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.

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: 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:

Live Jazz Monday is back!!

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Hey folks! Guess what!? After a few weeks hiatus due to holidays and illness, Live Jazz Monday is back! Join me and François Gravel at Mercury Lounge on Monday, January 7th at 9pm for some great music (if I do say so myself), the jazz cocktail of the week, and the usual antics. I’m soooooo happy to be back! There’s no cover ever so come on down!

PS: This cute photo of me and François was taken by my sister at our third anniversary party in November. I have a mouthful of birthday doughnut. Thanks for the pic, Emma!

My Week In Pictures: postage and packaging

2012_12_10-16It’s been a week since my CD release and I must say, things have been way busier than I expected. Then again, I expected to spend the entire week in the tub, drinking a beer so anything more than that feels “busy.”

I spent last weekend and most of Monday preparing Indiegogo perks to be sent by mail. My desk was piled high with bubble mailers and thank you notes. The rest of the week was spent running errands, teaching students, preparing blog posts for January (more on that later), preparing seasonal music for Christmas parties, and attempting to relax.

This coming week is my final week of teaching before a two week break. I’m really looking forward to taking the time off from everything so posts may be a little light during that time but I have some really special things in the works for the new year so stay tuned.

Tonight is my final Live Jazz Monday at Mercury Lounge for 2012! Join us for some holiday tunes, some holiday drinks, and some holiday celebration! 9pm – 11pm, no cover!

My first performance with VoiceLive Touch

It’s not much but it’s a start.

Last month I purchased the VoiceLive Touch from TC Helicon. I spent a few week’s playing with it before including in my performance. You can check out my first performance with the VoiceLive Touch in the video above, which was shot by Craig Pedersen at the third birthday of Live Jazz Monday. So far I haven’t done any looping with it, I’ve only used it to make harmonies. In this video I have lined François’ keyboard in to the vocal processor with a midi cable. The VoiceLive Touch picked up the correct harmonies to my vocals based on what François is playing.

What do you think of my first kick at the can?? Let me know in the comments below.

Photos from Live Jazz Monday’s Third Birthday

Whoa! Last night Live Jazz Monday turned 3 years old and the party was spectacular! I decided that since we were entering our terrible threes, we should throw a party fit for a toddler, complete with colourful party hats, streamers, balloons, squiggly candles, and sweet treats to eat.

Fortunately, our audience was quick with the cameras and shared the fun through twitter, facebook, and instagram. Here are some of my favourite pics from last night.

From @pedersencraig:

From @YoxEmma (my sister!):

From @lightningloon:

From me:

Thanks so much to everyone who made this event a incredible success. François and I are delighted to have your support and we’re looking forward to the next three years of Live Jazz Monday!

My Week In Pictures: endless celebration (and gourmet doughnuts)

This has been a luxurious, hedonistic, celebratory week. In fact, if I had to describe my week in a word, I would call it “festive.”

I’ve decided lately that I want to spend a little more time, energy, and money on fashion, makeup, and accessories. I’m fortunate that I get the opportunity to get on stage and perform for people all the time. Lately I’ve felt that I’ve been neglecting this aspect of performance. I decided to take myself shopping on Tuesday where I bought myself some collared shirts with nice hardware like the middle picture, as well as some glittery loafers. I’m pretty excited about these things. I’m super new to the fashion/makeup/accessories world though so if you have any tips, please leave them in the comments below. I could really use the help.

On Wednesday it was Halloween! Craig and I took turns handing out candy while the other taught but I still managed to catch him in our living room bed covered in all the candy! We had quite a few trick-or-treaters this year. Our friends at the Bytown Beanery came around and their children were dressed as a coke machine and a strip of bacon! So awesome.

