Wednesday, July 31 ,2019 | 8:00pm
Someday Junos Featuring Sean Bertram, Mikalyn Hay, Chris Strei, Jordana Talsky
$10 Advance / $15 Door *
From the creative programming committee at Hugh’s Room Live comes a new musical series to shine the spotlight on young singer / songwriters in the GTA. Someday Junos will celebrate the best songwriting we hear from the streets of The Big Smoke. This ongoing series will launch Summer 2019 and extend far into the future as we hope to give emerging artists a stage on which to share their music.
If we invite you to participate in the series, we think there might be a prestigious award in your future. For the listening community, this is the best chance to catch the early work of these incredible musicians before their careers take them outside the city and beyond. This week features:
1. Sean Bertram
Sean Bertram is a formidable talent: a jaw-dropping young guitar-slinger who is equally comfortable in jazz, pop and rock, a singer with a pure voice and dizzying falsetto, and a songwriter who makes the craft look deceivingly easy.
But the best part of all: this young artist has a keen appetite for constantly learning more. He has already soaked up knowledge and craft from some incredible teachers, including James Linderman (Berklee College), Rik Emmett (Triumph), Ted Quinlan (Humber College) and a host of other professional songwriters. He is committed deeply to his studies at Humber College in Toronto, where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Guitar Performance. And that’s not enough to keep him satisfied – he is constantly pursuing a higher standard and a higher understanding of his performance and songwriting craft.
Sean released his debut album of original songs in February 2018. “The Right Place” is a full-length collection of guitar-grounded tunes with inspirations from blues, funk, jazz and pop, whose lyrics cover a wide spectrum of emotions. Peter Letros (Wreckhouse Mastering), when presented with the album for mastering, had this to say:
“I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so impressed with an album from a new artist on so many levels. The songwriting is top notch, instrumentation and lyrics, vocals, guitar playing, mixing…..everything, right down to the sequence and track spacing. If someone had brought this album over and told me it was the new John Mayer album or something comparable I would not have doubted their word. I’m that impressed.”
Getting to hear Sean Bertram perform live is a breathtaking experience. It is because his musical vision and his guitar skills are so developed, and still growing, that his album is presented in arrangements much like he can deliver alone on-stage, with one voice and one guitar. His live show, while often complemented by harmony vocals and a rhythm section, is equally engaging when he performs on his own, thanks to his attention to providing each song with groove, harmony and innovative movement, all without overshadowing insightful and moving stories.
He may be just getting started on his musical career, but you’ll never see him standing still. This career is fuelled for greatness.,
2. Mikalyn Hay
Mikalyn is a unique artist, old soul and world weary and yet so young and fresh. She comes at every song with a deep sense of herself as an artist with an alternative view of what is cool and classic in the same breath. Her haunting voice and melodies and harmonies are instinctive and Mikalyn operates at a speed and capacity at a level much beyond her young age. Mikalyn combines this natural ability with relentless learning and is constantly seeking to collaborate and study from the best. Already a seasoned performer, she spends weekend jamming at open mics accompanying herself on the keys doing originals and covers ranging from Radiohead to Cohen. In 2017 Mikalyn released 16 original songs that have garnered critical acclaim in songwriting contests around the world and have been played to audiences around the world in Indie stations.
Winner of the Indie International Songwriting Contest – Summer 2016 for Anyway
Winner of Alice Sloan Scholarship – Kiwanis Festival – Original Song
Finalist in the Indie Category of 2017 UK Songwriting Competition
Finalist in the Teen Category of 2017 UK Songwriting Compettion with Gone and Fall in Love Again
Finalist for Teen Category in the Toronto Indie Awards Competition
Finalist in the Your Song Out Loud Competition – Gone
3. Chris Strei
Chris Strei is a country singer/songwriter whose style has been compared with Chris Stapleton and Bob Dylan. Chris draws on his own life experiences for inspiration in his music. With compositions influenced by blues, bluegrass and also some elements of hard rock and metal, Chris’s songs tell stories with a relatable point of view. It’s fair to say he’s not the only one who deals with these situations and themes. Since the end of 2017, Chris has come a long way in a short time: Following an opportunity to open for the Juno-nominated band The Trews in December, he embraced a philosophy that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. In June 2018, Chris embarked on his cross-Canada BlackBird Tour from Ontario to Alberta; he accepted an opportunity to perform his song “Love You Anyhow” with Juno-nominated folk and pop singer Dayna Manning in August; and in September he cracked the Top 25 in The Shot, Canada’s Premiere Singing Competition.
In Summer 2019, Chris will release his full-length album, Moonshine. Produced with Iain McNally and featuring drums by Rick Roach, Moonshine is a collection of 10 dynamic songs that touch on various topics and styles, from the gritty, fan-favourite “Prison Bound Man,” to the sweet commitment of “Love You Anyhow,” to the date-night glow of a dashboard light on Moonshine’s title track. Chris is currently rolling out previews of the album on his blog, The Moonshine Blog on ChrisStrei.com!
4. Jordana Talsky
Jordana Talsky fuses pop, jazz and alternative influences in her music, and combines acapella live looping with ensemble performance. Her song RUN from her 2017 album “Neither of Either” was a finalist judge’s pick in the 2018 CBC Searchlight Contest. Other accolades include a Toronto Independent Music Award nomination (2015, best vocal jazz), finalist placements in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition (2018 and 2014), Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition and Julian Award for Emerging Canadian Artists. She has commanded marquee stages across North America, among them the Iris Jazz Stage series (Amherst, NY), TD Toronto Jazz Festival, Winnipeg Jazz Festival and Spaghettini Lounge (Seal Beach, CA). In June 2018 she toured across Canada with notable festival performances and in 2018 debuted in Europe with performances in Sweden and Germany including Live at Heart Sweden. She has also showcased at Indie Week Toronto and Folk Alliance International. In 2019, as part of a U.S. summer tour, she will be a featured emerging artist at Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival. She has enjoyed widespread airplay for Neither of Either and for Standard Deviation, her 2013 debut, a pop-jazz collection of originals and eclectic covers.
“One of the most original-sounding tracks submitted this year, Talsky’s fusion of jazz, pop and indie is totally engaging” – CBC Music
“…one of those voices who can sell albums by just singing the phone book…” – LA Music Critic
“A close encounter…will leave you feeling pensive and yet curiously refreshed…”- Gonzo Okanagan
“…an eclectic mix of quirky, wholly original, and undeniably catchy tracks that will stun both in terms of enjoyability and talent.” – Canadian Beats
* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees