Archive for Toronto Music

Jack de Keyzer

Saturday, December 14, 2019 | 8:30pm

Jack de Keyzer
$25 Advance / $30 Door

“The finest blues guitarist in Canada.” – Jeff Healey

Guitarist, Singer, Songwriter Jack de Keyzer plays the blues world wide, from Alert, Arctic Circle to Puerto Escondido, Mexico; from Athens, Greece to Hornby Island, BC and many points between. One of Canada’s most awarded and  in demand live performers and session guitarists, Jack has released 10 CD’s and 1 DVD. He has also played on hundreds of recordings and live sessions with artists ranging from Etta James to Ronnie Hawkins and Bo Diddley to Blue Rodeo.  He is an exciting live performer, soulful vocalist and world class song writer and performs an average of 120 shows per year. De Keyzer has brought audiences to their feet at many major Jazz and Blues Festivals including the Montreal Jazz Fest, Blues Sur Seine (France) The Ottawa Blues Festival and Puerto Blues, (Mexico).  A much celebrated musician, de Keyzer has been nominated for the Juno (Blues Album of the Year) 5 times and won the Juno twice in 2003 and 2010. He has won 7 Maple Blues Awards (Canada’s national blues awards) , first place in the International Songwriting Competition and won CBC’s Great Canadian Blues Award from a poll of radio listeners. Always touring with an incredible band, Jack will have you rocking in your seat and swaying to his hot  blues, soulful r&b and cool soul jazz. World class.

 “If Jack de Keyzer was from Chicago, New York or LA, he’d be famous.” Bob Dylan

“Electric Love…a rock blues album with nods to guitar influences Clapton, Hendrix and Page… a disc of excellent new songs by a bluesman who should be considered their equal.” (Maple Blues) 

Two-Time Juno Award Winner 
Seven-Time Maple Blues Award Winner

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees

Quartette

Sunday, December 8, 2019 | 8:30pm

Quartette
$50 Advance / $55 Door

Since their debut in 1993, the four members of Quartette have been both publicly and critically acclaimed for their lush harmonies and delightfully diverse repertoire. Cindy Church, Caitlin Hanford, Gwen Swick, and Sylvia Tyson are seasoned singer/songwriters whose influences range from blues and gospel to folk and country to jazz and pop.

The group’s first appearance, a showcase of Canadian women songwriters, took place at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre. What began as a “songwriter in the round” concert of musical friends grew into an inspired collaboration. This initial performance generated an appearance on CBC Radio’s Morningside with host Peter Gzowski. The phones began to ring with requests for a recording, and seven months later in April of 1994, the self-titled album, “Quartette,” was released to rave reviews. This was followed by coast-to-coast tours of theatres, folk festivals, performances with symphony orchestras, and live appearances on radio, including two appearances on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion.

In 1995 a second album, “Work of the Heart ,” was released and, following this, CBC’s Adrienne Clarkson Presents profiled the group in an hour-long special.

With the untimely death of original member, Colleen Peterson, in 1996, Quartette elected to continue performing, and welcomed another musical friend, Gwen Swick, to the group. Gwen’s skills as a songwriter and vocal arranger carried the group to a new level as they prepared to record once again, and the result was “In The Beauty Of The Day,” released in 1998.

Quartette has received several Juno nominations, won a Canadian Country Music Award for best vocal collaboration, performed with major symphony orchestras across Canada, and recorded the CMT-TV special, “A Quartette Christmas.” They have also released two Christmas CDs, “It’s Christmas!” in 1996, and “I See A Star” in 2002, both of which are collections of traditional and original Christmas songs, and their Christmas shows have become a tradition with audiences across the country.

Quartette continues to tour and record. In October of 2007, they released their sixth recording, “Down At The Fair,” produced by legendary guitarist, arranger and producer Colin Linden.

An evening with Quartette is always a magical musical journey.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees

Leahy

Saturday, November 30, 2019 | 8:30pm

Leahy
$30 Advance / $35 Door

Over the course of their notable career, Canadian group Leahy has secured a place as one of the country’s most highly regarded progressive folk-roots bands.  Their emergence on the Canadian music scene in the late 1990’s with their chart-topping instrumental single “Call to Dance”, introduced audiences to a new way of accessing a uniquely Canadian music genre.  The “Leahy sound” – a combination of strong stride piano, unique bass guitar and drumming styles along with driving rhythm guitar – was the foundation from which wildly talented fiddle led instrumentals and vocals were launched to mainstream music listeners.  Leahy would go on to win three Juno awards and receive countless accolades for their dynamic and powerful performances.

