JAM Live! Episode # 82

Yukon Folk Duos


This episode features two folk duos from the Yukon. 

First up are Brigitte Desjardin and Ryan McNally. Coincidentally, both grew up south of Montreal, Quebec and both moved to the Yukon in 2007. However it was not until 2014 that they actualy met in Whitehorse and became partners. Both were playing in various local jazz and blues bands until 2017 when they decided to perform together as a folk duo. In the folk tradition they draw from many music styles such as old-time, Quebecois, blues, cajun and jazz creating a soundscape that is both familiar and new. In addition both musicians are multi instrumentalists who juggle an array of instruments including fiddle, banjo, guitar, slide guitar, washboard, and foot percussion.

The second folk duo is singer/songwriter B.J. MacLean accompanied by fiddle player Katie Avery.

B.J. Grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and spent many years in Alaska and parts of northern Canada before moving to Whitehorse, Yukon in 2002. She has been a staple of Yukon’s folk music scene and has performed at various festivals across the north west region of Canada. She has had appearances on CBC’s national radio shows “Madly off in all Directions” and “Sounds like Canada” and released her first album “January Thaw” in 2005.

Her partner in music Katie Avery grew up in Ontario where she started studying violin at the local Suzuki School when she was 5 years old. She went on to complete a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Toronto in 2010 before moving to Whitehorse to teach violin. She has produced a number of recordings, including her first solo album, “Lake Annie,” which was released in 2015.

B.J. Maclean on lead vocals, guitar and banjo is acompanied by Katie Avery on fiddle and backup vocals.

Both duos were recorded at house concerts in Haines Junction in March 2018.