Songwriters in the Round
Featuring Karen Morand, Ken Dunn and Gillian Nicola
This will be a slightly different format than our other concerts. All three musicians will be on the stage together. Each performer will tell a story and play their song before rotating to the next performer. We’ll have an hour of songs with a half hour break before another set of music. Come enjoy a fantastic evening of stories and songs.
Desboro Music Hall 2020 Concert Series
Doors Open: 6:30pm, Music Starts: 7:30pm
Karen Morand has roots that run deep. Born in Toronto and based in Southern Ontario, the award-winning singer-songwriter does life off the beaten path, sleeves rolled up with an eye on the eternal. Armed with feisty, powerhouse vocals, she delivers a soul-stirring show: lively, alt- folk with well-worn blues and gritty gospel on the side.
Karen radiates with energy in live performances both solo and accompanied by her acoustic trio, BOSCO (Aaron Verhulst and Benny Santoro). A graduate from the University of Windsor’s music therapy program, Karen enjoys making meaningful connections with her audience and inspiring hope. She is also a music educator, workshop instructor and music director.
Since her first studio release, ‘Carry On’ in 2012, followed by ‘I Think I’ll Lose My Mind Today’ in 2014, and Junkyard Heart in 2016, Karen has maintained an intense performance schedule throughout Ontario and most recently, touring Eastern Canada. Her first solo and most recent release, “Every Flash of Light” (2018) is an EP produced by Danny Gauthier including co-writes with Nashville songwriters Steve Hindalong (the Choir), Kelly Kessler and Linda McRae (Spirit of the West). Other collaborations include her recent pairing with internationally renowned bluesman, Manitoba Hal Brolund as bluesy gospel Americana duo, “Even the Bird Was Free.”
What some folks are saying:
“I met Karen Morand at the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals in 2010 where I was a mentor. She was just beginning her career as a singer/songwriter and I was immediately impressed by her warmth and straightforward attitude. She has made great strides since then and has just released her second recording of her own material. Her songwriting belies the amount of time she’s actually been writing and I believe she is on her way to becoming an artist who will be a force on the Canadian music scene” Linda McRae, platinum award winning musician
“Karen Morand is something of a standout in the crowded field of solo singer-songwriters. Her performances and recordings both display a careful attention to craft as well as a broad range of influences. Karen’s material demonstrates her comfort with a variety of styles and genres and her ability to create appealing melodies and lyrics.” Danny Sullivan, Artistic Director, Blue Skies Music Festival
“Songwriter Karen Morand casts power to stir the storm in your soul and part the dark clouds hovering over your heart. Karen drives the engine through songs that clang, grind and chug with bold defiance, shaken faith and cryptic warnings; breathing steam around embraces of the wounded and outcast.” Songstress and CJAM radio host Allison Brown
Over the past 30 years, singer-songwriter Ken Dunn has performed at hundreds of venues across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Central America, as well as recording 10 albums of original music.
He has shared stages with a number of well-known artists, including Jerry Jeff Walker, David Amram, and Canadian folk icons Valdy, Willie P. Bennett, and Garnet Rogers.
Notable performances include those at Canada’s Festival of Friends, a sold out concert at the historic Santa Ana Theatre in San Miguel, Mexico, the Central California Neil Young tribute show in Paso Robles, California, and Jerry Jeff Walker’s Festival in San Pedro, Belize.
With the intention of promoting peace, social, and environmental justice through music, Ken has also performed a number of benefit concerts, including those for Amnesty International, Biblioteca San Miguel, Playing For Change, L.A. Family Housing, and the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida.
Hamilton’s Gillian Nicola took an unusual route to becoming a folk/Americana singer-songwriter: trained in classical voice, Nicola spent her teens gigging in a classic rock cover band, singing Janis Joplin and Led Zeppelin before launching herself into alt-country when she began writing songs. Nicola’s music centres around her chameleonic vocals – at one moment with a hint of tobacco in her voice, the next outright rocking – strummed and finger picked guitar, and versatile, melodic songwriting. Nicola’s songs are often built around open and alternate guitar tunings that allow her to throw her music theory upbringing out the window. Nicola released her debut full-length album, Dried Flowers, on May 3, 2019. Produced by John Dinsmore, the album reached number 3 on the earshot! Folk/Roots/Blues Charts and has received CBC airplay nationwide.
Dried Flowers is “an alt-country-folk-rock masterclass in the affairs of the heart” – Hamilton Magazine.