Inspirational New Soul Song & Video for “Flame” by AV (Ann Vriend) with Highlands Junior High Music Class

Today, “Flame” — the song and music video that Edmonton singer-songwriter, soul songstress AV (Ann Vriend, my client of 10 years) did with the Highlands Junior High music class — was released to the world! The funding of this recording was made possible via an anonymous donor who saw these students and Ann perform at a school fundraiser on May 4, 2018. The donor was so moved and inspired by the performance of the song that he immediately asked how it could be immortalized by a studio recording of it. A week later he graciously provided the funding for this endeavor.

Less than a month after their debut performance, the students, Ann, her producer and videographer, Tino Zolfo, were in the recording studio at Velveteen Audio in Edmonton recording the song and making a music video for it. None of the students had been in a recording studio prior to this date, but have since inspired many people with their talent, hope, and enthusiasm for this venture. Ann Vriend thanks Principal Brad Burns for the initial vision for the project and everyone for listening and being part of this experience.

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www.annvriend.com

 

ANN VRIEND (AV) Releases New Single + Video IT’S HAPPENING w/ Special Performance by Sifton Elementary Student Choir

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TORONTO – Award-winning soul singer ANN VRIEND (AV) releases a new video and single entitled “IT’S HAPPENING.” Commissioned for a school fundraiser, the students of Sifton Elementary School Choir accompany AV on this empowering and gritty, inner-city soul anthem. The efforts will culminate on Friday, October 26at 2:15 pm with a special performance at the school, 4305 134 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB. For more info please visit www.annvriend.com.

AV sings her heart out about her views of the world; her matter-of-fact, non-sugar-coated observations from her inner city neighborhood; her hard life lessons – and yet there is a soulful, hopeful persistence for herself and the world to be better.

The children’s choir AV recruited to sing the song “It’s Happening” with her, are living proof that as she sings, the change to a more diverse and inclusive society “is already happening.” Propelled by an unstoppable and compelling electric piano groove, the lyrics describe the transcendence of tough circumstances, with a compassionate heart.  With her voice sounding like that of the late Aretha Franklin in her very early Gospel days, AV offers a powerful, socially conscious exhortation.

“It’s Happening” was recorded June 4, 2018, with students from the Sifton Elementary School Choir. Sifton Elementary is a school in North Edmonton where many students come from war-torn countries and traumatizing and/or impoverished situations. The funding of this recording was made possible via an anonymous donor who saw the students and AV perform at a school fundraiser on May 4, 2018. The donor was so moved and inspired by the performance of the song, that he immediately asked how it could be immortalized by a studio recording of it. A week later he graciously provided the funding for this endeavor.  A month to the day after their debut performance, the students, AV, and her producer and videographer, Tino Zolfo, were in the recording studio recording the song and making a music video for it. None of the students had been in a recording studio prior to this date, but have since inspired many people with their talent, hope, and enthusiasm for this venture. AV and all involved in the making of this video would like to thank everyone for listening and being part of this experience.

www.annvriend.com
https://open.spotify.com/album/3HPEpM2xRp3n3k3ujaKCUG
https://play.spotify.com/artist/3vjHMysd98leqhwDotu9fZ
www.youtube.com/user/AnnVriend
www.facebook.com/AnnVriend
https://twitter.com/AnnVriend
www.instagram.com/annvriend

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For more information, photos, mp3s, WAV files, CD copies, interviews, please contact:

MEDIA CONTACT:
SPEAK Music | Beverly Kreller, Publicist
bev@speak-music.com | 416-922-3620
Twitter: @SPEAKMusicPR
Facebook: www.facebook.com/beverly.kreller

Good Bones is the Sophomore Video from Abby Zotz’s Upcoming CD, Local Honey, Releasing Oct. 13, 2018

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Canadian singer-songwriter Abby Zotz contemplates the stories an old house could tell in her second video release from her solo recording, Local Honey. Good Bones, another co-write with long-time collaborator and former Two Roads Home partner, Bryan Williston, has a warm folk-country feel and features her live band with videography and direction by Ryan Osman. 

