Free concerts at the CBC during 2014 Toque Sessions

CBC Toque Sessions: Live from Studio 1

CBC Toque Sessions: Live from Studio 1

Diversity is the key element at the CBC’s fifth annual Toque Sessions this winter. Reminiscent of CBC’s summer concert series Musical Nooners, the Toque agenda this year is made up of sprinklings of metal, blues, folk, indie and pop.

“It’s a real mix this year,” explains Jon Siddall, one of the producers who curated the 2014 Toque sessions. “We have really broad taste in music so there’s a little bit of every flavour. If you come to every session, you can experience them all.”

The Toque Sessions kicked off January 23 and will continue until February 28 with free shows every Thursday and Friday evening in CBC Vancouver’s Studio 1.

Local country pop-duo Hayley and Jess Moskaluke graced the first Toque session stage with their sweet rural croonings. Other indie sweethearts taking the stage during the annual winter concerts include The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer (seen recently on CBC’s Arctic Air), Vancouver darlings Said the Whale and radio-friendly Hannah Georgas.

One of the Toque Sessions I’m looking forward to seeing is local violinist singer/songwriter Hannah Epperson. Epperson pairs her honey-coated voice with equally sweet violin talents in the vein of Andrew Bird or Owen Pallett. Case in point: her magnetic tune Murder of Crows.

Hannah Epperson plays a February 7 Toque Session

Hannah Epperson plays a February 7 Toque Session

Epperson’s act is simple: it’s her violin, a loop machine and her voice. She perfected her one-woman show while living in Berlin for a year, busking under bridges.

While confident while playing the strings, she’s a bit more shy about her singing abilities.

“I never considered myself a singer,” explained Epperson during a recent interview in Studio 1. “I’m used to supporting a lot of vocalists but not really singing myself.”

One such stint in a supporting role, as back up musician to Shane Koyczan’s performance of his poem Remember How We Forgot landed Epperson on Upworthy. Since then Salt Lake City-come-Vancouver transplant has placed second in the Peak Performance Project, released a five song EP and has played at numerous Canadian festivals including Victoria’s Rifflandia and the Dawson City Music Fest.

“I love performing. Closing my eyes and just playing. To me it’s the closest thing to meditation,” says Epperson.

Epperson’s CBC Toque Session takes place Friday February 7. Watch out for a concept album from Epperson in the coming year as well as a collaboration project with Data Romance, an L.A.-based electro duo.

Toque Session Tips: arrive early, seats for the show are first come, first serve. The line up starts at 6:30 p.m. at the 700 Hamilton Street entrance. There are about 120-130 spots available at each Toque Session so space is limited. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Cost: Toque Sessions are free!

Remaining 2014 Toque Sessions:

Friday, February 7 – Hannah Epperson

Thursday, February 13 – The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer

Friday, February 14 – Blackie and the Rodeo Kings 

Thursday, February 20 – Said the Whale

Friday, February 21 – Dean Brody

Thursday, February 27 – Dan Brubeck Quartet

Friday, February 28 – Hannah Georgas and Ryan Guldemond


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