PERFORMANCE HISTORY Always a part-time musician, Ian Bell has none-the-less performed professionally across Canada and in the United States for over a quarter century. On his own and with a number of ensembles he has appeared at numerous folk festivals (Winnipeg, Mariposa, Edmonton, Ottawa, Yellowknife, Owen Sound, Lunenberg, Montmagny, and others) and in concerts in every sort of venue. With the group Muddy York and along with Wade Hemsworth (composer of the Blackfly Song & Log Driver’s Waltz) Ian performed for two weeks in the Folklife Pavilion at Expo 86 in Vancouver, BC. In 1993 Ian was named “Folk Artist in Residence” for that year at Joseph Schneider Haus Museum, in Kitchener, Ontario. As a long-time freelance broadcaster, Ian has also worked on many occasions with Stuart McLean on CBC Radio’s Vinyl Café. Ian has co-written and served as musical director for 5 Vinyl Café national concert broadcasts. Ian has been a regular contributor to the weekend Fresh Air program on CBC radio and in 2004 performed as part of the “Roots of American Music” Festival at Lincoln Centre in New York City. In July 2005 Ian travelled to Estonia with long-time collaborator Anne Lederman to perform at the Viljandi Folk Festival. Ian appears on dozens of recordings as sideman as well as several under his own name. Ian’s most recent CD is “Shallow Water” – released November 2006.
CANADIAN TRADITIONAL MUSIC
For much of the past 20 years, Ian Bell has taken his music from coast to coast through concerts, broadcasts, and recordings. Ian's captivates audiences by introducing some of Canada's seldom-heard musical traditions into his music. He has been the leader of The Dawnbreakers, and Professor Chalaupka's Celebrated Singing School, and in a previous incarnation was part of the folk group Muddy York.
As a singer/songwriter and storyteller, Ian Bell has been introducing audiences to themselves, with original words and music rooted in the fields and townscapes of Southwestern Ontario. Ian's repertoire ranges from old songs and ballads, to Celtic/Canadian dance tunes, as well as original compositions inspired by anything from blacksmiths and bikers to Charles Atlas, from woolly mammoths and fishermen to, dare we say it ... love! He has performed in venues ranging from the CBC's Glenn Gould Theatre to rural church basements. In concerts on his own or with The Dawnbreakers, Ian performs on guitar, button accordion, harmonica, mandolin, smallpipes and fiddle Ian continues to draw inspiration from his full-time work as the curator of a small town museum.
Ian's music is invariably interwoven with his trademark stories: funny, touching, unlikely, mostly true, and always entertaining.