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Area crowds flock to Nelson Odeon

The Nelson Odeon was packed to near capacity Friday Jan. 21 as Canadian performer Treasa Lavasseur brought her mix of bluesy funk and sensual soul to the local stage.

Her appearance at the Odeon continued a string of first-class concerts brought to the community by Jeffery Schoenfeld, his family and their team of area volunteers. Over 100 listeners are able to pack into the Odeon's audience, and nearly every seat was filled Friday night for Levasseur's performance. Patrons drove anywhere from three to 30 miles away to come and enjoy the evening of music. The Nelson Odeon has featured a number of notable artists and has many national as well as international acts planned to perform in upcoming months.

While they are always looking for artists to feature, Artistic Director Colin Nekritz and the Schoenfeld family are selective about who graces the Odeon's stage.

"These people are all professionals, touring musicians and entertainers. We look for that. We just can't have someone up there that can play a few songs well, they have to be able to entertain," owner Jeff Schoenfeld said, "Every band or group that we book, one or all of us have seen previously."

Levasseur was backed by her band mates, guitarist James "Champagne" Robertson, bassist Brian Kobayakawa and percussionist Brat Hart. The quartet formed about two years ago, after having played in a number of different groups together. It was apparent that they have worked on each song extensively and enjoyed doing so, as they all wore smiles and hit every beat in unison. In between songs Levasseur playfully engaged members of the audience, sharing candid stories of her musical and personal experiences in Canada. She performed numerous tracks from her early albums and treated listeners to cuts from her upcoming record, even debuting a never-before-performed song "That's the Way it Goes."

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