Dirk Powell, a multi-instrumentalist, who’s worked with Jack White, Joan Baez, Riverdance and the film Cold Mountain, is awed by April’s ability to play any kind of roots music as though it was her native tongue. “She’s so fluent in the language of music that she never needs to imitate,” Powell says. “She hears the heart of it and lets that become part of her core. April’s just got that, man; she’s always speaking the language for real. She is a rare mix of all the technique and super-flashy things, along with the deep soul and tradition that comes from having grown up with the music."
Verch was born to traditional music, in Canada’s hard-working, hard-dancing Ottawa Valley. She was a local star at four, step dancing with her sister and winning awards at contests. The fact that they were for “Youngest Competitor” didn’t dampen her child-eyed enthusiasm. She became the first woman in history to win both of Canada’s most prestigious fiddle championships, the Grand Masters and Canadian Open; and when Canada hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics, she was asked to represent her country’s music at the opening ceremonies.
Powell also says, “April has an amazing ability to touch people’s hearts, get them having fun, and sharing the whole range of human emotions. She’s a grand master fiddler and a very expressive singer, but what sets her apart is the openness, humor and social fun she got growing up in the music. It's not always easy for professionals to keep that social joy in their music. Even though April is playing at a very high level, she brings that explosive joy with her.”
That desire to share music is why she’s among the most in-demand performers in roots music today, both with her own crack three-piece band and Bowfire, with whom she occasionally tours. The April Verch Band consists of April at the helm and world-class musicians Clay Ross on guitar and Cody Walters on upright-electric bass and banjo. They have toured across Canada, the United States, the U.K., Europe, Australia and China. Together they have established a reputation as consummate performers with boundless energy on stage that inevitably brings audiences to their feet.
Jenkins House Concerts is located in Manhattan's Upper West Side. To reserve a seat(s) for April concert on January 12, please email Sandy Jenkins for details and directions at Sandilion49@gmail.com.