Archive for Summer Nights Festival – Page 2

Someday Junos: Missy Bauman, 2 Shots of Hennessy, Jordan Paul, Augusta Ray

Friday, August 2, 2019 | 8:00pm

Someday Junos Featuring Missy Bauman, 2 Shots of Hennessy, Jordan Paul, Augusta Ray
$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:

Missy Bauman

Crafting songs about all the intimate moments of youth, from dysfunction to desire to death, Missy Bauman performs folk music with fangs. She is not afraid to sit you down on the bed, look you in the eyes, and tell you the painful truths you need to hear.

With the song writing sensibilities of Dan Mangan and the alternative edge of Mother Mother, Bauman’s music drips with sweet intentions and sour recollections. Her dreamy instrumentation is grounded by her voice, a powerful delicacy that dances on your skin and pounds at your heart. Her debut full-length album, Don’t Fear the Dark, was praised by Rrampt magazine as “…an exploration of the ethereal, [and] the work of a truly talented artist”.

Bauman’s fearless songs and transformative shows have won her critical acclaim across Canada, including a Canadian Songwriting Hall of Fame nomination, selection as a Youth Performer at the Summerfolk Music Festival, and runner-up in BC Musician’s Songwriting Competition. Her brave interrogation of sexual assault, “Two Sisters,” was awarded a “Song from the Heart” award from Folk Music Ontario for best political piece of the year. With such recognition accumulating already, Bauman’s forthcoming album is bound to be her boldest and brightest yet.
Biography written by Sam Boer, 2018.

John Lennon Songwriting Competition Finalist, Folk Category, 2019

Folk Music Ontario Songs from the Heart Award, Political Category, 2018

OAC Music Creation Grant, 2018

Canadian Songwriter Hall of Fame, Emerging Artist Award (nomination), 2017

2 Shots of Hennessy

2 Shots of Hennessy are father-son duo Doug and Dylan Hennessy, who have been playing together since…Well, it’s hard to say! A lifetime of sharing music together has landed these two on some of Toronto’s best known stages (Sneaky Dee’s, The Painted Lady, Cherry Cola’s, Free Times Cafe).

Dylan Hennessy has spent the last decade working his way through the Toronto music circuit, which saw him with folk roots and grow into a one-man progressive rock band looper. Since 2017, Dylan has performed hundreds of times, opening for I Mother Earth, Finger Eleven, MONOWHALES, and placing 3rd overall in the Indie Week 2018 finals at MOD Club.

2 Shots of Hennessy play acoustic sensibilities drawing influence from blues, classic rock, folk, and some quirky sonic ideas. You can catch these two every Friday night at Thornhill Pub or out in the local music scene, enjoying life and sharing songs.

Jordan Paul

Jer of Sleeping Bag Studios, describes Jordan Paul’s sound as “if Queen, Mimicking Birds, Led Zeppelin, and Radiohead all had a beautiful love-child.” Three-time Grammy Award winning producer, Chris Birkett (Led Zeppelin, Quincy Jones, Buffy Sainte-Marie) hails Paul as, “Canada’s Jeff Buckley, one of the best singers I’ve ever heard.” His first single, ‘Archetype X,’ debuted in the Top 100 Alternative charts on iTunes–receiving widespread online and college radio play internationally. Additionally, the single was awarded Songstudio’s ‘Most Pitch-able Song’ and the SHINE Music Award. In early 2017, Jordan Paul was a featured songwriter by the Songwriters Association of Canada. He was also chosen to represent Canada, showcasing at the Texas Songwriters Symposium in Austin, TX. Paul performed alongside The Strumbellas, The Sheepdogs, Ron Sexsmith, Andy Kim, and others at Andy Kim’s Christmas Concert, selling out the Queen Elisabeth Theatre. As a songwriter, he has worked with Darryl James of The Strumbellas (Double Platinum in Canada; Gold in USA and Australia), Matt Lipscombe (Lily Frost, Bran Van 3000), Amanda Mabro (Ron Sexsmith), Martin Kerr (no.1 in Canada), Khalid Yassein (Wild Rivers), Chris Cargnello, and many other accomplished writers and artists. Some notable sync placements include The CW’s ‘The Secret Circle,’ Shaw TV’s ‘When Paintings Come Alive,’ MTV’s ‘Real World,’ and LaJoie De Vie’s short-film ‘Best Budz.’ Paul’s debut studio record features 11 original songs, recorded at Jon Anderson’s (Aidan Knight, Andy Shauf, Said The Whale) Protection Island Studios in Maple Ridge, BC and mastered by Noah Mintz (Marcy Playground, Broken Social Scene).

