Archive for Summer Nights Festival

Johannes Linstead

Thursday, November 7, 2019 | 8:30pm

Johannes Linstead
Advance $25.00 / Door: $30.00

From being named Canada’s “Guitarist of the Year,” to winning eight “Best Album” awards, to seven top-ten US Billboard charting albums, and winning the “People’s Choice” award in the UK, Johannes Linstead has become recognized internationally as one of the best selling guitarists in the Instrumental, Jazz and World Music genres.

Chances are even if you don’t know the name you’ve heard his music. Johannes’ songs have been used in some of the most popular TV shows, such as Californication with David Duchovny, The Following with Kevin Bacon, Burn Notice, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Pawn Stars, Person of Interest, and others. World champion figure skater Stephane Lambiel used Johannes’ song “Zabuca” as part of his choreography during the Winter Olympics, and recently “Cafe Tropical” was featured in the hugely popular video game Tropical 4 and 5. Johannes is an endorsed “Influential Artist” with Yamaha Guitars USA, the largest musical instrument manufacturer in world, and in 2016 signed an endorsement deal with D’Addario, the largest string manufacturer in the world, and in 2018 partnered with D’Angelico Guitars of New York city.

His group consists of congas, bongos, accordion, bass and Spanish guitars, with each band member lending his own unique charisma, creating a rare on-stage chemistry that moves audiences to their feet, clapping along with the music and occasionally shouting out “ole!” They perform at many of the top music venues in the US and Canada, including the Catalina Island JazzTrax festival in California, which was named the #1 jazz festival in the US. Johannes’ legendary concerts have brought the group as far as the Middle-East, performing for royalty in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Together, Johannes and his group set the stage on fire as they let loose a fiesta of Afro-Cuban percussion and Spanish guitar magic.

When creating new music Johannes derives his inspiration from his many travels, from Spain to the Caribbean, from India to the Middle East. Each new land bringing him a wealth of exotic sounds and rhythms to colour his musical pallet. Having developed a love for the tropics, Johannes now calls the Dominican Republic his home away from home.

A deeply spiritual person, Johannes is a certified yoga instructor and conducts yoga and music retreats when his touring schedule allows. In 2006 he founded Divine Earth (divineearth.org), a humanitarian organization promoting meditation, yoga, holistic living, and the healing power of music.

Johannes states, “I use music as a way to express what words cannot say. Every note contains a part of me and all the love, joy, hope and compassion in my heart. I believe that music has the power to uplift humanity – I see it all the time at every one of my concerts. To be able to bring happiness to so many people is a true blessing.”

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Luke McMaster: Icons of Soul

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 | 8:00pm

Luke McMaster: Icons of Soul
Advance $25.00 / Door: $30.00 *

6:00 PM | Doors Open
8:00 PM | Icons of Soul Short Documentary Premiere featuring Lamont Dozier
8:30 PM | Performance

With Icons of Soul, Luke McMaster has taken his Motown influenced style to a new level. Icons of Soul in concert is the ultimate, authentic musical experience of contemporary blue-eyed soul. A collection of brand-new tunes, created in collaboration with original hit makers, Felix Cavaliere of the Rascals (Groovin’, Good Lovin’) and Lamont Dozier (Stop! In the Name of Love, Baby Love). These songs are so much fun, you’ll feel like you’ve known them all your life. Plus, you’ll be treated to fresh covers of early Motown hits and previously untold stories behind the songs.

Luke McMaster is best known for “Good Morning, Beautiful,” his 2013 Top 3 Billboard AC smash hit with new age pianist, Jim Brickman and his impressive Canadian gold album run as a duo with Rob James in McMaster & James, (“Thank You,” “Love Wins Everytime,”) with media often referring to them as the “Canadian Hall & Oates.”

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Ron Nigrini’s Farewell Performance

Saturday, September 14, 2019 | 8:30PM

Ron Nigrini’s Farewell Performance
Advance: $25.00 / Doors: $30.00 *

Tickets for this final performance are only available through our box office by phone or in-person.

The illustrious career of Ron Nigrini is sadly coming to an end. Fortunately, we can all get together for one last farewell as he returns to Hugh’s Room Live for final his performance. For those unfamiliar, go and read below. We also highly recommend touring his catalogue to understand the significance of this man’s music. This is our last time to catch the real thing and we couldn’t be happier that Ron has chosen our venue to bid a final farewell to his audience. Tickets available right now.

