Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Holiday Message from the Women of Jeans 'n Classics

December 25 is mere moments away... we can't let the season go by without sending you a little something from all of the women of Jeans 'n Classics... Enjoy!

Happy Holidays! 

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Lis Soderberg:

Lis Soderberg

Lis sends everyone her warmest of holiday wishes, along with a link to her younger daughter Ellis Barkman's cover of the Christmas classic, "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch".

(Ellis is 17 years old and will be graduating high school in the Spring. She claims music is a hobby for her, but she sounds like a little more than a hobbyist! We hear she has been accepted into University of Ottawa next year... congrats Ellis!)

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Andrea Koziol:

Andrea Koziol

"Sending light filled wishes to everyone out there!  The dark December days are luscious to me because they are filled with the people I love, and of course, a whole lotta good eating!  I'm looking forward to hunkering down with my family over the next few weeks, and also having the time to write some new music for a few of the projects I'm involved with outside of Jeans 'n Classics.  

One of those projects is my brand new collaboration Tarbelle.  www.tarbelle.com  Have a listen...

Happy Holidays!  Here's to a wicked 2015 for all!"

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Kathryn Rose:

Kathryn Rose

"Shalom! I've had another great year singing and doing admin and tour coordination for Jeans 'n Classics. 

I have three things to share with you this holiday season... 

#1. When it's the first night of Hanukkah and you are about to get the kids from after school daycare and you realize your warped aluminum sad and sorry excuse for a menorah simply needs to be retired, but those 8 days and nights aren't going to light themselves...

....A suspended bread board with tea lights will definitely do in a pinch! Now you know! Now I know!

The lazy susan even fit underneath it with applesauce and sour cream for the potato latkes!

#2. It's a KR Khristmas! Listen to my version of a few Xmas faves here: https://soundcloud.com/kr_kathrynrose/sets/its-a-kr-khristmas-1
...Maybe next year I'll record some Hanukkah hits.

#3. You can make butter (well, a butter substitute) out of coconut oil and cold pressed flaxseed oil. I made 12 jars of it this year as gifts. (Spoiler Alert to friends of mine who haven't received it yet.) Recipe below.

The "Perfect Fat" Recipe
1. Soften a bottle of Coconut Oil by setting jar in a pan of hot water.
2. Pour the soft contents (2 cups) (or 1 + 1/2 cups) Coconut Oil into a pan and heat on the stove medium heat. Add 1-2 cloves of garlic and 1 medium onion chopped. Cook for 3 mins or until partially clear. Remove from oil. Save and reuse cooked vegetables if desired. 
3. Let Coconut Oil cool. Then add 1 cup (or 3/4) of cold pressed flaxseed oil. Mix.
4. Pour flavoured fat mixture back into jars and refrigerate. Use as butter adding sea salt or Herbamare before eating.
5. Step 2 is optional if you don't like onion or garlic, leave plain or add other herbs.   

Before I sign off, I'd like to send a special shout out of thanks to an unseen woman of Jeans 'n Classics, our webmistress Tara Bowd of Sonic Notes. Tara has been very busy revamping many elements at our website this year. Thank you Tara! Check out the changes and additions at: www.jeansnclassics.com

Happy Holidays whatever you celebrate! Looking very forward to the JNC shows in 2015."
xo kr

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Leah Salomaa:

Leah Salomaa

"Winter Solstice and Merry Christmas greetings from me over here in downtown Toronto! 

Here I am singing The Holly and the Ivy as part of the St. Anne's Anglican Church Christmas concert on December 7. 
This holiday I will be curling up with some good books and taking things real slow. I'll also be editing my new music video soon to be up on my website. 
Check for updates at www.leahsalomaa.com

All the best to you and yours. Let's have a cracking 2015!"

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Stephanie Martin:

Stephanie Martin

"One of the greatest joys in my life is to get on a stage with a symphony orchestra and feel and be part of the glorious sound! Today, my wish for the whole extended JnC family across North America and around the world is for a happy, healthy and safe holiday season!"

(After a successful recent Kickstarter campaign, Stephanie will soon be working on her next album project, "Walk in the Light." This past month, Stephanie graced the intimate, unique Musideum stage in Toronto for a 2-night run on December 12 & 13, providing a taste of her new material. JnC singers Gavin Hope and Kathryn Rose were in attendance, Stephanie was wonderful! Here's a shot from the Saturday night performance.):

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Rique Franks:

Rique Franks

The beautiful and talented Rique Franks also sends her best holiday wishes, along with her version of "Little Drummer Boy" from a few years ago. Have a listen.

