Articles by Rosemary Phillips

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Ken Lavigne - Tenor - A Review

UPDATE: For an extensive article about this amazing performer, who continues to wow audiences, visit Ken Lavigne's interview on this web site. Also see the bottom of this page for links to his own web site and management.

From the Heart

A review by Rosemary Phillips, September 2009

Ken Lavigne - tenor
INTRO: It took my moving to Christina Lake in beautiful British Columbia to finally catch a performance by Ken Lavigne, a Canadian tenor who not only has courage and determination, he has talent, and lots of it. I had seen Ken as a brilliant guest soloist and wonderful crowd-pleaser with the Vancouver Island Symphony in Nanaimo for "Symphony in the Harbour". He performed popular favourites to an admiring audience of over 7,000 people. I helped out writing articles for his shows on Vancouver Island, in 2008, leading up to his performance at Carnegie Hall in New York in January 2009. Unfortunately every one of his performance nights conflicted with my own schedule and I couldn’t attend. Later that year the first thing I saw as I moved back to rural Boundary Area (in South-Central British Columbia) was a notice on a local coffee shop window saying – Direct from Carnegie Hall - Ken Lavigne in Concert – at the nearby Grand Forks Secondary School Auditorium, on Thursday, September 24, 2009.

Ken invites the audience into his life and his world. He does it gently, without pretences – totally genuine and full of heart. He is also full of mischief and laughter as he describes his appearance at a white formal garden function in Los Angeles, and then gives his interpretation of Robert Goulet’s “C’est Moi” from Camelot. Ken triggered laughter with “Father of the Bride” as he imagined his own feelings when his daughters will inevitably grow up and get married.

But it was his ballads and classical pieces that really touched me deeply. I was brought to tears with his performance of “Because we Believe” composed by David Foster, and his own song “Keep Holding On” written for those who experience challenges in life. Ken’s voice captures the listener as if by magic by the beauty of the voice, the wonder of the music and the meaning of the words.

Ken Lavigne - tenor

Ken Lavigne

And Ken tells stories. He weaves a thread through his performance, joining each song with anecdotes, mostly of the humorous kind but with a few that touch emotional depths. I found myself laughing out loud, roaring with delight as he told of his escapades and experiences at Carnegie Hall in New York (January 2009), about his shoes falling apart and how he solved the problem with his All-Canadian remedy (I don’t want to give away any punch-lines here) and about the gift from a stage-hand while he waited nervously in the wings – something owned by one of the world’s greatest tenors... and no, I won’t give that away either...

As I watched Ken, in my mind’s eye I saw him performing in front of thousands of people, filling their lives with hope, humour and the wonder of music, with the aid of his beautiful voice, his genuine stage presence, his outlook on life, his interaction with the audience, and his heart.

On this occasion in Grand Forks, Ken was joined by Victoria’s Peter Rothhauser on piano, singer-songwriter Trevor Davies on guitar, and on bass, Simon Millington, winner of the 2008 Victoria International Jazz Festival’s Darryl Mar Scholarship award. All three musicians blended perfectly to allow Ken’s voice to shine. It was evident they enjoyed the performance as smiles and nods were passed from one to the other while they played.

Way to go Ken, you sure wowed this audience! Keep on believing!

For more information about Ken, his career, his recordings and tours visit Ken Lavigne's web site.
For Ken's management visit Caline International Artists web site.

NOTE: There are many more articles on this site about great musicians and artists - see Index of Articles.

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