Jeremy Dutcher Wows Hometown Audience

Category: music 396

Beaverbrook Art Gallery | Fredericton | May 11

Matt Carter

Jeremy Dutcher has been getting a lot of attention lately and it’s all been very well deserved. His groundbreaking album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, on which he reimagines archival recordings of Wolastoq songs through moving arrangements for piano and voice, has received international attention for both the music and story behind it all.

Making one of his first live appearances ahead of a busy summer schedule, Dutcher returned home to New Brunswick for a performance at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton. The event was offered as part of the gallery’s free public programming and attracted a capacity crowd for a memorable performance.

The evening began with a welcome from UNB’s elder-in-residence Imelda Perley followed by a few words and a song from Maggie Paul, a singer and historian from Passamaquoddy and St. Mary’s First Nations. Dutcher credits Paul’s work for helping inspire his own interest in preserving the songs and language of the Wolastoqey people.

“Our music never died,” said Paul, addressing the audience. “It was just put away for a reason. But that music is here today.”

The energy in the room was riding high long before Dutcher stepped out to the piano. Opening words from Perley, Paul and the Gallery’s John Leroux received multiple rounds of applause. People were very excited.

And then the show began.

“Hello everyone. I’m so happy to be back home,” said Dutcher as he stepped out in front of the audience to sit at his piano.

For the next 45 minutes Dutcher commanded the room, his performance highlighted occasionally by sampled archival recordings as well as a few guest appearances by well-known St. Mary’s First Nation dancer, Possesom Paul.

I can’t think of a better possible venue for this event to have happened. Dutcher’s voice and piano playing filled the room as we sat together surrounded by the work of artist Alex Janvier, his huge murals occupying each wall of the Gallery’s new pavilion while floor-to-ceiling windows offered a view of the St. John (Wolastoq) River.

Big thanks to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery for hosting this special performance, and even bigger thanks to Jeremy Dutcher for bringing this music to our attention in a truly beautiful way.

Related: Listen to a New Track by Jeremy Dutcher of Tobique First Nation

Related: Jeremy Dutcher Brings ‘Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa’ to NB

alt text

Related Articles