ORIGINAL, FOLK-INSPIRED ACOUSTIC MUSIC TO QUENCH THE THIRSTY SOUL

GRACIAS SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE !! 

Thursday, February 11, 2016 was a very special night for Anna and I. After a lovely introduction by Jaci Winters (Amistad Canada), we took to the stage of the Santa Ana Theatre at La Biblioteca Publica in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for a sold out concert in this beautiful 100 seat historic theatre.   

We performed an entirely original 90 minute set, including several songs from the new album with myself on acoustic guitar and lead vocals, and Anna on keyboard and harmony vocals. 

Thanks to our generous audience, we were able to raise almost $1,500 which will fund Biblioteca Scholarships so that deserving Mexican youth can further their education.   

Thanks to James Langham (Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables) for the excellent sound and lighting, and to Bernard Czelakowski and crew from San Miguel de Allende for cinematography. 

SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE CONCERT 

We arrived in the beautiful colonial Mexican town of San Miguel de Allende last night and are now busy preparing for our February 11 benefit concert for Biblioteca Scholarships. Our concert is one in a series of special events celebrating   the Biblioteca's 50th anniversary at its current location. Constructed in 1734, the building houses not only the library, but the Santa Ana Theatre, where we will be performing as well.  

Tickets are $200 pesos with proceeds going directly to the Biblioteca. Your generous donations support their mission of supporting Mexican youth and remaining the culture heart of San Miguel de Allende by supporting La Biblioteca Scholarship programs and are eligible for a Canadian, US or Mexican tax receipt.

THANK YOU COCONUT POINT  

On Wednesday, January 13, around 50 generous souls from the Residences at Coconut Point in Estero, Florida gathered to join us in a   celebration of music and community to raise funds for the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida. As mentioned in my last blog entry, Harry Chapin was not only a prolific songwriter and performer, but an ardent advocate of hunger relief programs not only across the U.S., but worldwide.

With Anna on keyboards (thanks to a loaner from local musician Ron Balogh) and I on acoustic guitar, we performed a two hour benefit concert which raised enough funds to distribute over $7000 worth of food to the needy in Southwest Florida. Our friend, fellow musician and food bank Chairperson, Keith Scoggins started the evening with a talk about the food bank, and an inspiring opening set. Keith also joined us for a rousing sing-along rendition of Neil Young's Helpless at evening's end. Special thanks go out to Keith's hard working partner Diane Sovern for organizing the event, to Leigh Piscitelli for her excellent photos and video, as well as one of our favourite performers, Ft. Myers, Florida-based Americana musician Roy Schneider for the generous offer of his sound system.

Although poverty may not be the first word that comes to mind in association with Florida, the sad reality is that just beyond the monied tourist areas and gated communities, there are many working poor families in need. In this regard, it is worth noting that over 50% of the food distributed by the food bank sustains children and seniors, with the balance to those with disabilities, the working poor, and homeless.

In summary, the evening was a testament to the generosity of the residents of Coconut Point in Estero, Florida and their ongoing commitment to sharing the blessings so many of us enjoy. This was our third opportunity to perform for them, and we look forward to doing it again next year.

HARRY CHAPIN FOOD BANK BENEFIT CONCERT 

As the holidays fade into memory, both the snow, and the temperature are falling here in Ontario. Anna and I are busy with rehearsals for our benefit concert for the Harry Chapin Food Bank in Southwest Florida on January 13. I must confess that I am looking forward to the warmer temperatures, and reuniting with our good friends at Coconut Point in Estero, including Food Bank Chairman, Keith Scoggins, who, being a fine musician in his own right, will be opening for us.

For you younger folks, Harry Chapin was a cinematographer, playwright, poet, songwriter and ardent advocate, fighting against what he saw as injustices in our society. He was best known as a prolific songwriter, recording artist and performer who played more than 300 concerts a year. He was the author of such enduring classics as Taxi, Circle, and Cats in the Cradle.

Over the years, Harry demonstrated an amazing personal commitment, giving the proceeds of every other concert to organizations fighting hunger. Hunger became Harry’s cause and passion, discussing ending hunger at all appearances, lobbying Washington constantly for help, and aiding in the establishment of the World Hunger Commission. He was the founder of World Hunger Year (WHY), an international organization that brings grassroots organizations together to fight hunger. 

He also established the hunger hotline in New York City (a service that remains open for all hungry people in the city) and the Long Island Cares Food Bank, where his widow, Sandy, still serves on the board of directors. 

In 1981, Harry died suddenly and tragically in an automobile crash on the Long Island Expressway. He was scheduled to complete another benefit concert that night. 

We are honoured to be returning to Southwest Florida to perform at this benefit concert for the Harry Chapin Food Bank. Although this is a private event, you can participate by contributing to your local food bank, either in Southwest Florida, or anywhere in the world through The Global Food Banking Network.  

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS 

What an amazing musical year it has been!  2015 started with a tour down California's central coast and recording the first tracks for the new album. February brought a return to our beloved Costa Rica and a number of shows in the Guanacaste region. Returning to Canada in the spring, I focused my attention on completion of the new album, as well as a number of Ontario shows. With the release of "The Great Unknown" in September came radio airplay on folk and roots programs across the globe, as well as tours of Alberta, B.C., and Ontario... not to mention my 64th birthday!!

