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WHO'S WHO | Music Niagara Festival Announces 21st Season

By Member on May 24, 2019


Music Niagara Festival attracts an audience from a wide-range of ages, backgrounds and musical interests, and I can say without a doubt there is something for everyone this season. This season’s diverse programming was conceived with the intention for our audiences to experience the musicianship and artistry of our great performers while enjoying the stimulating sounds at unique venues. Expect bold performances in one of a kind settings that you can’t encounter anywhere else.” — Atis Bankas, Artistic Director, Music Niagara Festival



Countermeasure pushes the boundaries of A Capella Performance

Internationally acclaimed act Countermeasure kicks-off the season at a gala performance on July 14 in the historic St. Mark’s Church in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Countermeasure is the fresh face of Canadian a cappella and is “Insanely talented, awesome and dynamic!” according to star of Pitch Perfect, Skylar Astin. Led by award-winning composer/arranger Aaron Jensen, the 13-member group performs innovative arrangements of pop favourites, classic jazz standards, and original songs. They have shared stages with a cappella giants including Naturally 7, The Swingle Singers, and pop stars such as Blue Rodeo. The group’s dramatically choreographed shows and flawless harmonies incorporate innovative live looping, instrument imitation, and vocal percussion. Countermeasure has enthralled audiences worldwide including the London a Cappella Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the world-renowned Vocalmente Festival in Italy.


Canada Council Instrument Bank Winner Timothy Chooi Plays Rare Stradivarius

Rising star and one of the most in-demand young musicians in Canada, Timothy Chooi will perform an enchanting classical program on the beautiful 1717 Windsor-Weinstein Stradivarius, as a winner of the Canada Council Instrument Bank Competition. Chooi’s debut with the Montreal Symphony was described by La Presse as “le miracle”.

Wine & Music



Collaborative Event with TD Niagara Jazz Festival – Joe Trio

A well-chosen mix of jazz and classical music at award-winning Pondview Estate Winery emphasizes Music Niagara Festival’s collaboration with TD Niagara Jazz Festival, performed by the Joe Trio. With an air of comedy, the Joe Trio has been delighting audiences across the globe since 1989, and is not afraid to mix styles in unpredictable, humorous, and captivating ways.


The “jeru” Quartet: Music of the Legendary Chet Baker

Music and wine lovers are in for a real treat with this musical experience nestled in the heart of Niagara’s wine country, the “jeru” Quartet featuring top Canadian veteran jazz musicians Pol Coussee, Steve McDade, Pat Collins and Terry Clarke will take place at the award-winning Pondview Estate Winery.  These Juno and Grammy award recipients bring to life the legendary music of the great Chet Baker.

Pol Coussee performed internationally with show business legends Sammy Davis Jr, Shirley MacLaine, Liza Minnelli, Aretha Franklin and Elton John.  Steve McDade toured the world with Ray Charles, Diana Krall and Ella Fitzgerald.  Pat Collins performed with Oscar Peterson, Peter Appleyard and Dizzy Gillespie.

Heather Bambrick Quintet

Juno-nominated singer Heather Bambrick’s performances have been described as “Carol Burnett meets Ella Fitzgerald at a Newfoundland kitchen party.” Her shows have it all, with music ranging from jazz standards and Canadian pop hits, to Newfoundland folk music, sitcom theme songs and side-splitting stories. Better still, it’s all delivered with warmth, wit and pure Newfoundland charm!

Set at the award-winning Pondview Estate Winery, guests will be enchanted with this delightful wine + music pairing.

Music from Italy

Elinor Frey, cello & Mark Edwards, harpsichord

Presented in the unique historical venue of Mount Carmel Monastery’s chapel in Niagara Falls, coupled with Monastery Cellar’s winery, cellist Elinor Frey and harpsichordist Mark Edwards have been searching for the most beautiful Baroque cello music from Italy, the country where cello music first appeared. This exquisite duo will bring cello masterpieces to our stage.

Italian Songs – Julie Nesrallah, soprano and Carline Leonardelli, harp

Julie Nesrallah is a sensational singer, actress and broadcaster, captivating audiences with her engaging personality and her rich, expressive voice. Paired with classical harpist and Juno nominee, Caroline Leonardelli, this pair will be swooning audiences right out of their seats! Playing music by Leoncavallo, Tosti, and Monteverdi.

Easy Fridays

My Sweet Patootie

My Sweet Patootie embraces the fun that makes live music so intoxicating. Shades of vintage swing, country blues, folk and ragtime collide in an uplifting vaudeville-style show performed with tight vocal harmonies, instrumental virtuosity and humorous storytelling. It’s a unique musical experience that transcends the borders of the acoustic-roots genre, promising to entertain music lovers of all kinds.

A Tom Allen Show: Exosphere

A brand-new show set in a distant century, above a parched world, where life is reduced to its molecular truth — and where bonding together is the only means of survival. Music by JS Bach, Hugh Le Caine, GF Handel, Caroline Lizotte and original music by the cast. Features harpist Lori Gemmell, sound designer and guitarist John Gzowski, dancer Julie Aplin, soprano Patricia O’Callaghan and writer/narrator Tom Allen.

Tom Allen has been called “the Garrison Keillor” of music for his ability to innovatively marry great music with narrative performance and dance.  His series of highly acclaimed stage shows mix storytelling, history, classical music and original popular song in a unique and compelling way. His cabaret storytelling shows include Bohemians in Brooklyn, The Judgment of Paris, From Weimar to Vaudeville, The Last Curlew and The Missing Pages.

“A Night in Havanna ” Hilario Durán, ld,arr,p,, Horacio”El Negro” Hernandez, dr, Pernell Saturnino, perc, Maria de los Angeles, voc, Justos Gabriel Perez, fl, Lucas Schmid, prod. Ansage, Hilario Durán

Cuban Night – Hilario Duran

Juno nominated for his album “Contumbao”, Hilario Durán is going back to his roots to take us on a trip to Cuba: where every era has seen new musical revolutions, influencing the way music has been played across the world. Experience the tradition of Afro-Cuban music with mojitos and appetizers in hand!

The Elmer Iseler Singers

Back by popular demand, the Elmer Iseler Singers will once again make the rafters ring as their 20 voices unite in song. This fully professional choral ensemble has been delighting audiences for more than 40 years with a repertoire that spans 500 years and focuses on Canadian composers.


Support Music Niagara Festival’s 21st Season:

To find out more about ways that you can make a difference by donating to this exciting year of concerts and events, visit them online, or click here.

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