Archive for Toronto Concerts

Lynn Harrison

Sunday, January 26, 2020 | 7:30PM

Lynn Harrison
Advance $20.00 / Door $25.00 *

Lynn Harrison makes a triumphant return to Hugh’s Room for the release of Something More, her sixth solo album.

Lynn’s latest recording is powerful, poetic, and irresistibly listenable. As singer-songwriter Allan Fraser says, Lynn writes and performs songs of “empathy and intelligence… that engage on multiple levels simultaneously.”

Something More was produced by acclaimed guitarist, and singer-songwriter in his own right, Noah Zacharin, who joins Lynn for a concert that promises to be warm, intimate, and moving. They’re joined by bass player and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire David Woodhead, who has frequently, and brilliantly, collaborated with Lynn for several years.

Concertgoers can expect to hear all of the new songs from Something More, along with many additional and beloved favourites from Lynn’s extensive catalogue.

One listener aptly describes Lynn’s music as “a brightly ringing sound-bite in an uncertain world.” With the release of Something More, she interrupts, even disrupts, the currently chaotic world, to bring us even more of her unique and timeless inspiration, hope, courage, and joy.




* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Patricia O’Callaghan  

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019 | 8:00pm

Patricia O’Callaghan  
$35 Advance / $40 Door *

Patricia O’Callaghan is something of a wandering minstrel. Her fifteen-year career has taken her across genres, continents, and a range of disciplines and passions.

Her recording career spans six solo CDs and many interesting guest collaborations. A speaker of French, Spanish, and German, her early recordings focused on European cabaret, and she is considered a specialist in the music of Kurt Weill. Patricia has performed his Threepenny Opera, Seven Deadly Sins, and Kleine Mahagonny with Soulpepper Theatre Company, Edmonton Opera, and Vancouver Opera, to name a few.

This Toronto soprano can sing a 100-year-old German tune so lustily that you almost don’t need a translation to know that someone’s about to get his throat cut or get laid or both. The National Post

One of Patricia’s most unique talents is the ability to blend a variety of languages and musical genres seamlessly together in her concerts, and completely embody whatever style she is singing at any given moment.

O’Callaghan sings her diverse material as if it was always meant to go side-by-side and by the end of the evening, it’s easy to believe her. Chart Attack Magazine

She has sung with some of the world’s great ensembles and artists (Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Don Byron Quartet, Bryn Terfel), and has performed in venues that range from London’s Royal Opera House to New York’s Noho cabaret Le Poisson Rouge.

Patricia also writes and co-writes songs and has had the honor of premiering many new compositions, from both the classical and pop worlds. It has been her great privilege to work with such creators as R. Murray Schafer, David Braid, Dennis Lee, Christos Hatzis, George Aperghis, Steve Reich, and Steven Page, to name a few.

Patricia’s film, theatre and television credits include her own Bravo! special, The CBC produced Ken Finkleman series Foolish Heart, and the semi autobiographical Rhombus / Westwind film Youkali Hotel, which has won several prizes, including a Golden Sheaf Award to Patricia for best female performance. Ms. O’Callaghan has also received other awards, such as a Chalmer’s Grant from the Ontario Arts Council and a Fleck Fellowship from The Banff Centre for the Arts.

She recently completed a six year stint as a Resident Artist at Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre Company. Her responsibilities there included conducting, teaching, mentoring young artists, producing, curating and performing in festivals, and developing new work.

Recent projects are Broken Hearts and Madmen; a collaboration with The Gryphon Trio, which blends classical music with traditional songs from Latin America and pop songs from around the world…

“Broken Hearts and Madmen is an exquisite piece of work. The result is absolutely breathtaking in its attention to detail, with every note carved from their love of the songs…” – Vivascene and Matador: The Songs of Leonard Cohen

A truly exceptional blend of natural expressiveness and masterful coloration, her tender versions of Cohen’s “Take this Waltz” and “Hallelujah” are revelatory. – Billboard Magazine

She’s one of the best singers ever to come out of Canada. – Vivascene


* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.

Celebrating Jackie Washington’s 100th Birthday


This performance will be filmed for promotional use by Hugh’s Room Live.


Sunday, November 17, 2019 | 2:00pm

Celebrating Jackie Washington’s 100th Birthday
$25 Advance / $30 Door *

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

* Please note that cameras will be on-site for the performance to record the event for promotional purposes. If you wish not to be on camera, please let the host know up entry. Apologies for any inconvenience, folks. 

