(PHOTO: Jhoanna and Nick Prinzo stand in front of Classy Kids, their retail store on Stittsville Main Street. Photo by Devyn Barrie.)
Call it the tale of two plazas. Dollarama and Shoppers Drug Mart may seem like big attractions for the Stittsville Shopping Centre at 1300 Stittsville Main St, but a former store owner said they hardly send any customers to the other businesses in the plaza.
“It’s ridiculous, you wouldn’t think so, but it is,” said Sandy Edwards, former owner of Dandelion Consignment, which closed earlier this year.
(PHOTO: Greg Lee played to a crowd of friends, family and fans at Gaia Java on April 21.)
MARIE TOOK A FIVE DOLLAR BILL OUT OF HER WALLET and with a wide smile dropped it in the large round mason jar with a black sign that says “support the artist.”
Of course, she wasn’t just supporting the artist who was playing at Gaia Java on a Friday night last month. She was supporting her son – Greg Lee, 17, who was playing to a house of friends, family and a few strangers who walked in to hear the sweet chords emanating from his acoustic guitar. Continue reading →
A THANK YOU TO STATION 81 FIREFIGHTERS
Stephanie Poff sent us a letter thanking volunteer firefighters for their activities here in Stittsville on Halloween: “I just wanted to share my support for the volunteer station in Stittsville, they were out last night with music playing handing out candy.”
WENDY RUSSELL’S ART AT GAIA JAVA A couple of weekends ago I ran into Kanata artist Wendy Russell hanging some of her new paintings at Gaia Java. Her work will be on display until the end of this week and it’s definitely worth checking out. You can also see her work at The Gift of Art in the Mlacak Centre on November 19 & 20 in Kanata. You can also see some of her work soon at Värdera Café. (Photos via Wendy Russell)
Ottawa High Schools have graduated some amazing young musicians recently. Robert Wannell has delighted us several times in the shop with his insightful and skilled jazz guitar stylings, both from when he was still a student under Jean-Francois Fauteux at Nepean High School, and more recently since he has been studying at Humber College in Toronto. Continue reading →
Once again the ‘Dynamic Duo’ will be entertaining this coming Friday at Gaia Java. Although both are very competent artists in their own right, they occasionally join forces to great effect, as you will hear!
Of all the artists who play at Gaia Java, I think I have had the most requests about’when are they playing again?’ for Gretchen Martin. When she arrives she sets up her multiple keyboard rack and other equipment, and when she starts singing it is as if there is a whole band there! Now this time she is bringing in another collaborator who is also familiar to Gaia Java audiences – Alan Sandeman, whose smooth guitar technique, steady voice and droll introductions have amused us on several previous occasions.
Alan and Gretchen had connected musically for a number of years, in fact the first time I ever heard Gretchen singing was on a recording made by Alan, where she nailed an Elton John classic.
Gretchen comes from a musical family and has been playing and singing for years, growing up in Winnipeg and then living for a while in Hawaii. When not making music she is busy with a role in the Canadian Military. Alan has a background in high tech, and as well has played in a wide range of musical situations. Just the title of one of his songs: “I’m sorry your honour, I didn’t know she was your daughter’ tells you that this is going to be interesting! The prospect of his dry humour together with Gretchen’s intro jokes promises to keep you smiling this Friday.
This will be a treat of an evening – come and hear this talented duo, and expect some familiar tunes from the Eagles, Elton John, Adele, Billy Joel or other well-known hit makers. And expect them to be done very professionally!
Gretchen Martin with Alan Sandeman play on Friday, July 15 at 7:00pm at Gaia Java on Stittsville Main Street.
Once again we are delighted to tell you that the great Howie Hooper is coming in to play again, and this time his sound will be embossed by the pedal steel guitar stylings of Richmond-based Shawn Brown, who has also been in previously and to great acclaim! Continue reading →
The duo of John Hanson and Sally Robinson have not graced our stage before, but they come very well-recommended by people who know!
Sally’s background is in Classical music. She has a Bachelor of Music degree and works as a freelance musician. She is as an accompanist with the Ottawa Children’s Choir and has a teaching studio in her home, where she gives piano lessons. As well, she leads singalongs at Retirement Homes and plays weddings and background music with other musicians. Continue reading →
This Friday will be the first time we have Linda Barnes playing in the shop. She has already done a great job at some of the open mic nights around town. She learned to play the harmonica at eleven years old, then learned guitar at age twelve, and now plays a range of instruments as well as singing and writing her own songs. She played for several years in a group called “The Good News Singers”, and she also plays at fund raisers, and weddings. As well as her original material she performs covers from musicians such as Crosby Stills Nash & Young, and The Judds. Continue reading →
This Friday we present some local young artists who offer a range of familiar and developing music.
Many of you will know Keli Jay as one of the most long-standing baristas (get it, standing for a long time…!) in the shop. So she is back from her Queens University musical degree studies for a few months, and is teaming up with fellow ex-Canterbury High School singer Jad Hammoud to bring you some familiar cover songs at this week’s music night. Keli has played in the shop on several previous occasions but you will enjoy some of the arrangements of acoustic covers that she and Jad have worked out for you.
