Frank Mills.

Mr. Music Box Dancer comes to Kelowna

Pianist Frank Mills to perform in concert Monday, Nov. 9, at the Kelowna Community Theatre.

  • Thu Nov 5th, 2015 2:00pm
  • Life

CONCERT

Frank Mills

Monday, Nov. 9

7 p.m.

Kelowna Community

Theatre

1375 Water St.

Kelowna

 

Frank Mills, called “Mr. Music Box Dancer” in recognition of his huge piano instrumental hit in 1976.

Today, Mills is still touring, sharing his memories of more than 40 years in the music business on the road and recording albums.

Now some 40 years later Frank Mills enjoys meeting his loyal fans once again as well as next generation of fans and piano players who are just discovering his music.

Early childhood influences had a hand in preparing Mills for events that led to his International stature and renown as a composer/arranger/pianist.

Music was a familiar presence in the Mills household in 1942, when Frank was born.

His mother was a piano player, his dad a businessman who was also known for his rousing Irish tenor. His sister took piano lessons and it was from listening to her practice he began to master the piano by ear.

Still later he took up the trombone, playing in the school band and becoming perhaps even more proficient at this second instrument.

During his teen years, his family life virtually disintegrated as both his parents, who had been ill from the time of Mills’ earliest memories, died of cancer by the time he was 17.

His formal training in music continued at McGill University in Montreal, but not without one of the whimsical manoeuvrings of fate that were to become commonplace in his musical career.

He, actually, began studies as a pre-med student, but, alas, did not fare well academically.

It was on his way to the Navy recruitment office, he ran into a friend in the music faculty, who talked him into taking the entrance exam to the university’s music department.

He scored 98 per cent on the exam and found his life’s calling.

In 1971 his professional music career got its first taste of success as a member of the Canadian group The Bells, whose recording “Stay A While” went to Number 1 on the US and Canadian music charts.

It was as a piano player with The Bells, Frank Mills, developed his unique personal style of playing up high on the keyboard “in self defence,” as he says.

“I had to compete with two electric guitars, an acoustic guitar, an electric bass and a drum kit. It’s the only place I could hear myself.”

Frank left The Bells in 1971 to focus his talents on making an instrumental album of his own compositions.

Within months of its release in Canada, he had his first personal hit, “Love Me, Love Me, Love” which sold over 100,00 copies and launched his solo career.

In 1973, he recorded another album on his own which was initially leased to a recording label that dissolved in bankruptcy, forcing his effort to lie in limbo for several years.

As frustrating as that course of events seemed at the time, good fortune was to be the result. On the dormant album, a track named “The Music Box Dancer” resided unnoticed.

“When I composed the song, I was searching for a title. One day my young daughter came to me with a broken music box to mend. There was a little dancer who popped up and spun around on a pedestal. Her arm was broken off. As I looked at I said, “That’s what the song is, it’s the  ‘Music Box Dancer!’”

In 1976, Polydor records, which he had recorded for earlier, leased that “dormant” album for distribution at the same time releasing a single off it for airplay.

Polydor chose a lush, romantic ballad, “The Poet and Me” as the “A” side and “a little funny piano tune” titled “Music Box Dancer” on the flip.

“The flip” was to play the most crucial and important part in the resurgence and eventual worldwide success of  Mills career.

“Music Box Dancer” became the Number 1 record in 26 countries selling millions of singles along the way. The album sold well over two million copies remunerating Mills handsomely as he wrote, arranged, conducted and recorded it himself. Since it was a “master lease” deal, he owned the entire project.

“To this day I do not consider myself a piano player. There are guys in the classics that can play circles around me, any time. But then I never have competed with them.  It’s sort of like saying, “Well, Garth Brooks isn’t competing with Pavarotti.” And that’s the business.”

Frank Mills now fully spends and enjoys his home in Vermont, while his other more southern home resides in the Bahamas.

 

CONCERT

Spectrum Singers

Dec. 4-5

St. Michael’s Cathedral

608 Sutherland Ave.

Kelowna

 

The Spectrum Singers Christmas season concert this year is entitled “Our Christmas Gift of Song.

The Spectrum Singers will perform a selection of classical and traditional songs, under the direction of Kim Kleineberg and with special guest vocalist   Mark Wells.

Tickets ($10 for students and $20 for adults) will soon be available from all choir members, as well as at Mosaic Books in downtown Kelowna and the UPS Store in West Kelowna (by Save-On-Foods).

 

CONCERT

Okanagan Festival Singers

Saturday, Dec. 5

7:30 p.m.

