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World of music comes to streets of Whistler


Celtic to Cuban sounds at Summer Solstice

Tourism Whistler continues to bring the world of music to Whistler. In the past, the weekend festival has featured roots and blues themes. This year there will be salsa, a jig and some gumboot dancing in the streets with Summer Solstice.

Five world-class acts will hit the streets of the resort, with free performances 10 times a day. (see Pique’s entertainment listings for complete times and places) Guitarist, John Gilliat is a crowd-stopper with his exotic mix of Flamenco, world beat and pop. This trio, with guitarist Peter Groenhop and Latin percussionist Ron Sterling, will leave you dazzled.

The music of the jungle will fill the mountains as Muzuva performs on the infectious marimba.

From Africa, we travel to Ireland for a Celtic good time with The Ecclestons. This trio always packs Dubh Linn Gate in the winter. If you haven’t heard them yet, be part of an audience sure to turn into a family connected by the roots of music.

And for something completely untraditional, grab a bench by Cordes En Folie. This Vancouver-based duo creates original melodies and rhythms with unique instruments. What the heck is a hurdy-gurdy? You’ll have to watch to find out.

And, Mike Battie juggles some variety into the overall mix — literally. This comedian is a hit with children and adults alike. His juggling will leave you feeling a little dizzy.

The highlight of the weekend will be the all-ages performance of the Puentes Brothers. These Cuban-born twins, Alexis and Adonis, are backed by a seven-piece ensemble, turning out earthy, seductive, effervescent music. Puentes Brothers are Juno-nominees and were awarded Best World Album at the West Coast Music Awards.

Their Whistler show will be unforgettable, not just for the audience, but for the brothers as well. Their father, Valentin, will be making the trip all the way from Cuba to perform with his sons in Whistler. Valentin is a noted guitarist and teacher who influenced his sons’ destinies from young ages. Alexis began studying clave when he was just four and before the year was out, the child prodigy played the Cuban rhythm instrument with his father’s band on national television. The trio went on to form a highly successful band called Los Puentes, making their Canadian debut in 1995. Although the brothers chose to settle in Canada and have embarked on separate projects over the years, family ties kept the trio close and it was inevitable that they should reunite their talents.

And as if that weren’t enough, the night at the Whistler Conference Centre will open with the infectious Latina rhythms of Rumba Calzada. Clap your hands to this dynamic six-piece band … and get ready to move your hips. Rumba Calzada comes equipped with dance instructors who will lead the audience through some mild, medium and hot salsa.

And just to make sure the mercury stays at the top of the thermometer, Mike Battie brings his talents - and a little fire - to the stage in between the music.

Tickets for the Latin Sizzle Night are $12 and available at the Whistler Activity Centre.