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An early look at July music festivals promises hot times


Last Updated: February 18 2010, 10:48am

Canadian wordmaster Buck 65 is coming.So are the rocking Wilson sisters of Heart. Ivory Coast star Dobet Gnahore is coming back.

So are Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, who may not have played London in decades.

Among the other stars of summer is Bruce Cockburn, who is making what’s being billed as his Home County Folk Festival debut. Lynyrd Skynyrd and Lazo are part of other July outdoor music festivals in downtown London.

Based on the early lineups for the four festivals detailed here, July 2010 will be hot.

TD Canada Trust Sunfest brings Gnahore, a dominating force as a singer, anti-war songwriter and dancer at its 2008 edition, back to Victoria Park. German jazz harmonica wizard Meurkens played Sunfest in 2007 and a Sunfest Aeolian Hall event last year. Once again, the world beat festival brings performers to London who have never played here and would not if Sunfest did not exist to make them welcome.

“One of the highlights will be this amazing group from Haiti, Orchestre Septentrional D’haiti,” says Sunfest artistic director Alfredo Caxaj. “It’s almost like the Buena Vista Social Club of Haiti.”

The ensemble’s members survived the earthquake and its aftermath that have devastated Haiti and will continue to perform. Like Quebec’s exceptional roots and traditional folk group le Vent du Nord, who are back from previous Sunfests, the Haitians’ presence confirms Sunfest’s continuing commitment — so welcome in London — to the francophonie.

The free four-day celebration of world music, culture and dance holds its 16th edition from July 8-11.

Canadian-tied acts in Sunfest 2010 include Toronto’s Mr. Something Something with its unique blend of Afrobeat, jazz and pop and Toronto pianist Andy Milne’s Dapp Theory, which draws from such jazz masters as Thelonious Monk.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Sunfest, or July in downtown London, without Lazo. The Toronto reggae icon will be back for his 15th Sunfest. “Lazo is coming back with a new CD and with a song dedicated to Sunfest,” Caxaj says.

The weekend following Sunfest brings two more outdoor music fests to downtown London, both on July 16-July 18. Home County Folk Festival at Victoria Park is free. BluesFest London, which requires tickets, is back at its usual temporary concert venue on a parking lot at Clarence and King in downtown London.

—————————- Original Message —————————-
Subject: Great Show
From:  ••••••••••••••••••••••••
Date:    Wed, March 4, 2009 3:25 pm

Hello Lazo,

I just wanted to say as a lifelong Bob Marley fan, I was thrilled to have
the opportunity to see the Legends show at the Oakville Centre as I wasn’t
able to see him live as I’m only 26yrs old but to see you really capture
the vibe and sound of the legend himself was incredible. Every aspect
was great from the incredible guitar solo’s to the beautiful back up singers.

I have heard 101 Marley covers and I felt not only did you capture the
sound but  also the mannerisms of Bob you exude the love you have
for him and his music.

I’m sure you get a lot of positive feed back as the entire audience
loved the show but I was compelled to share how the show affected
me and I would hope to see you perform again if not as Marley then
as Lazo (Canada’s Best Reggae Artist)

Sincerely Phill McVeigh