National Cast - TeleMiracle 48
We are thrilled to announce the TeleMiracle 48 National Cast.
Join us on February 24th & 25th, 2024 for TeleMiracle 48.
We are thrilled to announce the TeleMiracle 48 National Cast.
Join us on February 24th & 25th, 2024 for TeleMiracle 48.
Brad has been a staple on the Canadian country music scene for 35 years. Despite multiple Western Canadian Music Awards, several Juno nominations, 3 Canadian Country Music Awards and an unprecedented 80 Saskatchewan Country Music Awards, Brad remains a devoted husband, father and grandfather to his wife of 30 years, his five sons and his two grandchildren. Most recently he is back out touring with his brother Ken (The Johner Brothers) and three of his sons, Luc (keys), Matt (drums) and Aidan (bass) and maintains a constant touring schedule. The Johner Brothers are considered, in the industry, professional and true gentlemen of the stage.
According to the Yuchi Indian Tribe there is a powerful legend of the Tanasi River or “Singing River” in Tennessee. Inside the waterway lives a woman who sings songs to protect those who hear her. Inspired by this mythical folklore, two-time Juno nominated artist Dione Taylor took an insightful road trip to Nashville Tennessee and found inspiration for her vivid new album, “Spirits in the Water.” This musical odyssey explores the deep sacred, healing journey back to the self.
“Legendary stories and family history travel through us, flow into the waters and down the bloodline,” explains the Regina, Saskatchewan born singer who first made a name for herself as one of this country’s most talented singer/songwriters, “If the water speaks, and if we are still and listen then what fascinating stories do we hear? Perhaps, tales of eternal happiness, brutal hardship, necessary murder, unspeakable love and beautiful pain are buried in the muddy waters.”
Continuing on with her unmistakable ‘Prairie Blues’ sound, Dione’s music is a mixture of Roots, Blues and Americana. She brings us on an intriguing and magical, thematic journey through song with stories of Mystical Truths (“Water”), Race Inequality, (“Working”), Hiraeth or Homesickness (“Where I Belong”), Women’s Rights (“Down the Bloodline”), Heartbreak (“One More Shot”), Omnipresent Energy (“Spirit”), Injustice (“How Many Times”), Nigredo or Transformation (“Darkness”), Freedom (“Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around”) and Perseverance (“Running”). Dione’s sharply honed song writing chops shine through on original songs featuring both intellectual depth and emotional eloquence. This diversity of tones and tempos on Spirits in The Water ensures that the listener’s attention never wavers through the album.
A key creative collaborator on Spirits In The Water is Joel Schwartz , who produced and co-wrote much the album with Taylor, and made potent instrumental contributions on guitar and banjo. “I met Joel around five years ago, when he started playing in my band, the Backsliderz,” Dione recalls. “Then we started writing and developing a sound together that we have been running with ever since.
Dione’s long-time creative collaborator Sandy Mamane produced and co-wrote two songs with Taylor for the album. Other noted songwriters contributing in that role here are James Bryan (Philosopher Kings, Prozzak), Sean Pinchin, and Liz Tansey.
Music has always been an important and integral part of Dione Taylor’s life. A pastor’s daughter, she was born and raised in a family she describes as “really connected to the gift of song. My whole family sings and plays instruments in church,” praises Ms. Taylor, who began playing the organ at age four and by ten was the music director and organist at The Shiloh Assembly Church (Apostolic) in Regina.
Having first burst onto the music scene with her Juno nominated debut album “Open Your Eyes”, Taylor’s career trajectory has been truly remarkable. With performances at festivals and concert theatres across the United States, Canada and Asia for audiences that have included the President of the United States and Queen Elizabeth II, Taylor has made a worthy name for herself as one of this country’s most talented musicians and songstresses. Taylor was nominated for a Gemini Award for her rendition of Oscar Peterson’s “Hymn to Freedom,” which she performed alongside Oliver Jones at the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala. Taylor is also the recipient of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award Mentorship Program. With performances at Folk, Blues, Jazz and Rock Festivals across North America, Dione is a seasoned and electrifying performer who constantly energizes her audiences. She has also become a familiar face at music conferences like Folk Alliance International, Folk Music Canada, Folk Music Ontario, Contact East, Women’s Blues Revue and the Blues Summit.
