Monday, September 30, 2013

Lassos and Bullhorns

Andrea Koziol and myself (Kathryn Rose) were in Marshall TX on Sep 21 for Jeans 'n Classics' 7th annual appearance at their fine outdoor concert event. We love playing this show! Here are some notes and photos from another fun trip! 

We'll start with this very dignified clip of Andrea and Kathryn chair racing during a 4 + hour layover at the Monroe LA airport...

This entry was penned by Andrea Koziol, with photos by Andrea and Kathryn, and comments by Kathryn Rose:

Andrea wrote:

I was really looking forward to heading down to Texas last weekend for an evening of music with the Marshall Symphony.  The show was a best of J&C vocalists Gavin Hope and Michael Shotton, and it spanned a wicked repertoire from Zeppelin and the Eagles to classic Motown and Mr. Wonder!  A joy to sing?  Yes!

Kathryn and I got an early start for our travel day to Texas, but the severe storm and broken altimeter on our plane made for an untimely emergency landing a mere 100 miles from our destination.  We spent 4 hours in Monroe Louisiana airport, crossing our fingers for a new plane to arrive.  Thanks to the pizza delivery, a little good humor, and our new favorite sport of airport chair racing, we didn't lose our joyful spirit, and made it to Marshall later that night.

Of Delta Airlines' pizza offered as a concession for being stranded in Monroe LA, Kathryn thinks..."Hmmm... should I eat this or save it in case this becomes an 8 hour layover..."

Andrea's awesome SkyMiles Catalogue Collage! She used Crystal Light drink crystals as glue! You can always have fun stranded at a small airport!
KR and AK starting to get a little squirrely...

After our rehearsal on Saturday, we did a quick tootle about town to see if we could locate the 2 items we were hoping to bring home as gifts.  I was looking for a pair of mounted bullhorns for my son, and KR was hoping to find a lasso for her father.  Apparently travelers to the area aren't often interested in such things...go figure!  We struck out.  Heads bowed in despair, we mentioned our plight to Tiffany Ammerman (host extraordinaire) and she made a call to the one man who could turn our frowns upside down.  Later that night when we arrived for the show we were greeted with both a lasso and bullhorns next to our mic stands.  Heart be still!  Tiffany's dad Dewey had magically made both appear, from his personal collection.  Now that is going above and beyond.  

Kathryn and Andrea with Dewey's gift of lasso and bullhorns, sidestage after the show!
The performance was wild and wooly and wonderful.  We all sang our guts out, the audience was sublime, and the Marshall symphony rocked the house.  After the show, I had the great privilege of being roped on the sidewalk by Dewey himself.  (Believe it or not...that was a first!) 

Thanks to everyone who made the weekend spectacular.  Big shouts out to Mike McMurry for driving us everywhere, to Tiffany and the team, and to the incredible people we had the privilege of meeting.  Marshall is a special place.  I truly can't wait to go back.  

Andrea and Kathryn with our Marshall TX driver and great guy, Mike McMurry

Look! We've become such a fixture in Marshall TX they even named a menu after us!

Peter Brennan, KR, and bullhorns

Kathryn & bullhorns
AK & bullhorns
VIP JnC concert wristbands!

Andrea Koziol's True Grits

This trip taught me that Texas hospitality is glorious...and that a standard suitcase is just big enough to bring home my little boy's dream come true. -AK

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Road Finds: Cream Soups Master Sheet

When I got my first job as a singer and went on the road, I didn't have a lot of room for extra stuff, since there were 5 of us traveling with all our gear and personal belongings in a modified school van. 

Undaunted by practicality, I took up collecting cookbooks that I found in vintage stores on our travels. Never mind that they were heavy and useless in a hotel room, I found, carried, and read them with great joy and contentment; they were the easiest way to remind myself what "home" felt like.  

I still have a few of these gems, including "Better Homes and Gardens Soups and Stews", an excerpt from which I am happy to share for your fall soup-making pleasure!


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Back To Skool!

It's September... and you know what that means...
The kids are back to school, and Jeans 'n Classics is heading back out on the road!