Augusta Ray

Her name is Augusta, but you can call her “Gus.” Growing up in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on a solid diet of eclectic music acts such as Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Shania Twain, shaped her unique country-rock sound. This sound, accompanying her incredible vocal talent, honest/soulful/hand-crafted songs mixed with an energetic, engaging stage presence, has made her the darling of the stage everywhere she goes.

Her hard work is paying off, as this up-and-coming star has already left her mark on the country scene, winning the North American Country Music Association International’s (NACMAI) “New Country Female Vocalist of the Year” award (2016), the NACMAI “New Country CD of the Year” award (2016), “New Country Songwriter of the Year” award (2016/2017), “Traditional Country Songwriter of the Year” award (2016/2017), “Female Entertainer of the Year” and was one of the Top-7 featured artists in ole Majorly Indie’s “On The Spot” Canadian Country Music competition in 2015, held in Halifax, Nova Scotia during CCMA week.

Augusta splits her time between her home in Nashville and her home in Toronto, working hard in the studio to bring her ideas to life. When not working in the studio, she spends much of her time travelling and performing for Canadian and American country/rock music fans, sharing stages with notable country acts such as Trace Adkins, Montgomery Gentry, Big & Rich, Cam, and Michael Ray, among others. ​

Augusta’s 2018 highlights include joining Brett Kissel’s “We Were That Song Tour,” as the opening act, in Thunder Bay, ON, as well as being invited to join Tim Hicks on stage in Thunder Bay, ON, to perform a duet of his latest smash “The Worst Kind.” In May of 2018, Augusta was also awarded the ‘NEXT COUNTRY MUSIC STAR,’ landing her an opening slot for Toby Keith at Canada’s Largest Country Music Festival, ‘THE HAVELOCK COUNTRY JAMBOREE.’

In the summer of 2017, Augusta was invited to perform at Summerfest; The World’s Largest Music Festival, for the second year in a row. She performed among acts such as The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kool and The Gang, Elle King, Def Leppard, and Paul McCartney.

In early 2016, Augusta alongside award-winning Canadian producer Matt Rovey, and former member of the hit-making country group ‘The Lost Trailers,’ Jason Wyatt, released a six song EP, that has since been gaining airplay throughout Canada, the U.S. and Europe. The final track on the EP entitled “I’m Done,” which was written by Ms. Ray, was ranked #30 on the European Charts as reported by HotDisc.

Augusta’s latest release (January, 2019) entitled ‘VAGABOND,’ is a true testament to who she is as an artist, and person:
“I don’t write enough songs about myself” says Augusta. “Sometimes, I can be so focused on what everyone around me is doing, that I focus on being inspired by their lives, and forget that my life too can be inspiring/interesting enough to write a song about.

“Vagabond” was that song for me- the song that broke the curse of writing about other people’s lives. For anyone that doesn’t know me and my music, this is the perfect song to give you an introduction into who the heck I am. To the travelers, and rolling stones that’ve been known to gather no moss, this song is for you! And to those that have been too afraid to find love in a world that seems like it moves too fast sometimes … I wrote this for you! Here’s to all the “Stevie Nicks Enthusiasts’ that aren’t afraid to put a little rock ‘n roll in their country. Here’s to the Vagabonds just like me.”


* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Someday Junos: Chris Madronich, Tim Moxam, Madison Olds, Annie Sumi

Thursday, August 1 ,2019 | 8:00pm

Someday Junos Featuring Chris Madronich, Tim Moxam, Madison Olds, Annie Sumi
$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:

Chris Madronich
Chris Madronich is a young musician native to the Niagara Region, and though he is currently pursuing his education in Ottawa, he still credits his smalltown roots for the creativity in his music today. Music is something that Madronich has been passionate about since a young age; he is seeing more and more success as he continues to explore his own musical abilities and has been involved in a number of CBC music competitions.

“I put a lot of time into my lyrics and instrumentation, and try to create an experience within them. If you have the time to listen to my music, try not to only listen to what is stimulating, but try to dive deeper, listen analytically and interpret your own meaning. I believe all music is more satisfying if you get down to this level.”

To access and listen to Chris’ music, visit or at and search Chris Madronic.

Tim Moxam
Tim Moxam refuses to rest. A full-time Musician and Carpenter, his quietly dazzling folk-pop arrangements reflect the tireless patience, precision, and quality he brings to his work. And when his day is done and he starts to sing, the only sensible thing to do is listen.

Marlborough Hall, Moxam’s brilliant second full-length album, is the hotly anticipated follow-up to 2016’s Soft Summer, which yielded CBC radio chart-toppers ‘Meant to Be’ and ‘Harvest for the Queen’, while building on the 2013 global breakthrough track ‘Live in the Bedroom’. That track, from his debut EP Blue Son, was featured on the hit BBC show Orphan Black, a fitting backdrop for a performer who lives dual lives. “The worldwide feedback I got from Live in the Bedroom was a real confidence booster,” Moxam says.

Since then, the one-time member of beloved indie rockers Great Bloomers has played alongside a wildly diverse roster of marquee names including Donovan Woods, Cœur de pirate, Corb Lund, The Strumbellas and Terra Lightfoot, tackling full-scale home renovations in his time off.

Marlborough Hall marks a substantial development in Moxam’s work. “Soft Summer was about loss and heartbreak, about being traumatized by love and relationships. Marlborough Hall is about maturity and confidence”, Moxam says. “It’s about coming to terms with who I am and owning that. It’s about honesty.”

The album was recorded in early 2018 at Toronto’s Union Sound Company with Chris Stringer, acclaimed producer/engineer behind noted gems by The Wooden Sky, Elliott Brood, and Timber Timbre. Marlborough Hall sees the return of drummer Joshua Van Tassel, bassist Charles James, multi-instrumentalist Adrian Cook and vocalist Ivy Mairi — who rank among Toronto’s most notable players.

Originally wanting to name the album Honesty, a title borrowed from another of the album’s nine tracks, Moxam settled instead on Marlborough Hall. “One night spent at the Marlborough Hotel in Winnipeg came to represent an unforgettable moment in my life where I met my ‘destiny’ face to face, and decided to take control of it. Each song on the album represents an incident since that moment where I, confronted with a choice, was unapologetically honest in my decision making. And so, Marlborough Hall has come to represent the pursuit of honesty in everything I do.”

A forthright voice rings clear throughout Marlborough Hall. ‘Rich Man’, the album’s sparkling, thoroughly hooky, and propulsive first single describes Moxam’s frustrations of balancing full-time construction work with a demanding music career. The candlelit, hypnotic ‘All I Feel’, featuring a compelling vocal performance nudged forward by ambient sax and synths, eavesdrops on his negotiations of the terms to the end of a long, faithful friendship. ‘Honesty’, the slow-building “title track that wasn’t” brings a sudden swell of backing vocals into a show-stopping finale and reiterates Moxam’s raw desire for the blunt truth.

“The purpose of existence”, Moxam offers, “is to engage in some practice; to produce something”. And so, Tim Moxam offers us Marlborough Hall. Within its walls, we are introduced to a character whose hands are never still, which betray a restless mind that never settles; someone that seeks precision and quality with every pursuit; and who, above all else, demands nothing but the honest truth.

