Calvin Cairns (left) and Paul O’Brien will create another memorable evening at a Gardeners Green folk concert May 25.

Fiddle fanciers’ delight continues

Calvin Cairns will be sharing the stage with Irish guitarist and bouzouki player Paul O’Brien

A spring season of Gardeners Green folk music events focusing on the fiddle will continue with a house concert, on Saturday, May 25, with Calvin Cairns from Victoria, another true master of the instrument.

Cairns will be sharing the stage with Irish guitarist and bouzouki player Paul O’Brien.

You may already be familiar with Cairns from some of his previous adventures. In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s he began his musical theatre career as part of the Caravan Stage Company, touring North America in horse-drawn wagons, and he has since written, performed and directed for numerous theatre companies. As a member of Canadian folk institution Stringband, Cairns toured extensively in Canada and all over the world, including Russia and Eastern Europe.

But he is perhaps best known for his hugely popular band The Romaniacs, wherein he combined his Ukrainian background with other Eastern European folk, gypsy jazz and pop influences to create a unique style of ethno-fusion. This non-stop tongue-in-cheek polka party played at every major Canadian folk music festival, performed with the Halifax and Thunder Bay symphonies, and recorded two albums.

Cairns has also performed and recorded with Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Cafe, The Bills, Connie Kaldor, Spirit of the West, and Bob Bossin amongst many others, and even played with Pete Seeger at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver.

In the mid ‘90s, Cairns began living and teaching on Vancouver Island, and he currently teaches folk fiddling at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. He regularly travels to teach fiddle in remote First Nations communities of B.C. and the Northwest Territories. He plays in the Victoria Civic Orchestra and continues to work with the Caravan Stage Company during the summer.

And somewhere between all this, he has managed to find time to come to Merville to give a concert.

Meanwhile, Paul O’Brien immigrated to Canada from Ireland in 2003, although he still tours regularly throughout Europe and the British Isles.

He comes from a musical family and he has been playing and performing since childhood. Besides being a master of Celtic instrumental music, he has a big repertoire of Irish songs as well, so there will no doubt be choruses for you sing along with.  Cairns and O’Brien put on an entertaining show, so it will be another memorable evening at Gardeners Green.

As this concert will be in a private home, seating will be limited. Tickets are $20 ($10 kids) and need to be reserved in advance, so give them a ring at 337-5337 for details and reservations. If they’re outside, leave a message. Tickets include the usual dessert buffet and they’ll also have their popular charity raffle with great prizes.  The ticket money all goes to the performers, and the raffle will continue to raise money for the Ursula Joy Trust Fund.