welcome sponsor: ilana waldston

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I’m very proud to introduce my first sponsor, the wonderful, Toronto-based vocalist, Ilana Waldston!

Ilana and I first met in 2010 at the Jazz.FM headquarters in Toronto while taking a weekend workshop on jazz and business. We hit it off right away exchanging our life stories, our vocal influences, and even finding out the bizarre coincidence that her daughter and my brother were in the same small program at Algonquin College in Ottawa.

Once the workshop was over we went our separate ways, but two years later she emailed me out of the blue to tell me she heard me on Jazz.FM. Since then we’ve exchanged many emails, hung out many times, and have become fast friends.

The last time I stayed with her in Toronto she gave me a copy of her CD, I Could Laugh Out Loud, and it has lived in my car since. It’s full of warmth and humour and unique songs with quirky lyrics – a perfect reflection of her sparkling wit, personality, and dramatic vocal ability.

Please take the time to visit her website and check out her amazing CD.

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Ilana Waldston is part of the sponsor program at reneeyoxon.com. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, check out the sponsor info page for rates and other information. If you have any questions please contact me.

My Week In Pictures: Cats, Concerts, and Canadian Music Week

My Week In Pictures: Cats, Concerts, and Canadian Music WeekThis week gave me a lot of perspective. I had a lot of time to think about my life, my work, and what I want to do with my music.

The week started out with a bang. On Tuesday I took off for Toronto in the middle of a wicked bad snow storm and the first thing I did was completely spin out and ended up facing the wrong way on the high way…

After that near-death experience I made sure to drive as safely as possible, and value the heck out of my time. I arrived in Toronto on Tuesday afternoon, played at The Courthouse that evening, went out for Ethiopian food with some new friends, and found myself waking up on Wednesday morning.

I had wanted to spend the rest of my time in Toronto visiting with friends and hanging out, but instead I ended up cancelling a lot of my plans to spend some time resting and songwriting. I cloistered myself in the apartment where I was staying with two adorable ginger cats (named Fred and George!) and got some serious songwriting done. It’s always amazing to me how much of the writing process (my writing process anyway) involves procrastinating and laying around before something great comes out. It was a fruitful week anyway, and I’m really glad I took the time to procrastinate alone with the ginger cats.

Of course, songwriting wasn’t all I did.

On Wednesday night I went down to Chalker’s Pub and jammed at the Girls Night Out jazz jam hosted by Lisa Particelli. I always have so much fun hanging out with Lisa and the house band and meeting a bunch of new singers.

On Friday morning, I got together with fellow jazz vocalist Ilana Waldston for breakfast and some jam time, which was super fun. I’m giving away her album on this post and you can still enter until tomorrow night! On Friday evening I stopped over in Kingston for dinner and dessert with friends before driving back home to Ottawa.

Last night Mark Ferguson and I played a house concert! During our Indiegogo campaign to raise money for Here We Go Again, we offered a limited number of house concerts as perks and this was the first of two. It was so lovely to play in an intimate venue for such lovely people. I can’t wait to do more!

That’s it for this week! If you’re in Ottawa tonight, come visit François Gravel and me for Live Jazz Monday at Mercury Lounge.

Have a great week!

I’m playing in Toronto tonight!

Renée Yoxon at The Courthouse in TorontoHey everyone! This is just a quick update to let you know that I’m playing in Toronto tonight for Canadian Music Fest! If you’re available please join me at The Courthouse at 7pm tonight, cover is $10. There are four bands on the bill so the start time is sharp! Here are the details:

What: Renée Yoxon at Canadian Music Fest
Where: The Courthouse, 57 Adelaide Street E, Toronto, ON
When: Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 7pm – 7:40pm
Cover: $10

I’ll be in Toronto until Friday so if you have a recommendation for stuff I should do while I’m in town please leave me a comment below or contact me on facebook or twitter. See you tonight!

PS: If you love that photo, it was taken by Claude Brazeau. Check out more of his work here and here.

Mixtape: Road Trip + Canadian Music Week // 13

Mixtape: Road TripIt’s road trip time! On Tuesday I’m packing my car and heading down to Toronto for Canadian Music Week so I made this groovy r&b mix to make that journey zip by. If you find yourself in Toronto on March 19th, please come check out my showcase at The Courthouse (57 Adelaide Street East) at 7pm. There’s more info here.

