Feature Story Saturday, November 8, 2014
The Cuban Connection
East Coast music-chameleon warms the fall chill in Harrison
Released by Mel Dunster, Harrison Festival Society/Handout photos
Keith Mullins brings his East Coast brand of entertainment to Harrison Memorial Hall. He'll be joined by Angelo Spinazzola November 22.
ast coast music-chameleon Keith Mullins, accompanied by fellow globe trotter guitarist Angelo Spinazzola, will be warming the Fall chill in the intimate Memorial Hall Saturday, November 22 at 8:00 p.m. with his distinctly Cape Breton music infused with sunny world rhythms.
"Mullin's is an interesting artist who comes to songwriting from a unique perspective," says Harrison Festival Society Artistic Director, Andy Hillhouse. "His songs are strong and catchy, however his music-making is part of a larger vision that is very community and environment focused."
An award-winning singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, music educator and organic farmer, Mullins music speaks to contemporary Cape Breton with richness and authenticity. In the tradition of his fellow East Coast songwriters such as cousin Gordie Sampson and PEI singer Lennie Gallant, with whom he has toured, his songs draw on themes of daily life and community.
The Cape Breton he represents is rooted, current, and connected to the world, as is evident in the reggae and African rhythms of his often upbeat and pop-tinged songs. With a focus on groove informed by his years touring as a drummer with artists such as Paula Cole and Sarah Slean, Mullin's music is often joyful, catchy and his themes of the simple life inspire hope.
Mullins latest album Island Sol was recorded in Cuba, and the luminous title track, co-written with East Coast icon Lennie Gallant, reflects an ‘islander connection’ between his home of Cape Breton and Cuba.
Mullins has been forging musical connections to Cuba with annual visits over the last 12 years.
Mullins says "The amount of people that play music in Cape Breton, per capita, is just so strong and it's the same way in Cuba...with this album, I'm putting together why I connected with that community and culture so much and it's because it's so familiar to me. It's the same thing I grew up with."
"His upbeat music will have you singing along and tapping your feet, taking part in that communal spirit, rooted in a close relationship with the land and sea, that we associate with Cape Breton and our own West Coast," says Hillhouse.
Although performing as a duo, Mullins and Spinazzola produce big sound with Mullins playing cajon, tambourine, harmonic and guitar simultaneously paired with his earthy vocals and Spinazzola's virtuosic strumming and picking.
Tickets for Keith Mullins are $22.00 and can be purchased online at www.harrisonfestival.com, by phone at 604.796.3664 or in person at the Ranger Station Art Gallery in Harrison and Agassiz Shoppers Drug Mart on Pioneer Ave.
Known worldwide for its professional artistry and small town hospitality, the Harrison Festival Society has long been a beacon for growing acceptance of diversity and purpose fuelled programming.
Each July for more than 35 years the Society has produced the internationally acclaimed Harrison Festival of the Arts, a 9-day, cross-disciplinary, multicultural art event set amidst the small town atmosphere and breathtaking scenery of Harrison Hot Springs, BC.
A non-profit, grassroots organization, the Society also presents an annual Season of the Performing Arts from September to May and works closely with a number of Fraser Valley partners in continuing to bring high quality, inclusive and accessible performing arts into the area.
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