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2015 Australia Tour Announcement!

It is with immense excitement that we can officially announce our amazing Australian 2015 Tour dates!  This tour has been in the works for 12 months, and is finally around the corner, running from March 17 – April 12, 2015, much of it on a co-bill with lovely Australian songstress Marta Pacek.

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We’re thrilled to have Yackandandah Folk Festival (VIC) and Fairbridge Festival (WA) on our tour itinerary this year as well as dates throughout Victoria, New South Wales and  Western Australia.  Check out our complete tour itinerary below:

The Jessica Stuart Few + Marta Pacek Australian Autumn Tour 2015!

Wednesday, March 18  – The Esplanade Hotel, St Kilda VIC

Thursday, March 19 – Beav’s Bar, Geelong VIC

Friday, March 20 & Saturday, March 21Yackandandah Folk Festival, VIC **HEADLINERS**

Sunday, March 22 – Elwood Food & Wine, VIC

Monday, March 23 – The Retreat Hotel, Brunswick VIC

Wednesday, March 25  – The Music Man Megastore, Bendigo VIC

Thursday, March 26 – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine VIC

Friday, March 27 – The Vine Hotel, Wangaratta VIC

Saturday, March 28  – Smiths Alternative Bookshop, Canberra ACT

Sunday, March 29 – The Rum Bar (3-6PM), Kingston ACT

Wednesday, April 01 – Shirt Bar, Sydney NSW

Thursday, April 02 - The Royal Exchange, Newcastle NSW

Friday, April 03 – The Great Northern Trading Post, Laguna NSW

Saturday, April 04 – Django Bar, Marrickville NSW

Tuesday, April 07 – The Ellington, Perth WA

Wednesday, April 08 – House Concert, Mt Hawthorn WA

Thursday, April 09 – Four5Nine Bar (Rosemount Hotel) w/Katey Brooks, North Perth, WA

Friday, April 10 Sunday, April 12 Fairbridge Music Festival, Fairbridge WA

Please help us spread the word to your Australian friends and family!  This is The Jessica Stuart Few’s debut tour of Australia, and we hope it will be the first of many :)  If you know anyone involved with music journalism through print, internet, radio or tv, please send them our way also!  (Tour press release below for those of you interested)

ALSO, I’ve been really keen on taking photos lately, and our instragram account has a lot of insider pics & vids of our recording process and always has tons of great tour photos when we hit the road.  (Also, facebook and twitter too!)

xo
jessica

THE JESSICA STUART FEW (CANADA) & MARTA PACEK (AUS)

2015 AUSTRALIAN TOUR

Wafting through the Autumn air this March/April will be the sounds of Alt Folk singer-songwriter MARTA PACEK and Canadian Folk/Jazz power trio THE JESSICA STUART FEW, co-headlining their first Australian tour together.

If you have never witnessed a Japanese 13-stringed harp (Koto) in action, then let Canada’s award winning Indie Folk/Jazz trio THE JESSICA STUART FEW show you how it’s done. Living in Japan as a child and growing up with a Koto master for a mother, Jessica’s innovative take on the instrument has put traditional Asian sounds next to double bass, drums & three-part harmonies in a compelling contemporary singer-songwriter context. Stuart’s beguiling vocals and signature songwriting (often compared to that of Joni Mitchell), coupled with The JS Few’s upbeat fusion of folk, soul, jazz & rock has seen the trio gain worldwide critical acclaim – garnering rave reviews, international airplay, a Top 40 single (Don’t Ya) in Japan and numerous awards.  Renowned for their dynamic live performances, The Jessica Stuart Few have graced the main stages of Festivals in Canada, Japan, Germany & USA, and have performed alongside the likes of Jamie Cullum, Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Bruce Cockburn and members of The Barenaked Ladies among others.  Be sure to keep an ear out for the exclusive Australian pre-release of their infectious new single What Is It For, a sneak peak of what to expect from their late 2015 album.

