The 60th Anniversary of the British Invasion Saturday, April 13, 3pm Oscar Peterson Concert Hall

The eagerly anticipated theme for Craig Morrison’s 24th Annual Roots of Rock & Roll Concert is the 60th anniversary of the British Invasion. This usually soldout event takes place at the beautiful Oscar Peterson Concert Hall at Concordia University’s Loyola campus in NDG. New this year, the show is at ‘Tea Time’, 3pm on Saturday, April 13.

Craig Morrison

Dr. Craig Morrison will host his Annual Roots Of Rock ’n’ Roll concert on April 13
Photo: Linda Rutenberg

A popular aspect of these concerts is Craig Morrison’s introductions to the songs, putting them into context. Each year, the concert features a different theme, chosen to offer audiences what Morrison calls ‘educational fun’, “Nostalgia, yes, but I also share an overview of a particular phase of the development of music, with a mix of hits and historically important lesser-known songs,” he said.

On the big screen behind the band, each song is illustrated with a photo showing who performed and/or wrote it along with its title and date, and often with a bit of a back story. Morrison is now retired from Concordia University where he taught courses on the Beatles; Soul Music; Rock & Roll and its Roots; Psychedelic Music; British Popular Music; and one called Musical History Tour.

He has lectured at various institutions from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts to the Cummings Centre to local libraries. About Morrison, Montreal Gazette columnist Bill Brownstein wrote: “He may be the hippest prof around.”

For the Roots of Rock & Roll Concerts, the on-stage ensemble, a mix of younger and older performers of diverse backgrounds, is collectively called Craig Morrison & the Momentz. It includes the popular retro party band Vintage Wine (Morrison, Gary Sharkey, Ryan Fleury, Dave Lines) and special guests—vocalists Samantha Borgal, Rosalie Cerro, Angela Galuppo, and Laurena Segura; guitarist Gerry Kandestin; multi-instrumentalists Terry Joe “Banjo” Rodrigues and Pat Loiselle; and upright bassist Etienne Beausoleil—12 performers in total, all vocalists.

Morrison explains how he was drawn to this year’s theme, “When I was a kid, I was one of the 73 million people that watched the Beatles on Ed Sullivan in February 1964. That thrilling experience changed so much for me, for music, and the culture in general. They, and all the acts that followed in their wake—the British Invasion—created a soundtrack that seemed indelible for decades but is now receding into the mists of time. We are doing this concert to keep it vital.” He added, “Creating and producing these concerts is a labour of love and a family reunion of musicians and friends.”

Past concerts have paid tribute to Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan, soul and Motown, movie soundtracks, ‘70s radio hits, legendary music festivals (Newport Folk, Monterey Pop and Woodstock), and music from California, Canada, Nashville, New Orleans and New York. Each theme is chosen because it is one of Morrison’s research interests. Drummer/vocalist Gary Sharkey said: “In the 20 years Craig and I have been together we have accomplished magic. The team of players is a great asset and the energy is amazing. We have been blessed with incredible talent on stage; the women are fabulous as are the rest of the musicians that contribute to this fantastic annual show.” Vocalist/music therapist Samantha Borgal has participated in nine previous editions. She said, “This show is great musicians having a great time that energizes everyone in the hall. It always brings something joyful and familiar. Where else can you listen to music you love while learning a little of something new?”

Tickets to the I Want To Hold Your Hand concert are $40 and are available by email at: [email protected] or call: 514-934-0410. Oscar Peterson Concert Hall is located at 7141 Sherbrooke St West, H4B 1R6 (the Loyola Campus of Concordia University).

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