Ann Vriend Wins Cobalt Prize for “It’s Happening” at 2019 Maple Blues Awards

Ann Vriend wins Cobalt Prize

Edmonton based singer-songwriter Ann Vriend won the Toronto Blues Society‘s 5th Annual Cobalt Prize Contemporary Blues Composition Award (her second win!) at the 22nd Annual Maple Blues Awards on Monday, February 4, 2019 for her song “It’s Happening”, an empowering and gritty, inner-city soul anthem.  Paul Reddick, the founder of the award and a Juno award-winning musician and songwriter, and the panel of judges chose Ann’s song from 55 different entries!

“It’s Happening” was recorded June 4, 2018, with students from the Sifton Elementary School ChoirSifton Elementary is a school in North Edmonton where some 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 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 (Poppa Champagne), 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. 

CREDITS

Words, Music, Choir Arrangement, Lead Vocals, Keys: AV
Choir: Sifton Elementary School Choir, directed by Music Teacher Kristina Kuchta
Bass, Percussion, Programming, Music Production, Video Filming, Video Director, Video Editing: Tino Zolfo (Poppa Champagne)

Music recorded by Randor Lin at Velveteen Audio, Edmonton
Music mixed by Brandon Unis, Edmonton
Music mastered by Peter Letros, Wreckhouse Mastering, Toronto
Video filmed at Velveteen Audio, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Camera Assistance by Brad Nelson, Cylinder Sound & Film
Project Coordinated by AV, Highlands Jr High Principal Brad Burns, Sifton Elementary School Principal Martin Fechner, Music Teacher Kristina Kuchta, and the Edmonton Public Schools Foundation via Tracy Poulin

You can purchase the song at: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/annvriend6

ARTIST LINKS

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

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

ANN VRIEND WINS COBALT PRIZE AT 2017 MAPLE BLUES AWARDS!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aporia Records Logo imageAporia Records Logo

ANN VRIEND

WINS COBALT PRIZE

AT 2017 MAPLE BLUES AWARDS

Ann Vriend Cobalt Prize


TORONTO – TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2017 –
Big Win for Ann Vriend! Following on the heels of her powerful and well-received Blues Summit Eight showcase with Rooster Davis Group (also her backing band), Ann Vriend is more than thrilled that she has won the Toronto Blues Society’s COBALT PRIZE at last night’s Maple Blues Awards. The event took place at Toronto’s Koerner Hall where Vriend was handed the award for Contemporary Blues Composition/Songwriting for her song “All That I Can” (Aporia Records), a soulful gospel tune. For more information please visit: www.annvriend.com / www.aporia-records.com.

The Toronto Blues Society’s annual Cobalt Prize is judged on a song’s ability to creatively utilize blues traditions within the broad contemporary musical landscape. With a focus on melody, song structure, lyric etc. they also choose the song that “will refresh and enrich blues as an art form.”

The Cobalt Prize judges decided that Edmonton-based Ann Vriend’s “All That I Can” achieved just that, and selected it as first place winner among 75 entries from across Canada. Shocked and ecstatic from the win, Vriend gave a speech noting the inspiration from the African-American community, reminding the audience that they were all there because of a music that came out of great hardship, slavery, and abuse of the African-American people – and yet blues music has had the most profound influence on almost all genres of music world-wide than any other genre.

“All That I Can” is a new track from AV’s upcoming EP release via Aporia Records. It will also be released in Australia next month, alongside four other original tracks, in an EP entitled Anybody’s Different, licensed by David Hand Productions from Aporia Records. With the vocals recorded in primarily one take, the song has a live-off-the-floor feeling and falls into the category of gospel blues with its 6/8 time signature. The music is very traditional gospel, but the lyrics are secular. The Hammond organ combined with upright piano and AV’s soul vocals are reminiscent of early gospel and soul recordings in the era of Sam Cooke. However, there is also a contemporary twist in the sound too – since the drums used on this track are sampled in the style of retro hip hop, and eq’ed to give the song a rough low-fi edge, in contrast with Vriend’s smooth and sweet (though powerful) vocals.

The lyrics of the song are an earnest promise to a lover to do “all that I can” if the lover is willing to “take me just as I am” – a plea to be a true friend and companion in a world where “sometimes I think they wanna break me, just to see if they can.” Though Vriend points out: “but they mistake me as a weak and silly woman,” which could be taken as a slight jab at the misogyny that is sadly, still so prevalent in the world.

Following this very fruitful weekend in Toronto, is a showcase tonight at Aporia Record Label, 714 Gerrard Street East, Toronto, at 6:30 pm. Then Vriend will tour Australia with the Rooster Davis Group next month for a five-week tour, to support the Anybody’s Different EP followed by a European Tour from May 13-29, 2017.

More on “All That I Can”

Composer: Ann Vriend
Producer: Tino Zolfo
Mixing engineer: Brandon Unis, Cylinder Sound
Film mastering engineer: Peter Letros, Wreckhouse Mastering
Label: Aporia Records 

Musicians

Vocals and Piano: Ann Vriend
Organ: Rooster Davis (David Aide)
Programming: Tino Zolfo

Upcoming Dates

February 9 – March 12 – Australia EP Release Tour

Artist Links

Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/annvriend/all-that-i-canwav

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 #AllThatICan

Instagram: 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