I asked the women of JnC to send in their telltale signs of the shift back to reality. Here's what they sent in.



"Oliver trying out the glide... of new pens at Midoco. School supplies pile at the left. 
Total cost $60!!"

Oct 11, 2013 / Denver CO / Colorado Symphony / the music of Tommy by The Who
("...To pay for said supplies, haha", says Steph.)




"Here is my only child doing her ritual of attending the first day of school with a new hair colour!"

Oct 5, 2013 / London ON / Music of Annie Lennox



"Jonah and Stella on their way out the door on their first day of school."

Oct 5, 2013 / London ON / Music of Annie Lennox


"The kids' homework!"

Sep 14, 2013 / El Dorado, AR / Music of Michael Jackson w/the South Arkansas Symphony



"Back to school & fall weather ... which means it's time to reinstate weekly soup night!"

Sep 14, 2013 / El Dorado, AR / Music of Michael Jackson with the South Arkansas Symphony



"Bella's Back to School with Bear, requires matching back to school outfits! All her idea and fully executed with hot glue..."

"Sept 21, 2013 in Marshall TX! [Best of Gavin Hope and Mike Shotton with special features by Andrea Koziol & Kathryn Rose]. Yee haw!!!!!"




"Miranda starting Grade 2 French Immersion, and Ivor starting JK!"

Sep 14, 2013 / El Dorado, AR / Music of Michael Jackson with the South Arkansas Symphony 


Happy Fall! See you out on the road...

We have a lot of fun things going on at Twitter:!/JeansnClassics

and our Facebook fanpage:

Come follow us, come talk to us!

All the best,


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"I Know What You Did Last Summer"

Kathryn Rose's kids enjoying ice cream cones at the Beaches Jazz Festival in Toronto.

"What are you up to this summer?"

Hi! Kathryn Rose here! I posed this question to Jeans 'n Classics vocalists:
Leah Salomaa, Katalin Kiss, Lis Soderberg, myself - Kathryn Rose, Andrea Kozioland Stephanie Martin

...and here is what they sent back!

We hope you are having a wonderful summer yourself.

xo kr



This summer I am continuing a 4 year long tradition of leading a women's singing circle with vocal training workshop. This year I am opening it up to the general public instead of doing it privately in my home.

I really enjoy meeting beginner adult students because it reminds me of the simple beauty in singing together and the pure joy that unprofessionals get from learning more about and celebrating their voice!

It's very interesting to hear stories about women's connection to their singing voice. Many have horror stories of remembering being told as a child they couldn't sing or singing with joy, only to have people tease them or tell them to not sing. Then, as they become adults they form emotional blocks and are unable to enjoy singing. For my beginner class we do exercises (based on my classical voice and drama training) to unlock these blocks. The level 2 class have moved onto learning all kinds of pieces of music from Joni Mitchell to ancient Celtic and Madrigals. 

If you want more info on Gaia Voice Women's Singing Circle:


Katalin Kiss:

My summer has been pretty great so far. I have had the opportunity to see some of the folks from Jeans and Classics for the odd gig here and there, and also enjoyed sitting on the dock at the family cottage. Best of both worlds I have to say. 

John and have been actively looking after our short term guests at our summer cottage rentals, we have here on our property, and even occasionally been going into the recording studio to lay down some ideas for our upcoming new album, Simple, stress free,and loving it.

I wish everyone out there a fantastic summer, and see you in the new season.


Lis Soderberg:

After a busy year of travel across North America plus a trip to Sweden, this summer I plan to enjoy some "micro-tourism" at home — the many festivals, films, galleries and food experiences that Toronto has to offer, along with some blatantly indulgent chill time with my family.  (This is the plan, at least.)

Meanwhile, I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of a sweet little Lunchbox ZT acoustic amp, an ultra-portable (H x W x D: 7.5" x 9.8" x 7.7") and ridiculously great-sounding mini-PA, after which I will able to do gigs in the teeniest of spaces—should anyone require a performance in a closet or stairwell, for instance—as well as small to medium sized cafes, garden sheds, garages, or living rooms.

