Fiddler and dancer April Verch will take the Miners’ Hall stage by storm with her band at 7:30 p.m. on April 16 in a concert that will blend Canadian, folk, jazz, American old-time, Latin American and bluegrass into a heart-racing repertoire matched only by the spectacle of Verch’s agile steps.
The acclaimed Ottawa Valley musician began stepdancing at age three, fiddling at age six, and has been winning competitions in both ever since, in addition to releasing seven albums.
Her family roots in Pembroke are deep, carrying with them a long tradition of music and dance shaped by the diverse roots of the immigrants who came to work in the region’s lumber camps.
By the time she was 10, Verch said, “that was it — I knew I wanted to play fiddle and dance for a living.”
She released her first album as a young teen in 1992, and began touring and teaching at fiddle camps. After high school she attended the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston, where she was exposed to and mastered a wide variety of musical styles.
Around that time, she was crowned Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Champion and Canadian Open Fiddle Champion, and opted to take the money she’d alotted for a second year at Berklee to kick start her career instead.
Now she tours with the April Verch Band, featuring Clay Ross on guitar and Cody Walters on bass and banjo. Both men are world-class musicians who can play the full spectrum of styles.
Walters hails from rural Kansas and has been playing with April for four years. Ross was selected to be the U.S. State Department’s “Jazz Ambasador,” and has toured different parts of the globe under that title. He joined Verch in 2009.
Guarunteed to be a highlight of the year, the April Verch Band was brought to us by the Rossland Council for Arts and Culture.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door, available at Out of the Cellar (2067 Columbia Ave.) or from the Charles Bailey, 1-866-368-9669.
Verch will give a $25 fiddle workshop earlier in the afternoon before her high-octane evening performance. Register with Nadine Tremblay at 231-7943 or firstname.lastname@example.org.