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Eh440 has a tempo tantrum 

High energy a cappella group Eh440 tell a story at the Prismatic Festival

click to enlarge Eh440 (l-r Mike Celia, Stacey Kay, Joe Oliva, Janet Turner and Luke Stapleton) pulls in for the weekend.
  • Eh440 (l-r Mike Celia, Stacey Kay, Joe Oliva, Janet Turner and Luke Stapleton) pulls in for the weekend.

It seems unlikely that an a cappella group from Toronto would be performing at an arts festival in Halifax because of a music festival in Iqaluit. But that's exactly why Eh440 will be at Prismatic Festival of the Arts.

Shahin Sayadi, artistic director of the Prismatic Festival, caught Eh440's performance at the Alianait Arts Festival in Nunavut back in June of 2013. He was impressed by their unique sound and high-energy performance and knew they would be a real crowd-pleaser.

Eh440 (pronounced Canadian "Eh" 440), is made up of Joe Oliva, Janet Turner, Mike Ceila, Stacey Kay and Luke Stapleton, five singers from a variety of musical backgrounds.

"You hear a lot of different influences in our songs," says Oliva, the group's bass vocalist, from Toronto. "Mike does folksy stuff with a real storytelling bent. Stacey brings an urban soul sound. Janet is kind of country and pop and her voice has an angelic quality. Luke is an amazing beatboxer."

Oliva says when people hear Eh440's music they often forget that it's created without any instruments at all, which is exactly what the group is aiming for: "Our goal is not to be some sort of novelty act, but just to make really great music."

Many people may recognize Eh440 from their appearance last winter on CBC's Dragon's Den, where they managed to convince three dragons to open their chequebooks for them. Though the deal is on hold, Oliva says the door has been left open for future projects.

This Prismatic appearance marks the first time that the group has played on the east coast, and they are planning to leave a lasting impression. "People are going to have a fun time," says Oliva. "I guarantee they'll leave singing."

Alderney Landing outdoor mainstage, 2 Ochterloney Drive
August 22-24



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