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Spirit of Rasputin's presents - Stars and Seas: Stories & Songs From Far and Away
8:00 PM on Saturday Jan. 26th
Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill Ave. N.
Price: $20 advance

Spirit of Rasputin's, Ottawa’s folk music society, presents a concert of story and song that will carry you over the seas and among the stars.

Storyteller Jacqui du Toit takes you to the vast frozen North with stories of Sedna, the Inuit sea goddess, then to West Africa, home of Mami Wata, the African matriarchal water deity, and on to the majestic Andes of South America.

The music will speak of fire and ice, ocean waves and constellations that link us all, with drum rhythms echoing the heartbeat of all living things.

Storyteller Jacqui du Toit is an award-winning professional theatrical performer, dancer and writer. Born in South Africa, she has travelled and performed around the world and now lives in Ottawa. Jacqui is co-owner of the Origin Arts and Community Centre, home of her company 8th Generation Storytelling. She is a dynamic artist who leads her audiences effortlessly to times and places where anything is possible.

Janine Dudding and Susan Sweeney Hermon make up the Celtic harp duo Acacia Lyra. They sing in English, French, Spanish and Gaelic and accompany themselves on guitar as well as harp. Their repertoire includes their own compositions anda rich collection of traditional ballads ranging from the Scottish Hebrides to the Peruvian Altiplano.

Jack Pyl, master of exotic instruments, describes himself as "a flâneur, artiste manqué and mal vivant". He claims to have been born in doubtful circumstances, and gives his address as an abandoned oil drum on the outskirts of an obscure Northern Ontario backwater, which he shares with a small but devoted coterie of furry creatures and his collection of antique dentures. He likes backrubs and dislikes Brussels sprouts.

Marc Vautour graduated from a small instrument — the harmonica — to a large one — the didgeridoo. While practicing blues harp he blew out some reeds, and then found that the price of harmonicas had just taken a big jump. He happened to be visiting the former Museum of Civilization when a workshop in playing the didgeridoo was announced. He loved the sound and the expressivity of the instrument and taught himself the basics with the help of the Internet. “I became fascinated with overtones, which you can bring out on a good didgeridoo and a good jaw harp. Of course, both of these instruments can also be played percussively and more frequently are. These and Celtic style harmonica are now my main forms of musical expression."

Some seats may be available for cash at the door, but capacity is limited, so advance purchase is recommended.