Music In Alternative Spaces #9: Friendly Rich Marsella and The Lollipop People

15 July 2006 12am - 12am

Please join us:

Saturday, July 15, 2006, 9PM, at Mercer Union


For the nineth in our series of 10 Music In Alternative Spaces concerts,
Friendly Rich Marsella will create, a unique orchestration, a truly distinctive and strange style of cabaret music with The Lollipop People, a blend of several talented musicians, each coming from distinctly different musical upbringings. Marsella uses banjo, harp, bassoon, cello, bass, drums, bass trombone, and accordion to create a daring soundscape.

Friendly Rich Marsella is a composer from Brampton, Ontario. Mr. Rich has composed background music for 3 seasons of MTV’s The Tom Green Show. Since 1994, he has recorded exclusively for his own eclectic record label, The Pumpkin Pie Corporation, with retail distribution across Canada by Sonic Unyon Distribution. He recently graduated from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music with a focus in classical guitar and music education. Rich is currently pursuing a Masters degree in music at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Lee Bartel and composer R. Murray Schafer. His main areas of study include mechanical music and musical instrument construction. Friendly Rich has produced and composed 7 full-length CDs to date, having been featured on CBC Radio One (3 documentaries for Outfront), CBC Radio Two (continuous airplay on Brave New Waves and RadioSonic), TFO (VOLT) and Muchmusic (Muchnews, BradTV). Friendly Rich is currently recording a new album at Metalworks Studios with Toronto producer Bob Wiseman and Prince’s personal engineer L. Stu Young. The new album, entitled We Need a New F-Word is Friendly Rich’s strongest material to date, and will be released in Summer 2005 by The Pumpkin Pie Corp. The Canada Council for the Arts recently helped fund this album in December 2004 with a recording grant. We Need a New F-Word features Friendly Rich’s oddball 10-piece ensemble, The Lollipop People: Kristen Moss (classical harp), Nickel Robertson (banjo), Scott Good (bass trombone), Friendly Rich (barrel organ), Jose Neglia (shamisan), Lawrence Stevenson (violin), Mike Olsen (cello), Scott Good (bass trombone), Julie Shier (bassoon), Sly Juhas (junk percussion) and Kimberly Pritchard (accordion).

The Lollipop People

Mike Olsen was raised in Vancouver to become a classical cellist. Thwarting the plans of his parents and instructors he discovered instead, as so many teens, the glory of rock. Moving to Toronto to follow the beat, Mike has since recorded and performed with such notable acts as the Rheostatics, Sarah Slean, Esthero, Mia Sheard, K-OS, and the Constantines, becoming a full-time member of both the Jim Guthrie band and indie darlings the Hidden Cameras. Mike is currently touring and recording with several bands and has just opened his own recording studio, Uncomfortable Silence.

Julie Shier has been a proud member of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra since 1992. She acquired a bachelor of Fine Arts from York University and a Master of Music from the University of Michigan. Ms. Shier has traveled to perform in summer festivals in Graz, Austria, Banff, Orford, and Domaine Forget.

Kristen Theriault started out as an extremely recalcitrant child. When asked by her parents what instrument she would like to play, she chose the one that was the most expensive, the hardest to move, and the one that never stayed in tune. She is no longer recalcitrant, but still loves to play the harp, and constantly looks for ways to expand the repertoire. Having received her Masters degree in music from the University of Toronto, she can now appreciate the counterpoint inherent in a good duet with an ice-cream truck. Kristen is a former student of Judy Loman.

“Are you Ukranian?…Polish?…Skandinavian?…Italian?…German?…” Kimberly Pritchard’s most frequently-asked question. Oh, the life of a Canadian accordionist. Kimberley is one of a handful of contemporary accordionists in Canada. Mentored by virtuoso Joseph Macerollo she most recently completed her Master’s in Performance at the University of Toronto. The accordion has been played in her family by her mother and grandfather. Kim has played the instrument from the age of 5 through her “Flight of the Bumblebee” phase right into the contemporary works of Hatzis, Nimmons, Sokolovic, Buczynski, and Patrick. Kim has been featured in the YTV television series “Radio-Free Roscoe” and in U of T’s production of John Beckwith’s opera “Taptoo!”. In addition to having performed on the stage at the Toronto Music Garden at Harbourfront, Kim has also participated in several productions of Queen of Puddings Musical Theatre and other musicals. Kim has also played the odd polka from time to time, but she’s reknowned for her cover of “Oops! I did it again!”

Born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, Stephen Zsirai is a versatile bassist who has been playing professionally in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver for several years. An honours graduate of the Humber College Jazz program, Steve has toured Canada, Europe and the U.K. Steve is very active on the Toronto Jazz and pop-music scene and has performed and recorded with a list of fine Canadian artists, including Kenny Kirkwood, Kyp Harness, Art Bergmann, Kinnie Starr, Michael Keith, Kathleen Edwards and Laura Hubert. He is especially proud of his year-old jazz quartet project with Kim Ratcliffe,Christine Bougie and Howard Gaul.

Scott Good is a native of Toronto, where he currently resides with his wife Jennifer, and two cats, Beatrice and Simon. He enjoys playing and writing music, and can be found “tooting his horn” in concert halls, churches, clubs, and sometimes on the streets. He will finish a PHD in music composition from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music in December 2004.

Nichol Robertson is a 24 year-old multi-instrumentalist whose passions for bluegrass, coffee, vintage suits, and accounting are unparalleled. Nichol is also a graduate of the Humber College Jazz program (guitar).

Sly Juhas is a very active jazz drummer form Toronto. A graduate of the Humber Jazz program, Sly has performed with several members of the Lollipop People in other ensembles in the Greater Toronto Area.

Upcoming Music Series

September 16, #10: Isabelle Noel

Please note that scheduled dates may change.

Mercer Union, A Centre for Contemporary Art

37 Lisgar Street, Toronto ON M6J 3T3 CANADA

(west of Dovercourt, south of Queen)

416 536 1519