The last Qualicum Acoustic Café of the season features the return of the Jocelyn Pettit Band — a Celtic and world-music group that was well-loved during their first performance at the café several years ago.
A young Canadian fiddler, step dancer, singer and composer, Jocelyn Pettit comes from Squamish for a three-performance tour of the Island along with her four bandmates.
The unplugged performance — with the exception of an electric keyboard — promises to bring a mix of traditional Celtic music from Canada, Ireland, Scotland, France and elsewhere, along with some of Pettit’s original work.
Pettit’s heritage includes several Celtic nations, but it was East Coast music from Cape Breton, N.S. that inspired her love of the genre.
“I was just really taken by the drive and the uplifting spirit of the music,” said Pettit. “It’s such fun, lively music.”
At home performing on big stages and in small venues, Pettit said she is excited for this acoustic tour of the island.
“It will be nice and intimate, just like a kitchen party,” she said brightly.
“With the acoustic venues, the folk clubs, the house concerts, there is a really amazing energy with the audience, because we are so up-close and it’s so intimate. You can really share those moments with the audience.”
Joyce Beaton, founder of the Qualicum Acoustic Café, calls Pettit “a fabulous fiddler,” adding that the band was a “big hit” at their last performance at the café.
The band will close out the ninth season for the café. The venue was started by Beaton and her husband, John — members of Celtic Chaos band.
The group was being asked to attend various folk clubs around the island, and found there was nothing similar in Qualicum Beach.
Since then, the café has been a well-received venture that succeeds in bringing strong talent to Qualicum Beach, providing a venue for local singers, musicians and poets to perform at their open mic, followed by a featured performance.
The café pays for itself with the help of volunteers, donations of coffee from Creekmore Coffee, home-made apple crumble, and enthusiastic bands, said Beaton.
“It’s not money-making for (the bands),” Beaton said, though they keep coming by to perform.
“I like to think it’s my charm (that brings them back),” she said with a laugh. Though the café can serve as a good introduction to the community, leading to larger concerts later on, or can fill a space in a larger tour of the Island, she said.
But, in an effort to give more to feature performers, tickets for the café will increase from $7 to $10 for next season, which starts Oct. 6.
The Jocelyn Pettit Band performs on April 7, with the evening beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Rotary House at 211 Fern Rd.
Tickets are $7, available at Diva Vintage Kandy and Kakes. (Tickets have since sold out)