I have to be honest. As a chronically single, 50-something, die-hard romantic female who feels that the Ship of Love sailed without me, Valentine’s Day is not my favourite holiday and most of the time I do my best to ignore it as I never have plans to celebrate. I’d be at home watching Netflix like most other evenings. However, this year, I’m trying hard to think positively and working as a social media manager for musicians does have its perks. I’m a huge fan of all of the artists that I mention in this post, not just because I’ve worked with them, but because, quite simply put, they are among Canada’s finest recording artists.
If you live in the Toronto area and are looking for something special to do with your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day Eve: Friday, February 13th (you’re not superstitious, are you?), I highly recommend going to see the extraordinary Amanda Martinez at Kingston Road United Church in the Beaches.
Amanda’s voice is an elixir for the soul! She is a Toronto-based singer songwriter whose music blends her unique Mexican and South African roots with flamenco soul. Her solo CDs have garnered her multiple nominations for Latin Jazz Performer of the Year, and her songs have appeared on three Putumayo world music collections, including Latin Dreamland and Cafe Latino. Martinez has headlined concerts at the 2011 PanAmerican Games in Guadalajara and the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Her newest CD Mañana was helmed by Grammy-winning producer Javier Limón (Buika, Mariza) who hails Martinez as “one of the greatest voices in the world.”
She captures the raw emotion and passion of Latin Music making us sit up and listen” ~ CBC Radio
Amanda performs for the Kingston Road Village Concert Series at Kingston Road United Church on Friday, February 13, 2015 at 8:00 pm. Get your tickets now here.
What do we really know about the origins of Valentine’s Day? We know that Saint Valentine was a third century Roman martyr, but he had nothing to do with the romantic traditions that became associated with his holiday. In this century, we celebrate February 14th by sending cards or “Valentines”, flowers and chocolates to our loved ones; by going out for dinner to our favourite restaurants; or even by creating the perfect CD mix to let our beloved know just how much we care.
Award-winning world music super group Sultans of String recently released their official video for the Chris McKhool penned “Will You Marry Me”, the proposal song he wrote for his lovely wife who appears in the video with their beautiful young daughter. The video has now surpassed 80,000 views! Valentine’s Day is not only one of the most romantic days of the year for many, but also one of the most popular for popping the question. “Will You Marry Me” from the 2015 Juno Award-nominated album, Symphony! (Instrumental Album of the Year) is the perfect proposal song. Unabashedly adoring, this is certainly one of Sultans of String’s finest moments and the perfect addition to your Valentine’s Day Mix CD!
So, what am I, the Hallmark Holiday Cynic, doing THIS YEAR to celebrate Valentine’s Day? I confess that I did not make a mix CD. However, I am going with my sister to see that brilliant, Irish-born, singer-songwriting duo known as Fearing & White perform songs from their sophomore album Tea and Confidences at Abbott Hall in Tamworth. The Napanee Guide featured multiple Juno Award winning Blackie and the Rodeo Kings member Stephen Fearing and fully paid up 21st Century Troubadour (and author) Andy White in this recent article. There are only a few tickets left for this show so if you’re interested, call 613-379-2808. You won’t be able to miss me there…I’ll be the chubby red-headed woman with the ear-to-ear grin on her face sitting with a chubby blonde who’ll undoubtedly be tired but happy to be there.
Thank you Stephen & Andy for giving this woman a reason to cast off her usual cynicism and believe in the power of love and gratitude.