Music meets the written word for the 2011 Frye Festival

The biggest literary event in Atlantic Canada proposes a unique mix of words and music. For its 2011 edition, the Frye Festival will feature singer-songwriters and musicians that will complement various evenings already rich in prose and poetry. Haunted Hearts, Joe Grass, Sylvia Tyson, Marie-Jo Thério, Bernard Adamus, Phil Flowers, and Vivianne Roy will dazzle the public as they take the stage at several events. The 12th edition of the Frye Festival will be held in Greater Moncton, New Brunswick, from April 25 to May 1, 2011.

“The Frye Festival is proud to present multidisciplinary events that showcase creative writing in all its forms,” says Dawn Arnold, Festival chair. “By merging authors and musicians together on the same stages we create even more memorable events that provide word lovers an exceptionally unique and stimulating world-class opportunity to celebrate words.”

Electrifying evenings!
On April 28, Marie-Jo Thério will perform at Soirée Frye. A Moncton native, Marie-Jo is well known on the national and international francophone cultural scene and has just released her first album in English: Chasing Lydie. She will take the stage on the same night as the reigning queen of Canadian literature, Margaret Atwood, and authors Dyane Léger, Gilles Leroy, and Shandi Mitchell, who will read excerpts from their works. Joe Grass will also display his musical prowess sharing the stage with Marie-Jo for the first time ever in what promises to be an electric musical collaboration. Soirée Frye will take place at the Capitol Theatre at 8 pm. A reception will follow in the lobby. Tickets are on sale at $20 ($10 for students).

The same night, starting at 10:30 pm, the first 2011 Frye Festival Night Howl will welcome Moncton-born and Montreal-based multi-instrumentalist Joe Grass for a musical performance. Featured authors are Karen Connelly and Daniel Dugas. The event will take place at City Grill and is “Pay what you can” (PWYC).

On Friday, April 29, Canadian chanteuse Sylvia Tyson (also a guest author at the Festival!), formerly of the folk duo Ian and Sylvia, will perform during Beer and Books, which starts at 5 pm at City Grill. This event also features authors Christine Adjahi, Tammy Armstrong, Melvin Gallant, and Doug Harris and is PWYC.

Later in the evening, PEI band Haunted Hearts will captivate with its Alt-country and Americana songs and ballads during the Night Howl (City Grill, 10:30 pm). Authors Hélène Dorion and Doug Harris will also be reading. The event is PWYC.

Not to be missed on April 30, the always memorable Frye Jam combines music and words in a highly charged and jazzy atmosphere hosted by Les Païens and Joe Grass. This year, the musical guests are 2011 Juno-nominated Bernard Adamus, Moncton native Phil Flowers and young emerging artist Vivianne Roy. Authors Hélène Dorion, Daniel Dugas, Doug Harris, Mark Anthony Jarman, Susan Juby, Dyane Léger, and Shandi Mitchell will offer a performance in words to the musical soundtrack of the hosts Les Païens and Joe Grass. The evening takes place at City Grill starting at 10:30 pm and tickets are on sale at $10.

All of the Festival events are open to the public and many are free or “Pay what you can” (PWYC). Tickets for some of the events can be purchased at up to 24 hours before the event. The remaining tickets can be purchased at the door. For more information, visit

2011 Frye Festival Musical Guests

Born in Moncton, Marie-Jo Thério has released four albums: Comme de la musique, La Maline, Les matins habitables, and Chasing Lydie, her first English album. Les matins habitables (2005) was awarded a “Gold album” and a “Felix”. Her most recent opus, Chasing Lydie, released in March 2011, brings the listener back to 1920s America on the footsteps of Lydie, artist and great-aunt of Marie-Jo. The album is available on CD and digital format as well as a limited double-vinyl release. Marie-Jo Thério will perform at Soirée Frye, on Thursday, April 28.

Joe Grass began his music career defying stylistic boundaries. His 2004 self-titled debut saw the Moncton native taking his songs to renowned festivals and venues across the country, armed with nothing but an acoustic lap-slide guitar and his unpredictable blues-influenced playing. In 2001, he moved to Montreal to work as a sideman, collaborator and producer, playing on records ranging in style from roots music and rock and roll to jazz and new improvised music. Gaining notoriety as a virtuous multi-instrumentalist, Grass has recorded and toured with Lhasa De Sela, Patrick Watson, Daniel Bélanger, Marie-Pierre Arthur, Plants and Animals, Katie Moore, and Stuart McLean’s “Vinyl Café” road show, to name a few. His new solo release, Deadlocks, is due out in April 2011. Joe Grass will be a part of Soirée Frye and Night Howl on Thursday, April 28, and will co-host the Frye Jam with Les Paiens on Saturday, April 30.