“The song was inspired by the home of our friend Marney Simmons, a charming and traditional dwelling in Mulgrave, Nova Scotia that overlooks the Strait of Canso and Cape Breton Island,” Abby explains. “My mother’s family is from Belmont NS, and hers was another fine old place. It was easy to let our imaginations roam through time and create snapshots of lives lived within these walls.”

Ryan’s careful attention to detail and the presence of the band create the deep fondness and humour found in real human connection and add depth to the message of the song: “that we stand alone, but within a larger community, and that our bones, like a home’s, must be lived in and loved if we’re to make any sense of this life.”

Join Abby for her very special album release concert for Local Honey at Kingston Road United Church, 975 Kingston Rd, Toronto, ON M4E 1T1 on Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available at: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3603396

abbyzmusic.com

Chairman George lights up the NAC Fourth Stage, Oct. 17-18

Chairman George Greek-Chinese fusion album Bringing the Greek Party to China!
Chairman George lights up the NAC Fourth Stage Oct. 17-18
Local Greek-Chinese fusion master brings the Greek-Chinese party to Ottawa

CD Release Concert for Chairman George’s groundbreaking Greek-Chinese fusion album Bringing the Greek Party to China!. Extravaganza featuring popular Greek songs performed in Mandarin Chinese. Chairman George and his band offer the perfect musical introduction, from one ancient culture to another. It’s a Mediterranean cruise up the Yangtze, and this is the party. Also features Fred Guignion (electric guitars), Yadong Guan (pipa), Ross Murray (drums), Anders Drerup (guitars, electric bass, vox) and Zichan Yang (guzheng).  Ώπα!   干杯!
Local Greek-Chinese fusion master brings the Greek-Chinese party to Ottawa

“Boy, does it work!” — Penguin Eggs

“I am committed to multiculturalism and it is very refreshing and enjoyable to hear the cross-cultural elements… It was very entertaining — Eva Siekierska, member of the Bahai Community of Ottawa

“Possibly barking mad!” — Sing Out!

Canadians do not need to be reminded of the significance of Oct. 17, 2018.

It has been a long time coming.  It has been the subject of discussion and debate at home and abroad. Soon, the wait will be over.

For it is on that date that Ottawa’s internationally acclaimed Chairman George and band will light up the Fourth Stage with the first of two concerts in celebration of the release of the striking album Bringing the Greek Party to China!

A unique concoction that defies musical as well as linguistic constraints, George’s revolutionary collection of toe-tappers spotlights the sound of an artist who would dare play pied piper to a global village. Accompanied by some of the city’s finest players, “Chairman” George Sapounidis boldly lays waste to convention as Greek melodies are married to Mandarin Chinese vocals and traditional folk tunes are reborn as disco dance floor-fillers.

Fusion has never felt so good. Or been so much fun.

The subject of two documentary films, George Sapounidis has long pursued his dream of drawing new sounds from old worlds. He has sung and played Chinese favourites. He has recorded an album of Greek classics. The eccentric Greek-Canadian has indeed brought his party to China, on a series of well-received tours and appearances in front of hundreds of millions on Chinese television. Now, he is bringing it all back home, as Greece and China meet for a two-night musical summit in Ottawa.

The man has his bouzouki at the ready. Moreover, he has a stellar band that includes stalwart locals Fred Guignion, Anders Drerup and Ross Murray alongside Yadong Guan and Zichan Yang. It’s guitars meet guzheng as daring new adventures are forged. With a beat.

The latest Chairman George album has been described as “groundbreaking.” That seems an understatement: George’s new music bores a hole from Ottawa to Beijing. A pipeline, if you will, to bring an unnatural resource to a vast market.

It is a love letter from one ancient culture to another. A marriage of styles and sounds. The New Old World. A trans-Pacific partnership that seems a fair trade.

