Kellylee Evans: Winter Song

Friday, December 20, 2019 | 8:30pm

Kellylee Evans Winter Song
$35 Advance / $40 Door *

*MEMBERS-ONLY PRE-SALE ACTIVE UNTIL SEPTEMBER 25, 2019

JUNO Award-winning jazz vocalist Kellylee Evans warms up the Azrieli Studio just in time for the season with Winter Song: an enchanting night of holiday classics, new standards, and Kellylee’s own gems.

Six albums deep, Kellylee Evans is still shaking it up on Come On, her latest Decca album.

The stylistic connoisseur has tackled everything from jazz to R&B and pop in such previous tasty classics fight or flight?, Nina – her Juno-winning tribute to the legendary Nina Simone – and I Remember When.

Praised by the Latin Jazz Network for a “gorgeous voice (that) rises to the heavens in rapturous wonder as if in consanguinity with a chorus of angels” and by the Yukon Arts Centre for “a stunning crystalline voice, both powerful and emotive,” Evans now pushes her muse firmly into the soulful pop territory with Come On: a wonderfully refreshing album about love and life that comes on the heels of two nearly career-ending accidents: a freak lightning strike in her Ottawa kitchen and further effects of a concussion suffered during a fall at her home.

However, Evans is nothing if not resilient: the runner-up of the 2004 Thelonious Monk Competition offers views on love and loss in an alluringly rhythmic approach that has touches of psychedelic pop, resonating soul groove and that je ne sais quoi that is strictly Kellylee and forged by her jazz discipline.

From the stirring soul-stomper “Come On” – which combines an effervescent Motown feel with traces of psychedelia – and the funky groove-a-liciousness of “Hands Up” to the string-and-horn-spiced magnetism of “Know His Worth,” the 10 songs of Come On find Kellylee at her most magically potent.

website: http://www.kellyleeevans.com/
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPzjtRKRa8A

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The Arrogant Worms

Thursday, December 19, 2019 | 8:30pm

The Arrogant Worms
$40 Advance / $45 Door *

The year was 1991.  Presumably, some significant world events occurred.  The world truly changed in the fall however, when something truly magnificent happened in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. A beacon of hope was lit and has shone brightly ever since – The Arrogant Worms. The Arrogant Worms began as a comedy troupe performing songs and sketches on campus radio. The early feedback on the live shows was clear:  lose the sketches. So the songs endured and they all remain because the band hates to throw anything out.

The songs were written to make fun of a big dumb world. Luckily, the world is still dumb and The Arrogant Worms (Mike McCormick, Chris Patterson and Trevor Strong) still have plenty to sing about. The shows are fast, furious and family friendly. The wit is quick, the satire is biting and the musicianship is second to none. Their appeal has earned them fans from kids to parents to grandparents to Princess Leia.

The Arrogant Worms have sold more than 160,000 copies of their 13 albums.  Their most recent offering is SPACE, a collection of 16 new songs released in 2014 that bravely tackles the hard issues like Local Politicians, Yoga Pants and Uncomfortable Chairs.  The band has played on three continents to crowds as large as 100,000 and were recognized in 2003 as the Touring Act of the Year by the Canadian Arts Presenters Association. The Worms have entertained at corporate functions, sung anthems at sporting events and emceed at major festivals. Their songs are in school lesson plans, in textbooks and even played on the Space Shuttle. On earth or in space, everyone digs these Worms.

The Arrogant Worms are as comfortable on the radio or on camera as they are on stage. Their energy and showmanship were captured on the DVD of their concert with the renowned Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. The DVD also features appearances by Worm pals figure skating champion Kurt Browning, astronaut Chris Hadfield and actors Tom Cavanaugh (Ed, Love Monkey) and Nathan Fillion (Castle, Firefly).

In recent years the Worms have been pleased to donate their time and talent to the cause of literacy in Canada through Frontier College and were twice awarded the Peter Gzowski Award for their efforts.

So nearly a quarter century after they began, The Arrogant Worms continue to provide tuneful and silly escapism for everyone who needs it. And if you think you don’t need it, well you’re wrong. You do. The Arrogant Worms know what’s best for you and what’s best for you is The Arrogant Worms.

