Aurora Pops Up 2021 Highlights
Places we Popped Up in 2021 included: Machell’s Alley, Stuart Burnett Park, Hickson Park, Chapman Park, Thomas Coates Park, Copland Park, Aurora Cultural Centre, Aurora United Church, Aurora Farmer’s Market, Aurora Food Pantry, Aurora Town Hall, Hilary House, Kingsway Arms Aurora, Chartwell Aurora Long Term Care Facility, Chartwell Park Place Retirement Residence, Coconut Village Spa, Sunrise of Aurora, Prime Data Warehouse, Hurst Bakery and Omar’s Shoes!
Aurora Pops Up! 2021
Saibruntha is Thamizh Canadian, born and raised in Toronto, a singer, and composer in the field of carnatic music. As a 4 year old child she had a keen interest in learning the arts. Saibruntha has train under the legendary DK pattamal amma’s student Kalaimamani Smt. Geetha Rajashekar, and also under the guidance of Mridanga Chakravarthi, Kalaimamani, Dr. Thiruvaarur Bhakthavathsalam.
She has performed at prestigious stages in the well known margazhi utsavam during the season in Chennai, since 2005 till date. Being awarded, performed along, complemented and blessed by legendary and eminent artists such as DK Pattamal, K.J. Yesudas, Flute Ramani, Actor Sivakumar, TV Shanakaranarayanan, K.S Chitra , SP Balasubramainam, Bombay Jeyasree, Unnikrishnan, Srinvas, just to name a few.
Saibruntha had taken part of Toronto’s largest shows organized by Ideal Dreams – The “Tribute to AR Rahman” show conducted at the Sony Centre, performed alongside Chennai’s top music band Indo soul, “Super singer & SPB 50” held by Arya Canada, and recently at IBC’s “ IBC Thamizha” show, performing a Thamizh Carantic solo at the Scotia Bank arena.
Throughout her years while doing her undergrad in Kineseology at York university she also managed to create her own theatre productions where the arts is not just pleasing to listen to but also a treat to the eyes. Building sets and creating visuals to take the audience on a journey. These Shows done in the past had amazing reception from the audience, and were asked to do many more in the future.
Saibruntha continues her lifelong passion for Carnatic music in Canada and around the world, eagerly looking forward to spreading this ancient art form.
Follow and Support at: https://www.instagram.com/saibruntha_a/
James Brown (Guitarist, Composer, Educator) is one of Canada’s most talented and versatile musicians.
He has preformed and recorded with many leading artists and ensembles and has recorded three critically acclaimed CD’s of original music. His 2009 recording, “Sevendaze” features Don Thompson, Quinsin Nachoff, Jim Vivian, and Anthony Michelli.
James has also performed with The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (with Eric Idol), Toronto Philharmonia, Sound Streams Canada (with The Hilliard Ensemble), Art of Time Ensemble and CanStage. He also performed in the Canadian premiere of 2X5: a new work by New York composer Steve Reich.
James’ compositions range from solo guitar to symphony orchestra and have been performed and recorded by numerous ensembles and soloists including: Orchestra Toronto, Trinity Chamber Ensemble, Jeffrey McFadden, William Beauvais and The Montreal Guitar Trio.
James has a Master of Arts Degree in Composition from York University and is currently on Faculty at the Royal Conservatory of Music and Metalworks Institute.
His recent composition “The Mosley Street Suite” is scheduled to be performed at Koerner Hall in August 2021 and his fourth studio album “Song Within the Story”, (featuring Clark Johnston, Anthony Michelli and Mike Murley) will be released in the Fall.
Follow and Support James Brown at www.jamesbrown.ca
Since capturing first place at 2016’s Toronto Open Mic Contest, Aurora’s Jay Dee has established her band as a high-voltage, spell-binding feature of numerous music festivals (Wintersong, Markham Village Music Festival, SOTC, Markham Ribfest, Taste of Stouffville, and more). You can find her recently released debut EP “Smiling Face” and new single “End of Time” on all streaming platforms including Apple Music, Spotify, iTunes, and more. “Smiling Face” is her signature, sing-along title track – an effortless genre-bender that combines country, folk and throwback pop with a touch of rock panache. “Smiling Face” the EP clearly demonstrates that Jay Dee is more than that, yet only scratches the surface of her versatility and creativity. Her band is made up the extremely talented Peter Han (violin and keys), Tyler Reznick (saxophone, trumpet, and flute), Mark Stratton (bass guitar), Danny Zaidman (vocals and guitar), and Shane Joseph (drums).
Follow and Support Jay Dee at https://www.instagram.com/jay_dee_band/
Under the alias Scott Hardware, Toronto-based experimental songwriter Scott Harwood makes dreamy, melancholic sounds rooted in both celebratory dance music and cinematic pop. His albums have often reflected deep cultural fixations, with 2020’s Engel being inspired by Wim Wenders’ darkly beautiful 1987 film Wings of Desire.
Before launching Scott Hardware as a solo project, Harwood made ambient pop under the name Ken Park, as well as playing in bands like Hooded Fang and Ostrich Tuning. His first work as Scott Hardware surfaced in 2016 with the debut album Mutate Repeat Infinity. The record’s sound was inspired by his time spent living in Berlin, taking in the region’s techno sounds and nightlife culture. Lyrically, the album centered around more personal themes, reflecting on both the HIV/AIDS crisis and those he knew who were affected by it. Harwood returned to his hometown of Toronto, but looked to Berlin for inspiration again on 2020’s Engel. The moody, drifting album was inspired largely by Wings of Desire, a movie that takes place in West Berlin sometime before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Engel’s floating production mirrored the dark, romantic atmospheres of the film. The album was released in April 2020 on Toronto’s Telephone Explosion label.
Follow and Support Scott Hardware at: https://www.instagram.com/scotthardware/
Born and raised in Toronto, Hasheel has been training in North Indian Classical vocals since the age of 5. He also started playing the bansuri and quickly excelled in both Indian and Western music, composing and writing his own pieces at the age of thirteen. Hasheel has lived in India to pursue his musical training and is currently a senior student of the legendary Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia. He is also under the tutelage of renowned singer Pandit Ajay Pohankar.
Performances have included those with Hariharan, Karthik, Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan, Karsh Kale, and for academy award winner A. R. Rahman. He has also headlined the brOWN//out stage for Pride Toronto.
His music is available on social media.
Wesley Shen and Justin Massey began collaborating in August 2020, with a common interest in exploring the unique chamber music possibilities of contemporary music. With Justin, playing saxophones of all sizes, clarinet, and electronics, and Wesley on piano, harpsichord, toy piano and Japanese shō, the endless combinations of sounds and colours allows them to create exciting and kaleidoscopic concert programmes. With a goal of promoting underrepresented voices in contemporary music and engaging with new audiences, Wesley and Justin strive to represent the cultural diversity and complexity of Canadian and international arts through their performances, workshops, and masterclasses. As queer identifying musicians, Wesley and Justin steek to promote underrepresented voices through their repertoire selection, commissions, and collaborations. As chamber musicians, they believe forming strong relationships and close collaborations with composers through interactive workshops, improvisations, and demonstrations that are offered through their multiple instruments.
Follow and Support Justin Massey at www.justin-massey.com
A 2 times Caribbean Music & Entertainment Award Winner, for BEST STEELPAN SOLO ARTIST, Roy (Django Pan Fyah) Mc Rae. Born in Guyana and well known across the GTA for his versatile Steel Pan skills. Django further studied music at the University of Guyana. His first big event was representing Guyana, as a soloist, at the 1996 World Steel Pan Individual Solo Festival, held in Trinidad and Tobago. D’jango migrated to Canada 1998, formed Xplosion band 2001 and started as a soloist 2007. He has shared the stage with a number of artists such as, David Ruder, Half Pint, The Mighty Sparrow, Pamela Maynard, Ken Booth, Marcia Griffiths, Ernie Smith, Wayne Wonder,The Drifters, Taurus Riley and so many more, Performing at many festivals through out the GTA, USA, and Jamaica. Django has recorded two steel pan albums and is currently working on his original mix album. Django is known as one of Canada’s most versatile musician/artiste. He also provides private music lessons and workshops throughout the community.
Follow and Support Roy McRae at https://www.instagram.com/panfyah/
MIMI: NEW MUSIC FROM AN OLD SOUL
Mimi O’Bonsawin is an award winning roots songstress. You can find Mimi out on the road bringing songs and stories to diverse audiences all over this country and abroad. Her songs are heavily influenced by her French Canadian and Abenaki roots and flow through a centre of love and creativity. Her compositions are nurtured by the beauty of her home landscape, and her
performances honest and raw. Her newest release ELLE DANSE is a self-produced french EP that has been gaining momentum with placements on Spotify, Amazon and Apple Music curated playlists. ELLE DANSE was in ELMNT FM’s top 10 Best Albums of 2020 and it was recently nominated for two prizes at the TRILLE OR Awards. Follow and Support Mimi O’Bonsawin at www.mimi.ca
Toronto born vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Jessica Sevier is an up and coming country music artist with lots of accomplishments under her belt already. Sevier has written many songs deemed mature beyond her years that combine elements of country, classic rock, and pop. With this sound, Sevier has been compared to vocalists and writers such as Bruce Springsteen, Lainey Wilson and Sheryl Crow.
