2010 Festival Artists

Gordan Lightfoot

GORDON LIGHTFOOT


At the very first Mariposa Folk Festival in 1961, Gordon Lightfoot was deemed to be “not of high enough caliber” to perform. He and then partner, Terry Whelan, were told that they sounded “too much like the Everly Brothers”. In 1962, Gordon along with Terry, then billed as The Tu-Tones, made his very first Mariposa appearance.

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ian tyson

IAN TYSON


We are excited to welcome one of the biggest icons of Canadian music, and a founder of our storied festival, back to the Mariposa stage! Ian headlined the very first Mariposa Folk Festival in 1961, along with Sylvia Fricker (later Sylvia Tyson), and is now celebrating five decades of performance. From classics Four Strong Winds and Someday Soon, to more recent compositions such as Navajo Rug, Ian continues to write with inspired vigor. Ian’s history with Mariposa pre-dates the festival itself, as he was one of the original organizers who helped to found and establish this historic musical event. In fact, it was Ian who developed the original logo (adapted in the late Sixties by Murray McLauchlan to the smiling and winking sun logo in use today).

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ASHLEY MACISAAC

ASHLEY MACISAAC


This colourful performer and masterful fiddler will turn up the heat at Mariposa Folk Festival this year. Ashley MacIsaac, one of Canada’s pre-eminent entertainers, is a performer who does things with flair and panache, mixing traditional fiddle music with modern sounds. He has worked with an impressive array of talent including David Byrne, the Chieftans, Mary Jane Lamond and others, crossing the boundaries of folk, punk, garage rock and metal. Accompanying Ashley is the remarkable teenaged phenomenon, Quinn Bachand.

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Jason-Collett

JASON COLLETT


Jason Collett has the closing spot in the Friday night main stage lineup and, when you hear him, you will know why. He is a gifted singer and songwriter with uncommon authenticity and a highly entertaining performance style. Jason, who began writing songs as a teenager, lists song masters Kris Kristofferson, Bob Dylan and Nick Lowe as important influences. For a short time he played with Hawksley Workman and Andrew Cash in a band called Bird, then he moved on to play guitar in Broken Social Scene. Jason is a musical mover and shaker on his way to becoming a household name.

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Downchild

DOWNCHILD BLUES BAND


Canada’s most famous blues band, the internationally renowned, Downchild, is 40-year sensation that never stops pumping out great tunes. Dan Akroyd said, “There would be no Blues Brothers if it weren’t for Downchild”. That says it all, doesn’t it? With more than 80 great musicians on the payroll during its long life, Downchild is a robust road beast, having racked up thousands of performances at concert halls, fairgrounds, saloons and roadhouses in every corner of the continent. They’re a great act, and Mariposa is very proud indeed to present the legendary Downchild Blues Band as the headlining act of a great evening of blues in the pub tent on Saturday night of the festival.

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SERENA RYDER

SERENA RYDER


Serena Ryder is the quintessential Mariposa success story. Very early in her career as a young, relatively unknown artist, she performed at Mariposa Folk Festival and became an instant Mariposa audience favorite. Serena has returned to Mariposa a few times since then, always growing in stature, but never so triumphantly as this year when she will ‘headline’ the Saturday evening main stage. Serena Ryder has left an indelible impression in Canada with a Gold record for If Your Memory Serves You Well, and a 2008 Juno Award for Best New Artist. This dynamic performer will make an indelible impression on you too. Don’t miss Serena Ryder, our Saturday night headliner.

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MattAnderson

MATT ANDERSEN


Matt Andersen wowed the Mariposa audience with his first appearance in 2007, and his career has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since. He is a very real, rare, and raw talent with a phenomenally strong stage presence and incredible drive. His busy touring schedule has seen him playing festivals, halls and clubs across the United States and the United Kingdom, sharing the stage with the likes of David ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards, America, Randy Bachman, the late Bo Diddley, Little Feat and a host of others. This year, Matt won the 26th annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee, the first ever Canadian to win the top prize.

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murraympromo

MURRAY MCLAUCHLAN


With Ten Juno Awards and more than twenty albums to his credit, including 2011’s Human Writes, Murray McLauchlan is one Canada’s most loved songwriters and performers. His tunes are both catchy and rich, and have figured large on the nation’s airwaves – think Farmers Song, Linda Won’t You Take Me In, Down by the Henry Moore, On the Boulevard, Whispering Rain, Try Walkin’ Away, and numerous other popular gems. Forty years after breaking onto the scene, Murray is in peak musical form, and just as relevant as ever. He’s also a favourite son of Mariposa Folk Festival – even designed the Lion Face Sun Logo in use today. We welcome Murray back to our stage with a big smile and open arms.