Jackie Washington was born 100 years ago and we’re celebrating his life and music with a special afternoon concert including Sneezy WatersChris WhiteleyJohn SheardVictor Bateman and host Ken Whiteley.This concert will celebrate the release of “The World Of Jackie Washington”, a new cd of 22 unreleased performances with contributions from Colin Linden, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, Mose Scarlett, Graham Townsend, Reg Schwager and producer Ken Whiteley, and the package also includes the documentary DVD, I Want To Be Happy.
Jackie Washington was born on November 12, 1919 in Hamilton, ON., the second oldest of 13 children. He began performing at age 5 and over his almost 90 years gave untold happiness to thousands of people across Canada.  Right after the Second World War he became Canada’s first black disc jockey.  He had a repertoire of over 1,256 songs as well as a remarkable memory for people, places, birthdays and trains among many other things.  His song “Alone In The Dark” from the Juno nominated recording he made with Mose Scarlett and Ken Whiteley, was selected by the Canada Council as one of the songs honoured to mark 100 years of recorded music in Canada. He was a living connection to early African Canadian music, the swing era and much more. He received many awards and honours including an Honorary Doctorate from McMaster U., but it was his positive attitude to life that really made him so loved.
The legendary Sneezy Waters is another national treasure.  From his early years performing with the likes of Bruce Cockburn, Susan Jains and many others to “His Excellent Band” with which he toured to every province and territory in the 1970’s.  He is perhaps most well known for his title role in Hank Williams – The Show He Never Gave, which toured across Canada, the United States and Europe.  He won the Best Actor award at the 3e Festival du Film Musical in Grenoble, France for his role in the film version of the Hank show.  An expression of his long friendship with Jackie Washington including getting Jackie to appear in the film and sing “Mind Your Own Business”.
Chris Whiteley has carved a unique path playing trumpet and swing music in the folk world, making a mark as a songwriter in the blues world and is most often seen performing these days with his wife, the wonderful singer Diana Braithwaite.  Chris has won multiple Maple Blues Awards as a horn player, songwriter and winner of the Blues With A Feeling Lifetime Achievement honour.  He played with Jackie Washington many times, including on most of his recordings and embodies that positive attitude to life.
John Sheard was one of Jackie Washington’s favourite piano players with his imaginative sensitivity, his profound knowledge of older jazz styles, his technical expertise and his good humour.  For most of Stuart MacLean’s long run with the Vinyl Cafe, John was the musical director and band leader and in that role performed hundreds of radio shows and live concerts in every part of Canada.  He is also an accomplished record producer and session musician.  Look for the twinkle in his eye as he tinkles the ivories.
Victor Bateman is a highly accomplished string bass player.  He has led his own contemporary jazz ensembles, large improvised music groups and along with the late Justin Haynes and David Baxter, Another Country, a wacky group that pushed the envelope of country music. He has recorded with many people including the Whiteley Brothers and he currently tours with Murray MacLachlan.  He plays bass on most of the cuts on “The World Of Jackie Washington”.
Ken Whiteley is a prolific songwriter, a gifted and versatile instrumentalist and powerful singer, as well as very successful record producer. He first saw Jackie Washington live at the Orillia Winter Folk Festival in early 1966. Ken admits that he didn’t initially know what to make of Jackie. However his mind was opened when the great singer, Geoff Muldaur, who was in Orillia playing with Jim Kweskin & the Jug Band, commented that Jackie was one of the best scat singers he had ever heard.  Over the following years Ken would play with Jackie every chance he got at summer festivals (Home County in London, Northern Lights in Sudbury, Festival of Friends in Hamilton,) and they would hang out together at the festival after-parties where they would invariably be up playing until the wee hours. In 1975, when Jackie made his first long play album called “Blues and Sentimental” he was accompanied by Ken, Chris Whiteley and fellow Original Sloth Band members. In 1986, Ken had the idea to make a recording with Jackie and another friend Mose Scarlett. The process of recording “Where Old Friends Meet”, stretched out over a number of years and by the time of its release in 1991, the three of them began a new phase as Scarlett, Washington and Whiteley.  As they began to tour together Ken’s appreciation of the scope of Jackie’s repertoire grew. He knew that it would be an important cultural document if he could get Jackie back into the studio so when time and money permitted, they spent a number of days over the next decade-and-a-half recording.  “The World Of Jackie Washington” includes previously unreleased cuts from some of those recording sessions.

