James Boraski & Momentary Evolution
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James Boraski & Momentary Evolution

Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada | SELF | AFTRA

Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada | SELF | AFTRA
Band Rock Blues


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"Concert reviews: The East Meets West ‘Northern Roots and Blues Tour’ 2012"

Concert reviews: The East Meets West ‘Northern Roots and Blues Tour’ 2012

Blues Greats Marshall Lawrence and James Boraski in Yellowknife N.T.
Wow. What a treat! Just taking the elevator and WHAM! Blues Guitar Master and entertainer Marshall Lawrence. I recognised him from a picture. I had to say ‘Hi’ and then I found out why he was in town. The Doctor of the Blues was performing tonight and tomorrow here in Yellowknife with James Boraski. He had the medicine I needed. “Yeah, we are at the Black Knight tonight and at tomorrow’s fundraiser at the Folk on the Rocks site; the ‘Rock the Ribbon’ event. But if you want to catch us tonite, we are at the Top Knight.” Marshall said to us. Top Knight is The Black Knight’s upstairs club. WOW, you bet! To see not only one of Canada’s top bluesmen, but with James Boraski too! James and Marshall compliment their distinctive styles. Seeing them together LIVE was epic! What a night of great Delta Blues. James Boraski and Marshall Lawrence are touring western Canada and the North on their East meets West Tour…

I am a fan of LIVE Entertainment. I get into the whole experience; the sound, the feel of the music as it affects my soul. Everyone has their own experience…. James Boraski is a great Blues guitarist and vocalist. James’s style is a little more reserved… Slow Blues, Northern Influences I call it. Marshall is energetic and wild on stage. Neo Delta Blues is Marshall’s style. It’s the reason James and Marshall compliment their individual styles.

James has been around the Western Canadian Blues scene also for several decades. Pure Canadiana at it’s Blues Roots best! An intimate show at the Top Knight Club was such a surprise. Who would have known… it was a jam session you get a few times to attend. The Kitchen Jam session is fun… to add your sound into the song and jam as musicians like. It just gets better and more fun to see and be a part of as the set rocks on… even just being from the audience. If you looked around everyone was jiving and right into the experience. We had an amazing night. The Delta Blues Canadian style!

Thanks James, Marshall and the rest of the band, Greg, Connie, Scott, Dana and Ryan on the soundboard. If I missed anyone you all were having such a great time. I didn’t catch all your names up there. Thanks again for the experience. I can’t wait to see you again.

I get to write for some great events and about great artists. We were in Yellowknife for my niece’s wedding. Lucky again! I also have my site, www.seeitlivecanada.ca

The Blues are the roots to all the great music. You have to sing the Blues Baby!

See them LIVE Canada! Rock and Roll!
Paul Fitzgerald
- See it Live Canada - Paul Fitzgerald

"Northern Blues - "Blues Nation" concert sells out at Top Knight"

Daron Letts
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, November 17, 2010
SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - A sold-out crowd of Yellowknife music fans enjoyed a memorable mix of southern and Northern talent at the Top Knight last Sunday evening.

Alberta acid blues guitarist Marshall Lawrence introduces Esther, his prized National Estralita Deluxe guitar, at the Top Knight last Sunday. The Canadian Blues Hall of Fame inductee was among the lineup for Blues Nation, a sold-out concert fundraiser in support of Music NWT. - Daron Letts/NNSL photo

Blues Nation, a concert fundraiser organized by musician and music promoter James Boraski, brought together multi-Juno-winning Ontario recording artist Jack de Keyzer, Alberta musicians Marshall Lawrence, on guitar, and Dave Babcock, on saxophone, and Yellowknife artists Diga, a.k.a. Jesse James Gon, bassist Pat Braden, and drummer Norm Glowach.

"I think it was probably one of the best shows that Yellowknife has seen in years," said Music NWT president Greg Nutt. "It was a very special night. Realizing that that was the first time, other than a brief session in the afternoon, that those musicians had played together was incredible."

Diga opened the night, followed by a solo performance by Lawrence and then de Keyzer backed by the rest of the artists.

The event raised more than $2,000 for Music NWT. The association also signed up 10 new members during the concert.

"James Boraski did a lot of work to pull this together," Nutt said. "It's going to take that dedication again to ensure that these shows can happen in the future. As long as we have dedicated members like James to pull this together these shows will continue."

Boraski is eager to collaborate with other Music NWT members to continue presenting high class concerts this winter and spring.

"Let's not talk about the hills we have to climb," Boraski said. "Let's look beyond the hills and see what is possible. That's what I wanted to do with this show."

Music NWT members plan to meet soon to discuss more shows for early in 2011.

