Teen singing with soul

By: Tammy Rollie

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jun 11, 2014 08:28 am

Okotoks teen singer/songwriter Jake Vance will perform at The Soul Cafe in the Holy Cross Lutheran Church on June 13.
Okotoks teen singer/songwriter Jake Vance will perform at The Soul Cafe in the Holy Cross Lutheran Church on June 13.
Jordan Verlage/OWW

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An 18-year-old folk singer hoping to make an international name for himself has no qualms about not getting paid for his next gig.

Holy Trinity Academy Grade 12 student Jake Vance will perform in one of Okotoks’ newest musical venues, The Soul Café, at the Holy Cross Lutheran Church June 13 to help raise money for the Foothills Fetal Alcohol Society.

The venue was created to give new and lesser-known foothills and Calgary musicians a venue to perform at while supporting a different charity each month and Vance said he is grateful for the opportunity.

“It’s for charity so any good cause is a great thing to play,” said Vance. “It’s exposure, too. I went to the last one and there was a ton of people there.”

Vance is becoming a regular presence on stages across the foothills and Calgary. He’s opened for The Fugitivies and T. Buckley Band and performed at The Stop Coffee House and Gathering Place in Black Diamond and Loft 112 in Calgary.

He placed second in the 2014 Ship & Anchor and Calgary Folk Music Festival sonic youth songwriting contest and is working on his first EP featuring six songs, which he expects will be released later this month.

Vance said he’s always had a love of folk music because he enjoys telling stories.

“It’s just one of the purest forms of music,” he said. “It really showcases talent for songwriting if you can just tell a story and keep the audience trapped in the music. It’s just personal experience that can connect with people on a real relatable topic.”

Although Vance is a busy completing his final year of high school in just a couple of weeks, he manages to squeeze in six hours of music of singing and playing the guitar each day. He recently added a drummer and stand-up bass player to his one-man show, which he will bring on stage with him to The Soul Café this Friday.

“It’s going to be a lot different than just me and a guitar,” he said. “Now it’s going to be the whole band.”

Also performing at The Soul Café this week is Calgary solo artist Rhonda, who leads worship singing at churches and is a feature performer at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort in B.C., where she performs her own songs as well as her favourite pop/rock tunes. Rhonda released her album Paradise a year ago and her new single will be released soon.

The Soul Café organizer Jennifer Fulton said she is eager to have both Vance and Rhonda perform, giving her audience a variety throughout the evening.

“It’s going to be another great night of music,” she said. “Hopefully we get some young people, some old people and get the whole community together. It’s a really nice night.”

Fulton, a singer/songwriter with the local band the Standing Stones, created The Soul Café last year to offer an intimate setting for local musicians to perform.

The venue creates a laid-back environment where the evening’s emcee interviews the performers and representatives from the charity of the evening are invited to talk about their organization.

“Because it’s a soul café we want to go just a little bit deeper,” said Fulton.

Each night begins with a short performance by the Standing Stones. Wine, coffee and baked goods by Brown Sugar Bake Shop will be available.

Admission costs $2 and doors open at 7:30 p.m. For more details go to www.facebook/SoulCafeOkotoks


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