* All-you-can-eat brunch ($25) not included in ticket price
* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Wolfe Island Records Show

Saturday, November 16, 2019 | 8:30pm

Wolfe Island Records Show
Featuring Hugh Christopher Brown, Stephen Stanley, Chris Bennett, Suzanne Jarvie, Kate Fenner & Jason Mercer
$25 Advance / $30 Door *

For just the second time in Toronto, Wolfe Island Records will showcase an event that has been touring Europe for the last 2 years and wowing audiences in the UK. Ireland and the Netherlands. Bringing together an array of WIR musicians for an ensemble night will showcase solos, duets, and group harmonies from the likes of Stephen Stanley (Lowest of the Low), Hugh Christopher Brown and Kate Fenner (The Bourbons), and Suzanne Jarvie (Recent winner of the Colleen Peterson Award for Songwriting) supported by Chris Bennett one of the top lead guitarists in the country.  We are also excited to be joined by legendary rhythm section Jason Mercer on bass and Don Kerr on drums. When playing Canadian Music Week last year, the Wolfe Island Record showcase was called “The best show of CMW.” It is said that great things come from humble roots, and the musical incubator that is Wolfe Island Records lives true to that concept.

The night will feature ensembles as well as singles from each musician, launched over the last year.  Jarvie released her second album In The Clear in January 2019. It has been described as “a magic show” and the “best album of 2019”by She describes her new work as “a reverie – where the songs reflect on motherhood, addiction, death, dreams of freedom and peace.” Brown a keyboard wizard who has played with the Tragically Hip, BB King, Barenaked Ladies released Pacem in 2018 to critical acclaim and is currently recording a new album for 2020.  Brown also is the lead on a project called Pros and Cons recording music written anonymously in prisons. Over the last two years, he has recorded 160 songs which will be released  an album a month in 2020.  Kate Fenner who has been called “A National Treasure” by the CBC has played with Brown for years and the two have a dozen albums between them. Kate released ‘Middle Voice’ in 2018 and has been touring Europe and well as the US. Finally, Stephen Stanley, along with bandmate Chris Bennett who have been lighting up the Toronto music scene will play tracks off their internationally acclaimed record Jimmy & The Moon, (2018). Americana UK described Jimmy & The Moon and Stephen’s artistry this way: “The songs are big and bold, unafraid, unashamed to flaunt their heritage.

With all of these musician’s playing together under the same roof as part of Wolfe Island Records, this is a show you do not want to miss.


*Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Dayna Manning CD Release

Friday, November 15, 2019 | 8:00pm

Dayna Manning CD Release
$30 Advance / $35 Door *

Juno nominated artist Dayna Manning exemplifies the very best that Canadian Folk music can be. Her cool clear voice along with her insightful songs represent a history of Canadian musical art that goes back to the early 60’s and sounds just as vital today.

Hugh’s Room Live headlines the launch of singer-songwriter Dayna Manning’s solo album Morning Light, a chamber-folk record which has a unique collaboration with arranger Ben Bolt-Martin; Ben arranged the chamber music orchestration to all the songs on Morning Light. We’re also featuring Dayna Manning’s debut memoir Many Moons!

Enjoy a moving performance and songwriting insights from an exceptional group of musicians.

What can you expect from this event?
-An intimate performance of folk music and chamber music
-Enlightening conversation between musicians and songwriters
-An exclusive look into the mind and methods of songwriters

Who is this event for?
-Dayna Manning fans
-Chamber-Folk lovers
-Songwriting enthusiasts

A 30 minute opening round will be performed by members of Dayna Manning’s Folk Army of young Stratford based female songwriters ages 8-18.

About Morning Light:

On Morning Light, Dayna Manning fulfills her destiny as Renaissance woman.

With the instrumentation of flute, violin, cello and French horn adorning the dozen songs that comprise the Stratford, Ontario native’s fourth solo album, Manning feels she has finally discovered the ideal setting for her artistry: chamber folk.

“I feel like I’ve found my home, right here in my hometown,” Manning declares. “I don’t know how to explain it. I found something really beautiful production-wise that I could put around what I do acoustically that didn’t take away from my voice and guitar.”

Lovingly arranged by cellist and Stratford Festival alumnus Ben Bolt-Martin and released in tandem with Many Moons – A Songwriters Memoir – Manning’s first foray into authorship, Morning Light is a compendium of original, traditional, the revived and the revisited.

It’s steeped in the maple syrup sentiment of authentic Canadiana storytelling that she’s perfected over 25 years of solo artistry and acclaimed work with Trent Severn, the flannel-clad folk super-trio she formed with Emm Gryner and Lindsay Schindler.