Then in the second half of the evening you have an opportunity to hear up and coming local band Missioner, who describe themselves as follows: From the streets of Ottawa, four high school students have joined forces together to form what today is known as the band MISSIONER; a band surrounded by a close-knit community where everyone knows everyone, the members have drawn inspiration for their band name from one of the schools in the area.
The four-piece alternative rock group gathers their inspirational roots from 90s alternative bands such as Blink 182, Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer and Jimmy Eat World. Working together as a collective during their songwriting process, the band brings lyrical content and instrumental harmonies that speak honest and true to not only their own personal experiences but performing content that anyone amongst the crowd can relate to.
MISSIONER remain hard at work developing new material for their fans who can look forward to hearing new and inventive music now and into the distant future.
Keli and Jad and Missioner play on Friday, June 10 at 7:00pm at Gaia Java on Stittsville Main Street.
Pat Moore’s voice has a warm and expressive quality, as perfectly suited to a rich ballad, as it is to an up-tempo power song. She moves easily from the storytelling of the singer/songwriter genre, to the lonesome sound of traditional country and bluegrass. Born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, she grew up in a house filled with music, from show tunes to Peter, Paul, & Mary, and Gordon Lightfoot; and later jazz masters like Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles to bluegrass legends like Bill Monroe, and Flatt and Scruggs. As a young girl she would sing harmonies with her sisters while doing the supper dishes – songs from the Mamas and The Papas, and Simon and Garfunkel. Continue reading →
A singer-songwriter with a fondness for great songs, Bruce’s musical heroes include Gillian Welch, Tom Waits, John Prine, Turlough O’Carolan, Dave Frishberg, Roger Miller and Duke Ellington. That’s a pretty eclectic range of influences – from a blind Irish Harper to one of the World’s greatest big-band leaders! One of Bruce’s songs can be heard in the soundtrack of ‘A Windigo Tale’, a feature film by Canadian writer and director Armand Ruffo. Continue reading →
Once again we will have an opportunity to turn Gaia Java into a mini-Grand Ol’ Opry when the totally entertaining 5-piece bluegrass band “The Backsliders” comes in again to play this Friday. Some of you were maybe in last year when they gave us a fabulous evening. Continue reading →
I was Skyping last week with a friend in Dublin, Ireland, and we got to talking about Celtic harps. He told me about the big problem that occurred back in the 1700s with the Irish Harpists (or ‘Harpers’ as they called them, but that may not be politically correct in Canada!). Continue reading →
Greg Kelly has been in the shop many times in the last several months; not only for his own performance back in February, but also on many occasions when he drops in to hear and support other artists playing for our Friday night audiences. And he always sets a great example by throwing something into the ‘donations for the musicians’ jar! Small wonder he is very well-respected by the many performers who come through – friendly, talented, encouraging and sharing – great qualities to have in a songwriter. Continue reading →
We are very much looking forward to having David back in the shop this Friday.
David daCosta is a singer/songwriter based in Ottawa, and he has entertained us well on several previous occasions here in Gaia Java. He attended the University of Ottawa completing his B.A. in Theatre and Music in 2009, and recently completed his Grade 10 piano (RCM). (In fact last time he came in the shop he played a great classical piece by Debussy!) Continue reading →
The members of the Crumble String Quartet (Margot Lange and Julia Sandquist on violin, Mary Young on viola and Catherine Campbell on cello) – started rehearsing and performing as a quartet about five years ago. They met as members of a larger string ensemble called “The Strings of St John’s”, which performs five sets of concerts a year in the Ottawa area. The quartet plays a variety of baroque and classical music, along with some more contemporary music, depending on the venue. The group’s gigs have included Mayor Watson’s inauguration ceremony, a fundraiser for the Ottawa chapter of the IODE, as well as numerous shows at a the Gaia Java Coffee Company. Continue reading →
Carol and Stéphane have entertained us previously on a couple of occasions, and it was always very enthusiastically received. On some numbers people even got up and started dancing! So we are delighted that they are coming in to perform again. They clearly enjoy playing and singing together and their choice of repertoire resonates very well with the audience, covering standards and familiar ballads from the mainstream of contemporary music. Stéphane’s jazz guitar blends well with Carol’s smooth vocals and they even elicit favourable comments from other musicians present in the room! (They are a cynical bunch those ‘other musicians’!) Continue reading →
Those of you who have heard Howie Hooper before will know that you should come in again this Friday. The impressive thing about Howie is his commitment as a mainstay of the local music scene – not just playing at many venues around the region, but also frequently showing up just to listen to and support other musicians. Continue reading →
Andrew Waines has been active in the music industry since 2013. He played rhythm guitar with the Jordan McIntosh Band for two years, including performances at Ottawa Bluesfest, Boots & Hearts Country Music Festival and Cavendish PEI Beach Festival just to name a few of the big venues. Andrew has also played lead guitar for Mandia Nantsios at various events including Ottawa’s Greekfest. Continue reading →