Aurora Winter Blues Festival “Journeymen Blues” Night
Featuring the “Killer” lineup of Steve Strongman, Jack De Keyzer and Michael Schatte
Friday, February 23, 2018
7 PM to 10:30 PM
St. Andrew's College Ketchum Theatre
15800 Yonge Street, Aurora, ON L4G 3H7
Award-winning Canadian bluesman Steve Strongman is a versatile talent, and a restless one. By constantly pushing himself in new directions, he has kept himself vital. His talent is huge and impossible to miss, and it’s matched by his staggering musical ambition — as guitar-slinger, songwriter or vocalist. The same structures and progressions that animate blues and roots music can also choke the air out of it, smothering it in caricature and cliché. But Strongman is a subtle shape-shifter who manages to slip that trap without betraying the music he loves. Throughout, he never sounds an inauthentic note or loses touch with the essence of the blues. In the tradition of The Howlin’ Wolf Album and Muddy Waters’ After the Rain.
Strongman’s impressive resume includes stints opening for guitar legends such as Johnny Winter, B.B. King and Buddy Guy. The performer’s breakthrough 2012 release A Natural Fact was hailed as a standout, earning Maple Blues Awards for Recording, Songwriter, and Guitarist of The Year as well as a 2013 Juno Award for Blues Recording Of The Year. In 2014 he was thrice-nominated at the Maple Blues Awards (Guitar Player, Electric Act, and Entertainer of the Year) and in 2015 received a second Juno nod for Blues Album of the Year (for Let Me Prove It To You).
Blues Guitarist, Singer, Song Writer Jack de Keyzer is a Globe trotter who plays over 120 shows per year World-Wide. One of Canada’s most awarded and in demand live performers and session guitarists, Jack has released 9 CD’s and 1 DVD. He has also played on hundreds of recordings and live sessions with artists ranging from Etta James to Ronnie Hawkins and Bo Diddley to Blue Rodeo. He is an exciting live performer who has brought audiences to their feet at many major Jazz and Blues Festivals including the Montreal Jazz Fest, Blues Sur Seine (France) The Ottawa Blues Festival and Puerto Blues (Mexico). A celebrated musician, de Keyzer has been nominated for the Juno (Blues Album of the Year) 5 times and won the Juno twice in 2003 and 2010. He has won 7 Maple Blues Awards (Canada’s national blues awards), first place in the International Songwriting Competition and won CBC’s Great Canadian Blues Award from a poll of radio listeners. Always touring with an incredible band, Jack will have you rocking in your seat and swaying to his hot blues, soulful R&B and cool soul jazz – simply World Class!
It is no exaggeration to say that Michael Schatte has emerged as one of the most compelling guitarists and singer/songwriters on the North American Blues/Roots music scene. Since early 2015, when he was a top-eight finalist at the Memphis International Blues Challenge and performed at Tennessee’s historic Orpheum Theatre, Schatte has appeared on some of the continent’s best festival and theatre stages, winning new fans and a reputation for world-class musicianship by way of more than 200 concerts in Canada and the United States. Though Schatte loves the blues, it’s just one ingredient in what he calls Eclectic Electric Roots Music, a brew of original rock, blues, celtic, bluegrass, country and rockabilly he’s been writing, recording, and performing throughout his career.
A respected and fiery guitarist, Schatte has developed the habit of leaving audience jaws agape. He’s been compared to world-class players decades his senior, and counts Peter Green, Danny Gatton, Albert Lee, Mark Knopfler and Rchard Thompson as major influences on both his electric and acoustic fingerstyle playing. Reviewing a recent concert at Aeolian Hall in London, The Beat Magazine described Schatte as “one of Canada’s best-kept secrets and certainly one of its most skilled rock performers,” citing his “masterful manipulation of the guitar” and a vocal style “as polished as his picking.” There’s a reason he’s been referred to as “Canada’s hidden treasure!”
The Journeymen Blues
Join us for this 7th annual event!
York Region's only genuine Blues Festival where you'll experience an upfront and intimate evening of Canada's best live blues acts.
Voted Top 100 Festival in 2015.