Aside from Halloween parties, I’ve spent the week preparing for the Gershwin tribute concert I’ll be playing at on November 10th at Knox Presbyterian on Elgin at Lisgar. Preparing the music for this project has been a really interesting process. I realized that I know way more Gershwin tunes than I thought I did, just as a function of listening, but I still had to spend time finding keys and writing charts. And since I’m a ludite (only when it comes to chart writing) it’s a process that I can take a while. On Thursday I decided to power through these charts at the Carleton Tavern. Lesson learned: Sometimes work involves beer.

On Friday I popped down to the party supply store and got party hats for the Live jazz Monday’s third birthday! I’m so excited, I got a multitude pf colours and some with balloons on them! I can’t wait for this party. On Sunday I picked up the doughnuts from SuzyQ that I’ll be giving out. It’s going to be a hoot and half and I just can’t wait.

On Saturday we had our Saturday Afternoon Jazz Jam at Pressed which was a really fun and relaxed way to spend the afternoon. We had a couple of splendid vocalists come and join us, as well as a mitt-full of horn players. Our next one is November 17th.

On Sunday I spent the day wedding dress shopping in Moose Creek with my BFF. She’s a lovely, nerdy, science-woman who’s marrying a lovely, nerdy man and I couldn’t be happier for them. It was such a treat to be there when she picked the dress she’s going to wear to walk down the aisle. After launching Play I Do in February, I’ve had the opportunity to attend many weddings as a musician. I’m really looking forward to attending this one as a bride’s maid.

After shopping I picked up the doughnuts, packed them up for tonight then headed down to IMOO where we celebrated Craig’s 29th birthday.

Between birthdays, weddings, halloween, new shoes, new clothes, concerts, beer, and gourmet doughnuts I’m surprised I’m not sick of celebrating. To tell you the truth I can’t wait for Live Jazz Monday’s birthday tonight and I’m totally ready to keep the festivities happening right on through until January.

I hope to see you out at the Mercury Lounge tonight. If you come down you’ll have a chance to win tickets to my CD release on December 7th! Check out the video below for all the details and see you tonight!

My Week In Pictures: Spontaneous jazz

Another week gone by, another whole ton of things to tell you about. Lately I’ve been trying to get back on track with my practice schedule, with my deadlines for grants and other applications, and basically everything now that Here We Go Again is off to the printer and out of my hands. I spent this week in catch up mode.

Yesterday, François Gravel and I got together at his little house in Gatineau and rehearsed some new material for Live Jazz Monday. We’re so excited about our weekly performance at Mercury Lounge turning three that we’re planning a bunch of new tunes. I can’t wait to share them. Earlier this week, the pins that I’m giving away at that event arrived. They are so cute I hardly stand it. If you want to get your mitts on a couple of these, join us on November 5th at the Mercury Lounge at 9pm. There’s no cover and there will be doughnuts and a chance to win two tickets to my CD release in December. It’s going to be awesome! Click here to RSVP on facebook.

After my rehearsal with François I dropped by the Herb and Spice on Wellington to pick up some bread and bumped into two friends having a performance right the store! More jazz ensued:

Saturday was kind of a lazy day. Throughout the week Craig and I get woken up really earlier by the construction featured in the middle left photo. On Saturday, we really sleep in. We spent the afternoon having dim sum at Yangtze with my parents and that night I went out to Camp Fortune and played a wedding. Click here to learn more about my wedding music services.

On Friday I worked the door for the Craig Pedersen Quartet show at Raw Sugar. Their awesome merch table is the top right photo. If you missed that show there will be another on at Pressed on Saturday, November 24. More details here.

Thursday I spent the day teaching sockless in my studio followed by a quick stopover to the Jazzworks Jazz Jam at the Carleton Tavern. Lately I’ve had a huge influx of vocal students. Now I teach almost all day on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. I’m having a great time getting to know all the new students and helping them become the best vocalists they can be. If you’re interested in taking lessons, read all about my teaching services here.

So that’s it for this week! For more photos updated throughout the week, follow me on instagram (you don’t need an iphone.)

My next performance is tonight, Monday, October 22nd at the Mercury Lounge for Live Jazz Monday – 9pm to 11pm, no cover. See you there!