The fifth annual Winter Solstice Cabaret brings a seasonal celebration to Oak Bay United Church Dec. 21.
Part of the cabaret’s Southern Vancouver Island tour, the concert weaves the spirit of cabaret with music from around the world, a thread of theatre and dance and a dash of improvisation.
Founded in the Cowichan Valley, this year Cari Burdett and the Lila Music Centre take the music on the road for five performances. The only Greater Victoria show brings the cabaret to Oak Bay United Church Monday, Dec. 21.
“The solstice is an ancient tradition of changing from the dark to the light and I wanted to capture that with music,” Burdett says, noting the scope of the music on the lineup.
The evening will open – appropriately – with the Beatles’ Here Comes the Sun.
“I wanted to create a family-friendly concert that wasn’t all just Christmas music but that gives us a sense of time, and brings light at this dark time,” she says.
Burdett, whose first studio album, Magnolia, was nominated as Best World Music Album in the 2015 West Canadian Music Awards, brings a timeless blend of dramatic gypsy cabaret to the stage, leading listeners around the world through song and stories of the heart.
Also featured are nationally acclaimed Canadian artists Richard Moody, Miles Black and Anne Schaefer plus vocalist Sara Marreiros. Dance artist Marisa Coco Jackson will add movement to the mix.
“It brings another dimension,” Burdett says.
New songs include the Huron Carol sung in three different languages, French, English and Ojibwa, and Burdett’s version of Edith Piaf’s La Vie en Rose from her newly released Magnolia. In addition to familiar works like Silent Night, two Celtic carols sung in four-part harmony will move the audience, while other songs are original compositions from the artists, Burdett says.
Inspired by Yo-Yo Ma’s Songs of Joy and Peace album, Burdett wanted to bring the same sentiment to the concert.
“It’s a concert to feel good,” she says. “It’s a real mix of heart-opening songs.”
After repeatedly selling out in the Cowichan Valley, Burdett wanted to share the evening with others across the Island, and hopes the tour meets the same response, she says.
The audience is also a big part of the evening, and to celebrate the solstice, and the returning light, the band will invite the audience to join them in song, creating a one-of-a-kind, improvised sound sensation.
The Oak Bay concert begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance ($5 for children) and available locally at Ivy’s Bookshop or online at cariburdett.com or eventbrite.ca, or $20 at the door.