A founder of the seminal folk group Spirit of the West, a sideman with major Canadian acts and a solo artist for over 20 years, Jay Knutson debuts an exciting new group, Early Spirit. The group will perform at Studio Live in Cumberland on Oct. 7.
This group presents the harmonious vocals, Celtic influences and rock rhythms that define Knutson’s musical legacy. The group adds a contemporary twist, attracting a diverse audience. Violinist Gabriel Dubreuil and bassist Will Ross met under Knutson’s direction in the North Shore Celtic Ensemble.
Dubreuil and Ross are among Vancouver’s most fearless young performers. Encouraging each other to push musical boundaries, they perform ‘twin fiddle’ melodies and accompany Jay innovatively. As the Gabriel Dubreuil Trio, these three friends recorded the album Back to Back Bay to feature their Celtic swing style.
The three musically challenge each other, producing a genuine creative response on stage. This response connects powerfully with their audience. Striving to improve this connection after performing over 100 times together, they added Ben Kelly on drums and percussion. Kelly’s decade-plus career in Vancouver’s music scene completes the group Early Spirit: a powerful musical concept that carries a wealth of experience.
Each member of the group has his own story to tell and these stories — woven together on stage — fascinate both the performers and the audience.
Advance tickets for the Oct. 7 show are available for $15 at Bop City Records in Courtenay, Church Street Bakery in Comox and Rider’s Pizza in Cumberland. Tickets are $20 at the door.