Tag Archives: Canadian musicians


I recently browsed the upcoming concert schedule for Toronto venues and next month, Hugh’s Room is presenting G2R (details at end of story), who play the music of Genesis, one of my favourite bands I listened to in the 70’s & 80’s.

GenesisI was always a huge Peter Gabriel fan but must admit I always prefered his solo work (Shock the Monkey, Biko, Sledgehammer), and that cheeky-monkey Phil Collins always made me smile whether he was on the drums or on screen with his movie career. When I read about G2R, I knew I had to reach out to them and learn more so I connected with band spokesman and keyboard player, Doug Chase (pictured below) who told me more about the accomplished Canadian musicians who make up G2R and their journey through Genesis’ musical history and repertoire.

IMG_1560Doug, what inspired the formation of your band, G2R and why the name?  I think individually we have all wanted to do this very amazing and difficult music and then it kind of happened by accident. G2R is short for Genesis to Revelation which was the first Genesis album and has a ‘beginning to end’ connotation which fits with us doing all eras of Genesis music. We didn’t want to use ‘Genesis to Revelation” because it might confuse listeners into thinking we were just doing music from that first album.

How did all the players come together – were you all friends or previous bandmates? Three of us met at an audition. And it took us a while to find the right singer and drummer;  we lucked into finding a top notch drummer in John Walker and then we met vocalist James Hastings. A lot of people can do Peter Gabriel or Phil Collins decently, but not many can do them well. James does them both brilliantly.


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IMG_1509How long have you been performing as G2R?  We’ve been putting this together for about 5 years but finally playing for the past two years. Our music is a tribute to Genesis and we play it with the utmost professionalism and dedication to honour the music.

Who are your audiences? Are they boomers or younger, prog-rock fans? It’s more boomers than anything, but people of all ages enjoy our music for sure. Genesis is a bit more niche than bands like The Beatles or Queen, so the kids haven’t found their music quite as easily. But once they do, you won’t find many people who don’t enjoy Genesis music. That’s the great thing about Genesis – they explored so many avenues so they’re bound to connect with just about everyone on some level.

20141108_203857Who do you prefer: Gabriel or Collins…or another era? We like all eras of the band but with one commonality – where the music has depth. ‘Selling England By The Pound’ was concise and had great melodies and beautiful arrangements, as did ‘A Trick Of The Tail’, ‘Duke’ and ‘We Can’t Dance’. Genesis was never afraid to venture into new directions, but every album still maintained an utmost dedication to being true to themselves and their music at that time. We enjoy playing ‘Second Home By The Sea’ as much as ‘In The Cage’. Some of our audiences prefer the Gabriel era while others prefer the Collins era but we play music from both eras – eventually everyone hears music they love.

Gabriel CollinsWhat songs are most requested by your fans? Fans love hearing ‘Carpet Crawlers’, ‘In the Cage’, ‘Mama’ and ‘Watcher of the Skies’.

Where have you previously played and what upcoming shows can your fans attendWe’ve played theatres like The Blackforest Inn in Waterloo, The Jazz Room and others and had dates set up for The Shenkman Centre in Ottawa, The Rialto in Montreal and places in Quebec City and Cape Breton…..until Brian May of Queen called up our guitarist Bob Wegner and asked him to come do We Will Rock You in Europe for a few months. So Bob is now in rehearsals for We Will Rock You down in warm sunny Florida and our original Spring tour has been postponed.  But it’s the upcoming show at Hugh’s Room in Toronto that is uppermost in our minds right now….we want to rock Toronto!  Please visit our website for news of performance dates later this year once Bob returns. G2R official website: http://g2r.ca/

G2R is:
James Hastings, vocals
Bob Wegner, guitar
Tom Nagy, bass
John Walker, drums
Doug Chase, keyboards
(full bios on the G2R website)

G2R plays Hugh’s Room in Toronto on Tuesday March 10th. Tkts $25 in advance or $27.50 at the door.
Details here:  http://hughsroom.com/2015/01/genesis-to-revelation-g2r/

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CEILING, music and lyrics by Sarah Fisher, Derek Hoffman and David Fischer

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Shot in numerous locations across Toronto, including Bayview Glen School, the video shows how everyone can push through the ceiling and be whoever they want to be in life, and if you want something badly enough, it’s worth working hard for. This philosophy has guided Sarah in her own life, and wanting to share this with others, Sarah was inspired to write this song with music industry pro’s Derek Hoffman and David Fischer.

