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Juno winner's benefit show supports local music programs

By Brian Oliver, The Graphic

Mike Rud, Juno Award winner, will be performing with local guitarists at an upcoming benefit concert at the Glesby Centre. (Supplied)

Mike Rud, Juno Award winner, will be performing with local guitarists at an upcoming benefit concert at the Glesby Centre. (Supplied)

A Juno award-winning musician is bringing a benefit concert to Portage la Prairie in support of the guitar programs at Portage Collegiate Institute (PCI) and Ecole Arthur Meighen School (EAMS).

The Spring into Spring benefit show, planned for later this month at Portage's William Glesby Centre, has Juno award-winning jazz guitarist, Mike Rud, take to the stage with local guitarists and area ensembles in a celebration of all things guitar.

"It's going to be a hell of a good show. A real good variety of music and lots of great guitar players, I think we're going to have a ball," says Rud. "We're going to be playing various styles of music. It'll be a little concert involving all kinds of different guitar players, a couple different guitar ensembles and a couple different local guitar players."

As an instrumentalist, Rud has played alongside some of the greatest musicians of the era like Peter Bernstein, Kenny Wheeler, Herb Ellis, Joey DeFrancesco, and Randy Brecker. As a composer, he won the 2014 Juno Award for his album “Notes on Montreal”.

Local talent taking to the stage include Ed Goertzen and Friends, Brandon Letexier, Jake Kostuchuk, Tristin Goertzen, Eddie Delorme, Shane Sobkowich, Raelyn Adam,  Ben Lamont and Angela Rud.

The PCI Guitar Ensemble under the direction of Teph Clink and the Brandon University Guitar Ensemble under the direction of Paul Madryga will also be performing.

Rud, who was already heading to the prairies to adjudicate a music event in nearby Brandon, spent some of his childhood living at Southport and still has some family residing in the area. Along with his brother Barry, the Ruds decided to hold a benefit show in Portage la Prairie.

"I've been pretty much hard at it since I was about 11 years old and I started taking it seriously when I turned 18," says Rud, speaking about his musical past from his home in Montreal. "There is a massive creative music community in Canada, full of really nice people. It's been wonderful to get around and get to know everybody and get to play with everybody.

I've been living in Montreal for a long time but I also spent a fair chunk of time living in Edmonton and on the west coast and in Ottawa. But Manitoba, I don't often get to, so it'll be great to get out and meet some of the Manitoba folks." 

Rud has a master’s degree from McGill and studied privately in New York City with one of the fathers of jazz guitar, Jim Hall. He has taught at McGill, Western Washington and Carleton universities, and speaks frequently at other music schools.

The concert is set for March 15 at the William Glesby Centre and tickets are $10 each. Tickets can be purchased at the Glesby Centre, PCI, EAMS or by emailing Barry Rud at therudder@mts.net.

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