ANN VRIEND & THE INNER CITY
"AV & the Inner City" is a group that formed as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and opioid crisis in the inner city of Edmonton, Alberta, on Treaty 6 Territory. The group is made up of 6 singers: band leader and multi-award-winning singer/songwriter AV (Ann Vriend); Debbie Houle, co-founder of the Juno-nominated international touring Indigenous a cappella group “Asani”; Johwanna Alleyne, jazz radio host, jazz singer, and owner of local business Mojojojo Pickles and Preserves; Crystal Eyo, lead singer and songwriter of Edmonton pop/R&B band “Mercy Funk”; Alenka Lundell, singer/songwriter with several bands in her homeland of Czech Republic; and Jenn Dahlen, experienced choral singer and multi-instrumentalist.
AV began hosting weekly free concerts on her front porch in the inner city neighborhood of McCauley in April of 2020. The concerts were informal in nature, and often included other bands and local musicians. In the early summer of 2021, as more outdoor concerts were happening, AV invited some of the porch singers to form a group. The repertoire would be AV’s songs as well as covers, sung in three-part harmony with soul/gospel-style arrangements.
Since then, “AV & the Inner City” has been invited to perform at the Calgary International Blues Festival, the Toronto Blues Summit, the Edmonton Folk Music Festival (mobile version), the Jubilee Auditorium’s outdoor concert series, the Taste of Edmonton Festival, the Sasquatch Gathering Festival, and many other concerts around Alberta — and they are just getting started!
©2022 Ann Vriend. All rights reserved.
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