Showcase Artist Bios

Acacia Lyra

Acacia Lyra is not just your average harp and voice duo. Janine Dudding and Susan Sweeney Hermon sing in English, French, Spanish, and Gaelic, accompanying themselves on Celtic harps and guitars. As harpers, Susan and Janine are keepers of traditional ballads handed down through the ages. But they also open the windows of their ancient castles and lofty halls to allow fresh “aires” into their repertoire.


Their compositions are a reflection of the duo’s Irish heritage as well as their Canadian experience of pristine lakes and snowy landscapes. Most recently Janine, who has been living part-time in Iqaluit, Nunavut, has been influenced by the haunting allure of the far North and the beauty of Inuit culture. Susan tends to look southward for inspiration, with thoughts of swaying palm trees and Latin rhythms. The two are the best of friends, musically and otherwise.


“Susan and Janine’s music is a beautiful melding of voices, instruments and spirit.  A true friendship in music.”  Sharlene Wallace, harpist-composer.







Erin Saoirse Adair


Erin Saoirse (seer’-shuh) Adair is a songwriter, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and composer based in Ottawa.  Still in her early 20’s, she has already become a prominent and popular voice in the national folk scene, and has received widespread praise for her accessible and deeply relevant songs.


Erin's goal on stage is to tell meaningful musical stories and connect with listeners on an emotional level. In the time-honoured tradition of topical songwriting, her work deals with social justice, the environment, sex positivity, worker’s rights, alcoholism, mental health, sexual assault and more.  She sings frankly, and at times with humour about her own experiences.


Erin is currently arranging and recording a full-length CD of Phil Ochs songs due out on December 19 of 2015. Erin is also currently recording an EP on the topic of gender violence, coming May 2016.



Big Balade

Entre cris d’amour et critiques de société, Big Balade est une promenade de belle humeur où se fusionnent groove-pop entrainant et chœurs dansants. Ce collectif franco-ontarien est né dans la capitale nationale, quand six amis se sont synchronisés autour de rythmes frénétiques à saveur de soul, de funk et de hip-hop. Lauréats de la chanson thème du 400e anniversaire de présence francophone en Ontario, ils se laissent transporter par le groove qu’ils ressentent sous leurs pieds, le groove qui ne ment jamais!


Amid cries of love and social criticism, Big Balade promotes a positive “feel-good” outlook on life through their groove-pop sound. This Franco-Ontarian collective was born in our nation’s capital when six friends inspired by soul, funk and hip-hop found each other among the blend of rhythms sweeping their city. Recipients of the theme song of the 400th anniversary of francophone presence in Ontario, they let themselves be transported by the groove they feel under their feet. The groove never lies!






The Four Heavies

The Four Heavies are four heavy musicians from Ottawa who have arranged a heavy, heavy jazz tribute to Stevie Wonder. The show combines some of the most memorable songs from Songs in the Key of Life, Innervisions, Original Musiquarium and more with their own distinct re-harmonizations, modern rhythms, and inspired improvisations.





John Geggie & Roddy Ellias

John Geggie is greatly in demand as a versatile musician (double bassist) and creative composer, both in Canada and internationally. For thirteen years, he was the curator and programming director of the Geggie Jazz Series at the Fourth Stage of the NAC. For over fifteen years, he has hosted the Late Night Jam Sessions at the Ottawa International JazzFestival. He has also toured extensively with the award-winning jazz group Chelsea Bridge and the JUNO-nominated D.D. Jackson Trio. He has also recorded or performed with a many of the top names in creative improvised music: Jon Christensen, Ron Miles, Joel Frahm, Andy Milne, Marc Copeland, Vic Juris, Ben Monder, George Colligan, Craig Taborn, Sheila Jordan, David Murray, Andrew Cyrille, Donny McCaslin, Matt Brubeck, Ted Nash, Billy Hart, Marilyn Crispell, Myra Melford, Bill Carrothers, Cuong Vu, and bassist Mark Dresser. In an orchestral context, he was worked with Barbra Streisand, Henry Mancini, Rosemary Clooney, Victor Borge and John Hartford. Most recently, he has taken part in recordings by Mark Ferguson, Terry Tufts as well as his own trio project with Roddy Ellias and Joel Frahm. He is also an in-demand composer and arranger, having written works for choreographers Anik Bouvrette and Yvonne Coutts as well as for the Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra.


