videos from live jazz monday // the end of live jazz monday is coming, nov 4

Thanks to our resident videographer, Austin Cooke, I have two more Live Jazz Monday videos to share with you. Thanks, Austin!

I also want to remind my Ottawa readers that our four-year residency at Mercury Lounge is coming to an end on November 4th and François Gravel and I would really love to have you there to say goodbye and celebrate the end of an era.

The event will take place on Monday, November 4th. There will be delicious treats, surprise guests, and of course – beautiful music. Entrance is free and the party will begin around 8:30pm with the performance starting at 9pm. See you there! Click here for more details and click here to RSVP on facebook.

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the end of live jazz monday, nov 4

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After four amazing years, I have made the difficult decision to end my weekly residency at Mercury Lounge. If you are in Ottawa on November 4th, François, Angèle, and I would like to invite you to our big goodbye celebration. There will be delicious treats, surprise guests, and of course – beautiful music. Entrance is free and the party will begin around 8:30pm with the performance starting at 9pm. See you there!

What: the end of live jazz monday
Where: Mercury Lounge, 56 Byward Market Square, middle level
When: 9pm
Cover: free

Click here for more information. // Click here to RSVP on facebook.

highlights: sculptures, sketches, and silent auctions

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I got a mega-dose of culture this week! I had only two short days in Montreal but I made sure to pack them tightly. I saw friends, drank lattes, had playing and writing sessions, and had a great voice lesson with singer Kyla Campbell at the Schulich School of Music on the McGill campus. That statue of Queen Victoria stands proudly in front of the building. I love her facial expression and body language, it looks like she doesn’t take any crap from anyone.

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Thursday night I found myself back in Ottawa, playing for Dave Cooper’s exhibit, Eddy Table and Other Misbehavers. The exhibit was a part of the Ottawa International Animation Festival, which is the largest festival of it’s kind in North America. All night people from all over kept coming through the gallery. It was so interesting to meet these artists and writers and hear about the projects they themselves are a part of. Of course, Dave’s sketches were a huge hit. The gallery could hardly keep replenishing the exhibit because they were selling so fast!

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Friday evening I participated in a fundraiser for the Learning Disabilities Association of Ottawa-Carleton called Jazz On The Lake with Renée Yoxon. I felt so special having my name right there in the title of the event! It was a lovely evening which included a silent auction, cocktails, celebrity hosts, and music by myself, Mark Ferguson, and Joel Kerr. At the end of the night I was presented with the most beautiful bouquet. Between the flowers and my gown I felt just like a prom queen.

After such an action-packed week I tried to take the weekend a little easier. I watched some movies, read some poetry, and loafed around as much as I could.

I’m in Ottawa until tonight when Craig and I drive back to Montreal. I would like to clear up some confusion about my regular Monday night performance at Mercury Lounge. Craig and I have committed to commuting to Ottawa every Sunday for teaching. Because of this, I am continuing to play at Live Jazz Monday through the fall. I don’t know how long this will last though so please come on out and have a listen while it’s still around. See you tonight!

highlights: my first week in montreal and i forgot my camera

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Between all the hustle and bustle of moving and flying home from St. John’s last weekend, I left my nice new camera at my parents’ home in Ottawa. As you can see, I took a few instagram photos, but most of my time was spent unpacking boxes while silently gobsmacked, thinking “holy crap I live in Montreal now what???”

In a nutshell, that was my week.

My new neighbourhood is the best. We live spitting distance from amazing places like Patati Patata, Café Névé, and Segal’s Market, and we live a quick bike ride away from beautiful music venues like Casa del Popolo, Résonance, Diese Onze, and more. It’s like I’m living in some crazy fantasy world.

I rode the Montreal metro for the first time on Friday and took myself on a date to La Grande Bibliotèque. I’m a bit of a nerd for beautiful architecture, quiet public spaces and tons and tons of books so naturally, I had a great time and I can’t wait to get my library card!

This week I won’t forget my camera so we should be back to our regularly scheduled programming very soon. Also! I’m back in Ottawa tonight for Live Jazz Monday so if you’re in Ottawa, come on down!