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sylvia tyson

SYLVIA TYSON


We are honoured to welcome Sylvia Tyson, one of the headliners at the original Mariposa Folk Festival in 1961, to our stage for the 50th anniversary festival. Sylvia Tyson’s first commercial recordings were part of the 13-album history of Ian & Sylvia, the landmark folk and country duo who began in the early 1960’s. Later, Sylvia established an impressive solo career, hosting the award-winning CBC Network radio show, Touch The Earth, and a national CBC Television show, Country In My Soul. She has released seven solo albums, the most recent being Gypsy Cadillac. She is also a member of the successful group, Quartette. Sylvia Tyson has been a long time supporter of Mariposa and she serves on the Board of Advisors of the Mariposa Folk Foundation.

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Lynn-Miles

LYNN MILES


This JUNO winner (Best Roots and Traditional Album) has been an audience favorite, gracing the Mariposa stage every few years with an offering of wonderful new material. The New York Times and Billboard have both sung her praises, and she is renowned for her fine fingerstyle guitar. Lynn’s music is subtle, lyrical and tender, often with more than a trace of melancholy. For a while, she served as a voice teacher at the Ottawa Folklore Center, teaching many students including a then fourteen year old Alanis Morrisette.

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AlejandraRibera

ALEJANDRA RIBERA


On the inside of her right wrist, Alejandra Ribera has an elegant tattoo. A single word, it reads, Escuchame. Translated from Spanish, it says, “listen to me”. And so you should. Listen to her voice, her songs, her passionate approach to a wide variety of music, and her attitude on stage that demands that you pay attention. An artist with bohemian roots, born to an Argentinian waiter and a Scottish actress, and raised in the heart of Toronto’s gay village, she has a style reminscent of Edith Piaf and Tom Waits, or a louder, more powerful Joan Armatrading.

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Sultans

SULTANS OF STRING


Sultans of String are returning to Mariposa following their triumphant appearance in 2008. Riding high on a wave of Indie Music Awards nominations and multiple Juno nominations, they are ready once again to thrill the audience with their global sonic tapestry of Spanish Flamenco, Arabic folk, Cuban rhythms, and French Manouche Gypsy-jazz, celebrating musical fusion and human creativity with warmth and virtuosity. Fiery violin dances with rumba-flamenco guitar while a funk bass lays down unstoppable grooves, and acoustic strings meet with electronic wizardry to create layers and depth of sound. Their world rhythms are irresistible and guaranteed to get you on your feet.

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zeus

ZEUS


In conversation, Zeus might sound like a bunch of keener teenagers eager to break out of the garage. But Say Us shows that they’re far from amateurs. Lots of young bands can conjure memories of the four B’s – the Beatles, the Band, the Beach Boys and Big Star – with the help of vintage gear and an ear for melody, but very few can write songs that have a fighting chance of going big time the way Zeus does. This is an act that’s making a big impression and recently got signed to the star-making record label, Arts and Crafts.

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Elliott-BROOD

ELLIOTT BROOD


This roots-rock act performs story-songs, fast and rough, and with frenzied strumming and rattling percussion. Their second LP, Mountain Meadows, is a about the 1857 slaughter of an Arkansas traveling party by a Mormon militia, but it’s no dreary collection of funereal murder ballads. Elliott BROOD converts the mourning of the murdered into an occasion for a party. You might call it dance-out-your-outrage music. Elliott BROOD has opened for Wilco, Blue Rodeo, Corb Lund and The Sadies.

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TheMetisFiddlerQuartet

THE MÉTIS FIDDLER QUARTET


This dynamic family ensemble has many impressive accomplishments to their name, but it’s not the recognition of critics and aficionados that matters, it’s the truly wonderful and inspiring music they create. Born with proud Métis roots in Winnipeg, this versatile bilingual family ensemble is of siblings Alyssa, Conlin, Nicholas and Danton, makes beautiful music you won’t soon forget. We dare you to sit still during their Mariposa performance. Just try, there’s no way!

