News Releases

The Divison of Marketing and Communications provides access to the most up-to-date information released by Memorial University of Newfoundland. Archives of previous news releases are also available.

To access news releases from Grenfell Campus please click here.

REF NO.: 76

SUBJECT: Memorial University faculty receive ECMA nods

DATE: Feb. 6

Three Memorial faculty are nominated for East Coast Music Awards (ECMA). Dr. Peter Narvaez, Folklore Department, is nominated for his CD Some Good Blues in the category of Blues Artist of the Year. Along with Narvaez, Drs. Nancy Dahn and Timothy Steeves, associate professors at Memorial's School of Music who form Duo Concertante, have been nominated in the classical music category for Classical Recording of the Year for their CD Of Heart and Homeland.

Some Good Blues, Dr. Narvaez's CD, was released in 2002 to popular and critical acclaim. Filled with his unique fingerpicking style and original compositions, Dr. Narvaez's acoustic blues recordings reflect a style of blues that harkens back to the African-American blues that was developed in the 1920s and 1930s. His style is different from, "what most people think of as blues, with electric guitars, amplified harmonics, and even horn sections," he said.

Dr. Narvaez cites main influences as those who he saw perform, and with whom he has played over the years, such as Skip James, Mississippi Joe Williams and Sleepy Joe Estes. He also feels that his father and uncle, both Mexican guitar players, greatly influenced his development as a musician. In particular, he learned the hupango beat from them, where the musician slaps the guitar in a percussive manner while playing.

Songwriting is an integral part of Dr. Narvaez's musicality, and he enjoys, "writing songs in the blues idiom with modern themes." For example, "Cigarettes and Coffee" is about second-hand smoke, while "Make Some Time", subtitled "Beeper Blues", explores pagers, cellphones and other technological devices that interrupt our time.

At the ECMAs, Dr. Narvaez will be playing at several "fringe" events, including a roots/blues extravaganza. He enjoys these unofficial showcases, because, "they are a means for people to play together, especially at an event with a lot of industry professionals around."

Dr. Narvaez's CD, Some Good Blues, can be found at Fred's and O'Brien's Music stores, in St. John's as well as through Amber Music at His Web site, features further detail on this blues musician and ethnomusicologist.

Duo Concertante performs regularly throughout North America, recently appearing in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Chicago, New York City, Toronto, Montreal and including a tour of Florida and central and western Canada. The duo has been featured at summer festivals such as the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, the Baie des Chaleurs Festival, Sound Symposium and the Tuckamore Festival where they serve as artistic directors. Their highly-praised recordings and live performances have been heard frequently on CBC radio and as well as WNED (Buffalo), Classical 105.1 K-Mozart (Los Angeles), and WFMT "The Fine Arts Network" (Chicago). They have been featured on the "Onstage" segment of TVOntario's distinguished television news program Studio 2, as well as on CTV.

Duo Concertante champions and promotes new Canadian works, frequently presenting premieres on their recitals. Since 1998, with the assistance of the Canada Council, Laidlaw Foundation, and CBC Radio, they have commissioned some of Canada's finest composers: Chan Ka Nin, Jean Lesage, Kelly-Marie Murphy, Andrew MacDonald and Omar Daniel; these works, written especially for the Duo, will be featured on their forthcoming disc, to be released by ATMA classique in the fall of 2003. Future commissions include a piece for solo violin, piano and string quartet by Brian Current for broadcast on CBC's In Performance.

Duo Concertante's second CD, Of Heart and Homeland (ATMA Classique), which explores the nature of national identity through the music of Janacek, Smetana, de Falla, and Dvorak, has been nominated for Best Classical Recording at the 2003 East Coast Music Awards. It follows Deux, their debut recording of Beethoven, Brahms, Stravinsky, and Ravel, nominated for Best Classical Recording at the 2000 ECMA's. Duo Concertante's CDs are available from Fred's Records in St. John's and on the and on the ATMA Classique web-site ( and the Duo Concertante's Web site at

The ECMA's will be held in Halifax, Feb. 13 - 16, 2003.

- 30 -


Marketing & Communications

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000