Join us on October 30, 2019 for a night of soft, romantic jazz & toe-tapping celtic music, featuring Irene Wilkinson and Rissesco & Sampson at Halifax Distilling Co.
When: Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Time: 7:30pm - 10:00pm
Where: Halifax Distilling Co. - 1668 Lower Water Street, Halifax
Cost: $25 per person
About the artists:
Although her formal qualifications are in biomedical science (cancer research), vocalist Irene Wilkinson has worked, for much of her life, in fine and performing arts, as a graphic artist, musician, singer, songwriter, radio producer with CBC, dance teacher, artistic and technical director, scriptwriter & choreographer, motivational speaker and in educational support for children at risk (she continues her work as a writer/presenter in this field and the results of her research are published in various educational journals). Irene travelled extensively throughout her native England and in Europe as part of the band “Hermanas” with her sister, Carole. Tours of France, Spain, Switzerland, Yugoslavia, Italy, Sardinia and Sicily led to the release of a record which made the top seller list in Sicily. Soon after her marriage in 1974, she followed her husband, Peter, to Nova Scotia where she became involved with the theatre and eventually applied her talents to radio variety with CBC. She recorded and produced programs for the national network and introduced Canadian audiences to current popular music from other countries (“Pop Over the World”) exposing an underground and thriving jazz movement, in what was then the U.S.S.R., by means of a two-part documentary heard across the network on Jazz Radio Canada. She also produced records for Nova Scotian artists like McGinty, Sandy Greenberg and Cobblestone, made many personal radio and television appearances on programs about women and music in Nova Scotia including recordings for airplay (“Music Maritimes”). Irene taught dance and has choreographed and directed more than 50 musicals in the Halifax school system including a full-scale production of Engelbert Humperdink’s opera “Hansel and Gretel in1994, featuring the Halifax All Schools Honour Choirs. She worked with music teachers to develop ‘riser’ choreography for school choirs such as Soundtrax, a popular Halifax high school vocal ensemble. In addition to organizing benefit concerts for charity, doing publicity for 4 choirs in the city and volunteering, she is also something of an activist, passionate about human rights and supportive of many movements including anti-poverty, anti-racism, equality and inclusion. Two of her greatest passions are reviving the great standards from the “Golden Era of Song” in the 20s, 30s and 40s … and singing jazz.
Rissesco & Sampson
Anthony Rissesco is a contemporary violinist who performs folk, fiddle, rock, classical and more. He was a student of Jan Wicha and Philippe Djokic. He has toured for many years with Lennie Gallant and appeared on Lennie’s album “live Acoustic at the Carleton” which received a Canadian Folk Music award. Anthony has been on many festival stages across the U.S with roots rock band “Pogey” He has played and toured with many artists from the Maritimes such as Bruce Guthro and Anne Murray. He has been a guest performer with Symphony Nova Scotia several times either performing with Lennie Gallant or playing fiddle medleys and singing folk songs. He is part of the trio “Papilio” which has released its second CD and whose first was nominated for an ECMA and Music Nova Scotia awards. He grew up playing in the “down east old time tradition”and competed in fiddling competitions across the country. He is a first place prize winner in five Canadian provinces and has represented Nova Scotia at the Canadian Grand Masters several times. Anthony is 3rd prize winner at the Canadian open. He is also a past Maritime fiddle champion and recently a judge at that oldest of Canadian fiddle competitions.
Guitarist Doug Sampson has spent more than 40 years on the local entertainment circuit in Nova Scotia and is well known for his expertise with Celtic styles, perhaps most especially for with his work with fiddler Anthony Rissesco. In the 90’s he toured with Brakin’ Tradition and shared the stage with The Rankin Family, The Barra MacNeils, Rawlins Cross, The Irish Descendants and many others. Doug’s work has by no means been limited to the club scene in Nova Scotia however, on the international stage he has opened for stars such as Kenny Rogers, Mel Tillis, John Prine, Loudon Wainwright and Taj Mahal.