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danmangan

DAN MANGAN


This impressive talent is making his long overdue debut at Mariposa this year, and we are very pleased to welcome him to our stages. Still a young man, Dan Mangan has earned his chops in spades, touring across Canada, the United Kingdom, United States and Australia numerous times. A witty raconteur, he weaves unique lyrical phrases and delivers them with his signature graveled vocals and self-depreciating wit. In August of 2009, Dan Mangan released his sophomore album, Nice, Nice, Very Nice after three and a half years of touring his sleeper-hit debut record, Postcards and Daydreaming.

 

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Sharon&Bram

SHARON & BRAM


A Sharon and Bram show is joyous fun from beginning to end. The critics say it best. “Endearing, lively, swingy and jolly…makes you feel like a kid again” – Montreal Gazette. “Contagious… makes music a family affair” – Variety. “Charming, irresistible” – New York Times. “Absolutely dazzling” – Boston Globe. “Fabulous” – New York Daily News. “Childhood should always be so much fun!” – Toronto Star.

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Oscar-Brand

OSCAR BRAND


At 90 years young, this legend of the North American Folk scene is returning to Mariposa Folk Festival where he first graced the stage back in 1963. Among his many accomplishments, Oscar wrote the Canadian patriotic song, Something to Sing About : This Land of Ours; hosted the CBC television show, Let’s Sing Out; recorded countless albums of bawdy songs and novelty music; and is in the Guinness Book of Records for having the longest-running radio show with the same host (65 years, and running). Oscar was also on the board that led to the creation of Sesame Street.

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Josh-White

JOSH WHITE JR.


Musician and actor, Josh White Jr., was a child star, performing with his famous father and namesake. In the early sixties, due to the lack of acting opportunities for a young black man, Josh White Jr. turned to folk music during the folk revival in America, carving out a long, successful career. He has appeared on countless stages in concert halls, clubs and festivals across North America, and we are very pleased to present him at Mariposa Folk Festival this year, accompanying Oscar Brand.

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LouisPhilippeRobillard

LOUIS-PHILIPPE ROBILLARD


Making his first appearance at Mariposa Folk Festival this year, this exciting talent is no stranger to the Franco Ontarian music scene. During the past five years or so he has been garnering important awards and recognition. This year he released his debut album, Le café des oiseaux, a remarkably mature and poetic collection of beautifully crafted songs. We are very pleased to present this impressive francophone artist to the Mariposa audience.

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MoseScarlett

MOSE SCARLETT


Mose Scarlett is one of a kind. While he draws on a wide range of musical sources from the early 1900’s through the 40’s, his style defies categorization or comparison. His self-taught, original technique of finger picking, dubbed ‘stride guitar’ by Canadian music journalists, delivers a syncopated punch and features simultaneous chords, melody and bass line, smoothly executed, seemingly without effort. The result is simply unique.

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lizziemahashe

LIZIWE ``LIZZY`` MAHASHE


Singer, composer, teacher, dancer and choreographer, Liziwe ‘Lizzy’ Mahashe, was born in Cape Town, South Africa. Forced to leave home during the depths of apartheid, she initially settled in Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania, in 1977, where her sweet voice and vibrant dancing graced the line-up of several top Zairian bands. A few years later, she moved to Canada. Liziwe has been compared to the great African songstress, Miriam Makeba. With an incredible vocal power, coupled with a remarkable stage presence, Liziwe keeps her audience spellbound. Mariposa is very pleased to present this dynamic performer.

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ChrisSmither

CHRIS SMITHER


Chris Smither’s overdue return to Mariposa is music to the ears of anyone who has seen him perform live. This singer, guitarist and songwriter, whose music draws deeply from the blues, American folk music, modern poets and philosophers, is beyond compare. Chris Smither grew up in New Orleans, lived in Paris and made his first foray onto the music scene in 1965 at Club 47 in New York City where his friend, Eric von Schmidt, invited him on stage to perform three songs. In the ensuing four plus decades, he has given us eleven studio albums, a live concert DVD, and an enviable body of work covered by the likes of Bonnie Raitt and Diana Krall.

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Mike-Stevens

MIKE STEVENS


Purists will tell you that bluegrass should be played on stringed instruments, but Mike Stevens doesn’t see it that way. Some of the bluegrass establishment resented his harmonica at first, but it was just too good to ignore. Eventually, they came ‘round. Before you knew it, Mike had become a regular at the Grand Ole Opry, spurred on by the likes of Little Roy Lewis, Jim and Jesse McReynolds (The Virginia Boys) and Roy Acuff. Since then, his techniques have been copied by many others. Mike is also a humanitarian, and has been recognized for his work with youth at risk including being awarded the YMCA Peace Medallion.

