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Fans fill Mt. Tabor for Zeke Aid 2

Many of Zeke Mazurek's favourite performers were on stage at Zeke Aid 2 Monday at Mt. Tabor. Bawn Putman photo

On the heels of a wildly successful evening at the Regent Theatre in August, Suzanne Pasternak and Mark Despault produced a second sold-out Zeke Aid concert Monday, Oct. 4 at Mt. Tabor in Milford.

The concerts honour and support the County’s Zeke Mazurek, fiddler extraordinaire, who has been stricken with cancer and is no longer able to pursue his lifelong career as a professional musician.

“I was one of the producers of the Regent Zeke Aid concert in August along with Janet Kellough and Judy Fraser,” says Pasternak. “I was in charge of booking the performers. So many of our local performers and The Wakami Wailers kindly stepped down from the roster that night to allow Sylvia Tyson, Prairie Oyster, Sneezy Waters, etc. to take the stage. Mark and I decided then and there to hold a second event to allow our own local musicians and the Wakami Wailers to perform for Zeke and his family.”

Sneezy Waters was back with his band to host the evening and to perform. Zeke and Sneezy have a long history of putting shows on at Mt. Tabor – the location that is almost Zeke’s second home. Performers included: The Wakami Wailers, The Frere Brothers, Katalin Kiss and John McKinney, Josh Colby, Grampa’s Goodtime Gang, Emily Fennell, Gerry Foster, Jeanette Arsenault, Instant Rivalry’s Caleb and Megan Hutton, Suzanne and Natasha Pasternak, Mark Savage and more!

Early estimates note about $3,700 was raised at the event.

“This is a good time for Zeke and his family to have another injection of cash flow,” says Mark Despault. “The expenses are adding up and a lot of renovations need to be done to the house to modify it for Zeke to get around”.

There are also medication costs that need to be covered as well as travel expenses incurred going to and from hospitals, as well as significant financial hardship from loss of income.

Nationally acclaimed bilingual singer-songwriter, playwright and former CBC radio host Marie-Lynn Hammond will show support for the Mazurek family at her performance Friday, Oct. 15, at Books & Company, Picton.

Hammond was co-founder of the legendary and indie-pioneering Canadian folk group, Stringband, which tirelessly criss-crossed Canada for 15 years and made international forays including Japan, Mexico, Great Britain, the former USSR, and the USA.

Zeke Mazurek played fiddle and mandolin in Stringband in the early 1980s, so when Hammond heard about Zeke Aid, the benefit organized for him, she quickly jumped on board. “There was only time for me to do two songs,” she says, “so I figured I’d like to return and do a full-length show with a portion of the proceeds going to Zeke and his family.”

Hammond is known for her engaging style and brilliant lyrics, which range from wickedly funny to hauntingly personal. She’ll be accompanied by her long-time keyboardist, the talented Tom Leighton, who is well known and loved in Prince Edward County. For the last 10 years Hammond has performed very little, so this is a rare chance to hear the person that Mariposa co-founder Estelle Klein dubbed “one of the best contemporary singer-songwriters in Canada.”

Concert Details:
Friday, October 15 at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. at Books & Company, 289 Main Street, Picton. Tickets ($12/$10) at the door only, no reservations necessary.

Zeke Aid support overflowing at Regent Theatre

Love and admiration for fiddler extraordinaire Zeke Mazurek filled Picton’s Regent Theatre to overflowing at August’s sell-out benefit concert and silent auction. The Zeke fund stands at about $26,000 – and still counting. Above, Zeke joined in the finale performance with Sylvia Tyson, Sneezy Waters, Prairie Oyster, Cindy Church and The Stage Hand Band! Phil Norton photo. (

Order reprints with Phil at

Zeke Aid silent auction bids are being taken now at AV Frame and Photo. The silent auction tables in the Regent Theatre's Cook room will open at 4p.m. (enter through the box office). The auction closes at the end of intermission. Kate Morgan photo

Zeke Mazurek stricken with career-ending disease. Photo The Wellington Times.

Zeke Mazurek stricken with career-ending disease. Wellington Times photo

Items from artists represented by Sidestreet Gallery in Wellington are on display in the AV Photo window, downtown Picton. Bids can be placed with Angela and Dave.

Karen Empringham, one of the auction organizers, with the Antoni 3/4 violin outfit donated by Mark DaSilva and Allison Storring, of Strum.