To date Leahy has sold more than half a million albums worldwide. They have been featured in three PBS television specials – Leahy Live in Concert, Gael Force (with the Chieftains), and Leahy Live from Gatineau, Quebec – and are the subject of an Academy Award winning documentary, The Leahys: Music Most of All.  As well as touring extensively throughout Canada, the USA and Europe in support of three acclaimed records – Leahy, Lakefield, and In All Things – the band had the enviable opportunity of opening for fellow Canadian, Shania Twain, throughout the USA, Canada and the UK on her record-breaking Come On Over tour.

Since early 2017 Leahy has been back in the studio recording new music.  The focus is on songs and the band’s original songwriting and instrumental compositions.  The result is a wide-ranging collection that reflects the individual personalities that make up Leahy.  Built on their roots and the distinctive “Leahy sound”, their new material reveals the band’s drive to continue pushing beyond its traditional footings.  It’s a powerful record that delivers a sumptuous feast of solid music, pulse-raising rhythms, compelling storytelling and infectious melodies.

On the edge of a new chapter in their career, some things don’t change – the experience.  An encounter with Leahy is inimitable. Performances are full of energy, big rich sound, poignant songs, fiery instrumentals and percussive step-dancing – all delivered with unapologetic passion! In one word – unforgettable.

 

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees

Leahy

Friday, November 29, 2019 | 8:30pm

Leahy
$30 Advance / $35 Door

Over the course of their notable career, Canadian group Leahy has secured a place as one of the country’s most highly regarded progressive folk-roots bands.  Their emergence on the Canadian music scene in the late 1990’s with their chart-topping instrumental single “Call to Dance”, introduced audiences to a new way of accessing a uniquely Canadian music genre.  The “Leahy sound” – a combination of strong stride piano, unique bass guitar and drumming styles along with driving rhythm guitar – was the foundation from which wildly talented fiddle led instrumentals and vocals were launched to mainstream music listeners.  Leahy would go on to win three Juno awards and receive countless accolades for their dynamic and powerful performances.

To date Leahy has sold more than half a million albums worldwide. They have been featured in three PBS television specials – Leahy Live in Concert, Gael Force (with the Chieftains), and Leahy Live from Gatineau, Quebec – and are the subject of an Academy Award winning documentary, The Leahys: Music Most of All.  As well as touring extensively throughout Canada, the USA and Europe in support of three acclaimed records – Leahy, Lakefield, and In All Things – the band had the enviable opportunity of opening for fellow Canadian, Shania Twain, throughout the USA, Canada and the UK on her record-breaking Come On Over tour.

Since early 2017 Leahy has been back in the studio recording new music.  The focus is on songs and the band’s original songwriting and instrumental compositions.  The result is a wide-ranging collection that reflects the individual personalities that make up Leahy.  Built on their roots and the distinctive “Leahy sound”, their new material reveals the band’s drive to continue pushing beyond its traditional footings.  It’s a powerful record that delivers a sumptuous feast of solid music, pulse-raising rhythms, compelling storytelling and infectious melodies.

On the edge of a new chapter in their career, some things don’t change – the experience.  An encounter with Leahy is inimitable. Performances are full of energy, big rich sound, poignant songs, fiery instrumentals and percussive step-dancing – all delivered with unapologetic passion! In one word – unforgettable.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees

Truth and Dare with Christina Martin, Crissi Cochrane, Mary Stewart

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 | 8:30pm

Truth and Dare with Christina Martin, Crissi Cochrane, Mary Stewart
$20 Advance / $25 Door *

Christina Martin
Christina Martin is a multi-award winning Canadian singer-songwriter whose style has been described as an effortless union between Americana and Rock.

Raised on Canada’s East Coast, Martin moved to Austin, Texas in the summer of 1999. In the fall of ’99 she moved to Salzgitter, Germany where she collaborated on a commercial pop project, marking her first experience singing in a professional studio. In May 2000 she returned to Austin to explore performing and song writing. Following her role as supporting vocalist and dancer for the Austin high-energy rock band Young Heart Attack in 2001, Martin launched her solo career in 2002 with an opening slot for Wilco and her debut album Pretty Things. Shortly after the album’s release, she moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia and had her first commercial success when two of her songs were placed in the award-winning British-Canadian two-part drama Sex Traffic (2004) and in the TV drama series Snakes and Ladders (2004).

