Category Archives: Featured Artists

Moonfruits | What the Future Holds

Ste-Quequepart Tour Poster

Ste-Quequepart Tour Poster

Gil’s Hootananny might be one of the last opportunities to see Moonfruits in person, as 2017 is looking to be a busy year for them.

Shortly after headlining Gil’s Hootenanny, Moonfruits – Kaitlin Milroy and Alex Milliare – will be releasing their first French-language album, Ste-Quequepart, which they describe as a “folk concept album that plays like a short film soundtrack.” After the mid-May album release, Moonfruits will be heading out on a Canadian tour to promote the album, which likely means they will be on the road for much of the year. The tour will give the band the opportunity to focus on the things they enjoy: writing and performing music. Continue reading

Moonfruits | Singing and Social Activism

When asked to pinpoint performances that left a lasting impression on them, Moonfruits – Kaitlin Milroy and Alex Milliare – have a myriad of meaningful personal and professional experiences to draw upon. From singing and playing banjo during a protest in -20 degree weather, to a show with The Peptides that culminated in an 11-person finale of “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”, Moonfruits bring their dedication to social justice to each of their performances. Continue reading

Mark Evenchick | Passion, Talent & Perseverance

Mark Evenchick

Mark Evenchick

Singer-songwriter Mark Evenchick will be one of the featured performers at Gil’s Hootenanny 2017. He is expected to perform a new song, It’s Not Funny Anymore, about the political situation south of the Canadian border.

The winner of the 2016 Hootenanny songwriting contest, Mark’s love of music started when he was 13 and learned three chords on his sister’s guitar. Those few chords led Mark on a decades-long musical voyage that includes performing, songwriting & recording. Continue reading

Sharon Hampson’s Musical Roots: Historic Camp Naivelt

Sharon and Bram Headline 2016 Gil’s Hootenanny

It’s not often that a summer camp is recognized for its cultural and heritage value, but such is the case for Camp Naivelt, which was given a heritage designation in 2010 by Brampton (Ontario) City Council under the Ontario Heritage Act.

The list of alumni from, and visitors to, the camp is impressive, and includes a number of influential Canadian singer-songwriters and musical impresarios. In fact, a July 1960 CBC recording from a summer concert at Camp Naivelt features a young Sharon Trostin (later Hampson) as well as a teenage Zal Yanovsky. As the Brampton Heritage Board noted, “Camp Naivelt’s most significant historical value is its rich and direct associations with Canada’s musical and artistic heritage.”

In reflecting on Camp Naivelt and its influence on her musical career, Sharon says: “At Naivelt, I learned that singing brings people together in a way that I can only describe as sublime. The Camp also inspired me to create music that appealed to people of all ages.”

The Brampton Heritage Board’s report citing the reasons for Camp Naivelt’s heritage designation can be found here.

Bram Morrison’s Musical Roots: Mariposa and Mills

Sharon and Bram Headline 2016 Gil’s Hootenanny

Bram Morrison honed his performance skills in folk clubs and folk festivals in the 1960s. One of his earliest influences was Canadian folk music legend Alan Mills, for whom Bram started as an apprentice and, over time, became an accompanist and partner. Bram performed with Mills at the Mariposa Folk Festival in 1965. He also performed solo at the Festival until 1978, when the legendary trio, Sharon, Lois and Bram, was formed.

Bram contributed an article about Mills to the Mariposa program in 1978 entitled “Alan Mills – Apprentice to Master, Friend to Friend”, which was subsequently reprinted in the Canadian Folk Music academic journal in 1996.

Bram last performed at Mariposa in 2015, not only debuting his solo album, “We’ll Pass Them On”, but also paying tribute to Mills, who was inducted into the festival’s Hall of Fame that year. Among Bram’s set list was Mill’s signature song, “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly”.

A link to Bram’s article on Alan Mills, which can be accessed through your public library, can be found here.

Sharon & Bram – Singing “to our Heart’s Content”

Musicians strive to create and present music that makes a meaningful connection with their audiences. For Sharon Hampson and Bram Morrison, forging that linkage comes naturally. Their exuberant delivery, combined with an eclectic mix of participatory music, brings a timeless quality to their performances.

Sharon, Lois & Bram‘s repertoire was diverse from the outset, comprising folk songs, schoolyard chants, camp songs, singing games, rounds and nonsense rhymes, all performed variously in jazz, calypso, rock ‘n’ roll, country and folk styles. Sharon & Bram continue that tradition to this day.

As Bram explains, “Our concerts are designed to share the experience of making music with our audiences.” Sharon adds: “The sounds of families singing together brings us deep satisfaction, as we all “sing to ‘to our hearts’ content’.”

Mighty Popo brings his Juno-winning talents to Gil’s Hootenanny

Mighty Popo promo.-1

Mighty Popo (Jacques Murigande) grew up in Burundi hearing contemporary and traditional musicians from East and Central Africa on the street, in clubs and in people’s homes, while radio and recordings played music from the whole African continent and beyond. Since moving to Canada, Popo has performed and recorded many types of music, including blues, reggae, R&B and many African styles. He won a Juno Award in 2004 as a member of the African Guitar Summit. Popo uses the power of music and dance to engage youth and animate communities. Website: www.borealisrecords.com/artists/mighty-popo

Gil’s Hootenanny is hosted by Spirit of Rasputin’s and will take place on May 1st at the Glebe Community Centre (175 Third Avenue in Ottawa). Doors open at 7:00 and we’ll be singing by 7:30. Tickets are available at the Ottawa Folklore Centre or online, via Spirit of Rasputin’s.