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Tribute to Mose Scarlett…

Mose Scarlett, who died just over a month ago, after a few months of illness and many years giving pleasure through his music, his singing, his generous nature and his stories, will be memorialized in song and story at the Tranzac Club (292 Brunswick Avenue, south of Bloor, Toronto) on Wednesday, August 7 starting at 7:30pm. Doors open at 7pm. A partial list of people confirmed to participate at this point include (in no particular order) Dave Barrett, Victor Bateman, Jackson Delta, Bill Garrett & Sue Lothrop, Eve Goldberg, Hotcha!, Big Rude Jake, Magoo, Doc McLean, Tony Quarrington & Zoey Adams, Mr Rick, Margaret Stowe, Anne Tenner, Brent Titcomb, David Wall & Rebecca Campbell and yours truly, Ken Whiteley. Tony Quarrington will deliver a brief eulogy. Victor Bateman will be playing string bass, as he did on a number of the Scarlett, Washington & Whiteley tracks. It’s open to all who wish to and are able to attend. There is a suggested donation of $20 to cover the hall and ongoing expenses. We hope to see some of you there.

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Paradise Island, Live from the Rock Folk Festival & Freedom Fest Perth…

Ken Whiteley with Sacred Steel phenomenon, Nikki D. and The Sisters of Thunder

Upcoming Summer Engagements:

July 10-12 Experience the joy and release of singing gospel music with me at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat on Paradise Island, Bahamas. For more info, visit www.sivanandabahamas.org

August 9-11 Bassist Gord Mowatt and I fly up to Thunder Bay, Ontario to share stories and songs at the Live From The Rock Folk Festival. For more info, visit www.livefromtherockfolkfestival.com

August 17 Ken Whiteley & Friends – sacred steel guitarist Nikki D and the Sisters of Thunder, bassist Gord Mowatt and drummer Bucky Berger in concert at Freedom Fest, Stewart Park, Perth, Ontario. You will not want to miss this exciting time of music, fellowship, and family fun! For more info, visit www.freedomfestperth.com

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Music & Yoga…

July 4-7 Come join me over the Independence Day weekend in the beautiful Catskill Mountains of New York. We’ll be enjoying the practices of yoga and sacred music. The daily schedule will include workshops by Swami Paramananda and Satsang concerts with yours truly. For more info, visit www.sivanandayogaranch.org
July 10-12 Experience the joy and release of singing gospel music with me at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat on Paradise Island, Bahamas. For more info, visit www.sivanandabahamas.org
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Maud & me…

Sunday, June 30  Come celebrate the Canada Day weekend at the opening of the “Maud Lewis” art exhibition at the McMichael Art Gallery in Kleinburg, ON. One of Canada’s most beloved folk artists, Maud Lewis (1903 – 1970) was famous in her lifetime for her brightly coloured and endearing paintings of rural Nova Scotia. There will be a curatorial talk by McMichael Chief Curator Sarah Milroy followed by an exhibition viewing and concert by Ken Whiteley, fiddler Anne Lindsay & Gord Mowat on the big string bass. Art Gallery opens at 11am. Formal opening of the Maud Lewis exhibit at 2pm.  Concert at 3pm. 

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Mose Scarlett RIP…

It’s with great sadness that I mark the passing of my old friend, Moseley Stephen Scarlett, who died on May 30.  When I say old friend, we became friends in the 1960’s.  In 1969 we made our Mariposa Folk Festival debut at the same “New Songwriters” concert.  We played together often through the 70’s & 80’s, but the 20 years working together with our friend Jackie Washington really took our friendship to another level.  As well as his amazing, baritone voice and crisp, fingerpicking guitar he will be missed for his generous spirit, great sense of humour and loquaciousness.

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Here Comes The Sun…

This year we welcome Ken Whiteley, Kim Doolittle, Come From Away cast member Cailin Stadnyk, Northern Hearts, A Capella Quinte, the Choir and Junior Bell Ringers of Port Hope United, and the 2nd Annual Children’s Pop-Up Choir. Concert starts at 7pm. 
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Afro-Metis Nation Constitution…

On Saturday, June 8, 2 p.m. at the Robert Gill Theatre, 214 College (and St. George), there is the Toronto release concert for a wonderful, fascinating recording project I helped produce called the Afro-Metis Nation Constitution. The existence of a large number of people from Nova Scotia with mixed African Canadian and Indigenous ancestry is a part of Canada’s history that is really just being told for the first time.  The five artists share this legacy with great songs and spoken word. They include George Elliott Clarke, Sugar Plum Croxen, Shelley Hamilton, Russ Kelley and Chris White. I’ll be backing them up (on bass among other things). The concert is FREE!

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Singing the Blues, with Mose Scarlett’s passing

It’s with great sadness that I mark the passing of my old friend, Moseley Stephen Scarlett, who died on May 30.  When I say old friend, we became friends in the 1960’s.  In 1969 we made our Mariposa Folk Festival debut at the same “New Songwriters” concert.  We played together often through the 70’s & 80’s, but the 20 years working together with our friend Jackie Washington really took our friendship to another level.  As well as his amazing, baritone voice and crisp, fingerpicking guitar he will be missed for his generous spirit, great sense of humour and loquaciousness.

I plan to sing a little tribute to him at the  Big Blues Bash, starting at 7:30 on Tuesday, June 4 taking place at the Cadillac Lounge in Parkdale.  It’s an amazing lineup including Suzie Vinnick, Samantha Martin, Jennie Thai, Bird Stafford many more, with a house band led by Gary Kendall. It’s a benefit for the Toronto Blues Society.

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Sunday Gospel Finale!

We hope you’ll join us this Sunday afternoon! The 16th anniversary finale of Ken Whiteley’s Sunday afternoon Gospel series @ Hugh’s Room Live will feature the award winning vocalist and songwriter Skakura S’Aida and the amazing musical prowess of Nikki D. Brown & The Sisters of Thunder. The final show in this season’s series will bring together an incredible afternoon of gospel blues. Music from 2pm. There is a $25 all-you- can-eat buffet before the concert or you’re welcome to arrive just in time for the music. Advance tickets online from Hugh’s Room Live or in person at the door. See you there!

On April 17 @ the Jazz Bistro, a new chapter begins with Whiteley Wednesdays, featuring Chris, Jesse and Ken Whiteley playing and singing a unique assortment of jazz standards and occasional originals all tinged with swinging blue notes.  This will be the first “gig” by this Whiteley trio, brothers Chris (trumpet, guitar, vocals) and Ken (guitar, vocals) with Chris’ son, Jesse (piano, vocals).  Of course we’ve played together before lots of times but it wasn’t until Jesse was debuting a collaboration with Raoul Bhaneja at the Jazz Bistro that this particular combination came up in public. Chris and I were sitting in, the three of us played a song together and the next day, Sybil from the Jazz Bistro was in touch to make this happen.  The plan is for a combination of Whiteleys to hold down the Wednesdays of April 17, May 22 and June 19.  After that, who knows?