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Pat Braden  // Posts published by Pat Braden

03 Nov Posted by in Shows | Comments

with New North Collective, Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Nov. 2, 2017

Through the hard work of producer/manager/agent for the New North Collective, Debbie Peters of Magnum Opus Management, the NNC were hosted by the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts in Burnaby, BC to hold a 4 day residency followed by a performance in early November.  This venue is well known to most of us as we have each individually showcased there for Pacific Contact Music Conferences over the years and it is really a most amazing arts facility in its programming and in the surrounding gardens and natural areas.  The NNC had been looking for a venue and time to hold a residency and with relatively short notice, The Shadbolt Centre stepped up to help us.

NNC: Graeme Peters, Diyet and Robert Van Lieshout, Carmen and Pat Braden and Eric Reed

A few of us landed there on Monday morning to settle onto the rehearsal stage.  Our resident guitarist, Jan de Vroede was unable to join us for this show so we called in Eric Reed from the territory of north Vancouver to sub.  The Centre graciously offered up first rate sound tech, Russ, to work with us for the whole week, so we were working with some new faces right away.  The first day, we worked through the sets with Eric.  Through the second day, the rest of NNC dropped in as they arrived from various destinations, we re-arranged the guitar section, tweaked a few tunes here and there and spent day 3 with Diyet, running the show down a couple of times.  Day 4, Thursday, we seamlessly set up in the theatre and with all of the work Russ had done with us through the week, we were able to dial in a superb stage and room mix.

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We played one of our best shows ever that night to the folks who braved a rather snarly weather system to come out.  A special night for me as my Partner, Laurie and Daughter Jazzan and her fiancé, Sam came out to see the show as did relatives close to Carmen’s family as well.

post show photo; Eric Reed, Debbie Peters, Carmen Braden, Diyet and Robert Van Lieshout, Cory Philley, Graeme Peters and me

I will close this post echoing the social media post Debbie wrote:

“Grateful sums up the feeling of our week at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts and on a stormy night, we finished up our residency with a show we are all very proud of. Thanks Eric Reed, you are a generous musical soul. Thanks Cory Philley for the invite. Russ, tech extraordinaire made us sound great. The Staff and volunteers were so helpful and what an amazingly warm audience! Thanks for sharing Our Northern View from Carmen Braden, Diyet MusicRobert van LieshoutGraeme Jacob Peters and Pat Braden #MaverickArtists



15 Oct Posted by in Shows | Comments

with Willie MacAlder, Oct. 2017

I have posted about the many times I have played with Will MacAlder over the years.  We first played together in the Cave Club back in the mid 90s.  Since then, Norman Glowach and I have tried to bring Will back as often as we can to play with him.  His repertoire is mostly Jazz and Blues standards, the styles of music Norman and I cut our teeth on but so rarely have a chance to play anymore.  This year we played 3 gigs; the first,a Yellowknife Seniors fund raiser, the next night at the Cellar and after we finished recording, at the Old Town Woodyard Pub.



























In the summer of 2016, we recorded a couple of songs with Will and they sounded so good, we decided to carry it one step further.  With funding support from the NWT Arts council, we were able to work in Norman’s Spirit Walker studio for 10 days and laid down 12 tracks of covers and original songs.  I love the challenge to play the Bass part for a song written in a specific genre and to play the style of that music, always keeping in mind to support and compliment the singer.  It was a real treat to hear the playback once Will had laid in his vocal tracks that for me, really sell the authenticity and passion we have for this music.  It is still a work in progress, waiting for overdubs from some solo players and I sincerely hope that someday soon, I can write a post to let you know that this recording is out and on the airwaves!


30 Sep Posted by in Shows | Comments

Yellowknife gigs, Sept. 2017

Once every couple of years I get a call from one of the government of the NT, Depts. of ECE or ITI to perform as a cultural ambassador at a function in town or out depending on the event.  This year, they were celebrating Arts Week in late September by hosting a series of artist workshops and displays in various communities in the NT.  The event in Yellowknife was in the form of a “Pop Up Market” in a local mall.  For 5 days, the public could walk through the room, visit with NT artists and craft folks and listen to music over the lunch hours.  Local musicians Darrin Woodbury, William Greenland and myself were contracted provide the entertainment.

It was really such a laid back gig, hanging out with a half dozen painters, carvers, photographers and traditional seamstresses of Dene designs for a couple of hours while visitors came and went through the day.  The gig gave me a chance to take almost my whole book of cover and original songs out for a walk.  Usually, I am asked to play anywhere from 15 to 60 minute sets so this was a lot of fun to play these songs again.

The local paper even came by for a brief photo expose!

