Feature Story                                                                                                                Monday, May 19, 2014

 

Breaking Ground

Netsena and Jasper perform at Chilliwack's newest venue: the Stó:lō Resource Center

Staff/Voice photos

 

Jasmine Netsena sings from her new CD Take Me With You last Monday at the Stó:lō Resource Centre. Below, Inez Jasper sings from her new CD Burn Me Down.

 

reat female singers like Emmylou Harris, Buffy St. Marie, Joni Mitchell and Maria Muldaur all started playing small spaces like coffeehouses. The gallery in the Stó:lō Resource Centre is one of those places.

 

Last Monday, promoter Lio Fisher and his partner brought in local hip-hop singer Inez Jasper and Fort Nelson country-folk singer Jasmine Netsena, accompanied by her cousin, Elliot Brown, for the first show of its kind in the gallery.

 

Netsena captivated the audience with honey-sweet vocals on songs from her new CD "Take Me With You". The songstress carefully interspersed her original music with some cover songs, rattling off Dolly Parton standards without even breathing hard.

 

She’s easily one of the best female vocalists ever to touch down in Chilliwack.

 

Netsena told the Voice she's  been singing ever since she was a kid but didn’t really get into the singing and songwriting aspect until about 10 years ago.

 

It’s been hard work on the road, and she’s successfully carving out her reputation as a singer and guitar player one venue at a time. Only recently has she ever thought about putting her own CD together.

 

Since the release of her debut album, the gifted singer can look forward to expanding her fan base. She’s getting all kinds of airplay on various stations including CBC Radio and on Prince George radio after her show there.

 

Netsena says touring with her new CD is a demanding at times, but it all gels on stage.

 

“Once I'm out there and doing music, that's when I feel good,” she said. "But when I'm hunched over my laptop trying to figure out all the little details of the tour, it can get a little overwhelming.

 

Like a migratory songbird, Netsena’s travelled to distant places such as Nashville, New York and Texas — and back again. This time, she’s on a cross-Canada tour which will take her as far as Nova Scotia.

 

“We’re slowly going to make our way over there. Tomorrow is Vancouver. Then we hit the Okanagan and continue into Alberta,” she explained. “It ends in Toronto. We're going to go east first and then come back to Toronto and do Edmonton on the way home, back to BC.

 

Watch a clip of Netsana performing her original song “Hold On” in a YouTube video here.

 

Inez Jasper took the stage for the second half of the show. Those who have seen her perform, know she has a playful, high-energy act and usually sings to pre-recorded hip-hop sounds from her new Burn Me Down CD.

 

Fisher billed the show as an “Acoustic Evening: asked if she could do an unplugged performance. So, it was a rare opportunity to see Jasper perform unplugged with excellent guitarist Matt Lowen.

 

 

Matt Lowen, a highly sought after Chilliwack singer-guitarist, accompanied Inez Jasper on her set. Below, promoter Lio Fisher talks about what to expect in the future at the gallery. Above, Elliot brown plays the steel guitar with brilliant fluidity.

 

“Thank you, Inez, for accepting the challenge of doing your music acoustic,” said Fisher when he introduced her.

 

Jasper was recently nominated for a JUNO Award for Best Aboriginal Recording, but lost to George Leech. She was upbeat about it.

 

"It's a chance to move our Aboriginal music forward," she told the Voice. “That’s what matters.”

 

Jasper’s music is peppered with cultural storytelling. She speaks about one of her songs regarding the potlatch ban from 1884 to 1951 which she made into a music video. Another song she calls Electric 49 being inspired by Pow Wows.

 

Jasper was accompanied by well-known local Chilliwack guitarist Matt Lowen. He laid out awesome rhythm guitar riffs and made it look easy keeping up with Jasper.

 

Lowen’s latest album is called Junkie’s “Bank Account” and he describes it on his website as Dylanesque and “exploration of modern life and love in the guise of a folk-rock record.”

 

Fisher is looking forward to showcasing even more Aboriginal talent there now that precedent has been set in Building 10, with its beautiful natural acoustics,

 

This is just the beginning for Fisher. Now that the Resource Centre has opened its doors to performers in the gallery, with its beautiful, natural acoustics, he plans on showcasing more Aboriginal talent.

 

“It has a professional lighting and sound equipment, and can seat around 100,” he said.

 

See more photos below.

 

 

Related Links

www.mattlowenmusic.com

www.jasminenetsena.com

www.inezjasper.com

Connect with promoter Lio Fisher on Facebook .

 

 

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Thanks for looking.