- Blue Room Blues Band
- Martels Rock N Roll Show
- Toronto All Star Big Band
- Lisa Hutchinson & The Raw Deal Blues Band
- Robbie Lane and the Disciples
- Pam Gerrand and the Silver Linings
- Ken Meyer
- The Soul Motivators
Blue Room Blues Band
The core musicians of BLUE ROOM are veteran live and studio players, featuring: Brian Neller's big, bluesy, passionate vocals; Fraser Lawrason's solid bass lines and backing vocals; Paul Sanderson's soaring blues rock guitar; Norm Ryan's fluid and inspired saxophone; Frank Watt and Pat Quinn's seasoned drum grooves.
Blue Room was a finalist in the 1997 Toronto Blues Society Talent Search, runner-up in 1998, and second runner-up in 2000! Since 1997, the band has played in major blues venues around Toronto, including the Silver Dollar Room, The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern, and Chicago's. Sharing the bill with the likes of John Hammond and Jully Black, Blue Room has also played the JVC Jazz Festival, The Beaches International Jazz Festival, First Night Toronto at the SkyDome, and Lloyd's Blues Music Festival, featuring B.B. King, and Buddy Guy.
It's fairly difficult not to like a tightly cohesive band with a great vocalist, and this one is no exception. Brian Neller mans the lead microphone with an alternating croon and slightly nasal grittiness that always complements the various musical styles exhibited here.
Martels Rock N Roll Show
Appearing at: Wayne Buttery & The Martels
The original 5 members have been playing together since 1957! This group of Midland musicians comprised of Tom Ambeau (drums, guitar), Milt Budarick (bass guitar), Bert DesRochers (piano), Larry French (lead guitar, vocals) and Gary French (lead vocals, drums), grew up playing new music for a new age. In 1957, the teenagers formed The Corvettes and played for Teen Town sock hops throughout Ontario. A few years later the manager for Canada's first teen idol Bobby Curtola, discovered the band and hired them to work with Bobby full time. The Corvettes became Bobby Curtola & The Martells in 1961 when an American band with the name "The Corvettes" appeared on the scene.
The name Martells came from Curtola's manager, Maria Martell, and the name has been with the band ever since. The Martells went on to record hit songs such as Indian Giver, Hand in Hand with You and Fortune Teller with Curtola, Canada's first teen idol. Recording and touring took the band on the first cross Canada rock n' roll tour with stops at Massey hall, Klondike Days, the Calgary Stampede and the Pacific Exhibition. Back home the band continued to play backing up such stars as Del Shannon ("Runaway") until the British Invasion took rock n' roll in a new direction and The Martels eventually disbanded in the late 1960's.
In 1979 the group reunited for one show and they have been playing together ever since. Over that time, they have evolved into a premier show band adding Doug Woods(vocals, percussion), Landon French (vocals, percussion), Madeleine French (vocals, piano), Dr. Sax (a.k.a. Russ Strathdee), and former 60's DJ Ken Rowland as emcee. Since then, The Martels Rock n' Roll show has undergone a couple of changes and have currently introduced Bill Chambers to the Martels family.
Toronto All Star Big Band
Appearing at: Big Band Afternoon
One of the most exciting bands around, the Toronto All Star Big Band consists of 17 musicians joined by the fabulous voices of the TABB five. The band revives the spirit, style and sound of 1930's and 40's - that golden age of the big bands. Armed with brilliant programming, slick choreography and witty cultural nostalgia, this vibrant cast of awesome young talent has earned its position at the top of the list of presenters throughout Ontario and in the U.S. Theatrical engagements are far-reaching. Recent performances have included the Port Hope Jazz Festival, Port Elgin Big Band Celebration, Beaches International Jazz Festival, Art Park in Lewiston N.Y. and Toronto's famed Palais Royale and Casa Loma.
Lisa Hutchinson & The Raw Deal Blues Band
Appearing at: Robbie Lane and the Disciples
Lisa Hutchinson – Vocals
Lisa has been entertaining jazz and blues enthusiasts for over a decade with her soulful delivery of blues, jazz and R&B standards. With a powerful, clean voice she interprets the music with passion and authenticity. She grew up listening to a wide variety of genres and was drawn to the rich vocal lines and lyrics inherent in jazz and blues music. Lisa draws inspiration from vocalists past and present such as Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Eva Cassidy, Big Mama Thornton, Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt, and Susan Tedeschi. Lisa’s early musical career included award winning performances in music festivals and musical theatre productions. At a young age she was a soloist in both school and church choirs. Lisa took a break from musical performance to pursue her post secondary education and start a family. To enhance her musical knowledge, Lisa has attended workshops at Humber College and pursues private studies. Playing in festivals and venues in the Central Ontario Region, Lisa has had the honour of sharing the stage with Norman Amadio, Bernie Senensky, and Roly Platt. Along with performing regularly with her band, Raw Deal, she is currently crafting songs for her debut album to be released in 2013.
