Second Great Show at Desboro Hall This Weekend

The Desboro Music Hall is proving this season to be a great value, presenting high quality performers in the ideal setting of an old church for just $20 a ticket ($25 at the door).  Their first show a month ago featured the virtuoso duo, My Sweet Patootie, who combined great musicianship with a highly energetic and engaging stage show.  They are continuing in that vein this month with James Hill and Anne Janelle, a husband and wife team that combines the unlikely pairing of ukulele and cello to create a unique musical offering.  Their first duo recording in 2009, True Love Don’t Weep,  won them critical praise and a Canadian Folk Music Award for Best Traditional Album of the Year.  It included traditional folk tunes and original songwriting.  They subsequently recorded and toured separately but now they have returned to the duo format, appreciating its unique value.  As Anne is quoted on their website, “I think we both came to realize, each in our own way, that the duo is our strongest musical offering.”

Both have won accolades for their songwriting, with R2 magazine calling Anne’s songs “inventive, entertaining, beautifully written and brilliantly performed” and Trad Magazine describing James’ songs as encapsulating “joie de vivre, tenderness and musical perfection.”

Both enjoy stretching the boundaries of their instruments, and passing along their insights through teaching.  Anne has performed with such varied artists as Kanye West, Bruce Cockburn, and Holly Cole while experimenting deeply with free improvisation in both music and dance while James co-authored the Ukulele in the Classroom method book series with J. Chalmers Doane, the trail-blazing teacher who pioneered the use of ukuleles in Canadian schools and  has taught throughout Canada and the United States, as well as in Europe, Japan, Singapore and New Zealand.

As if bringing world class musicians to Desboro is not enough, each of the summer series of concerts also features an engaging opening act.

In concert they have been universally praised for an engaging show, with critics citing “a crystal clear sound filled with warmth” and Anne’s “gorgeous syrupy voice”.  The duo has toured Europe and Asia and now are finding themselves in the little hamlet of Desboro where they are sure to be met with an audience that fully appreciates their singular offerings.

As if bringing world class musicians to Desboro is not enough, each of the summer series of concerts also features an engaging opening act.  Alicia Toner opened for My Sweet Patootie and the opener this time is singer and actress Brontae Hunter.  This seventeen year old phenomenon released her first EP of original songs at the age of eleven when she told Kincardine News “The first time I was on stage singing I was four-years-old, when I started to dance I was six-years-old and when I started to act I was seven.  These things have been a big part of my life.”

Her acting experience has ranged from playing Greta Von Trapp in “The Sound of Music” to a role last year in Shakespeare’s  “Twelfth Night”.  She has been focused on a performing career since an early age, with a sensible and balanced approach to the future.  In Grade Eight she  was named to a panel of students advising Ontario’s education minister and in 2013 as a Grade Nine student, she won the Western Fair’s Rise 2 Fame youth-talent competition and $1500. “One of my ideas to improve the quality of arts education in our rural schools,” she said at the time, “to bring in local artists and artists from other communities to share their experiences and share how they have created a career out of their passion and to make sure that all students know you can make a career out of the arts.”

Adding this young and ambitious artist to the bill with a pair of seasoned professionals adds another level of interest to what promises to be an exciting concert at The Desboro Music Hall.

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