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 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.

Mike Hill, Author of The Mariposa Folk Festival: A History – Mariposa Talks Interview

Mike Hill, Author of The Mariposa Folk Festival: A History – Mariposa Talks Interview

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In this Mariposa Talks Interview, Mike Hill, author of The Mariposa Folk Festival: A History, published by Dundurn Press, regales viewers with interesting anecdotes from what is the definitive book about Mariposa’s storied past. The ‘tell all’ relies on a rich treasure trove of incidents, surprises, ups and downs, and personal recollections of Mariposa Folk Festival. Some interesting nuggets are served-up in this edition of Mariposa Talks.