First Lutheran Church

4901 Lakeshore Rd.

Kelowna

 

Handel’s Messiah is an Okanagan Festival Singers tradition that returns again for this Christmas concert season.

The Okanagan Festival Singers  soloists include two young but highly acclaimed singers from Winnipeg—Jane Fingler and Justin Odwak.

As well, the choir looks  forward to the return of Fabiana Katz-Esler and Michael Kurschat, who both sang in the  2012 performance.

For ticket informaton, contact Clair Smith-Burns at 250-764-5188.

 

CONCERT

Hedley

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Prospera Place

1223 Water St.

Kelowna

 

Hedley returns to the familiar confines of Prospera Place for a stop on the group’s Canadian tour next year.

Hedley, who have included Kelowna  in previous tours, will play here Tuesday, May 17, 2016.

Tickets go on sale today (Nov. 6) at 10 a.m.

The opening acts will be Carly Rae Jepsen, she of the Call Me Maybe international hit song of 2012, and Francesco Yates.

Hedley’s tour will be in support of the band’s sixth studio album, Hello.

Featuring a state-of-the-art stage production, the 2016 tour will be the Juno Award winning Hedley’s most impressive show to date, with staging elements that will bring the band closer to the fans than ever before.

“Playing live is who we are, and going on tour is the ultimate way for us to interact with our fans,” said Hedley frontman and creative force Jacob Hoggard about the upcoming tour.

“We’re about to unveil the most spectacular tour we’ve ever embarked upon.

“We can’t wait to connect with each and every one of our fans, in person…and to pull some pretty amazing tricks out of our sleeves.

“We have amazing fans and we can’t wait to share this with them.”

Having sold close to 500,000 tickets in Canadian arenas since 2010, Hedley have quickly and quietly become one of the most successful touring acts in the country. In 2013 alone, the Wild Life tour sold 150,000 tickets across Canada.

Hedley have produced five consecutive multiplatinum albums— Hedley (2005), Famous Last Words (2007), The Show Must Go (2009), Storms (2011) and Wild Life (2013).

Tickets will be available online at  selectyourtickets.com, call  250-762-5050 or at  the Prospera Place Box Office.

•••

 

ART EXHIBIT

Landon Mackenzie: Parallel Journey—Works on Paper

Until Jan. 17

Kelowna Art Gallery

1315 Water St

 

Artist Landon Mackenzie literally brought suitcases full of works to the Kelowna Art Gallery in preparation for her expansive new exhibition entitled Parallel Journey: Works on Paper (1975-2015).

The suitcases are strangely fitting as many of these works were completed while the artist traveled to various locations around the world during the past four decades.

The result is a visually rich show, packed with works that provide visitors with an intimate and captivating experience.

Mackenzie is a nationally known, Vancouver-based artist, admired for her large-scale works with paint on canvas.

Less known are her works on paper often created while traveling, which she produces voluminously as a tandem practice (or what might be considered a parallel creative journey) to her big paintings.

Somewhere between jottings and “finished” works intended for public exhibition, these small paintings speak to the deepest level of human creativity.

They function at times as glimpses into this intelligent artist’s psyche or soul. Visitors will get to see this in Mackenzie’s works on paper, from her student etchings created while studying printmaking as an undergraduate at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, to her work throughout the 1990s that incorporated the artist’s interest in neural mapping: the charting of brain and nerve impulses.

This interest also led to her to begin combining images and motifs from city maps, of all time periods, with images of the human brain.

This journey can also be seen in Mackenzie’s more recent work completed while living in Berlin in 2007 and 2013, occupying the Canada Council Paris studio in 2009, and during her time on the road as a speaker or visiting artist.

The exhibition is accompanied by a multi-authored, 196-page book published by Black Dog Publishing in the UK.

After its Kelowna run, the exhibition will be going on a national tour.

 

THEATRE

Vanya and Sonia and

Masha and Spike

Fred Skeleton Theatre

Nov. 6-7, Nov. 12-14

Creekside Theatre

10241 Bottom Wood Lake Rd.

Lake Country

 

The Fred Skeleton Theatre Company will bring the Broadway hit Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike to Lake Country next month.

Described as “deliriously funny” by the New York Times, the play showcases dysfunctional sibling rivalries as Vanya and Sonia deal with their movie star sister Masha and her brawny boyfriend Spike.

The Fred Skeleton crew, coming off their win for Best Production at this year’s Okanagan Zone Festival, have been on the look-out for a Tony Award winning comedy.

