Julian Taylor in concert at St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage

MORRISBURG – The St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage, Upper Canada Playhouse, Saturday, April 13, at 7pm, is the place to be to hear and enjoy the music of one of Canada’s greatest roots artists, Julian Taylor.

For one show only, this renowned Canadian Folk Music Award winner, English Song Writer of the Year winner, and Juno Award nominee will share his unique and sweeping musical talents and stories with the audience. This will be an exciting concert featuring original music and stories from Taylor. And opening for Julian will be Mia Kelly from Gatineau, a young singer named 2022 Emerging Artist by Culture Outaouais, who first delighted audiences in a SLAS Emerging Artists showcase a couple of years ago.

Toronto based singer/songwriter Julian Taylor has explored many musical genres in his career. With the Julian Taylor Band he has performed rhythm and blues: he has sampled alt-rock and the excitement of Tex-Mex. And he is also recognized for his spiritual and meditative ballads. Taylor is a versatile artist who has received five Native American Music Award nominations, and has been recognized for the Polaris Music Prize. His love of all kinds of music and of performing, are ingrained in his soul. I asked Julian how he would describe his music.

“I like to think of myself as a roots artist,” he said. “Every single musical genre that I have explored still fits into that realm. I grew up with roots music playing all around me, so I naturally picked up on the sounds of country, folk, rhythm, blues and reggae. Most folks don’t know this, but I have even dabbled with some hip hop too as a featured artist.”

Julian finds inspiration for his music in many realms. He once commented “Thinking before doing is critical..to find that vision in your head.” I asked him about his powerful ability to communicate with people through his music. “I am inspired by nature and the natural world. It guides most of my work, because it is everything. Even our personal relationships can be described through our connection with nature and the natural world. I long for connection as I think most of us do. We often forget just how connected we really are. We are one universe yet we have our own personal way of being, collectively. I think that music communicates that to all of us. It certainly does that for me.”

With a background that is both Mohawk and part West Indian, he has a rich heritage to draw from as he creates his unique sound and shares his exciting style. Julian Taylor is a born and gifted story teller. He is an artist who once said that his stories come from a “person who tries to fit in… who has that longing to be part of something.” Taylor finds real joy in performing live, in being out there on a stage with an audience around him. “I love that connection with people in the audience, and with those that I am performing on the stage with. I am looking forward to playing with some friends, and also to seeing the very talented Mia Kelly as well. (At my concert) I will be performing a lot of the songs from my last two Juno nominated albums, ‘The Ridge’ and ‘Beyond the Reservoir’ as well as probably swiping further into my old catalog. I love travelling back in time and hope that everyone there will enjoy time travelling with me.”

There is little doubt that the audience attending Julian Taylor’s concert at the SLAS on Saturday, April 13, is going to savour a dynamic musical experience.

And to start off the evening, Mia Kelly, of Gatineau, a swiftly rising young star, will be on stage. While her music has been described as folk, rock and blues by some, Mia puts it this way. “I definitely agree with all those labels and genres, but I like to think or my songs as stories first, dealing with emotions. I end up with a blend of bilingual rootsy-folky-bluesy tunes with influences ranging from Tom Waits to Adele.”

Mia’s music has often been described as “heart-warming” and she is open about the sources of her inspiration. “Songs come to me when the emotions are overflowing. They boil over and take shape in story songs that cover themes from heart-break to feminist rage…from my travels to odes to the comfort of home. I try to welcome people into the song’s universe for a while.”

She is very much looking forward to opening for Julian Taylor, and to the joys she experiences of being live on stage. She will be performing songs from her last album, ‘Garden Through The War,’ and from her new album coming out in the summer. With a live audience, as far as Mia Kelly is concerned, “the diversity and sincerity of reactions is always so touching. To witness a song bring someone to tears…or sharing their relationship with my music is so special. And it’s also such fun. It’s a thrill to connect to everyone through music and stories and laughter.”

The St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage is presenting an evening of incredible music on Saturday, September 13. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy the extraordinary, versatile roots artist Julian Taylor, and the vibrant Mia Kelly.

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