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Katalin Kiss:

Katalin Kiss

"Happy Holidays to the loyal and kind friends of Jeans and Classics. 
Looking forward  to another year of shows, with some of the greatest orchestras across North America. 
Wishing you and yours all the best.

Love, Katalin Kiss"

The view from Katalin's wintry log cabin window in Picton, Ontario.
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Those are our holiday messages! 

See you for our 2 upcoming New Year's Eve shows:

•Back to Back - the Music of Elton John and Billy & Joel with the Reading Symphony, (Reading, Philadelphia);

•Shaken Not Stirred - the Music of James Bond with the Lima Symphony (Lima, Ohio).

...and at all the shows in 2015! 
(2015 concert calendar.)


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Springfield Holiday Extravaganza!

The talented Harvey Felder!

Hello friends!
I had a simply marvelous time in Springfield MA last weekend.  JnC vocalist Gavin Hope and I were special guests for a very special evening of music celebrating this time of year.  It featured the incredible Springfield Symphony under the gifted and kind baton of guest conductor Harvey Felder, as well as the Springfield Symphony Chorus, under the direction of the gorgeous Nikki Stoia.  I can safely say that we were all carried to a most joyful place!  Yay!!  I was so grateful to be there, and I'm still singing the praises of the team who hosted us.  (Dear SSO Staff...you guys rock!)

Some of the glorious SSO women: Audrey, Karen and Shari.

Oh Santa!  Oh Jules!  Oh Gavin!
The craziest part of the night for me was performing the ever so sultry (and exceptionally greedy) song Santa Baby.  Harvey introduced it as the 'unwholesome' selection for the evening, and I think that was pretty accurate.  I was joined on stage by a large golden throne and Santa himself, who had to pull on his collar a few times, but seemed pretty happy being a ham bone!  Apologies to the first few rows stage right, who I (sigh) may have flashed inadvertantly...I was just REALLY into it! 

It's always wonderful to sing and travel with Gavin Hope.  He is an astonishing musician and wonderful human.  I should also mention that all of the photos in this post were taken by him or with his camera...thanks Gavin!

Looking forward to returning to Springfield in a few months time for a romp through the repertoire of Michael Jackson.  I can't wait to see everyone again. 

Thank you Springfield.  You made us feel so welcome, and we sure hope you enjoyed the show!
Be well.  Love music!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Ultimate Symphonic Saskatoon!

Hello! Kathryn Rose here!

We were recently in Saskatoon, where for the second year in a row Jeans 'n Classics joined forces with the Saskatoon Symphony to appear at Evening Under The Stars, a fundraiser for the St Paul's Hospital Foundation. Last summer we brought our Queen show to this awesome outdoor under the prairie skies, and this time (on Aug 13, 2014) we presented our Ultimate Symphonic Rock show featuring the music of Moody Blues, Electric Light Orchestra, Peter Gabriel, Jethro Tull, and David Bowie.

As I like to say, "the safest place is on the stage", and so too sometimes is the best vantage point… Singing David Bowie's Space Oddity with a supreme view of the gorgeous sunset, jet streams swirling overhead were all the natural drugs I needed for a mind altering experience!

Pretty sure I was tripping out watching jet streams...
[JnC left to right: me (Kathryn Rose), Leah Salomaa, Peter Brennan, Mitch Tyler, Jean Meilleur, also Don Paulton and Jeff Christmas just out of the shot.] Thank you to the brother of our favourite twins Mary & Katherine for the photo! How cool that you live in Saskatoon!!  :)
We flew into Saskatoon the day before the show with enough time for a patio supper, where this pic was snapped of Jeans 'n Classics founder / guitarist / orchestral arranger / Chief Braintrust Peter Brennan caught sweeping up. Savvy Jeans 'n Classics friends and fans who frequent our Facebook page may have noticed that we opened this photo up for a contest of sorts for the best caption. 

Here's the photo and the Facebook thread that ensued:

  • SM Field: Because that's what he always does at home.
  • Jeans 'n Classics Nice, SM Field! Here's one we came up with: "Realizing he's left his wallet on the plane, Jeans 'n Classics' Peter Brennan picks up the closest broom, saying, "Big show tomorrow night, I'd rather avoid Dishpan Hands." ...Anyone else? 
  • Leah Salomaa I think the woman in white is asking Peter Brennan to move in with her!

