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Holiday happenings!

As I write this Chanukah is just beginning and we enter into this season of celebrating the light in the darkness. There are some upcoming online events that I hope may bring you some light.

On Sunday, Dec. 20 I will be giving an online holiday concert for the Sivananda Yoga Centres in Toronto and Montreal. It will be a fundraiser for Sun Youth which works with individuals and families in need from the Greater Montreal area by providing a range of emergency services to ensure basic needs and to preserve people’s integrity, by contributing actively to crime prevention and by promoting the physical, social and intellectual development of people through education, sports and recreation.  https://sunyouthorg.com/

The program will be 6:00 – 7:15 pm: Yoga Class, 7:45 pm: Meditation and my concert will start shortly after 8 pm. for about an hour. I’ll be singing songs from Light of Christmas cd as well as other holiday favourites.

Registration: Please donate online, any amount, directly to Sun Youth and send the confirmation e-mail you receive from them to toronto@sivananda.org. We will send you the Zoom link prior to the event on December 20 upon confirmation of your donation. (Sun Youth will provide you with a tax receipt).

See the store for FREE SHIPPING this month for all CD’s!https://www.kenwhiteley.com/product/the-light-of-christmas/

On Saturday, Dec. 19 I’ll be participating in the Sultans of String – Christmas Caravan – Livestream ZOOM concert with fantastic special guests!
8:00 PM – 9:00 PM EST Limited tickets available: http://christmascaravan2020.eventbrite.ca

Celebrate a musical trip around the world with special guests Rebecca Campbell – vocals, Tamar Ilana – flamenco & bellydance, Donné Roberts – vocals & guitar, Kristine St-Pierre – vocals & guitar – en français, Eddie Paton – guitar and the fabulous Sultans, Chris, Kevin, Drew, and Chendy!

Finally Roncesvalles United Church is taking their Christmas Eve service online and I’ll be part of that too.

We’re still singing on our street, too. Meanwhile, keep singing in your soul.

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Celebrating Jackie Washington’s 101st birthday

Jackie was born November 12, 1919 in Hamilton, Ontario and in his long, musical career he touched a lot of people. The Home County Music and Arts Festival is hosting a celebration on their YouTube channel that I helped coordinate, featuring Colin Linden, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, Jesse Whiteley & Caitlin Hanford and Ken & Ben Whiteley all singing songs inspired by our old friend and swing master, Jackie Washington.

Marcy, Ken, Ben, Colin, Jesse, Caitlin, Cathy at https://youtu.be/wHSNORKSVWU

Also in honour of Jackie I’m featuring NO CHARGE POSTAL DELIVERY of all CD’s ordered from my web store this month. Check out the new Borealis release THE WORLD OF JACKIE WASHINGTON as well as my latest CALM IN THE EYE OF THE STORM.

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Ode To The Road

On March 18 my wife Ellen got a notice from the Registered Nurses Assoc. of Ontario suggesting we go out at 7:30 and sing or make some noise for frontline workers. Since March 19 we’ve been singing and doing shout outs for frontline workers and others that people on the street feel should be honoured. The singing is very multigenerational, with the song leading passing around among whoever wants to lead on a given night. It has become transformative for all of us to feel this profound sense of community.

In August, to honour the 150th continuous night of doing this we had an impromptu “gala” where we all dressed up. Ceilidh Wood and I wrote this song the day before the 150th and I’m making it available here as a free download. Most of the parts were recorded outside, including about 30 people (physically distanced) singing along on the chorus right on the street. If you listen carefully you might hear a bird chirp, a car motor or the sound of wonderful, neighbourhood babies. Our 200th night is coming up on Oct. 4.

That’s Ceilidh in the red dress along with Roxton Rd. neighbours.

play ODE TO THE ROAD
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Ken’s neighbourhood singing and shoutouts for frontline workers

On March 19, in response to a request from the Reg. Nurses Assoc. of ON. we started singing and doing shout outs for frontline workers on our street. These continue to the present and have been a real catalyst for community building. Lots of different people lead the songs – some are professional, some are not but regardless who is singing, everyone brings something to play or keep time on. We sing a song, shout out for frontline workers and anyone who wants to, then contributes a shout out: Black and Indigenous Lives Matter, science, volunteers, caretakers, transit workers, etc. Then we sing another song and do another round of shout outs.

