Winnie Cooper (left), Bonnie Dennis, Brad Hawkes, Duncan Sutherland, Candy Little, and John Cornes will be playing at Highlands Music Coffee House on Dec. 14. (Courtesy Highlands Coffee House)

‘Homespun’ brings six Greater Victoria artists together for genre-bending music

Highlands Music Coffee House returns Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

A Victoria-based singer-songwriter is bringing veteran performers together for a special night at a popular Highlands hotspot.

Homespun is the grassroots project of Duncan Sutherland, who’s been performing in Greater Victoria for 12 years in bluegrass band Shady Characters and acoustic roots group Bowker Creek.

Now, Sutherland combines the musical talents of six local artists for a night of folk, bluegrass, blues, country and swing for Highlands Music Coffee House on Saturday, Dec. 14.

Bonnie Dennis and Candy Little, who spent most of their childhoods at a lakeside northern B.C. log cabin, will bring the lead and harmony vocals to the band.

Dennis sings acapella harmony with Pacific Edge Chorus, Victoria’s own international gold medal-winning group. She also sings lead in her quartet, Blenz.

Meanwhile, Little has performed on Dick Clark’s TV production, “Your Big Break” back in 2000 while taking on the role of Naomi Judd in “A Tribute to the Judds”.

READ MORE: ‘Trio Espresso’ brings jazz to Highlands coffee house

The pair have been in business for the past 18 years, touring with Vancouver’s “Legends of Rock n’ Roll, playing at the Merritt Mountain Music Festival, and a brief stint at the Calgary Stampede.

Stand-up bassist John Cornes will bring his expertise from playing with a Gypsy jazz band and a previous collaboration with Sutherland.

Drummer Brad Hawkes has played congas in coffee houses since the late ’60s. He will showcase the talent he has cherished since his dad bought him his first set of drums in 1964.

Lastly, flutist Winnie Cooper rounds out the band with her improvisations and melodic interpretations. Cooper has played the flute since 1969 and used to be the host of the James Bay Coffee and Book Store music nights a few years back.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own mugs for tea and coffee while listening to the band.

The event takes place at Pike House, 1589 Millstream Rd, on Saturday, Dec. 14. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Admission is by donation ($7 suggested), with children 15 and under for free.


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