Meridian defines the lines that circle the earth, constantly crossing over and connecting with each other.
Steve and Vivian Ruskin, in their more than 30 years as a duo, have connected and been influenced by many musicians and genres along the way, and share a mutual love for numerous musical styles. They slide comfortably from ballads to blues; celtic to contemporary; and traditional to originals.
The duo will be playing at Willie’s Cafe this Saturday at 7 p.m. Steve grew up with extensive classical piano training, and later studied jazz and improvisation. His playing styles grew to include rhythm and blues as well as ragtime and rock.
He even enjoyed a stint of piano playing for silent movies in a ’70s theatre in his hometown of Toronto. Although he still loves to play an acoustic piano it’s difficult to pack one in a car.
His more portable keyboards have opened up a world of instrumental opportunity allowing Meridian to choose the most effective sounds for each song. Even a traditional grand piano if needed! Steve also plays a mean harmonica.
Vivian grew up in Victoria in a musical family with roots steeped in Country and Western and the mountain music of her Blue Ridge Mountain raised grandmother. As a child, she sang with her father who taught her guitar and how to sing harmonies. She later switched her focus to following in the footsteps of Joan Baez, Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan though sadly, not quite achieving the same level of fame.
She has now added the sweet sounds of mandolin to the mix. Steve and Viv are also members of the Comox Valley band, 5Play (www.5Play.ca) and are into their fourth year of playing gigs up and down the Island.
Meridian presents an always-entertaining musical experience and keeps their audiences wondering what the next song will bring.
Check out Meridian at Willie’s Cafe (2380 South Island Highway). For reservations call (250) 923-4886