He has performed at numerous international festivals, including those in Rouen and Maubeuge (France), in Molde (Norway) and throughout the United States. Geggie has also participated in the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival as well as the Music & Beyond Festival. In addition, he continues to maintain a busy concert schedule with the Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra and is involved in many recording projects. He performs regularly with the NAC. John is on faculty at the Crane School of Music, State University of New York (SUNY Potsdam) and has students at Carleton University, the University of Ottawa, and the Conservatoire de Musique de Gatineau.


Roddy Ellias


One of Canada's most respected guitarists, Roddy Ellias is equally at home with contemporary new music, jazz, or classical repertoire. His dynamism as an artist and his consistent pursuit of harmonic and melodic adventure have made him a consummate musician. Known for his energetic performances and his thoughtful renditions of both new and existing works, he continues to surprise and delight his audiences. Last year he set the stage on fire in a series of duets with other guitarists, including Vic Juris, Gene Bertoncini, Lorne Lofsky, and David Occhipinti, showcasing his versatility and his generosity as a performer.




Harea Band

Harea Band is a five piece pop/soul group who fuse a variety of genres to create the upbeat and groovy sound that audiences have grown to know and love. They have an extremely unique and varied musical palette which will keep you on your toes from beginning to end. Their debut EP "Hip Hip Harea" has garnered them sold out shows across southern Ontario and western Quebec as well as appearances at Ottawa Jazz Festival and Ottawa CityFolk Festival. The new EP "All The Hits" is set for release in Spring 2016.






Joan Harrison, Cellist


Joan performs with the Dragon’s Tea Trio, and is also the founder and artistic director of the Capital Strings Collective (CSC) Community Orchestra. Joan has recorded several CDs with pianist Elaine Keillor, and received international airplay and critical acclaim for these works.



Ryoko Itabashi, Presented by World Folk Music Ottawa

Ryoko Itabashi was born in Japan and has been involved in music since childhood. Early on, she played violin and piano, but found her true calling in traditional Japanese instruments. The first of these was the Japanese Drum, or “Taiko”, which is played with an ensemble in a dynamic and vigorous style requiring significant physical strength. Shortly after beginning Taiko, she also began playing the bamboo flute, which often accompanies Taiko.


Ryoko began learning the Tsugaru Shamisen in 2001 under the late Rinshoji Kida, who was a well-known Shamisenist. Since moving to Canada in 2009, Ryoko has been playing all the traditional instruments at various venues in Canada. Ryoko’s goal is to continue to fulfill her lifelong dream of sharing Japanese music and culture with the world.






René Lavoie & Miguel de Armas


René Lavoie


Born in Cornwall, Ontario René now lives in the Ottawa/Gatineau region. As a jazz saxophone and flute player, he completed his Bmus at the University of Ottawa and his Master's Degree in Jazz studies at the University of Miami in Florida. He also studied saxophone privately with Joseph Allard and Eddie Daniels in New York City and flute with Cuban Richard Egues of Orchestra Aragon. He performs with the Cosmos Saxophone Quartet, Pete Foret Trio and the latin jazz ensemble Los Gringos.


Miguel de Armas


Miguel de Armas is a versatile pianist and composer. Born in Havana, Cuba, he is one of the co-founders of the acclaimed Cuban orchestra NG La Banda. For over a decade, Miguel toured with this band and performed at prestigious Jazz festivals and venues around the world.


Miguel has recorded over 60 albums, and collaborated with renowned Cuban and international artists and musicians.


In 2012 Miguel brought his musical talents to Ottawa, which he considers his adopted home. He created The Miguel de Armas Quartet fusing the riches of African polyrhythm with the dazzling complexities of American jazz, blues, roots and world music.


The music of Miguel de Armas is powerfully rhythmic with lovely melodies and harmonies, refreshing and complex. He has an uplifting, dynamic presence on stage and bring energy and joy to audiences everywhere.