My Week In Pictures: Writing, Radio, and a Concert in Montreal

2013_02_18-24This was an unusually productive week. Not to say that my weeks are not usually productive, but this week I made a life change: I stopped watching TV with breakfast. This may seem like a trivial thing but it has made a WORLD of difference for me. For starters I got my morning journal writing done every single day last week. That’s pretty big for me since I was having a lot of trouble keeping consistent. It has also helped me get my other daily activities done sooner in the day before I run out of steam, like vocal warm ups and exercising. Little changes can make a big difference.

So, other than having epiphanies, this week I had the opportunity to sit down with Mark Ferguson and get to work on new material. Of course, we love our material from Here We Go Again but we have been itching since even before the release to write some new stuff. Stay tuned because we might have some special announcements about that in April or May…

On Wednesday I went down to Carleton University and had my first day of training at CKCU, the campus radio station. I have agreed to be part of a collective that runs the show Swing Is In The Air on Sunday afternoons from 4pm – 5:30pm. This show was hosted by Jacques Émond for over 20 years up until his recent passing. I’m honoured to be a part of this collective and his legacy. I’m not sure when my formal start date will be but I sure am nervous to host a live radio show for the first time!

On Friday Mark and I drove up to Montreal for our official Montreal CD release concert at Upstairs Jazz Bar! It was a very long day but we were fortunate to have both our partners with us providing snacks and support. We had a really wonderful time playing for the people at Upstairs. Everyone was so enthusiastic and attentive. I can’t wait to come back.

Of course a summary of last week would be incomplete without mention of the CBC Searchlight Contest. Last Monday voting opened for round one of the competition and it was a whirlwind week to say the least. I am so touched by all the people who have come out in support of me that I’ve decided to offer a free download of Drinking Coffee, the song I’ve entered into the competition. To download it, right click here and click save-as.

The artists who will be moving on to round two will be announced at cbcmusic.ca/searchlight tonight at 9pm EST. I’ll be sure to announce the results on my facebook and twitter and at Live Jazz Monday tonight at the Mercury Lounge.

Have a lovely week!

My Week In Pictures: Candy, Cupcakes, Chocolates!

My Week In Pictures: 2013 Week 7This week was SWEET. I mean that literally, it was incredibly sweet! Last weekend Craig and I went to Wed By Hand and gorged ourselves on delicious cupcakes, jams, ganache, and other terribly wonderful sweets (more on that on Thursday).

On Tuesday I attended the Council for the Arts in Ottawa (CAO) Sweetheart Cocktail for the Arts, the theme this year was “A Chocoholic’s Paradise.” This event is a fundraising event for the CAO where they announce their annual arts award nominees. I had a really wonderful time hanging out with my dad, drinking wine, and eat delicious gourmet chocolates while listening to Ottawa’s funk sensation, The Hornettes. On top of all that I was nominated for the RBC Emerging Artist Award! Talk about a great night.

I spent the rest of the week teaching, practicing, and planning awesome blog posts for the upcoming month. I’m actually really excited about some of the features and things I have planned. It’s been a great learning experience developing the skills to plan and write regular contant for you readers. I love it!

Thursday, of course, was Valentine’s Day. Craig and I don’t usually celebrate Valentine’s Day since we usually have to work. This was one of the first time’s in a long time that neither of us had to go out, so we stayed in and watched Frank & Robot on the laptop. Also, one of my students brought me a giant Hershey’s kiss! yay!

So that’s it for this week’s update! Stay tuned this week for the 3rd instalment of Book Love, a photo recap from the wedding show weekends, and other goodies! My next performance is tonight! Join François Gravel and me for Live Jazz Monday at Mercury Lounge tonight at 9pm (and if you come early, you can get a manicure for only $10!)

Have a great week, you beauties!

My Week In Pictures: Rehab Centre week 3 + a photoshoot

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Week 3 at the Rehab Centre’s chronic pain management program is complete, which means I only have one week left! If you have no idea what I’m talking about check out my updates from week 1 and week 2 where I explain all about why I’m there and what it’s all about then come back here.

