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Osprey hosting Polaris prize and Juno winner Jeremy Dutcher

The Osprey Arts Centre in Shelburne is hosting Polaris prize and Juno award winner Jeremy Dutcher at the Trinity United Church Sanctuary on 36 John St., in Shelburne on Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. Matt Barnes photo
The Osprey Arts Centre in Shelburne is hosting Polaris prize and Juno award winner Jeremy Dutcher at the Trinity United Church Sanctuary on 36 John St., in Shelburne on Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. Matt Barnes photo
SHELBURNE, N.S. —

The Osprey Arts Centre in Shelburne is hosting Polaris prize and Juno award winner Jeremy Dutcher at the Trinity United Church Sanctuary, on 36 John St., in Shelburne, on Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m.
A member of Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick, Dutcher is a classically trained operatic tenor and composer who takes every opportunity to blend his Wolastoq First Nation roots into the music he creates, blending distinct musical aesthetics that shape-shift between classical, traditional, and pop to form something entirely new. 
Dutcher’s debut release, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, has won the 2018 Polaris Music Prize and the 2019 Juno Award for Indigenous Music Album of the Year.
Dutcher first did music studies in Halifax before taking a chance to work in the archives at the Canadian Museum of History, painstakingly transcribing Wolastoq songs from 1907 wax cylinders, reads his biography. 
“Many of the songs I’d never heard before, because our musical tradition on the East Coast was suppressed by the Canadian Government’s Indian Act,” he says. 
Dutcher heard ancestral voices singing forgotten songs and stories that had been taken from the Wolastoqiyik generations ago. As he listened to each recording, he felt his own musical impulses stirring from deep within. Long days at the archives turned into long nights at the piano, feeling out melodies and phrases, deep in dialogue with the voices of his ancestors. 
These “collaborative” compositions, collected together on his debut LP Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, are like nothing you’ve ever heard. Delicate, sublime vocal melodies ring out atop piano lines that cascade through a vibrant range of emotions. The anguish and joy of the past erupt fervently into the present through Jeremy’s bold approach to composition and raw, affective performances enhanced by his outstanding tenor techniques.
“I’m doing this work because there’s only about a hundred Wolastoqey speakers left,” he says. “It’s crucial for us to make sure that we’re using our language and passing it on to the next generation. If you lose the language, you’re not just losing words; you’re losing an entire way of seeing and experiencing the world from a distinctly indigenous perspective.”
Tickets to Dutcher’s Shelburne performance on Dec. 5 are available at the Osprey’s Box Office or by calling  (902) 875-2359; at TLC Pharmasave, and all other Ticketpro outlets in Atlantic Canada; online through Ticketpro, and at the door (cash only). Tickets are $30 for adults and $7 for students.

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