Following two years of touring across Germany, Poland, The Netherlands, The UK, Switzerland, Austria, France and Canada, Martin returned home briefly in 2016 to write her newest album. A fervent anthem for those who are lost and longing, Lungs Are Burning was the first single from her album Impossible To Hold (Released March 23, 2018). The first single was triggered by the rising Fentanyl drug crisis killing thousands of Canadians, with Christina’s lyrics set to music by her and Dale Murray. With lyrics like “while I’m watching the babies” and “got to go out and get some, baby”, Martin captures the desperation of “chasing the dream” and the horror of living it. Murray’s stately production brings that stark reality home with a bite. Martin: “The song is an modest attempt to bring light to the heavy topic of addiction, and reflects my own personal sense of loss, longing and a deep void, and the ache I feel from losing my brother and friends to addiction and mental illness.” For her Canadian tour dates, Christina has partnered with Center for Addiction and Mental Health to increase engagement and awareness.

“Impossible To Hold” is Martin’s sixth and strongest studio album, achieving a perfect balance between organic ambience and impeccable production. “I’m writing about faith and love more than ever with songs like ‘Keep Me Calm’ and ‘Always Reminding’, but I haven’t shaken the need to write about the darker things that are part of our human journey”. Combining good taste, passionate singing and thoughtful lyrics, “Impossible To Hold” is where music and poetry meet. The album won the 2018 Music Nova Scotia Award for Pop Recording of the Year.

Crissi Cochrane
Native to the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, Crissi fashions a sultry and soulful brand of popular music, jazz, and R&B. Silky vocals reminiscent of Billie Holiday and Norah Jones glow atop the purr of her Fender Jaguar electric guitar.

On stage, refined songs reveal more than a decade’s worth of experience first gained as a young girl growing up in small town Canada, diligently writing, recording, and performing. For a few years, Crissi settled in the nearby city of Halifax, studying Music Business and becoming known for her melodic folk/pop style. Her debut studio album Darling, Darling emerged in the summer of 2010, recorded in Chicago with musician Mike Kinsella (of Owen, American Football, Joan of Arc), but not before a trip to Canada’s southernmost city set the wheels of change into motion. Crissi fell in love with Windsor, Ontario and neighboring Detroit in early 2010 and moved there by summer’s end.

With the influence of Motown only a riverbank away, a musical maturation began. Detroit’s radio, record stores, and clubs offered a cup from which she drank deeply, inspiring new songs with echoes of jazz, blues, bossa nova, and soul. Her latest album Little Sway (2014) reveals a soulful sophistication, hailed by CBC personality Grant Lawrence as “a confident bridge towards sultry soul and classic, smoky jazz.” Listeners voted Crissi among the Top 10 Best New Artists nationwide in CBC’s 2014 Searchlight contest, and her song “Pretty Words” has gone viral on Spotify with more than 12 million listens. Her music has been heard across Canada on CBC Radio 1, 2, and 3, and has charted on campus/community radio, reaching #1 at SCOP in Toronto and remaining in the charts for 12 consecutive weeks, and her song “A Damn Shame” was heard in the ABC TV show Nashville. Today she is the wife of songwriter/bassist Michael Paul (The Walkervilles), and has been seen sharing stages with Walk Off The Earth, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Sarah Harmer, and Jesse Cook. While working on plans for a new album, she writes love songs by request, completing more than 50 of these special songs since 2016.

Mary Stewart
Mary Stewart isn’t a singer songwriter. Well, she does sing and she likely writes more songs than anyone you’ve ever met, but if you’re picturing a sullen woman perched atop a wooden stool, playing depressing songs on her oversized acoustic, you’ve pegged her all wrong.

In fact, Mary has never sported an acoustic guitar during a live show and prefers to strum along on her Gretsch, singing clever pop songs, and sharing anecdotes about her love of baking, cats, and hopes of becoming Sidney Crosby’s wife.

Hailing from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Mary grew up consuming an incredible range of genres from folk and pop to opera and hair metal – true story. Before her pop days, Mary was classically trained in opera. Her mother sang in hair metal bands and her dad was a sound engineer.

“My parents would bring me along to gigs because it was easier than finding a babysitter,” says Mary.

She really didn’t stand a chance to fall in love with any career other than music.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.

Coco Love Alcorn CD Release

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 | 8:30pm

Coco Love Alcorn CD Release
$25 Advance / $30 Door

“Coco is the ultimate musical spark plug… an electrical connector through which the creative energy flows. In my 30 years of touring around the world, I have never seen another performer able to bring people together like Coco does.” – James Keelaghan, Artist Director, Summerfolk

Coco Love Alcorn has always followed her spirit, but never so literally as with her latest album, Wonderland. The songs spring from her personal journey, but true to her nature, Coco offers a universal interpretation that invites all listeners to jump in and sing along.

