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Thrill of playing before live audience never gets old for Felushko

By Wayne Doyle

Ask almost any performer when they’re the happiest and most will tell you it’s when they’re on stage.

There’s something about playing live in front of an audience that gets the adrenaline going, even if that audience is only a handful of people in a tiny bar, somewhere off the mainline.

“I think there’s a unique culture that surrounds a lot of the small gig environment,” began Dan Felushko, a local singer/songwriter who will be performing at Saturday night at Boston Pizza in Stouffville as part of Wintersong 2022. “It’s really community based. You get a lot of interaction from the people who are listening to you and you can really see the emotions that you’re trying to create.”

It also provides the performer a great opportunity to try out new material, long before it’s committed to history in the recording studio.

“Playing new material in a small club is perfect,” Dan beamed. “Nobody knows the song so if you make a mistake, nobody cares. It’s a great place to see if the material connects.”

Born a minister’s son, Dan grew up on stage, singing gospel in the church. As he grew, so too did his musical influences.

“I was into everything from Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention to Myles Davis and Big Sugar,” he said.

Dan, who moved to the Stouffville area about a month before Christmas last year, has become an integral cog in the local scene. A musician and pal of Wintersong organizer Kevin Ker, Dan is also a member of the Markham Arts Council, an organization that stepped up to offer tangible support to this year’s Wintersong Festival.

“The Markham Arts Council partnered with Wintersong to actually boost artist fees for this event so everyone gets paid appropriately and it lessens the burden on the venues,” he said.

With a dozen venues playing host to various shows, the March 25 and 26 music festival is, literally, taking over the town.

Fans can catch a Friday night show at any one of the following venues – Mainstreet Bakehouse, King of Wings, Tulsi, Cornerhouse, Latcham Hall, Chuck’s Roadhouse, Oakside, St. Louis, Bollocks Pub and Boston Pizza.

Saturday night you can catch live music at 19 on the Park, King of Wings, Tulsi, Fickle Pickle, Cornerhouse, Latcham Hall, Chuck’s Roadhouse, Oakside, St. Louis, Bollocks Pub and Boston Pizza.

“This is going to be an incredible time,” enthused Dan. “There’s a lot of incredible artists that are performing who I really want to see. I’ll be running around like a crazy man – but it’s going to be great.”

Main photo: Dan Felushko will be playing at Boston Pizza in Stouffville on Saturday night as part of the Wintersong Festival.

Top row, from left: Other Wintersong Festival artists include Bad Holiday, 50 Foot Jesus, Cassie Noble and Wilson & The Castaways.

Bottom row, from left: Headliners for Wintersong Festival include The Darcys, Bernadette Connors, Bif Naked and Charles Spearin.

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Wayne Doyle is the manager of marketing and communications for the York Region Arts Council. Wayne is always looking for great stories to share with readers of experienceyorkregion.com. If you’ve got a York Region story to tell, contact Wayne: wayne@yorkregionartscouncil.com

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