Mark Hathaway – Saxophone
Mark earned his Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music/Jazz Performance at York University where he was also awarded the Oscar Peterson scholarship for jazz studies. Mark has played with a host of talented musicians including Norm Amadio, Lenny Boyd, Barry Romberg, Kiran Overs, Reg Shwager, Terry Clark, Jim Vivian, Sean Bray, Mark Kelso, George Koller, Ted Warren, and Jake Langley. He is currently sharing his love of music with our next generation of musicians as a music teacher and Chair of the Arts Department at Innisdale Secondary School in Barrie.
Richard Jackson – Drums
In a career spanning more than twenty years, Richard has performed for royalty in West Africa, the Governor General of Canada, the Governor General of Australia and at international music festivals including the Montreal Jazz Festival.
Ian Ross – Guitar
Ian released his debut album The Ian Ross Band in December 2012. He has been entertaining audiences in the Barrie area with his impressive guitar playing for over 10 years. Hailing from a musical family, Ian was inspired by his father and then studied with the acclaimed jazz guitarist, Joe Huron.
Peter Loudon – Bass
Peter Loudon has been playing bass guitar professionally for over 20 years. Born into a musical family in Muskoka, he earned his musical education “on the job”. Peter’s bass playing helped the Ronnie Douglas Blues Band earn a nomination for a Maple Leaf Blues Award for the album Big Brother.
Robbie Lane and the Disciples
Robbie Lane has been an iconic figure in the Canadian music scene since the 1960’s. As the leader of rock and roll band Robbie Lane and The Disciples, he got his first break in 1963 when the legendary Ronnie Hawkins hired the band as insurance against the soon-defecting Hawks (who went on to form The Band).
Robbie Lane and The Disciples played as the house band for CTV-TVs Happening show, and held the position for four years. The band continues to build their legacy as Canadian music icons, frequently playing shows in the Toronto area.
Robbie has recently started his second career, fulfilling a life-long dream of being a radio host. As a DJ on AM740, he spins the classic 60’s rock and roll he and the Disciples helped make famous. Robbie hosts the “60’s at Six” and the “British Invasion” shows.
Pam Gerrand and the Silver Linings
Pam Gerrand has performed a wide variety of music on stages in Canada and abroad. She has sung everything from Gilbert & Sullivan (Stratford Festival) and Broadway (Royal Alexandra Theatre) to jazz, country and world music. Pam´s original music has been described as "passionate, poetic folk pop", and her voice is many things: ´angelic, soothing, uplifting, electrifying, sultry, wistful, joyful, remarkable..."
Pam´s international career was launched at the mind body spirit festival in London, England where she sang and led workshops in 2005. In July of 2006, Pam performed the finale concert at the Angsbacka Festival in Sweden, the largest music and healing arts festival in Northern Europe.
In 2002, Pam was guest soloist with the Canada Pops Orchestra at the Hummingbird Centre in Toronto, and had the great pleasure of singing with Cape Breton's ´Men of the Deeps´. She has opened for folk icons Valdy, Murray MacLauchlan and Connie Kaldor, and more recently, has performed her original music at workshops led by authors Deepak Chopra, Byron Katie, don Miguel Ruiz and Barbara Marx Hubbard. Pam's third CD of original music, produced by Hans Christian, will be released later this year.
Joining Pam on keyboard is Avril Dell and Wes Kidd - Bambalamb! as percussionist. This trio had their inaugural concert at the Marsh Street. Centre in February, and had so much fun that they have become Pam Gerrand and the Silver Linings. They will entertain with a sultry, swingy mix of Gershwin, Hoagy Carmichael, Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell and more...
Appearing at: At The Mill Cafe
"Armed with their album, Beckon will be one step further down the road on what is sure to be a successful musical journey" Mark Ludlum, Sony Music
In an old schoolhouse studio on the shores of Georgian Bay, Ontario, sits a 1929 Heintzman vintage upright grand with an aged grace, several chipped keys, and a well-worn mahogany finish. Two female songwriters lean intensely over the black and whites to put the finishing touches on an irresistably intimate song laden with the heady thrill of new love. A melody that at first brushes up softly against you, gracefully adding layer after layer and finally building to a heart pounding, soaring finish that leaves you almost breathless in its wake.
There is a kind of magic and wonder that almost shimmers in the air when two beautiful voices mix and meld together as one. Beckon (Beth Hamilton and Connie Rossitter) is a female duo with just such an enchanted pairing. The two songwriters have combined their talents and their names to form a musical tour-de-force that is causing listeners to sit up and take notice. With their fresh acoustic pop sound and graceful style Beckon achieves broad commercial appeal. They are rapidly gaining recognition for their captivating original music and stunning trademark harmonies.
The Soul Motivators
Appearing at: At The Bruce Wine Bar
Finding the right groove means digging deep. With a love of vintage soul and funk, The Soul Motivators have mined their musicality to bring you a fresh revival of a retro sound. Featuring numerous veterans of Toronto’s thriving underground Funk scene, The Soul Motivators are a 5-piece, 3 horn deep funk explosion, with a rough, tough, and soulful flair that motivates people straight to the dance floor. Known for turning out some of the most energetic live funk performances witnessed in the city in recent years, The Soul Motivators have performed at the 2011 Toronto NuJazz Festival, NXNE, the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, and Toronto Beaches International Jazz Festival. They also have been enjoying radio airplay on CBC Radio 1 and CIUT FM.