Gaia Java double double: Netherlands guitarist and a capella ensemble


OTTO CEPELLA: extraordinary acoustic guitarist from the Netherlands! 
Some of you may have heard Otto on the radio early Monday morning this week when he was guesting on CKCU-FM. Or you may have been in the shop a couple of weeks ago when he played a few tunes during the ‘Friends of Acacia Lyra’ evening. Definitely a substantial talent there. 
Otto is a native of Ottawa, and studied at Carleton University, but is now resident mostly in the Netherlands even though he still has family here. Relatively recently he decided to enhance his guitar learning and has developed an impressive and distinctive finger-style approach that works across many genres – folk, classical, jazz, world-music etc. Some of his tunes are versions of renditions by other guitar maestros such as Tommy Emmanuel, whereas others may be original pieces. All are impressive and leave you wondering if he has the same number of fingers as the rest of us! Don’t miss this amazing performer! Check out his facebook page at:  and search for some of his videos on Youtube.

HARMONIC GENERATION: 14-voices singing an a cappellapreview of our Christmas Concert
It may not have escaped your notice that I am involved in the world of a cappella music, (in fact that is how the shop got started in the first place!). I sing with a bunch of friends on a weekly basis, and on December 12th we are presenting a Christmas concert at the Church of the Ascension on Echo Drive (7pm start. For details go to )  The program will include some of our favourite pop/folk etc songs in unaccompanied voices format, as well as some of our newly-arranged Christmas repertoire, so this Friday the second half of the evening will give you a chance to hear some of those songs in our ‘Preview’ set. We may even have some tickets left to sell for the concert, although the venue is quite small so it may be a sell-out. The Concert on the 12th is a fund-raiser by the Church of the Ascension to help a refugee family from Syria who are settling in Canada, so if you can buy a ticket you will be helping address a world-scale problem.

As those of you who are regulars at the Gaia Java Music nights will know, we typically put out a jug for any donations towards the musicians’ well-being and self-respect.

So for the performances this Friday Otto and HG agreed to direct any cash collected (during the day as well as at the music night) towards a tiny foster home for abandoned babies in Southern China. This past summer my wife and daughters and I were helping at the Starfish Foster home, where they look after about 16 babies in two high-rise apartments. Many of the children are either waiting for or recovering from surgeries to resolve their special needs, such as heart defects, congenital cataracts, cleft palates etc. In most cases they then go on to be adopted into a ‘forever family’ somewhere in the world. One of the babies we met there when we went previously (in 2008) was later adopted into a family in the Netherlands (present home of our first performer on Friday!) and her Mom is now Director of Starfish and has moved to China with her children. We celebrated her 9th birthday with this wonderful young lady who was just getting over heart surgery when we first met her. She now speaks Dutch, English and Mandarin! For fun have a look at a little video our daughter Keli made using some of the clips we took while we were there:

A couple of the babies have been adopted since we were there. One has died. Starfish provides a loving environment for these children and it survives solely on donations to pay for their upkeep, the nannies who help look after them, and especially for the surgeries they have to undergo. You can learn more about Starfish Foster Home at:
The music nights start at 7pm, and as usual there is no charge, but as mentioned we do have a ‘jar’ for donations to support the musicians, and we hope that you will buy a drink or two (and maybe something tasty to eat!)

As some of you know we are working hard to try and see if the shop can stay open next year – thanks so much for your expressions of support – we live in a great community! See more details about upcoming events at where you can also see about tickets we are selling for concerts by local groups over the next few weeks.

Otto Cappela and Harmonic Generation are at Gaia Java on Stittsville Main Street on Friday, December 4 at 7:00pm.  No charge, but donations for the musicians are appreciated!


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