“There’s a very clear red-and-white troubadour line to me that I’ve wanted to honour which includes Ian & Sylvia, Gordon Lightfoot, Anne Murray, Great Big Sea, Spirit of the West and the Tragically Hip.” Manning explains. “And it’s definitely from the point of view of where I was born and got into popular music. I want to be part of contributing to that legacy.”

The connection is there in the opening strains of “Charlie Lake,” a song about a magical, transformative place that was the setting of a life transition for Manning – as she describes in Many Moons; in the exhilaratingly romantic declaration “You You You;” a sparkling, vibrant cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Free Man In Paris” and in the trilogy of songs that date back to the formation of the country itself: “The Weaver,” “The Bonny Banks of the Virgie, O” and “Peter Amberley.”

And it’s there in the reimagined presentations of “King Of The Background” – Manning’s tribute to the late Richard Manuel of The Band – and the warm, wintry wave to the fluffy stuff in the fluegelhorn-enriched “O Snow” – and in the gorgeous album-ending instrumental “Reflections,” a family affair that finds Dayna tackling second trumpet to support the lead trumpet of her father David.

It’s there in “The Same Way,” a homecoming tale; the declarative intimacy of “When I Love You” – and the cozily observant “I Get Closer,” which features her mom Darlene on clarinet.

But the true impetus of Morning Light, produced by Manning and engineered and mixed by Juno Award winner John “Beetle” Bailey, comes down to one word: community.

“I looked around Stratford in 2019 and thought, how do I make a true, community-based folk record? Most of the people I hired for this record live or work on my street,” she states. “These are my neighbours. I wanted to be part of what was going on around me and I made this record to be a part of that.”

The inspiration for Morning Light came shortly after Manning had returned to Stratford after living away from the area for a spell. She was invited by violinist Andrew Chung’s Inner Chamber to participate in what would become a life-changing project.

“They asked me to be part of a folk chamber show that presented Canadian songs done circa 1867, tying back to the Centennial,” Manning recalls. “I got to research them and pick which ones I wanted to do. Then they were adapted for flute, Violin, French horn and cello – and the minute we had our first rehearsal, I knew that this is what I wanted to do.”

Violinist Chung, cellist Ben Bolt-Martin, flautist Laura Chambers and French horn player Derek Conrod formed the backdrop for Manning’s blend of voice, acoustic guitar and banjo – and it was important for the singer-songwriter to keep the lineup tight and fluid.

“I kept it to the four of us because I want to be able to recreate this in any live setting,” Manning explains. “I’m hoping that this album will present an opportunity to play in Vancouver or Winnipeg or Halifax. I want to engage in community outreach and I’m hoping to take the scores with me and hire local musicians to accompany me, wherever I go.”

Community-at-large was also responsible for completing Morning Light: although it was partially sponsored by FACTOR – the Foundation To Assist Canadian Talent On Record – Manning had also engaged some crowdfunding to help with expenses.

Unfortunately, the eleventh-hour collapse of her chosen crowdfunding platform – PledgeMusic – left Manning in the lurch for $5300 USD. Jumping to Kickstarter, Manning appealed to her loyal fan base and was gifted with a further $8500 – in only eight hours!

“I can’t tell you how grateful I am for my supporters,” she says. “They are so amazing!”

Morning Light isn’t the only new offering from Dayna Manning – coincidentally, the first woman to receive a public phone call from the orbiting International Space Station and Canadian commander Chris Hadfield during a Trent Severn concert in Goderich a few years back.

Many Moons – a memoir told through the creation of Dayna’s songs and the brainchild of Heidi Sander issued by Sander’s Stratford-based Blue Moon Publishers – chronicles the stories of such Manning classics as “A Walk On The Moon,” “Truscott” – and from the new album, “The Same Way,” “Charlie Lake” and “O Snow.” It also offering entertaining encounters with such celebrities as Sean Lennon, Burton Cummings and David Foster.

“I can’t believe how easy it was to write, “ she laughs. “I just thought of the really fun and memorable adventures my songs had led me on and it poured out of me.”

Today, Dayna Manning is deeply immersed in her community, teaching promising female singer-songwriters through her Folk Army; performing trumpet in New Horizons, a band that performs weekly in seniors’ homes and churches – and a few other endeavours.

This is a Stratford record. This is a community record – and one that Dayna Manning has had in her for a long, long time.

“I’ve had followers since Volume One and they always say my records are too produced, they can’t hear my voice and they want a record just like my live show,” she admits. “But I can’t deal with putting out a record that is just me and acoustic guitar.
“So, this was the hallowed ground that I found.”

Hallowed ground indeed: with Morning Light, Chamber folk has never sounded so inviting.




*Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees