As part of the Salmonberry Circuit of the Home Routes house concert series on Vancouver Island, Grant Simpson and Don Ogilvie will play Friday evening at 7:30 at a house concert in Cumberland.
Simpson’s roots lie in Canadian folk music and traditional jazz. Grant is known for his songs that include a wide array of characters from his travels and experiences over the past 30 years as a touring musician.
His song Watch Sylvia Ride, which depicts the life of one of the Yukon’s most famous cowgirls, was featured in a British magazine this past September. His songs I’m Going to Name My Gypsy Wagon After You and The Moon is Halfway to Wednesday have been covered by bands throughout Canada.
In 2011, Grant released an album of original songs with Kate Weekes called Beneath the Yukon Moon and toured throughout Canada. He is just winding down a two-month tour that included Iqaluit, Nunavut, Kemptville, Ottawa, Oshawa and Toronto. He and Weekes they played on VIA Rail from Toronto to Vancouver. Following this tour, he will return to the frozen barren lands of the Yukon, where he composes music and performs in his own vaudeville show, the world-famous Frantic Follies Vaudeville Revue.
Grant has recently been commissioned to write the music for a musical comedy called Dog Town with playwright Roy Ness. The play features 12 of Simpson’s original songs.
Ogilvie, part of a large musical family, started with music in the ’60s, playing guitar in rock, country and folk groups, as well as studying violin and viola. In 1970, he discovered jazz (especially Django Reinhardt), and began playing in traditional jazz bands in Vancouver, such as Lions Gate Jazz Band, Westside Feetwarmers, and Hot Club.
Besides this, the ’70s saw him very active in Vancouver playing many other styles of music, including freeform jazz, classical, and punk rock. In 1975, Don, studying viola, graduated from University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Music degree.
Ogilvie lives in Vancouver, where he is active in the jazz and world-music fields. Recent achievements include a 2004 CD with Michael Dunn, Djali to Django, and a DVD (also with Michael), Django’s Rhythm, an instructional Gypsy Jazz guitar video that has been hailed as a “first-rate product that reveals the intimately complex nature of Gypsy jazz,” says Lee Prosser.
For several years, Don has been playing with the Roma Swing Ensemble, featuring internationally acclaimed Roma jazz violin virtuoso Lache Cercel, an exciting collaboration exploring gypsy music, blended with jazz, classical and other world musics. In 2007, the ensemble did a very successful tour of China, and Lache and Don were recipients of a Canada Council grant to go to Romania to research real Roma music.
Simpson and Ogilvie have been playing together for the past seven years. They have toured together throughout Canada and appeared in China in Shanghai and at the Nanjing Jazz and World Music Festival.
For more information, visit www.grantsimpson.net and www.facebook.com/grantlsimpson.
For details about the house concert Friday, call Karen at 250-218-1689.
— Home Routes