For more than a year, musicians around the world have seen their careers upended, as performance and touring plans have been cancelled and venues have been forced to close. With Stories From Home, artists provide a unique perspective on the pandemic experience from a musician’s point of view - through words, video and music. Every week, a new artist will share their story, along with an audio or video sample of a recent project, and a link to purchase their music so that you can support their work. Check back each week for a new entry, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for new posts.
From new projects, new music and new albums to financial challenges, creative hurdles and mental health, Stories From Home helps musicians tell their story. The good, the bad and the hard reality.
Are you a local artist who wants to share your story? Know a local musician with a moving story? Get in touch!
September 22, 2021 - Pianist, organist and now, producer, Joel Visentin discusses getting comfortable on the other side of the studio glass, re-affirming a passion for performance, taking stock of what's truly important, and diving into new projects along the way. Read the full post.
September 1, 2021 - Trumpeter, vocalist and community connector Tara Kannangara discusses finding meaning in her art, socio-political and personal awakenings, and exploring new artistic outlets. Read the full post.
August 25, 2021 - Drummer and educator Tim Shia presents his unique perspective on fine tuning his production skills, being grateful for those around him and what has been a busy period of music-making. Read the full post.
August 18, 2021 - Bass player, composer and educator Mike Downes talks about missing the intimacy of live performance, learning new skills, and staying (very!) busy artistically. Read the full post.
August 4, 2021 - Life and music partners Rebecca Hennessy and Michael Herring talk about performing, recording and producing from home; bringing together musicians online; and the need for human connection. Read the full post.
July 28, 2021 - Vocalist, dancer, bandleader and organizer Tamar Ilana talks about learning to go it alone, learning new skills, and becoming a presenter. Read the full post.
July 21, 2021 - Trumpeter, composer and band leader Lina Allemano talks about being pushed to the limit, the loss of music communities in two different countries, and, despite everything, continued artistic inspiration. Read the full post.
July 14, 2021 - Bassist, educator and band leader Rich Brown, talks about new artistic ventures, the importance of self-awareness, and finding a new way to use his voice (literally!). Read the full post.
July 7, 2021 - Stich Wynston, drummer and co-leader of The Shuffle Demons, talks about the void left by the cancellation of live performance, finding gratitude, and the drive to continue creating. Read the full post.
June 30, 2021 - Singer-songwriter (and 2021 JUNO Award winner!) Sammy Jackson talks about taking time - to reflect, to connect with loved ones, and to explore new musical ideas. Read the full post.
June 23, 2021 - Guitarist, composer and producer Elmer Ferrer reflects on the advantages of technology, being grateful for simple things, and finding new artistic challenges. Read the full post.
June 16, 2021 - Vocalist, bandleader and educator Alex Samaras talks about the challenge of being isolated - and the possibility of creating art alone, discovering his own resilience, and the the importance of reaching out to loved ones. Read the full post.
June 9, 2021 - Vocalist Meghan Parnell (along with guitarist Dave Barnes), of powerhouse blues/soul band Bywater Call talks about keeping connected online, the creative benefits of giving yourself space (but also the requirement to keep practicing), and coffee! Read the full post.
June 2, 2021 - A cappella duo FreePlay (featuring singers, composers, educators, Artistic Directors and life partners Suba Sankaran and Dylan Bell) talk about the power of optimism, keeping the creativity flowing, and seeking out (virtual) international opportunities. Read the full post.
May 26, 2021 - Guitarist, educator and Canadian jazz gem Lorne Lofsky talks about the process of music, focussing on concept and skills development in lieu of playing live, and releasing his first album as a leader in more than 20 years. Read the full post.
May 19, 2021 - Vocalist, actor and community connector Shakura S'Aida talks about nurturing community, the connection between art and activism, and the wider place of music in the world. Read the full post.
May 12, 2021 - Vocalist, educator and radio personality Heather Bambrick digs deep into the importance of an audience, creating against all odds, and being okay with not being okay. Read the full post.
May 5, 2021 - Saxophonist, composer and educator Jane Bunnett is honest about the real costs of cancelled tours and the challenge of finding inspiration, while finding inner peace - in part in painting. Read the full post.
