All classes are $160 or $270 for two. Boot Camp registrants are given a discount of 10% on Festival tickets and are also invited to the Monday night Boot Camp opening party at Studio Bell.
The 11th annual Folk Boot Camp at Studio Bell (850 4 St. SE), presented by the Calgary Folk Music Festival and the National Music Centre, is three-day workshop series July 19 - 21 2016.
Folk Boot Camp is a unique opportunity to learn from the Festival’s favourite guitar heroes and songsmiths. Glean new songs, arrangements, vocal techniques and instrumental skills three hours daily for three consecutive days with the same instructor, among the Centre’s collection of rare and curious keyboards.
Folk Boot Camp is geared towards musicians with a basic grasp of their craft who want to supplement their own studies with coaching from some of the world’s finest musicians.
To take advantage of the double session discount, please call Heather at the office at (403) 233 - 0904.
Songwriting and Performance with John Jones and Alan Prosser: singer, guitarist and songwriters of Oysterband
July 19 – 21, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
They’re an English band that combines two great musical traditions, folk and punk, with a longstanding reputation for combining the principles and understanding of British folk tradition with the fire, energy and politics of, say, the Clash. They began as the Oyster Celidh Band in 1978 when a handful of mates jammed and practiced in a squat near the university in Canterbury, shortening their name in ’86 and releasing a handful of influential records on the Cooking Vinyl label (Billy Bragg was a label mate). They mish-mashed folk styles with punk and Celtic tinged rock – equal parts crunching guitars, melodeon (squeeze box), fiddle, bass, drums and the odd Northumbrian bagpipe solo; music for dancing, drinking, thinking, and protesting in the streets against Maggie Thatcher. The Oysters also have an ear for eclectic covers, and are equally likely to launch into Billy Bragg, Bruce Cockburn or New Order. Oysterband members have come and gone, but the core four are still at it, still intense, still rocking. Thirteen studio albums, five BBC Folk Awards and 30 years later, they’re still touring festivals, concerts, bars, rallies and jails.
John and Alan’s class will aid you in developing a song and performing it to its, and your, maximum potential by taking your ideas and snippets of lyrics to make your songs come alive. They’ll provide illustrations/examples with their own songs and also give insight into traditional song arranging.
Bring: Bring a desire to write and perform songs.
Carolyn Mark and Kris Demeanor – Outside Voice
July 19 – 21, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
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Alt-country singer-songwriter Carolyn Mark, the Queen of Vancouver Island, is all rockabilly style, infectious laughter and genuine warmth. She makes you feel like you’re hanging out with one of your best pals as you prepare for shenanigans. She has the ability to break your heart and put it back together again with her sweet, funny, smart and searing lyrics. Her straight-forward, take-no- guff songs often balance on the knife’s edge between painful and comedic, finding humour in everyday disappointments. But the West Coast chanteuse will allow you only so long to wallow before she demands you get up and dance with her and laugh until you cry.
Calgary’s first poet laureate, Kris Demeanor, emerged as a striking talent with his solo album in the late ‘90s. From the start, his gift for nailing down truths was obvious. So, too, was his penchant for singing the unspeakable: Gary Glitter’s girl, Saskatoon police “starlight tours” and the horror of designated bike lanes. Demeanor fearlessly experiments with sounds, genres, people and mediums. He’s co-written with Ian Tyson, played Cal Cavendish on stage, and was recently nominated for a Canadian Screen Award as Best Supporting Actor for The Valley Below. So you can understand why there is not enough barbed wire, concrete, and irony to fence this astounding songwriter in.
Spend 9 hours over 3 days with two of Canada’s most creative and downright fun songwriters. Have a blast gaining insight into their songwriting worlds, lives and creative processes.
Mark and Demeanor’s class will guide you to write a song and play it confidently in public for fun. Kris Demeanor and Carolyn Mark have written a lot of songs and now they'll show you how it's done! No fancy showrooms! No middleman! Direct from the source to you! You WILL walk away with a new song and some tips on how to maximize your performance. They might also give you insight into collaboration and co-writing; something both have a big window into.
It’s open to songwriters at all levels and will involve mostly group work, with some individual attention. The emphasis will be both technique and performance.
Bring whatever instrument they favour and any song ideas. A recording device is useful as a sound journal.
Joey Landreth of the Bros. Landreth – Singin’ in Harmony!