Madison Olds
Usually sporting her signature space buns, Madison Olds, acoustic pop singer songwriter writes and performs in the style of Julia Michaels and Ed Sheeran. 2016, her band won a national competition and their song became a bonus track on the CMT Chevy Top 20. Voted Emerging Artist of the Year 2017, a highlight was opening the same stage as Kacey Musgraves and Willie Nelson at Rockin’ River Music Fest. Recently released, “Moments in the Mountains”, written for the Kamloops 2018 BC Winter Games, has recently caught the interest of tourism and television and has received over 250k streams on Spotify. “Can’t Touch” is now on all streaming services and “Thank You” just launched to national Canadian radio fall 2018. Her debut album releases February 22, 2019, highlighting her acoustic roots.

Annie Sumi
Dancing on a line between imagination and reality, ethereal-folk artist Annie Sumi’s music invites you into a familiar otherworld. Like an inbound wind, her voice begins with a whisper, gathers strength and purpose, and transforms into an airy howl. Her songs take you to places – of quiet wonder, of unspoken love, of tranquil landscape.

“You can’t leave an Annie Sumi performance and feel anything but inspired,” says Leah Morise, of London-based House of Harmony. “She fills the stage with joy and it spills over into the audience. Her songs manage to pull you into her world.”

Over the last three and a half years, the Ontario-based singer-songwriter has released two critically-acclaimed albums and toured her music across Canada, parts of the U.S. and Europe.

With grace and humility, she’s charmed audiences at more than 300 shows, from living rooms to major music festivals, and has been asked to open for the likes of Buffy Sainte-Marie, Amelia Curran and Jim Cuddy.

In 2018, she was recognized with a Canadian Folk Music Award nomination for Emerging Artist of the Year. Pieces from her latest album, In the Unknown, received airplay all across Canada, earning chart placements, critical acclaim and accolades.

Folk-roots magazine Penguin Eggs listed Sumi as one of their top “Music Discoveries” for 2018, describing her voice as “generous and expansive” and offering high praise, “If you’d like to hear the future of contemporary Canadian folk music, take a listen to the sophomore release from Annie Sumi.”

In the Unknown is a collection of lyrical folk ballads and up-tempo tunes, brought to life through an orchestra of sound that includes strings, piano and a hint of percussion.

But mostly, the new album is about stories. Gathering stories, both real and imagined, and weaving them into song, is at the core of this young artist’s creative expression. It’s as if she’s able to breathe in all the beauty of nature and the subtleties of life, and breathe out musical tales that inspire, enchant or open the heart.

In 2019, Sumi will take space among the forests and mountains at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity to cultivate a collection of new songs. After her residency, she will be returning to the studio to arrange and record her third album: Solastalgia. Continuing her busy tour schedule, she will be performing at venues and festivals across the country, hoping to pull more and more people into her world.


* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Someday Junos: Sean Bertram, Mikalyn Hay, Chris Strei, Jordana Talsky

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!


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

Debi Botos

Saturday, July 27, 2019 | 8:30PM

Debi Botos

Advance: $20.00 / Doors: $25.00 *

From an early age, Debi Botos has cultivated an interest in Hungarian Gypsy music (where she was born). Now 23, as a self taught musician, Debi continues to explore and experiment with the sounds of the Legendary Django Reinhardt. Through gigging around the Toronto Circuit and growing up in a very musical Botos Family, she has found a sound that is both contemporary and an homage to the Greats. Debi has had amazing opportunities to meet and play with some of the most influential musicians in this style. Incorporating colourful and inventive sounds from her Hungarian Gypsy roots to the music of Django Reinhardt, she is creating a beautiful fusion of swing and free improvisational music. She will be joined by her family and good friends on stage singing and playing authentic Hungarian Gypsy folk music as well, all with a jazzy twist. Ever-evolving, Debi has written multiple compositions (that she will be debuting) infusing both these styles and creates a moving yet very enjoyable atmosphere that feel electric, traditional yet modern and continues to amaze her audiences at venues and concert halls across the country.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.

