Artists showcasing talents at Contact East

Tara
Tara Bradbury
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Kim Wempe employs new style inspired by producer Chris Kirby

Saskatchewan-born Nova Scotian Kim Wempe says once you’ve been to Newfoundland and Labrador, you’ll never be able to get it out of your head.

Kim Wempe.  — File photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

“The rest of your life you’ll remember what you did, who you were with, where you went, how late you stayed up,” she says, laughing.

If you’re like Wempe, you’ll also make connections that can take you down a whole new path career-wise.

Meeting and working with local soul musician Chris Kirby has influenced Wempe to take on a whole new sound. Where her first two records, the East Coast Music Award-winning “Where I Need to Be” and “Painting With Tides” are folkish, her latest album, produced by Kirby, sees her in a groovy-pop genre.

“It’s still Kim Wempe, but different,” she explains. “Before I was working with fiddle and now I’m playing around with electric guitar and organs. It was a big, bold step for me, but I think if the music is good, you go with what’s in your heart.”

Wempe will do a show with Kirby Saturday night at the Fat Cat on George Street in St. John’s. Last night, she performed as part of Contact East, a performing arts conference for Atlantic Canadian artists, being held in St. John’s until Sunday. Two-hundred delegates are in town for the event, which will see 25 artists taking the stage at the LSPU Hall and the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre.

Local showcasing artists include The Fortunate Ones, Sherman Downey and the Ambiguous Case, The Navigators, The Once and Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador.

An event schedule is available online at www.contacteast.ca. Tickets for shows at the LSPU Hall are available at the door, while tickets for the shows at the Arts and Culture Centre can be purchased at the Arts and Culture Centre box office.

tbradbury@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @tara_bradbury

Organizations: Fat Cat

Geographic location: George Street

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