This mix features my childhood favourites of r&b and hip hop like Lauryn Hill, James Brown, and Earth, Wind & Fire as well as some new names thrown in for good measure!

1. Got to Get You into My Life – Earth, Wind & Fire
2. Doo Wop (That Thing) – Lauryn Hill
3. Massive Stride – Kristin Fung
4. Radio Song – Esperanza Spalding
5. Tightrope (feat. Big Boi) – Janelle Monáe
6. Fever – James Brown
7. Golden – Jill Scott
8. Without U (feat. Colin Munroe) – Black Milk
9. Watermelon Man – Herbie Hancock

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Pictures from Jane Harbury presents Discoveries at Hugh’s Room

Photo by Robert Saxe

Last Tuesday I had the great privilege of playing at Hugh’s Room as part of the Discoveries Series put on by Jane Harbury. This series is in it’s ninth year and shows no sign of slowing down. We had a packed house and everyone played their best.

I kicked off the night with six tunes from my latest release, Here We Go Again. I was joined onstage by three Toronto musicians, Joel Visentin on piano, Phil Albert on bass, and Jeff Halischuk on drums. I met Joel and Phil at Banff last May and although Jeff was recommended to me for this performance, we learned later that we shared the bandstand before back in 2009. Small world, isn’t it?

The other performers that evening included Tom Taylor, The Schotts, and Jessica Chase. Tom Taylor is a folky singer/songwriter and guitar player from Vancouver who flew all the way to Toronto just for the event. I had a really nice time getting to know Tom and learning all about his music, his family, and his adventures on tour. Darrin and Alison Schott are a lovely bluegrass couple who just released their first album after 25 years of music-making. I really enjoyed how light-hearted and warm their set was. Jessica Chase is a 19 year-old pop singer/songwriter with a big sound and a clear love of performing.

We all had a really great time playing at Hugh’s Room. The audience was super warm and the reactions were very positive. I can’t wait to come back to Toronto in March for Canadian Music Week! Hopefully this won’t happen again.

(Click any photo to launch gallery.)

My Week In Pictures: To Toronto and back!

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It’s so nice to be back to work! For the last four weeks I have been at the Rehab Centre participating in their Chronic Pain Management Program. Last week was my first week back to full time jazz-singin’ and I’m so happy to be back. I missed my office, I missed performing, and I really missed hanging out with Craig all day long.

Last Monday I kicked off the week in the usual fashion with Live Jazz Monday at the Mercury Lounge (my favourite night of the week!) If you’re wondering what goes on there, it’s pretty much this only we don’t always wear party hats.

On Tuesday I woke up bright and early and drove down to Toronto to participate in a series called Jane Harbury presents Discoveries hosted at Hugh’s Room. I had a spectacular time, met some wonderful musicians, and made some new friends. Check back this week for some photos and a more thorough recap of this event.

Unfortunately I couldn’t stay long in Toronto. I whipped back Wednesday morning, stopping in Kingston for lunch (at The Sleepless Goat, which was amazing), and was back in Ottawa in time to teach a handful of students into the evening.

The rest of the week was spent teaching all of my lovely students and attending wedding shows! This year Craig and I are attended The Ottawa Bridal Party and Wed By Hand with our wedding music company, Play I Do.

That’s pretty much it for this week! But if you’re wondering why a third of my instagram pictures from this week are of a wool scarf, I finally got my hands on a Pembroke Cowl by Yokoo and I might never take it off. Seriously, I’m wearing it as I type right now. It’s the most comfortable and glamorous thing in my life. I’ll probably be wearing it at the Mercury Lounge tonight during Live Jazz Monday!

Alright, have a great week you beautiful people!

I’m coming to Toronto on February 5th!

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You asked for it and now you’ve got it. I’m playing in Toronto! Very soon! On Tuesday, February 5th, I’ll be playing at Hugh’s Room as part of Jane Harbury presents Discoveries. I’ll be playing alongside three other emerging artists, The Schotts, Jessica Chase, and Tom Taylor. I know it’s going to be a wonderful evening of music and I’m really looking forward to seeing my Toronto friends and fans. Here are all the show details:

What: Jane Harbury presents Discoveries
Where: Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas Street W, Toronto, ON
When: Tuesday, February 5th, performance starts at 8:30pm
Tickets: $15 in advance/ $17 at the door (includes HST)
Reservations: Click to request a reservation or call 416 531 6604

I’m told Hugh’s Room has great food so please come for dinner and make a night of it.

See you then!