Velle Weitman and Zavallennahh Huscroft will join the Hollyhocks —Carl Erickson and Warren and Kalen Huscroft — for an evening of eclectic music at the Snoring Sasquatch on Sept. 8, where the audience will hear everything from R&B to Hank Williams to Dire Straits.
Fiddling sisters Weitman and Zavallennahh (formerly known as Jaime RT), are the daughters of Warren and were raised in the Creston Valley. Both have gone on to make professional careers from their musical training in folk and classical music.
Weitman is married with three young children, and has performed and recorded all over Canada, the U.S.A. and the U.K., and runs a Suzuki and fiddle program called Velvet Strings. It was through violin lessons that she met her musical match, Julie Matthews. Soon after, the Velle Weitman Trio, with her husband, Aaron Weitman, was formed. They perform locally and Weitman and Matthews also perform as a duo called Purple Velvet.
Performer, composer, arranger and music educator Zavallennahh has released two multi-award nominated albums on the Dog My Cat label. She is an independent folk and classical artist, as well as a member of the Juno award-winning James Keelaghan band, and can often be found performing with her singer-songwriter brother, Daniel Huscroft.
Zavallennahh is the musical spark plug and driving force behind Fiddleworks music camp and music books. A dynamic performer and teacher on fiddola and piano, she travels North America and the U.K. performing and giving workshops, and especially loves working with Native youth in the Northwest Territories.
Erickson has a musical background spanning R&B, country, jazz and more. He began his musical education at 17 when he was enrolled in HMCS Naden Tri-Service School of Music. In Vancouver in the ’60s, Carl played with the Nocturnals, a band that made 22 recordings, most well-known of which was This Ain’t Love. Carl recalls how their band backed both Glen Campbell and the original Coasters at the PNE Dance Party.
Keyboardist Kalen Huscroft (née Wild) will be known to many as one of Creston’s music teachers, teaching both violin and piano in her West Creston studio. You may also have seen Kalen leading the Creston Fiddlers at various local events in the past few years. She started her musical journey in Toronto where she used her classical training to accompany ballet classes in local dance studios and at the Banff School of Fine Arts in the late ’60s. As well, she was busy teaching piano, playing recorders in a Renaissance ensemble, and singing folk songs with her sister, Rosanne.
But it was in 1972 that Kalen discovered her true passion — bluegrass! Upon first hearing bluegrass at Paul’s Saloon in San Francisco, Kalen jumped in with both feet, immediately acquiring a mandolin, fiddle, banjo and guitar and attempting to play them. From that time until she met Warren Huscroft in 2006, Kalen listened to and played only bluegrass. Then she got the phone call that changed her musical life forever.
Guitarist Warren Huscroft, born and raised in Creston, was a member of popular teen band the Ambassadors in the ’60s, many times winner of Kootenay battles of the bands. Warren and Erickson have each played with the late keyboardist, Jack Velker. Warren met Jack at Mount Royal Junior College in Alberta, back in their teenage years. Jack later moved to Creston where he joined The Ambassadors. Warren spent much time in the Vancouver area in the early days, playing and recording with several bands, the most popular of which was Amethyst.
Back in Creston with his family, Warren played in several bands until 1987, most notably Summit and Deja Vue. He then retired from playing until 2006 when he was asked to reunite The Ambassadors band for a local class reunion (class of ’66). Original members of the Ambassadors were eager to reunite; unfortunately Jack Velker (keyboardist) was unable to make it. On a tip, Warren called Kalen and asked her if she would be willing to fill in. Kalen agreed, put bluegrass aside, and learned to play classic rock and roll (which she had missed in her teenage years, being too busy playing Beethoven and Debussy).
Tickets to the Sept. 8 show are $12 in advance at the Snoring Sasquatch, Black Bear Books and Kingfisher Used Books, and $15 at the door, which opens at 7 p.m.; the show begins at 8.