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3 Questions for Curtis Labelle – Singer/Songwriter, Renowned Pianist and Vibrant Performer

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Move over New York City, we’ll keep him thanks.

How do I even begin? Curtis Labelle is a dream. Quite literally you may find yourself hanging out with him and actually asking yourself “am I dreaming? Did he just sell out a show by putting a plunger (yes a plunger) on his head?” True story, not only did it sell out but what a phenomenal night! If you’ve seen a show from Curtis then you know what I’m talking about. It becomes a communal effort. Everyone is part of the show. Sing-a-longs, hysterical laughter and and straight up good times.

“My fingers do the walking…”   – Curtis Labelle

Did you know that not so long ago in a land pretty far away called New York City our very own Curtis Labelle was enjoying himself and trying to figure out where he was headed in his musical journey. Yes sir, even the virtuosos like Curtis Labelle need time to ponder and contemplate where this crazy musical adventure is headed next. For a while he was even doing Liberace tributes. I’ve always told him he should take it as a compliment when ‘The FEDS’ shut you down. ‘The FEDS’ lol, thats probably not the right terminology but it sounds cool. Better said, team Liberace shut him down with the good ol’ “cease and desist” letter. They made it clear, that part of his career was over. Immediately. I remember telling Curtis that in some crazy way this was the best thing to happen to his career.

Since relocating to Red Deer Curtis has been killing it! New music, videos, teaching, getting married and just all around living life to the fullest.

I actually had the honour of performing Curtis’s very first original song on stage with him for the first time he performed it, ever. He didn’t even have his piano. He pulls me into the hall and says “do something like this…” Bam! We were on stage at The Velvet Olive (re-opening June 3rd) and Curtis introduced his original music to the world. No cooler feeling than being a part of that.

Last year he was the winner of the 2019 Rock 104.5 Star Search, securing the opportunity to work on a new single with JUNO Nominated Producer Mark Troyer! Very cool. This year he’s secured a spot on “The Shot” which is a pretty sweet competition based Canadian platform. We wish you the best in your efforts!

If you’re into Elton John, Billy Joel and good music in general you’re in luck. All of Curtis Labelle’s music is now available on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, Amazon Music, Google Play, Deezer and more. for more on Curtis check out his website and socials at curtislabelle.com and make sure to drop a follow or like wherever you’re at. I could go on for days about all the stories and craziness I’ve been through with Curtis but lets get to the questions!!!

1. Where does it come from? Your ability to make your fingers do what they do?

My fingers are an avenue and a path. The universe sends messages and then my brain makes the music. My fingers do the walking and my brain does the talking.

2. Do you ever eat your dessert before your dinner?

Always dinner first – I’m large enough.

3. How has music affected your mental health during COVID-19?

Music has kept me alive and vibrating inside. It’s my healing and medicine.

NEW MUSIC RELEASE DAY!

Jesse was born in the city of Lethbridge and raised to his teen years in the southern Alberta farming communities of Raymond and Fin Castle, AB. Jesse's early inspirations include the hypnotic sounds of big-name artists such as Jimi Hendrix, The Black Crowes, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, City and Colour, Jack Johnson, Guns 'N' Roses, and Pink Floyd. Jesse is a Blues/Rock/folk/Indie performer who has done his fair share of "paying his dues" opening and touring with such acts as: The Lazys, One Bad Son, Doc Walker, The Odds, The Northern Pikes, The Grapes Of Wrath, Monster Truck, The Age Of Electric, The Wild, Holly McNarland, Econoline Crush, Coal Creek Boys, Wild T & The Spirit, Cara Luft, Carson Cole, Clayton Bellamy (of The Road Hammers), Tupelo Honey, Retrograde, The Smalls, and Mcquaig to name just a few. In 2015 Jesse was awarded the title "Master of Blues Folk Rock" for the 6th Annual Black American Music Awards. Jesse is known for his funky heavy jam style guitar. Big riffs, an impressive vocal sound all his own and the ability to captivate the crowd with ease. His fans have coined the term "no string solo" as he can be consistently found ripping strings off the guitar like they aren't supposed to be there in the first place.

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Alberta

DISTINGUISHED & EMERGING ARTIST AWARDS JUNE 2022

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Lac La Biche County and Portage College have been making plans for a community celebration to honour three new 2021 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Artists. Given the ongoing COVID-19 related challenges of convening in person, Portage College, Lac La Biche County, and the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Foundation have moved the celebration to June 11, 2022.

This change has provided a new opportunity: for the first time in the Awards’ history, the host community of Lac La Biche County will celebrate both the 2021 Distinguished Artists and up to 10 new 2022 Emerging Artists.

Her Honour Salma Lakhani, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, says she is looking forward to honouring the Distinguished and Emerging Artists next summer in Lac La Biche.

“I appreciate the tremendous work that the community has already invested into this special celebration, and I know that the 2022 awards will be well worth the wait. In the meantime, I offer my heartfelt thanks to all of the artists, administrators and patrons across Alberta for everything that you are doing to keep the arts a vibrant part of our lives and our communities during this extraordinary time.”

The organizers look forward to hosting this prestigious event and showcasing Alberta’s diverse arts scene. Their June 2022 plans include opportunities to chat with artists, outdoor community celebrations featuring an Art Walk and Market, art classes and demonstrations, an artist retreat, and a celebratory awards gala.

Click to learn more about the Foundation.

 

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Alberta

Update: Virtual concert raises more than $40K for Cancer Research

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This weekend’s Jammin’ For a Cure concert raised more the $40,000 for Cancer Research, with funds raised being earmarked for the work of Dr. Michael Chu, a clinician scientist at the Cross Cancer Institute. His research is for a new treatment known as Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy.

