Culture at Riverwood

Culture at Riverwood 2024 Season
July 3, 10, 17, 24
August 14, 21, 28
Performances begin at 7:30 pm

MacEwan Barn
4150 Riverwood Park Lane, Mississauga

Culture at Riverwood is back this summer with a slate of free concerts set to the beautiful backdrop of the MacEwan Terrace Garden! Whether you’re hoping to take in some soothing classical music or hear something fresh and experimental, this year’s performers have you covered.

Performers will play inside the MacEwan Barn. Concertgoers are able to take in each show from just outside the Barn. Please bring your own chair as seating will not be provided.

All shows are free to attend, and registration is not required, but please consider making donations to The Riverwood Conservancy, Visual Arts Mississauga, and the Chamber Music Society of Mississauga so we can continue to provide these accessible concerts for years to come.

Photo above by Terry Lim 

Lori Gemmell, Patricia O’Callaghan, and Tom Allen
July 3 | 7:30 pm

Harpist Lori Gemmell, vocalist Patricia O’Callaghan, and CBC Radio host Tom Allen join forces to open our 2024 Culture at Riverwood Series with an evening of storytelling and music. Bring your lawn chairs and come celebrate a new summer series with us!

Lori Gemmell started as a street-corner busker in Montreal and wound up playing regularly with the Toronto Symphony, The National Ballet of Canada Orchestra and, until there wasn’t one anymore, she was Principal Harpist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. Lori teaches at Wilfred Laurier University and has a passion for new music. Lori has made four solo recordings as well as recording with songwriters Kevin Fox and Feist.

Soprano Patricia O’Callaghan is something of a wandering minstrel, with seven solo albums and many collaborations along the way. A speaker of French, Spanish, and German, her early recordings focused on European cabaret, but one of Patricia’s unique talents is the ability to blend a variety of languages and musical genres seamlessly in her concerts, and to completely embody whatever style she is singing at any given moment.

Tom Allen was born in Montreal. He worked as a bass trombonist in New York City, toured with the Great Lakes Brass, and began working for the CBC on his 30th birthday – a very long time ago. He has written three books, created and hosted countless shows for theatre companies and orchestras, as well as touring a series of chamber musicals that includes The Missing Pages, Being Lost and JS Bach’s Long Walk in the Snow.

Aline Homzy: Étoile Magique
July 10 | 7:30 pm

Aline Homzy’s Étoile Magique is a musical collective that paints the sonic canvas with celestial strokes, captivating audiences worldwide. Their unique fusion of jazz, classical, and transcendental artistry has made them a stellar presence in the contemporary music scene.

Their celestial journey reached new heights when Aline’s Étoile Magique was honored with the prestigious Stingray Rising Star Award at the Halifax Jazz Festival. It is a momentous recognition of their innovative approach to jazz, which defies expectations and takes listeners on mesmerizing voyages.

With the release of their debut album, éclipse, critical acclaim poured in like shooting stars, praising the album’s depth, creativity, and unique fusion of sounds.

They have played stages across Canada, from coast to coast and are excited to present music this summer at the Chamber Music Society of Mississauga, the Stratford Music Festival, and the Toronto Jazz Festival.

Duo Thalia
July 17 | 7:30 pm

Duo Thalia is an exciting and innovative string duo based out of Kitchener-Waterloo. Since its conception in 2019, the duo has performed for various online programs, as well as select venues in Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo. The duo continues to engage their audiences by presenting classical and contemporary works, as well as new and unheard-of compositions with a focus on female composers.

As respective instrumentalists, Xueao Yang (violin) and Kendra Grittani (cello) have performed alongside several acclaimed ensembles across Canada, including the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Regina Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, Orchestra Live Toronto, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, les Jeunes Virtuoses de Montréal, and the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra.

Following their online performance for the In Concert for Cambodia (IC4C) Organization, the duo has been described as performing at the “very highest level” while displaying a “magical combination of incredible passion and flawless synchronicity that makes this [duo] such a pleasure to hear and watch”.

