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Juno Award Winner to Perform at Providence

It takes a musician from Manitoba to tell our stories, and Cara Luft has proven she is up for the challenge. She will be sharing her music and stories at Providence College on November 17 in the Reimer Student Life Centre.

Born into a rich family tradition of folk music, it was only a matter of time before Luft set out on her own recording two EPs in her early twenties and the album “Tempting the Storm” in 2000, which was nominated for a Prairie Music Award. Based in Winnipeg, Luft made a name for herself with her elegant guitar-playing and distinct voice and as one of the founding members of the Juno award-winning band, the Wailin’ Jennys.

Luft will be participating in Manytones, a brand new evening concert series hosted by Providence College. The concert series was created by Dr. Karen Sunabacka, Assistant Professor in Music Theory and Composition, and she noted, “I wanted a place where students, faculty, and professional musicians would be invited to perform on the Providence campus.” Sunabacka said she felt it was important for students to have the opportunity to perform as well as meet professional musicians and watch live performances. “This is the best way to learn about performance. It is also a great way to be introduced to new and sometimes unfamiliar music.”

Sunabacka and Luft originally met when the Wailin’ Jennys were being formed and they quickly found they knew many of the same people from Winnipeg. Sunabacka has been following Luft’s career ever since, one that includes two albums with the Wailin’ Jennys, the second, “40 Days” which garnered a Juno for Best Roots Album (Group) in 2005. After three years of touring and recording with the trio, Luft made the decision to go solo and “The Light Fantastic,” her first album after the Wailin’ Jennys, has received warm critical and listener praise.

When Sunabacka was looking for a musician to speak to her Popular Music and Culture class, she naturally invited Luft to talk about life as a musician in Canada, recording, touring, and receiving recognition at the Junos.

Luft’s faith also informs her music as she incorporates her beliefs in her career but without marketing her music as distinctly Christian. Sunabacka noted that there will be some time after Luft speaks to the class for students to ask questions.

“This is a difficult life,” Sunabacka said, “there is a lot of touring, endless self-promotion, and it can sometimes be very discouraging. Many people aspire to it, but few succeed.” She said it’s important to hear from local musicians and let their stories inspire us to follow our own dreams. “The musicians from our own communities are able to speak to us in ways that those from other places cannot. They know what it is like to live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Canada and can touch us in ways that no one else can.”

Everyone is invited to see and hear Luft live at Providence College Reimer Student Life Centre on Tuesday, November 17 at 7 pm. “Music is always better live; we spend way too much time listening to iPods and not enough time listening to live music,” said Sunabacka.

Sunabacka hopes the Manytones series will become a regular part of the Providence experience with 3 or 4 concerts each year.

Tickets are only $5 for students, and $10 for non-students.

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