- Northern News Services - November 17, 2010

"From the Midnight Sun to the Noontime Moon - James Boraski sings the Beaufort Delta Blues at NACC"

Daron Letts

James Boraski and a diverse ensemble of backing musicians and vocalists will share the stage at the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre next week. Boraski launches his debut album, NVR2L8, with a concert at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30. - photo courtesy of James Boraski

James Boraski will celebrate the achievement of one of his life's goals next week.

The songwriter is launching his debut album with a concert at the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre on Wednesday evening.

"I made myself a promise that by 50 I'd have my best works recorded," Boraski said.

He turned 50 in 2007.

"It's a little late," he said.

But, good things come to those who are late. Boraski's album, appropriately titled NVR2L8 (Never Too Late), offers 10 tracks stretching the musician's energetic blues style around elements of jazz, rock, pop, folk and swing.

Boraski covers The Sensitive Kind by J.J. Cale on track four of the disc and honours Bob Dylan with a cover of Things Have Changed on track 10. The rest are originals.

The disc opens with Beaufort Delta Blues. The lyrics offer playful paradoxes, as Boraski debates the positive and negative sides of the Mackenzie Gas Project in rhyme.

All his songs are inspired by his five years in the North. The only song not written in the NWT was track five, You Set Me Free, which he wrote in Thunder Bay, Ont., shortly after making the decision to move North to Inuvik. The blues song incorporates non-traditional blues instrumentation, including former Yellowknifer Patrick Duxbury on flute. Duxbury is returning to the NWT to play at the CD launch.

You Set Me Free is a ballad written in honour of Janine, one of Boraski's most enduring life-long loves. Janine is the name Boraski gave to the 12-string guitar bought for him by his dad, Leo Boraski, when he was just 14 years old. The song will have added meaning at the concert because Leo passed away after a long struggle with cancer earlier this summer. The album is dedicated to Leo in the liner notes.

Track eight, River Lake, was co-written with Mary Tapsell, who will sing a duet with Boraski next Wednesday night. The rest of the songs mix and match various tempos and influences, with a bossanova sound showing up on track two, Without Reason, and meandering jazz mixing with blues on track six, Lies and Deceit.

Boraski recorded portions of the album at Dancing Sky Studios in 2007 and finished it at HayWired Audio Productions in Hay River.

"The process took a little longer than I'd hoped, but nothing good is ever easy," Boraski said. "It's been a lot of fun along the way."

The more the merrier. Boraski is sharing the stage with a huge lineup of musicians, including special guests Digawolf, Dana Sipos and Marisol Valerio.

Boraski has performed with many musicians as part of his five-year-old backup band, MomentaryEvolution, appearing countless times at Fuego, Twist, the Top Knight, After 8, Le Frolic and at charity events, coffee houses and festivals around the territory. The band has cycled through more than 40 musicians since Boraski founded the first ensemble in Inuvik in 2004.

The current band, composed of Lawrence Canning on lead guitar, Rudy Desjardins on bass, Norbert Poitras on drums and backing vocalist Connie Henderson, will be part of Wednesday's concert. A dozen other past members are also on the bill.

Jonathan Churcher played with Boraski back in Inuvik shortly after MomentaryEvolution formed. Both musicians reunited on stage after moving to Yellowknife. The constant rotation of musicians makes playing with MomentaryEvolution an unpredictable and fun experience, Churcher said.

"Because of the changing membership of the band, there's always going to be an element of surprise and improvisation," he said. "James has to be adaptable in his arrangements of the songs because he never quite knows what musicians will show for any particular gig. His ability to be spontaneous with the arrangements on stage is one strong part of his musicianship."

The rotating roster of Boraski's band also helps build community among musicians, Churcher said.

"Because James has been so open to changing band members it's given a lot of musicians a chance to participate and I think that's a very positive outcome of his flexibility and openness to share creatively." Boraski also helps bring musicians together off stage in his role as vice president of Music NWT, the newly-formed incarnation of the Recording Artists Association NWT (RAANT).

Boraski will scratch "release a debut CD" off his life's to-do list at 8 p.m. on Wednesday night at NACC.
- Northern News Services - September 24, 2009

"NVR2L8 CD Release Concert"

Tomorrow night ( Sept 30, 09) at NACC, James Boraski will be having his CD release concert for his latest album NVR2L8 (Never to Late).

Here is what NACC has to say about this talented artist:

James was honoured to receive an NWT Arts Council grant in 2007 to record his original music, and is both pleased and proud to be accompanied by a prominent cast of Northern musicians and special guests to release his debut CD—“NVR2L8” at NACC.
For the past 5 years Boraski has lived in Inuvik and Yellowknife but is originally from Ontario. Where at the young age of 12 got his first guitar and hasn’t stopped playing since. He even started singing and writing along his way.

Now a days Boraski lives and works out of Yellowknife. He has done many things benefiting music in the north such as producing shows and emceeing many of the music festivals around the north, including Folk on the Rocks. He is also currently the VP of Music NWT.