When we realized that we were about to do our 150th night of these we decided to celebrate it and Ceilidh Wood (pictured far left) and I wrote a song called Ode To The Road! I’m now in the process of making a recording of the song and once it’s done, I’ll make it available here on this page as a free download.

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Sivananda Yoga Camp concert

On Saturday, July 25 at 8 p.m. (EDT) I did a live stream concert for the Sivananda Yoga Ashram Camp in Val Morin, Quebec.  It was supposed to be on their Facebook page  but for some reason it landed on mine.  Once it was over I shared it around so its probably easiest to find on Ken Whiteley’s Music page. It was a night of spiritual music, both traditional and original including a number of songs from my new cd, Calm In The Eye Of The Storm.  I was originally scheduled to be performing in person there that night, but of course all my summer live appearances have been cancelled.  If you wish to make a donation to support my work, you may do so from  Ken’s website Store   or   www.paypal.me/kenwhiteley.

 

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55th Anniversary…

On Thursday, June 25, 8 p.m. EDT I am going to do a live stream concert on the Original Sloth Band Facebook page in honour of the 55th anniversary of the very first “gig” my brother, Chris Whiteley and I did.  

It was at the Bracebridge Fair Grounds and the poster read, “Dance to the sounds of the Distortions, plus a popular group from Toronto”.  The “popular group from Toronto” was Tubby Fats Original Allstar Downtown Syncopated Big Rock Jug Band who eventually morphed into The Original Sloth Band.  I played mostly jug and kazoo at that point, Chris played his Framus 12 string, Tom Evans played mandolin while brothers Michael and Patrick Lee played washtub bass and washboard respectively.  The show was booked by Mary Tough, who Chris would eventually marry and they had 2 kids, Jenny Whiteley and Dan Whiteley.

Chris Whiteley will make a video guest appearance supported by his wife, blues singer Diana Braithwaite. Playing with me will be my son, the fabulous musician Ben Whiteley. He’ll be playing my old 20’s Gibson L-4 guitar (pictured below) that I used with the Original Sloth Band and also played on the original recording of Baby Beluga!  We’ll feature many songs from the Sloth Band repertoire including songs I sang 55 years ago in Bracebridge and tunes from the three Sloth albums and our 45 rpm single.  For those not familiar with the Sloths, we played an eclectic mix of jug band, swing, blues and novelty songs mostly from the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s.

p.s.  This is a free concert but if you want to make a donation to the Artists you may do so from Ken’s website Store or www.paypal.me/kenwhiteley.

Check it out if you can. 
Live Stream Concert on Thursday, June 25, 8 p.m. EDT
on The Original Sloth Band’s Facebook page     

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Calm In The Eye Of The Storm…

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CD & mp3s available from my Store
Donation offerings to the musician (me) from my Store  & www.paypal.me/kenwhiteley

Calm In The Eye Of The Storm is my first album recording in four years. It looks at the personal, political and spiritual dimensions of finding peace in these turbulent times. The arrangements run the gamut from bluesy slide, whirring mandolins, outstanding string bass and percussion to whimsical touches like ukulele, lap steel and vibraphone. I hope you enjoy it.

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Virtual Spirit Songs…

TONIGHT! I’m excited to be rekindling the “Spirit Songs” vibe from previous concerts at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Toronto. The online concert will stream on Saturday, May 16th, from 7pm-8:45pm EDT. This show is organized around the theme of  HOPE & HEALING and will feature musical contributions from a stellar lineup of performers including Coco Love Alcorn, Jon Brooks, Mark Kleiner and yours truly.  Tickets for the show are $10 each and are available by clicking here. Video link provided with ticket purchase.  Proceeds from this event will go to the artists and The Stop Community Food Centre in Toronto.