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Free Salmon Arm concert to offer taste of Digital Currents project

All-ages showcase hosted by Salmon Arm Folk Music Society
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Heather Gemmell of Kimberly is one of the artists taking part in the Salmon Arm Folk Music Society’s Digital Currents project and will be performing in a live showcase at Song Sparrow Hall on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. (Photo contributed)

A current of up-and-coming artists will be flowing onto the Song Sparrow Hall stage in a free concert hosted by the Salmon Arm Folk Music Society (SAFMS).

Earlier this year, the SAFMS put out a call to B.C. artists to participate in a new, virtual concert series, Digital Currents. Musicians from across the province responded and the following were selected to participate, with filming beginning next weekend in Salmon Arm:

• Brass Camel, Vancouver;

• Claire Coupland Duo, Victoria;

• Dave Barber Trio, Penticton;

• Heather Gemmell, Kimberley; and

• Rebecca Sichon Duo, Kelowna.

“When we set out to launch Digital Currents, we wanted to enrich the cultural fabric of our community, both in Salmon Arm and B.C. as a whole,” said SAFMS artistic director Kevin Tobin. “These five artists are prime examples of the innovation and creativity of musicians in our province. We’re so excited to work with them and help share their music with the world.”

The artists will spend two days at Song Sparrow Hall recording 45-minute segments with a professional camera and sound recording crew. The series, which will be beamed into houses and onto screens in the new year, will also feature documentary-style interviews with the performers. But you won’t have to wait for Digital Currents to stream to enjoy the music. SAFMS will be hosting a live showcase at Song Sparrow Hall on Saturday, Dec. 2.

When Sichon first heard about Digital Currents from a friend, the Kelowna-based R&B and pop singer with roots in soul and jazz loved the idea of the live-recorded set and showcase.

“We’ll be playing a wide range of my original material, from songs of love to songs about mental health,” said Sichon, who will be joined on stage by someone playing the cajon, a Peruvian percussion instrument. “I’ll be playing the keys and guitar and am very much looking forward to being a part of this project.”

Read more: Emerging artists wanted for Salmon Arm Folk Music Society concert series

Read more: Council shares support of decision to cancel ROOTSandBLUES

Barber is also looking forward to meeting other talented B.C. musicians and connecting with new fans. Comprised of Dave on guitar, Kirby Barber on bass and Michael Treadway on drums, the Penticton-based Dave Barber Trio brings a setlist of originals and their own folk and jazz-fuelled classic covers.

“I saw an ad and thought it seemed like a cool opportunity. I’m looking forward to meeting more like-minded artists who are also involved in the program,” said Barber. “I’m very grateful to have been chosen.”

The all-ages, licensed showcase kicks off at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2. Doors open at 6 p.m. Volunteers interested in working behind the bar can reach out to the SAFMS online.

Digital Currents sets the stage for the 32nd annual ROOTSandBLUES. Early-bird tickets to the July 26-28 festival go on sale Dec. 5. For more information about Digital Currents or ROOTSandBLUES, visit the SAFMS online at rootsandblues.ca or call 250-833-4096.

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Vancouver’s Brass Camel is one of the acts taking part in the Salmon Arm Folk Music Society’s Digital Currents project and will be performing in a live showcase at Song Sparrow Hall on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. (Photo contributed)
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Claire Coupland of Victoria is one of the artists taking part in the Salmon Arm Folk Music Society’s Digital Currents project and will be performing in a live showcase at Song Sparrow Hall on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. (Photo contributed)
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Penticton’s Dave Barber Trio is one of the acts taking part in the Salmon Arm Folk Music Society’s Digital Currents project and will be performing in a live showcase at Song Sparrow Hall on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. (Photo contributed)