The Bottom Shelf Bourbon Trio plays the Elevate Summer Concert Series as part of the East Van Songwriters in the Round, Thursday, July 4 at Cumberland Village Square. Photo supplied

Cumberland outdoor concert series kicks off with a double bill Thursday

Thursday, July 4 is the first event in the new Elevate Summer Concert Series bringing free community music nights right to the heart of Cumberland. Every Thursday until Aug. 15, the community is invited to Village Square for warm summer evenings filled with exceptional music from visiting and local artists.

The series is a project of the Elevate Consortium, in partnership with Cumberland Village Works, The Waverley Hotel and the Village of Cumberland.

Kicking off this exciting new live concert series is a stellar double bill with East Van Songwriters in the Round (featuring Jesse Waldman, Megan Alford, Beth Southwell and The Bottom Shelf Bourbon Trio) and the phenomenal Canadian singer/songwriter Leela Gilday.

Diamond-in-the-rough guitar virtuoso Waldman has cultivated his own unique and eclectic blend of folk and blues, earning him the reputation of being an “East Van fixture” by Exclaim! Magazine. Love goes into everything Waldman does, and it is undeniable his passion for music runs deep. Even before reaching legal drinking age, Waldman had formed the grunge band Zygote, playing nearly every club in the Big Smoke. Often bluesy with elements of fingerstyle, folk, gypsy, country, and pop, Waldman has inspired and influenced countless friends, fans, and fellow musicians with his soulful delivery, exceptional technique, and effortless ability to write honest, memorable songs. He is influenced by artists like Townes Van Zandt and JJ Cale. Sometimes gritty and sometimes smooth, Jesse’s own brand of roots music is performed with tremendous skill and soul.

Originally from Prince Edward Island, Alford has been compared to artists such as Kate Bush and Joanna Newsom. Megan has written, performed and lived in several cities across the country and earned accolades for her angelic vocals.

Southwell is a Vancouver folk singer/songwriter whose simple, heartfelt deliveries of her intimate, introspective folk songs will make for captivating listening in Village Square.

The Bottom Shelf Bourbon Trio has played festivals and venues across North America and Europe. Their influences come from the deep south and the Maritimes.

If you’re from the North, Gilday’s music is home. If you’ve never been, it will take you there. Born and raised in the Northwest Territories, she writes about the people and the land that created her. The power in her voice conveys the depth of her feelings of love and life in a rugged environment and vibrant culture, as if it comes straight from that earth. Leela’s family is from Déljne on the shore of Great Bear Lake and her rich vocals dance across the rhythmic beats of traditional Dene drumming as smoothly as a bass line onstage the largest venues in the country. And she has played them all.

Gilday has toured festivals and concert halls with her four-piece band through every province and territory in Canada and far beyond. Her live shows are where she connects with fans who have followed her on a 20-year career and where new fans are born. She reaches into their hearts and feels the energy of every person in front of her as she guides them on a journey through song and experience. She believes music has an inexplicable effect on people. It is a place where she can share light and dark and the most vulnerable moments, with a clarity and genuine purpose that reassures her listeners through every word. She is a storyteller, and through this, reflects the world onto itself.

Bring a blanket or a lawn chair, pack a picnic, call your friends and head to Village Square every Thursday evening all summer long and fill your heart with music.

Be sure to mark the dates for upcoming concerts with Aerialists, Porteau, Corwin Fox and Daniel Lapp and more. Find out more by following Elevate on facebook.

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Jesse Waldman plays the Elevate Summer Concert Series as part of the East Van Songwriters in the Round, Thursday, July 4 at Cumberland Village Square. Photo supplied

Leela Gilday plays the Elevate Summer Concert Series as part of the East Van Songwriters in the Round, Thursday, July 4 at Cumberland Village Square. Photo by Dave Brosha

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