Wednesday concert honours the winter solstice in song

Winter Solstice concert is Wednesday, Dec. 21 at Oak Bay United Church

Cari Burdett and friends bring their Winter Solstice concert to Oak Bay Wednesday

Amid the bustle of the holidays, next week brings the chance to relax and enjoy a magical performance of Winter Solstice Music at Oak Bay United Church.

Cari Burdett, 2016’s Vancouver Island Vocalist of the Year, acclaimed Fado singer Sara Marreiros and their talented friends weave acoustic music with movement and voice, providing warmth and peace on the longest night of the year, Wednesday, Dec. 21.

“Really the Solstice show is a place where it doesn’t matter our spiritual beliefs, we want it to be accessible to everyone,” Burdett says. At the same time, “it’s also time for reflection,” noting Jane Siberry’s Calling All Angels will be dedicated to those not here any more. “We want to give a moment to (think about) those who have passed on.”

The setting at Oak Bay United is ideal for the concert. “It’s exquisite. It’s one of my favourite venues,” Burdett says. “We want the feeling of intimacy … It has gorgeous acoustics and it’s also beautiful with the cuppola and the stained glass.”

Those who took in last year’s sold-out show will enjoy a few new musicians this year. Among those on stage are West My Friend bassist Alex Remple – “also an amazing singer,” Burdett says – and acclaimed musicians Richard Moody (violin), Adrian Dolan (piano, accordion, guitar) and Anne Schaefer (piano, guitar, vocals). Dancer Marisa Jackson adds movement to complete the sensory experience.

“What I’m focussing on this year is the harmonies,” Burdett says.

At the same time, with classics from Barbara Streisand, Judy Garland and Bing Crosby, “we’re also bringing in a bit of fun.”

The cabaret-style evening features original music, popular seasonal songs, traditional carols and dance. Music is gleaned from around the world and mixed with touch of theatre, a dash of dance and a pinch of improvisation.

“We’re really excited about the music we have chosen,” Burdett says.

Gorgeous songs performed a cappella with close-knit, mesmerizing harmonies – Riu Riu, a Spanish Villancico, Siberian Snows, a Russian folk song, a classic Fado performed by Marreiros, and a French 1940s classic, Mon Coeur est un Violin, that features Moody’s violin and Burdett’s voice – are interwoven are Christmas favourites, Es ist Ein Ros, Sleigh Ride and Carol of the Bells, bringing a joyful performance of exceptional winter acoustic music.

When & where

• Cari Burnett’s Winter Solstice concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21, at Oak Bay United Church 1355 Mitchell St. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance from Ivy’s Bookshop and Eventbrite or $25 at the door.

For information, see www.cariburdett.com/solstice