I just played a set surrounded by olive oil vats and balsamic vinegars!
While The Unrefined Olive provided the savoury flavours, local musicians brought the melodic magic. I was lucky enough to be one of 60 local musicians selected to perform at this year’s Marvest, a new music festival on the margin of CityFolk, showcasing local musicians at different venues in the Glebe. As a quaint little space just off of Bank Street on Second Avenue, The Unrefined Olive is not your typical music venue, but it made for a unique experience.
As a folk artist living in Ottawa, playing at the Ottawa Folk Festival – rebranded as CityFolk – has long been a goal of mine. The festival – just like its Bluesfest counterpart, is known for supporting both emerging and more established local acts by providing them with the opportunity to present their music to new and larger audiences. But as the end of July came around and the programme was unveiled, I told myself I might have better luck next year. But to my surprise, I received an email a few weeks later and here I am.
I shared the afternoon with Danielle Allard, a local singer-songwriter with a unique style of jazz-infused folk-pop. This will sound cliche, but Danielle’s set felt like a breath of fresh air. Her beautiful voice paired with catchy melodies – I think I sang along to every song! She also played several covers – including crowd favourites like KT Tunstall. Her set definitely felt too short.
While I had met Danielle before, we had never performed together, and so we decided to give the audience a little surprise – a cover of Crazy by Gnarls Barkley. It’s always inspiring to see and hear other artists that are also your peers, but it’s even better when you can share your artistry. Unfortunately, I don’t think this was capture on video…so we may just have to do it again!
At the end of the day, I feel blessed to be an artist in this city and to be part of an amazing community of musicians and music supporters. I’m also very happy to have been part of the first CityFolk Marvest festival.
— Kristine St-Pierre (@kristinestp) September 19, 2015
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