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The Mistletones

Wednesday, December 18, 2019 | 8:30pm

The Mistletones
$25 Advance / $30 Door *

Kick off the holiday season with The Mistletones, a 9-member a cappella group formed by John McDermott and other choristers in 1980. After years of singing together on a daily basis at St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto, this group of alumni came together, with their love of song and unique vocal blend, to continue making music.

The all-male voiced group combine a rich blend of concise and complex vocal harmonics to form a unique and well-developed vocal style. A combination of choral and jazz, they perform a mix of a few sacred songs along with some popular Christmas favourites, but not your typical Christmas carols.

The Mistletones have performed in such esteemed places as Roy Thomson Hall, Koerner Hall, the Princess of Wales Theatre and Massey Hall.

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BluesIn’ Toronto Presents: Another Bluesy Christmas

Tuesday, December 17, 2019 | 8:30pm

BluesIn’ Toronto Presents: Another Bluesy Christmas
Featuring Paul Deslauriers, Erin McCallum, Murray Kinsley and the Ghost Town Blues Band
$40 Advance / $45 Door *

As the leaves do fall and the wind doth blow, the colours red and green inevitably burrow under snow banks and a new season is hurried into our calendar. Winter is coming. Merry as the season may be, this year, Hugh’s Room Live is here to put the blues back into Christmas.

A Bluesy Christmas at Hugh’s Room Live will feature a beautiful cast of musicians and vocalists from around the city, including but not limited to Paul Deslauriers, Erin McCallum, Murray Kinsley and the Ghost Town Blues Band, all of whom will take the stage and deliver to you some of their favourite songs from Christmas past, present and future.

Escape the cold and warm up to the blues this holiday season. Tickets available right now.

Paul Deslauriers | https://www.pauldeslauriersband.com/
Paul DesLauriers is one of Canada’s elite guitarists  often featuring a formidable slide. Paul fronts one of the nation’s greatest blues bands which was twice crowned Entertainer of the Year and once Electric Act of the Year at Maple Blues Awards. In 2016 they also took 2nd place at the 32nd International Blues Challenge, the world’s largest gathering of blues acts held by The Blues Foundation in Memphis Tennessee.

Erin McCallum | http://www.erinmccallum.com/
“Longing for a female Blues singer who can digest the notes whole, spew them back, adding punch to the lyrics while stirring your animal instincts?  Somebody who dips way down and bends things to her liking, purring over the content one minute before serving it up like a five alarm fire? Then, welcome Erin McCallum.” – Eric Thom, Blues Review Magazine

Murray Kinsley | http://murraykinsley.com/
Reviewers have described Maple Blues Award-winning band Wicked Grin as stripped-down, hellaciously rockin’ new blues with the distinctive voice and guitar-work of Murray Kinsley…

Wicked Grin’s latest album “Murder Creek,” released October 2018, has earned widespread industry acclaim and was a semi-finalist for the 2019 IBC Best Self-Produced CD Award.

Ghost Town Blues Band | http://www.ghosttownbluesband.com/
Recently headlining the blues stage at The Montreal Jazz Festival, Beale Street’s latest success story, 5-time Blues Blast Music Award Nominee and International Blues Challenge Runner-up is Ghost Town Blues Band. Not your grandpa’s blues band, their live show has been captivating audiences in the U.S., Canada and Europe with their “second-line horn entrance,” cigar box guitars and electric push brooms to Allman Brothers style jams and even a hip-hop trombone player. The band’s stage show and energy is unparalleled and has been called the best new live blues show in the world.

Horns, harmonies and homegrown instruments combined with an energetic and roots rich festival set makes Ghost Town Blues Band one of the “must see live bands on the festival scene today.” Both Andrew McNeill behind the drums and Matt Karner on the bass guitar are a punishing rhythm section behind multi-instrumentalist/frontman Matt Isbell with raunchy cigar box guitar licks and raspy “Dr. John-like, whiskey and gravel-soaked vocals.” With the addition of Trombonist Suavo Jones, Cedric Taylor on B3 and Taylor Orr on lead guitar, the grooves go from fresh to funky as the band gains more notoriety in the blues festival and jam circuit. Ghost Town Blues Band has performed all across US and Canada at over 100+ festivals and will perform more than a half-dozen international tours in Canada and Europe in 2019.

