Archive for Gospel

Ken Whiteley Gospel Brunch * Postponed

Notice of Postponement Due to COVID-19

Monday, March 16, 2020

Like everyone else in the world, Hugh’s Room Live is closely monitoring the situation around the COVID-19 outbreak. Based on the information currently available, we have made the painfully difficult decision to postpone all shows through to the end of April, effective immediately.
If you have tickets for a postponed show, please watch for more information about rescheduling. We will notify every ticket holder when a new date and venue are found for each the shows on our calendar. If you are unable to attend a rescheduled show, we ask everyone to please consider their ticket purchase a donation to Hugh’s Room Live instead of requesting a refund. As a non-profit registered charity, we will gladly send you a tax receipt for the equivalent amount of your purchase.

Like so many art, culture and hospitality organizations, our artists and staff are struggling greatly during this time. We encourage everyone in our audience here to continue supporting live music wherever possible until we reach the other side of this pandemic that has so devastated the arts and culture of our society. We will of course be reevaluating our decision on a daily basis as we navigate the new circumstances around the pandemic, please know that your continued support, understanding and advocacy in the interim will add much-needed sustainability to our venue and industry at large. Thank you.

Ken Whiteley Gospel Brunch
$25 Advance / $30 Door *

Doors: 12:30pm
Brunch: 1:00pm **
Performance: 2:00pm

Ken Whiteley is a prolific songwriter, a gifted and versatile instrumentalist and powerful singer, as well as very successful record producer. His regular brunch series at Hugh’s Room Live has become a cornerstone of the Hugh’s Room Live music calendar. Join us as the man himself brings together another cast of renowned gospel musicians and vocalists to rejoice in the sounds of Sunday.

Ken will be joined this Sunday by one dubbed the Jimi Hendrix of Sacred Steel, the irreplaceable Nikki D and the Sisters of Thunder! They are back by popular demand having played our stage in the winter of 2019. We couldn’t be happier to have this fabulous cast of musicians as we celebrate the music of Sacred Steel.


* Advertised pricing excludes taxes, ticketing and sustainability fees.

** All-you-can-eat brunch ($25) not included in ticket price.

* Ticket Price: $25.00
* Service Fee: $4.00
* Sustainability Fee: $5.00
* HST: $4.42

* Total Ticket Price: $38.42

Ken Whiteley Gospel Brunch

Sunday, January 19, 2020 | 2:00pm

Ken Whiteley Gospel Brunch
$25 Advance / $30 Door *

Doors: 12:30pm
Brunch: 1:00pm ($25)
Performance: 2:00pm

Ken Whiteley is a prolific songwriter, a gifted and versatile instrumentalist and powerful singer, as well as very successful record producer. His regular brunch series at Hugh’s Room Live has become a cornerstone of the Hugh’s Room Live music calendar. Join us on January 19 as the man himself brings together another cast of renowned gospel musicians and vocalists to rejoice in the sounds of Sunday. Joining Ken on stage for this event will be Claire Lynch, Gathering Sparks, Sharon Riley and Gord Mowat.

Claire Lynch is a pioneer who continually pushes the boundaries of the bluegrass genre. Her career has been decorated with many accolades including three GRAMMY nominations, seven International Bluegrass Music Association awards and the prestigious United States Artists Walker Fellowship. She has one of the sweetest, purest and best lead voices in the music business today.”—Dolly Parton

Gathering Sparks
On “All That’s Real” Eve Goldberg and Jane Lewis have blended finely crafted songs, transcendent vocals, stellar musicianship and compelling stories into a potent balm for troubled times. In times~that~cry out for love over hate, “All That’s Real” delivers.

Sharon Riley is one of Canada’s pre-eminent African Canadian gospel singers and long time leader & soloist with the Faith Chorale. Sharon has an incredibly rich and powerful voice that comes from a very deep place.

Gord Mowat is a string bassist with Ken Whiteley & the Beulah Band among many others. He has the technique of a great jazzer and the feel of a solid roots player with a composer’s sense of harmonic interplay.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Matchedash Parish CD Release

Monday, September 23, 2019 | 8:00pm

Matchedash Parish CD Release
$25 Advance / $30 Door
Every ticket purchase includes a FREE copy of the debut self-titled album

Matt Weidinger and Lance Anderson have formed the Matchedash Parish with 12 of the country’s top blues and roots music artists. It is a powerhouse soul and gospel/roots show guaranteed to bring the house down.