Prepare for two nights of bouzouki madness at the National Arts Centre’s Fourth Stage, Oct. 17 and 18. Tickets are $35 plus surcharges and are available at the NAC Box Office or through ticketmaster.ca. You may also order by phone at 1-888-991-2787.

Chairman George Official 2018 Music Video ‘Golden Night’

For further details or to set up an interview with Chairman George: info@chairmangeorge.com. chairmangeorge.com

Melodic Folk-pop, Singer-songwriter Abby Zotz Releases Music Video for “Big Hope”

Abby Zotz
Big Hope is the first video for Abby Zotz’s upcoming CD, Local Honey, releasing Sept. 2018

Big Hope is a co-write between Canadian singer-songwriter Abby Zotz and her former Two Roads Home partner Bryan Williston. Inspired by the challenges of a refugee family struggling to re-unite in Canada, it was shot by musician and videographer Joel Saunders. The gorgeous setting in the Scarborough Bluffs area of Toronto reflects the optimism and joy the song is infused with.

Abby had a blast filming this video. It’s been a few years since she’s been in front of a camera – she was an actor for many years as well as a musician, but music ended up paying the bills better – imagine that!  However, it all came back to her easily and Joel’s editing has enriched the look and feel so much.

Join me in congratulating my client Abby Zotz on this beautiful piece of work. I don’t know about you, but these days I feel as if we need Big Hope more than ever.

Hope you enjoy it!!

Learn more about Abby Zotz at abbyzmusic.com.

Sultans of String Celebrate Lyric Inclusivity of O Canada with a New Video & Recording

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In January 2018, legislation was passed to make an important change in the English-language version of Canada’s national anthem O Canada. The line “True patriot love in all thy sons command” was replaced with “True patriot love in all of us command” to ensure gender parity. This is an important step towards recognizing and including all Canadians in our national anthem.

3x JUNO Award nominees/CFMA winners Sultans of String are celebrating this change with a new video and recording!

As bandleader Chris McKhool explains, music is a perfect medium for uniting people for social justice: “What I really love about music is its ability to bring together people and cultures in a way that emulates what we love to see in the world, creating collaborations that break down the barriers that divide us, helping us to see our common humanity, and providing a model for peace. So we went into the streets of Toronto and invited people to write a message on our ‘Peace Kite’, and then flew it to spread the message of inclusion and peace across the country. Making this video revealed the tremendous generosity and goodwill of regular Canadians, and the gratitude and pride we all feel about our country. It also reminded us of Canada’s important reputation as a peacekeeping nation, and a haven to which people from around the world find freedom from persecution and war.”

For a musician whose career has been dedicated to bridging cultures through song, these themes are particularly meaningful. McKhool, whose name would have been spelled Makhoul in Kfarmishki, Lebanon, where his ancestors are from, loves being able to write and perform music with people from around the world who share a common vision. This production is another in an ongoing collaboration with award-winning Pakistani Canadian sitar player Anwar Khurshid.  “He’s become a great musical and personal friend”, says McKhool. “Together we started writing songs about the freedom and equality we personally experience living here in Canada, and about our hope of creating a better world for all.”

We welcome individuals and schools to download and use our MP3s royalty-free.  
  
English version on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Q_cwkqa14Cg
 
Bilingual version on YouTube: https://youtu.be/PLOAYoT4X-Q 

 


Credits:

Sultans of String:
Chris McKhool – violin
Kevin Laliberte – guitar
Drew Birston – bass
Rosendo ‘Chendy’ Leon – percussion

Featuring special guests:
Anwar Khurshid – sitar
Rebecca Campbell – vocals
Ravi Naimpally – tabla
Choir – Amoy Levy, Ciceal Levy, Adrienne McKenzie, Camille Harrison, Nevon Sinclair, Danah Martin

Produced by Chris McKhool
Engineered, mixed, mastered by John ‘Beetle’ Bailey
Videography by Jake Roels
Flag pattern by Gabriel Oliveira

www.sultansofstring.com
www.facebook.com/sultansofstring
twitter.com/sultansofstring
For more info, and to invite Chris McKhool and Sultans of String for presentations, please contact:
Lisa Weitz
416-624-3466 (office) • 416-846-6877 (cell)
lw@lwcommunications.ca