What you need to know:

Where: The concert will be held at NACC (Back of Sir John High School).

When: The concert will start at 8pm.

Tickets: Adults $17, Students & Seniors $12. Tickets are available at the NACC box office or at www.naccnt.ca

If all that isn’t enough there will also be some special guests preforming. Including Digawolf, Dana Sipos, Patrick Duxbury, Marisol Valerio and of course Boraski’s band Momentary Evolution.

- YK Online

"Hail to the SnowKing"

Daron Letts
Published Wednesday, November 25, 2009
SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - Last week, stone-cold masons began carving the first ice blocks that will lay the foundation for the 15th annual Snow Castle on Yellowknife Bay later this winter.

The Snow Castle crew is, from left, Sir Shiverin' Sam (Scott Mitchell), Dug Sum Snow (Douglass Mitchell), Snowbank Frank (Regan Fielding), Snowbelle (Elsbeth Fielding), Mr. Freeze (Stephen Folkers) and Joe Snow (Ryan McCord). - photo courtesy of Michael Ericsson

"We've got about 90 ice blocks cut and we'll go for twice that this weekend," said Snowbank Frank, a.k.a. Regan Fielding.

Snowbank Frank and the rest of the castle construction crew are not waiting for the SnowKing's month-long winter festival in March to begin celebrating the landmark anniversary of their sovereign's icy reign.

At 8 p.m. on Friday, a new film by Collective9 will honour the SnowKing and his frosty posse at the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre. Admission is by donation and DVD copies will be available for sale.

"It's a rockumentary about the building of the Snow Castle and the SnowKing festival," said Snowbelle, a.k.a. Elsbeth Fielding.

The 46-minute film, titled Triumph of the Chill, features footage from last year's festival, including original music by Leela Gilday, Digawolf, Dana Sipos, Godson, Priscilla's Revenge and Giant Con.

Other bands and musicians make cameos throughout the production, including fiddlers Andrea Bettger and Calvin Cairns, The Dawgwoods, The Skinnys, and James Boraski and Momentary Evolution.

Snippets of performances by the Peekaboo Kazoo children's entertainers and the SnowKing's children's theatre troupe are also included, along with scenes from the SnowKing Cup hockey tournament.

The nippy nuptials exchanged between Candace Ross and Buffalo Airways ice pilot-turned reality TV star A.J. DeCoste at last year's castle wedding appear, as well.

"The movie captures the atmosphere and the life at the castle," Snowbelle said. "The castle is a very special place. It's like nothing else. It's the fort every kid dreamt of, but it's adult-sized for everyone."

The next SnowKing festival offers another dream come true, with the return of the ice slide, live concerts, outdoor film screenings, art shows, plays and more.

"We have some pretty big things planned," Snowbelle said. "It's pretty awesome. We're very excited about it."

The SnowKing will host a show by a fiddle quartet from Victoria and readings by Newfoundland poet, Randall Maggs. The opening fireworks will be joined by a second set of closing fireworks at the end of the festival, which runs from March 1 until March 28.

"The purpose of the festival is to put on a venue so we can showcase our Northern talent," said the SnowKing, a.k.a. Tony Foliot. "The festival is always looking for new and emerging bands, playwrights, storytellers and musicians."

SnowKing encourages young performers wishing to experience the snow stage for the first time to contact Snowbelle through the festival website or at Friday night's festival fundraiser.
- Northern News Services

"Musician Recalls Local Roots"


The circle of friends that we develop over the years affords us the opportunity to meet a variety people in our lives. It was through this circle of friends that I met a talented musician who grew up in this area but relocated in 2004 with his work.

James Boraski now calls Yellowknife his home but he still has strong family ties to the Waterford area. It was while he was visiting his parents on one of his trips home that I had the pleasure of meeting him and learning more of his talent and love of music.

In the last five years, Boraski has lived in Inuvik and Yellowknife but has not forgotten his rural southern Ontario roots. While just a boy of 12, he purchased his first guitar and began his pursuit of a musical career while "entertaining" his family -- a captive audience, to say the least.

Boraski has been playing, writing and singing for 40 years now and has been described by his friends as an "introspective and creative" singer/songwriter with a unique style that sets him apart from others.

"My original music is strongly influenced by a rhythm and blues and moderate rock fusion with my life experiences and travels across Canada," states Boraski.

For many years he performed only as a solo artist but fronted several bands in Ontario and the Northwest Territories over the last 10 years. At any given performance, he may be joined on stage by musical guests that will broaden the spectrum of music and enhance the performance with their own styles and talents.

"You never really know just who's going to be on stage performing but one thing is for sure -the musical genres will be diverse and the sound will be great."

Since his arrival in the NWT in 2004, James Boraski and MomentaryEvolution, his band, have been a fixture on the local music scene. He has always tried to be a significant influence in the promotion of live music.

