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'It’s interesting playing to your hometown'

Jay Aymar returns home for a special performance at The Tech
Jay Aymar
Jay Aymar. File photo

Folk musician Jay Aymar has made a habit of performing in Sault Ste. Marie during the Christmas season.

It is his hometown after all.

Normally, he’d pick a small venue for an intimate solo show with close friends and family.

But this year, he wanted to do something special.

On Thursday, Dec. 1, he’ll present the show he typically tours across Canada and the United States for a showcase at The Tech Theatre.

There will be one small difference, however.

“I’ve restructured the setlist to give it a Sault theme,” Aymar told SooToday. “A lot of the songs have Sault Ste. Marie references or are inspired by the Sault. It’s interesting playing to your hometown.”

Some of those Sault-themed selections include Acadian Son, a composition about his father relocating to the Sault from Nova Scotia, and I Really Don’t Remember which references the Garden River train bridge.

In addition to Aymar and his band The Abercrombie Zombies, the evening will feature a harp performance by Sahra Featherstone; guest musicians Vivienne Wilder and Sideshow Joe; and an opening set from Janie Thai, someone Aymar describes as a “female Jerry Lee Lewis.”

“We’ve toured quite a bit and she’s become a great friend so I wanted to introduce her to the Sault,” he said.

After graduating with a degree in English literature from Carlton University, the CBC produced his very first series of demos.

He toured regionally and never stopped playing, although he worked a wine rep fro many years to supplement his income.

But for the last nine years, his music career has allowed him to give up a nine-to-five job for full-time life on the road.

“I basically live on the road,” Aymar said, before adding that he’s played 170 shows so far this year.

During those nine years, he’s released three studio albums and a concert recording with an accompanying book of tales from the road.

All of these will be available for purchase from his merchandise table when he returns home on Dec. 1.

Advanced tickets are $25 and can be purchased at Ithaka (792 Queen Street East), The Duke of Windsor (655 Queen Street East), The Rad Zone (Wellington Square Mall), The Tech by calling 705-450 -0545, or by emailing

Tickets at the door are $30. Doors open at 8 p.m.

To learn more about Jay Aymar, visit his official website.