Jayme Stone’s Folklife

Friday, July 26, 2019 | 8:30pm

Advance $25.00 / Door: $30.00

Jayme Stone’s Folklife treats old field recordings not as time capsules, but as heirloom seeds passed down from a bygone generation. Planting these sturdy seeds in modern soil, this versatile gathering of musicians has cultivated vibrant Sea Island spirituals, Creole calypsos, and stomp-down Appalachian dance tunes for contemporary listeners. Their concerts and educational programs are moving, inventive, and participatory experiences that prove folk songs are indeed perennials for the people.

*Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Eilen Jewell

Wednesday, July 24, 2019 | 8:30pm

Eilen Jewell
Advance $25.00 / Door: $30.00

American Songwriter describes Eilen Jewell as, “one of America’s most intriguing, creative and idiosyncratic voices.” The Boise, Idaho songwriter is one of a kind.
That singular voice springs forth from a woman of more than one mind, and she taps into many of them on Gypsy (August, 2019 Signature Sounds Recordings). By turns personal and political, pissed off and blissed out, Jewell’s first album of original material since 2015 expands brief moments of joy into lifetimes, and distills epic sentiments and persistent doubts into succinct songs.
Jewell seamlessly blends heavy electric guitars and dirty fiddles on the rollicking country rocker “Crawl” with the sweet and understated horn section of the tender “Witness. “79 Cents (The Meow Song)” skewers sexism and discrimination with pointed humor over a circus bed of musical saw and horns.
Longtime fans who love Eilen Jewell in classic country mode will delight in the pedal steel driven “These Blues” and the sole cover on Gypsy, “You Cared Enough To Lie,” written by fellow Idahoan and country legend Pinto Bennett.
Rather than pulling artist and listener this way and that, the tensions within and between these twelve tracks propel Eilen Jewell’s eighth studio album forward as a remarkably cohesive full-length.
* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Monkey House

Monday, July 22, 2019 | 8:30pm

Monkey House
Advance $25.00 / Door: $30.00

Sophisticated musicianship, imaginative lyrics, and a flair for melody are signatures of the sound of Monkey House, a sound that has earned the group serious critical acclaim, peer respect, and a steadily expanding international following.

Those characteristics are again evident on Friday, set for release on ALMA Records July 26, 2019. It is the fifth full-length release from the L.A./Toronto combo that has just celebrated the notable milestone of 25 years of playing together. That rare longevity has resulted in an invaluable empathy in the musical interactions of the core members: singer/songwriter/keyboardist Don Breithaupt, drummer Mark Kelso, bassist Pat Kilbride, and guitarist Justin Abedin.

Monkey House founder Breithaupt explains: “Because I’ve been working with Justin, Pat and Mark for so long, I have such a good feel for what they do well. I can play to their strengths, I can take a polaroid of something in my studio and have a pretty good idea of how it’ll pan out when the band sinks its teeth into it.”

Also contributing prominently to Friday is the elite Toronto horn section of William Sperandei, Vern Dorge, John Johnson, William Carn and Tony Carlucci, as well as percussionist Art Avalos.

Adding to the comfort level in the studio for the recording of Friday was the return of the team of co-producer Peter Cardinali and engineer John ‘Beetle’ Bailey, reprising their roles from previous Monkey House records. Cardinali also plays bass on four tracks.

All but two of the tracks on Friday are solo Don Breithaupt compositions. He co-wrote  “Say It For The Last Time,” with Chris Smith (ex-Regatta) and Guido Luciani, while “Book Of Liars” is a cover of a song by Steely Dan’s Walter Becker. “As a lifelong Steely Dan fan, Walter’s death hit me hard,” says Don. “I thought it’d be a nice gesture to do one of his.”

Breithaupt is a prolific songwriter who collaborates regularly with such acclaimed songsmiths as Marc Jordan, Jay Graydon, and (his NYC-based brother) Jeff Breithaupt. He explains that the stress on solo compositions on Friday “had to do with getting songs that felt like they belonged together. When they are coming from multiple sources, it’s harder to make them all feel integrated.”

