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.