Media Release

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Family concert series launches its exciting new season with an eclectic lineup on September 19

Toronto, September 7, 2004 – Music with Bite returns to Harbourfront Centre with a new and exciting season of interactive and intimate concerts. Embark upon magical musical journeys with artists such as two-time Canadian fiddle champion April Verch, kalimba master Njacko Backo, True North Brass in their Christmas concert and The Bills, Vancouver’s extraordinary quintet. Music with Bite is a refreshing experience in which children can sit up close to the artists and, after the concert, ask them questions, while enjoying a complimentary Natrel milk beverage and cookies. Concerts take place on select Sundays at 1 p.m., at Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West. Tickets are $8 each or $25 for four tickets. For tickets and information, the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit www.harbourfrontcentre.com.

Music with Bite, a co-production with Jeunesses Musicales of Ontario, is designed to bring families to Harbourfront Centre and give them the opportunity to sample music of all styles in a friendly, accessible format. All of the artists selected to perform at the concerts bring an element of interactivity, education and entertainment to their programs. Jeunesses Musicales of Canada has, since 1949, dedicated its work to musical excellence and the promotion of music for young people. Jeunesses Musicales of Canada is a member of Jeunesses Musicales International.

SEASON LINE UP:
September 19 - Fall Fiddling Frenzy
Emerging from the thick of the traditional music scene, the fiddling of April Verch is a breath of fresh air. Though she has deep roots in the fiddling of her native Ottawa Valley, Verch’s broad repertoire features traditional and contemporary tunes ranging in source and inspiration from Quebec to the Appalachians, from Eastern Europe to Brazil– not to mention her own colorful compositions. Verch’s music takes precisely the right kinds of chances and succeeds brilliantly while she rocks the house with her step dancing.

October 3 - Latin Colours
Both based in Montreal, Marie-Hélène Breault (percussion) and Catherine Meunier (flute) combine the warmth of the hot Spanish sun and the sensuality of South American music. South American folk music, gypsy music and Spanish dances written by some of the leading Spanish composers of the turn of the 20th century promises to sweep families away to a new world. Meunier is the first percussionist laureate of the Prix d’Europe in 2000. Breault is the first prize winner of the Clermont-Pépin Competition in 2000.

November 14 - African Rhythms
Montreal based, Njacko Backo originally from Cameroon, is a kalimba master and also a dynamic performer. He makes his own instruments including kalimbas, harps, drums and hand percussions, continuing the traditions of his lineage and sharing these skills with his own children as well as a number of enthusiasts in North America.

December 12 - A True North Christmas
A down-home Canadian musical blast, True North Brass presents an enchanting programme of traditional Christmas classics. True North Brass burst onto the Canadian scene in 1997 and has since solidified its reputation as one of Canada’s most exciting ensembles. Proudly Canadian in focus and expression, True North Brass has also been welcomed throughout the United States and China. The brass quintet is made up of Scott Irvine, tuba; Alastair Kay, trombone; Raymond Tizzard, trumpet; Joan Watson, french horn; and Barton Woomert, trumpet.

February 20 - Memories of China
Under Liu Fang’s masterful fingers, the pipa and guzheng do not simply evoke a bygone era, but invite the listener to take an exploratory voyage into the future. A virtuoso on both instruments, Fang received numerous awards in China before moving to Canada in 1996. This young musician masters the technical difficulty of these instruments and spins an intricate web between the audience and this magical repertoire. Narrator, Jean François Blanchard leads the audience on a fascinating journey of discovery and adventure as he embodies a poet who travels to China for the first time in 1934.

March 20 - Musical March Break
From Vancouver Island comes The Bills (formerly known as The Bill Hilly Band), an extraordinary quintet, renowned for their instrumental virtuosity, lush vocal arrangements, exuberant live performances, evocative songwriting and innovative interpretations of traditional tunes from around the globe. The Bills are made up of Marc Atkinson, mandolin; Adrian Dolan, fiddle; Chris Frye, guitar; Glen Manders, bass; and Jeremy Penner, violin.

April 17 - Die Fledermaus (The Bat)
Families are invited to re-discover Die Fledermaus, the ever-popular opera by Strauss, performed by young singers enrolled in Camp musical des Laurentides Opera Workshop. Vienna, lavish celebrations, masquerades, plots, intrigue, dramatic turns of events, surprising developments, impassioned pleas, lovers reconciled, Die Fledermaus is the pinnacle of Viennese operettas, a comedy that is sure to transport the audience to a world of flamboyance. The opera workshop, under the direction of Louise-Andrée Baril is produced by Jeunesses Musicales of Canada.

May 8 - Triple Forte
Triple Forte is composed of three of the most masterful artists of the new generation. Each of outstanding virtuosity, Denise Djokic (cello), David Jalbert (piano) and Jasper Wood (violin) combine for an exciting concert of chamber music dedicated to the works of Haydn, Beethoven and Smetana.

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Media Contact:
Linda Liontis
416-973-4381, lliontis@harbourfrontcentre.com
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