All in the Family

Music runs deep in my family. My father played violin in the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra, my mother studied piano, and I am the ancestor of Mykola Lysenko, considered the father of modern Ukrainian classical music (he didn’t find much recognition outside of the country because he refused to translate his operas into Russia). Although I can boast these family connections, their musical talents seem to have skipped me. Despite playing trumpet in my public school’s junior band and bass guitar in high school, I was kicked out of senior band for not being able to keep a steady bass drum beat for the band’s performance at the Santa Claus parade (to this day, the beat still haunts my dreams). Instead, it was my sister who inherited these genes. She has studied piano, bandura (a Ukrainian, plucked string, folk instrument), and the clarinet. Proud of you sis, keep carrying the torch.

From a punk rock family to brothers in bands, we’re focusing on musical families for our annual Sounds of the City issue. As part of this theme, Nancy Saunders talks to Ryan and Nic MacDonald of The Honest Heart Collective about being brothers in a rock and roll band. Plus, Tiffany Jarva digs deep into the history of local music pioneer Don Grashey. We also profile six musicians who, put simply, you have to hear.

With November marking Remembrance Day, we also highlight some of the events commemorating the 100 year anniversary of the end of World War I. Kris Ketonen previews the premiere of The Lakehead at War and Jesse Roberts provides an update on the World War One Thunder Bay Centennial Project.

This month we also celebrate the Thunder Bay Blues Society’s 25th anniversary and Savanah Tillberg gets a sneak peak at Untamed, Definitely Superior Art Gallery’s 30th Annual Regional Juried Exhibition. Plus, we encourage our readers to vote for their favourite things about Thunder Bay in our annual Best of Thunder Bay Readers’ Survey.  

So whether you’re like me and can’t keep a beat or you’re a musical prodigy, I hope you enjoy this month’s issue.

-Adrian Lysenko