And now, sitting by the proverbial fire in our home town and writing a batch of new songs, it is time to reflect and give thanks to all our friends, fans, fellow musicians, promotors, media, and everyone who supported us over this past year !!  Many blessings to all of you. May there be peace in your world, and across the entire globe !!

BRITISH COLUMBIA TOUR 

Hi Folks, After our success September tour of Alberta and B.C., Anna and I are back in beautiful British Columbia for another quick tour.  We will be playing in Roberts Creek on the Sunshine Coast, and in Vancouver. Check my show listings for details, and come check us out if you happen to be in the area.

THANK YOU FOLK AND ROOTS RADIO AND FANS 

Sending out a big THANK YOU to folk and roots radio DJ's today. THE GREAT UNKNOWN is now receiving airplay on over 30 stations across the globe. Check out my RADIO page for a complete list.

Please tune in to, and support these stations that hold the torch of positive, tolerant, grassroots music high in these troubled times... and remember, you can make requests online with most stations.  

 

INTRODUCING "THE GREAT UNKNOWN" 

Ken is pleased to announce the release of his 6th album on September 23, 2015. Titled THE GREAT UNKNOWN the album was recorded with GYPSY STARFISH, and has been receiving extensive airplay and favourable reviews on folk and roots programs across the globe.

THE GREAT UNKNOWN features 10 original folk, roots, and country rock compositions. GYPSY STARFISH are KEN DUNN (lead vocal, harmonica, acoustic & electric guitar), ANNA GREEN (backing vocal), MARK MARIASH (drums), DEAN DROUILLARD (electric guitar), RANDY MARTIN (bass), TYLER BECKETT (fiddle), KEIRA MCARTHUR (cello), and DREW McIVOR (keyboard).

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Desiree Dawson with Jody Okabe, Ken Dunn & Anna Green

Gumboot Cafe, 1057 Roberts Creek Road, Roberts Creek, BC

DESIRÉE DAWSON

Desirée Dawson hails from Surrey, British Columbia. You might know her not only as the warm-hearted girl who won CBC's 2016 Searchlight Competition but also as your local singing Yin Yoga teacher. Desirée’s debut album, Wild Heart, came out February 2017 and has been playing on CBC radio 2 since its release. She has recently hit 1million streams on her song Hide on Spotify! Desirée makes a point of having every song be honest and emotionally charged. She is very passionate about healing as a community and connection, using the power of melodies and lyrics to impact listeners. Through this, her music has managed to travel the world over.

JODY OKABE

Jody Okabe is a queer, Tsimshian, Japanese, and French Canadian artist and musician born and raised in Northern BC. She discovered her voice in her late 20's through organizing community open mic nights with friends in Merritt BC. Ever since then she keeps singing because she believes in the power of music to heal, and to connect us to this earth, our hearts, and to each other. She currently resides in Vancouver, the unceded, ancestral, and occupied, traditional lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Watuth), Stó:lō, Shíshálh (Sechelt) and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations of the Coast Salish peoples.

KEN DUNN

The message conveyed by folk troubadour Ken Dunn is one of "hope, and a stubborn belief in humanity" according to a review by Sweden's Thirsty Boots. For the past several decades, he has inspired audiences across Canada, the U.S., and Central America, sharing the bill with folk and roots icons as diverse as Jerry Jeff Walker, Willie P. Bennett, and Garnet Rogers.

Whether performing solo with acoustic guitar, in a duo with partner Anna Green, or as a member of his band, Gypsy Starfish, "Ken's superb musicianship and sensitive lyrics always create a memorable performance" according to the Harry Chapin Food Bank, for whom Ken has performed an annual benefit concert for the past 5 years.

Ken has released 7 critically acclaimed and award-winning albums of original music, including 2015's "The Great Unknown" which won Best Americana Album at the Academia Music Awards in Los Angeles, and 2017's "Wondrous Beauty" which has been described as "a stew of wonderful notes stirred perfectly" by New York roots music journal, No Depression, and charted in the top 10 on Canadian folk radio.

Ken currently makes his home on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast with his wife and musical partner, Anna Green and the couple's two Bichon Frisés, Louie and Rosie.

ANNA GREEN

Anna began playing guitar and piano as a child in her homeland of Australia. A versatile multi-instrumentalist, she began performing and recording with partner, Ken Dunn over a decade ago, living and travelling across Canada, the U.S., and Central America.

Adept on guitar, keyboards, and ukulele, Anna's formidable vocal abilities are also evident in performance, and on a number of Ken's recordings, where, according to a review by The Bank Theatre, her "beautiful harmony vocals add an ethereal vibe".

Tickets $15 (plus service charge) online at: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3358526

or $20 at the door

Ken Dunn with Piper Hayes

Artbar, 15 Colbourne Street, Hamilton, Ontario

B.C. Folk Troubadour Ken Dunn returns to Hamilton, Ontario for an evening of original acoustic music to quench your thirsty soul! Ken will be joined by partner Anna Green, with special guest Piper Hayes. Tickets $10 available online or at the door. Licensed under LLBO event.