Photo © NNSL


18 Sep Posted by in Shows | Comments

with “Chant Ouest”, Sept. 13-17, 2017

Back in the spring, I got an invitation from the Association franco- culturelle de Yellowknife (  to play in a house band for Chant’ Ouest, a competition of Francophone singer/songwriters in western Canada.  The four contestants were; Byrun Boutin-Maloney (SK), Mireille Labbe (YK), Yves Lecuyer, (TNO) and Alpha Toshineza, (MB).

I am embarrassed to say that my French language skills are miniscule.  When I was in elementary school in the 70s, we had a French teacher every year, well, a different French teacher every year and we were always taught the same thing over and over.  It wasn’t until I went to high school that I had a passionate teacher of the French language by the not so French name of Jack MacDuff.  I was inspired to sign up for the elective class from his enthusiasm and also the fact that the only two guys in the class were myself and my buddy Dean.  After high school, I was immersed in the language of Jazz and thus never carried on learning the French language.

So, my first question to the Jessica Payeur, producer of the show, was how much this would be a liability for the show and she reassured me that I should not worry about it.  After some research, I learned Chant’ Ouest has been going for 15 years now, holding the competition galas in various towns and cities in western Canada.  I was also pleased to learn that Winnipeg drummer extraordinaire, Daniel Roy was to be musical director for the show.  I met Daniel many years ago along with Bassist Gilles Fournier when they were up in YK for a show.

Daniel sent me the recordings and charts for the songs each songwriter was bring to the show.  The stylistic range was broad ranging from hip hop to country/folk to epic Quebecois anthem rock to turn of the century ballads.  Daniel, Raphael Freynet, Mary Kelly and I met up one soggy September afternoon at Mary’s place to run through the songs.  I loved Daniel’s enthusiasm and the chance to work with Raphael and Mary.

The next day, we pulled into the NACC to set up.  I walked through the door to see a very familiar face at the helm of the CBC Radio-Canada recording unit although it had been better than 30 years since we had last seen each other.  Dominique Roy and I went to Grant MacEwan College together in the early ’80s and played in a few of the same college big bands.  All we could do was to shake our heads at how the years had flown by so quickly.

Chant’ Ouest 2017 house Band: Mary Kelly, Daniel Roy, Raphael Freynet and me

The next 4 days were a blur of long and intense rehearsals.  House band, artists and tech all worked hard through the week to pull the show together.  I was most impressed by the tech crew who seemed to be everywhere at the same time and immediately on any issue that came up.  By show time Thursday, we put on one hell of show!

Manitoba Francophone Hip Hop artist Alpha Toshineza



03 Aug Posted by in Shows | Comments

Yellowknife gigs, Aug. – Sept. 2017

Every second year or so, I get to perform at the “Old Town Ramble and Ride” festival, held on the August long weekend right here in my neighbourhood. From the poster, you can see there is an eclectic mix of performers, artists and crafts folk featured.

This year, I got to play a solo set on my own, on the south facing stage, at 7 PM on the hottest day of the weekend to a warm , wonderful audience.  Later that night, I joined up with Andrea Bettger and the Soft Rock Minors to play a burning set of Andrea’s original songs.  T’was a fun evening, my fingers were quite tired and sore the next morning.

More “Old Town Ramble and Ride” at:


22 Jun Posted by in Shows | Comments

with Gho Bah, Yellowknife, NT, June 2017

Early in 2017, I got a call from Leela Gilday asking if I would like to be a part of an ensemble and show called “Gho Bah”, Resilience Project.  “Gilday’s vision for the project, named Gho-Bah or Gomba — both of which mean “the first light of dawn,” depending on the dialect spoken in Dene — began with conversations with other musicians and artists about what reconciliation means to them.  The show included a group of handpicked support musicians and featured prominent Dene artists from the NT.”

The rehearsals began in March with a brief weekend writing session which was repeated in April. Each of the featured artists brought their song ideas to the table and collectively, we finished the songs from there.  For me, it was a wonderful opportunity to work and write with artists I had never worked with before but it was also an amazing experience to hear the heartbreaking residential school stories from Paul Andrew and Stephen Kakfwi.

Gho Bah writing session; me, Catherine Lafferty, Leela Gilday, Stephen Kakfwi, Paul Andrew, Amos Scott, Lawrence Nahtene (Casey Koyczan photo)

Come June, we ensconced ourselves into the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre for 5 days to hammer the show together.  A treat for me on this gig was to be able to play Stick guitar.  The Bass end was superbly anchored by Meg Dolovich, deliciously deep drum grooves by Debashis Sinha and guitarist personified, Robert Walsh from Edmonton filled out the rhythm section.  We were also joined by the amazing “Aurora Chorealis” choir for a few songs who lifted everyone’s spirits even higher.