July 19 - 21, 10 AM - 1 PM
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Vocalist and guitarist Joey Landreth has said that The Bros. Landreth are just out to make music, not change the world. With a Juno (best roots and traditional album, 2015) and thousands of kilometres on the road, they’ve developed a reputation as a blazing live act with their rough-around-the-edges, southern-tinged country blues. While the brothers had several years of gigging separately as sidemen for country roots acts before familial ties finally pulled them back together, they’ve never been in a more comfortable place musically, even recording one of their father Wally’s songs for their album. It’s an acknowledgement of the veteran Winnipeg musician’s vast influence on his sons after years of bringing them along to watch him back up venerable Canadian blues acts 'til all hours of the night. Full of tasty licks, smooth harmonies and bluesy grooves, The Bros. Landreth may not be changing the world, but they’re making it a better place to live with each tour stop.
Joey’s session is a crash course in singing in 2 and 3 part harmony.
It’s ideal, but not integral, to have a basic understanding of how to build chords (1 3 5) and knowing how the musical staff works. Basic guitar and/or piano skills are also helpful.
His class will be split between performance and technique. We will most likely all work together in one big group although small group stuff may happen.
Bring: a pen and paper. Dress in comfortable clothing. If you play an instrument and it adds to an exploration of your voice, bring it along.
Cécile Doo-Kingué – No Strings Attached
July 19 – 21, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
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What if Nina Simone played guitar like Jimi Hendrix and grooved like Sly Stone? Bursting through the confines of 12-bar blues with heavy dollops of rock, soul, jazz and Afro-beat, Cécile Doo-Kingué mines the traditional blues subjects such as love, personal demons and loss. But she also addresses current politics fearlessly and fiercely, whether she’s singing about the Russian crackdown on homosexuality in the lead up to the Sochi Olympics ("Bloodstained Vodka") or police shootings of unarmed black men in the United States ("Six Letters"). In true blues fashion, though, Doo-Kingué’s unflinching gaze never comes at the expense of a good groove, a catchy melody or a sharp guitar lick. The daughter of Cameroonian diplomats, Doo-Kingué was born and raised in New York, moving to Montréal at 20. She seamlessly moves between French and English in her singing, often in the same song, and has developed a reputation for blistering live sets in her two decades of performing. During last year’s Calgary Folkfest, Doo-Kingué’s wide-open collaborative heart and jaw-dropping chops instigated some of the juiciest, most unforgettable performances of the weekend.
Doo-Kingués class: participants will be given the necessary tools to truly feel at one with their guitar and express their creativity with as little impediment or inhibition as possible. The focus is on wellness, both spiritual and physical, to maximize the ability to unlock ideas and fluidity in playing, through developing technique, rhythm and lead playing, active listening, as well exploring concepts meant to allow each player’s individuality and personality shine, regardless of skill level, ability to read music or knowledge of various musical genres. Part of the workshop will be devoted to getting the participants to play together and learn to communicate to each other what they need to make music in harmony— however dissonant it may or may not be. Participants will come away with an understanding of how to be their best selves on the instrument.
Basic guitar skills are required and the class will cover both performance and technique.
Bring: an open mind and a guitar, including an amp if it’s electric, and a notebook.
Sheldon Valleau - The Strum Factory
July 19 - 21, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
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Sheldon Valleau was exposed to the ukulele in the womb. His parents, uncles, aunts and grandparents all played the ukulele in every kitchen party that would have them. He started learning at age 3. The son of a band teacher, he went through life learning various instruments and was immersed in many styles of music. After graduating from Mount Royal College for Jazz, he and his brother Jason formed The Polyjesters, travelling the world playing ukulele and singing. This is where he began to specialize on the ukulele, learning different techniques as he met new teachers and performers along the way. Now he still plays frequently with the band and others who share the love of music and the ukulele.
Valleau’s class: participants will leave with a greater understanding of how they can play their favourite songs on the ukulele in multiple styles.
Valleau’s class is open to all, no matter your proficiency on the uke. It will be half group and half solo work, with an emphasis on both performance and technique. Participants will be assigned and taught different parts in a song.
Participants should bring a notepad or tablet for jotting down important points that they may want to review at a later date. Chord charts will be provided. Bring an open attitude and acceptance that not everybody has the same taste in music.
No specific skills are required; just an interest in learning and improving. These will mostly be divided equally depending on how quickly the technique is learned and able to be performed.
Bring: A functioning ukulele and any familiar chords and strumming techniques.