In the video, the youngsters (students from Bayview Glen) show that you can achieve your dreams and goals when you truly believe in yourself, no matter how young (or old) you are. You can be a skater, a gymnast, you can be a musician, even a great cook…and if you work hard at relationships, those, too, can be successful and happy throughout your life. It reinforces self-respect and kindness, attributes that are rarely incorporated in today’s pop music videos.

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Featured in a very touching scene is an elderly serviceman reminiscing about his glory days in the military; that gentleman is, in fact, Sarah’s grandfather, Judge Hugh Foster, who fought in Normandy during WWII and landed on Juno beach where he lost a leg. When he returned from the war, he entered the legal profession eventually becoming a well-respected judge.

The skater is played by Carley Alison, an 18yr old cancer survivor who certainly pushed through the ceiling big time.  The little fairy princess girl is Sarah Kluge, and the cute-as-a-button dog is Gypsy, who belongs to Sarah’s sister, Kelly.

The inspirational video suggests all the images you see are simply pictures on a ceiling, and Sarah is seen in the closing scenes high atop a ladder putting up a heart.

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 Ceiling is available now on iTunes for just $0.99

If you’re in Toronto this Sunday (July 20) join Sarah at Yonge/Dundas Square for a live performance of Ceiling (approx.8:45pm) on the main stage of YOUTH DAY, a celebration of Canada’s young citizens. She will also be appearing at the Kids Help Phone booth between 5:30-6:30pm for autographs and photo opps (come take a selfie with Sarah). Sarah is the official spokesperson for KHP.

You can also see the Ceiling video at www.SarahFisher.ca & you can follower Sarah at http://www.Facebook.com/Sarah-Fisher

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Introducing…..DEENA. Exciting new Canadian singer/songwriter set to launch Kickstarter campaign for video production

I’m thrilled to represent Canadian recording artist and actress DEENA who is about to launch a major Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of 2 music videos.

model03The stunning Greek/Canadian beauty is a serious triple threat – she’s a singer/songwriter, she acts and is even an accomplished model.  I was thrilled to sign with Deena and her manager, Sam Ottaviano of EMG CANADA last week and we’re currently strategizing her upcoming promotional campaign for both the Kickstarter campaign and the launch of her new website, as well as upcoming live appearances in and around Toronto.

Inspired by such varied vocalists as Celine Dion, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and numerous Greek artists such as Yanni, Despina Vandi and the legendary Nana Mouskouri, Deena’s musical tastes run from pop to jazz, to contemporary Greek, Euro club and middle eastern music.

When recently asked about her selection of music and songwriting, Deena told me:  “I recently wrote “You’re Not Alone” and “Burning For You”, and co-wrote “Supernova” with composer Rupert Gayle. I look forward to developing as a songwriter as I continue growing my career. I need to have a deep connection to the song mentally, physically and spiritually and any cover song I perform has to represent me in one way or another.”


Growing up in the 90’s, I was always fascinated and impressed by Jennifer Lopez and Madonna,” Deena continues. “I loved and admired Michael Jackson for his hard work, passion, dedication and compassion. And The Spice Girls – they inspired “girl power” within me. Peggy Lee and Ella Fitzgerald are two of my favourite jazz artists. And the story of Selena Quintanilla‘s rise and tragic end really spoke to me as an artist: to always strive for better, reach out to others through music and performance, and always be aware at all times of who you trust and allow into your inner circle.”

Welcome aboard the Fordham PR publicity express, Deena – I look forward to helping you impact the Canadian and world music scene.  Watch this space for news of her website and crowd-funding launches.