Sevier has released many singles since her debut “Ghost of Tom” in 2019, which went on to get streamed over 100k times on Spotify within its first few months of release. Other notable singles have been “Heads Up” which reached #3 on the Canadian Indie Country Charts as well “Empty Pockets” went on to reach #5 on the Canadian Indie Country Charts.
The integrity of Jessica’s song writing has not gone unnoticed, as her original music gained her a spot to compete on the TV show The Shot: Remastered. As well, Sevier was a 2021 CMW (Canadian Music Week) Featured Artist/Performer, an Indie Week 2021 exhibitor and was chosen as one of the top 12 in the CNE Rising Star Competition 2020. Sevier has spent most of her career touring around Ontario playing notable downtown Toronto venues and music festivals. Most recently Sevier has signed with manager Jordyn Elliott.
Follow and Support Jessica Sevier at: https://www.jessicasevier.com/
St. Kitts Music Inc. is a premier entertainment company that provides entertainment Weddings Corporate awards and Christmas parties. We have provided music for companies and organizations such as: Giller Gala, St Michael’s Angel Ball, Stratford Gala, AMBI Gala, CSA Awards, Peller Winery, Canadian Tire, Toronto Star, Rogers, Bell Canada, Microsoft, Casinos Halifax and Windsor, Casino Rama, The City of Vaughan, Scotiabank, Our logo reflects our heartfelt desire to bring you great music. St. Kitts Music will create a musical landscape for your enjoyment. Just go ahead and dance! Let us help you make an ensemble of special moments in time to remember forever with love. St. Kitts has several amazing Bands: Midnite Starr, Sound Machine & George St. Kitts Band. Sounds of Motown each of which will provide outstanding entertainment for you. We take the time to tailor the entertainment to your special requirements and make it a night everyone will be talking about for years to come!
Follow and Support George St. Kitts at www.stkittsmusic.ca
Sarah Thawer is a JUNO-Award nominated drummer and recording artist based in Toronto, Canada. She started playing drums at age 2 and her first stage performance was at age 5. Sarah is currently performing, recording and touring across the world with different artists as well as performing solo and with her own band. She is also known for being a versatile musician, playing a wide range of genres from jazz and fusion all the way to Indian, funk, r&b, hip hop, and latin to name a few.
Sarah is a self-taught drummer and later decided to study jazz and world music at York University. She was the recipient of the Oscar Peterson Scholarship, the highest award given by the institution, in addition to graduating with the Summa Cum Laude distinction.
Sarah has shared the stage, performed, recorded and worked with various artists including George Watsky, Jon Batiste, Sheila E., AR Rahman, Steve Weingart, Mark Lettieri, Sekou Bunch, Char (Hisato Takenaka), Osman Mir, Karthik, Charlotte Day Wilson, Jane Bunnett and Tegan and Sara to name a few.
Sarah endorses Yamaha Drums, Remo Drum Heads, Istanbul Agop Cymbals, Sunhouse/Sensory Percussion, 64 Audio, Gruv Gear and ProLogix Percussion.
Follow Sarah Thawer at: https://sarahthawer.com/
VC2 Cello Duo is an innovative cello duo ensemble that captivates audiences through their performances of classical masterworks, unknown gems and boundary pushing music. Comprised of cellists Amahl Arulanandam and Bryan Holt, CBC Music says VC2 is “a tight unit, with excellent intonation and expression.” They present artistically challenging, yet accessible programs in venues ranging from intimate cabarets to Roy Thomson Hall.
As respected cellists, they have performed as part of leading music organizations including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, Soundstreams, Art of Time Ensemble, Continuum Contemporary Music, New Music Concerts, Music in the Barns, Thin Edge New Music Collective, and others. The duo has been featured artists at Ottawa Chamberfest, Indian River Festival, Ottawa New Music Creators, 21C Music Festival, Ritornello Festival, and the Prairie Cello Institute.
Committed to the creation of new works by living composers, especially those from their home country of Canada, VC2 commissioned five Canadian composers to create works based on the Beethoven Cello Sonatas project. In addition to their performances, VC2, with the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council, recorded these works and in fall 2018, released the album Beethoven’s Cellists which CBC Radio calls a “first-rate” recording.
Follow and Support VC2 Cello at: https://www.vc2celloduo.com/