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David-Francey-and-Mike-Ford

DAVID FRANCEY AND MIKE FORD


In 2005, David Francey and Mike Ford spent two weeks aboard a 750-foot bulk carrier of the Algoma Central Laker fleet. The captain and crew let them in on life onboard, and sailing from Montreal to Thunder Bay and back along the Saint Lawrence Seaway and the majestic inland sea of the Great Lakes, they penned the 16 insightful songs that appear on their collaboration, Seaway. Three time JUNO winner, David Francey, and JUNO nominee Mike Ford, member of the eccentrically successful folk-pop-vaudeville band Moxy Früvous, are gifted solo musicians in their own right.

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Dave-Gunning_400x268

DAVE GUNNING


What more do you say about someone the Toronto Star ranks on a par with Gordon Lightfoot, Bruce Cockburn and Stan Rogers? This Nova Scotia singer-songwriter won the 2005 East Coast Music Award for Folk Recording of the Year, but his true strength is in his live performance. Dave reaches into the hearts of his audience with his charm, sensitive voice and sense of humour. When Dave sings, every note and every word in his finely crafted songs are delivered with a humility and honesty that touch the listener’s soul.

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LesTireux

LES TIREUX D'ROCHES


A band of gifted storeytellers, musicians and singers, Les Tireux d’Roches charms their audience with beautiful, melodic performances, and gets them on their feet with lively, danceable ditties. Delighting audiences since 1998, this year the Mariposa audience gets their opportunity to see why this act from Québec has caused such a stir. You don’t have to understand a word they sing. Their wonderful sound speaks volumes all by itself. Les Tireux d’Roches plays traditional music with a uniquely creative touch. Called ‘modern future’, their songs will take you on a fantastic musicial, story-filled, multi-colored voyage into an imaginary New-World-of-old.

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MichaelJohnston

MICHAEL JOHNSTON


There’s lots to say about this modern day renaissance man, so let’s hear from the critics. “…exuberant Canadian Michael Johnston bounces around from instrument to instrument keeping the energy high.”- The Scotsman (Scotland, UK). “…purely Canadian in all the best ways. Michael Johnston has finally succeeded in uniting our great land — at least musically.” – CHART. “Delicately beautiful…” – the Toronto Sun. “The illegitimate son of Burt Bacharach and Randy Newman…sweet, uplifting, fresh and original.” – En Route

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LittleMissHiggins

LITTLE MISS HIGGINS


Over the past five years, Little Miss Higgins—described as a “pocket-sized powerhouse” by Richard Knechtel, artistic director of Summerfolk–has built a strong national reputation throughout Canada, appearing in clubs and on festival stages in Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal, Owen Sound, and Canso, performing traditional songs but also her own original music that picks up on blues styles of the past, but remains very much her own expression.

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Beyond_the_Pale

BEYOND THE PALE


Beyond the Pale’s explosive acoustic sound is inspired by a wide range of cross-cultural influences, from Klezmer, Balkan, and Romanian music, to bluegrass, jazz, reggae and funk. Performed with high energy and infectious joy by consummate musicians, Beyond the Pale’s dynamic live performances have delighted audiences across Canada and the United States. Their exuberant live performances range seamlessly from raucous dance rhythms to intricate chamber-folk dynamics, taking audiences on an invigorating musical ride with stunning virtuosity and thrilling arrangements.

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DaveBorins

DAVE BORINS


Dave Borins lives and breathes to perform. He has performed at the prestigious Hugh’s Room in Toronto, and now has earned the opportunity, as an auditioned Mariposa Showcase performer, to play at Mariposa Folk Festival. Will Dave be the next big Mariposa discovery? In addition to original compositions, Dave draws on an enormous and eclectic repertoire of great songs by other artists, all delivered in a dynamic performance style. A relative newcomer to the scene, Borins was nominated for Best Live Acoustic Performer and Best Folk Artist at the 2008 Toronto Indie Music Awards.

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Ianspotting

IANSPOTTING


Dubbed a Reggae Sensation by CBC Radio, Ianspotting is a vibrant, reggae-influenced band that hails from Kingston, Ontario that is, not Jamaica, but it doesn’t matter which becuase their music is just great! This band knocked the socks off the audience at the Mariposa Showcase auditions. Are they the next big act to be launched at Mariposa? Come and see for yourself.