“We were ecstatic with the reception we got for the dramatic performances in Our Country’s Good,” said director Rob Mason-Brown, referring to the theatre company’s previous play.

“But it’s an exhausting experience, and once it was over we said, ‘Okay, let’s do something outrageous, and let’s have some fun with it.’”

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is being developed by an experienced cast and crew, led by Mason-Brown, who was awarded Best Director honours at the 2014 BC Mainstage Festival, and for two years running at the Okanagan Theatre Festival.

The numerous title roles are played by veterans Stephen Jefferys, Kim Fournier, Peter Macleod, and Dorothy Dalba, the 2013 Ozone Festival winner for Best Actress.

Tickets can be purchased by phone from the Creekside Theatre, 250-766-5669 or online at fredskeleton.com

 

CONCERT

Big Sugar

Saturday, Nov. 7

Mary Irwin Theatre at the Rotary Centre for the Arts

421 Cawston Ave.

Kelowna

 

Big Sugar has found a connection between rock’n roll and reggae musically that has propelled the group into a mainstay in the Canadian music scene.

Since debuting with several hits such as Turn The Lights On and 100 Cigarettes in the 1990s, the band has continued to travel the musical path between raggae and rock captured in the groups high energy shows.

The band currently consists of Gordie Johnson, guitar/vocals; Garry Lowe, bass; Mr. Chill Hoppe, harmonica/sax/melodica; Friendlyness, keyboards/toasting; and Stephane Bodean Beaudin, drums.

 

CONCERT

Jocelyn Alice and The New Electric

Tuesday, Nov. 10

7 p.m. doors open

OK Corral Cabaret

1978 Kirschner Rd.

Kelowna

 

The OK Corral will host two up and coming pop singing talents on the country music cabaret’s stage.

Calgary’s Jocelyn Alice currently has a top Canadian hit called Jackpot which is beginnng to generate radio interest in the US after being certified Gold (sales of 5,000 units) in Canada.

She will be joined by a band, who also hail from Calgary, called The New Electric.

The group has just released a single called  Life Is What You Make It that has gained airplay on local radiot stations.

Tickets are on sale now at The OK Corral Liquor Store or at the door.

 

CONCERT

Tim Hicks

Thursday, Nov. 12

Prospera Place

1223 Water St.

Kelowna

 

Tickets for the Get A Little Crazy Tour for country music singer Tim Hicks on sale to the general public Friday, Sept. 11 10 a.m.

Hicks will be touring with opening acts Jason Benoit and Cold Creek County.

“My favourite part of this crazy life I have is playing live,” said Hicks.

“I’m looking forward to some of the best nights of my life out on the road and can guarantee that nobody is going to have more fun than us this fall.”

Garnering three CCMA Award artist nominations (Album of the Year, Male Artist of the Year and Interactive Artist of the Year) and two industry nominations for his most recent album, 5:01 (Album Design of the Year, Mitch Nevins; and Producer of the Year, Jeff Coplan), Hicks has been on a roll for the past year as a dynamic breakout new artist.

 

 

CONCERT

Rich Aucoin’s Karaoke Carnival Tour

Thursday, Nov. 12

The Habitat

248 Leon Ave.

Kelowna

 

Sweat dripping from your pores, confetti flying everywhere filling those pores. A light-show perfectly in sync with projected images around you which are perfectly in sync with positive jams emanating from the speaker systems and the vocal chords of yourself and those around you and all donned by a parachuted carnival tent canopy.

This is Rich Aucoin’s Karaoke Carnival Tour.

Sing-along in crowd-karaoke with your friends to Aucoin’s music as the words flash before you on the projection screen and are screamed on all sides of you for a high-energy dance party to the whole spectrum of visual collage.

Get covered in confetti and parachutes and group hugs under the rainbow of a light-show culminating in a few singalong epics by way of Queen and Bowie to close out the sweaty night.

Aucion has released a new album, Ephemeral, which has garned six Nov Scotia Music Awards nominations.

 

CONCERT

Matthew Good

Monday Nov. 16

Kelowna Community Theatre

1375 Water St.

 

In support of the highly anticipated release of his seventh solo album, Matthew Good will bring his Chaotic Neutral Tour to Kelowna.

In his two decades defining the landscape of the Canadian music scene,  Good has sold nearly a million albums, has been nominated for 20 Juno Awards (winning four) and is on his way to becoming the best-selling Canadian Indie artist of all time.

In the early ‘90s, he formed the Matthew Good Band, which would go on to net two Juno Awards for the Canadian rock classic, Beautiful Midnight, before disbanding in 2002.

