Award-winning percussionist and composer Robin Layne will headline Errington’s first Hi Neighbour Day Dance in two years.
Layne and his band, the Rhythm Makers, will perform at 8 p.m. in Errington War Memorial Hall on Aug. 20, according to a news release. He said he is excited to be playing in front of a live audience again.
“Nothing can really replace a live crowd dancing to music, that’s one of the best things,” said Layne, who has been playing music professionally for close to 20 years.
Since forming in 2015, the ensemble has played its mix of jazz, Latin and Africa rhythmic traditions at festivals and dance halls across B.C.
Layne’s main instrument, the marimba, originated in Africa and made its way to Latin America via the slave trade, before being incorporated into jazz and classical music in the mid-20th century.
“A lot of the music that we play in my band is inspired by my travels and studies and different traditions around the world,” Layne said. He and the Rhythm Makers put their own spin on compositions inspired by visits to Cuba, Guinea and Mali.
Layne believes music has the power to connect and bring people together and he has devoted his life to that, both through his performances and his educational work with young people.
Known for his collaborations with a wide spectrum of folk and world artists across Canada, including Locarno, Mazacote and Juno Award winners such as Quique Escamilla, Celso Machado, and the Paperboys, Layne’s passion for rhythm has led him around the world.
The Rhythm Makers ensemble includes Liam MacDonald (percussion), J.P. Carter (trumpet), Ronnie Swirl (bass) and Richard Brown (drums).
Layne, raised in Victoria and now bas ed in Vancouver, is in the early stages of making a new album, due for release in 2023.
This winter he will travel to Oaxaca, Mexico and Colombia to do some more research, write new music and collaborate with musicians in those areas on a Canada Council for the Arts grant.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and are available at Shades of Green in Parksville and Errington General Store. They can also be purchased for $22.50 online. Children ages six to 12 are $5 at the door; free under age six.
Home baked goodies, ginger tea and Creekmore’s coffee will be available from the kitchen.
Hi Neighbour Day will also include a parade, the famous zucchini race and the Errington Farmers’ Market.
— NEWS Staff, submitted