Anna Jacyszyn

As part of my vocal warmup routine before singing, I say articulating tongue twisters in order to get the teeth, lips and tip of the tongue warmed up before

a show.

I activate my diaphragm through breathing exercises and alleviate any tension in my neck and shoulders, so that my body is ready to make music and my mind is engaged to story tell.

I strongly believe that singing changes one’s personality for the better. Imagine your whole body is vibrating, creating sound, which in turn makes positive

energy. Perhaps that is why I’m mostly

a happy person. For me, I don’t sing songs about negative subjects that don’t relate to me and my personality.

Singing at any age is the best medicine for your heart, mind and soul, and joining a choir where you can learn to blend voices, learn techniques and new music is always fun. It can also create lasting friendships.

There are quite a few adult choirs or groups in Kelowna who welcome talent levels from amateur to strictly professional, and it’s a matter of finding your niche and dedication level. Parents with children who have expressed a desire to sing will delight in knowing about a children’s choir that is in its second year under the leadership of artistic

director Frances Chiasson — whom I

recently had the pleasure to meet. I also had the chance to listen to her play the amazing organ at the First United Church.

Auditions are now being held for this year’s choir. If you have children in Grades 4 through 7 who love to sing, take them to audition for membership in this ensemble. For more information about the Okanagan Children’s Choir, or to book an audition time, go online to, or contact Chiasson at 250-869-6817.

The kids will develop their singing skills throughout the year, working hard to create a beautiful tone while learning to sing in two- and three-part harmony. They will hone skills by working with others, learning how to carry themselves and enjoy performing in front of an audience.

Singing is a life-long journey and there is great joy in singing together, strengthening friendships and community spirit through music.


Expressing one-self and emoting a feeling though sound is what master per-cussionist Tatsuya Nakatani does incredibly well.

Tomorrow night, Aug. 18, Nakatani will be in Kelowna, in concert, at the Alternator Gallery as part of its Skin and Bones music series.

Originally from Osaka, Japan, but residing in the U.S. since 1994, this creative musician has released more than 60 recordings in North America and Europe, collaborated with hundreds of artists in international music festivals, university concert halls, art museums and galleries and is latest project is the Nakatani Gong Orchestra.

Listening to him on YouTube, I find that he brings to life the beauty of sound as it manifests through whatever noise maker he has on hand. From copper bowls rattling around on his drum skins, to blowing air through some kind of tube, it’s quite intense and organic music and it reminds me of the sounds of an urban city.

Listening to this brought my thoughts to an apartment I owned in London, W11. My bedroom window saw the motorway and Ladbroke Grove train station.

I would hear train brakes screeching as they arrived at the station, muffled audio from the voice of the station-master requesting we “mind the gap” and ‘stay clear of the closing doors.”

I found those sounds serene and soothing — like an urban lullaby. To hear Nakatani create his music, be at the Alternator Contemporary Art Gallery, 103-421 Cawston Ave. before 7:30 p.m. There is a nominal fee of $10 for the public and $8 for Alternator members.


A relatively new winery on the Westside is fast becoming a name to take seriously in the wine business.

The Hatch Winery on Boucherie Road is doing all the right stuff to create positive feedback while becoming the place to know and go for a unique experience, along with a superb quality of wine to sip.

Before its grand opening a few years ago, I had the pleasure of hearing the story of the winery’s inception, how the name came to be, how the graphic artist had previous connections to the property. The coincidences and collaborations it took to create the winery as a lifestyle choice is what makes this little barn to thrive.

On Friday night, The Hatch will hold its inaugural Farm to Fork Long Table Dinner. The five-course, family-style dinner under the stars will be prepared by chef Ned Bell, alongside chef Mike Wilkins, using locally grown and ethically harvested produce and oceanwise-sourced seafood paired with the winery’s finest sips.

Tickets are $194.25 each and include transportation to and from various locations in Kelowna and the Westside, with live music provided by DJ Wolfhaus and Beatlab. For more information, or to reserve your place at the table, go online to


This Saturday will forever be labelled “The Tragically Hip Day” especially for residents of Kingston, Ont., when the whole city prepares to broadcast and live-stream this finale concert on CBC across Canada.

The decision to broadcast across the country comes after many frustrated ‘Hip heads’ couldn’t get tickets for the band’s final shows upon hearing that frontman Gord Downie has incurable brain cancer.

The band is touring this summer, and the news resulted in concerts being sold out in seconds, with tickets popping up at online resale sites with dramatically inflated prices.

Hip fans were furious and that’s when the CBC became inundated with online petitions and open letters addressed to management. Emma Bédard, a spokeswoman for CBC, said the public broadcaster was already looking at ways to air the concert before the requests started coming in.

The Tragically Hip will be performing the final show of their Man Machine Poem tour at the Rogers K-Rock Centre on Saturday, but most Canadians will be watching it on CBC’s national broadcast starting at 5:30 p.m.

To see this concert in Kelowna, in a comfortable environment, with a great group of like-minded Hip Heads meet at the Wine & Art venue at 315 Lawrence Ave. See it on a big screen TV with a professional sound system to bring the sights and sounds of the event. It all starts at 4 p.m.

Anna Jacyszyn is an award-winning jazz singer and recipient of the Civic Honour of the Arts award, the Okanagan Arts award in Music. Email her at artafactevent@