Once you have experienced a Gospel Lunch with Ken Whiteley, you will want to savour more. Whiteley, one of Canada’s most respected roots musicians and recording producers, always presents an open-ended range of musical styles and forms of spiritual expression at these Sunday afternoon Gospel sessions.
This month’s Gospel Lunch Matinée, entitled Sabbath of Songs, features a guest lineup including Aviva Chernick. Those who have experienced Aviva Chernick’s intoxicatingly soulful vocals never forget where they heard them first. Whether in her new, CFMA nominated, self-titled project of original devotional songs When I Arrived You Were Already There, as the lead singer with the two-time Juno Award-nominated world music ensemble Jaffa Road, or singing the Balkan Judeo-Spanish repertoire, Aviva’s passionate voice blurs the lines between sacred and secular, asking, isn’t it all holy?
Also featured is Lenka Lichtenberg creates uniquely Canadian world music, channeling the rich, multicultural and intercultural Toronto soundscapes, and her own East European heritage. With a voice for the ages, this award-winning artist (2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards -Traditional Singer of the Year) melds innovative expressions of traditional song with her own contemporary compositions, combining folk, jazz and world into a unique celebration of her roots. A child star in her native Prague, Czech Republic, she is a published composer, multilingual vocalist (mostly in Yiddish, English, Czech, and Hebrew), and bandleader with 7 solo CD releases.
Feature guests include Dave Wall, an accomplished vocalist with an impressive musical career as lead vocalist of the rhythm and blues band Bourbon Tabernacle Choir. Wall has recorded with artists such as Big Sugar, The Barenaked Ladies, and Lorraine Segato. Wall takes us into the world of traditional Jewish traditional music, from which he is lead voice of Toronto’s Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band and Winnipeg’s From Both Ends of the Earth.
Your host Ken Whiteley’s newest solo CD, “Freedom Blues” is steeped in African American blues and gospel music. This recording abounds in glorious vocal harmonies, in the cry of the slide guitar, in the density of complex horn arrangements and the wail of the Hammond organ, all anchored by the heartbeat rhythm of bass and drums. It confronts the social forces of power in our society yet affirms our struggle, individually and collectively, to make the world, and ourselves, better.