Jack Pine

Jack Pine is Ottawa musician/producer (and Folkrum Contributor) Gareth Auden-Hole. Here, his songs are stripped of the production commonly expected of his band, Jack Pine and The Fire, leaving a performance that is raw, alive, and passionate. Jack Pine's Lone Wolf EP features his unique brand of alternative folk music with songs that showcase an empathy for underdogs, deep-seated respect for nature, wry sense of humour, and a mandolin...playing furiously, then softly.






Greg Kelly & Friends

Greg Kelly is an Ottawa songwriter, performer, and promoter. Through his open stages and showcases such as Tunes After Noon, Greg has been presenting established musicians and nurturing emerging talent since 2010, providing much-needed opportunities for musicians to develop, perform, and connect with audiences. Greg also coordinates Writer’s Bloc, a monthly forum for songwriters.




Erin Saoirse Adair








Stephane and Marion Arthur-Kiss are founding members of the art-rock band, Saturnfly. They released their debut album, Cyborg’s Lament, Part 1 in October 2014 with the support of Folkrum.


With Stephane on guitars and effects and Marion on cello and vocals, their adventurous sound blends elements of grunge rock, sci-fi pop, classical improvisation and folk. Since forming Saturnfly, the duo have created  spacey ambient soundscapes and catchy sci-fi inspired melodies and are currently getting back in the studio to record the conclusion to Cyborg’s Lament.


At Folkrum’s reception, you will hear a mix of ambient improvisation peppered with a few favourite songs from their last release.






The Split

THE SPLIT's original songs are vivacious dance tunes as much as they are melancholic reflections on life and love. Lead singer Matt Chaffey’s smoky timbre elicits memories of Chess Records’ golden era, while poignantly expressing meditations on loss, stress, heartbreak, and starting over. If you’ve been searching for a sound that reflects and distinctly re-imagines the best of soul music, look no further than THE SPLIT.






Kristine St. Pierre & Wen

Ottawa-based bilingual singer-songwriter Kristine St-Pierre charms her audience with her memorable voice and beautifully crafted songs. From finger-picked folky ballads to rollicking, bluesy melodies, Kristine's style has been described as both fresh and raw.

À la fois auteure, compositrice et interprète, Kristine St-Pierre charme le public avec sa musique acoustique et sa voix mémorable. Avec son style folk-roots qui lui est propre à elle, cette artiste bilingue sait comment captiver son auditoire et lui faire vivre une panoplie d’émotions.






Al Wood and the Woodsmen

Al Wood is a multi-talented performer and songwriter with a deep reverence for the blues and traditionally-based roots music. A virtuoso harmonica player, talented guitar stylist and golden-throated singer, Al has been playing and performing for over twenty years in countless contexts.








Capital Strings Collective (CSC) intergenerational community chamber orchestra led by Joan Harrison

Join us to hear classics from various genres of music and to assist us in some of our repertoire. Bring your voice, a rhythm instrument, your hands—and be ready to have fun!


Community Choir Sing directed by singer/songwriter and voice movement Join therapist Chris Maclean to learn some new songs and enjoy the health benefits of group singing!


Instrument-making workshops–sponsored by Kids for Inquiry

All are welcome. Saturday’s activities are geared for children under 12 years

old, their parents, and their teachers. Sunday’s workshop will introduce

how physics explains sound production. (Materials will be supplied however

to ensure that everyone has an instrument to take home, please bring empty

coffee cans, peanut tins, other small tins, clear bottles (wine bottles are

ideal), scrap PVC tubes, strong cardboard tubes, large empty pill containers, etc.)


Seniors sing-a-long with Nigel E. Harris of Musical Wellness and Chris White of CKCU

Open to everyone but prepared especially for seniors!


The Sparrows Children’s Choir under the direction of Chris White

Founded in September 2012, The Sparrows are a group of home-schooled

children between 4 and 9 years of age who love to sing.


Student showcase from Singhouse Studios (founded by Chantal Hackett)

These young musicians will share their passion for singing, strumming, drumming, and will be sure to keep you smiling throughout!


Suzuki Music Students led by Marion Arthur-Kiss and Laura Nerenberg

Repertoire from the Suzuki music literature will be performed on violins and

tiny cellos.