Hip-hop, fiddle fusion 

Long-time music troubadour Kytami returns to Whistler with new sound

What: Kytami and friends

When: Saturday, Dec. 31

Where: Black’s Pub

Tickets: $50

Most know her flying fiddle from her legendary sets with Guitar Doug at the Dubh Linn Gate, or you may have caught her punked out mania as Kytami in Blackie LeBlanc & The Kytami Revolution which opened for Florida Punk Band Against Me! at Garfinkel’s earlier this year.

But unless you have ventured down to one of her regular gigs in Vancouver over the past year, never has Whistler heard Vancouver virtuoso violinist Kyla Uyede’s bow sound the way it will in her upcoming Kytami and friends show, Saturday, Dec. 31 at Black’s Pub. And there is only one word for it, electric.

"I’ve been doing this electronica, hip hop fusion tons in Vancouver at parties and festivals and I’ve been trying to bring it up to Whistler forever, but for some reason, this will be the first time," she said. "People seem to be really open to this sound. It’s good to be bringing something new. When I first moved to Vancouver, there weren’t a lot of people doing it. Now it seems to be getting more common."

Anyone who has caught Uyede’s fiddle at the Dubh Linn Gate or at the now-closed DV8 Lounge in Vancouver knows there is nothing common about the spitfire fiddler.

The former Whistler resident of 10 years moved to the city after the release of her first solo album in 2002.

The classically trained violinist first unearthed this unique fusion of fiddle and house music in Whistler. A snowboard enthusiast, Uyede moved from Seattle rock and punk listening to deeper beats in hip hop and eventually electronica, jungle and drum ’n’ bass as it moved across the Atlantic in the early 1990s.

The dark sounds and heavy bass lines first moved Uyede’s bow in a different direction than her Celtic cover tune staples. Her listening time and stage shows were worlds apart, two worlds she wanted to bridge with one voice.

"I always had this idea that I wanted to perform in the (music hip hop) scene I was into," she said. "I wanted to make the kind of music I was into and listening to. I started working with interesting DJs who were into making that kind of music."

At first the turntable wizardry of hip hop DJ Mat the Alien dialed in a new sound on Uyede’s fiddle. Now she works with Third Eye Tribe who will join her for the New Year’s Eve performance along with Blackie LeBlanc and long-time friend Leanne Lamour, who joined Uyede at countless après sets at the Gate years ago.

From eastside bars and art galleries to lounges and the Shambhala festival, Uyede’s charisma, passion and flare with the fiddle combined with cutting-edge innovative beats draws a devout following. Don’t miss the Whistler debut of her new sound Saturday. Tickets are $50. Doors open at 6 p.m.


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