For 18 years, Sylvia Tyson was one half of the internationally renowned folk duo Ian and Sylvia, who shared a manager with such luminaries as Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary, The Band and Janis Joplin. Their hits included “Four Strong Winds,” written by Ian, and (for the group We Five) “You Were on My Mind,” written by Sylvia. Sylvia has recorded 10 solo albums and since 2000 has been recording and performing with the group Quartette. She has also had a distinguished radio and television career, both in music and in documentaries. Sylvia Tyson is a member of the Order of Canada and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. She will perform songs from her repertoire at Beer and Books on April 29 at City Grill. Her first novel, Joyner’s Dream will be the subject of a book club the same day at the Moncton Public Library.

Haunted Hearts write a loose blend of music, most identified as Alt-Country or Americana, though a deeper look into their music reveals a much longer list of sounds, styles and influences. Formed in October 2008, the band is comprised of Dennis Ellsworth (songwriter, vocals, and guitar), Mike MacDougall (drums and percussion), Johnny Ross (piano and organ), Mark Geddes (bass and vocals) and Thomas Webb (pedal steel, guitar, and banjo). The songs ease and haunt with beauty, and might sound something like a cry from the dark side of the soul, an old time honky-tonk howler, a tear stained whiskey ballad, or straight ahead loose country groove. Haunted Hearts has two full length albums, Thank You, Goodnight (2009) and Howdy (2010). In January 2011, Haunted Hearts were big winners at the Music PEI Awards. The band will perform at City Grill during the Night Howl on Friday, April 29.

Bernard Adamus released his debut album, Brun, in the spring of 2009, which was nominated for a 2011 Juno. Born in Poland, this singer-songwriter has been calling Montreal home since he was three. Montreal is at the centre of his songs, bluesy odes to the city’s working-class neighborhoods: Hochelag, Centre-Sud, Rosemont. He is also inspired by old American blues, gospel music, country, and Quebec lyricism. He will play at Frye Jam on Saturday, April 30.

Les Païens have been part of Moncton’s musical scene for more than 15 years. Although thoroughly modern in their electric-eclectic sounds, they are steeped in the late 1960s/early-’70s jazz-rock fusion of Miles Davis (In a Silent Way, A Tribute Jack Johnson), the Mahavishnu Orchestra and modern sounds like Tortoise and Swiss trumpet player Erik Truffaz. A big, squalling rock attack meets deft jazz improvising… Along with Joe Grass, Les Païens will host Frye Jam, on Saturday, April 30, and they’ll accompany Gabriel Robichaud during Poet flyé Says Bye-Bye, on Sunday, May 1 at the Greater Moncton International Airport.

Under the heavy influence of American folk music, blues, and jazz, Moncton native Phil Flowers creates the perfect atmosphere for his fiercely imagist lyrics about social heartache, deception and candour. Influenced by legends such as Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and, at times, Hank Williams, Phil Flowers is not content with the status quo and challenges the conceptions of what a singer-songwriter should be. He will be a part of Frye Jam on Saturday, April 30.

At 19 years old, Vivianne Roy has already created her own musical universe and signature sound: a warm voice with colourful and personal lyrics mixed with catchy folk, jazz and blues melodies. Spontaneous and authentic, she owns the stage and enjoys interacting with the public. In the spring of 2010, she won the solo category of the provincial francophone high school musical contest Accros de la chanson and has been on her way up ever since. She takes the stage at Frye Jam on Saturday, April 30.

Schedule of Electrifying Evenings: Festival Frye 2011

Thursday, April 28
8 pm – Soirée Frye with Margaret Atwood, Dyane Léger, Gilles Leroy and Shandi Mitchell
Musical guests: Marie-Jo Thério and Joe Grass – Capitol Theatre – $20 ($10 students)

10:30 pm – Night Howl with Karen Connelly and Daniel Dugas. Musical Guest: Joe Grass – City Grill – PWYC

Friday, April 29
5 pm – Beer and Books with Christine Adjahi, Tammy Armstrong, Melvin Gallant and Doug Harris. Musical Guest: Sylvia Tyson. City Grill – PWYC

10:30 pm – Night Howl with Doug Harris, Hélène Dorion and musical guest: Haunted Hearts. City Grill – PWYC

Saturday, April 30
10:30 pm – Frye Jam with Hélène Dorion, Daniel Dugas, Doug Harris, Mark Anthony Jarman, Susan Juby, Dyane Léger, and Shandi Mitchell. The evening will be hosted by Les Païens and Joe Grass with musical guests Bernard Adamus, Phil Flowers, and Vivianne Roy. City Grill – $10

Sunday, May 1
11:00 am – Poet flyé Says Bye-Bye – Les Païens will accompany Gabriel Robichaud reading his poem flyé at the Greater Moncton International Airport.