Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Iqaluit January 09, 2014 - 3:52 pm

Three of Canada’s best singer-songwriters coming to Nunavut

Multiple award-winning David Myles sure to charm northern audiences

LISA GREGOIRE
Originally from Fredericton and now living in Halifax, the charming and talented David Myles makes his way to Iqaluit March 15. (PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID MYLES)
Originally from Fredericton and now living in Halifax, the charming and talented David Myles makes his way to Iqaluit March 15. (PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID MYLES)
Ottawa-based country-folk singer-songwriter Lynn Miles coming to Iqaluit May 24. (PUBLICITY PHOTO)
Ottawa-based country-folk singer-songwriter Lynn Miles coming to Iqaluit May 24. (PUBLICITY PHOTO)
Dene troubadour Jay Gilday plays Iqaluit Jan. 18 and Rankin Inlet Jan. 23. (PUBLICITY PHOTO)
Dene troubadour Jay Gilday plays Iqaluit Jan. 18 and Rankin Inlet Jan. 23. (PUBLICITY PHOTO)

Alianait Arts Festival organizers announced this week a trio of upcoming concerts in Iqaluit including Juno award winners David Myles and Lynn Miles, whose similar last names are just a coincidence.

And, in an effort to present more concerts in other Nunavut communities, organizers have scheduled a concert in Rankin Inlet as well, “weather permitting, of course,” said Alianait executive director Heather Daley. “The weather has to cooperate.”

The first Iqaluit concert, on Jan. 18, will feature Dene singer-songwriter Jay Gilday, brother of another well-known Northwest Territories artist, Leela Gilday.

“I saw him at Northern Scene last year,” said Daley, referring to the festival put on by the National Arts Centre in Ottawa in April. “I knew I had to bring him up here.”

Gilday, a talented songwriter and formidable guitarist who makes his home in Edmonton, will bring his vagabond folk, blues, rock and soul to Inuksuk High School on Jan. 18 with opening band The Trade-offs.

Tickets for that show are now on sale at Arctic Ventures Marketplace.

He’s then scheduled to play Rankin’s Simon Allaituq School on Jan. 23.

David Myles, a CBC radio darling, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and new school crooner, comes to Iqaluit March 15.

Myles won a Juno award last year in the unlikely category of Rap Recording of the Year for the wildly popular radio hit “Inner Ninja” which he co-wrote with hip hop artist and fellow Maritimer Classified.

“Inner Ninja” went on to become one of Canada’s top selling hip hop singles of all time.

But minus the songwriting partnership with Classified, the classically trained Myles usually writes in a more traditional style delivering infectious pop hooks with jazz and blues influences along with soaring ballads, African and Latin inspired pieces and even a little rock and roll.

With five studio albums, a Christmas album, a live recording and numerous awards under his belt, including a win in the Great American Song Contest for “When it Comes My Turn,” the young man with the new baby has already proven himself to be an unforgettable force in the Canadian music scene.

People who see the lanky Myles perform are usually struck by two things – voice and charm. Now touring regularly, his voice has matured into a rich tenor and his stage presence is so warm and generous, audiences are inevitably enthralled.

“I saw him at the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival in [Nova Scotia] and I absolutely fell in love with him. You know, not literally. He’s married,” said Daley, with a chuckle. “But he really blew me away.”

She introduced herself to him there and asked whether he would be interested in coming to Nunavut and, since he’s never been, he told her yes. “I know he’s going to appeal to people up here.”

Lynn Miles, one of Canada’s most accomplished singer-songwriters, is another heavy hitter coming to Iqaluit May 24.

With 12 studio albums to her name and a host of awards including a Juno for Roots and Traditional Solo Album of the year and multiple Canadian Folk Music awards, Miles is a mainstay at festivals and soft-seat theatres across the country and beyond.

Her country-folk songs feature a roster of wayward characters at once down on their luck but buoyed by optimism. Now in her third decade of recording, she is a master on stage, comfortable and compelling from years of performing around North America.

With her most recent recording Downpour, released last year, Miles exemplifies the breadth and depth of Canada’s folk talent.

Daley said Lynn Miles has been to the western Arctic but this will be her first visit to Nunavut.

The Alianait concert series, now in its fourth year, is not a big money maker. Indeed, Daley says she struggles just to break even by getting travel and accommodation sponsorships to offset the costs.

But audiences have grown, regularly drawing 200 people or more for each show, and that base of support, and the positive feedback she gets after shows, has encouraged Daley to keep them going.

They’re drug- and alcohol-free, which means they provide good family entertainment, especially during the months after Christmas, Daley said. And they offer great role models to aspiring young artists.

The Rankin concert will be presented by Alianait festival coordinator Kathleen Merritt, someone Daley is hoping will one day take over as executive director.

As in all shows, children under 12, accompanied by an adult, as well as elders, get in free. Advance tickets for adults are $22 and $25 at the door and tickets for youth (aged 13-18) are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.

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