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‘tour de Fort’ lineup features something for everyone

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Seven concerts, seven different styles of musical entertainment.

“tour de Fort” is back for the 2000/01 season with a mixture of performances that feature eclectic, brass, country, Celtic, a capella, and dance theatre.

“We’ve tried to appeal to different age groups and different musical and theatrical tastes,” tour de Fort president Wendy Brunetta said yesterday.

Its season will kick off Oct. 23 at the Townshend Theatre with Joelle Rabu (Eclectic mix), followed by “Brass Rings” and their Christmas show Nov. 28.

In January, two concerts will take to the stage here, including country music singer Lisa Brokop (Jan. 16) and Celtic group “The Tiller’s Folly” (Jan. 26).

“Streetnix,” an a capella quartet, hits the stage Feb. 22, followed by “Motus O” Dance Theatre on March 21 and then Tyler Yarema “Swing and Boogie Woogie” on March 27.

All concerts are sold out to passport holders.

“The people who have purchased passports can pick them up at the first concert on Oct. 23,” tour de Fort publicist Wanda Botsford noted Tuesday.

“The people who missed the passport sales can try to find someone who isn’t using their passport for any given concert,” she added, also noting they’re working on bringing in some extra concerts that will have tickets up for grabs by the public.

Joelle Rabu, who is bilingual, went from an unknown waitress to a singing star in Vancouver in 1983 and was nominated for a west coast Juno Award for Best Female Vocalist of the Year in 1988.

Her bilingual charm has led to command performances at Parliament Hill and the National Arts Centre. She also has performed with the Vancouver, Kamloops, Phoenix, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestras.

“Brass Rings” is comprised of five musicians, including Ross Turner, the principal trumpet of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra. The band incorporates the trumpet, horn, trombone, and tuba into their “Time for Christmas” concert.

Lisa Brokop, 26, became a full-time country professional at age 15 and recorded her debut album, “My Love,” in 1991. She has garnered the British Columbia Country Music Association (BCCMA) Horizon Award, Gospel Performer of the Year, and Female Vocalist of the Year.

She also has captured the organization’s Album of the Year and Entertainer of the Year awards.

“The Tiller’s Folly” ensemble hails from the west coast and has toured extensively throughout their native province of British Columbia. “The View From Here,” the group’s debut album, helped the band to a 1999 Group of the Year nomination by the B.C. Country Music Association.

Their latest CD—“Ghosts of the Mighty Fraser”—propelled them to another Group of the Year nomination for 2000.

“Streetnix,” a four-member group from Saskatoon, works within the parameters of a cappella music. Their reputation for presenting an exciting and polished show keeps the demand growing for their music.

Over 90-minutes of repertoire and choreography, coupled with original songs and a touch of humour, ensures audiences will be entranced by this quartet’s versatility.

“Motus O” Dance Theatre, which performed here as part of the “Kids and Company” concert lineup in 1998, will thrill the tour de Fort audience with their exuberant blend of theatrics, ballet, modern, and contact improvisational movement.

Their full length production, “Delusions,” will take a look at the quirks and turmoils of the topsy-turvy world we live in.

Finally, Tyler Yarema is a high-energy pianist-vocalist from Toronto who is joined in his band by a trumpeter, baritone saxophonist, acoustic guitarist, bassist, drummer, background vocalists, and cornetist.

Yarema’s band has become one of the most sought-after swing, boogie-woogie groups in Toronto.

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