Juno award-winning producer Lance Anderson (leader of Mariposa’s An Evening of Blues and Gospel and The Last Waltz – the hit closer of Mariposa Folk Festival 2017) has brought together another wonderful roster of BLUES ALL STARS, but this time to perform original songs and masterful arrangements some of the greatest soul and gospel tunes. Along with Kitchener phenom Matt Weidinger and and three background singers led by the amazing vocalist Quisha Wint, and featuring Michelle White and Jill Zahdeh. Matchedash Parish will create a tent revival atmosphere with this ‘congregation’ of talent.

Backed by a nine-piece band including two drummers: Memphis born Shamakah Ali (Al Green, The Barkays) and Ben Rollo (Lucky Peterson, Danny Michel), percussionist Art Avalos (Manteca), horns Gene Hardy, sax (Bourbon Tabernacle Choir), William Sperandei, trumpet (Harry Connick Jr., Colin James), Hammond organ, piano, mandolin (Weidinger), piano, accordion (Anderson), guitarist Mackenzie Jordan, (Jackets) and on bass Mark Mcintyre. The rhythm this group creates is a freight train that will pick you up and drop you down in the swamplands of the south.

Matt Weidnger:
Quisha Wint:
Lance Anderson:

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Ken Whiteley’s Gospel Brunch: Sacred Steel

Sunday, March 31, 2019 | 2:00pm

Ken Whiteley’s Gospel Brunch: Sacred Steel
Advance $25.00  /Door $30.00 *

“Sacred steel is one of the most exciting forms of music today and Nikki D. Brown and her sisters are some of the most amazing proponents of the style. I first met Nikki through Toronto’s jazz luminary, Jane Bunnett, who had invited her to come and jam with some of Cuba’s best young jazz women. Powerhouse blues vocalist and songwriter Shakura S’Aida is no stranger to Sacred steel as she regularly employs Chuck Campbell to play steel guitar in her band. I’m delighted to have her back on this show with us as we explore a unique afternoon of original and traditional gospel and blues.”  ~ Ken Whiteley

Below is a look into the performers coming to play this Sunday.

Nikki D. and the Sisters of Thunder
Nicolle “Nikki D” Brown and her sisters, all singers from an early age, grew up in the House of God church in Toledo, Ohio. Their parents, Rev. Curtis Brown and Ruth Brown, encouraged them to learn various musical instruments and eventually forming the Brown Family Singers in the 1970s. Nikki D gravitated to the steel guitar, and has become not only an accomplished steel guitarist in her church but one of only a few female guitarists in the Sacred Steel tradition. As one reviewer wrote, “She’s the perfect combination of chops and showmanship. If Jimi Hendrix played Sacred Steel, he’d sound and act like Nikki D.” Joining Nikki are four of her sisters: Gloria Brown (lead guitar), Chayla Brown (drums), Tomika Webb (bass guitar), and Belinda Brown (vocals).

Shakura S’Aida

You may have spotted Brooklyn-born, Swiss-raised and Canadian-based Shakura S’Aida-pronounce her name “Shack-ooo-ra Sigh-ee-da”— performing at Festivals in Dubai, Europe, Australia, Rwanda or Russia, on the Legendary Blues Cruise; with her new symphony orchestra concert, “Blues in G Minor: 4 Women”, featuring the blues music of Etta James, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone, in her 4 woman tribute to Nina Simone, “The Nina Project” or acting in TV shows such as Lost Girl, Schitt’s Creek or Flashpoint. From her beginnings as the world music band Kaleefah’s lead singer, this versatile vocalist and consummate entertainer has blown audiences away with her scorching vocal style, uncanny ability to deliver powerful original songs and to get deep into the guts of the most venerable standard.

Shakura’s long-simmering career initially moved into high gear in 2008 with a triumph at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, when she earned the runner-up position, competing against more than 100 bands from more than 20 different countries.

Shakura S’Aida has consistently been thrilling audiences with her powerful pipes for years, most recently as a guest host on CBC Radio 2’s Weekend Morning. As a veteran of the international music scene, she’s performed both as a featured artist with musicians like Jimmy Smith, Lee Oskar (WAR), Bettye LaVette and Keb Mo’, as well as an award winning solo artist.


* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.