The generous 12-song collection certainly does sound cohesive, while possessing enough musical twists and turns to keep things interesting. Don terms Friday “an album that may be more rhythmically-based than any of the previous ones. For the last album [2016’s Left], I made a concerted effort to write each song at the piano. With this one, I was often looping rhythms and playing along with grooves, even on the first day of writing. When you have a rhythm going, it gives everything momentum.”

“A couple of songs here show more of an ’80s influence from bands like The Police and XTC. It still sounds like Monkey House, but it’s fun to stir in a couple of extra ingredients each time and see how they mix in. If you’re thinking of Friday on a compass, it has moved a few degrees towards R&B, soul and blues as opposed to some songs on earlier albums that were more poppy or Beatles-derived.”

As has become the norm on Monkey House records, Friday features some notable guests. Guitarist Drew Zingg (Boz Scaggs) and trumpeter Michael Leonhart (Steely Dan) have guested on previous albums and make tasteful contributions here, as does Snarky Puppy guitarist Mark Lettieri. Ground Up artist Lucy Woodward (Rod Stewart) adds background vocals throughout, while famed vocal quartet The Manhattan Transfer add their magic to the choruses of “The Jazz Life.”

Don explains, “I’m proud to say The Manhattan Transfer have been big fans of Monkey House for a while. Their presence is a major vote of confidence for me, as I’ve loved their stuff since the seventies. It’s hard to mistake the sound of those four incredible voices together.”

One song sure to provoke discussion is “10,000 Hours,” described by Don as “a winking spoof” of Malcolm Gladwell’s famed maxim. “You have to do the right stuff, not just put in the time,” he stresses. The tune features both funk and Latin feels, with Lettieri soloing in both styles.

Don notes, “I have a tradition of having at least one poppy, quirky, outlier track on an album. This time, it’s ‘(I Wanna Ride) Shotgun,’ which is designed to be fun and funky and stick in people’s heads.” It’s a tune as warm and breezy as a Malibu drive in a vintage convertible.

Equally catchy is “I’ll Drive, You Chill,” an engaging tale of a woman leaving her “pet-friendly pharmacy” life plan behind as she takes to the road in search of adventure with a total stranger. The song vividly showcases Breithaupt’s skill in creating intriguing characters and narratives.

As for the album’s title, Don explains, “As I was looking for a thread in the new material, I noticed the word Friday coming up in the lyrics. I thought, ‘This is our fifth album, and Friday is the fifth day of the week. That’s a nice tie-in.’ Plus, I was born on a Friday, and Friday is the ‘go out and enjoy’ night of the week.”

The ever-increasing audience for Monkey House music is gratifying for Breithaupt. “It means I have the luxury of putting the band at the top of my work pile, where it belongs,” he stresses. “I can put in the time and try to have every record outdo the last one.”

Monkey House has done exactly that with Friday, an album that rewards listening every day of the week.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees.

SongStudio Faculty Concert

Saturday, July 20, 2019 | 8:00pm

SongStudio Faculty Concert featuring Tom Wilson, Barbra Lica and MORE TBA
Advance $10.00 / Door: $15.00 / Workshop Participants: FREE *


*Please not that online ticket sales are not available for this workshop. For the advance price, please call the box office at (416) 533-5483. If you want to risk a seat and shoot for door pricing, just show up before 8:30pm on the day of the performance.


On Saturday, July 20, 2019, our SongStudio Faculty Concert kicks off the weeklong workshop held at the Royal Conservatory of Music. In addition to workshop organizers Blair Packham and Allister Bradley, this year’s faculty performers include Tom Wilson (Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, Junkhouse), Juno-nominee Barbra Lica, and other artists (TBA) performing in a songwriter-in-the-round format. Admission is free for workshop participants who show their current badges at the door, and $10 advance/$15 at the door for the general public. Songs, stories, unforeseen collaborations and more always abound at these annual events. Regular patrons of Hugh’s Room Live have stumbled upon these events and have made a point of returning every year so get your tickets in advance ASAP. If you’re an emerging artist, you are INVITED to participate in the workshop. If that’s the case, entry is FREE!
Tom is a Canadian rock musician from Hamilton, Ontario. A veteran of the Canadian music scene, Wilson has been a writer and performer for many years. Wilson’s eclectic musical style has ranged from the psychobilly / R&B sounds of the Florida Razors, to the western/roots style of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings and the funk/blues inspired rock of Junkhouse.
More recently, Tom has entered the literary world with the release of his first book, Beautiful Scars. It’s been received with critical acclaim and the team at Hugh’s Room Live and Songstudio couldn’t be happier that he will be in attendance at the Faculty Concert this July.

