Thanks to the support of Canadian Heritage, the Aeolian is able to provide a unique opportunity for a series of free concerts. With people still finding their feet since isolation during the Pandemic, many have not resumed normal routines including attending events. The current economic conditions also prevent many from attending events due to high costs. This series provides an opportunity to change these challenges and welcome the public in to a warm and inviting array of concerts; from classical and folk to Indigenous and songwriter, this series will feature music that can offer inspiration for most.
Come join us during the dark winter days, into the warm, welcoming arms of Aeolian Hall!
In 2018, veracious Mohawk singer-songwriter Logan Staats was chosen from 10,000 hopeful contestants vying for a spot on musical competition show The Launch. Before an audience of 1.4 million viewers, Staats won, officiating the breakthrough that would leadhim to Nashville and Los Angeles, and to his single “The Lucky Ones” winning the Indigenous Music Award for Best Radio Single. “The Lucky Ones” also occupied #1 in Canada.
In the years between now and then, Staats has come home, making the intentional decision to re-root at Six Nations of the Grand River. “I wanted to bring my songwriting back to the medicine inside of music, to the medicine inside of reclamation,” he says following a phase of constant travel and intensity.
To Staats, music is a healing salve, contemplatively composed and offered to listeners in need of comfort. Since returning home, Staats has been able to create music authentically again, reclaiming his sound through honest storytelling and unvarnished, sometimes painful reflection.
An evocative testament to rock’s cathartic spirit, the album was recorded with borrowed microphones at Staats’ apartment, at Six Nations recording studio Jukasa, and at downtown Brantford’s Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts.
“My nation and mycommunity are in every chord I play and every note I sing,” says Staats. “They’ve saved me.”
Mary Lou and Dan Smoke are an exceptional couple. Mary Lou is Ojibway Nation, from Batchawana, on Lake Superior, and Dan is Seneca Nation from the Six Nations Grand River Territory. They met in 1972/3 and were married in the Onondaga Longhouse in a traditional Indigenous Haudenosaunee Wedding Ceremony in 1977. They have been happily married for 43years.
They have hosted “The Smoke Signals Aboriginal Radio Program,” since 1990 and continue with this Western University campus-based radio program offering interviews with indigenous cultural workers and advocates from across Turtle Island. They have collected an extensive archive and books related to their decades of working as journalists and advocates. From 1999-2019 they worked with the London CTV Station.
Mary Lou and Dan Smoke received honorary doctorates, Honoris Causa, Noble International Environmental Peace University and are Adjunct Assistant Professors in the Schulich Interfaculty Program in Public Health, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University. In 2006, they were invited to teach a course at Western University’s Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS).
Over the years they have won several radio and TV Awards as well as a Teaching Award from the University Students Council for their teaching methods at Western. They taught, “The Representation of Indigenous Affairs in the Mainstream and Alternative Media.” Recognized as Elders with many organizations and institutaions, they also taught an “Introduction to Indigenous Spirituality” for Brescia University College at Western from 2009 – 2016. They are frequently called upon to teach indigenous protocals and ethics, as well as perform indigenous ceremonies. On Dec. 10, 2020, Dan and Mary Lou received the Atlhosa Peace Awards for their work in truth and reconcilation.
Mary Lou was selected as a “Woman of Distinction” in 2015, by the YMCA London and was celebrated in an Awards Ceremony at the London Convention Center. A Native Women’s Drum Group, “The Good Hearted Women Singers” sang her an Honour Song when she received her Award. Mary Lou directed that it be sung for all the other 7 women also being recognized.
Mary Lou is a gifted traditional and contemporary singer and has performed with Jim Buller, who was her agent, many years ago, and the founder of the Association for Native Development in Performing and Visual Arts (ANDPVA), Canada’s oldest indigenous arts service organization. Recently, she was inducted into the Forest City London Music Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement on April. 28, 2019. She received a congratulatory text from acclaimed singer Buffy Sainte-Marie. She was Co-Chairperson of CARAS JUNO Indigenous Artist and Group of the Year for 2020/21.
Dan and Mary Lou Smoke are the proud grandparents of Ryan Isaac Smoke, who is 19 years old.
Rent The Aeolian
The Aeolian is a beautiful, unique, award-winning location to host your event.
While particularly renowned for its acoustic/live music presentations, the Aeolian is a versatile facility and can host all sorts of events from weddings and parties to conferences and fundraisers.
Give the Gift of Aeolian
Looking for a unique and fun gift for a special someone?
Look no further than a gift card for The Aeolian. This is a perfect gift for any lover of music and the arts.