The Katherine Penfold Trio will be performing on Saturday night (August 13th) at Brandon's Augustfest. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by a meet-and-greet with the artists
Katherine Penfold (Lucas Starbuck Photography)
The Augustfest Homecoming Series showcases the talents of professional musicians who trained at Brandon University. They return this week to their Alma mater to share their talents. One of them is vocalist Katherine Penfold, who closes out the fest on Saturday night.
Katherine has made her musical way across Canada. She was born in Nova Scotia. When she came to the prairies she brought her celtic music influence with her. Never vocally shy, she was soon singing folksy tunes throughout the Manitoba/Saskatchewan coffee house scene. She eventually studied at the prestigious University of Brandon music program where she was introduced to jazz, a genre highly suited to her molten voice.
Now based out of B.C.'s sunshine coast, Katherine can be found mixing jazz standards with her own original adult contemporary works. With two albums under her belt, and a third shortly on the way, she is certainly a voice to listen for in the coming years.
SCENE approached Katherine to ask her about her musical progressions.
What is it about the Brandon University music program that allows it to produce such a talented pool of musicians?
Brandon University is a smaller school which allows very close study with the excellent professors that teach there. They encourage and support every one of their students to be the best they can be.
What is the one thing that you took away from Brandon University?
There is definitely more than just one thing I took from Brandon University, but a main aspiration I have from my time there is to never stop learning, never stop trying to achieve more and be a better musician.
How did an East Coast girl heavy into Celtic music become interested in jazz?
When I began at Brandon University I was also teaching at Surridges Music Centre - that's where I met the drummer from The NuPhunk Orchestra and began singing with the group. By working with those talented musicians I started to get closer to Jazz music and that scene as they were all a part of the Jazz Program at the University. After singing a few Jazz tunes I got hooked. The history and emotion in Jazz I feel is very close to the Celtic music I had been singing; it speaks to me the same way, if not more.
Why did you move to the West Coast?
Just like every musician looking for new challenges, I wanted to explore and share my music with as many people as I possibly could. It's been an awesome year in BC as I got the chance to close the 2011 Gibsons Landing Jazz Festival, and perform with Miles Black at The Cellar in Vancouver. In a few months we'll be going to Australia to take my music there, then back to Canada and the US with the new album; Life is too short to not make the most of a dream.
How does the music scene in Manitoba stack-up against your current location in British Columbia?
Every town, city, province, territory etc, is different. I don't know if one can say the "Manitoba" music scene as there's so much amazing diversity within this province, and BC is just the same. Manitoba has its prime venues, as does British Columbia; both scenes are full of brilliant, loving people accepting of new music and new artists. I see it as an incredible privilege to have worked with so many great musicians through-out Canada, and I'm more than excited to meet more around the world in the next couple years!