“GTBB shows what can happen when the past is distilled through young sensibilities, voices, and instruments. This is 21st century blues at its best.”   -Living Blues Magazine

2019 B.B. King International Entertainer of the Year Nominee – Maple Blues Awards (Canada)
2018- #4 Billboard Blues Chart
2018 Tennessee Music Award Winner “Best Blues Band”
2018 3-Time Blues Blast Music Award Nominee

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Ravel

Boreal Songs for the Snowy Season

Sunday, December 15, 2019 | 8:30pm

Boreal Songs for the Snowy Season
$25 Advance / $30 Door *

Award winning singer-songwriters, Tannis Slimmon and Katherine Wheatley will be joined by their new band mate, Angie Nussey to perform their show “Song’s For The Snowy Season”. With glorious voices, stunning harmonies, humourous stories and top-notch songwriting, Boreal celebrates the coming of winter and the spirit of the holiday season. Like a glowing fire and a steaming mug of hot chocolate, Boreal’s “Songs For The Snowy Season” is the perfect antidote to a cold winter’s night.

“Boreal throws a cozy blanket around their audience with beautiful harmonies and heart-warming songs.” – Folkway Music

These three Canadian songstresses have dug up old songs and written new ones about winter. Their lyrics conjure up vivid sights and sounds that so many Canadians would recognize: pine branches bending low, squirrels’ footprints in the snow, winter’s hush, the icy breath that goes with shovelling, the sound of slap shots off the boards, the angel truck drivers who lead us home in blizzards. Boreal’s rapport with each other and with the audience, is warm, friendly, and genuine. Their love of harmonies, their combined song writing skills, their tour de force voices, and the joy they feel singing with each other all make for an unforgettable event. Join the others who make it a tradition to come every year to welcome winter at one of Boreal’s shows.

CHANGES ARE AFOOT FOR BOREAL THIS SEASON

Changes are afoot in 2019. Jude Vadala, a member of the trio since 2006, is stepping away from the stage to spend more time in her important role as uber grandmother. Tannis, Katherine and Jude are so grateful to have shared laughs, music and the stage with each other since Boreal began in 2006 around Jude’s kitchen table.

Boreal begins their 2019 season on November 30 in Innisfil with their new band mate, Angie Nussey. Angie is a beautiful singer and great pianist who writes both incredibly moving and downright funny songs. She grew up in Lively, Ontario (near Sudbury) and has plenty of, you guessed it, songs about snow. Welcome Angie!

website: https://borealsongs.ca/home
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qMamSTd9BE&feature=youtu.be

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Jack de Keyzer

Saturday, December 14, 2019 | 8:30pm

Jack de Keyzer
$25 Advance / $30 Door

“The finest blues guitarist in Canada.” – Jeff Healey

Guitarist, Singer, Songwriter Jack de Keyzer plays the blues world wide, from Alert, Arctic Circle to Puerto Escondido, Mexico; from Athens, Greece to Hornby Island, BC and many points between. One of Canada’s most awarded and  in demand live performers and session guitarists, Jack has released 10 CD’s and 1 DVD. He has also played on hundreds of recordings and live sessions with artists ranging from Etta James to Ronnie Hawkins and Bo Diddley to Blue Rodeo.  He is an exciting live performer, soulful vocalist and world class song writer and performs an average of 120 shows per year. De Keyzer has brought audiences to their feet at many major Jazz and Blues Festivals including the Montreal Jazz Fest, Blues Sur Seine (France) The Ottawa Blues Festival and Puerto Blues, (Mexico).  A much celebrated musician, de Keyzer has been nominated for the Juno (Blues Album of the Year) 5 times and won the Juno twice in 2003 and 2010. He has won 7 Maple Blues Awards (Canada’s national blues awards) , first place in the International Songwriting Competition and won CBC’s Great Canadian Blues Award from a poll of radio listeners. Always touring with an incredible band, Jack will have you rocking in your seat and swaying to his hot  blues, soulful r&b and cool soul jazz. World class.

