Video: Meet the band behind the Leonard Cohen tribute show

The Western News catches up with some of the poets, musicians and artists honouring Leonard Cohen this weekend.

A rehearsal at the Penticton Art Gallery for Anthem: A Leonard Cohen Tribute

A rehearsal at the Penticton Art Gallery for Anthem: A Leonard Cohen Tribute



As Penticton poets, musicians and artists prepare for Anthem: A Leonard Cohen Tribute, the Western News caught up with some of the performers to find out what kind of role Leonard Cohen played in their lives.

Penticton spoken-word poet Shane Koyczan helped organize the performance, which sold out the first night quickly, now playing two nights (Dec. 17 and 18) at the Cleland Community Theatre.

“One of the reasons I’m able to do what I do is, you find the voices that appeal to you in life and they become part of your own voice and Leonard Cohen has definitely been that for me,” Koyczan said. “He taught me to communicate with the world when I didn’t know how to.”

Each performer has taken on two songs to highlight during the ensemble show.

Singer-songwriter Maiya Robbie is exploring  Joan of Arc and Chelsea Hotel #2.

“I got really lucky that they’re two of my favourite songs because there were a lot of songs we were all choosing from and debating who was going to do what,” Robbie said. “Leonard Cohen’s, the line that he plays with sensuality and sacredness and Joan of Arc, to me, is the embodiment of that. It’s been one of my favourite songs since I was a teenager.”

Local musician Jared Jackel is bringing banjo, guitar and more as well as taking on  two Cohen songs from his 1977 album Death of a Ladies Man.

“Which I hadn’t heard until he died actually. It’s a super insane album. Phil Spectre produced it and it definitely sounds like it, very crazy, and I didn’t really know Leonard Cohen did that kind of stuff,” Jackel said. “Doing this and learning all these songs is definitely very cool to be exposed to all the different kind of stuff he does.”

Teresa  Wiltse first  heard Cohen’s iconic Bird on the Wire as done by Jennifer Warnes.

“That’s how I was first introduced to Leonard Cohen was a Jennifer Warnes cassette tape that I wore out, you couldn’t read the writing on it anymore,” Wiltse said.

She’s also performing Who By Fire from 1974’s New Skin for the Old Century.

Getting together to with local musicians and artists to put on the performance has reignited her love for Cohen.

“Then just working with such amazing, amazing people. It really makes you realize how much talent there really is in Penticton and the response from the community shows you how much love there is for Leonard Cohen,” Wiltse said.

Warryn Berry is set to perform Famous Blue Raincoat and Avalanche.

“There’s just a certain quality to Leonard Cohen’s earlier acoustic songs that I like, that’s kind of what draws me to him,” Berry said.

“He maybe wasn’t an incredible singer, technique-wise, but he was telling a story.”

Daryl Oneill is performing Dance me to the End of Love and Here It Is.

“They’re beautiful songs, it was hard to chose. It’s like going to McDonalds and ordering some french fries and deciding which one is your favourite. They’re all going to be good,” Oneill said.

Oneill said Cohen was a hero to him growing up.

“He was actually doing the thing we all aspired to. He was living as an artist,” Oneill said. “Leonard has kind of been the soundtrack to a lot of my life.”

As Oneill puts it, there are “a lot of mouths to feed,” with 10 performers, but thankfully there is enough Cohen to go around.

“His body of work was so huge and encompassed so much different stuff that we could all find things that we wanted to do that were radically different from what everyone else was doing from different points in Leonard’s career,” Oneill said.

The performance also features Mia Harris, Stefan Bienz, Tavis Weir and Alexandra Goodall.

“It’s definitely challenging when you have this many people because there is a lot of people who want to jump in on these moments, they hear what other people are doing and want to become part of it and that’s amazing that energy is really great,” Koyczan said. “But we also need to allow space for very intimate moments to happen because that’s one of the appealing things about Leonard’s work is that it’s just so personal and small and you can listen to it in a dark room.”

Anthem: A Leonard Cohen Tribute plays the Cleland Theatre two nights with tickets still available for the Dec. 18 performance.

Proceeds from the show are going towards the Penticton Art Gallery and the Dream Café.

Tickets are $30 available at The Book Shop on Main Street and the Penticton Art Gallery.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This picture of Taghum resident Marc Savard was taken in February when he first spoke to the Nelson Star and little was known about the virus that had shut him out of his job in Wuhan, China. Photo: Tyler Harper
VIDEO: Once an outlier, Nelson man’s COVID-19 experience now typical

Savard was living in Wuhan, China, when the pandemic began

RNG plant
Construction on ground-breaking RNG plant in Fruitvale set to go in spring 2021

REN Energy partners with Calgary engineering firm for innovative West Kootenay gas plant

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
47 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

1,538 total cases, 399 are active, ten in hospital

Nelson city council conducted an online resident survey about patios and food trucks and got over a thousand responses. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Nelson council hears results of survey on patios and food trucks

A city’s online survey got 1,130 responses

Communities like Nakusp are grappling with the challenge of hooking high-speed internet up at individual homes. File photo
‘Last mile’ debate a Gordian knot in Slocan Valley’s fibre-optic cable plans

How do you bring high-speed internet not just to communities, but individual homes?

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Most Read