Many of we artists in Jeans 'n Classics do other voice work here and there, whether singing or speaking… It seems to be The Law that my voice agent will always email me on the day I am leaving town for a Jeans 'n Classics concert/trip with a voice over audition for a big paying commercial or something, "for tomorrow". 

All Hail the Self Tape! Self tape-ing is when one does just that: Esconsed in their hotel room, one seizes their iPhone and revvs up one of those new fangled professional voice recording apps (or) busts out their laptop and USB microphone, and records themselves over and over until it starts sounding good/not weird:

"Delicious crunchy clusters of whole organic oats with flax and pumpkin seeds….Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin Flax Granola. A step on the right path."

After which, one emails it like wildfire to their agent who will send it to the casting person for the commercial! Done!

On this trip in Saskatoon I got comfy in my suite at The James (great hotel!) and proceeded to set up shop. After a couple of test reads and playbacks, I noticed the sophisticated AC/air vents in our rooms was creating an audible white noise issue in my audition recording. My solution?

Grabbing some towels from the bathroom I made an Instant Vocal Booth. (Very nice plush terry cloth towels... to die for…)

Here I am playing Peekaboo

I seem to recall another similar, hilarious snap from one of our older Blog entries showing singer Stephanie Martin in such a voice over hurry that she couldn't even wait until she got out of the airport… huddled with iPhone and her whole head under her coat to create something close enough to a cone of silence in an airport food court, eloquently elocuting (is that a word?) in both English and French no doubt.


It's not everyday that one sees a limo or two gingerly dodging prairie dogs until it reaches a giant stage in the middle of a field, nor is it everyday that one rides in said limo. I like the anachronism of this image.

Here's singer Leah Salomaa and myself (Kathryn Rose) at sidestage waiting to go on for our first song in the afternoon rehearsal.

Hopefully we'll get our hands on some of the professional photography of the night itself. There were 2 or 3 photographers shooting the show. From the terrific Whitecap Dakota dancers and singers' Opening Ceremonies, to the lovely morphing skies, and receptive crowd who clamoured for a repeat of our take on Peter Gabriel's Solsbury Hill as encore, it really was a dreamy Evening Under The Stars!

On behalf of the Women of JnC… who keep the class in Jeans 'n Classics,

xo kr

Friday, May 2, 2014

Re: March 28 Tucson – Amazing ‘80s (from Andrea)

March 30, 2014

My head is still spinning after returning home from glorious Arizona, where singers Stephanie Martin, David Blamires, Gavin Hope and I performed alongside the Jeans n Classics band and the incredible Tucson Symphony Orchestra.  

The show was The Amazing 80's, and the songs were out of this world!   (U2, Tears for Fears, the Bangles, The Police, Prince, Cindy Lauper, the B52's...wow!)  The Tucson Symphony were seriously impressive under the precise and very playful baton of conductor Keitaro Harada, who embraced the theme of the night with 2 fabulous costume changes.  Keitaro, the orchestra and the TSO administration were absolutely delightful to work with.  Kudos to all of them.

Tucson is a funny gorgeous place.  The lovely hot air, the dangerous spiky plants, the sandy mountains calling out to you from all around the city...it's a place that asks you to just start walking, because around every corner there is another feast for the eyes, and another interesting character to chat with.  (I understand why people visit here and never want to leave.)  But one of my favorite aspects of Tucson...is it's darkness.  With a strict light pollution policy, the city uses light sparingly so that there's little interference with the myriad of telescopes that call the city home.  The scientists get to stay up all night hoping to understand the secrets of the universe, and the rest of us get to remember what a "star studded sky" actually looks like.  (Here's to hoping those scientists share the occasional bottle of wine in their observatories... 

All the stars were certainly aligned for our show.  It was so much fun to sing - we smiled till our faces hurt - and the audience made us feel right at home dancing, and singing along.  What a wonderful crowd!  Thank you Tucson.  We fell in love with you all...

I feel so lucky to be part of the Jeans and Classics crew.  Sharing the stage with so many gifted people, and being able to sing my heart out...is one of the finest things in life.  Looking forward to the next great adventure!


(Photos by Andrea, Gavin and Stephanie)