ‘showcased’ and ended up on a Mariposa stage. It was a great opportunity for exposure and a chance to perform for one of the best and biggest crowds you can find!
Union Duke recently wrote to Mariposa Folk Festival to say that Mariposa Showcase changed their careers, calling it a “huge milestone”. Mariposa was the biggest venue they had ever played. Their booking agent, Jim McDonald, who was in the audience says, “In a way we owe it to Mariposa for setting up years of work for us.”
According to McDonald, following their first moment in the Mariposa spotlight Union Duke has maintained a positive and ongoing relationship with the Festival. This allowed them to return to the Mariposa stage, bigger and more popular than ever! McDonald went on to explain that auditioning live at Mariposa Showcase was a blessing because the band’s energy and charm shines through in their live performances.
Union Duke has a jam-packed touring schedule across Canada this summer. Check out their show listings at unionduke.com.
Here’s to hoping that more artists like Union Duke get their careers launched at Mariposa Showcase 2018!
Byline: Jaina Kelley, guest blogger and Lakehead University student
It’s not that often that Mariposa Folk Festival books the same act two years in a row, but when they make a huge impression on our audience, sometimes we make an exception.That’s the case with Union Duke, one of the auditioned Mariposa Showcase Acts at last year’s festival that blew the socks off of everyone. This act is a must see.
Union Duke bridges the divide between big city rock and country bluegrass with alacrity and aplomb. Their entwining, rambling banjos, soaring vocal harmonies, plucking electric guitars, and fast, heel stompin’ beat, along with a rough and rowdy sound and really great tunes, will bring you to your feet or have you bopping in your seat.
If you missed them last year, now you can find out what all the ‘cool kids’ are still talking about. These guys are a whole lot of folk rock fun!
Graydon James & the Young Novelists Making a Mariposa Pit Stop
Graydon James & the Young Novelists play everything from roots-rock barnstormers to heartbreaking folk ballads. Over the duration of three fast-paced years, they have won a Galaxie Rising Star award, toured several times, played innumerable festivals, clubs, house concerts and cafés, and released three recordings. Their most recent recording, In The Year You Were Born (2012), showcases impressive, road-tested musicianship. That musical prowess, combined with excellent song writing – whether about love or loss, the tragedies of high school, the joys of parenthood, small town dreams, or big city truths – makes for a wholehearted, unreserved, rousing connection to their audience. It’s what really good music is all about.
For more information about Graydon James & the Young Novelists at Mariposa Folk Festival 2013,click here.