“Rambling through his fifth decade on the music scene, Ron Nigrini still plays for the love of the music, and it shows. A singer, songwriter, guitarist, craftsman, poet and performer, he’s on a life long musical odyssey. He opened for The Mamas & The Papas in 1967, had a hit with I’m Easy in 1976, had the most played Canadian single with Baby I’m A Lot Like You in 1983 on his own Oasis Records, acted in movies and on TV and entertained in countless coffee houses, bars, auditoriums and music festivals across Canada, the United States and Europe.

The sweet style of this “worker in song” is reminiscent of Jim Croce and Harry Chapin but, in the end, it’s his own beautiful melodies and poetic lyrics that create a unique artistic voice. His new CD, “Directions Home” explores where we are and how we are in this increasingly fractured and troubled world.”

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Red Zeppelin

Friday, August 16, 2019 | 8:30pm

Red Zeppelin
Advance $25.00 / Door: $30.00

It’s 1969 and it’s the second day of the to-be-ubiquitous Woodstock music festival. So many of the era’s musical legends are there, from The Grateful Dead to The Who to Janis Joplin. However, one band’s unique sound and presence is distinctly absent – Led Zeppelin, fresh off their release of “Led Zeppelin”, has fallen under the axe of their manager and is performing 150 miles away at Asbury Park. And lo, over 100,000 festival visitors never have the chance to shiver along to “Whole Lotta Love”, sway to the bittersweet melody of “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” or leave it all on the muddy dance floor with “Ramble On”. 50 years later, Toronto’s own Red Zeppelin is bringing the “Woodstock-Set-That-Never-Was” to Hugh’s Room Live on Friday August 16, starting at 8:30PM (2 sets)
 
ABOUT RED ZEPPELIN
For years, Red Zeppelin have swung the hammer of the gods, wowing crowds across Canada with their passionate performances that play homage to the rock classics. Featuring fiery vocals from Joan Smith (Serena Ryder, Little Foot Long Foot, Joan Smith & the Jane Does), Red Zeppelin delivers an electrifying experience.
While the look may be a little different, the swagger and the song remains the same.
 
Visit www.redzeppelintoronto.com for more information

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Lachy Doley

Thursday, August 15, 2019 | 8:30pm

Lachy Doley 
$15 Advance / $20 Door

Dubbed the Jimi Hendrix of the Hammond Organ, Lachy Doley is Australia’s most celebrated Blues Soul Rock Organ Player in the world today. A player who can pump, pamper and occasionally pound the most unbelievable sounds from a keyboard: sounds that are intense, ferocious and sometimes transcendent.

Recently going viral on Facebook with videos clocking up millions of views. His version of the Bill Wither’s classic Use Me is now sitting at 4 million Facebook views alone.

Lachy Doley has seen much of the world, recording and touring with acts as diverse as Powderfinger, Glenn Hughes, Steve Vai, Jimmy Barnes, The Beautiful Girls – more recently recording on a new album of Joe Bonamassa’s which came out in early 2015. It was 2010 though, that saw the birth of The Lachy Dooley Group and they have been heavily recording and touring ever since.

The group’s latest album Make or Break (May 2019) is on track to surpass their previous album by debuting at #40 on the Australian National Charts the ARIAS. Their previous album Conviction reached #5 on the UK Blues Broadcasters Charts, #1 on the Australian iTunes Blues Charts and #1 on the Australian Blues & Roots Airplay Charts. Along with their third tour of Europe and the UK plus their tour of Canada, 2017 is set to be a big year for the group.

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Al Qahwa CD Release

Saturday, August 10, 2019 | 8:30pm

Al Qahwa CD Release
Advance: $20.00 / Doors: $25.00

Al Qahwa Ensemble is Maryem Tollar on vocals, riqq (Arabic tambourine) and qanun (Arabic table harp); Ernie Tollar on wind instruments; Demetri Petsalakis on oud and Naghmeh Fahrahmand on percussion. They perform original compositions, as well as popular traditional Arabic repertoire – from Sufi Devotional Love songs from the Arab World to popular folk songs, to classic Egyptian songs made famous by the stars of Egypt (the Hollywood of the Middle East).

They will be joined for this CD release concert by Toronto musicians Waleed Abdul Hamid, Fethi Nadjem; as well as Alfred Gamil all the way from Egypt.

Oh, and EVERY ticket buyer gets a free CD with the purchase of their ticket, to be collected on the day of the perfrmance.

*Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees.