Barbra Lica is a fast-rising Canadian jazz vocalist and songwriter, and has been receiving accolades for her unique vocal ability that stresses subtlety and grace. Based in Toronto, Barbra’s live shows have captivated audiences all over North America with her genuine warmth and confident stage presence.

Hot on the heels of her 2017 Juno-nominated recording, ‘I’m Still Learning’, Barbra Lica is back with her fifth and most ambitious offering to date – ‘You’re Fine’ (November 2018). Having spent the last couple of years touring clubs and festivals, Barbra found herself in Nashville where she was blown away by the sounds of old country and western swing. She dedicated the next year to song writing trips between Nashville and Toronto, collaborating with new songwriters and work-shopping with her band to find a new space for contemporary jazz, one that borrows and fuses elements of American country music.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees.

Alain Caron and Pasquale Grasso  

Thursday, July 18, 2019  | 8:00pm

Alain Caron and Pasquale Grasso  
Advance $25.00 / Doors $30.00

Alain Caron
The career of bassist Alain Caron begins at the age of 11 when he participated in an amateur competition. He then joined various groups to play popular top 40 music and  American and French standards. At the age of 14, he was introduced to an Oscar Peterson record and he discovered the music that became his greatest passion, JAZZ.

It was in 1977 that Alain Caron met Michel Cusson and his group. Caron was then in the company of musicians of the same calibre that appreciated the foundations of jazz while having the will to innovate. They emerged in 1980, as  the fusion jazz group UZEB.

In Montreal, in addition to playing with the band, Alain Caron began working in different recording studios and performing in jazz clubs. Although he considered himself a self-taught musician, he took a few private and correspondence courses before he went to the Berklee College of Music in 1979. During his time in Boston, he was put in touch with elite jazz musicians and began playing in Boston’s jazz clubs with David Kikovsky, Tom Harrell, Sal Nestico, Frank Tiberi, Jerry Bergonzi and Bob Moses.

However, he decided to return to Montreal to devote himself almost exclusively to UZEB. The group recorded ten albums between 1981 and 1990. Over 400,000 copies were sold worldwide, with countless concerts in more than 20 countries. In April 2005, he was invited to participate in a series of performances and recordings with the prestigious WDR big band in Cologne,Germany, under the direction of Michael Abene.

To date, Alain Caron has released more than 20 records, either solo or with UZEB, as well as collaborating on some 50 albums of artists evolving as much in jazz, world music and pop artists. Winner of many awards, (including 11 Félix and Gemini),  and the Oscar Peterson Award twice, Alain Caron was voted best bassist eight consecutive years by Jazz Report magazine.

Caron quickly developed a reputation as a master electric six string bass virtuoso. As such, he was invited to give master classes in most major cities worldwide. In 2007 he received an honorary doctorate from the ‘’Université du Québec’’  in Rimouski.

In September 2016, Caron began a new career as bass teacher and head of the jazz master program at the Montreal University. Also, in 2016-17, a series of concerts was presented in Argentina and the United States, including a performance at the renowned “Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola Jazz at Lincoln Center” in New York.

After a collaboration of nearly 10 years as the spokesperson for the Italian company of bass amplifiers Markbass, Alain participated in the announcement of the release of a second SIGNATURE amp ( ) at the prestigious NAMM show in California. In addition to being the spokesperson, Caron contributed to the conception and design of this amplifier.