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Joshua_Cockerill

JOSHUA COCKERILL


This impressive performer ‘wowed’ the audience at the Mariposa Showcase auditions, earning him a spot to perform at the 50th anniversary of Mariposa Folk Festival. Combining an energetic performance style with impressive songwriting skills and great musicality, Joshua is bound to make a big splash at Mariposa this year. “Influenced and inspired by legends Neil Young and Leonard Cohen and contemporaries Blue Rodeo and Rutledge, Joshua Cockerill is an alt-country rocker with a poet’s soul”. – Winnipeg Free Press

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GeorgeHewison

GEORGE HEWISON


George Hewison’s brand of music is firmly rooted in his compassion for the working man. He doesn’t just write and sing about social justice, he lives it. George has been a social and political activist his entire adult life. He has performed across the country and abroad on radio and television; in coffee houses, concert halls, and clubs; at rallies, conventions, and on picket lines; and at numerous festivals. This year, Canada’s labour minstrel is celebrating fifty years of combining music with labour and social activism with his Tough Times Tour.

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ken Whiteley

THE WHITELEY BROTHERS


Good things take time. Chris and Ken Whiteley have spent years becoming well versed in a multitude of musical styles by drawing inspiration from many wells. Whether playing blues, swing, jazz, gospel, rhythm and blues, jug band or folk, the brothers do it with finesse, respect and intimate knowledge. These qualities have served them very, very well. With over 150 recordings between them, eight Juno nominations, Blues Album of the Year Award and countless festival appearances, the two have explored their individual creativities to great critical and popular success. Among many others, they’ve worked with John Hammond Jr., Leon Redbone, Blind John Davis and were the first Canadian act ever invited to perform at the prestigious Chicago Blues Festival.

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RickFinesandSuzieVinnick

RICK FINES AND SUZIE VINNICK


On their own they are great artists. Together they are magic. Rick Fines and Suzie Vinnick are musical proof that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. With over 15 recordings between them, multiple awards and much critical acclaim, they have recently released Nothing Halfway, a collection of mostly self penned songs that reflect what fans have always loved about Suzie and Rick. Together and on their own, both have played on a Mariposa stage before, and we are very pleased to welcome them back for Mariposa’s 50th anniversary festival.

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JamesGordon

JAMES GORDON


James Gordon is one of Canada’s most prolific songwriters, well known for his songs about social justice, heritage and environmental issues. His classic, Frobisher Bay, has been recorded and performed by hundreds of artists world-wide and was an audition piece for Canadian Idol. His song, Mining For Gold, was featured on the Cowboy Junkies’ landmark album. The Trinity Sessions. James Gordon is traveling to Mariposa this year in a houseboat that serves as his very own stage, anchored just a few feet from shore. What could be more pleasant than listening to beautiful music from a celebrated songwriter, while sitting on the shores of picturesque Lake Couchiching?

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Wooden-Sky

THE WOODEN SKY


Trying to nail down the disparate genres explored by The Wooden Sky isn’t an easy task. When pressed, the band tosses out tags like “folk rock”, but the words don’t hint at the nuances in their sound. Since 2003, this Toronto collective has been pushing the limits of folk and country, adding pieces of outside influence and slowly growing their own unique sonic aesthetic. It’s a sound that started in a garage in downtown Toronto and found its way into the hands one of the most respected studios and producers in North America. With a new record and new friends to help them play it, The Wooden Sky are poised to push “folk rock” into something new, exciting, and earnest.

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Breakmen

THE BREAKMEN


Comprised of four of Vancouver’s best songwriters and acoustic musicians, this band is set to make a big impression at Mariposa this year. With a body of great songs and a dynamic performance style that blends bluegrass, old-time folk and vintage country sounds, they have been compared to The Band and Old Crowe Medicine Show. Known for tight vocal harmonies, creative instrumental work and contagious stage energy, this band has attracted national and international attention. Since the release of their self titled debut album in 2006, The Breakmen have played over 200 festivals, theaters and live stages throughout Canada and the U.S west coast.

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Quartette

QUARTETTE


A collaboration of four accomplished singer/song-writers, Sylvia Tyson, Cindy Church, Caitlin Hanford, and Gwen Swick, Quartette is publicly and critically acclaimed for their lush harmonies and delightfully diverse repertoire ranging from blues and gospel to folk and country to jazz and pop. The group’s first appearance, a showcase of Canadian women songwriters, took place at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre. What began as a “songwriter in the round” concert of musical friends grew into an inspired collaboration. Quartette has received several Juno nominations, won a Canadian Country Music Award for best vocal collaboration, performed with major symphony orchestras across Canada, and recorded the CMT-TV special, A Quartette Christmas.