Andrew Sords and Cheryl Duvall
July 24 | 7:30 pm

Join the Chamber Music Society of Mississauga’s Artistic Director, pianist Cheryl Duvall, in concert with long time collaborator, American virtuoso violinist, Andrew Sords, in a concert of folk melodies and dances from around the world for violin and piano.

Andrew Sords maintains a prolific touring schedule with his piano trio and as soloist with orchestras. Having appeared on four continents and in nearly all 50 states, his performances have been cited for combining visceral virtuosity and ravishing tone.

Cheryl Duvall has established herself as one of Canada’s foremost contemporary music interpreters, immersing herself in a wide variety of compositional aesthetics and collaborative endeavours. Her lucid sense of contour, evocative sonic and emotional presence, and boundless versatility make her both a dynamic soloist and in-demand collaborator. She operates a full private teaching studio, is a member of the College of Examiners with the Royal Conservatory of Music, and adjudicates piano competitions across Canada.

Odin String Quartet with Special Guest Violinist Daphné Bourbonnais
August 14 | 7:30 pm

The Odin Quartet, formed in 2015 in Toronto, derives its name from the Norse god Odin, revered for his insatiable thirst for wisdom and knowledge. Embodying Odin’s spirit of exploration, the quartet endeavors to redefine classical music’s role in contemporary storytelling.

Together, their collective artistry forms the cornerstone of the Odin Quartet’s musical exploration and innovation. Committed to broadening the reach of classical music, the quartet champions modern Canadian compositions alongside classical masterpieces, offering audiences a diverse and enriching musical experience.

Their performances have graced renowned festivals and concert series including Music Toronto, Music Niagara, Luminato Festival, Guelph Connections, Concerts Ponticello and Ottawa Valley Music Festival, captivating audiences with their emotive interpretations and innovative programming. Since 2018, the quartet has proudly served as the Ensemble-in-Residence for the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra.

Moskitto Bar World Music
August 21 | 7:30 pm

Moskitto Bar is a fresh and unique sound created in the multi-cultural hub of Toronto. Their sound combines a beautiful and original mix of Ukrainian, Balkan, Iraqi, and French Celtic music.

The project was initiated by Tangi Ropars when he met newcomers Yura, from Ukraine, and Ahmed, from Iraq. In June 2016, during a gathering in Northern Ontario, they met every day in the woods to share and teach each other their respective melodies and rhythms. As they were playing, the rural Ontario mosquitos, were joyfully feasting on the multicultural group, inspiring their name.

Almost two years later, the trio connected with the notable violin player, Fethi Nadjem freshly landed for Algeria, adding his oriental flavour to the sound mix. More than the music, despite their diverse traditions, political and social stories, they share a deeper connection, a mutual love and respect for each other and a common desire to spread messages of unity.

Toronto saw the band playing in the streets, community events and bars and more recently in public libraries, the Aga Khan Museum, Opera House, Ashkenazi Festival, and Korner Hall. The Moskittos and their community of musicians can often be found jamming at Drom Taberna in Toronto.

Majd Sukar: Sham Blues
August 28 | 7:30 pm

Virtuoso clarinetist, Majd Sukar, joins us for the finale of our summer season with a fresh new project – Sham Blues!
Majd Sukar is a Syrian-Canadian clarinetist, saxophonist, composer, and educator who has been distinguished in Toronto’s music scene for his fusion music and unique sound. His style blends Middle Eastern folk and classical music with jazz music in unparalleled practice.

He has performed with musicians like Robi Botos, Drew Jurecka, Andrew Downing, Rich Brown, and the Indian indigenous singer Laura Grizzlypaws. His hard work and passion made his music noticeable quickly, pushing him to join many Torontonian bands like Sultans of Strings, Romani Jazz, Moskitto Bar, and Moneka Arabic Jazz. Majd has appeared as a master improviser with the Canadian Arabic Orchestra since 2016 as Principal clarinetist.

Majd holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in addition to his Graduate Certificate in Jazz Music from Humber College (2018), and has been invited to give masterclasses and workshops at the University of Toronto and York University about Middle Eastern music theories and extended techniques of using the clarinet microtones skills in improvising.

In 2020, Sukar received an RBC Newcomer Arts Award.