Ori Dagan’s The Rat Pack Tribute Show

Thursday, August 8, 2019 | 8:30pm

Ori Dagan’s The Rat Pack Tribute Show
Advance $25.00 / Door: $30.00

Inspired by the music of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin, Ori Dagan’s Tribute to The Rat Pack features special guest vocalists Steven Taetz and Donovan Locke, backed by an all-star jazz trio of Mark Eisenman on piano, Jordan O’Connor on bass and Richard Brisco on drums.
Award-winning jazz singer, songwriter and recording artist Ori Dagan is taking jazz to new and exciting places. His rich baritone voice and impressive abilities as an improviser produce an instantly recognizable sound. In live performance, he surrounds himself with Canada’s finest musicians, performing an engaging mix of material which is always fresh and in the moment. Dagan’s latest recording and visual album “Nathaniel: A Tribute to Nat King Cole” has taken him to festivals across the world including an official showcase at SXSW in Austin Texas, headlining the TanJazz festival in Tangier, Morocco and a performance at the inaugural Public Diplomacy Week in Seoul, South Korea.
Vintage pop, swing, and jazz singer and composer/lyricist Steven Taetz is based in Toronto.  He has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Bitter End and Rockwood Music Hall (NY), The Rogers Centre (Toronto), Blue Room (Korea), Capital Pride (Wash DC), Hotel Café (LA), World Pride, House of Jazz (Montreal), Ironwood (Calgary), and Toronto landmark venues including Jazz Bistro, The Rex Jazz & Blues Bar, Hugh’s Room, Koerner Hall Galleria for Sinatra’s 100th, and leading music festivals.  As a lyricist and composer, Steven Taetz has written for many internationally renowned artists, attracting the attention of Big Management NYC, and resulted in a co-publishing deal through Universal (Europe) and Shapiro Bernstein (US).
Having started singing in church at a very early age, Donovan Locke is a multi-talented vocalist based in Toronto. He joined the Toronto All-Star Big Band in his teens, with whom he’s performed across Ontario and also in the USA. Donovan received his Bachelor’s Degree in Arts from Wilfrid Laurier University and went on to finish his Bachelor of Education from Nipissing University. Performing a variety of music regularly across the GTA, Donovan has had the honour of singing with Cleo Laine, John Dankworth and Jackie Richardson among many others. In addition to performing and teaching music privately, Donovan is also a teacher with the Peel District School Board.
Don’t miss the debut of this brand new show, set to echo the swing and swagger of “the coolest cats of all time.”

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Romani Jazz

Wednesday, August 7, 2019 | 8:30PM

Romani Jazz with Special Guest Drew Jurecka
Advance $25 / Door $30 *

Inspired by gypsy roots, Romani Jazz seamlessly blends the traditional folk melodies of the  “Roma” people with the musical and improvisational elements of jazz to produce a unique , fusion acoustic experience. The concept of RomaniJazz was a result of the combined imagination of an eclectic group of Canadian musicians (George Koller, Robi Botos, Jozsef Botos and Nenad Bogdanovic) who share the same passion for exploring and interpreting Roma folk melodies in an unconventional way. As musical storytellers, they are able to take their audience on a nomadic journey into uncharted territory.

To join the journey, make sure to get your tickets early. Hugh’s Room Live is honoured to play host to this line-up of masters as they take the stage for the first time at Hugh’s Room Live this February. Tickets available right now.

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Shari Ulrich with Special Guest James Keelaghan  

Tuesday, August 6, 2019 | 8:30pm

Shari Ulrich with Special Guest James Keelaghan  
Advance $25.00 / Door: $30.00

Shari Ulrich

Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Shari Ulrich returns to Hugh’s Room to showcase the Borealis release of her 9th solo album. Shari has entertained, moved and enchanted audiences across Canada and beyond for over four decades. Her voice, stagecraft and a musicianship has woven its way through several iconic Canadian collaborations and 25 albums with The Pied Pumkin, The Hometown Band , Ulrich Henderson Forbes (UHF), and most recently withBentall Taylor Ulrich (BTU) and the Juno nominated High Bar Gang.

A consummate artist and entertainer, Ulrich continues to have it all. With 2 JUNO Awards, several JUNO nominations, an induction into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame and the 2014 Canadian Folk Music Award for English Songwriter of the Year, her impact on the music scene is undeniable.

“I can go on and on about my passion for music, how much we need it, how exhilarating it is to play it, and my perennial awe in how it makes us feel. So to have another batch of tunes out in the world makes me very happy. Ironically, after 45 years I feel like I’m still getting just started and there’s so much music to write, sing, play, and share”

Shari will be joined by Kirby Barber on bass & vocals (currently living in Nashville and often touring with Aaron Pritchett), and pianist Cindy Fairbank (formerly of Madison Violet).

