A 40-year tradition resumes next week when musical storyteller Alpha Yaya Diallo kicks off the 2014-15 edition of the Live at TRU! series on Sept. 11 at the Alumni Theatre.
TRU’s longest-running event, original named the Cultural Event Series, was initiated by faculty member Ron Miles (retired) in 1974 to present a broad spectrum of performances appealing to students, staff, faculty, and the Kamloops community, a goal which continues to this day.
“The original intent was to attract the general public to the campus, and to bring free, live performances to students,” says Miles, adding, “I wanted students to be exposed to a wide range of performances: modern and classical music, dance, and drama.”
Performances are free and run 12:30-1:30pm in the Alumni Theatre located in the Clock Tower building.
Committee chairperson Susie Safford says there are a few aspects that make Live at TRU! a unique series.
“We try to bring performers you are not likely to experience elsewhere on campus or in town,” says Safford. “What do they all have in common? They are all outstanding Canadian artists, and they are all Live at TRU!”
For more than 10 years the TRU Faculty Association has contributed $5,000 towards the costs and intends to continue the support.
“Enhancing exposure to a broad range of cultural experience is an integral part of the university’s mission and TRU faculty, staff and students have all benefited,” says Tom Friedman, TRUFA president.
2014-15 schedule in brief
(See below for bios, videos, and links to each performer’s website)
Sept. 11 — The sounds, rhythms, and language of former Guinea resident Alpha Yaya Diallo
Oct. 16 — Latin-flamenco-jazz guitarist Patrice Servantes
Nov. 6 — Lizzy Hoyt, Juno-award-winning fiddle player from Alberta
Jan. 29 — Rising piano player Maxim Bernard
Feb. 12 — Diyet, Yukon-based folk/pop singer-songwriter of Japanese/Aboriginal heritage
March 12 — Eh 440, youthful a cappella quintet from Ontario
Susie Safford, chair, Live at TRU! series
Sept 11 Alpha Yaya Diallo
Guitarist and singer Alpha Yaya Diallo, from Guinea in West Africa, is one of the hottest acts on the current world music scene. Now based in Vancouver, Canada, he’s earned a matchless reputation internationally for the excellence of his musicianship and the excitement of his live shows – whether performing solo or with his band Bafing. Diallo is a uniquely multi-talented artist. His dexterous acoustic and electric guitar-playing… Read more
October 16 Servantes
Having toured Spain and the Americas for over fifteen years, guitar virtuoso Patrice Servant, a.k.a. Servantes, offers a truly unique blend of Latin-flamenco-jazz. His passionate performances feature his own compositions as well as improvisations and adaptations of well-known pieces. Read more
November 6 Lizzie Hoyt
Lizzy Hoyt is an award-winning Canadian vocalist and songwriter who also happens to rank among the top Celtic instrumentalists in the country. With the voice of an angel, Lizzy delivers music and stories with soaring melodies rooted in Celtic and folk traditions. Read more
Watch Hoyt in this Live at TRU! performance from Oct. 21, 2012
January 29 Maxim Bernard
French Canadian pianist Maxim Bernard has already established himself as one of today’s most promising young artists. He has performed solo recitals, chamber music, and concerti in Canada and the United States. He has worked with many esteemed conductors such as Ronald Zollman. Read more
February 12 Diyet
Born in a tent, raised in a two room cabin, classically trained in opera, now an alternative folk artist. This sub-Arctic-Southern Tutchone-Japanese-Tlingit-Scottish-Yukoner is your typical Canadian – the result of a long cold winter. Diyet’s music is like her life – a mix of this and that but deeply rooted in the values of a traditional northern life. From humble beginnings, Diyet went on to acquire a degree in music then worked as a songwriter in Vancouver. Read more
March 12 Eh 440
Eh440 started harmonizing together in 2012. Using just their voices, this Toronto-based acappella group has wowed audiences across the USA and Canada. Now 2014 brings them to the next step in their journey – the release of their debut album Turn Me Up. But their journey really started over a decade and half ago. Read more