UPDATE:  CHEERS! to Guido Basso and the Prince Edward County Jazz community for raising $472.38 for Zeke Aid at the Saturday afternoon Jazz Jam at the Regent Theatre. Jazz meets folk in a fundraising fusion!

Community response for the Zeke Aid Benefit has been amazing, said Karen Empringham, who is working on the silent auction portion of the event.
“Everyone wants to help. Some people who have donated items to the auction don’t even know Zeke. They have only sat in audiences and heard him play. They have said that they just want to thank him for enriching their lives with his beautiful music. Now that’s a legacy!”
The silent auction tables in the Cook room will open at 4p.m. (enter through the box office) with the show starting at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 23rd. The auction closes at the end of intermission.
Items from artists represented by Sidestreet Gallery in Wellington are on display in the AV Photo window, downtown Picton. Bids can be placed with Angela and Dave.
Anyone who would like to make auction or monetary donations can contact Karen Empringham at 476-4060;

Up for Auction so far…
Violin – Harmony Music Plus (Belleville)
Multi media Sculpture “Rebecca Refuelling” by John Cruickshank
Numbered print – Rene Gagnon (#25 of 100) – donated by Jean Hervieux
Painting of Vicki’s Veggies by Trevor Collier
White pottery platter by Peta Hall
Two cedar camp chairs – Picton Home Hardware
Canoe Ride on Lake on the Mountain – John Oughton
Motorcycle Tour of the County – John Oughton
Bottle of Gamay/Pinot Noir – Long Dog Winery
Bottle of St. Laurent 2008 – Waupoos Winery
Bronze necklace and earrings – Diva Decorative Arts
Turquoise blue crystal necklace and earrings – Diva Decorative Arts
Sage green Facinie fedora – Diva Decorative Arts

One of the Zeke Aid organizers, Judy Fraser, with a print by Rene Gagnon (#25 of 100) – donated by Jean Hervieux

Turned Wooden Bowl – Paul and Lynne Ross
Ladies Medium Soft Shell Jacket – Scotia Bank
Men’s Extra Large Soft Shell Jacket – Scotia Bank
Gift Certificate for Spa Services – Indulgence Day Spa
Ceramic Plant Pot – Allisons
6 month ad button – County Live
Dinner for two (excl. alcohol) – Wellington Grill
Gift Certificate plus two bags of coffee – Tall Poppy Café
Gift basket – bottle of unoaked chardonnay, box of wine infused chocolate – Grange of Prince Edward Winery
Large gift basket– bottle of pinot noir, bottle of chardonnay, large box of wine infused chocolate – Grange of Prince Edward Winery
Stained glass earrings with hypoallergenic hooks and lead free solder – Shattered
4 tickets to Amelia from Festival Players
Flex Passes for 2011 – Festival Players
Gift certificate for $100 – The Wine Barrel
Mary Kay Products – Kate Forbes Colgate
Cake-Tin Hats – hand knit silk, cotton and wool blend, pork pie hat by Chris Hall of Cake-Tin Hats
Basket – Marysburgh Mummers
Compass technology assessment, 1 hour consultation, House

Multi media Sculpture “Rebecca Refuelling” by John Cruickshank

call mileage and 10% discount on supplements – Lesley Lewis
Book Basket of Assorted Works – Mystery writers of Prince Edward County
Channeling session at Oakendell Centre – Krow Fischer
Tarot Card session at Oakendell Centre – Krow Fischer
Past Life Regression at Oakendell Centre – Krow Fischer
Weavers of Light book – Krow Fischer
Plant – Walker’s Greenhouse
Kolbe A Index and consultation – Management 201 Consulting

On Display at AV Photo
Gilles Miramontes- framed pencil sketch Rickarton Castle
Margaret McFetridge- oil landscape
Gerry Putman- oil wild turkeys
John Miller- wood carving- lamb
John Miller-wood carving sandpiper
Vintage Comfort- 1930’s wicker basket-silk flowers
Joan Turner- GrapeVine Gallery- fused glass plate
Grapevine Gallery- cast iron collectors Dale Earnhart car
Wellington Pottery- pottery
Neil Wilkinson Pottery- vase
Jane Rutter- Authentically County- county canning label mugs
Denny Diamond – handcrafted necklace
Lacey Estates- 4 bottles wine
The Dressing Room- watch & bracelet
Laurie Scott/Bev Humphrey – handcrafted walking stick
Sue Baker- Bent & twisted- hand forged candlestick
Monica Mill- handcrafted stool

UPDATE: The Zeke Aid Benefit Concert sold out Aug. 6!
In the event that there are returned tickets, the Regent Theatre will be selling them starting at 10 a.m. on the morning of Aug. 23 on a first-come, first-served, cash-only basis . If you can’t get one of these, you can still support Zeke Aid by bidding on the Silent Auction items – Auction opens at 4 p.m. on Aug. 23rd and closes at the end of intermission.


