OK. Exhausted. Just finished attending a concert almost every night of the two week long Arts and Cultural Festival I helped organize for the Canada Games.
The post is a bit long but the final night deserves some web press. Continue only if your interested.
I've seen too many acts to list but I was able to enjoy some of our best PEI performers in almost every genre including traditional fiddle & step dancing, Acadian, folk, bluegrass, jazz, classical, Rock & pop.
I have to say that for me the highlight was actually a surprise. On the last night we ended up with two venues. I had put together a rock show with some of our best young bands and also a Multicultural show at the Local arts guild. I ended up at the Multicultural show as Producer/stagehand as our hired folks were busy at the rock concert. I knew I liked the rock bands for the night but I was very glad I chose the Guild show to work.
It started with Aboriginal Drumming group "Mi'Kmaq Thunder". I have heard Aboriginal Drumming before and it can become tiring to the uninitiated but these guys played ever so slightly modernized songs written by members that actually sounded surprisingly good.
We then had Chinese Dancers do their first dance of the evening in very colorful costumes. My first live experience of this nature.
Then we had "Ra on Je Na" a traditional Korean percussion troupe. Also my first experience of this type outside of TV or movies. Such simple instruments but able to make very complex music. Amazing.
They were followed by a group of young TiQuanDo artists doing a demonstration set to music. Imagine my surprise when the music turned out to be Micheal Jackson's, Beat It.
I then helped carry to the stage a Yanquin. A low seated table with piano liked strings that are struck with bamboo reeds with soft mallets on the end. Again, I recognized the sound from TV but had never seen the instrument played. WHAT a MESMERIZING SOUND. This is truly a beautiful instrument heard live and amazing to watch the artist. I would best describe it as sounding a bit like a Harpsichord but played thrash guitar style with amazingly fast coordinated wrist movements with the bamboo wands.
After the break, we had the final Chinese Dance called, in English, Walking the Road to Tibet. Very colorful with extended sleeve costumes and large flowing movements. Very cool.
We then had African percussionist "Israel" playing drums and other instruments. He is actually fairly accomplished musician and his two CDs can be found Here.
Finally we finished with an up and coming but very popular band called "Count & Cuban Cocktail". Extremely FUN music is how I best describe it, but it's better described as Cuban dance rhythms, sometimes infused with an American beat. I hope they succeed as it's great stuff.
That was Friday night, Saturday, I crashed after a very tiring but entertaining two weeks.