Since 2003, Good has been on his own through seven solo albums, surviving missed diagnoses and hospitalizations, a return to Indie status, and a sea of change in the music industry.

 

CONCERT

Barra MacNeils

Tuesday, Nov. 17

7:30 p.m.

Kelowna Community Theatre

1375 Water St.

 

The six MacNeil siblings hail from Sydney Mines, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, a family musical group is deeply rooted in Celtic music, culture and history.

Their numerous critically acclaimed recordings have included their own original songs as well as tried and true standards, both instrumental and vocal, some of which have achieved the coveted Gold record status in Canada.

The Barra MacNeils’ live concert experience brings so much to the stage—multiple lead vocalists, beautiful sibling harmonies, top drawer instrumental prowess on a wide variety of acoustic, stringed, percussion and wind instruments, dancing, storytelling, Gaelic songs and a journey through an ancient culture.

Steeped in Cape Breton tradition with strong Celtic roots and musical artistry, this diverse and talented family group continues to wow audiences around the world.

They were recently nominated for PEI’s Fans Choice Award for Entertainers of the Year in 2014. They continue to perform to sold out audiences throughout Canada, the US, the Caribbean, and the United Kingdom.

The Barra MacNeils  Christmas television special filmed a number of years ago, continues to be broadcast on Country Music Television and on PBS in the United States.

In November, they will bring that popular Christmas show to   Kelowna.

Fans can look forward to classic favourites including Oh Holy Night, Ave Maria, A Christmas in Kilarney and many more, as well as some comedy, seasonal stories, music, singing, dance and of course memories that will extend beyond the season and last a lifetime.

Tickets are on sale at Select your Tickets box office at Prospera Place or you can buy them either by phone at 250-762-5050 or online at www.Selectyourtickets.com.

 

FUNDRAISER

Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne

Saturday, Nov. 21

6 p.m.

Laurel Packinghouse

1304 Ellis St.

Kelowna

 

The Okanagan chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis  Society of Canada is staging the ‘Moonlight & Mistletoe’ winter concert fundraiser featuring music  Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne and his nine-piece band, a silent auction  and a photobooth with Santa and holiday costume accessories to help get concert-goers in the Yuletide spirit.

Wayne was born in Spokane but raised in New Orleans, and his music recalls the era when piano players like Fats Domino, Amos Milburn, and Bill Doggett worked the chitlin’ circuit on the “strolls” in dozens of American cities.

Wayne has been a traveling musician almost all his life, playing in and seeing the world from Texas to Hawaii, from Peoria to Paris.

Rediscovering his own blues roots long ago sent his career into overdrive, thanks to his fresh approach to old music, the drive and roaring good-time attitude of his live performances, and his smartly original self-penned songs.

The fundraiser is  co-sponsored by Q103.1, Pilgrim & Pearl Oyster Bar, The Italian Table, and The Revival Group, with proceeds going to the Okanagan MS chapter, staying in  Okanagan communities to fund MS support services, programs, and advocacy.

A portion of the money raised will also contribute to Multiple Sclerosis research initiatives at the University of British Columbia, one of the top research facilities in the country.

Tickets can be purchased at the following locations:

• The MS Society Okanagan chapter office, 1855 Kirschner Rd., Kelowna (please email sarah.taylor@mssociety.ca to arrange)

• Pilgrim & Pearl Oyster Bar, 1675 Abbott St., Kelowna

• The Italian Table: 2402 Highway 97, Kelowna

 

CONCERT

Dan Mangan

Saturday, Nov. 21

Kelowna Community

Theatre

1375 Water St.

Kelowna

 

It’s been nearly a decade since Dan Mangan took to the road as a solo performer in Canada.

Beginning on Nov. 18, Mangan will make stops in smaller cities across Western Canada, reinterpreting songs from his latest album, Club Meds, as a solo performer.

It is no easy task to re-imagine a record normally performed by Mangan and his long-time band mates, now officially titled Blacksmith.

Members of Vancouver’s experimental music scene, Blacksmith bring a stark glassy edge to the music through a fog of analog feedback loops and synths.

Along with Mangan’s solo interpretation of the tracks will be select songs from his music history.

Mangan has found success both commercially and artistically starting out as a truly independent artist recording in search of a record deal.

XM Canada’s the Verge Music Awards named in Artist of the Year in 2009, earning him the $25,000 prize that went along with the award.

In 2010, his sophomore album Nice, Nice, Very Nice garnered a Polaris Music Prize shortlist nomination.