Are you caught up now? Good.

This week we had some interesting sessions on acceptance of pain, weekend planning, and communication. The communication session was my favourite because it was so concrete and full of really handy tips with funny names like “fogging,”  “broken record,” and “content-to-process shift.”

It was a good thing we talked about weekend planning this week because I had a full weekend planned. On Saturday I went and had a photoshoot with Muse Mohammed, a local photographer. I can’t wait to share the shots with you because they are so fierce and glamorous AND I got my head shaved in a funky new way!

On Sunday, I spent most of the day preparing blog posts, doing laundry, and tying up loose ends for upcoming events. There’s so many little things on the way! Next Tuesday, February 5th, I’ll be coming down to Toronto to play at Hugh’s Room (details here), I’m also preparing for Wed By Hand on Sunday, February 10th, and Canadian Music Week in March. Yay!

So that’s it for this week’s update. Only one more week of Rehab Centre updates and then it’s back to regularly scheduled programming. My next performance is tonight at the Mercury Lounge for Live Jazz Monday! 9pm – 11pm, no cover, see you tonight!

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This part 3 of a 4-part series. Click to read the rest:

My Week In Pictures: Rehab Centre Week 2

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This week, although it was my second week at the Rehab Centre, it was my first official week in the Chronic Pain Management program. That means that this week I was there from 8:30am until 2:30 or 3pm every day. At first I was a little worried that I wasn’t going to be able to function before 10am but the first thing we do every morning is an hour in the gym with the physiotherapy team and that woke me up pretty fast.

I and the other participants spent a lot of time together in group sessions ranging from sleep techniques to medication to recreation and everything in between. My favourite session of the week was the occupational therapy session in the Rehab Centre’s wood shop. We’re building a little wooden box over three one hour sessions, and it’s actually really fun.

Between gym class and wood shop it kind of feels like I’m in high school again!

I’m really happy to be in the program and I’m learning lots of helpful hints for living a happier and more full life with pain. My challenge is going to be learning how to properly pace myself. I’m the kind of person who will start a task (usually on the computer) and keep going until it’s done. Now I’m trying to incorporate a 20 minute timer into my computer time to remind me to get up and stretch or go lay down for awhile. Wish me luck with that!

In other news, last week’s Live Jazz Monday was a crazy, raucous party that I hope to imitate this week. We seriously had tons of fun. Local vocalist and trombone player Steve Berndt dropped by for a visit and him and I sang some awesome duets. Maybe he’ll come back this week??

Despite my early mornings I will definitely be continuing Live Jazz Monday through the month of January and beyond so join us tonight! We’re at the Mercury Lounge (middle level) from 9pm until 11pm and there’s noooooo cover ever! Yay!

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This part 2 of a 4-part series. Click to read the rest:

My Week In Pictures: first week of 2013

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2013 is underway and the year has started off with a bang. After a New Year’s day brunch with the fam I jumped back into work. I started writing some grant applications that are due next week and set up the last of the Indiegogo perks to be sent out. I had a nice coffee date with Nicholas Maclean, a great pianist from Ottawa who currently lives and studies in Toronto. And I had a lovely breakfast date with fellow singer, Nicole Ratté.

On Friday night I played at the Ottawa Swing Dance Society’s live band night so we spent the afternoon on Thursday rehearsing for that.

I have a tendency to overwork myself so I tried to make time for songwriting, working out, and a little bit of photography, just for fun. I actually really like that self-portrait in the middle photo. It was taken by shooting with my iPhone through the view finder of a Fujica Camera. Click here to see the higher res version of that photo.

There is so much going on in the next few months so I’m trying to prepare myself and get ahead on work. Is that even possible?!

Anyway, I’m looking forward to getting back to regular performance. Live Jazz Monday is back tonight at 9pm at Mercury Lounge so please stop on by for a cocktail and a relaxing evening of jazz standards preformed by myself and François Gravel. There’s no cover!

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