Dione Taylor’s latest album “Spirits In The Water” is the proud recipient of the Blues and Roots Radio Worldwide-
“Album of the Year 2020”
(December 20, 2020)
Dione Taylor’s Spirits In The Water has been nominated for a Juno award for “Blues Album of the Year”(March 9, 2021)
Dione Taylor’s and her latest album “Spirits In The Water” have been nominated for 2 awards by the Independent Blues Awards.
Dione Taylor- “Best New Artist”
Spirits In the Water- “Best New Artist CD” (May 1, 2021)
Jay Semko is bassist/vocalist with multiple JUNO Award nominees and Western Canadian Music Hall of Fame members The Northern Pikes, and is an award winning music composer for numerous film and TV productions, including the syndicated series, “Due South”. He is considered one of Canada’s premiere singer/songwriters, with 10 solo albums released, is a two-time Saskatchewan Country Music Awards winner (Roots Artist of the Year 2012 & 2015) and multiple Western Canadian Music Awards nominee. He has co-written and recorded with many of the best songwriters and musicians in music, and his first book, “The Poetry & Lyrics of Jay Semko”, was published in 2021. “Time to Time”, the latest album from The Northern Pikes, dropped June 9, 2023 and Jay is currently at work on a new solo album, “Spiritual”, to be released in early 2024.
Jay is a person in recovery living with Bipolar Disorder who openly shares his experiences with mental health and addiction challenges through his music, writing and public speaking, and in 2023 was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal for his contributions to the Arts and mental health advocacy in Saskatchewan. Jay continues to tour across Canada as a solo artist and with the Northern Pikes, sharing his songs, stories and adventures from his life in music and beyond.
Singer-songwriter pianist Jeffery Straker grew up taking piano lessons in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Punnichy, raised by a church organist mother and an auctioneer father. He’s gone on to perform over 100 shows per year across Canada, Europe and Latin America. Serving up a rootsy-storytelling brand of song with rich narratives, his song writing has the ability to transport a listener – out onto a lake in Canada’s North or to the main street of a prairie town. Across 8 albums to date critical comparisons have been drawn to the likes of Kris Kristofferson, Murray McLauchlan & Billy Joel while performances have seen him live on BBC radio in the UK, in concert with symphony orchestras and on festival and theatre stages. Named ‘Roots-Folk Artist of the Year’ in consecutive Saskatchewan Music Awards Jeffery has also been honoured with a Western Canadian Music Award. The Saskatchewan Country Music Awards have named him keyboard player of the year three years in a row. In 2022 he toured 10 shows across the UK (including the Canadian High Commission in London) with return invitations from festivals and venues alike. He connects with audiences wherever he performs and to that end CBC Radio recently said: “Straker has a way of drawing us into his world and making us feel like we’re a welcome guest; an old friend he’s ready to catch up with”. He’ll be releasing a new full-length album in 2024.
Jill Straker was born and raised near small town Punnichy, Saskatchewan. She grew up singing at the old upright piano on the family farm with her brother, Singer/Songwriter/Piano Player Jeffery Straker, and has been singing professionally with him as his backing vocalist for over 17 years. Jill has had the pleasure of traveling across Canada with Jeffery, singing in festivals, house concerts and theatre shows, and her top highlight has been performing with two symphony orchestras.
When Jill isn’t performing with Jeffery, she works as an Administrative Assistant and is a mom to her busy, beautiful daughter. In the past few years, Jill has gained a whole other league of fans when she launched a home business of making and selling cheesecakes. As she always says, “you don’t make friends with salad!”
Growing up watching Telemiracle and having close friends benefit from the funds raised, Jill has always had a special place in her heart for the telethon. She is grateful to be back for her 13th year, and as part of the National Cast for Telemiracle 48!