During a 5 year break from heavy touring to raise her daughter Ellie, Coco began working on a new album. She wanted to explore songwriting from a new perspective. Coco was curious to see what would happen if she put down her guitar and wrote with just her voice. She began a journey of layering vocals and rhythms on a 5 track looper. In the fall of 2014 she released a video of herself performing one of these first looper layered songs, ‘The River’.

Something amazing and unexpected happened, the video started to spread across the internet and into the world of community choirs. These choirs started to learn Coco’s looper arrangement and perform The River in their own concerts. Coco has always loved group singing and encouraging anyone who wants to sing to do so, but this grassroots spread of ‘The River’ was a complete surprise. To date there are about 20 choirs singing ‘The River’ across Canada, the States and even in the UK.

As this was happening, Coco was continuing to write and record the songs for this album. She also continued sharing songs online, performing them live and in turn let the listeners shape what this album became. As her new music was inspiring choirs to sing her songs, these choirs in turn were inspiring Coco. And as Coco traveled across Canada performing between recording and home time, these new songs became infused with the spirit of connection. Without choirs grabbing a hold of The River, and fans already connecting so deeply with her new material, this would have been a completely different album.

Just like her career – which has spanned over 20 years, 10 albums, cross-canada tours, collaborations, festival appearances, award nominations and notable success in TV and film licensing – creating this album has been a journey. And it took someone with a spirit like Coco’s to navigate this path.

“Throughout my career I have explored across many genres, collaborations and projects, taking a windy path to get to here. But I have loved every step of my journey and trusted my inner curiosity to take me where it wanted to go. I always thought my end game was to invent a new genre or create a brand new sound, to somehow mash it all elegantly together.

It wasn’t till I took a step back and a break from touring that a new idea came. After all those years of thinking I was chasing down a sound it turns out I was searching for the right feeling. That feeling is connection; connection with the listener, the moment, the music and the spirit.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

The French Connection

Friday, October 25, 2019 | 8:30pm

The French Connection
$25 Advance / $30 Door

Some of the biggest pop tunes and American Songbook favourites of the past 50 years were originally hits in French. Who better to interpret these tunes, in French and English, than Michel Bérubé who has had songs in both languages, including his duets with musical icons Jennifer Warnes and Chrissie Hynde, played on radio stations across North America.

With The French Connection, Michel and Musical Director Mark Lalama explore the origins of hits like “Beyond The Sea,” “The Good Life” and “What Now My Love” and share French Classics by Brel, Piaf, Aznavour and more.  With video clips and interesting stories proving that music is indeed the international language, Michel takes his audience on a journey into the past performing some of the greatest songs ever written.

Michel Bérubé
Michel Bérubé’s debut album This Christmas which included a duet with Jennifer Warnes, had six tracks added to radio stations across North America with two being selected for Christmas compilations by Universal Music and EMI. Michel’s French/English duet with Chrissie Hynde from his CD “Hymnes à l’amour” charted in Quebec and his first mainstream single, Through Your Eyes was called “brilliant” by industry insider Larry Leblanc (Billboard Magazine, Canada). In 2009, Michel’s original Christmas song, Mama’s Words was the fifth most popular Christmas song on Canadian radio charts in only its second week of release. Famed fiddler Ashley MacIsaac and Canadian Jazz icon Guido Basso have also been featured on songs recorded by Michel.

Michel has performed at casinos, Jazz Festivals and concert venues in Ontario and Quebec as well as at Town Hall in NYC, sharing the stage with the likes of Louise Pitre, Jackie Richardson, Amy Sky, Steven Page, José Feliciano, and Kenny Rogers to name a few and for three years hosted a bi-weekly French music program on 99.3 County FM in Picton, Ontario. In 2012 Jennifer Warnes asked Michel to join her on her Canadian tour to sing her Grammy and Oscar winning hit “Up Where We Belong,” making Michel the only singer other than Joe Cocker to ever sing this iconic duet with Jennifer.

“Exceptional range and strong, flexible voice make these varied arrangements a treat” -Toronto Star

“Brilliant. I just love the sound and emotion in his voice” -Larry LeBlanc, Billboard Magazine

“Michel was born to sing Brel” -Karen Gordon, CBC Radio

Mark is one of Canada’s most accomplished musicians having worked with Marc Jordan, Amy Sky, John McDermott, Mariah Carey, Anne Murray, Michael MacDonald, Jon Bon Jovi, Tom Jones, Olivia Newton John and numerous other musical icons. Mark is a composer and much sought-after producer with a number of chart topping hits to his credit and was also the piano player and arranger for the long running CTV show Canadian Idol.

website: http://michelberube.ca

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

John Wort Hannam

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 | 8:30pm

John Wort Hannam
$30 Advance / $35 Door

In 2001, John Wort Hannam quit his teaching job and spent 10 months depleting his savings while sat at his kitchen table, wearing a lucky hat, writing his first ten songs.  Those songs would become his first recording Pocket Full Of Holes, released in 2003.