After a 25-year absence, UZEB announced its return. In addition to the Montreal Jazz Festival where the tour took off, the famous power jazz trio also performed in France, Israel, Italy and Canada.

In July 2018, he was honoured to receive the Order of Canada, the highest civilian honour awarded in Canada!

Pasquale Grasso
One of the most strikingly unique artists of his generation, Pasquale Grasso has undoubtedly changed the way the world views jazz guitar. Born in Ariano Irpino, Pasquale began playing guitar at a very young age. By the summer of 1997, his parents, Agostino Di Giorgio, who recognized the depth of their young son’s talent, sought out the instruction of jazz innovator. A former pupil of Chuck Wayne, Di Giorgio immediately took interest in Pasquale, whose prodigious aptitude for the instrument flourished as the young guitarist quickly became his closest pupil. From that point, it wasn’t long until news of this talent spread.

Barry Harris, the world-renowned jazz educator and bebop master piano, became an extraordinary influence when Pasquale attended his jazz workshop in Switzerland during the summer of 1998. Harris, contemporary of Miles Davis, Sonny Stitt, and Cannonball Adderley, took Pasquale and his brother, Luigi, under his wing. The brothers became pillars of Harris’ international workshops and were quickly promoted from mere attendants to instructors for the other students. Pasquale was named Harris’ guitar teaching assistant. In 2008, Pasquale pursued classical guitar studies in the Music Conservatory of Bologna under Professor Walter Zanetti. During his time at the conservatory he combined classical tradition with Chuck Wayne’s modern technique.

In 2012, he moved to New York City and quickly made a name for himself in the city’s vibrant jazz scene. He became part of the Ari Roland Quartet and the Chris Byars Quartet, performing in clubs, music festivals, and recording in the studio regularly. Later that year, Pasquale was named a Jazz Ambassador with the US Embassy, going on tour extensively across Europe, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Lithuania, and Ukraine, and more.

Despite his young age, Grasso has performed with many of the following: Barry Harris, Charles Davis, Freddie Redd, Frank Wess, Leroy Williams, Ray Drummond, Murray Wall, Steve Grossman, Late Hammer, Jimmy Wormworth, John Moscow, Sacha Perry, Ari Roland, Luigi Grasso, Chris Byars, Zaid Nasser, Bucky Pizzarelli, China Moses, Harry Allen Quartet, Grant Stewart, Stepko Gut, Nicolas Dary, Dado Moroni, Agostino di Giorgio, Michel Pastre Big Band, Gianni Bass Big Band, Joe Cohn, Oscar Zenari, and Luca Pisani.

Pasquale’s guitar was expertly crafted for him by longtime friend and luthier, Bryant Trenier. Trenier Guitars is located in Suffern, New York.

First Place Winner of the Wes Montgomery Competition (2015)
Award for Master Technique – Piacenza Jazz Guitar Competition (2007) Winner of the Eddie Lang National Jazz Guitar Competition (2005) Winner of the International Lecco Jazz Award (2002)
Winner of the International Award Tim Competition (2000)
Finalist of Bravo Bravissimo Televised Competition (1998)

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Andy Irvine

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019 | 8:30pm

Andy Irvine
Advance $25.00 / Door: $30.00

Andy Irvine is one of the great Irish singers, his voice one of a handful of truly great ones that gets to the very soul of Ireland. He has been hailed as “a tradition in himself.” Musician, singer and songwriter, Andy has maintained his highly individual performing skills throughout his over 50-year career. From Sweeney’s Men in the mid 60s, to the enormous success of Planxty in the 70s, his duo with Paul Brady in the later 70s and then from Patrick Street to Mozaik, LAPD and Usher’s Island, Andy has been a world music pioneer and an icon for traditional music and musicians.

As a soloist, Andy fills the role of the archetypal troubadour with a show and a travelling lifestyle that reflect his lifelong influence, Woody Guthrie. To quote The Irish Times, “Often copied, never equalled”, his repertoire consists of Irish traditional songs, dexterous Balkan dances and a compelling canon of his own self-penned songs.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees