Buy a Record, Make a Difference is a new series we have created to help local musicians generate income during COVID-19. It is based on the principle that we should support and reward the hard work local artists have already put into recordings, as it is an immensely difficult undertaking to be creating new material under current circumstances. There is currently a lot of emphasis on livestreaming and innovation in our industry, and while those things absolutely have their place, we think it’s also important to boost projects that have already been completed.
In each post, we’ll ask a local artist a series of the same questions, give them the opportunity to talk about recordings they’re proud of, and ask them to talk about other local musicians whose work they admire. It’s our hope that you’ll take the time to listen to & purchase the work of local artists, or at the very least share their work with others.
1. Who are you?
I am a 2x JUNO-nominated bassist, composer, producer and educator who lives in Port Coquitlam B.C. with my husband and son. I was raised in South Surrey and studied music at McGill University in Montreal. In 2007, I completed my M.Ed. in Arts Education at SFU. I have previously been a faculty member at Capilano University and Kwantlen Polytechnic University but I am currently working as the Jazz Department Chair at the VSO School of Music where I have been helping to develop programs such as the Summer Jazz Workshop, Girls’ Jazz Day, Da Capo Program from Seniors, the VSO SoM Honour Jazz Combo, the Songwriting Workshop, the Performance Prep Program and all of the year long jazz course and lesson offerings.
In 2007 and 2008, I was awarded the National Jazz Award for Bassist of the Year and in 2019 the Western Canadian Music Award for Jazz Artist of the Year. I just finished an interim position as the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Manager of Education and Community Outreach during the 2019/2020 season.
2. Describe your music as best you can.
I am a jazz bassist by training who loves to collaborate with musicians from all backgrounds. My music is firmly rooted in the jazz tradition but I love incorporating new colours and perspectives from other genres. Recent collaborations include Triology with Miles Black and Bill Coon, the Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble, Chor Leoni, the Fusion Ensemble with Mohammed Assani/Itamar Erez/Hamin Honari, and the Sisters Jazz Orchestra.
I love playing with other joyful and openhearted musicians and I think the music reflects that.
3. What’s your latest recording (or a recording you’d like to promote)? Where can people get it?
My latest album is called Sun Songs and it features wonderful local players Tilden Webb on piano, Jesse Cahill on drums and Steve Kaldestad on saxophone as well as Canadian treasure, Laila Biali on vocals. You can find it in the store on my website where you will receive a hard copy, a handmade thank you note and the digital download.
You can also find it on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and all of the other digital platforms.
Please feel free to sign up for my mailing list to stay in touch!
4. Is there another local musician whose work you’d like to give a shout out to?
These three are unbelievably talented creators and collaborators, wonderful people and deserving of our love and support.