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DeepDarkWoods

THE DEEP DARK WOODS


With a Western Canada Music Award for Roots Duo/Group Recording under their belts, The Deep Dark Woods turned around and won Ensemble of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards last November. With this kind of momentum, they’re sure to make a big impression at Mariposa this year. The timeless sound of this aptly named group pulses with human warmth. With original songs and gentle, plainspoken lyrics, their music is poetic but sometimes startling. The Deep Dark Woods have shared the stage with The Sadies, Magnolia Electric Co., Utah Phillips and The Stills, and have toured extensively from Canada’s west coast to New York City.

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catherineMac

CATHERINE MACLELLAN


Catherine MacLellan’s immense vocal and songwriting talents are no secret to music lovers in the Maritimes. At the 2010 East Coast Music Awards she won for Folk Recording of the Year and Female Solo Recording of the Year. Matching pure and ethereal vocals with poetic lyrics and her uncompromising song writing craft, there is no doubt why Catherine MacLellan has become recognized as one of the most celebrated new singer-songwriters in Canada, and around the world, by her contemporaries and media alike. Mariposa is very pleased to present Catherine MacLellan to our audience this year.

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ohbijou

OHBIJOU


Furnished with a mandolin, violin, piano, banjo, cello and an impressive array of other instruments, this seven piece orchestral pop force was borne in the bedrooms of a family home in Brantford and came of age on stages around Toronto. A string of accolades has followed Ohbijou since its inception, and now they have amassed a devoted and varied army of fans. Their delicate sound matures with each recording, and they have released their highly anticipated sophomore album, Beacons, which gleaned early praise from critics and was touted as one of 2009’s most anticipated albums.

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Chris-McKhool

CHRIS MCKHOOL


Hailed as a “Children’s musical star” by the National Post, 2009 JUNO Award nominee, Chris McKhool, is one of Canada’s hottest musicians for young people. He has been touring Canada with his children’s concerts for over ten years, reaching almost 1 million children, and appearing on Mr. Dressup, YTV’s Treehouse, TVOntario’s Crawlspace and the CBC. A champion of environmental issues, Chris created the world’s largest bicycle bell orchestra in 2008, at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto with over 800 bell ringers! Chris has toured through all of Canada, including Baffin Island, and across the United States, England, Cuba, Guatemala and Tibet.

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Holmes Hooke

HOLMES HOOKE


A keen wit, with a brutally honest turn of phrase, and a capacity for capturing the simple beauty of his subject matter, award winning spoken word artist Holmes Hooke is sought out as a performer and host by festivals and clubs the world over. This “national treasure” (CBC) has recorded three CDs, illustrated and authored a children’s book, and has had compositions performed by over 40 artists. Recently, his poem, Plant A Tree, was included in a capsule buried in Scotland, to be opened in a huge ceremony one hundred years from now. Holmes says he definitely plans to be there.

caitlin-Hanford

CAITLIN HANFORD


Caitlin Hanford has a voice with a pure, Appalachian quality, perfectly suited to the high, lonesome sound of traditional country and bluegrass. Along with Sylvia Tyson, Cindy Church and Gwen Swick, Caitlin is a member of Quartette, a group both publicly and critically acclaimed for their lush harmonies and delightfully diverse repertoire ranging from blues and gospel to folk and country to jazz and pop.

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The grass mountain hobo

THE GRASS MOUNTAIN HOBOS


Here is a band that defies description. Bluegrass blended with old time radio? If you can imagine a country dance in the forties or fifties, you’re part way to understanding the sound the Hobos make. Whatever you call it, it sounds great! They won a 2010 East Coast Music Award for Bluegrass Recording of the Year. The Hobos are Josh Ellis on lead vocals and the guitar, Peter Cann on the guitar, Peter Webb on the banjo, Thomas Webb on the big bass bull fiddle, Thomas Kirkham on the mandolin and Gordie MacKeeman on the fiddle.

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CindyChurch

CINDY CHURCH


In 1987, Cindy Church co-founded the traditional country trio Great Western Orchestra, which recorded a remarkable eponymous album for Sony Music Canada in 1989. Along with Sylvia Tyson, Caitlin Hanford and Gwen Swick, Cindy is a member of Quartette, a group both publicly and critically acclaimed for their lush harmonies and delightfully diverse repertoire ranging from blues and gospel to folk and country to jazz and pop. Cindy also performs with two other groups, Lunch at Allen’s (with Murray McLauchlan, Ian Thomas and Marc Jordan), and The Nearness of You, a tribute to songwriter Hoagy Carmichael.

