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JD Edwards heading to Ponoka in the ongoing Home Routes series

JD Edwards will be performing at the Ponoka United Church on May 16 as part of the Home Routes series. He also performs in Rimbey on May 17. (Photo submitted)

Wrapping up the Home Routes concert series this spring will be Winnipeg-based JD Edwards.

The gifted singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist performs at the Ponoka United Church on May 16.

He also plays Rimbey on May 17.

For Edwards, music has been a constant his whole life.

“In my family, we went to church quite a bit so there was a lot of music,” he said, reflecting on his early years.

“My dad led the congregation in singing, and my mother was a choir director, conductor, piano, and organ player. I’m also the youngest of three, so I was influenced by my brother’s and sister’s music, too. And whatever was on the radio or what was popular during the 80s,” he recalled.

Through his grade school years, he also delved into the trombone. During post-secondary, he broadened his repertoire and skill base further, playing in a symphony, quartets, quintets, marching bands, jazz bands, and rock bands.

“I had also started to play the guitar in high school, and that’s when I started writing stuff, too. Music has just always been a big part of my life.”

During his Toronto days, he also studied music management and worked at an online radio station. All the while, he was gigging and trying to make a living in the industry, too.

Then, things took a pivotal turn when he settled in Winnipeg.

The move wasn’t meant to be permanent, but something about the city drew him.

And this is where he would meet the guys who would ultimately form the JD Edwards Band.

“I had a bunch of friends from university that were Winnipegers, so when I moved here, someone in their circle was having a birthday party at a bowling alley,” he said.

“The guy I was hanging with tapped the shoulder of the guy in front of us, and said, ‘Hey, this is JD. He’s from Toronto, and he needs a band.’

“He said there was a band down on lane three that had just lost their singer, so I should go down there and say hello. A week later we were jamming.

“They gave me some of their music and asked me if I could write some lyrics. They had this screamo band, but right before they went into the studio for this particular record, their singer had quit.

“They didn’t want to lose their studio time, so they did the record instrumentally,” he said.

Edwards penned a couple of tunes, which the guys weren’t initially thrilled with.

He, in turn, presented them with one of his own songs, and the rest is history.

It’s been a blast ever since.

“I love sharing, and I love performing,” said Edwards.

“I love doing those things with my friends. There is no greater joy that I have than playing with this band. I also love where music has been able to take me. I’ve been around the world — there are so many more places to go, but I’ve been very lucky to have been able to do that.

“I also love the connection between the audience and myself. I’m always in awe of how our music moves people, and how they receive it — whether they are joyful, or shedding tears. People will say that it is medicine to them,” he added.

“I think that now, I also understand the role of what being an artist and a musician gives to my community.

“Music also gives me the chance to vent. The work week is full, it’s busy; life can be so crazy and there can be so much coming down the pipe. There can be so much on our shoulders and our plates. But when we get up on stage, we are sort of able to let that go.

“It’s a release, and there is such a wonderful feeling with that — it’s like we’ve worked out for two hours straight.”

For tickets and more information, visit

Tickets for the Ponoka show are also available at the church office by calling 403-783-4087.

Mark Weber

About the Author: Mark Weber

I've been a part of the Black Press Media family for about a dozen years now, with stints at the Red Deer Express, the Stettler Independent, and now the Lacombe Express.
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