Pals since the mid-seventies, Shari’s asked label-mate James Keelaghan to join her for this evening to share his latest batch of songs, and James, despite it landing between two festivals for which he serves at AD (Stewart Park & Owen Sound) said…. YES!  How great is that? This will be a very special evening.

www.shariulrich.com

James Keelaghan
Called Canada’s finest singer-songwriter by one of the most respected and lauded music journalists of the last 50 years, James Keelaghan is an artist who has proven to be a man for all seasons.

As the calendar pages have turned, for almost a quarter of a century now, this poet laureate of the folk and roots music world has gone about his work with a combination of passion, intent and intensity, and curiosity.

Fusing his insatiable appetite for finding the next unique storyline Keelaghan also forges his pieces with brilliantly defined craftsmanship and a monogrammed artistic vision, making him one of the most distinctive and readily identifiable voices of not only the Canadian scene, but as a member of the international singer-songwriter community.

Armed with a songbook that has enlightened and enthralled and been embraced by audiences around the world, Keelaghan’s life as an artist is one that is a perpetual journey on so many levels.

Most importantly it’s a journey that has invited fans of literate and layered songwriting to be a part of his artistic expeditions, some that weave their way through marvelously etched stories of a historical nature with underlying universal themes, and others that mine the depths of the soul and the emotional trails of human relations.¨His masterful storytelling, over the course of nine recordings, has been part of the bedrock of his success, earning Keelaghan his share of nominations and awards, and acclaim from  Australia to Scandinavia.The necessity to write has always been a double-edged sword.”

“I’ve always had the urge to write.  Some things weren’t being said in the way I wanted to say them. Then there are the different sides of what I write about. The narrative writing, the historical material, as well as the personal, where you have to take responsibility for what you are saying,” says the Calgary native who has been calling Winnipeg home for the past few years.A disciplined visionary, Keelaghan’s aces have long been a love of language, and history, as he earned a history  degree years ago, his skills as a thespian that he acquired at an early age, that explain his ability to make an immediate connection with audiences in a live setting, and an ear for a memorable melody, and harmonies that make those melodies glisten.

“I’m good for 80 or so books a year, mostly history, non-fiction, but inspiration can come in many forms, I’m always on the lookout for a good story or idea. My sister told me the story that became Kiri’s Piano. It was such an image,” says Keelaghan “that visits a dark chapter in Canadian history, Japanese internment camps in the Second World War.” Not only does his deep catalogue include timeless originals like Fires of Calais, Cold Missouri Waters, Jenny Bryce, Hillcrest Mine, and Kiri’s Piano.  Keelaghan is also a possessive interpreter of outside material, a fine example being his gripping take on Gordon Lightfoot’s epic Canadian Railroad Trilogy on the Lightfoot Tribute disc Beautiful. There are a number of illustrations of his interpretive skills on his 2006 recording A Few Simple Verses. The closing tune on that spellbinding set, My Blood written with Jez Lowe, is one of many examples in Keelaghan’s career, where he has invited collaboration into his creative process.

“I was at the Celtic Colors Festival in 2008 and the producers locked six of us in a house for a week, and the company included Dave Gunning, David Francey, and Rose Cousins, it was an amazing experience. We had to come up with enough material for a show at the end of it.“To go along with a lifelong accumulation of influences, there have been these opportunities to work with equals, whether it be Oliver Schroer, Hugh McMillan, or Oscar Lopez. The sparks of collaboration, batting melodies back and forth, whatever, have produced some wonderful results,” says the artist who ties it all together with a powerful voice, delivery, and a commanding presence where he finds a balance between examining the lighter and heavier sides of life.

For Keelaghan staying at the top of his game comes down to a very clear rule, “never stop accumulating.”

“I want my audiences to know that I am open enough to try new things and push their bounds.”

It was Dave Marsh, the award-winning American music critic and historian who not so long ago stated that James Keelaghan is “Canada’s finest songwriter,” and those few but powerful words of praise say it all about an artist who continues to set the bar at a lofty height.