And his third album Oh Fortune earned him two Juno Awards.

 

CONCERT

Vance Joy

Thursday, Jan. 14

Kelowna Community Theatre

1375 Water St.

 

Pre-sale tickets for the Vance Joy concert will go on sale from Wednesday, Sept. 16, 10 a.m., to  Thursday, Sept 17, 10 p.m. General sale tickets available starting at 10 a.m. on Sept. 18.

Joy has had an unexpectedly long time to finish his debut album.

There’s a simple reason why—his first single, “Riptide,” kept charming the world and he followed his new audience all across the globe.

As well as selling out headline tours in Australia, Vance Joy performed at South By South West, Glastonbury, Firefly and Boonaroo Festivals before returning to Australia for Splendour In The Grass and then back to the UK, Europe, US and Canada for headline tours and V Festival, Lollapalooza, Outside Lands and Osheaga.

In Australia, Riptide moved from alternative to commercial radio, then commercial TV and got a second wind after it became the first song to top Triple J’s Hottest 100 countdown without an album to call home.

The song has sold over a million copies worldwide has been streamed over three million times a week.

“It’s taken on its own life,” said Joy.   “It’s definitely been a door opener. It’s running its own race now.”

 

CONCERT

Blue Rodeo

Monday, Jan. 25

8 p.m.

Prospera Place

 

With every ticket purchased, fans are invited to choose a digital download of any studio album in the Blue Rodeo catalogue including their upcoming release Live at Massey Hall.

In 2014 Blue Rodeo hit the road and showcased their In Our Nature album with a lengthy tour across the country featuring two sets and almost three hours of music.

In addition to the release of Live At Massey Hall, Blue Rodeo will also make available vinyl releases of the classic albums Casino (Oct. 30), Lost Together (Nov. 13) and Five Days In July (Nov. 27).

Tickets on sale at selectyourtickets.com or call 250-762-5050.

 

CONCERT

Classified

Monday, Feb. 29

8 p.m.

Kelowna Community

Theatre

1375 Water St.

 

Concert tickets go on sale Friday, Oct. 30, for Classified, a revered and respected rapper-producer, has taken Canadian hip hop music all over the world.

He will be touring next year on the heels of his new album release, “Greatful.”

Classified hails from  Enfleld, N.S., features  hip-hop pioneer DJ Premier on the new album’s street track “Filthy” and rap icon Snoop Dogg on the lead single “No Pressure.”

Classified, born Luke Boyd, uses witty wordplay over top a simplified, catchy beat and sing-along chorus.

He has found the secret of his success so far in the rap world to be his ability to break down the barrier between the performer and the man.

A dedicated family man, Classified’s charisma and approachability extends to both his on-stage and off-stage personas that engage even the most discerning hip-hop fans and critics alike.

In his career, he has sold more than 500,000 records, earned multiple Juno Award nominations and had two singles reach top-10 status in Canada.

“I try and write as if you’re sitting in a room with me and we’re having a conversation,” Classified explained. “I never got into this to be famous, but to get my point across, be honest and make real music.”

Tickets are on sale online at  selectyourtickets.com.

 

CONCERT

George Thorogood & The Destroyers

Wednesday, April 20

7:30 p.m.

Prospera Place

 

George Thorogood’s music career dates back to 1973, when the barely-out-of-his-teens Wilmington guitarist piled his gear into the drummer’s Chevy van to play their very first gig at a University of Delaware dorm.

More than four decades and some 15 million albums sold worldwide later, Thorogood and his band are badder than ever.

Thorogood and his longtime band—Jeff Simon (drums, percussion), Bill Blough (bass guitar), Jim Suhler (rhythm guitar) and Buddy Leach (saxophone) —will share a romp through many classic songs from the group’s music catalogue—  “Who Do You Love,” “I Drink Alone,” “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” “Move It On Over”and the infamous “Bad To The Bone.”

“When I was 16, I was going to school and playing Little League but nothing felt comfortable to me,” Thorogood recalls. “The first moment I picked up the guitar, it felt so right that it almost scared me. The fact that I couldn’t sing, play or write a song didn’t matter. I’d learn to do all that soon enough.

“But by having a knack for this thing and feeling relaxed doing it, I knew I was halfway home. I love to perform live, and I’m lucky to be able to do it on a level that our music and reputation have taken us to. To this day, I consider my job description to be ‘live rock performer.’”

show.  Most of all, we’re making a living doing what we love and people love what we’re doing.”

Tickets on sale at selectyourtickets.com or call 250-762-5050