April 28, 2021 - Musicians, composers, educators and couple Tara Davidson and William Carn talk about higher learning, higher planes and composing for new projects. Read the full post.
April 21, 2021 - In our first couples contribution, Rebekah Wolkstein and Drew Jurecka of Payadora talk about recording remotely, working across disciplines and making music with the whole family. Read the full post.
April 15, 2021 - Drummer Sarah Thawer talks about the importance of reflection, being generous with oneself, and finding opportunities remotely. Read the full post.
April 7, 2021 - Drummer (and ukulelist!) Ted Warren talks about reconnecting with the joy of making music, learning new instruments, and a new project on the horizon.. Read the full post.
March 31, 2021 - Blues guitarist and vocalist Mike Nagoda talks about becoming an online busker, preparing to release a new record (six years in the making!), and learning to record at home. Read the full post.
March 24, 2021 - Vocalist and Toronto music scene stalwart Jay Douglas talk about missing the positive vibrations of live audiences, the importance of surrounding oneself with a supportive team and how "the show must go on" with several new projects. Read the full post.
March 17, 2021 - Pianist, singer-songwriter and radio host Laila Biali talks about seeing the silver lining, even through the low times: the benefits of new technologies, the blessing of family time, and potential new projects on the horizon. Read the full post.
March 10, 2021 - Singer and songwriter Barbra Lica talks about the benefits of being surrounded by motivated and creative people, learning more about production, and truly discovering the role of a producer (and, in the process, more about herself). Read the full post.
March 3, 2021 - Pianist Jim Clayton talks about keeping the audience entertained, the value of a metronome, and his online Piano Bar, soon to celebrate its 300th episode. Read the full post.
February 24, 2021 - In our first Stories From Home video entry, singer, multi-instrumentalist and actor Ahmed Moneka talks about learning new technology, embarking on new recording projects, and diving into a new genre. Read the full post.
February 17, 2021 - Saxophonist, composer and educator Karen Ng talks about discovering the value of sitting still, embracing the space and time for new artistic endeavours, and finding new perspectives on recording and composing. Read the full post.
February 10, 2021 - Musician, entertainer, writer, producer and radio personality Jaymz Bee talks about being grateful despite the challenges, taking a new perspective on life and keeping the creativity flowing. Read the full post.
February 3, 2021 - Pianist, composer and educator Amanda Tosoff discusses learning about and embracing life online, starting a new musical business, and releasing a new album during a pandemic. Read the full post.
January 27, 2021 - Vocalist, actor and poet Alana Bridgewater talks about the importance of breathing room, caring for family, and finding new opportunities at home and in the community. Read the full post.
January 20, 2021 - Saxophonist, composer and 2020 Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Jazz Artist Award winner Jesse Ryan talks about releasing a CD during a pandemic, feeling grateful for the "little things", and an exciting new project. Read the full post.
January 13, 2021 - Pianist, bandleader, photographer and writer Bill King talks about feeling grateful for time, the inspiration of family, and the opportunity to reflect on his life's journey. Read the full post.
December 23, 2020 - Educator, advocate and vocalist Sophia Perlman reveals how her experience of the pandemic has reaffirmed her thoughts on who she is as an artist, where her passions lie, and what it means to share music in unexpected places. Read the full post.
December 16, 2020 - Celebrated banjoist and songwriter Kaia Kater discusses managing expectations around creative output, rediscovering the fun of practice, and writing for film. Read the full post.
December 9, 2020 - As owner of Poetry Jazz Cafe, Sean Pascalle discusses some of the particular challenges he's faced and his resolve to pivot. Read the full post.
December 2, 2020 - guitarist, vocalist and composer Brooke Blackburn discusses looking inward, learning about new technology, and the importance of Black history. Read the full post.
November 24, 2020 - singer/songwriter Dione Taylor talks about being in the moment, the importance of friends and family (and food and naps!), and releasing a new album during a pandemic. Read the full post.
November 18, 2020 - vocalist Alex Pangman discusses her unique health challenges, the virtue of patience and the joys of making music, even when not in person. Read the full post.
November 11, 2020 - drummer, composer and publicist Ernesto Cervini talks parenting, finding focus and staying creative. Read the full post.