The Harrison Festival Society is proud to present the return of champion fiddler April Verch and her band on Friday, March 11 at 8pm in the Harrison Memorial Hall. April first played in Harrison in 2002, with legendary fiddlers Jerry Holland and Calvin Volrath. April’s stole the show with her amazing energy and technique.
When you see April Verch perform, the first thing that strikes you is the pure energy that infuses her fiddle playing and stepdancing. When you listen to her though, what draws you in are more subtle
things—her pure voice, the finely detailed elegance of her fiddle phrasing and the depth of a repertoire that ranges through material from bluegrass to Brazilian to Celtic, from a jaunty Canadian folksong to a poignant contemporary ballad.
April was born, raised and is now living in the Ottawa Valley, where her family has lived for generations. It’s an area with a rich, distinctive musical and stepdancing tradition shaped by the diverse roots of the immigrants drawn to the region’s lumber camps. With her band, she plays traditional and original songs that draw from all over the world, but are clearly filtered through her immersion in the style she grew up with in the Ottawa Valley.
It was April’s time spent studying music at Berklee College of Music in Boston (under Matt Glaser and Darol Anger) that first lead her to blend together different forms of traditional music to form her own distinct sound. She then launched her professional career by winning the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Champion and the Canadian Open Fiddle Champion titles (the first and only woman to win both). In addition to her vigorous touring schedule, she is in great demand for her teaching skills at workshops, master classes and music camps.
April has released seven recordings to date, her 2001 Rounder Records release earned a JUNO nomination for “Best Roots/Traditional Album”. Her most recent release, Steal The Blue (2008), was co-produced by Stephen Mougin of the Sam Bush Band and Jon Weisberger. It is both a compelling
collection of vocal and instrumental selections and the best portrait yet of April as a performing artist, while testifying to the esteem in which she's held by Nashville's bluegrass and roots musicians. The album features harmony vocals from Patty Mitchell, Melonie Cannon, Stephen Mougin, Jana Mougin, and includes songs from some familiar names: Tim Stafford, Steve Gulley, Craig Market, Sarah Siskind, Sarah Pirkle, Larry Cordle and John Hartford, as well as Mark Simos and Jon Weisberger.
The April Verch Band consists of world-class musicians Clay Ross on guitar and Cody Walters on upright-electric bass and banjo. Verch leads the band with her own simultaneous fiddling and dancing and together they have been selling out prestigious venues and festivals for years. They have toured across Canada, the United States, the U.K., Europe and last year toured in Australia for the first time. In 2011 they are slated for their debut tour in China. They have established a reputation as consummate performers with boundless energy on stage that inevitably brings audiences to their feet.
For tickets call the Harrison Festival office at 604-796-3664 or see the website at www.harrisonfestival.com.