September 2, 2021
The SweetWater Music Festival (September 16 to 19) returns in 2021 with a full programme of music featuring internationally acclaimed Canadian musicians performing classical, jazz, and contemporary music. The four days of amazing music for the first-time features concerts and events outdoors, indoors, and online. Live, in-person events take place in Owen Sound and Meaford.
“After the great response to our outdoor concerts during SweetWater Surreal in 2020, we obviously wanted to continue to offer these unique venues in 2021,” says Artistic Director Edwin Huizinga. “It’s great to be able to perform music back in a concert hall but we feel it’s important to provide a variety of options to our audiences including online music programming.”
SweetWater 2021 includes four Mainstage Concerts. The Friday and Saturday night concerts at 7 p.m. at the Harmony Centre in Owen Sound will focus on classical repertoire. The musicians will include Huizinga, members of the Rosebud String Quartet (Aaron Schwebel, Keith Hamm, Sheila Jaffe, and Leana Rutt), pianist Philip Chiu, and cellist Julie Hereish.
The Saturday Late Night Mainstage concert at Heartwood Hall is headlined by Tamar Ilana & Ventanas featuring multi-talented vocalist Tamar Ilana. They will offer up reimagined Mediterranean melodies and flamenco grooves with contemporary interpretations of ancient ballads as well as some original music. Finally, the Sunday Matinee Mainstage happens outside at breathtaking venue along the Sydenham River for Being Lost. Narrator and trombonist Tom Allen is joined by clarinetist Jeff Reilly, vocalist Patricia O’Callaghan, harpist Lori Gemmell, and saxophonist Pete Gemmell.
This year SweetWater is also offering a special Celebration Concert on Thursday, September 16 at a picturesque outdoor setting near Annan featuring a performance of Schubert’s String quintet in C major D956. The concert will also include a performance by the Tamar Ilana Flamenco Trio.
And there’s more… four noon-hour, outdoor Community Concerts bringing music to where you live. It begins with the roots, cross-genre sounds of Harrow Fair on September 16 at the Meaford Rotary Harbour Pavilion. On Friday, the Tamar Illana Flamenco Trio perform at Grey Gallery Gardens in downtown Owen Sound. Saturday’s concert features the multi-talented Coco Love Alcorn at the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority Arboretum Pavilion. Sunday’s concert is headlined by the Rosebud String Quartet at the Owen Sound Farmers Market. Each concert will also have an opening act featuring four of this year’s Next Wave Showcase finalists. Everyone is welcome to attend and donations are appreciated.
After a year off, the community play along Classical Jam returns on Saturday, September 18 at the Grey Sauble Conservation Area Arboretum Pavilion at 1:15 p.m. And on Sunday, the String Instrument Showcase, featuring some of Canada’s top instrument makers, sets up shop at the Owen Sound Farmers Market as part of our noon Community Concert.
Plus, three of this year’s Mainstage Concerts will be livestreamed (Friday Night Mainstage, Saturday Night Mainstage, Saturday Late Night Mainstage) and the online series about musicians, Front Row, returns with new episodes throughout this fall. Many of this year’s SweetWater 2021 performers are featured in these segments, which include short performances as well.
SweetWater again this year will be taking special precautions to ensure the health and safety of audience members, performers, volunteers, and staff. Based on guidance from the local health unit, it is developing strict COVID-19 safety guidelines for all events. Attendance will be limited at all events to ensure physical distancing between patrons.