Quinn and Qristina Bachand have a grand scheme to fill the Dave Dunnet theatre in what’s become a traditional summer homecoming concert.
Hot off a Canada Day gig at Saanich’s picnic in Gorge Park, the pair bring together their finest friends and cohorts in a musical showcase.
“We always try to do a show when we’re around, especially now,” said Qristina, who was living in the Netherlands but is now in Ireland pursuing a masters degree in traditional Irish music performance. Quinn lives in Boston finishing a bachelor of music on full scholarship at Berklee College of Music.
“To arrange times when we’re both home and all of that, the visits are few and far between. Whenever we’re around we try to play,” Qristina said.
“Playing at home is different than playing anywhere else. You feel a lot of support in the whole Victoria community. We see the same faces and friends in the audience.
It’s not unusual to spot school teachers, former music teachers, friends and students in the crowd.
“Victoria’s not really that big a place,” she says with a laugh. “Growing up it feels bigger than it does as an adult and coming back. Especially the music community is so small, you get to catch up with people.”
To polish her Irish brand in the country itself is “amazing” she says, but Qristina’s happy to spend the summer in Canada.
“Since we moved away, we are only here a couple of times a year. I am also very busy with other projects, including my gypsy jazz group, Brishen. I am in Rochester right now, my band Brishen and I will be performing at the Rochester International Jazz Festival. When I’m not in school I like to collaborate with other musicians,” Quinn said. “It’s great to have this opportunity to perform for our local friends and fans plus we are excited about presenting some of our new material.”
The evening promises something for all the senses with award-winning traditional Irish music, dance and song alongside Qristina and Quinn’s take on Celtic roots.
“Our regular followers can expect the traditional music we’re known for, fiddle, guitar, banjo, traditional songs and such, as well music from our latest album Little Hinges. We’ll be doing popular songs such as What You Do With What You’ve Got and Crooked Jack, which are crowd favourites,” Quinn said. “We’ll do other songs from the album, as well as some new songs.”
The pair performs with the full band, including Jesse Boland on percussion, “a fantastic drummer” who also is in Towers & Trees, Charlie Gannon on electric guitar, also known for his work with the local fiddle ensemble Coastline, and Paddy Mulcahy from Limerick, Ireland on synthesizer. Coastline will open the show as special guests and dancers from the O’Brian-O’Connor School of Irish Dance will fill the stage.
“They’ve danced at our shows before, but they’re always strapped for space,” Quinn said. “That will not be a problem at the Dave Dunnet theatre, as the stage is huge.”
The award-winning singer-songwriter, musician siblings grew up sharing music, honing their skills on three albums together – the most recent in 2015.
“It’ll be nice to play with Quinn again because we don’t get to play together as much as we have in the past,” Qristina said.
“In a way it’s good, it keeps it very fresh. It makes us appreciate each other even more and how we are able to connect musically. “It just kind of falls into place.”
The pair kicked off summer with the Gorge Canada Day Picnic before heading off to Ontario to teach at the Leahy Music Camp, then the Vancouver Island MusicFest in Comox with the full band July 9 to be all geared up for the July 15 concert in Oak Bay.
“We’re also performing at the Harrison Festival of the Arts and doing a CBC Musical Nooner in downtown Vancouver. Qristina and I will be doing a three-week tour of Ontario in August. We’ll be performing at Goderich Celtic Roots Festival and Kingsville Folk Festival, and doing concerts in various parts of Southwestern Ontario, including a show at Hugh’s Room in Toronto.”
Tickets for the annual summer concert are available in advance for $20 at Ivy’s Bookshop and Lyle’s Place.