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Someday Junos Featuring Grace Bakker, Melina Melle, Nefe, Jong SL

Saturday, August 3 ,2019 | 8:00pm

Someday Junos Featuring Grace Bakker, Melina Melle, Nefe, Jong SL
$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:

Grace Bakker

So this is where I tell you who the heck I am.  I am a 19-year-old, non-binary singer/songwriter from Toronto, Ontario. I am inspired by artists like Johnny Cash, City and Colour, Alec Benjamin, and Matt Maeson which has influenced my sound and writing style. After my experience on CTV’s “The Launch”, I was itching to create something that is completely my own. This lead to my first EP “Always Learning, Always Growing.”. Focussed on emotion and atmosphere, I strive to create an experience for others using my music and intimate lyrics that tell a story that is so genuinely “me”. Pronouns: They/Them/Their

 

Melina Melle

Melina Melle is a 20-year old pop singer songwriter from a small city called Barrie, near Toronto, Canada. Her music has influences of Ed Sheeran and Avril Lavigne and her attitude is reminiscent of Alanis Morissette. Melina Melle has prophetic insight into what teenage girls really go through. From the growing pains of dealing with parents – to having issues with boys – to the scary reality of becoming a young adult, Melina Melle writes songs about their lives.

“So I must confess – I’ve shed a tear or two – You won’t address – this kind of attitude. It could be raining and I’d still be burning for you” – Burning for You

Melina Melle works with songwriters and producers in Toronto, Dallas, Nashville and Los Angeles. Specifically, she has worked with producers Keith Thomas (Celine Dion), Malik Yusef (Kanye West), Vincent Barry (Beyonce) and Carlos “Los DaMystro” McKinney.

“I have produced songs for stars like Rihanna, Mariah Carey and Usher. Melina Melle has the rare combination of having that ‘it factor’ (Star Quality) and being a young person who works hard at being a thoughtful songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.” – Carlos “LOS MYSTRO” McKinney

Recently graduated from Durham College’s Music Business Management Program, Melina Melle is self-promoting on social media, has seen an increase of followers on her @MelinaMelleMusic Instagram and recently received over half a million views on a video on TikTok.

Melina Melle, who has won various awards and competitions, is most proud of winning the “Northern Ontario Singing Competition” at age 13 (in the 13 – 18 year old category) and winning “Best Song” at the Songwriter Girl Camp in Nashville in 2015. For four summers, Melina Melle has been busking (performing covers and originals) in downtown Barrie. She has also performed at Hugh’s Room, The Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, and Horseshoe and Blue Mountain Resorts.

“Being a teenager is not so sweet, so I write songs to make life a little easier for myself and my fans.” – Melina Melle

“I don’t wanna go to your party… I’m gonna live it up on the highway.”

 

Nefe

Combined with the soulful power of Tracy Chapman, the uniqueness of Bruno Mars and a voice that can silence a room, Nefe is a burgeoning Canadian talent that is sure to take the industry by storm in the coming years.

Born Sarah Jea Felker, Nefe is a singer/songwriter hailing from the small Southwestern Ontario city of Guelph. Adopting her name from Queen Nefertiti, Nefe stands to lead and empower woman and men to accept their real beauty, not succumbing to the pressures of perfection defined by today’s media culture.

Though Nefe’s soft spoken appearance illudes many, she is loud on the inside, with a rich soul, expressing her voice through her music.

 

Jong SL

Like many Korean households, Jong started his musical career in violin. Over a decade later, he actually ended up completing a bachelor’s degree in classical music. A degree he realized he didn’t want in his third year. But he had no choice, either finish the degree in the US or go back to Korea. In that same year, Jong had an epiphany. He was already writing songs for others, so why not write for himself? Since then, he took up singing, an instrument he neglected for over 20 years of his life.

Growing up, there weren’t any musicians who are of his background that Jong could look up to. Even now, it’s true to this day. Having moved to the US at a young age, like many others like him, Jong lost his identity along the way. Under both western and eastern culture, he doesn’t feel truly connected to either. With those experiences, the lyrics are introspective and the music melancholic. Feeling like an outsider has defined his character and music.

Drawing influences from both popular and underground music, Jong SL is making his own genre. His songs are influenced by guitar playing from John Mayer and Mac Demarco, singing from Allen Stone and recent R&B, and melodies from early Coldplay. Jong describes his genre as Melancholic Indie-Pop, but even that is a misnomer.

Since moving to Toronto a year ago, Jong has quickly been playing all over the city. Yonge and Dundas Sq, Nathan Phillips Sq, The Cameron House are to name a few. Recently Jong received the 1st prize winner of 2018 Trakscout Original Music Award on his latest track “Driving Away”. He is also a top-ten finalist in Canadian singing competition The Shot in 2018. He is currently based in Toronto, Canada.

If you like what you hear, please support by subscribing to his channels and adding his music to your playlists. Come see Jong SL perform live. Lastly, the biggest contribution to indie artists is sharing their music. Thank you.

 

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