The prolific Songs & Music of Woody Guthrie are interpreted by Winnipeg’s leading lights in the folk music community as they celebrate the 100th birthday of “America’s tuning fork”. Presented by the MayWorks Festival of Labour and the Arts, on May 17 at the West End Cultural Centre join the Magnificent Sevens, Sweet Alibi, JD Edwards, Leonard Podolak, Tim Osmond, Lindsay Jane, and Hugo Torres Cereceda in honouring the work of Woody Guthrie which continues to lead and inspire others to change the world through song.
Woody Guthrie documented the struggles of working class people and his body of work, which contains more than 3000 songs, is unparalleled. This year, Guthrie becomes the first artist to receive the Songwriters Hall of Fame Pioneer Award which honours the career of a historic musician that has influenced generations of songwriters. The concert on May 17 at the West End Cultural Centre (WECC) will feature his best known songs and most memorable stories and recitations performed by Winnipeg’s own working class heroes; musicians who share Guthrie’s passion for truth, fairness, and justice for all.
The centennial celebration presents a performance by acoustic five-piece The Magnificent Sevens who fuse punk rock roots with bluegrass instruments. Familiar with the nomadic lifestyle of Woody Guthrie, their strong work ethic keeps them on the road touring Canada and beyond. The band released their second album, All Kinds of Mean, in December of 2011. Sharing the stage is roots trio Sweet Alibi who return home from their west coast tour to celebrate Guthrie by weaving their sweet harmonies over ukulele, banjo, and guitar.
Also on the bill are well known singer-songwriter JD Edwards and multi-instrumentalist Leonard Podolak. JD has been captivating crowds with the JD Edwards Band while fans are most familiar with Leonard’s alt-Celtic roots band, The Duhks. In addition to their solo projects and collaborations, Edwards and Podolak have been touring internationally with Nathan Rogers as a trio, Dry Bones. They can be seen this summer at the Winnipeg and Edmonton folk festivals, as well as Summerfolk in Owen Sound, Ontario.
The birthday bash includes sets by Lindsay Jane, a solo acoustic act who has been on regular rotation on SIRIUS/XM the Coffee House music channel since 2009, and Hugo Torres Cereceda brings a world-beat and Latin influence to the evening with pan flute and classical guitar. Winnipeg’s most sought after bluegrass banjo player, and founding member of Home Routes, Tim Osmond will also strum tunes in honour of Guthrie.
The concert is held at the West End Cultural Centre, a popular venue known for bringing in local and larger touring acts, while serving the community through programming music lessons, workshops, and family friendly events. The venue also relies on the hard work of volunteers who help with various duties at each event. The WECC was recently awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver Certification for their efforts in building an environmentally sustainable venue.
The 2012 MayWorks Festival of Labour and the Arts is a multi-disciplinary festival that focuses on the relationship between working class issues and their artistic expression in song, poetry, photography, dance, drama or art. The festival runs from April 27 – June 2 at venues throughout the city.
Join some of Winnipeg’s finest folk musicians in celebrating the Songs & Music of Woody Guthrie for his 100th birthday at the West End Cultural Centre on May 17 at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $20, available at West End Cultural Centre, Organic Planet, and Mondragon. Full festival details available at mayworks.org.
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