Poor Pilgrim Island Show 4 : The Legend of Snake Island

Sunday, July 18th, 2010


Attention Post-G20 Torontonians:


I am happy to announce the return of the Poor Pilgrim music festival on Toronto Island.


Over the past 3 years PP concertgoers have explored the island armed with guide maps, flashlights (and a few well concealed beverages) to discover some of the greatest local musicians in the city. Past contributors have included $100, Castlemusic, Bruce Peninsula, Feuermusik, Nadja, The Silt, N!fty, Wyrd Visions, Awesome and many more out on the fringes of folk, noise and improvised music. I am happy to say that this year’s line-up includes many new faces and some of my favourite sites of the past 3 years including a special sunset celebration on Snake Island, where you will find one of the best views of our postcard skyline anywhere. I hope to see you all there:


Ferry Information:


The Toronto Island Ferry Docks are located just South of Bay St. and Queen’s Quay. Bikes are allowed on both the Ward’s Island Ferry and the Hanlan’s Ferry but NOT the Centre Island Ferry (weekend rules). If you are planning on biking then plan to come a bit earlier…it’s about a 10-minute bike ride from either dock to the first site.


If walking, take the 4:00pm or 4:30pm ferry to Centre Island.

There is also an Island Marina Boat that leaves at regular hour intervals which you can catch from the base of York St. (south of the second cup)


If biking, 1) take the 4:15pm ferry to Hanlans Point and bike to the first site.

Or 2) take the 4:00pm ferry to Ward’s Island and bike to the first site.


Who’s Playing and When?


5:00 pm Picastro (Franklin Children’s Storybook Garden)

5:45 pm Puppet Show by Jamie Shannon (Gibraltar Centre for the Arts)

6:00 pm Eucalyptus (Gibraltar Centre for the Arts)

6:45 pm Buried Boomboxes by Jeff Garcia (Beach West of the Pier)

7:00 pm Not the Wind Not The Flag (Centre Island Pier)

7:45 pm Snowblink (St. Andrew-by-the-lake Church)

8:30 pm THOMAS (Snake Island)

9:00 pm Tasseomancy with Yuula Benivolski (Snake Island)

9:30 pm Daniel Romano (Snake Island)

10:30 pm Alex Lukashevsky Trio (Ward’s Island Beach)

11:15 pm Drumheller (Ward’s Ferry Docks)







Picastro (Franklin Children’s Storybook Garden)



Liz is an awesome lady who will set the tone perfectly for the rest of the evenings festivities. Here is what The Wire had to say about her recently: "Ostensibly a vehicle for singer-songwriter Liz Hysen, Toronto based Picastro weave her songs into an abstract framework of extended, moody soundtracks. Here the singers identity is absorbed into the overall impression left by the music. Reported comparisons with Cat Power are therefore wide of the mark. Hysens role is oddly selfless, her voice subdued to a general murmur amid the musics burgeoning drama. The songs are instead a vehicle for the group to expand their vocabulary, creating a gloomy variant of folk blues with a wide reach. Once the context within which Hysen as singer and author is established, the lack of lyrical clarity or a firm songwriting identity no longer matters".


Puppet Show by Jamie Shannon (Gibraltar Centre for the Arts)



Jamie Shannon is a creator, writer, director and producer of films and television. He teaches workshops, creates events of public intervention and hosts gallery spaces. Most recently he took a break from producing and directing to design a huge lion puppet and lead a team of 5 puppeteers on the film Higglety Pigglety Pop, produced by Spike Jonze, directed by Clyde Henry Productions and based on a story by Maurice Sendak. Jamie's television series, puppets and characters appear on Nickelodeon, the Disney Channel, BBC, CBC, PBS, and many other broadcasters worldwide. The series nanalan, loved by moms and preschoolers across the globe, won two Gemini awards: "Best Writing" and "Best Performance in a Preschool Series".


Eucalyptus (Gibraltar Centre for the Arts)



Calypso Dance Party! This amazing combo, led by the inimitably bespectacled Brodie West, touches on aspects of the Lord Kitch & Mighty Sparrow Island vibes mixed with a playful sense of improv and clever compositions. With a killer band to boot:

Nicole Rampersaud - Trumpet

Brodie West - Alto Saxophone

Alex Lukashevsky - Guitar

Ryan Driver - Piano

Mike Smith - Bass

Nick Fraser - Drums

Blake Howard – Percussion






“Woman in the Dunes” Buried Boomboxes by Jeff Garcia (Beach west of the Pier)