Born and raised in Moose Jaw, Lisa Franks grew up loving sports and the outdoors. At the age of 14, a cluster of blood vessels burst in her spinal cord and left her paralyzed from the neck down. She slowly regained the use of her arms and began to adapt to her new life using a wheelchair. She discovered wheelchair racing, and quickly rose through the ranks of competition. She competed at the 2000 and 2004 Paralympic Games, bringing home 6 gold and one silver medal. Throughout her racing career she set seven world records from the 100m through to the 42km marathon. Realizing she had accomplished more than she had ever imagined in racing, she made the switch to wheelchair basketball and won a gold medal at the World Championships in 2006 and competed in her third Paralympic Games in Beijing 2008.
In 2006, Lisa graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and worked designing the mechanical systems in commercial buildings. When Covid forced the world changed in 2020, Lisa realized her passion lies in making the world more accessible for all. She made a major shift in her career focus and completed the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification training. Pursuing her passion for accessibility and the outdoors led her to discover adaptive mountain biking, and she been involved with a project mapping outdoor trails for accessibility.
In 2022 Lisa found herself back on Team Canada, this time with adaptive surfing. In the winter you can find Lisa training for surfing on the west coast and advocating for making trails and the outdoors more accessible in the summer. She does this while traveling in her wheelchair accessible campervan.
She has lived, studied, worked, and played in Saskatchewan for her entire life. Seeing the people of Saskatchewan come together to support the people of Saskatchewan through Telemiracle is a huge contributing factor to why she is proud to call it her home.
Luc is a husband, father of two, singer, songwriter, pianist, and photographer based out of Saskatoon, Canada. He is part of the band The Johner Boys which consists of himself and three of his brothers: Quinn Johner, Matt Johner, and Aidan Johner. For over a decade, they have performed across western Canada on their own as well as with their dad and uncle, The Johner Brothers. Having done most of the writing for the group, Luc and The Boys self-produced two full-length albums and a handful of singles. Luc and his brothers have been part of the TeleMiracle National Cast for 10 years, but this is Luc’s first time hosting the show.
Sabeen is the current Weather and community Anchor with CTV Regina & a marketing & communications expert having worked with various organizations including STARS, Regina Police Service & the REAL District. She is also one of the Saskatchewan Roughriders In-Game hosts and the on-field reporter with the Saskatchewan Rush.
Sabeen is a strong mental health advocate, having held the Vice-Chair and Secretary positions on the Canadian Mental Health Association Board (Regina chapter). She is also an avid community cheerleader, emceeing/hosting/moderating community events when she can.
Teagan Littlechief is a proud Cree woman from the White Bear First Nations north of Carlyle, Saskatchewan. Teagan is currently the reigning SCMA Indigenous Artist of the Year, for the second year in a row, and recipient of the last Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Award. Teagan’s distinctive powerhouse vocals, and high energy shows have made her a well-known and beloved Saskatchewan performer. In 2022 Teagan received National recognition, playing one of the largest stages in Canada; the 109th Canadian Grey Cup. Not only did Teagan sing the National Anthem, but she made history singing the Anthem in 3 languages: English, French and Cree. Her performance created a large buzz on social media and within mainstream media.
Littlechief is a passionate advocate for bringing awareness to two major causes: Domestic Abuse and Substance abuse. Since 2017 Teagan has been combining her passion for touching hearts through music and speaking to others about the dangers of Substance Abuse. By sharing her own story with music, humour, and hope Teagan has created “Rise Above”; A story of one Cree woman’s battle and survival with Domestic Abuse and Substance Abuse. Teagan’s hope is by sharing her story with youth, women, both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous communities and groups, she can maybe affect change in one person’s life.
The Telemiracle House Band is made up of five of Saskatchewan’s elite musicians, with about 250 years (!) of combined professional experience in all styles, from country to jazz to pop/rock to blues and beyond. Led by Sheldon Corbett (saxophone/keyboard), the other members are: Jack Semple (guitar/vocals), Dave Chobot (bass/vocals), Don Griffith (keyboards/vocals) and Glenn Ens (drums/percussion). These seasoned veterans, busy throughout the year with countless musical projects, look forward to working together to provide the energy and dynamics of live music for this year’s Telemiracle show.