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Magoo

MAGOO


Magoo, is a colourful character, you name it, he’s probaby done it. Singer/songwriter, host, family performer, guitar teacher, backyard shed builder, and fashion plate (Check out Fashion Tips for Tuesday on his Facebook page), all come quickly to mind. He has been writing songs and playing them in clubs, concerts and at festivals across the country since 1974, and he has opened shows for Taj Mahal, Roger McGuinn, The Band, Joe Cocker and David Bromberg among others. He delights audiences both young and old, and is happy to be back at Mariposa, the festival that inspired him to take all this fun seriously.

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Madison-Violet

MADISON VIOLET


Take two brilliant songwriters from different parts of the country, put them together in Toronto, record them in England and tour them around Canada, Australia and Europe and what do you have? Madison Violet. Their friends call them road dogs because they spend so much time on the road. They have supported such artists as Ron Sexsmith, Chantal Kreviazuk and the Indigo Girls, and from the Montreux Jazz Festival to Massey Hall, audiences have swooned over their storytelling and great songs. They’re back at Mariposa this year, and we are very excited to have them!

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GwenSwick

GWEN SWICK


Gwen Swick has released several solo albums and recorded five albums with the traditional folk trio, Tamarack. She is also a member of the Marigolds. Her music has been featured on several film soundtracks, including Never Talk to Strangers (1995), and Terrance Odette’s award-winning Canadian features, Heater (1999), and Sleeping Dogs (2006). As well, she writes and arranges vocal music for choirs. Along with Sylvia Tyson, Caitlin Hanford and Cindy Church, Gwen is a member of Quartette, a group both publicly and critically acclaimed for their lush harmonies and delightfully diverse repertoire ranging from blues and gospel to folk and country to jazz and pop.

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Don-Cullen

DON CULLEN


A member of the Mariposa Board of Advisors along with other luminaries including Gordon Lightfoot and Sylvia Tyson, Don Cullen has been a long time friend and booster of Mariposa Folk Festival. He’s also one of the nicest guys you will ever meet in show business, and his résumé of achievements is longer than a Tolstoy novel. Don was the founder of the influential Bohemian Embassy Coffee House in Toronto that was so important in the seminal days of the folk movement. If you see him walking by at the festival, stop and say hello. You’ll be glad you did.

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kempencelts

THE KEMPENCELTS


A dynamic group of accomplished Celtic musicians, the Kempencelts performance on Mariposa’s dance stage is not to be missed. Fiddle players are Cheryl Wilson and Carol Kline. On guitar and bodhran are Chuck MacLeod and Brian Gogarty, and on stand up bass is Peter Cox. Dancing, toe tapping and foot stomping are strongly encouraged, so kick off your shoes and dance up a storm!

Sid-Dolgay

SID DOLGAY


Sid Dolgay performed at the very first Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia in 1961 as a member of The Travellers, a Canadian folk singing group that formed in the summer of 1953. They are best known for their rendition of a Canadian version of This Land Is Your Land with lyrics that reference Canadian geography. The group was formed as a result of singalongs at Camp Naivelt, a Jewish socialist vacation community operated by the United Jewish Peoples’ Order. Pete Seeger was a regular visitor to the camp and encouraged the group.

simoneJohnston

SIMONE JOHNSTON


A member of the Canadian folk super group, The Travellers, during their heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, Simone Johnston is returning to Mariposa Folk Festival 50 years after her first appearance in 1961. She will be performing with Sid Dolgay, a fellow member of The Travellers and long-time friend of the festival. We are very pleased to welcome back Simone Johnston to help us celebrate Mariposa’s 50th anniversary.

JowiTaylor

JOWI TAYLOR


Jowi Taylor is a multiple award winning writer and broadcaster best known for his longrunning CBC Radio program, Global-Village, the Peabody Award winning radio series, The Wire: The Impact of Electricity on Music, and its celebrated companion series: The Nerve: Music and the Human Experience. His independent Six String Nation multi-media project – centered around a guitar built
literally from pieces of Canadian heritage – combines Jowi’s various fascinations, including music, media, community-building and the intersection of Canada’s history and multicultural identity. His book about the project “Six String Nation: 64 Pieces, 6 Strings, 1 Canada, 1 Guitar” is available from Douglas & McIntyre Publishers.