Ken Whiteley’s Gospel Brunch: Sunday Allstars

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Ken Whiteley’s Gospel Brunch: Sunday Allstars
$25 Advance / $30 Door *

Over the almost 18 years of doing these shows, some of the guests have become almost like family to me and each other. If I could pick any group of people to sing gospel music with on the planet, it would have to include these amazing singers. David Wall has a bell-like tenor, Pat Patrick a bottom shattering bass and Amoy and Ciceal Levy can slide effortlessly into harmony with Amoy’s impassioned soprano and Ciceal’s rich alto. It all becomes transcendent when we come together with you in the audience to share this joy of singing. While we’ve all been involved in lots of different musical projects, you could say that this marks a 25th anniversary for us. We worked together for the first time back in the early 1990’s for the making of the recording ‘Thank You, Lord!’. ~ Ken Whiteley


Below is a look into the performers coming to play this Sunday.

David Wall is a composer, lyricist, singer and vocal coach. He has performed and recorded with an impressive cross-section of artists including Big Sugar, The Barenaked Ladies, Lorraine Segato and Ken Whiteley. As lead vocalist of the much revered rhythm and blues band the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, David toured Canada extensively, appearing regularly on television and radio. His most recent musical journey as a singer had been into the world of Jewish tradition where he has achieved success recording and touring internationally as lead voice of Toronto’s Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band and Winnipeg’s From Both Ends of the Earth.

Pat Patrick is one of Toronto’s, and possibly the country’s, deepest bass vocalists. He has an incredibly rich bass voice, which is infused with sincerity and musical skills. Whether singing harmonies or a solo, Pat is always an engaging performer and an audience favourite. He can be heard singing on many of Ken’s cds, including ‘Gospel Makes Me Feel Alright!’ and ‘One World Dance’.

The Fabulous Levy Sisters are respected for their groundbreaking work within the gospel community in Toronto. They have been singing with Ken for over 15 years and have also performed with people as diverse as Pete Seeger, Celine Dion and Kirk Franklin. Amoy’s gorgeous soprano and Ciceal’s rich alto have graced many of Ken’s recordings, most recently ‘Freedom Blues’, and they are always audience favourites wherever they sing.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.

Ken Whiteley’s Gospel Brunch: Bluegrass to Blues

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Ken Whiteley’s Gospel Brunch: Bluegrass to Blues
$25 Advance / $30 Door *

A theme for this show could also be “interconnections”. I thought it would be fun to have interlocking bands. Rob McLaren is in both the Barrel Boys and The Beulah Band. The Bluegrass gospel cannon has some of the best folk singing that North America has produced and the Barrel Boys do it proud. With the Beulah Band, I explore some of the bluegrass roots in Appalachian, old time and Afro-American song. Going back to my roots is a friendship of over 45 years with Colin Linden, a blues and roots music legend, who performed at the very first Ken Whiteley Gospel Sunday, almost 18 years ago.” ~ Ken Whiteley

Below is a look into the performers coming to play this Sunday.

Colin Linden is a genuine renaissance man of roots music. He’s a member of the highly successful trio, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, a singer and songwriter, an in-demand and prolific record producer, musical director on the hit TV show Nashville and sideman to the stars as guitarist for the likes of Bob Dylan, Bruce Cockburn, Emmylou Harris, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Rich In Love is the most recent of his sizeable solo recording catalogue.

The Barrel Boys are a 5-piece powerhouse of rich vocal harmonies, killer picking, and a fun-loving, down-to-earth stage presence. Informed by the deep traditions of bluegrass, country, old-time and Americana, fiddler Nathan Smith, banjoist Rob McLaren, guitarist Ben Wright, dobro player Kyle Kirkpatrick and bassist Tim O’Reilly have crafted their own unmistakeable sound into an exuberant and deeply soulful musical experience. Check out their recordings, Cold Spring, Gospel Hour, Early On, and their EP, Carols from The Barrel.

Ken Whiteley & The Beulah Band are creating exciting new music that is deeply rooted in traditional North American folk forms. You’ll hear echoes of blues, gospel, swing, string and jug band sounds. They are all outstanding and versatile instrumentalists and great harmony singers. And if anyone can match the youthful energy of his bandmates fiddler Rosalyn Dennett, banjoist Rob McLaren and bassist Gord Mowat, it is Ken Whiteley. Guaranteed fun for all ages. Check out their self-titled recording, Ken Whiteley & The Beulah Band.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.