Go HomeBiographyMusicSpecial Treats

The Lollipop People

In the Summer of 2004, composer Friendly Rich formed the modern music ensemble The Lollipop People. Using a strange instrumentation, Mr. Rich was quite pleased with the diverse sonic outcome. The ensemble's chemistry is reminiscent of a 1980's sit com TV series, where musicians from completely different backgrounds join together to make something truly unique. Meet the Lollipop People:

Julie Shier, bassoon
Julie Shier has been a proud member of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra since 1992. She acquired a Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University and a Master of Music from the University of Michigan. Ms. Shier has traveled to perform in summer festivals in Graz, Austria, Banff, Orford, and Domaine Forget. When she is not bassooning, Julie enjoys cycling and skydiving.

Gregory Oh, harpsichord

Building a career with an eye towards versatility, Canadian pianist Gregory Oh holds graduate degrees from the University of Toronto, where he completed his studies with Marietta Orlov as the top graduating pianist, and the University of Michigan, where he worked with Martin Katz.

He is active in contemporary music, and has premiered works by Hywel Davies, Inouk Demers, Glenn Buhr, Heather Schmidt, Walter Buczynski and Erik Ross. He is a founding member of the highly acclaimed new music group Toca Loca with Simon Docking and Aiyun Huang, which recently completed a tour of California, and will be presenting two CBC Radio broadcasts this spring.

Jeff Burke, bassoon
Jeff Burke has been playing the bassoon in numerous Toronto groups and in various music styles for over 26 years. He has performed with the Shadow Puppets (pop band), Courage of Lassie (folk) and Poppy Seed (Psychedelic rock). While he is trained and accomplished in modern and traditional forms, Jeff is also a master of improvisation in many styles. These days you can find him in : Pat Kelly and the Sweet Vibe Orchestra, The New Continentals (Post Modern/Proto-Jazz), The Subtonic Monks group (improvised world-beat) and with Belladonna & The Awakening (Socially Conscious Hip Hop / Spoken Word), The Red Menace and The Establisment (Socially Conscious Hip Hop), Dope Poet Society (Socially Conscious Hip Hop), Mystic Rhythm (Traditional World forms and fusions), Lollipop People (Avant Pop Cabaret Orchestra). Jeff Burke has performed with numerous community dance, theatre groups, including performances in the Fringe Dance Festival, Green Fiddle Morris Dance Team, Theatre Gargantua and Show 'n' Prov. Other credits include: Recordings with Edie Brickell, Bob Wiseman, and Gord Downie. Performances with the Sun Ra Arkestra, Valdy, Bob Wiseman, Roy Hargrove, Tyler Stewart & Jim Creegan (of the Barenaked Ladies), Jane Burnett, Richard Underhill & Perry White of the Shuffle Demons, and appearances in music videos with Big Sugar, Bruce Cockburn, Joan Osborne and I Mother Earth.

Jeff Burke has just come out with a new CD "The Black CD" the mixture of christmas and non-seasonal originals with a twist. Sometimes You may find him playing in the subway shifting from Irish jigs to Led Zepplin, Duke Ellington to Rage against the Machine

Kimberley Pritchard, accordion
"Are you Ukranian?...Polish?...Skandinavian?...Italian?...German?..." Kim's most frequently-asked question. Oh, the life of a Canadian accordionist. Kimberley is one of a handful of contemporary accordionists in Canada. Mentored by virtuoso Joseph Macerollo she most recently completed her Master's in Performance at the University of Toronto. The accordion has been played in her family by her mother and grandfather. Kim has played the instrument from the age of 5 through her "Flight of the Bumblebee" phase right into the contemporary works of Hatzis, Nimmons, Sokolovic, Buczynski, and Patrick. Kim has been featured in the YTV television series "Radio-Free Roscoe" and in U of T's production of John Beckwith's opera "Taptoo!". In addition to having performed on the stage at the Toronto Music Garden at Harbourfront, Kim has also participated in several productions of Queen of Puddings Musical Theatre and other musicals. Kim has also played the odd polka from time to time, but she's reknowned for her cover of "Oops! I did it again!"

Kristen Theriault, harp
Kristen Theriault started out as an extremely recalcitrant child. When asked by her parents what instrument she would like to play, she chose the one that was the most expensive, the hardest to move, and the one that never stayed in tune. She is no longer recalcitrant, but still loves to play the harp, and constantly looks for ways to expand the repertoire. Having received her Masters degree in music from the University of Toronto, she can now appreciate the counterpoint inherent in a good duet with an ice-cream truck.

Mike Olsen, cello
Mike Olsen was raised in Vancouver to become a classical cellist. Thwarting the plans of his parents and instructors he discovered instead, as so many teens, the glory of rock. Moving to Toronto to follow the beat, Mike has since recorded and performed with such notable acts as the Rheostatics, Sarah Slean, Esthero, Mia Sheard, K-OS, and the Constantines, becoming a full-time member of both the Jim Guthrie band and indie darlings the Hidden Cameras. Mike is currently touring and recording with several bands and has just opened his own recording studio, Uncomfortable Silence.For credits and more details visit www.delusionboy.com

Nichol Robertson, banjo
Nichol Robertson is a 24 year-old multi-instrumentalist whose passions for bluegrass, coffee, vintage suits, and accounting are unparalleled.

Scott Good, bass trombone
Scott is a native of Toronto, where he currently resides with his wife Jennifer, and two cats, Beatrice and Simon. He enjoys playing and writing music, and can be found "tooting his horn" in concert halls, churches, clubs, and sometimes on the streets. No where is safe from the menace of his trombone.

Brandi Disterheft, double bass
At the age of 25, Brandi Disterheft has already performed at Carnegie Hall, the Vien Jazz Festival, MaryLou Williams Jazz Festival in Washington DC and the TD Canada Trust Vancouver Jazz Festival. Brandi was selected as a composer and performer to participate in Chicago's Ravinia Jazz Program under the direction of Danilo Perez. Having studied with Rufus Reid, Neils-Henning, Oscar Pederson, and Rodney Whitaker, Brandi gained national recognition at the age of 21 when she performed as a featured soloist with the Canada Pops Orchestra. Brandi holds a BA in music performance from Toronto's Humber College and in 2000 was a winner of IAJE's Sisters in Jazz Collegiate Competition.

Stephen Zsirai - bass guitar
Born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, Stephen Zsirai is a versatile bassist who has been playing professionally in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver for several years. An honours graduate of the Humber College Jazz program, Steve has toured Canada, Europe and the U.K. Steve is very active on the Toronto Jazz and pop-music scene and has performed and recorded with a list of fine Canadian artists, including Kenny Kirkwood, Kyp Harness, Art Bergmann, Kinnie Starr, Michael Keith, Kathleen Edwards and Laura Hubert. He is especially proud of his year-old jazz quartet project with Kim Ratcliffe,Christine Bougie and Howard Gaul.

Sly Juhas - drums
Sly’s pulsing bass-drum, rises to the big rhapsodic, like one of Gershwin’s compositions, swells to the level of Rachmaninoff, then lapses into quiet poetic interludes that let Sly’s delicate use of sticks accent its flow, before rounding off to close" ---c/o Stanley Fefferman, The Live Music Report.