Keep your eyes on those stairwells ... and have a great summer!


Kathryn Rose:

This summer I've been having lots of outdoor fun with Miranda, 7, and Ivor, 4. I'm particularly impressed with the improvement and passion both of my kids are showing for swimming this year - fearless in the water! We just returned from our annual cottage trip with two other families in the Kawarthas at the cottage of a dear friend of mine from high school. Getting all our kids together each year in that environment is such a beautiful ritual. They are watching each other growing up, like cousins, of a sort... 

I just took my daughter for the big haircut she has been asking for (a bob, under the chin) and I'm very relieved that she experienced no buyer's remorse after the fact, in fact, she was grinning from ear to ear as she transformed. She asked me to let her donate her hair... such a good girl. Ivor's hair is getting pretty long - he used to like going for haircuts but now I have to trick him into a "Kitchen Haircut" which I do in about 4 minutes flat before he loses it and runs away. Considering the obstacles, and the high probability of disaster, I am awesome at the Kitchen Haircut. He is due for one any day now... 

One weekend in June while the small fry were at their dad's, I went to the Ottawa Jazz Festival to see Mavis Staples perform an intimate yet most rousing concert at a local church, and then walked a few blocks over to catch one of my musical heroes, David Byrne perform in his new project with Annie Clark / aka St Vincent. I'm a huge fan of everything he does, and this collaboration is no exception. They tour with 8 horn players and their stage show is completely choreographed - no one can sub out of this show! I loved it. 

I had a great afternoon on July 17 when Leah Salomaa, Stephanie Martin and myself went to a screening of the fab new documentary, "20 Feet From Stardom" at the Bloor Cinema in Toronto. This film is about  "the untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century." It definitely hit home for us, offering an excellent, emotional glimpse for professionals and the layman alike into the trials and tribulations of the background singer, and the dichotomy inherent between the very special skills required to be in the support role, and the quest for stardom.

Work wise: I've been holding down my "day job" (doing J&C tour planning and office admin), and in the session singing side of things I recently sang on an album produced by the amazing George Koller, and on some demos for Aaron Davis (Holly Cole trio pianist), and have been doing some vocal coaching here and there. I've also been doing some voice over auditions and am embarking on a new songwriting/recording project with my old bassist and dear friend Dennis Mohammed, who currently plays in Jesse Cook's band.

If my Summer 2013 dreams come true, I will have had about 3 huge garage sales, and will have a new song or two to let you all hear by September, or October, or November... time flies almost much as I do!! : )

Photo: This afternoon, three of the seven awesome women vocalists of JnC gathered at the Bloor Cinema in Toronto to watch a screening of the fab new documentary, 20 Feet From Stardom, "the untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century." Pictured here are Kathryn Rose, Leah Salomaa, and Stephanie Martin. Unable to attend today were Katalin Kiss, Rique Franks, Lis Soderberg, and Andrea Koziol. 

This film definitely hit home for us, offering an excellent, emotional glimpse for professionals and the layman alike into the trials and tribulations of the background singer, and the dichotomy inherent between the very special skills required to be in the support role, and the quest for stardom.
Pictured at the film screening, July 17/13, left to right: Kathryn Rose, Leah Salomaa, and Stephanie Martin.

My daughter's new summer haircut.


Rique Franks:

This summer, between helping my son's band record their first song and trying to keep my jaw off the floor every time my daughter sings and plays the bass, I have started a new song-writing partnership with a country writer, a fun and interesting challenge.  

Meanwhile, my son, Jonah, and I have been asked to participate in Carolyn Scott's show Autism is a Pain in the Aspergers in early October, and we have been recording the song she wrote for the awareness campaign.  