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Dennis-Lee

DENNIS LEE


It is with special pleasure that Mariposa brings back poet, Dennis Lee. Recipient of a Governor General Award, Officer of the Order of Canada, and Toronto’s first Poet Laureate, he is the man responsible for turning thousands of children on to poetry with Alligator Pie, Jelly Belly and other best selling books. On the musical side, Dennis was the lyricist for Jim Henson’s terrific TV series, Fraggle Rock.

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GEORGE MILLER


George Miller was the unofficial Poet Laureate at the renowned Bohemian Embassy, one of the first and most influential coffee houses in Toronto, which opened in 1960. George is the author of several works of poetry, including Ladders to High Places, 30 Some Odd Poems, and Sancho. It is a great privilege to Present George Miller at 50th anniversary Mariposa Folk Festival.

Todd-Crowley

TODD CROWLEY'S MUSICAL PETTING ZOO


Ever pluck a harp or drum on a djembe? Ever womp-womp on a didgeridoo or buzz into a shofar? Ever strum a mountain dulcimer or frail a banjo? All of these traditional folk instruments and about 100 more are part of Todd Crowley’s Traveling Musical Petting Zoo. It is a fully interactive, hands-on exhibition for musicians, young and old, novice to professional. The instruments tell a story of their own each time a child connects to the folk tradition by trying an instrument for the first time, or an adult rediscovers the joy of making music. Check it out – you will be surprised how much fun it is.

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Northern-Jewels

THE NORTHERN JEWELS


An accomplished clogging troupe, the Northern Jewels will demonstrate this popular form of folk dance, performed in numerous variations in countries with English, Irish and Scottish roots. Clogging is done in time with the downbeat, usually with the heel keeping rhythm. It is done to almost any kind of music, country and traditional bluegrass music being the most popular. Visually, clogging resembles tap, line and Irish river dance but, unlike those dance forms, clogging is done with a relaxed upper body. The Northern Jewels are Julie MacLeod, Lisa McMann, Louise Robertson, Linda Speers and Sadie Speers.

SHERRY-LAWSON

SHERRY LAWSON


A keen observer of people and the world around her, Sherry Lawson is an aboriginal story teller extraordinaire who captivates her audience with a commanding presence. She is working on a third autobiographical writing to follow I’ve Been Shot At, What’s Your Excuse and Don’t Stand Too Close! You Might Get Some On You. Sherry was recently named Orillia Citizen of the Year for her decades of work in the native and non-native communities, and has served as a Justice of the Peace where she developed a reputation for wise, humane and at times unorthodox verdicts.

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Mark Douglas

MARK DOUGLAS


An active member and cultural leader of Rama First Nation, Mark tells stories that bring Ojibway culture and pride to wider public knowledge. His Indian name, Biidaanakwad (bee dawn e quad) means Cloud Approaching. The son of an Ojibway Chief and Algonquin Princess, Mark has spent a lot of time with Traditional Elders of the Greater Ojibway Nation, learning about his culture. This impressive storyteller generously shares his teachings with his audience.

the kennetts

THE KENNETTS


Well-known dance callers David and Ann Kennett are noted for the traditional Canadian content of their program. They call regularly for the Orillia Folk Society, Wye Marsh Heritage Day, Celtic Roots Folk Festival, and they call with The Kempencelts at Mariposa Folk Festival. Retired teachers, they are frequent visitors to area schools, teaching and advising staff on the dance component of the physical education program.

UrbanFairyTales

URBAN FAIRYTALES PUPPET THEATER.


Urban Fairytales was conceived by dreamers, animators, illustrators, programmers, designers, puppeteers, musicians and more. Their fairytale stories have a modern twist revolving around a spirited fairy princess, Libby Fiddlehead, from a castle in the sky, who finds herself on earth in an Enchanted Forest full of colorful creatures. She learns to survive in the wilderness and deal with the problems of the big city in her own back yard as she finds that it’s not easy being green. Urban Fairytales produces fun, educational and truthful content for kids!

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Owen-mcbride

OWEN MCBRIDE


A veteran folk music performer and storyteller, Owen McBride has built a reputation as an accomplished spoken word artist and performer of Irish folk music. He has performed at most of the major folk festivals, clubs and concerts halls across Canada and the United States. His first appearance at Mariposa Folk Festival was in 1964, and he was a fixture at the festival almost every year until the mid 1980s. His stories and tales were heard regularly on CBC Radio. Mariposa is very pleased once again to welcome back Owen McBride following his reemergence at our 50th anniversary festival, after so many years absence.