No one from the local music community is busier at this time of year than Daniel Lapp. That’s a good thing for music fans and organizations who stand to benefit from his generous spirit. The Christmas season is when Lapp springs into action and leads events of all kinds, including those with the goal of helping those in need.
The talented fiddler-singer-bandleader has four performances on tap during the upcoming week, all of which are worthy of mention. Up first is It’s a Wonderful Night, which gets underway at 7 tonight in the ballroom of the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa (1999 Country Club Way).
Lapp will be joined for a set of Christmas favourites by some of his closest collaborators, including Colleen Eccleston, Dustin Bentall, Oliver Swain, Danuel Tate, Adam Dobres, Peter Dowse and Jaime Troy. Talk about a star-studded roster of roots legends from the area.
The Belmont Jazz Band will open the evening, with the first of two sets by Lapp and Co. commencing at 7:45 p.m. General admission tickets are $35, with a VIP option priced at $75. In the spirit of the season, non-perishable goods are being collected for the Goldstream Food Bank. For information, visit eventbrite.ca or phone 250-391-7160.
Those unable to catch tonight’s event will have three other opportunities to experience Lapp in action next week. His annual — and very popular — Home For Christmas series gets underway with a 7:30 p.m. performance at Alix Goolden Performance Hall (907 Pandora Ave.) on Friday, followed by a 2 p.m. matinée and 7:30 p.m. performance on Saturday.
The list of performers at Home For the Christmas tops 175 musicians, from guests Maureen Washington and Neil Osborne of 54-40 to students in Lapp’s Joy of Life Choir, Folkestra and B.C. Fiddle Orchestra. The event is a must-see staple of the season.
Tickets for all shows are $12/$20 through ticketfly.com. They are also available by phone at 250-386-5311, at the front desk of the Victoria Conservatory of Music (900 Johnson St.) or Ivy’s Bookshop (2188 Oak Bay Ave.). Representatives from the Dandelion Society will be on hand at each Home For Christmas concert and accepting donations.
Another popular annual event with an eye on the holidays is on tap Sunday, Dec. 18, at the Dave Dunnett Community Theatre (2121 Cadboro Bay Rd.) in Oak Bay High School.
Uncle Wiggly’s fourth annual Tribute to the Blues Songs of Christmas will feature a setlist of songs by Eric Clapton, Charles Brown, B.B. King, Etta James, Louis Jordan and Big Joe Turner, among others. The show will also feature original Christmas material written by singer Hank Lionhart and his co-horts in Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band.
Joining the all-star roster of Lionhart, Mark Comerford, Andy Graffiti, Lonnie Glass, Wynn Gogol, Dave Rowse, Wayne Kozak, Bryn Badel and Deb Rhymer is special guest David Vest.
The event gets underway at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 ($20 for Victoria Jazz Society members, seniors and students) at the Royal McPherson box office. They can also be purchased at rmts.bc.ca or by phone at 250-386-6121.
Santas Anonymous will have donation boxes on site Sunday to collect funds for children in need.
Those who can’t make the show on Sunday can catch The Blues Songs of Christmas at Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre (2243 Beacon Ave.) on Monday. For more information on that performance, visit marywinspear.ca.
Vancouver Island-bred indie rockers Wolf Parade teased fans this week with several Instagram posts showing their current studio set-up. The group members revealed they are in the studio working on new material that is pegged for release in 2017.
The album will be the first full-length collection of new material from the popular act, which broke up shortly after the release of 2010’s Expo 86. Wolf Parade reformed last year and released an EP of new songs, followed by a tour that brought them to Victoria’s Rifflandia festival, among other high-profile events.
An interesting country-music concert announcement may have slipped through the cracks last week, due to the fast-approaching holiday season. It’s worth a reminder.
Tanya Tucker, the country icon from Texas, will be making an incredibly rare Vancouver Island performance at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre in March. The 10-time Grammy Award nominee and hitmaker behind the songs Delta Dawn, What’s Your Mama’s Name, Can I See You Tonight and Two Sparrows in a Hurricane will perform March 24 as part of her North American tour. At this point, the Nanaimo date is her only Vancouver Island appearance.
Earlier this year, Tucker was given the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award by the Academy of Country Music for her 40-plus years of service to country music.
Tickets are $65. They can be purchased by phone (250-754-8550) or online (porttheatre.com). They are also available at the Port Theatre box office (125 Front St.) in Nanaimo.