Civil Wray Releases New Video “Fie” From Self-Titled Debut Album

Toronto Singer-Songwriter On Tour Now in Maritimes, Album Official Launches September 29 at Toronto’s Monarch Tavern

Civil Wray

Photo Credit: Ivan Otis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 22, 2017

TORONTO ON — Toronto singer/songwriter Civil Wray (aka Andrea de Boer) has released a new video for the track “Fie” from her self-titled debut album. It coincides with her current tour schedule in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and finds her officially launching the album back home on Sept. 29 at the Monarch Tavern(see full schedule below).

Civil Wray represents a new musical and lyrical direction for de Boer, who has channeled all of her past experience into a new and fresh identity. The seven-track collection was produced by Chris Stringer (Timber Timbre, Holly McNarland, Jill Barber), and features guitarist Champagne James Robertson, keyboardist Robbie Grunwald, bassist Devon Henderson and drummer Joshua Van Tassel collaborating with de Boer to create an indie rock vibe with a touch of country that intensifies her trademark smoky vocals.

“Numb”—the first single to radio, produced by Matt DeMatteo—is an upbeat, surprisingly sultry pop track that finds de Boer sounding more vibrant and vixen-ish than ever before. Another key track is “Fie,” which, infused with a lush, Latin dance-pop vibe, displays de Boer’s dexterous vocal range over a full tropical template of orchestral synths. Furthermore, on “Don’t Make Me,” she looks to Bobbie Gentry’s iconic “Ode to Billie Joe” for inspiration, adding some Southern Gothic romanticism to the mix.

As for the origin of “Civil Wray,” de Boer came up with the concept when contemplating retiring her previous moniker blueVenus. A friend suggested titling her next album “Civil,” a word that soon took on deeper meaning for de Boer in terms of how she wanted to live her life. She later came across the word “Wray,” which in Old English means “discover.” Putting them together represented to de Boer how everyone can keep learning how to treat people better.

De Boer considers the years spent performing as blueVenus, which produced her 2009 debut Grin, a blessing. This period also included tours of North American and Europe, along with a six-year residency at Castro’s, one of Toronto’s legendary music venues, making her well prepared to record Civil Wray live off-the-floor.

Ultimately, Civil Wray is a testament to the confidence de Boer has displayed in making a major professional transition that’s allowed her to musically reframe the world. “Sometimes you just let music percolate and have its own life,” she says. “When you don’t have control over your own life, you can sometimes transform it through a song. It’s all about hope.”

Andrea de Boer is available for interviews.

CIVIL WRAY TOUR DATES

Mon. Aug. 28 :: Halifax NS :: The Carlton (HUFF Festival)
Tues. Aug. 29 :: Charlottetown PE :: Baba’s Lounge
Wed. Aug. 30 :: Saint John NB :: Pub Down Under
Thurs. Aug. 31 :: Fredericton NB :: Grimross Taproom
Fri. Sept. 1 :: St. Andrews NB :: Red Herring
Sat. Sept. 2 :: Halifax NS :: The Loose Cannon (HUFF Festival)
Fri. Sept. 29 :: Toronto ON :: Monarch Tavern [Official CD launch]
Fri. Oct. 20 :: Montreal QC :: Le Cagibi
Fri. Nov. 3 :: South Branch Bistro :: Kemptville ON

Civil Wray

TRACK LIST

1. Don’t Make Me
2. Numb
3. Midnight
4. Fie
5. Crows
6. Talk About Lies
7. Try

For all enquiries, please contact:

Jason Schneider / jason@jasonschneidermedia.com / 226-500-4865

The Bombadils Release “The Fountain” Official Video

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Today’s the day! Borealis Records recording artists, The Bombadils, are so excited to share this video for their song, “The Fountain” from their album New Shoes!

