Grassland is a free summer music series, held each Sunday at the green space, downtown Elora from 2pm – 4pm.
The series is presented by the merchants of Elora during July and August and includes performances by many acclaimed local musicians, whose music spans countless genres. For more information, email Emmett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUNDAY, JULY 5th
THE BOO RADLEY PROJECT
The Boo Radley Project was founded in February 2011 on a mutual obsession for the literary character, Boo Radley. The 5 piece, Elora/Guelph based band fuses jazz, funk, and alternative music with a quirky and dynamic stage presence. Their live shows are an energetic, multimedia production featuring homemade projections and colourful lights. They’ve toured across Southern Ontario and the East Coast. The band staged a 36 kilometer walking concert for Hawaii’s dolphins and has played on festival stages at Hillside and Riverfest Elora. The band is currently in the process recording and mixing its first full length LP. The album is set to be released in early summer 2015.
SUNDAY, JULY 19th
The leader and founder of the Royal City Saxophone Quartet, Ernie is a graduate of the University of Waterloo in Mathematics and Music. A native of Peterborough, Ontario, Ernie now calls Elora home. He studied piano briefly from the age of eight, and became more serious about music at age 12 when he picked up the saxophone. He played his first professional gig at 14, and was active in dance bands, concert bands, Dixieland, R&B, and saxophone quartets. Saving up his paper-route money, he bought his first tenor sax on his 16th birthday with some help from his dad – Ernie Sr. He studied saxophone at Humber College with Pat LaBarbera, and later in North Carolina with James Houlik. He has played in numerous bands and has traveled to many jazz events and festivals throughout the United States and Canada. His many influences include Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Sonny Stitt, and Hank Mobley. Learn more at www.erniekalwa.com
Sam Boer has come a long way since his passion for the plastic recorder earned him second place in the Kiwanis festival at the tender age of eleven. Stretching, twisting, and decorating the structures and sounds of folk music, Sam’s eclectic pieces are driven by open-heart lyrics. Since his debut EP, Audible Smiles, was released in 2012, Sam has pushed the boundaries of both his musicality and his sanity through an array of diverse projects: writing, performing, and giving his soul to the self-titled LP of Guelph-based band Bedsheets; drumming and singing for London-based collective The Breath and the Bellows; and, most recently, providing music (as well as acting) for the show This Is Not Porn at the Toronto Fringe Festival. Between days working at a summer camp, Sam is preparing for another solo release, tinkering with more collaborative projects, and giving his cats ample belly rubs.
SUNDAY, JULY 26th
FERGUS PIPE BAND
The Fergus Pipe Band was founded in 1927. This band has the distinction of being one of only a few Ontario based pipe bands that have been continuously active for over 85 years.The Fergus Pipe Band is proud of its tradition and the fact that like most pipe bands they have attracted a mix of members from diverse backgrounds. The band has active players ranging in age from 13 to over 80. Currently there are students in the teaching program from the age of 8 to over 40. Brothers play in the band, spouses too, father and son, mother and daughter.
From early days the Fergus Pipe Band has enjoyed the support of their community. Merchant James Russell provided the lumber and the site for the members of the pipe band to run a refreshment stand in Fergus to raise funds for uniforms. Thanks to this venture and the generosity of local citizens sufficient funds were raised to purchase the first uniforms. The first parade in full uniform took place in June 1931 when the band led the ‘Independent Order of Oddfellows’ (IOOF) church parade in Fergus.
The continued support of the community including the Fergus (275) and Elora (229) branches of the Royal Canadian Legion have been an important factor in the success of the band. The Fergus Curling Club increases the band’s profile during their bonspiels when curlers are led on to the ice by pipers and drummers from the Fergus Pipe Band. The Fergus Pipe Band wears the MacKenzie tartan. Two founding members of the band served with the Seaforth Highlanders in the first World War and as this was the tartan worn by that regiment it was a natural choice.
For decades, the Fergus Pipe Band has enjoyed a solid reputation as a street band. The band has participated in parades locally in Fergus and Elora and regionally in Kitchener/Waterloo. In addition they have performed and marched in various towns and cities throughout the province. Visitors to the ‘Fergus Highland Games’ will have seen the Fergus Pipe Band performing on the field during the Tattoo or somewhere on the grounds during that weekend in August.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 2nd
Beach Bodies is a five piece group from Guelph, Ontario. Comprised of local high school seniors with diverse musical backgrounds, the band channels the controlled chaos of the Pixies, Radiohead, LCD Soundsystem, and the Beastie Boys. Recently, the band released their debut EP and has been playing shows locally.
Ian Reid is a singer-songwriter living in his hometown of Rockwood, Ontario. Ian has a passion for a good story and the poignancy of everyday life in small communities. Ian’s song writing reflects what we can and can’t change and often leaves listeners remarking on the parallels to his lyrics with their own lives. Since returning from years of overseas teaching in 2008, Ian has played over 300 shows, earning much respect from his musical peers and fans alike. As a returning Grassland performer, Reid’s music is guaranteed to leave you wanting more.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 9TH
SAFE AS MILK
“I just saw the best band in Canada!” said Tom Wilson of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings back in 1993. History says he was wrong. What happened? The usual… girlfriends, infighting, delusions of grandeur, too much Kraft Dinner and Pizza Hut. While their friends the Gandharvas went on to produce one of the great Canadian songs of the 90′s, “The First Day of Spring,” Safe As Milk tragically descended into a vicious cycle of adjusted family life. While they continue to suffer from raging addictions to sleeping in their own beds and watching their kids play sports, their longevity is a byproduct of that fateful day when they sat despondent and without a recording contract (remember those? no you don’t) around Doug Breen’s kitchen table in 1995. Planning to end it all, they ultimately concluded; “Why???” Not because Tom Wilson was right, though on some nights he may well have been. Guitarists Bob and Doug Breen were stuck with each other for eternity as first cousins anyway, and when you might be the best band in Canada, the least you can do for your country is play a few shows a year. Somewhere along the line Rob Blanchette, the guy who co-wrote and played bass on “First Day of Spring,” joined them. So did drummer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Matt Weston (The Dyadics). Arguably, they got even better. So what does that make them now? The best band in the universe? Regardless, Safe As Milk love each other dearly and would like to entertain you… and that’s really what it’s all about isn’t it?
Lowlands started as a house band to entertain the admission line up at the Great Hall in Toronto. The instrumentation of the group perfectly supported the songwriting of Gordon Auld and Abe Del Bel Belluz and eventually they started to bring both their country, delta blues, bluegrass sound into venues, art openings and coffee houses across the city. After a slight line up change, the band relocated to Guelph Ontario where they have received critical acclaim amongst friends and fans, and have garnered attention from festivals, promoters and industry professionals.
CHECK BACK SOON FOR MORE ARTISTS AND DATES.