Lance Anderson’s acclaimed tribute performance of The Last Waltz returns by popular demand to Peter’s Players
An all-star Canadian cast of award-winning blues and roots musicians will perform ‘The Last Waltz – A Musical Celebration of THE BAND Live’, at Peter’s Players Saturday Nov 21st , 2015.
Under the direction of producer and musical director, Lance Anderson, the November appearances will be the third year for this crowd pleasing show which has sold out shows early at Peter’s Players. It has also sold out shows in Ottawa, Peterborough, Orillia, Collingwood, and at Hugh’s Room in Toronto. And headlined the CNE Bandshell, Southside Shuffle, Wasaga Beach Blues Festival and Kitchener Blues Festivals.
This is an all-star line-up, featuring Maple Blues Lifetime Achievement and Juno award winner Chuck Jackson, Jerome Levon Avis (Levon Helm’s godson), the always entertaining Johnny Max, the multi-talented Jimmy Bowskill and the fabulous WEBER Brothers, and other special guest singers. The performance will recreate the atmosphere of The Band’s final concert, which was captured in Martin Scorcese’s award-winning concert film, The Last Waltz.
On the American Thanksgiving of 1976 at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom, The Band performed what they called their “Last Waltz,” and invited many of their friends to join in the celebration. These friends included Bob Dylan, Ronnie Hawkins, Van Morrison, Neil Young and others who performed with The Band on this special night.
In this homage to The Last Waltz, Anderson’s special guests will perform the songs played and sung by these artists at the memorable 1976 concert. These shows have become an annual November tradition at Peter’s.
Backed by a 9 piece band that includes Jerome Levon Avis on drums and vocals, Terry Blersh on guitar, Dennis Pinhorn (The Hawks) on bass, Rob Gusevs (Blood, Sweat and Tears) on organ and Anderson (Shakura S’Aida) on piano and vocals, this is a group of seasoned veterans who love the music. Anderson’s band also features a stellar four-piece horn section including David Dunlop (Boss Brass) on trumpet, Gord Meyers (Blood, Sweat and Tears) on trombone and tuba, Chris Murphy (Maple Blues Band) on Tenor sax, and Simon Wallis (Lighthouse) on Baritone sax.
“What makes this performance special is the connection these musicians have to the music,” says Anderson. “They love the music and perform these tunes from the heart.”
Avis’ dad, Bill Avis was The Band’s road manager from the early days with Ronnie Hawkins through the Bob Dylan years, right up until The Last Waltz. Bill was especially close to Levon Helm and he has a wealth of stories about times on the road with The Band. Dennis Pinhorn is an ex-Hawk, who joined Ronnie Hawkins some years after The Band left to tour with Dylan. And Anderson himself produced a piano and vocal recording, ‘Live at the Wolf’, with Garth Hudson, The Band’s mercurial genius on the organ.
Anderson’s production of The Last Waltz has experienced rave reviews at the many festivals where it has appeared over the past few years and has consistently been referred to as the “best of the festival.”
“It wasn’t just the musicianship, which was second to none; it was the energy – these musicians have brought forth a live music gem that is worthy of any stage I know of and probably more that I don’t,” said P. Rellinger of the Kawartha News after seeing Anderson’s show in Peterborough.
The Band is a Canadian national treasure, with four members of the legendary roots music group originally from southern Ontario. In the 1960s, they were initially brought together as “The Hawks” by Ronnie Hawkins and later gained international recognition as Bob Dylan’s band on his groundbreaking electric tours. This two hour tribute performance of The Last Waltz includes a wide selection of fan favourites, such as The Band’s ‘The Weight’, ’The Night They Drove Ol’ Dixie Down’, ‘Up On Cripple Creek’, ‘Life is a Carnival’, ‘The Shape I’m In’, ‘Rag Mama Rag’, ‘It Makes No Difference’, ‘Ophelia’ ‘King Harvest’ and many more.