|The marvelous Peace, Love and Folk Songs free concert put on by Brian Gladstone and the Folksingers For Peace at Mel Lastman Square on Saturday June 28 was the undisputed highlight of a wonderful Canada Day long weekend for me.
The event, at which I was privileged to participate as an emcee during the evening hours (and as crooner of "Blowin' In The Wind" with the crowd, accompanied by Ray Materick, at the end of the night) was perfect in nearly every respect, including the venue, perfect weather, a stellar roster of performers backed by a pro sound man and system and a lovely crowd to enjoy it all.
For the record, the following acts appeared, all pro bono: Jennifer Noxon; Roger Ellis; Tony Turner; Howard Gladstone; Shelley Gravelle; Lynn Harrison; Norm Hacking; Miranda Stone; James Gordon; David Bradstreet; Brian Gladstone (with Marg Stowe, Maureen Brown, Bonnie Gladstone and Al Soberman); Danny Marks; and Ray Materick. Wow! And the sets ran pretty much perfectly on time!
The vibe was very much that of a folk festival and the amphitheatre- style seating was utterly appropriate. Even the presence of nearby tall buildings framing a cerulean sky as you looked up, (which segued into lovely shades of violet then settled to black, dotted by stars, as the evening went on) rather than dimming the vibe actually enhanced it as you felt, from the stage at least, as if you were truly singing to the city and really getting a message out.
It was great to finally meet a few performers I hadn't personally known before, to see lots of kids frolicking in the crowd and also listening to the music, to encounter friends not seen often enough and to be reminded that I'm not alone in believing that peace should be the natural state of human social affairs.
A superlative job by Brian Gladstone and all those who assisted him in putting on this heart-warming event, which I'm certain will become an annual affair. For more info check out www.folksingersforpeace.com