The 18 hour live performance was a great event.  If you missed it, we have the links right here for you.

Friday:  Click here 

Saturday: Click here.

If you missed the show on the weekend, check it whenever you wish, and share it. The concert featured some really good performance from local, regional, national, and international artists.  A highlight for me was El Niven and the Alibi. After doing some crazy tours, one from Tijuana to La Paz, performing fully amplified street concerts, and another from Edmonton to New York, across to L.A. and back to Edmonton.  More than 400 shows over 3 years hones your skill, and this trio has a ton of skill.

Here’s a video they recently released called Likker.   If you like the thoughts of a mash up between a 6’5″ Freddie Mercury, Frank Zappa, Commander Cody, and then you put an old worn telecaster in this volatile combination of a man’s hands, and say to him, go out and do something magical, and maybe just a bit crazy, then El Niven should appeal to you. Click here to learn more about El Niven and the Alibi.

Original story from March 26, 2021

I think we can all agree that few of us have been touched more by cancer than any other disease. One of the organizations trying to make a difference is the Cure Cancer Foundation, founded by a group of volunteers with a desire to more directly fund research and treatment programs.

And, what better way to raise money than with live music. Let’s face, it’s been an awful year without clubs and bars open, and no concerts and festivals. So maybe take a break from Netflix this weekend and take some time and catch some amazing talent, many of whom you’ve listened to in your favourite venue over the years. Many have been very busy creating new work during this last year and I’m sure you’ll hear some excellent new music throughout the weekend. In fact, here’s something recent from Brett Kissell.

Juno and multi-CCMA winner Clayton Bellamy

Jammin’ For a Cure is a live concert event taking place over 18 hours, starting tonight at 6 PM when Alberta’s own Brett Kissel kicks off a night of great music with artists that include Clayton Bellamy, Martin Kerr, and Jesse Roads.  (The full list of talent and the schedule is below).

Saturday, the music begins at noon with Confounded Dials.  Some excellent solo artists and bands will perform throughout the day, including Josh Sahunta, Dahlia and the Villains, Stephanie Harpe Experience, Maria Dunn, Stevon Kayla, and John Hewitt.

Alfie Zappacosta kicks of the evening slate of acts Saturday night at 6 PM followed by artists like Hailey Benedict, Bardic Form, Amy Metcalfe, Kesara Kimo and guest Evrlove, and runs right through to 11:40 PM with Canadian Coldwater Revival closing the show.

I have been invited to appear on this bill as well and I’m pretty pumped to strap on a guitar and perform on Saturday at 3:40 PM for a 20 minute set. Having lost my mom to ovarian cancer in 1994, I do what I can to help.

And a big shout out to Jon Beckett and his talented, experienced team at Edmonton’s Production World for making all of this possible.

Remember these are free concerts.

Here’s the link for Friday (tonight).

Here is the link for Saturday.

Friday Line up

6-6:40 PM Brett Kissel

7-7:40 PM FKB

7:40-8 PM Olivia Rose

8-8:40 PM Clayton Bellamy

8:40-9 PM Stevon and Kayla Artis

9-9:40 PM Martin Kerr

10-10:40 PM Jesse Roads

11-11:40 PM Guitarface

Saturday starting at noon

12-12:40 PM Confounded Dials

12:40-1 PM Tracy Lynn Byrne

1-1:40 PM Josh Sahunta

1:40-2 PM Brenda Dirk

2-2:40 PM Dahlia and the Villains

2:40-3 PM Kaylee Caura-Lee

3-3:40 PM Kane Incognito

3:40-4 PM Lloyd Lewis

4-4:40 PM Stephanie Harpe Experience

4:40-5 PM Maria Dunn

5-5:40 PM Stevon Kayla and the Heavenly Band

5:40-6 PM John Hewitt

6-6:40 PM Alfie Zappacosta

6:40-7 PM Hailey Benedict

7-7:40 PM Bardic Form

7:40-8 PM Amy Metcalfe

8-8:40 PM El Niven and the Alibi

8:40-9 PM Darrell Barr

9-9:40 PM Kesaro and Guest Artist Evrlove

9:40-10 PM Danny Floyd Cole

10-10:40 PM Jusjrdn and DJ Kwake

10:40-11 PM Mightberea

11-11:40 PM Canadian Coldwater Revival

The whole purpose is to raise money.  Here’s the link to make a donation right now.

As well, there’s a host of great silent auction items you can bid on, from autographed jerseys to signed guitars. Click here to get started.

About Cure Cancer Foundation

Cancer doesn’t stop. No matter what’s going on in the world, Cancer is always there, hurting those we love. Jammin’ For A Cure will be raising money for Dr. Michael Chu, a clinician scientist at the Cross Cancer Institute, who is leading the charge with a new treatment known as Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy.

This therapy turbocharges the immune system to create killer immune cells that can wipe out cancers. This alters the patient’s own cells to be a new “barcode reader” and find the hiding cancer cells. This treatment is predicted to make the most significant difference in blood cancers such as multiple myeloma, leukemia, and lymphoma patients, even those with multiply relapsed cancers.

We want to help fund great research like this to help Albertans, and people everywhere, receive the treatment they need. Your support will provide hope to people who would otherwise die of their cancer – despite all the best-known treatments. You are giving people a better chance of a cancer-free outcome and more time with their families, friends, and loved ones.

Todayville is very happy to support this event. Click here to read more stories on Todayville.

 

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january, 2023

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