Gho Bah in rehearsal on NACC stage

This show was a Herculean effort on Leela’s part.  She masterfully produced and directed each of us as to the purpose and intent of the show but at the same time, allowed each of us to define our own parts for the songs.  Our first show was at the NACC on June 17 to an appreciative and enthusiastic full house.

Gho Bah on NACC stage, June 17, 2017 (Kevin O’Reilly photo)

Our next show was at Somba K’e park as part of the Aboriginal Day/Canada 150 celebrations.  It was a cool morning when we showed up for sound check at 9 AM with a stiff wind out of the northwest and rain showers.  Fortunately, the weather lifted somewhat before the celebrations and our show began at noon.

Gho Bah at Yellowknife Aboriginal Day, June 21, 2017

Gho Bah at Yellowknife Aboriginal Day, June 21, 2017 (Kevin O’Reilly photo)





17 Apr Posted by in News | Comments

with Andrea Bettger, recording session, April 11-16, 2017, Yellowknife, NT

On the heels of Andrea’s NACC show, we began recording the songs for release.  Andrea imported top shelf musician/producer Adrian Dolan to come up with his recording gear.  Once more, the gracious Bromley family supplied the studio space in one of their downtown buildings and a recording studio was created.

My Bass station for the recording sessions

For 5 days, we tracked 12 songs, finishing up the last night with overdubs of hand claps, ethereal choirs and howling dogs.  Here we are enjoying libations shortly afterwards at the Old Town Woodyard Pub.  I’m looking forward to Andrea’s CD release in mid 2018.

Well earned libations following recording wrap up; Al Bee, Adrian Dolan, Ben Russo, Andrea Bettger, me


01 Apr Posted by in Shows | Comments

with New North Collective at Pacific Contact, March 31, 2017,Burnaby BC

The “New North Collective” gathered once again to perform a showcase set for the BC presenters at “Pacific Contact” showcase in Burnaby.  It is always a challenge to put together such a short set that will effectively give the audience of presenters a snapshot of the breadth of your complete show but a good exercise for any artist.  I always enjoy attending these events as I get a chance to meet many of the presenters I have worked with over the years.

Over an afternoon, we built up the showcase set, scrambled to our soundcheck later that afternoon and then performed a stellar set that evening at the Michael J. Fox theatre in Burnaby.

Here’s a post showcase set photo at the Michael J. Fox:

New North Collective; Jan de Vroede, Graeme Peters, Diyet and Robert Van Lieshout, Carmen Braden and me


08 Mar Posted by in Shows | Comments

with Andrea Bettger at Northern Arts and Cultural Centre, March 7, 2017


For the last few years, I have been working with Fiddler/Violinist Andrea Bettger here in Yellowknife.  We have played together in different groups and in various shows.  Over say the last 2 years, Andrea has really stepped out with her performance and writing skills of which I have been fortunate to be a part of.  She has participated in the NACC Mentorship program over those two years and this March, we played the second and final concert to close out her time with the program.

Andrea, Zavallennahh and Ben warming up for interview at CBC YK

Also included in this concert was Al Bee on drums, Ben Russo on guitar, Zavallennahh Young on second fiddle/violin and Katarina Carthew on piano and the MC for the event, his highness, the Snow King.  Through the good graces of the Bromley family, we were given a warm, comfortable space to rehearse and worked to polish the original pieces of music Andrea had written.  I enjoy playing her music because it really forces me to bring my “A” Bass game to the rehearsal or the show.  Her original works are challenging and written in a variety of styles from traditional Metis influenced songs to Jazz/Rock fusion material with some singer/songwriter influences as well.

NACC set up

For the second year in a row, we settled onto the NACC stage and played our hearts out to a warm, hometown crowd.

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02 Mar Posted by in Shows | Comments

at the Snowking Festival, March 1, 2017

I got the call to perform at the opening night of the Snowking Festival, March 1.  It was a Wednesday night and joined by Casey Koyczan, aka Bushman NT I thought it would be a rather quiet evening.  Needless to say, I was watching the weather forecasts to see how cold it was going to be and not to be disappointed, it was easily -40 with the windchill that night.

By the time Bushman had finished his set, I was already seriously chilled.  Bu the time I had my Stick in my hands on the snow stage and tuning up, I realized I was in trouble.  My instrument and my hands were frozen, the strings felt like thin icicles under my already solid finger tips, each note painful to play if I even got there.  From deep down somewhere, I pulled what was needed to fulfill my commitment to the monarchy and made it back home to hug the heater for the next few hours to thaw out.