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Canadian Baritone Jonathan Estabrooks To Release Debut Album ‘These Miles’ April 8th

My Vancouver-based PR colleague, Jen Fritz of FRITZ MEDIA sent me a media advisory about her uber cool client, Jonathan Estabrooks, who is launching his debut album later this month – he’s making a surprise appearance in Toronto this Friday so I wanted to share the news of Jonathan’s music and appearances with my readers.  Check it out……and thank you for supporting Canadian artists!
Album Release Shows in Toronto & Ottawa 
Toronto, ON – After raising $27, 500 USD through Kickstarter, to finance the recording of his debut album and attracting the attention of 5-time GRAMMY award-winning producer Dave Reitzas (Barbra Streisand, Josh Groban), Canadian baritone Jonathan Estabrooks is set to independently release the fan-funded album, ‘These Miles’, on April 8th, 2014. To mark the release of the album, Jonathan Estabrooks will be performing album release shows in Toronto and his hometown of Ottawa. He’ll be performing at The Drake Underground in Toronto this Friday April 4th and in Ottawa at The National Arts Centre on April 10th.
With elements of classical, pop and classic musical theatre, ‘These Miles’ is a stunning and energetic debut LP, fusing classic, unforgettable melodies with the lushness of the Macedonia Radio Orchestra. The album was recorded with over 50 musicians in London, Macedonia, New York City and Los Angeles. Collaborations on the album include: Simon Cowell discovery and SONY Masterworks artist, Jonathan Antoine and New Age classical pianist/composer Jennifer Thomas. The collabarations with both Antoine and Thomas were orchestrated with the use of social media. An avid user of Twitter (over 20K followers) and Facebook, Estabrooks is a new breed of classical performer, using social media to connect and grow his fanbase. He initially reached out to both artists about working together through Facebook and was successful in conducting cross ocean collaborations through the use of Skype & social media.
Hailed by the New York Times as ‘a robust baritone’, a graduate of the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City with recent debuts at Carnegie Hall, Jonathan Estabrooks continues to make a unique and rich contribution to the performing arts world. His vocalism and performance style have been called “commanding, rich, fresh and energetic”, his stage presence likened to that of a young Ron Howard. 
 Jonathan Estabrooks has appeared in recital, concert and opera in Canada, the United States and abroad. His impressive vocal delivery has taken him around the world, in Opera and concert performances and to venues such as Carnegie Hall. He’s performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Israeli Chamber Orchestra and alongside Broadway stars Ashley Brown and Aaron Lazar. His performances have been broadcast throughout Canada on CBC Television and he’s performed for the Governor General, The Prime Minister of Canada, the US Ambassador to Canada, The Italian Ambassador to Canada and President Bill Clinton.
Jonathan Estabrooks’ debut album ‘These Miles’ will be available for digital pre-sale through iTunes & other digital retailers on March 11th with the official release date on April 8th, 2014. Be sure to catch him live at his album release shows in Toronto on April 4th and Ottawa on April 10th. More shows will be added soon, please visit jonathanestabrooks.com for the most up-to-date tour information.
RELEASE DATE: APRIL 8th, 2014 (Independent)
1.  Play Me
2.  Kathy’s Song
3.  Time After Time
4.  Le Cose Che Tu Sei (The Things You Are to Me) ft. Jennifer Thomas
5.  Calling You
6.  She
7.  Por Una Cabesa ft. Jonathan Antoine
8.  Always On My Mind
9.  Away From The Roll Of The Sea
10. Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home
11. All The Things 
12. Fly Away (Bonus Track)


April 4th – Toronto, ON – The Drake Underground @ The Drake Hotel (8:00 PM) 
April 10th – Ottawa, ON – National Arts Centre – 4th Stage (7:30 PM)  
May 20 & 21 – Toronto, ON – Roy Thompson Hall (Featured soloist with Toronto Symphony Orchestra for Classic Broadway: Lerner & Loewe) 


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