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Enaid

'Enaid' formed in the spring of 2016 to promote Welsh traditional folk music, language, culture and dance.  In the Cymraeg (Welsh) language, Enaid translates to 'Soul'.  Presently they are the only Welsh traditional folk group in North America.  Since their formation they have played for appreciative audiences at venues such as the UK Pavilion, Folklorama in Winnipeg, and The North American Festival of Wales (NAFOW) in Calgary.  Both of these events were in support of  'Dawnswyr Gwerin yr Afon Goch'  (The Red River Folk Dancers), the only Welsh traditional folk troupe in North America.The band is led by Alan Owen (Lead Vocal, Fiddle, Viola).                  

Alan played violin briefly in his early childhood in the county of Ceredigion, Wales but did not pursue music further until drawn to it again in his late 20’s.  The mid-nineties were spent playing for Welsh folk dancers, Minstrelling in Europe and Canada and providing entertainment at many of Winnipeg’s music venues, tourist attractions and and seniors institutions. The British and Irish folk tradition were to provide the earliest influences.  In 1996 he opened with his duo ‘Calan’, for the Dust Rhinos at the West End Cultural Centre (WECC) ‘Gathering of The Clans’.  Further interests were pursued until 2007, when an an opportunity arose to play with the popular local Winnipeg Celtic folk rock band Venus Murphy, whose influences were to peak his interest in the city’s folk country roots scene.  

Winnipeg’s legendary Tuesday night jam provided valuable friendship, musicality and an opportunity to work with many of the city’s established local artists.  As result, ’Clusterpluck’ was recorded live at the Park Theatre.  Alan is fortunate to have worked with wonderful musicians as: Winnipeg’s “ best loved performers and composers..” Dan Frechette.  Grammy nominated and JUNO winner ‘The Duhks’ vocalist, Jessee Havey.   Local Singer songwriter Rob Waddell.   JUNO nominated and WCMA winner Del Barber (Best Roots Solo Recording of the year;  Love Songs for the Last Twenty, at his CD release WECC.  A television appearance with Phyllis Sinclair (Canadian Aboriginal Music Award Winner in 2011 for Best Folk Acoustic Album,"Dreams of the Washerwoman”).  2012 Canadian Folk Music Award nominated Winnipeg group The Sweet Alibi (for their record ‘Sweet Alibi’), at the Festival de Voyager and Winnipeg Folk Festival (Pope’s Hill Engagement). Recently with Lorette based Plain Salt and on their 2011 CD “Bread & Brandy”. Alan has worked with the Brandon Singer Songwriter Ainsley Friesen and performed at such venues as the Park Theatre, where they opened for Bobby Stahr’s CD release concert and Times Change(d) High ‘n Lonesome Club, where they were privileged to be accompanied by local legends, Gilles Fournier on bass and Brendan Nagle on drums.  In 2016 Alan accompanied The McConnell School of Dance to The CIOFF Music & Arts Festival in Peru. 'Enaid' continues to grow as a cultural and musical project and is excited with all possibilities that lie ahead!

 

 

 Ainsley Friesen has been performing throughout Canada for more than fifteen years, primarily as a solo musician but also collaborating with other artists whenever possible. Lessons learned from life’s victories and defeats and from professional influences have infused her musical style with a confidence and beauty that grow richer with time. Her unique style harmonized with brutally honest and sometimes comedic lyrics creates a sound that is as compelling as the artist herself.

After the release of her debut album, “Scattered…Inspired” in 1998, Ainsley toured eastern Canada and moved to Halifax to attend NSCAD, where she completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film. Upon returning to Manitoba, she worked as a sound technician before deciding to invest herself completely into her music career, and in 2011, released the EP, “Doucement”. Ainsley has since played with a community jam group and collaborated with other local artists at such venues in Winnipeg as the Park Theatre, and Times Change(d) High ‘n Lonesome Club.

In 2014, Ainsley paired up with Winnipeg singer-songwriter Bobby Stahr for a two-week tour across the Canadian Prairies. She toured the same route again in 2015, this time with another Winnipeg singer-songwriter, Raine Hamilton. Ainsley Friesen currently resides in Brandon, MB, where she teaches piano, guitar and voice, while continuing to write new material and perform locally.