“Blind Mary”, “Maple Sugar”, “Mason’s Apron” the ever-astounding “Wellington Breakdown” – for years Prince Edward County resident and fiddler extraordinaire Zeke Mazurek has held us spellbound with his music.  Now, sadly, Zeke has been stricken with cancer and is no longer able to pursue his lifelong career as a professional musician. Artists, both local and from away, as well as the community at large are all pulling together to help one of their own.  A special fundraising concert, “Zeke Aid” will be held at the Regent Theatre on Monday, August 23rd to help the Mazurek-Kerr family deal with the devastating consequences of Zeke’s illness.

Local musician Suzanne Pasternak, along with writer Janet Kellough and musician Judy Fraser have collaborated to put together an evening that will feature performances from many of Zeke’s friends and colleagues. Canadian folk icon Sylvia Tyson has confirmed she will be in attendance as has Prairie Oyster.
“Marie Lynn Hammond has confirmed that she will be here,” Pasternak says. “She is an old friend from Zeke’s String Band days, and Sneezy Waters, with whom Zeke has played hundreds of concerts, will also be on hand. Musicians such as Ken Ramsden and Zeke’s son-in-law Tom Savage will play, and Georgette Fry is bringing her choir, Shout Sister.”
Old County friends are pitching in as well, from Tom Leighton, who is musical director for the evening, to Katalin Kiss, Drew Ackerman, Lenni Stewart, Josh Colby and, of course, The Frere Brothers and Jeanette Arsenault with whom Zeke has performed many, many times.  All the musicians are donating their talents for the show.
“The support from the community has been astounding already,” says Judy Fraser. “The Regent is providing the use of the theatre at no charge, and is also donating the proceeds from the wine bar and a portion of their handling charge for ticket sales.  Steve Campbell at County magazine has offered to print the posters, Karen Empringham, and Paulette Greer of Sidestreet Gallery are organizing a silent auction for the George Cook room at the theatre.  The Wellington Times, County Weekly News and have given us free advertising. Angeline’s has offered accommodation for out-of-town artists and, along with The Acoustic Grill, backstage food and beverages for the performers.  Dozens of people have contacted us to ask how they can help.”
Proceeds from Zeke Aid will help Zeke and his wife Danyne Kerr and their family with some of the extraordinary expenses they face.
“One of the pressing needs is to make adjustments to their home to address mobility problems,” Janet Kellough says, “and to provide the assistive devices they need right away.  There are medication costs that need to be covered and things like travel expenses that are incurred in going to and from hospitals, as well as significant financial hardship from loss of income.  I’m not sure that anybody is ever really ‘ready’ for something like this, but Zeke’s illness has struck with a suddenness that has blindsided everyone and made life very, very difficult for the family.”
Help is arriving from the entire musical community.  Through the Cedars Music is currently working on a special limited edition CD of Zeke’s incredible performances.  Many, many hours of unreleased material have been recorded at various concerts over the years, and owners Paul Johnson and Rob Kellough have offered to mix, master and produce a compilation of the best moments.  Although the CD will not be completed in time for the concert, there will be a sign-up sheet available at the theatre.  One hundred percent of the sales proceeds from this project will go to the Mazurek-Kerr family.
And although the primary goal of the evening is to raise funds and pay tribute to one of Canada’s finest fiddlers, the concert at the Regent promises to be one of the best shows of the year. The silent auction tables in the Cook room will open at 4 PM (enter through the box office) with the show starting at 7:30 PM on Monday, August 23rd.  Tickets are $25 each and are available at the Regent Theatre box office at 226 Main St., Picton.  Telephone orders are accepted with credit card, by calling 613 476-8416.  For more information please see the page “Zeke Aid” on Facebook where updates will be added as they happen.

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