 “If Jack de Keyzer was from Chicago, New York or LA, he’d be famous.” Bob Dylan

“Electric Love…a rock blues album with nods to guitar influences Clapton, Hendrix and Page… a disc of excellent new songs by a bluesman who should be considered their equal.” (Maple Blues) 

Two-Time Juno Award Winner 
Seven-Time Maple Blues Award Winner

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees

Craig Cardiff

Friday, December 13, 2019 | 8:30pm

Craig Cardiff
$20 Advance / $25 Door *

Craig Cardiff is a Canadian singer-songwriter. Known throughout Canada, Craig is developing a following throughout North America and into Europe. With guitar in hand, Craig can turn any setting into an intimate affair. Infusing his music and lyrics with an uncompromising humanism rarely seen in today’s production-heavy climate.

Songwriter, troubadour, Craig Cardiff builds landscapes of sound using live digital loops, bringing the room to a hush. Edged, folk, beautiful, melancholy and left leaning, one song breaks your heart, and the next one puts it back together.

Craig makes it a point to keep the relationship with his fans personal, inviting and accepting any opportunity to make his audience as much a part of the performance as he is. Don’t be surprised if one day you find yourself enjoying one of Craig’s renowned performances from the comfort of your own living room.

website: http://www.craigcardiff.ca/
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5yl6tXdJIE&feature=youtu.be

*Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees.

Dr. Draw

Thursday, December 12, 2019 | 8:30pm

Dr. Draw
$40 Advance / $45 Door *

Dr. Draw is known as the first violinist to venture from rock and classical into electronic music culture. His style is difficult to describe as his history with music and culture spans an eccentric lifetime. From playing for royalty in Prague to creating near chaos at the Toronto Beaches Jazz Festival to playing luxury brand events like Chloé and Dom Pérignon, Dr. Draw inspires kudos wherever he plays. Lately, his reputation is growing eastward. Performances have included playing in Singapore, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, and a spate of Louis Vuitton events in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and South Korea.

Performing in such frenetic locales energizes the performer time and time again, allowing him to repeatedly “creatively interact with cultures all across the world.” The result is a constantly evolving musical style that brings together the seemingly disparate elements of classical violin, jazz-rock fusion, folk, and pop into a riveting masala that feeds the soul and invigorates audiences.

“Dr. Draw stole the show with his infectious performance of high energy, piping out a mix of classical and house musical sounds from his electric violin. The show allegedly literally brought some to tears.” – Newsweekly, Boston

website: https://www.drdraw.ca
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA6xoKpbsI8

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Quartette

Sunday, December 8, 2019 | 8:30pm

Quartette
$50 Advance / $55 Door

Since their debut in 1993, the four members of Quartette have been both publicly and critically acclaimed for their lush harmonies and delightfully diverse repertoire. Cindy Church, Caitlin Hanford, Gwen Swick, and Sylvia Tyson are seasoned singer/songwriters whose influences range from blues and gospel to folk and country to jazz and pop.

The group’s first appearance, a showcase of Canadian women songwriters, took place at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre. What began as a “songwriter in the round” concert of musical friends grew into an inspired collaboration. This initial performance generated an appearance on CBC Radio’s Morningside with host Peter Gzowski. The phones began to ring with requests for a recording, and seven months later in April of 1994, the self-titled album, “Quartette,” was released to rave reviews. This was followed by coast-to-coast tours of theatres, folk festivals, performances with symphony orchestras, and live appearances on radio, including two appearances on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion.

In 1995 a second album, “Work of the Heart ,” was released and, following this, CBC’s Adrienne Clarkson Presents profiled the group in an hour-long special.

With the untimely death of original member, Colleen Peterson, in 1996, Quartette elected to continue performing, and welcomed another musical friend, Gwen Swick, to the group. Gwen’s skills as a songwriter and vocal arranger carried the group to a new level as they prepared to record once again, and the result was “In The Beauty Of The Day,” released in 1998.

Quartette has received several Juno nominations, won a Canadian Country Music Award for best vocal collaboration, performed with major symphony orchestras across Canada, and recorded the CMT-TV special, “A Quartette Christmas.” They have also released two Christmas CDs, “It’s Christmas!” in 1996, and “I See A Star” in 2002, both of which are collections of traditional and original Christmas songs, and their Christmas shows have become a tradition with audiences across the country.

Quartette continues to tour and record. In October of 2007, they released their sixth recording, “Down At The Fair,” produced by legendary guitarist, arranger and producer Colin Linden.

An evening with Quartette is always a magical musical journey.

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