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University of Lethbridge taps into “Unlimited” potential of integrating disabled

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University of Lethbridge drama professor Lisa Doolittle is excited to present a new show in the new year featuring and developed by her students including several mentally disabled students.Unlimited will incorporate handicapped students. Photo Submitted
“Unlimited,” to be developed in the new year and debuting on stage in March is the natural progression from her Drama 3850: Dance for All  Abilities class and inclusive education and social change initiative which included students with learning disabilities. The class ran from September to Dec. 14.

“To my knowledge that is the first time that has happened here,” she said adding the class had 12 time students and six handicapped  students who don’t qualify as full time students, but enrolled in the class as open studies or part time students.

 She has been working with the Southern Alberta Individualized Planning Association and with the Lethbridge Association for Community Living in research about using arts-based methods to make social change to put together her program. Her upcoming show, to be called “Unlimited,” which  will be based around a party including a variety of interesting attendees with unique qualities.

“ We have some really great partners,” she said noting it was a highlight watching everybody working together to make the class work.

“ It’s been a really supportive environment. We’ve created a really great learning environment and everyone is really collaborating more,” she said adding  the concept of inclusion fascinates her as handicapped students  have more inclusion  from Kindergarten to Grade 12, but not at the university level— yet.


A variety of shows for the end of January

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January 2015 has just flown by. And while the month has been relatively slow for live music, things start to pick up this week.

There are several different shows happening this week. On Wednesday, Jan. 28, Vancouver based indie soul and R and B band the Boom Booms come to Lethbridge to play the Slice.

 They are touring in suppoBillie Vegas play Casino Lethbridge this weekend. Photo by Richard Ameryrt of their most recent Cd “Love is Overdue,” which they recorded with renown Grammy Award winning producer Chin Injeti who brings them back to their soul and R and B roots and a little bit away from the Latin and Caribbean sound they were exploring on their previous CD.
There is a five dollar cover for the show, which begins at 9 p.m.

 If you like the blues and perhaps a little bit more, New Brunswick bluesman Ross Neilsen returns to the Owl Acoustic Lounge for a solo show as part of his endless tour, Jan. 30.
He promised to play a little bit of everything from blues standards to original music. There is no cover for the show, which begins at 9 p.m.
And the Lethbridge Folk Club is trying something a little different this week.

 While they are holding their bigger shows at the Cave at Lethbridge College this season, they are also trying smaller scale shows at the new location of the Wolf’s Den at MJ’s Cycle (1502 -2nd Avenue South) where they also hold their open mics on the second and fourth Fridays of each month.


Relentlessly touring Ross Neilsen returning to Lethbridge

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New Brunswick based bluesman Ross Neilsen isn’t being constrained by blues music or any other genre of music on his endless tour which brings him to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Jan. 30.Ross Neilsen returns to Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Amery

“It’s been good. The shows right after New Year’s  have been a hard sell because everyone is still recovering,” Neilsen observed from Coburg, Ontario.

“ This tour has been all acoustic though i have me electric guitars but the first few venues were smaller, so they were acoustic shows,” he said.
“ I don’t really do a lot of acoustic shows, though I have my steel resonator guitar. It’s been a nice change,” he said .

“ Other times  I’ve tended to think I can’t play this song because it’s  not bluesy enough. I haven’t been constrained by it this time. I’ve been playing everything from  John Prine to the Grateful Dead. I‘ve been playing whatever I feel like and people seem be enjoying it. So I guess the variety is helping everyone,” he said.


The Boom Booms to bring lots of soul to Lethbridge

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Vancouver R and B and indie soul band The Boom Booms have been all over the world, but return to their rhythm and blues roots on their second full length album “Love Is Overdue.”
 They come to the Slice, Jan. 28 to share their groove and their new music.The Boom Booms come to Lethbridge, Jan. 28. Photo submitted

“People will notice the lack of Latin and  Caribbean feel on the new album,” said lead singer Aaron Ross.
“We wrote that one while we were touring Latin and South America. This one  is more R and B. They will also notice really high production values because we spent a lot of dough on that,” he said.
They  recorded the new CD with Toronto born, Grammy Award winning  producer Chin Injeti who has been based out of Vancouver for the past nine years.

“ We wanted somebody who really knows funk and soul and R and B. He’s worked with Gwen Stefani and all of the big names,” he said adding the band knew him for quite a while and always wanted to work with him.

“ He was dating a friend of ours. We stopped by his studio a couple years ago and jammed with him and made a connection,” he said.

 The Boom Booms also include Geordie Hart - Bass; Sean Ross - Keys, Vocals; Tom Van Deursen - Guitar; Richard Brinkman - Drums and Theo Vincent - Percussion, Drums.
“ We learned a lot from him. The most important thing we learned from him was just listening,” he said.

 Their connection with Injeti, lead to them being part of Aloe Blacc’s hit song “ The Man” which became the feature song for Beats By Dre’s commercial starring  NBA star Kevin Garnnet.


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L.A. Beat is Lethbridge, Alberta's only online arts and entertainment magazine.

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