At the beginning of July  I took a trip to Montreal with my best friend of 41 years to mark our mutual half-century birthdays, and while we were there we ran into Gavin Hope who was singing at the Montreal Jazz Festival with blues diva, Shakura S'Aida. We did all the touristy things; We had a smoked meat sandwich at Schwartz's, shopped along Rue St. Catherine and St. Laurent, visted Old Montreal, ate in several places along St. Denis, visited the Botanical Gardens, hiked to the Chalet atop Mount Royal, and enjoyed both the Jazz and Cirque festivals.  

After surviving the biblical rain in Toronto, I went to NYC where Tony and I did our best to survive a bomb scare and the heatwave (140F at the Times Square subway platform) by making memories with our kids sketching in Central Park, shopping at Macy's, visiting MoMa, where we saw Liv Tyler, strolling Bleeker St. and eating at Sushi Samba in the West Village. Since my daughter Stella would rather live without Nutella than see a musical, we went to an Off-Broadway play called Peter and the Starcatcher. 

Sigh. We can't afford this, but figure the memories we make will be worth the debt. 

I love summer, but it's just not long enough! 
xoxo R

With a blue sun-umbrella in Old Montreal.

Tony watching both kids sketching in their new notebooks in Central Park.

 Stella and a Chair sculpture by Andy Warhol at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC just after she told me "OK. That chair just ruined my childhood".

Me and my BFF Tina with Shakura S'Aida just after she came offstage at the Jazz Festival.


Andrea Koziol:

Hello J&C peeps!  It's been a wild and wooly summer so far.  I've been writing lots of music, with the hope that a new album (if there are such things anymore in this digital age!) will be available for you all to listen to next year.  

Aside from writing and singing on some awesome recordings, I was lucky enough to spend 5 days in Montreal for the Jazz Fest, soaking in some of the finest music this planet has to offer.  It was sublimely inspiring!  

August will find our family running along the beaches of northern New Brunswick, and befriending sea creatures, and reading novels aloud to one another by flashlight. Damn fine, if I do say so!  

I'll finish the summer prepping a grant proposal for a tour I hope to mount next winter, but I'll tell you more about that later!  I hope all of you out there are enjoying the wonders of summertime with the people you love, and finding time to throw fuel at your own beautiful passions...

Dinner at my fav Montreal bistro.  My fav because the first thing they bring you is pickles!


Stephanie Martin

Seeing Joni Mitchell twice at Luminato Festival was a highlight of the summer for me. I did not think I'd ever get to see her perform but she surprised everyone at Massey Hall and sang a few songs with the excellent musicians that were celebrating her music in a birthday tribute concert. I also caught a live interview she gave with the New York Times. It was illuminating to see her genius, clarity and strength of conviction. 

Also this summer: I brought my original music to Montreal - Upstairs Jazz Club. We had a sold out room and a great night with the home-town advantage!


See you on tour in 2013/2014!!
-the ladies of JnC.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Andrea Koziol performs "Rain" on "This City Live"

The lovely and multi-talented Andrea Koziol recently did a show with "This City Live", where they host a weekly web series featuring Toronto musicians.  Check out her fabulous performance here (accompanied by Davide Direnzo, Ian De Souza and Joel Schwartz), plus a Q&A after the video!

(from "This City Live/In One Take"; view original page here)

On May 12th we had Andrea Koziol in with her band to perform her song 'Rain' during a fittingly rainy day. Andrea’s latest album, “Half Way Sweet,” is available through iTunes and CD Baby and you can keep up on her upcoming shows at  Andrea is joined by Davide Direnzo (Drums), Ian De Souza (Bass) and Joel Schwartz (Guitar)

Interview with Andrea Koziol

Andrea Koziol is an impressively well established singer/songwriter based in Toronto who has spent the last decade both recording and playing her own material all over the country as well as collaborating with a myriad of other musicians. After shooting one of her newest songs for In One Take, I sat down with Andrea and discussed managing songwriting and parenting, the value in occasionally embracing bad experiences, and the necessity of backstage massage therapists.

How’d you like shooting with This City Live?
Andrea: I loved shooting with This City Live because the vibe is so good and Warren doesn’t make you feel like he’s there when you’re working, so you can just be yourself. That’s really pleasant.