Boraski has brought his music to such venues as coffeehouses, jams, charity events, concert halls, community pubs and music festivals in such places as Inuvik, Yellowknife, Hay River and Fort Smith. He has even performed as far away as Mexico.

In 2007, Boraski was honoured with a NWT Arts Council grant to help fund the production and recording of his first CD, James Boraski - NVR2L8. The title is most fitting.

He had made a promise, to himself, to complete a CD by the age of 50 but was 52 upon completion thus NVR2L8, or never too late. The release of this CD was held this winter at the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre and was well attended and well received.

Boraski dedicated the CD to his family and, in particular, to his late dad Leo. "I bought my first guitar for $25 and used all my summer earnings. My dad laughed and said that my interest would never last. He said if I could learn to play five songs flawlessly he would take me to get a better guitar. He lost the bet and I became the proud owner of my first 12-string guitar, one that I've rebuilt in his honour and one that I still play to this day".

Aside from his 9-to-5 job and his regular gigs, Boraski devotes a lot of his time for the benefit of other musicians as a music director, show producer and emcee at many events in the NWT and is also currently serving as the vice-president of Music NWT.

I was lucky enough to get a copy of his CD - pre-release -and I play it quite often in my vehicle. His music clearly has a story to tell and it is told from the heart and is easy listening.

Yet, another story of local boy makes good, showing again the calibre of talent that has hailed from Waterford. I look forward to your second CD, James.

If you would like a copy of Boraski's CD NVR2L8, feel free to send me an email and I will let you know how you can get one. Maybe, in time, we'll see it in local music stores.

Our Town is an Expositor feature that presents news and views from communities in our area. Brenda Dredge is a freelance writer who lives in Waterford. E-mail her at brenda.dredge@sympatico.ca
- The Brantford Expositor


"Comin' Home" - 2013
"NVR2L8" (Never too Late) - 2009 / 2010

CBC, CIVR, CJCD, CKLB Radio play inlcudes the following original songs - Comin' Home; Without Reason; Beaufort Delta Blues; Lies & Deceit; You Set Me Free
Covers receiving airplay on the above radio stations include - The Sensitive Kind; Things Have Changed



James, now from Thunder Bay, Ontario, spent nearly a decade in the Canadian Arctic where he lived in Inuvik and Yellowknife, performing throughout the NWT. He hails from rural southern Ontario, where he purchased his first guitar at the age of 12, and in the 40+ years since he has been playing music and writing songs.

His original music is strongly influenced by a roots blues and soft rock fusion combined with his life experiences and travels across Canada. He and the band have performed at community clubs, charity events, concert halls and music festivals… even in Mexico!!

While still performing occasionally as a solo artist, Boraski has fronted several bands in Ontario and the Northwest Territories. He has often been found performing at venues including: The Northern Arts & Cultural Centre; Fuego International Cuisine, Twist Resto-Lounge, The Mackenzie Lounge, Le Frolic Bistro and The Top Knight Pub in the NWT, and is now exploring performance opportunities throughout Ontario.

James has also been a music director, show producer, emcee and performer at several events in the NWT including: The Inuvik Petroleum Show, The Great Northern Arts Festival, The End of the Road Music Festival, The Festival of Trees, The 2008 Arctic Winter Games, Relay for Life, Bastille Days at Le Frolic, The Ability Cup, International Music Day, The Caribou Carnival, The YK-75 Summer Showcase of Music, Yellowknife Sings @ NACC, The South Slave Friendship Festival, EKATI Diamond Mine and Yellowknife’s very own Folk on the Rocks - Endless Summer.

He was previously the Executive Director and Vice-President of Music NWT, the Northwest Territories music association, and he also served as the NWT's Director on the Western Canada Music Alliance for BreakOut West & Western Canada Music Awards. He lives, works and devotes much of his time to the promotion of live music across Canada.

James was the recipient of a NWT Arts Council Grant and he released his debut CD entitled ‘NVR2L8’ (Never Too Late) at the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre in the fall of 2009. James is extremely proud that 'NVR2L8' was a featured work at Canada's Northern House Retail Store at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, BC Canada.

He has recently opened shows for CAMA Award Winner and JUNO Award Nominee - Diga Wolf; JUNO Award Winner - Leela Gilday; Maple Blues Award Nominee and USA Blues Hall of Fame Inductee - Marshall Lawrence; and Multi Maple Blues and JUNO Award Winner - Jack de Keyzer.

In January 2013, James began recording his follow-up CD - "Comin' Home" - at the Canterbury Music Company in Toronto, Ontario. The album is being produced by 2X JUNO & 7X Maple Blues Award winner, Jack de Keyzer on the independent Bluestar Records label. The album features an "all-star" line-up and will be sure to please following it's release in the spring of 2013 - stay tuned!!