Front Row is an ongoing series featuring accomplished musicians from Canada and beyond... up close and personal.     


Take a seat front and centre and hear about their music journey and hear them in performance.


Episode 23 - Coco Love Alcorn - Singer songwriter Coco Love Alcorn takes us into her home studio where she shows off some new tech she's now using to make new music. She also talks about her 30 years of music making beginning with peforming jazz in Vancouver to how she is now fusing jazz, pop, soul and folk into new music inspired by the human spirit. Coco wraps up by performing some music with her new Moog toy.

Episode 22 - Leana Rutt - Cellist Leana Rutt shares a bit about her career to date including how she got involved with the Rosebud String Quartet and becoming Principal Cellist for the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra. She also talks about the struggles many performers like herself have dealt with during the pandemic. Leana concludes by performing a work by Gyorgy Ligeti.

Episode 21 - Miranda Mulholland -Violinist/fiddler and singer Miranda Mulholland (who performed at SweetWater 2021 with her group Harrow Fair) shares a bit about her violin made in 1911 by Toronto-based luthier H.M. Cusack. She then performs a tune on the violin by Jay Unger entitled “Ashokan Farewell”.


Episode 20 - Patricia O'Callaghan - Vocalist Patricia O'Callaghan talks about how she spent part of the pandemic studying the Irish Gaelic language and Irish traditional songs. She then sings one of these songs which tells the story of a mermaid who falls in love with a sailor.

Episode 19 - Pete Gemmell - Multi-talented musician Pete Gemmell recalls his early days as a youngster learning how to play piano, saxophone, and clarinet. He talks about his time performing on the streets and at cafes in Europe. He also performs two tunes.. one on piano (with vocals) and another on saxophone.

Episode 18 - Jessica Deutsch - Multi-instrumentalist Jessica Deutsch recalls growing up in a multi-generational musical family and beginning lessons by the age of 4. She also talks about her years of music training and how she moved from classical to performing folk music from other countries along with jazz as she began her professional career. Jessica also performs a short improvised piece on violin.

Episode 17 - Lori Gemmell - Harpist Lori Gemmell's love of music began as a child singing with her siblings as her mother played guitar. Though she learned how to play many instruments, the harp became her passion. She also talks about how she has been able to combine music and stories collaborating with her husband Tom Allen on many projects over the years

Episode 16 - Benjamin Barrile - Flamenco guitarist Benjamin Barrile talks a bit about how he made playing the "Blues of Spain" a passion in his life. A late starter on guitar at age 16, he immersed himself into flamenco music after high school spending time in Spain. He also talks about how a physical condition almost took away his ability to play guitar and how he overcame it to play again.


Episode 15 - Philip Chiu - Pianist Philip Chiu takes us back in time and talks about how his music training was all in Canada and his longtime connection to Montreal. He also plays a piece by Schubert.

Episode 14 - Jeff Reilly - Musician and composer Jeff Reilly talks about his lifelong love of music and how he first met up with collaborator Tom Allen and how they've worked together over the years. He also provides some background about the creation of their latest work, Being Lost, and performs a short music preview.

Episode 13 - Aaron Schwebel - Violinist Aaron Schwebel, a member of the Rosebud Quartet, talks about his longtime connection to SweetWater Artistic Director Edwin Huizinga as well as how meaningful it is to be performing music live once again. He also performs an excerpt from Bach's "Chaconne" from Partita no. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004.

Episode 12 - Tamar Ilana -Season Two begins with the multi-talented Tamar Ilana who talks about her music journey to date and sings two tracks from her group Ventanas' most recent album.


Episode 11 - Doug Balliett - The musician and composer, who is also a member of the string ensemble Acronym, talks about his  start in music thanks to his music instructor grandfather. Years later the bassist moved from symphonic music and immersed himself in the world of early music. He concludes with a performance (joined by two friends) of a well-known contemporary work and his composition, a three--part cantata.

Episode 10 - Loren Ludwig - Loren Ludwig is a viola da gamba player and music historian as well as being a member of the early music string ensemble Acronym. In this episode, he goes back in time and talks about the viola da gamba's history in early Canada and the discovery of instruments hidden for a century in a Quebec hospital wall. Loren concludes by performing "Les Voix Humaines" by Marin Marais.

Episode 9 - Beth Wenstrom - Violinist Beth Wenstrom, who is also a member of the early music string ensemble Acronym, recalls  growing up in Alaska and playing her violin on family camping trips. She fondly looks back on performing in remote areas of the state as a teen.  Beth concludes by performing a work by Swedish composer Johan Helmich Roman.


Episode 8 - Kyle Miller - Violist Kyle Miller, who is also a member of the early music string ensemble Acronym, talks about how he first began to perform on a viola in Grade 4. He recalls his first meeting with his Acroynm colleagues including Edwin Huizinga. Kyle concludes by performing some Bach.

Episode 7 - William Coulter - Guitarist William Coulter recalls how he grew up in a home steeped in classical music. As a teen, he took up electrical guitar but soon moved to classical guitar. He also talks about his love of traditional music including Irish folk and performs his composition, "An Daingean".

Episode 6 - Ashley Hoyer - Multi-talented instrumentalist Ashley Hoyer talks about her early start in music playing classical violin and how it evolved to her performing on the mandolin. She also discusses her journey exploring different music genres and performs her piece "The Race".

Episode 5 - Measha Brueggergosman - Soprano Measha Brueggergosman talks about her early musical influences and how she knew as a child she would become an opera singer. She also performs "Sinnerman" with her trio along with a few surprises.

Episode 4 - Marc Destrubé - Violinist Marc Destrubé talks about how he switched from studying medicine to music, his long association with Artistic Director Edwin Huizinga, his many years performing early music, and concludes with a performance. Marc is a featured performer during SweetWater Surreal Live September 17 to 20.

Episode 3 - Julie Hereish - The second Surreal episode features cellist Julie Hereish. She talks about how her journey as a cellist began at a music camp when she was 8 growing up in Montreal. Julie also shares a little bit of Bach as well. She is one of the featured musicians performing at SweetWater Surreal Live September 17 to 20.

Episode 2 - Keith Hamm - Our first Surreal episode of Front Row featuring violist Keith Hamm, a featured performer during Surreal Live (September 17 to 20). Keith talks about his early days growing up in Rosebud, Alberta, his remembrances of coming to SweetWater as a student years ago, and also performs some Bach for our enjoyment. 


Episode 1 - Jaron Freeman-Fox - Multi-talented violinist talks about his musical journey beginning in a small town in B.C. He provides a look at what inspired him to become a musician and what he has accomplished in his career to date. He also performs a new composition, Memory