Jeff makes art from residual nectar on the dirty littered sidewalk. His work is heavily influenced by the tropicala aesthetic and eclecticism of the Philippines. Founder of HALO HALO SCREEN PRINTING & the Exploding Motor Car collective Jeff lives and works in Toronto, Canada. This piece is not doubt inspired by the amazing book by Japanese author Kōbō Abe,“Woman in the Dunes”



Not the Wind Not The Flag (Centre Island Pier)



This is the amazing duo of Brandon Valdivia: (drums/percussion and other things) and Colin Fisher (tenor sax/guitar and other things). They take inspiration from many international sources: Albert Ayler, Gnawa, Mali, Don Cherry, Pharoah Sanders, Ed Blackwell, Carnatic music, Dewey Redman, John Coltrane, Morton Feldman, Alice Coltrane. God. You never know what you’re going to get with a NTWNTF set, but I can guarantee these two will leave a lasting impression on the hearts and minds of all who come under their spell.


Snowblink (St. Andrew-by-the-lake Church)




Back from their recent tour with Owen Pallet, Snowblink are set to fill the glorious space of the Island Church with all they learned on their long trek home. This duo of Daniela Gesundheit and Dan Goldman (aka Luxury Pond) are the authors of some impeccably gorgeous tunes, most recently collected on this year’s album Long Live. Also a member of Bruce Peninsula and Alex Lukashevsky’s trio, Daniela boasts an impressive career of collaborating on many interdisciplinary projects including poetry, dance and theatre. I feel weird writing about her this way – look – it’s just D ok? And you’re going to love every second of it.


Tasseomancy (formerly Ghost Bees) with Installation by Yuula Benivolski (Snake Island)




Romy and Sari Lightman are two very wonderful and gifted sisters who make goth-folk ditties out of arsenic and old lace. They met twenty-four years ago in a single unit womb. At the time, both had their hands full of creditors from past lives. Today, they are paying off their debts compiled from years of consistent reincarnations. In 2008, Ghost Bees released their debut album, Tasseomancy. It begins in the kitchen of The Grandmother in 1904, along with a collection of tales of past empires and great great ancestry; fabled figures and sorrowful lament, with vocals appendaged together like a two headed balladeer. The beautiful Yuula Benivolski will augment this set with a mysterious installation.


THOMAS (Snake Island)



A truly unique talent backed by a steller cast of musicians, Toronto’s Thom Gill is the people’s parson who dares to marry smooth-as-silk pop with all that’s weird and wonderfully avant-garde. Handling vocals and guitar he is often backed by Bram Gielen : (keyboard, bass, vox) Matthew Pencer : (drum programming, drum synth, drums) Christopher Willes : (computer, synth, samples) Felicity Williams : (vox) & Daniel Pencer (woodwinds). His debut LP Self Help was one of the best releases of its year and I guarantee his sunset performance on Snake Island is not to be missed.


Daniel Romano (Snake Island)




Leader of Attack and Black and one third of folk trio Daniel, Fred and Julie, Mr. Romano is a prolific songwriter who has been churning out beautiful, honest and direct folk songs at an enviable pace of late. With his debut Workin’ For the Music Man released hot on the tail of this year’s amazing Daniel, Fred and Julie record he may be vying for 2010’s man of the year. For this fireside set Dan is joined by his lady, Bruce Peninsula’s Misha Bower, who is will be just wrapping up her Fringe Festival play Georgia and Leona in Toronto. He’s the first man I asked when planning this year’s festival and he’s going to be a real highlight as the twilight dims and the fires blaze.


Alex Lukashevsky Trio (Ward’s Island Beach)




“This is a perforated age, don’t turn and look you’ll tear the page. Too late now. Too late now” With a batch of new songs deeply and darkly united in a singular vision, Alex Lukashevsky will be haunting Ward’s beach with a very special set under the stars. He will be backed up by the lovely voices of Daniela Gesundheit and Felicity Williams, matching the complex imagery of the tunes with next level finesse. If you haven’t already grabbed his latest EP, Prints of Darkness, please stop reading this right this second and walk down to Soundscapes and get yourself a copy. Vote Alex for the next mayor of Toronto, you’ll be glad you did.




Drumheller (Ward’s Island Ferry Docks)




One of the best Jazz groups in Toronto will finish the evening off under the pale lights of the Ward’s ferry dock. Drumheller are a quintet of jazz composer/performers who have worked together since 2003. The music they play is jazz, drawing from its entire tradition (from traditional to avant-garde) and also drawing from our diverse experiences in free improvisation, folk, notated music, punk and groove music. With a killer line up of poor pilgrim vets:

Brodie West – Sax

Nick Fraser – Drums

Doug Tielli – Trombone

Rob Clutton – Bass

Eric Chenaux - Guitar




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Taken on July 6, 2010
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