Eighteen years later, the Alberta musician has released seven full-length recordings and has a few feathers in that lucky hat.  Feathers that include a JUNO nomination, a Canadian Folk Music Award for Best Album of the Year, A CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award, a Kerrville Texas New Folk win, and numerous Western Canadian Music Award and Canadian Folk Music Award nominations.

Recent years have seen a great deal of change in John’s life – becoming a Dad, turning 50, a move to the big city (Lethbridge), a marital reckoning, a long, deep bout of depression, and episodes of losing his singing voice.  But John has emerged a better songwriter, a better singer, and a better player. On Acres Of Elbow Room, John has further found his lyrical style and has landed squarely on his niche in the folk/roots world. He’s spent years learning the craft of songwriting and is taking those tools to write some of his most personal songs. He has, quite literally, found his voice.

These days John Wort Hannam has a new sound, a new band, a new confidence, and a ton of new songs. And it’s coming across loud and clear in his live show. With his firecracker band – Jason Valleau on upright bass, Jon May on drums, Scott Duncan on fiddle, and Stephen Fletcher on keys – John is making waves in a new soundscape.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees

Ray Montford

Saturday, October 19, 2019 | 8:30pm

Ray Montford & Friends
$25 Advance / $30 Door

Ray Montford & Friends return to Hugh’s Room for a rare Toronto Show, one year after the release of Ray’s new album ’Share My Sky’, which is now available on vinyl as well.  For this show, Ray will perform an intimate solo acoustic set, followed by a longer electric set with his stellar band.  The repertoire will feature music from Ray’s entire catalogue.  Joining him will be: Lynn Moffatt – vocals, Ben Riley – drums and Mat Falvai – bass.
Ray Montford’s powerful original tunes are characterized by a wild and raw beauty. Often inspired by the human condition, his instrumental compositions paint haunting canvasses that are rich in imagery, leaving an indelible mark on the listener. Blurring boundaries between rock, blues, jazz and folk, the most striking aspect of Montford’s artistry is that he finds countless ways to convey emotion through his compositions and soulful playing. In the end, it’s all about taking the listener on an unforgettable journey.
Share My Sky, Ray’s new and eight studio album, finds the guitarist expanding his sonic range and compositional depth to offer his most personal and emotional statement to date.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Mad Dogs and Englishmen: The Music of Joe Cocker and Leon Russell

Thursday, October 10, 2019 | 8:30pm

Lance Anderson Presents Mad Dogs and Englishmen: The Music of Joe Cocker and Leon Russell
$40 Advance / $45 Door

Juno Award-Winning producer Lance Anderson (Music From The Last Waltz, The Music of Ray Charles, Matchedash Parish) has brought together another wonderful roster of all stars from around the province. Featured singers include Chuck Jackson (The Downchild Blues Band) and Matt Weidinger (Lumberjunk), Cheryl Lescomb and the Gospel Sensations, Quisha Wint and Selena Evangeline, all of whom will take to the stage and recreate the magic of that award-winning 1970’s tour, album and movie of the same name.

Backed by a nine-piece band which includes two drummers (Michael Sloski,  The Cameo Blues Band) Shamakah Ali (The Barkays)) and percussionist (Art Avalos, Manteca), horns David Dunlop (Boss Brass), Simon Wallis. (Lighthouse), Hammond organ (Matt W), and piano (Anderson)  and guitar Terry Blersh, (Danny Brooks) and bass Howard Ayee, (Rough Trade), the rhythm this group creates is a freight train which will pick you up and drop you down at the Fillmore East in NYC.

They come together to celebrate the music that Joe Cocker and Leon Russell threw together to fulfill a tour that almost didn’t happen. Cocker’s English band was not allowed into America, so at the last minute he asked Russell to assemble a group of musical all stars for a tour. Joe asked the right man, as Leon was one of the most connected studio musicians and songwriters in L.A. Part of the ‘Wrecking Crew’.

Our Mad Dogs show is in that same all-star spirit.

During this two hour show you will hear the wonderful arrangements from not just Joe Cocker and Englishmen, but all the greatest music and musical arrangements of the legend, Leon Russell, including his famous arrangements of all your favourite hits by The Beatles.

website: http://makeitrealrecords.com/
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MH4PnjtCGYg

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees