Tag Archives: Sophie Wensley

Chuck Jackson’s All Star Band Plays Meaford Summer Concert Series

By Bill Monahan

On Friday, July 27th, Chuck Jackson and The All Stars headline the second concert in the free Meaford Summer Concert Series, at Market Square in downtown Meaford (beside Meaford Hall).

Chuck Jackson, from his home base in Port Credit, has become familiar to fans of the blues in the Southern Georgian Bay area, where he has brought his talents to a number of different venues, with different band line-ups.  He is a highly respected blues singer and harmonica player, honoured in 2002 with a Blues With A Feeling Award from the Toronto Blues Society in recognition of his distinguished career.  He’s also won Maple Blues Awards in 1999 and 2007 for Male Vocalist of the Year.

Chuck Jackson with Donny Walsh of Downchild

Although he originally made his name as lead singer of the Cameo Blues Band, he joined the Downchild Blues Band in 1990, replacing their original vocalist Hock Walsh, and has been touring with the band ever since, along with contributing original songs to the band’s repertoire.  His All-Stars line-up usually includes Michael Fonfara and Pat Carey from Downchild as well.  He has often teamed up with Tyler Yarema, including a duo concert last year which packed the Gayety Theatre in Collingwood as a Chris Scerri Presents event.

In addition to his busy career as a performing musician, Chuck is the founder and director of Port Credit’s popular annual fall bluesfest, called the Southside Shuffle, which has been running for twenty years.  He relishes the opportunity through the festival to introduce some new acts to a devoted audience alongside the well-known headliners.  In an interview last year with Mississauga News, he pointed out the he had introduced Jimmy Bowskill to the festival when he was just eleven years old, and since then Bowskill has gone on to win Maple Blues Awards and has become a member of the Sheepdogs.

Chuck Jackson and Tyler Yarema

Chuck Jackson and Tyler Yarema

It’s expected that Tyler Yarema will join the All-Stars for the show in Meaford, which starts at 7 pm and runs rain or shine.

Opening for the band will be Sophie Wensley, a rising local talent with an engaging R & B style.

The Thursday Outlook – July 20 to 23, 2017

It’s a lively weekend in Meaford with some great music on offer.

The second show in the Meaford Summer Concert Series is going to be an exciting one with Higher Funktion bringing a high energy collection of soul and funk tunes to get you jumping, full of great horn riffs and chunky rhythms.  Opening for them, Ragwax is offering a taste of his unique take on hot club jazz, swing and even be-bop, which he’ll extend later in the evening across the street at The Leeky Canoe.

The youth performer on the bill is Sophie Wensley, who will be accompanied by Jayden Grahlman on guitar.  Chris Scerri discovered her beautiful voice one night at an open stage at Heartwood Hall and immediately asked her to be part of this series. Sophie’s parents have Gio and Fran’s Italian Eatery across the street at 78 Sykes Street (the window says “Butcher Shop”), an ideal spot for dinner before the show at the Market Square.  This new restaurant has been creating a buzz with their delicious locally sources food and exceptionally friendly service, so far scorring 100% with every Trip Advisor review.

The Second Annual Summer Concert Series Returns to Meaford

The Meaford Summer Concert Series which takes place in the Market Square (beside Meaford Hall) will be returning this year with another exciting lineup that combines acts brought in from outside the area with local artists to create a free event on select Friday evenings through July and August.  Once again the series has been organized by Chris Scerri (now Chris Scerri Presents.com).  Last year’s series was the catalyst that initiated an impressive growth in live music locally, and, incidentally, was the reason for this website coming into existence.  Once again a number of sponsors have stepped up to make the series possible, led by the Meaford BIA and the Meaford Hall & Culture Foundation.

“One thing this year that’s different,” says Chris, “is that we will not only include young local artists, but there will be other opening acts to give local artists a chance to participate.”

Cry For Ophelia beat out a dozen other contenders to win the Battle of The Bands

The Ted Brownlow Band

The youth contingent last year was an important part of the series, showcasing some of the incredible talent that has emerged from Patrick Delaney’s music program at the high school.  It included the Ted Brownlow Band, a previous GBSS winner of Battle of The Bands, and Cry For Ophelia, a band which won this year’s Battle of The Bands and has been booked to be part of Meaford’s Canada Day Celebration.

Another change this year is that the same artists that appear as openers for the headliners at the main stage in the Market Square will head across the street afterwards to perform for the evening at The Leeky Canoe, which is one of the sponsors of the series.  Last year it evolved that visiting bands enjoyed themselves so much performing in the Market Square that pretty much all of them extended the night by going to The Leeky afterward.

One of the by-products of last year’s series was that the headliners who were brought in to play, most of whom had never performed in Meaford before, liked it so much they have returned often to play Meaford again, helping to create the buzz which is making the town’s reputation as a centre for live music.  The most notable of these is Tyler Yarema, often performing with Gracie.  They have become an integral part of the fabric of live music in Meaford and Tyler has worked with Chris to create a number of amazing shows through the year.

“I’m always hoping they’ll come back to Meaford one way or another,” says Chris of the out-of-town artists, “whether at a venue or a festival.”

You’ll learn a lot more details about the concerts by keeping an eye on this website so stay tuned.

There has been a lot of growth in interest in live music in the past year, not only in Meaford but in the surrounding area.  Meaford’s reputation for live music has grown to the extent that it will be included for the first time in this year’s Peak To Shore Festival sponsored by Blue Mountain Village.