Morris meets Musiikki

The perfect combination of local music and venue

Chris Morris performing at Musiikki Cafe on Brock St.
Chris Morris performing at Musiikki Cafe on Brock St.

Kingston musician Chris Morris is a familiar face to Musiikki audiences, both for his welcoming persona and monthly shows.

Morris’ regular performances at Musiikki make for a perfect combination of local talent and a relaxing venue for a summer evening.

Nestled between downtown Kingston’s most popular restaurants, Musiikki Café is a convenient stop for people after their meals.

The front-door location of the stage projects music into the streets for people passing by. The café’s beautiful courtyard patio, open only during the summer, is another place for live music.

Morris’ music and performance matched the welcoming atmosphere of Musiikki. Casual dialogue during his performance and feel-good music combined with the inviting venue made the audience feel right at home. Despite heavy rain that night, Morris filled every table in the small café.

Morris, who has been performing folk music in Kingston since he was a teenager, played a mixture of original and cover songs throughout his set at the café.

“You’ve got to keep some crowd favourites in your set,” Morris said. “People want some familiarity.”

In an interview before his performance, he recalled his first Kingston show at the Wellington — now known as the Iron Duke — and the long way he’s come since that night.

“I did an open-mic night there, and I remember it being awful on all accounts. Even my dad said it was. But you have to start somewhere,” Morris said.

Morris isn’t just a performer — he has also promoted concerts in the city.

Morris created his concert promotion business, Rock Crew Productions, in 2002. The company brought several big name artists to Kingston, including Arcade Fire, Tegan and Sara and Metric.

Morris is currently booking smaller events at local venues, such as Musiikki. He said smaller venues, and their audiences, tend to appreciate the actual music rather than the profits.

“There’s a couple of very corporate venues in town, and you know you’re just there to collect money. I love playing the smaller places, they’re more fun,” Morris said. 

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