“It’s a rare album that comes along that truly sounds unique and independent of the rest. Toronto’s The Jessica Stuart Few gave me one of those WTF moments, stopping me in my tracks for a good, close listen…  Stuart has a gorgeous voice, pure and expressive… All that, and the distinctive koto playing, a blend not heard anywhere else.”  Bob Mersereau (CBC Music)

Over the last few years, Canberra’s MARTA PACEK has drifted between North America and Australia with her guitar, the “modern day gypsy” delighting audiences with songs from her debut album Rebel Baby, and 2014’s Voodoo Dolls and False Alarms.   ‘Voodoo Dolls…’ features Marta’s heartfelt & wistful Alt folk / country offerings andwas produced by Brooklyn’s Brad Albetta (Martha Wainwright, Angus & Julia Stone, Glen Hansard).  Its Australian release saw first single ‘Nothing Going On’ added to DIG/Double J & the Country Music Channel’s ‘Alt Country’ slot, along with community radio airplay, favourable reviews & ABC Radio live performances.  After beginning her career writing, recording & touring with Mark Seymour, Marta has gone on to win various music awards and secure worldwide TV & film placements.  Live, this lady will have you under her spell when she takes to the stage.  To coincide with the upcoming tour, Marta will release her new single & video Sometimes You Lose (lifted off her latest album Voodoo Dolls and False Alarms). 

“(Pacek’s) fine voice will capture you right away, and she has the songs to match up with the best.”  Bob Mersereau (Veteran Canadian Broadcaster/CBC Music)

February, Fun, Festivals!

In advance of our Canadian Music Fest performances in May, we got to be a part of The Painted Lady‘s CMW Discoveries Series previewing some of the fest’s bands like Torero, AHI, The Sole Pursuit and Bordeen.

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We had a killer time, and are really psyched for Winterfolk Blues & Roots Festival where we’ll have 2 performances and 2 workshops on Valentine’s weekend (Concerts: Friday, Feb 13, 7pm @ Dora Keogh, Saturday, Feb 14, 4pm @ Terri O’s)

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Other exciting stuff?  New album’s first single will be released in advance of our Australian Summer Tour any day now!!  Can’t wait for the both the album and the tour, of course!

xo
jessica

Langa Township, South Africa

One of the standout parts of my South Africa visit was hanging in Langa Township on the outskirts of Cape Town city.  When I heard about the townships before going, it evoked thoughts of ghettos or shtetls, and the view of the townships from the highway, supported that thought, with the sight of hundreds of corrugated metal shacks tightly fit together, all jimmying electricity from one overused electrical pole.

Truth is, though, the township feels nothing like that.  There’s no denying that there is a major lack of resources available, and by Western standards, there is incredible poverty, but people in Langa just hustle harder to make it work.  There’s still community feeling, neighbourhoods within the township of different levels of means, and residential and business districts, from the woman who makes the goat’s heads (everyone’s favourite food), to the shibin (communal beer hangout) to shipping container barbershops and salons.

One of the coolest things going on for the young people is Happy Feet, a dance program started by my new friend Siviwe from Langa and his contemporaries, to get the youth working together creatively, and make it possible for them to perform all over South Africa, and bring in some extra income for their families.  It also just looks hella fun!  Possibly the most important thing, as Siviwe told me, is to introduce to the kids to the world that is outside the township, so they know the possibilities that could be for their own lives.

Check it out (this is going to be the best you click on all day, I promise):

 

The swagger of these fellas is unreal.  And i LOVE the call and response.  I’m working on a link to share so that you can contribute to their project, if you’re so moved.  Happy Feet has recently started a food kitchen (in a shipping container, of course), with the help of a nutritionist from Cape Town.  They need to eat if they’re gonna dance, right?  The kitchen feeds more than just the performers of course.  (Fyi, $50 feeds a couple hundred kids)

More on this soon!

If you feel it, please share this vid, and the post.  We need to take of each other, right?

xo
jessica