More nervous in front of the hometown crowd than anywhere else he’s performed, Jaron Rovensky made an appearance in Coronation at the Royal Performing Arts Society on Fri. Feb. 22.
The sold-out show of 250 people put his musical talents to the test.
As a young adolescent, the musician started out by playing the piano, then a guitar, then turned into a songwriter “then we found out he could sing”, said Terry Glasier, in her introduction at the Coronation show.
Rovensky thanked his former music teacher, Dan Kinakin of the Coronation School, who took Jaron under his wing when he was young.
Kinakin played on stage during the evening when two of his ukelele students, Summer Saunders and Lauren Perry who played and sang ‘House of Gold’ joined him.
In Grade 3, Rovensky was often sighted attempting to play the upright piano that took up space at the back of his old classroom.
“My teacher commented on the fact that I was continually going up to it to play so he commented on that to my mother which led to some piano lessons which I studied for about four or five years,” he said. “Then I quit but I continued teaching myself and picked up instruments along the way.”
He later learned how to play the guitar, harmonica, drums, bass and more, to fuel his passion for music.
“I do what I love,” said the musician. “I’m fortunate enough to be able to play music and make money as a musician. It’s a gift, you know?”
He continued, “Music has always been a form of therapy for me and I mean to share that with other people it can be a form of therapy for them too.
“It’s an interactive, beautifully interactive feeling process if it’s done right. It keeps us connected.”
A fan request was the ‘Music Box Dance’ which took Rovensky back to when he was 12-years-old.
Also performing on Feb. 22, was Jake Peters, “extra-ordinary fiddle champ” playing the ukulele, mandolin and banjo and Jaron’s guest from Daysland, Leslie Lindballe, who sang and played the ukulele and drums.
He performed for three hours singing many songs he has written.
The old Avalon Theatre was where Roveneksy played his first concert at the age of 16.
After high school, the move to Ottawa pushed him out of his comfort zone.
This was where his first album was produced by the time he was 20. Now he has four albums released with a fifth and sixth double album on the way.
“His signature style of music went through an evolution.
As a young man it was rock and roll, then pop, then jazz blues and now he leans towards folk music,” said Terri Glasier when she introduced Rovensky to the crowd.
Over Rovensky’s career as a sought after musician, he has performed original works in front of Adele and other stars and performed in Paris at the legendary Casino de Paris Theatre.
“Some of my heroes have played there and I was fortunate enough to play that room and it was an honour,” said Rovensky.
He has also sung with Coronation Royal Performing Arts Society closes out their 10th anniversary season of performances with members of the Rolling Stones and other bands.
Aside from all of this the most rewarding part of the job for him was inspiring youth and disabled individuals to follow their hearts or bringing the elderly to a time of reminiscing and joy.
“At the end of it, the most profound and moving experiences I’ve had musically outside of meeting famous people or making money, that’s all kind of the ego, but the most profound stuff in my career have been engaging with for example the elderly when I play at an old-age home.
“I’m playing all the old songs and they’re bopping along as much as they can bop in their situation and see them come alive when I’m playing. That’s beautiful and moving.”
The power of music and its ability to heal continues to have an effect on Rovensky as those times spent with people performing are the most fulfilling.
“I’d like to write about death and other big themes. We all suffer the same or celebrate the same so to be able to share that in that type of a setting can be very powerful,” he said.
He spent 17 years living out of a suitcase but most of his time was spent in Scandinavian countries and Switzerland as well as the Caribbean.
He returned to Canada last year to be closer to his family as his grandparents and father have recently passed away.
Sedgewick, Ab. is now where he calls home.