Written by Sarah Frank and Alan Mackie about summer travels and adventure, the video came together last summer and fall, featuring shots of Montreal, Quebec, and St John’s, Newfoundland. It’s a dreamy display of fountains and mountains, cool old buildings, fish, birds, and other summertime delights, all wondrously captured by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin.

Although The Bombadils made the video long before they had any plans to move to Halifax, it’s interesting that the locations that Nasuna filmed create a parallel to their recent move from Montreal to the east coast. Looks like Nasuna was one step ahead of them!

Video ~ Nasuna Stuart-Ulin
Audio ~ James Perrella & Julia Graff
Songwriting ~ Sarah Frank & Alan Mackie (aka Berty Lancaster)
Band ~ The Bombadils (Sarah Frank on fiddle and vocals, Luke Fraser on guitar and vocals)

Big thank you to Borealis Records and The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent On Recordings (FACTOR) for making this possible.

New Shoes available through Borealis Records, iTunes, and Spotify.

 

Ann Vriend New Video & Single “Will You Be There?” on Aporia Records Out Now

ANN VRIEND
NEW VIDEO
WILL YOU BE THERE?
OUT DECEMBER 9TH!

“Don’t miss her.” ~ Toronto Star
“Holy wow! What a voice!” ~ The AU Review in Australia
“Vriend’s voice is unmistakable, catching and powerful,” ~ The Calgary Sun

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TORONTO – 2016 – The captivating and powerhouse vocalist Ann Vriend (AV) releases new single and video “Will You Be There,” (Aporia Records), a compelling song propelled by an irresistible dance beat, a catchy horn sample, and Vriend’s invincible vocal prowess. The single’s out now on iTunes, Spotify and all regular digital distribution channels. For more info please visit: www.annvriend.com /www.aporia-records.com.

One listen to “Will You Be There?” and you’ll know how great a singer, songwriter, and musician Ann Vriend (AV) is; witness one live performance, and you’ll fall in love with her. Of all the things she is, AV is definitely the real deal.

The Edmonton-based singer-songwriter has spent considerable time with her backing band in New Orleans, studying the convergence of gospel, blues, funk, soul, Caribbean beats, and jazz – and staying up late trying to experience as much of it as possible. All those elements are combined in “Will You Be There?” as the ever-evolving and revolving door of sounds and culture from Crescent City continues to inspire and influence the world of pop and R&B – even as far north as Edmonton, Alberta.

Produced by Tino Zolfo – a soul bassist himself back in the day – “Will You Be There?” is an intense New Orleans funk/dance R&B song about how easy it is to “be around” for the good times, the party, the nightclub fun. But then it asks “will you be there for the other part?” Whether asking that of a lover, of friends, of fans, or of the world at large, it’s left open-ended for the listener to decide.

The song is musically very upbeat and danceable, but also has a darker vibe and is a cautionary tale about the night life and being careful when you cross the line. It continues in AV’s ‘70s soul direction, but would sit quite comfortably on any playlist alongside the contemporary voices of Bruno Mars, Pharrell Williams, Amy Winehouse, Meghan Trainor, and Adele.

More about AV

AV recently signed with Toronto-based record label Aporia. She has appeared on CBC’s “Vinyl Café” with Stuart McLean, ABC TV’s prime time music comedy trivia show “Spicks and Specks,” ABC Radio’s “The Inner Sleeve” plus Sydney Mornings with Wendy Harmer, and Germany’s “Arte TV.” She has been featured in Elle Magazine and performed at Koerner Hall via the Songwriters’ Association of Canada, alongside Dan Hill, Marc Jordan, Melanie Doane, and others.

