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A performance that draws on his musical inspirations

Award-winning guitarist Kevin Ramessar plays the songs of Joni Mitchell Friday night in Kitchener

With classic hits like “Big Yellow Taxi,” and “Both Sides Now,” Canadian folk singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell has music that transcends generations. Those songs will fill the intimate confines of The Registry Theatre in Kitchener, all thanks to award-winning musician Kevin Ramessar.

He’s a renowned guitarist who, having studied music at Wilfrid Laurier University, considers Kitchener-Waterloo his home. He spends most of his time performing and living in New York City, but always makes a point to come back to the region and share his love of music. This time around, he is bringing the music of one of his personal favourites to the stage with Court and Spark – The Music of Joni Mitchell.

“I can’t remember when I first got into her music, but I really love listening to her. It gives me inspiration as an instrumentalist, for sure, but her lyrics, poetry and her life story are pretty amazing,” he said. “The show is such a good fit because a lot of Joni Mitchell’s stuff was written for one guitar, played on one instrument, solo.”

He is always excited to come back to the region with his music, whether it is performing, or as a member of the audience at The Registry Theatre.

“It feels like my adopted hometown. It is the place I have been the longest. I went to school here, my closest friends are still here and I always look forward to coming back,” he said.

Ramessar has performed on Broadway, as well as working on solo shows all over the world. He has many awards under his belt, including twice winning first place for guitar at the Canadian Music Competition, second place in the Canadian Music Competition National Stepping Stone award, the Kitchener-Waterloo Arts Award in music, as well as performing with artists like Ron Sexsmith, Jim Cuddy and many more.

While he is in town, his favourite venue is The Registry.

“The Registry is a jewel for the K-W region. So many years have gone by since I started playing there and they have always been supportive,” he said. “I go see stuff there whenever I can and I love playing there. The room is small enough to feel intimate, feeling really connected to the audience. As an audience member, I always feel connected to whoever is performing. It is one of my favourite places to hear music and to perform.”

He’s gained a following not only for his original music, but for concerts that provide his take on the likes of The Beatles and Paul Simon. With Court and Spark, all he wants is for the audience to feel what he feels when he puts on a Joni Mitchell album.

“The music and life of Joni Mitchell has been such an inspiration to me that I think people who come might already be in that place, but I hope to share some of the beauty of what she makes, and the way she captured the human condition so well, so artistically, and with great effectiveness,” he said. “It is one of those things that is really moving. I hope that will be there on the weekend, that people can enjoy the music, but also be drawn into the depth of her writing and her story.”

The show starts at 8 p.m. on Oct. 14. Tickets are $27 and can be purchased by visiting www.registrytheatre.com or by calling 519-578-1570.

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