Welcome to ‘Lucky Tannis’, the occasional newsy letter about what’s currently bubbling in the musical life of Tannis Slimmon. One of the most magical things about being a musician is the varied and fascinating places one can find themselves - from a remote village in Mali, West Africa, a few years ago to my next gig in Nathan Phillips Square in the bustling heart of downtown Toronto, and plenty of places in between.
Those places, in brief:
1. Details of my next show (Toronto, Ontario)
2. Songwriting in my old school (Oak Lake, Manitoba)
3. Recording harmony vocals on new and old musical friends’ projects
4. Guest artist with Open Voices Choir, leading workshops and choirs
5. Lots more great shows, some touring and collaborations with other musicians (ON & BC)
Plus: Newsflashes and a wish-list!
Those places, in more detail:
My next show (for all up-coming shows, see below or click here!)
I’m just back from my favourite summer festival, trying to balance the exhilaration and exhaustion, but want to give those within biking or driving distance of downtown Toronto a heads up on where to catch my next show. Toronto Special Events is featuring ‘Fresh Wednesdays’, a free live noon-hour concert series to complement shopping at Nathan Philips Square’s annual Farmers’ Market. Come listen to live music in the public square while buying your fresh fruit and veggies!
Wednesday, August 13th, 2008
Tannis with Lewis Melville and Michael Johnston
Nathan Philips Square, 100 Queen Street W., Toronto, ON - Noon until 2:00pm
Free concert Why: For the fun of it!
Songwriting in my old school (Oak Lake, Manitoba)
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure and rather odd sensation of finding myself toting a guitar down the noisy/lively halls of my old school, going from classroom to classroom with my pal Katherine Wheatley. I’d been asked to help the students in Grades K to 8 write the quintessential hometown school song and who better to bring along but Katherine, the queen of songwriting workshops for all ages. With her help and expertise, not one but three songs were whipped up in time for a final public performance in the school’s auditorium. Musical pal Wendell Ferguson also dropped by just in time to wow the kids with his guitar virtuosity and hilarious songwriting. My partner Lewis worked his magic on the tracks back in Guelph, and a CD of the tunes was finished just in time to be played at the Oak Lake Community School’s awards/graduation day in June!
Downloads links will be available on my website soon (to hear the songs as sung by the kids (sweet!) and by Tannis (hometown girl style!).
Recording harmony vocals on new and old musical friends’ projects
You probably know that one of my biggest passions in life is singing harmonies, and feeling the magic that occurs when you find the right blend and spice required to complement but not overshadow another person’s voice. It’s a gift, and I know it and I absolutely love it! Past projects are many and can be found on a perhaps little known page on my website.Recent projects have included:* a new and extremely enjoyable encounter with the wonderful voice of James Clark Jones in the Vibewrangler Studio down in Hamilton, one of the biggest and best groove spaces I’ve recorded in. A magical live session ended with a pre-mixed version of one song being posted to James’ website even before we left the studio that night… Oh, the wonders of technology!* adding harmonies to the sweet and sultry voice of Laura Bird in a one-day marathon session at Althone Studios near Alliston, Ontario, for her soon-to-be-released new album. I vaguely remember recording on 6 or 7 songs, including one in Spanish, before nearly wearing out engineer and studio owner Gene Guthro, so it will be interesting to see how much of it makes it onto the album.
Guest artist with Open Voices Choir, leading workshops and choirs
Open Voices Choir: Choir director Andy Rush is well known for his wonderful ability to work with singers over a weekend of a summer festival, such as Blue Skies Music Festival and the Ottawa Folk Festival, to create a moving and joyous choir performance on the Sunday evening. Andy scored my tune ‘There’s A Lift’ and gave my band and I the thrill of performing it with the Blue Skies choir a few years back. I’m honoured to say I’ll be the guest artist with “Open Voices’, the 100 plus member choir which Andy leads in the Kingston (ON) area. I look forward to working up more tunes with this extra special group. It will be the ultimate in singing!Workshops/choirs: I’m often asked if I teach singing and my answer has changed to yes, thanks to pal and musical workshop guru Jane Lewis who has asked me to help her lead the following here in Guelph, ON:
‘Rise Up Singing – Women’s Choir’ - Dates: Tuesdays, Oct 7 to Nov 9/08 from 7-9pm
'Exploring Vocal Harmony’ - Date: Saturday, November 8/08 from 1-4pm
(For more information, click here!)
Lots more great shows, some touring and collaborations with other musicians
For more details, please visit the shows page on my website. Please consider adding more bookings to this calendar by contacting me directly.
Aug 22-24 – Eaglewood Festival, Pefferlaw, ON
Sept 12 – CKWR 98.5 FM interview/live performance with Doug Gibson
Sept 13 – Organizing (not playing) benefit concert for my pal Sue Richards, Guelph, ON
Sept 28 – Duncan Garage Showroom, Duncan, BC
Sept 29 – Salt Spring Island, BC
Oct 3 – Guelph Guitar Project launch, River Run Centre, Guelph, ON
Oct 5 – Healing Gardens concert, Kitchener, ON
Oct 23-26 – OCFF (guerilla workshops!), Ottawa, ON
Oct/Nov – Women’s Choir and co-ed harmony workshops, Guelph, ON
Nov 2 – Songwriters Showcase, Alliston, ON
Nov 15 – Laura Bird’s album release, Orangeville, ON
Nov 25 – Women’s Choir performance, Guelph, ON
Dec 5 – With Katherine Wheatley & Jude Vadala, Guelph, ON
Jan 24 – Guest artist with Andy Rush’s Open Voices Choir, Kingston, ON
Jan 30 – Orillia Folk Society’s concert series, Orillia, ON
Mar (circa International Women’s Day) – annual IWD shows with the Pomelos (TBA)
Apr 4 – John Elliott Theatre, Halton Hills, ON
* Lucky Blue CD voted in the top 10 ‘Critic’s Albums of the 2007’ by Canadian folk and world music magazine ‘Penguin Eggs’
* Lucky Blue guitar picks have arrived. Please ask Tannis for yours.
* Ask to see the much treasured book of photos of Guelph’s album release (Jan/08) taken and compiled by the incredible Kate Vanderhorst.
* “Road to Baleya” (a feature documentary film about our extraordinary journey to Mali, West Africa, is premiering at the Montreal World Film Festival (Aug 21 –Sept 1)
* Recent airplay for ‘Lucky Blue’ has included national and regional CBC radio, Galaxie Folk/ Roots channel, campus and community stations. Bless all who play it, on-air, on-line and at home!
The joy & ability to make an honest and decent living singing and playing the music I love. Gigs in the east, especially St. John's, NL, in late May, early June/09.
It’s high time I saw the Maritimes!
Thank you for your kind attention!!....
ps. My myspace page is relatively new and could use your friendship.