Musicians on the Recording:

Ann Vriend: vocals, keys, background vocals
Tino Zolfo: bass, programming

Upcoming Dates

January 7 – The Rec Room, Edmonton, AB
January 21 – Toronto Blues Summit as part of Rooster Davis Group, Toronto, ON
February 9 – March 12 – Australia EP Release Tour

Artist Links:

Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/aporia-records/ann-vriend-will-you-be-there

https://soundcloud.com/aporia-records/ann-vriend-anybodys-different/s-dEJII

Spotify: https://play.spotify.com/artist/3vjHMysd98leqhwDotu9fZ

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/AnnVriend

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnVriend

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnnVriend #WillYouBeThere

Intagram: https://www.instagram.com/annvriend  

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For more information, photos, mp3s, WAV files, interviews, please contact:

MEDIA CONTACT:

Beverly Kreller, Publicist | SPEAK Music
bev@speak-music.com | 416-922-3620
Twitter: @SPEAKMusicPR
Facebook: www.facebook.com/beverly.kreller

 

 

Russell Broom-Produced LP Captures Dramatic Transformation of Young Edmonton Songstress Rebecca Lappa

Rebecca Lappa Set to Release Reckless Heart on Nov. 2

Russell Broom-Produced LP Captures Dramatic
Transformation of Young Edmonton Songstress

Rebecca Lappa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Sept. 30, 2016

Toronto ON — On Rebecca Lappa’s latest album, Reckless Heart, officially released through iTunes on Nov. 2, the wise-beyond-her-years singer/songwriter bravely dives into the complicated sea of emotions that define modern romance. She emerges with a collection sure to add her name to the roll call of Canada’s brightest new voices.

Armed with powerful songs such as the brooding “Breathe In The Storm,” the uplifting first single “Carnival Of Love,” and the hard-rocking “Crockpot Girl,” Rebecca teamed up with JUNO-winning producer Russell Broom (Jann Arden, Chantal Kreviazuk), who helped guide her toward a new musical vision for Reckless Heart.

“Russell was very open about asking me how I thought things should sound and be arranged, which was something new for me,” Rebecca says. “I came to him with about 50 songs and together we examined the strengths and weaknesses of each one until we decided the ones to focus on for the album. I learned so much going through that process with him, and it’s completely changed how I view my work.”

Watch + Share “Carnival Of Love” [Lyric Video]

 ABOUT REBECCA LAPPA

A native of Edmonton, Alberta, Rebecca Lappa’s journey in music began at a young age with classical vocal training. She is a five-time Canadian Folk Music Awards nominee, winning once in 2015 for her album Tattered Rose. She has also performed at many major events in Canada, including the Edmonton Folk Festival, Canmore Folk Festival, Winnipeg Folk Festival and Ottawa Bluesfest. She has a particularly special relationship with the Calgary Folk Festival where she is a two-time winner of its songwriting competition.

Rebecca released her first album in 2011 while still in Grade 8, and went on to compose three one-woman musicals over the next several years. As well, she has contributed songs to other live theatre productions, which have been performed at the Edmonton Fringe Festival and elsewhere. Rebecca’s primary interest during this time was traditional folk music and mythology, which complemented her formal musical education.

While she felt comfortable as a folk artist—one project she is particularly proud of is her album based on poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson, which was named Adult Alternative Recording of the Year at the Edmonton Music Awards—since releasing Tattered Rose, Rebecca has felt the urge to break away from these influences and establish a new musical identity. Part of that has also included forming a new trio, Rebecca and The Revelry, which will be hitting the road in support of Reckless Heart.

REBECCA LAPPA RESTLESS HEART RELEASE SHOWS:

Oct 28 :: Calgary AB :: Calgary Folk Club
Oct 30 :: Edmonton AB :: Have Mercy
Spring Tour To Be Announced Soon!

Rebecca Lappa Reckless Heart


REBECCA LAPPA – Reckless Heart

Track List:

1. Crockpot Girl
2. Crawl
3. Yesterday’s Wine
4. Love In A Killing
5. Mary Jo
6. Till The King Comes Home
7. Breathe In The Storm
8. Carnival Of Love
9. Bonnie And Clyde
10. Baby Set Me Free
11. Secret Love

For additional press materials and interview requests, please contact:
Jason Schneider :: jason@jasonschneidermedia.com :: 226.500.4865