Welcome to my very first Jaymz Bee Blog!
This blog will act a bit like an on-line diary, posted weekly (by Monday morn) and will cover events from the previous week, give a nod to some exciting things coming up and I’ll take a stroll down memory lane frequently.
Last week my sister Shawna was visiting from North Bay so I took her to Hugh’s Room to experience Jane Harbury’s Discoveries series (www.harbury.ca). Jane is a Canadian publicist based in Toronto and is one of the very best at promoting musicians. Her concert series is above and beyond the call of duty and something I don’t take for granted. For 8 years – 3 times a year – Jane produces a show that features four acts performing half hour sets. The room draws somewhere between 80 to 150 people. Seeing one of Toronto’s best live venues full of people paying a cover to see a bunch of bands they don’t know is really something! After years of doing this people have learned to trust Jane and her taste in musical acts, regardless of the genre.
On this occasion my childhood friend Chris Casserly performed a set of original pop tunes backed by his trio, and he blew away the room. Not only was it a first-rate set of music, but Chris attracted literally dozens of old friends from Toronto’s East End, many of whom I hadn’t seen in over a year. Even sweeter was seeing my sister receiving hugs from people she hadn’t seen in almost twenty years. (Shawna lived in Toronto for a short period of time before the turn of the century.) The concert was one of the highlights of my week!
Memory Lane: My sister and I have always been close. Shawna kept her childlike imagination right up until I left town at eighteen. As children, when we’d play with action figures the scripts would be epic adventures with complicated plot turns. When Shawna (only a year younger than I) was about nine I convinced her that the world would be a better place if people would just sing instead of talk. It became obnoxious for others but I loved watching her sing during supper as she told us about her day…even now, every time I see my sister we can break into dreadful singing and share big laughs.
Another magic moment this past week was hanging in my loft with singer June Garber (www.junegarber.com) and her awesome hubby, Bob Doherty. We drank cognac while listening to Barbra Lica on 91.1, (www.jazz.fm) where she was performing live to promote her debut CD, “That’s What I Do”. Barbie is a great talent and a bit of an odd duck, but in the best way! I believe she is going to “Buble out of here” soon based on the fact that everyone I know who has seen her perform becomes an avid fan. Check out her site and download the CD right away!
(www.barbralica.com) After a great one hour radio show, June and Bob took me to The Golden Turtle on Ossington for one of the best bowls of soup in Toronto. I love the galleries, clubs and restaurants on Ossington and this little gem is certainly one of the best!
Memory Lane: I was with my good friend (and designated driver) Tim Rivers in Palm Springs California a few years ago and we hit a little French Bistro on South Palm Canyon Drive, steps from the Sonny Bono statue…and ordered seafood bouillabaisse.
We were staying at a great little place called Calla Lily (http://callalilypalmsprings.com) and were trying to do Palm Springs on a low budget, so we opted for soup. I’d never had a $40 bowl of soup before! It was the soup of the day and Tim and I were floored when our bill came and it was almost two hundred dollars! We asked the gorgeous waitress to recommend a wine that would pair nicely with the soup. Oops! I bring this up because it was one of the best soups I’ve ever had in my life, but still, I’ll opt for Gold Turtle and their ten dollar mega-bowl!
My little buddy Robyn Heran was hosting a bachelorette party and asked to go sailing for the day. It was overcast but going through the island at a snails pace worked just fine. Fresh fruit, plenty of wine and tons of laughs. All the girls were brilliant and seemed to have had as much fun as I did. Sunday I was happy to just stay in and get writing done. I won’t even look at a cocktail – call Ripley!
Coming up this week:
I’m writing new songs for Bonzai Suzuki (www.bonzaisuzki.com). This band is such a fun project! It involves some of my very best friends and while I believe at some point we’ll make some money with our original music it’s not why we’re doing it. I’m so lucky to work with people who are not bashing down music biz doors – I got really tired of that long ago. We create because we must and because it’s so much fun. Currently, we’re writing songs for some burlesque dancers I know.
On Tuesday I play auctioneer at a golf tournament (www.cardinalgolfclub.com) in New Market for a great charity called Camp Winston (www.campwinston.com) that services kids with complex neurological disorders. It’ll be a great day of golf followed by an early dinner and then I beeline to Hugh’s Room (www.hughsroom.com) to emcee a great concert with Larry Coryell (www.coryelljazz.com) and opening act George Grossman (www.georgegrosman.com). On Thursday I host a charity event for JAZZ.FM91 that is completely sold out and Friday I’ll be at The Mod Club Theatre to see a brand new crew to Toronto, Nuvo Burlesque (www.nuvoburlesque.com) .
Carla Catherwood and over thirty of her gal pals will entertain the masses in a style of burlesque that is more about talent and dancing than peeling.
The weekend looks busy too…I host a musical festival in Ajax on Saturday (www.pickeringvillagejam.com) and then will check out the amazing mentalist Haim Goldenberg also known as TV’s GoldMind (www.goldmindshow.com) and I highly recommend this show to everyone who wants their mind blown on a Sunday evening. (www.uofttix.ca/view.php?id=881&c_mon=1206). I have seen Haim perform many times and watching him freak out the audience is as much fun as watching him perform.
Backattacha next week…meanwhile I’ll continue to update other areas of this blog during the week.