What can you tell me about the song that you did today?
Andrea: I just finished it a few days ago and it’s very nice that these guys got together and played it with me. It’s was just dumping rain in Toronto last week, just pounding, like a west coast storm that had lost its way here. I was contemplating how that felt perfect in light of some really bad shit that people I knew were experiencing. It seemed like everybody around me was having a hard time. So it’s a song about how it’s not a bad thing to just get down and let it rain every now and again. It's actually good for you.

So how does songwriting work for you in general then? Are you one of those people who can regimen yourself or is it more like in the case of this song where something inspires you and you just have to get that song out of you immediately?
Andrea: It really depends. I have two little kids so I need to be a little bit disciplined about trying to get into the basement where nobody is listening to me after they go to bed. I have to make myself work at that point, even if I don’t feel like it, because it’s necessary and it feels good when something happens.

What’s the best show you’ve ever had? Not necessarily your best performance, but what’s the best time you’ve had playing?
Andrea: There’s one particular show at the Vancouver Folk Festival. I was on a stage with ridiculous people. People that I felt completely humbled by and that I felt tiny beside. It was crazy because I felt out of my league. And it was a Sunday morning gospel show and I’m just a white girl, so what the heck was I doing there? I played my first tune and before my next one I was just thinking, “What am I going to do?” Looking out at a couple thousand people sitting on the grass, waiting for something from the girl who clearly didn’t belong. I ended up singing Amazing Grace acapella. I sang it really, really loud, and I didn't feel an ounce of self doubt, and I've never been the same since. It was awesome...and then I had a great massage.

Not sure what the connect there is, but okay.
Andrea: Oh! Backstage at that festival they had massage therapists for the performers. Play your show, then lie down in the grass and get a nice massage.

Okay, that’s in my rider for every gig from here on out.
Andrea: It’s pretty sweet.

Alright, I hate to ask this one sometimes, but what do you think is the worst show you ever had?
Andrea: The kinds of gigs that I don’t play anymore are shows where people don’t listen. Like weddings, or anytime you have to take what you do and what you love, and put it into a scenario where it just becomes a commodity. I’m not fond those gigs. But having said that, I had a pretty lousy date at The Rex years and years ago where I just thought, “toss in the towel at this point." If you don’t get a good crowd it can be brutal, but that's the thing about playing live can be the most fantastic experience in the world, or it can dump you down on the ground and step on your head. You don’t know what’s going to happen that particular night, but you have to keep hoping for the best...expecting the best.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten from another musician?
Andrea: Understand what your own voice is before you give it other people. Don’t try to sing like anybody else, don’t try to play like anybody else, don’t try to do anything based on a convention or anything you think you should exist inside of. Find out what you sound like, then make that sound.

What are some of your favourite Toronto acts?
Andrea: I’m a big Kevin Breit fan. I love the Sisters Euclid. Of course I love Kilometre (This City Live's head engineer Andrew McCready’s band). They’re like my favourite boy rock band. I try to catch them whenever possible. Whenever the kids let me out at night. I also have a lot of friends who do the same sort of thing that I do, a whole host of singer songwriters, and we all support each other. It’s a great scene for that. I should also mention that I'd make time any night of the week to hear the guys that played this tune with me tonight - Ian De Souza, Joel Schwartz and Davide Direnzo. They are obviously amazing, they all have their own incredible projects on the go.

Last question: what are some of your favourite places to eat in the city?
Andrea: Oh man, really?! I like a lot of food. I love eating Ethiopian at Africa Palace. Barque is utterly fantastic. And I love Foxley, it’s fantastic. And Enoteca Sociale is one of my faves, especially when they have the artichoke fries in season. You know what else? Caffe Brasiliano because they do a hot table lunch everyday and this really nice family the place. They make home-cooked, fantastic food, and their super nice people. I love them.

Andrea’s latest album, “Half Way Sweet,” is available through iTunes and CD Baby. For more information, visit her website and follow her on twitter at @andreakoziol.

Thanks for reading,

Aaron “DangerFriend” Florendo