Mission to host world musicians

Annual folk festival at Fraser River Heritage Park runs July 25-27

The Mission Folk Music Festival is set to begin in a week.

Organizers and volunteers are putting together some final touches in the program, and festival founder, Francis Edwards, is excited about the talent that will be on display at Fraser River Heritage Park (July 25-27).

He is looking forward to special guests Dervish from Ireland, and Quartetto Gelato, with members from Canada and Poland.

Formed in 1989, Dervish has been enchanting crowds around their world with their rollicking reels and melodious melodies. The band is now composed of six members: Brian McDonagh (mandola), Cathy Jordan (vocals, bodhran, bones), Thomas Morrow (fiddle), Michael Holmes (bouzouki), Shane Mitchell (accordion), and Liam Kelly (flute, whistles).

The group released its 14th album last year and signed a publishing deal the year before that.

Quartetto Gelato has enchanted audiences worldwide with its exotic blend of musical virtuosity, artistic passion, and humour for almost two decades.

Peter Do Sotto is the founder of the group. He is a seasoned classical violinist and a gypsy virtuoso.

Alexander Sevastian is a four-time world accordion champion who emigrated to Canada from Russia in 2001.

Elizabeth (Liza) McLellan brings her classical charm and sought-after skills as cellist. Talented multi-instrumentalist Colin Maier rounds out the group on oboe.

Korea’s Dulsori is another group to keep an eye on, said Edwards.

The Dulsori ensemble works with the percussion phenomenon known as “pungmul,” used by Korean farmers to summon and celebrate the elementary natural forces. Their instruments imitate the sounds of the natural world – thunder, lightning, rain and wind. Through synchronized drumming, the ensemble accumulates energy, thus asking for exuberant joy. Through the throbbing of the drums they rekindle forgotten Korean celebratory rituals in accordance with their modern musical feeling, transforming the old tao philosophy into a passionate musical act.

For tickets, and a complete list of performers at the festival, visit missionfolkmusicfestival.ca.

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