Sunday, May 31, 2020

Niagara's Lily Nazar Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Niagara musician Lily Nazar. Our condolences to her family, friends and fans. She passed away on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.

Click here for her memorial page.

Her bio from the Lily Nazar Trio Facebook page:
Lily Nazar was born in St. Catharines and currently resides in Niagara-on-the-Lake. She has been singing and teaching music in the region for approximately fifteen years. She has performed with a number of local groups over the years as well as the The Lily Nazar Band. Although her musical interests span from pop to classical she made the decision to concentrate on one of her major loves, that of jazz, and graduated from the Mohawk College jazz program in 2007, specializing in vocal jazz and composition. Lily is quickly establishing herself as an up and coming jazz singer in the region and her group The Lily Nazar Jazz Trio frequently play at the Old Winery Restaurant in Niagara-on-the-Lake as well as at many private functions.
There was an outpouring of grief on social media. Here are a few examples:

Iolanda Ingrassia McKendrick

I lost my little Lily yesterday. A loving and heart full soul with the voice of an angel and a smile that could light up any room. She had her struggles and she tried so hard. So hard to be the perfect daughter, perfect singer, perfect friend and to find her perfect place in life. But her perfect little heart just couldn’t take it anymore. And I am shattered . The sadness and pain cuts like a knife I feel so much pain for my family. I wish I couldn’t say I know how they feel, but I do. I really do.

Lily finally found her angel wings and hopefully has found the peace she’s always been looking for. She would have turned 38 tomorrow. Still so much life ahead of her ... it just isn’t fair.
I will miss our chats and our texts messages. I will miss your zest for life, your crazy ideas, your smile and your voice Say hi to all our people up there and please continue to sing

Jennifer Gulland
My heart hurts and I am overwhelmed with sadness. The times that our paths crossed were magical and as my gemini twin we were two peas in a party pod. Wild and crazy and passionate and loud. Together we laughed and were merry. I will miss the bond we shared through music. Her talent was second to none. Her voice was surely something to be admired. 
Joshua Wood
RIP Lily Nazar. You sweet, wild, untameable soul on fire. You are the one who showed me how to lose myself to the song, to let go of the wheel and celebrate the moment. You were always such an inspiration to me and I just really wish I got to tell you this. I love you Lily, Ill see ya on the big stage. 
Talal Al Hamad
A beautiful soul .. taken from this earth suddenly.. An incredibly talented jazz singer and pianist and one of the original members of the first lineup of The Hot Potatoes my band... We shared some beautiful moments and I'm so proud to have had you has a friend.. You recently overcame some major challenges.. You grew... I;m sorry I could not have been there for you more ... 
Ian Reid covered on of Lily's songs in her memory.

Links: Ian ReidMore Ian Reid StoriesVideo above courtesy of Ian Reid

Links: Lily NazarMore Lily Nazar Stories, Videos above courtesy of Lily Nazar

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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Peggy Lee's 100th Birthday

Today (Tuesday, May 26, 2020) would have been American singer, songwriter and actress Peggy Lee's 100th birthday.

Biography highlights:
Juliet Dunn and Peter Shea and celebrated the occasion with a wonderful live Facebook performance.

We asked a few local artists to give their thoughts on the legendary singer. We will add more soon.

Brenda Brown
Peggy Lee was a beautiful communicator and a sophisticated powerhouse of a woman. Not only a gifted singer songwriter but also an actor,artist, entrepreneur and advocate for the arts. What a gift to us!
Karen Thornton
Her music was played in our home growing up. Understated sultry tone and phrasing no vocal aerobics, just a great quality to her voice and she really knew how to sell her songs.
Hailee Rose
Peggy Lee was, and still is, one of Jazz’s most inspirational female artists. Her song “Fever” introduced me to the art of simple yet captivating storytelling; painting a picture with words, and driving emotion with a minimalist sound.  A truly beautiful artist. 
Chris Ayries
If I had a coffee house, Peggy Lee would be in the top 10 on my playlist. Her sound is classic and soothing.
Here are a few videos from the lady herself.

Video above courtesy of TheUpstairsGirl

Video above courtesy of CurlySVT

More 100th Birthdays

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Saturday, May 23, 2020

Hamilton's The Smoke Wagon Blues Band Release Dynamic New Album!

The Ballad of Albert Johnson, the much-anticipated new album from Hamilton's The Smoke Wagon Blues Band has 13 breathtaking offerings for fans to sink their teeth into. Every tune is rooted in the Blues but the gang uses a ton of musical flavouring, giving each track it's own distinct essence. There some cajun spice mixed in here along with boogie woogie, roots, country, jazz and soul.

Everybody in the band's firing on all cylinders here.Corey Lueck's expressive vocals roar through tales of heartbreak and joy! The groove and rhythm flows and hits you with just the right amount of power. They also do an incredible job on the Fats Domino classic The Fat Man.

You can pick up this dynamic album through the band's website as well as Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, and more.

Video above courtesy of Corey Lueck

Video above courtesy of my blues rock chanal2018

Blast from the Past: Smoke Wagon's Previous Album

Links: Smoke Wagon Blues BandMore Smoke Wagon Blues Band StoriesMore Releases

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

CONGRATS! Canadian (incl Local) Musicians Win 2019 International Songwriting Competition!

The 2019 International Songwriting Competition closed recently and quite a few Canadians, including some local artists, got accolades for their fabulous work.

Click here for the full list.

Grand Prize: Tones And I - Dance Monkey

Links: Tones and I, Video above courtesy of Tones and I

Canadian Winners
Canadian Honourable Mentions

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Sunday, May 17, 2020

Latest Album from Hamilton's My Flying Machine is Beautiful, Atmospheric and Unique

You'll find a beautiful, unique mix of pop, alt-folk, soul and much more on Running Out of Things to Lose, the latest album from Hamilton musical project My Flying Machine. The sound will reverberate in your psyche long after the first listen. It's infectious, atmospheric and definitely off the beaten path.

The recording is mainly the work of Brandon General and Rusty Carriere (who also produces). Also lending a hand on a few tracks are Sarah Ivy Hardy (keys), Roo O’Donnell (piano) and Brennagh Burns (harmonies).

Physical copies should be out shortly but for now it is available on BandcampSpotify and most other streaming services.

You can stream the album below:

Blast from the Past: My Flying Machine's Debut EP

Links: My Flying MachineMore Brandon General StoriesMore Releases

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Thursday, May 14, 2020

GOOD LUCK! 2020 Hamilton Arts Award Nominees

Hamilton's creative strength will shine even through the quarantine thanks to the 2020 City of Hamilton Arts Awards. Click here to view the nominee list.

From the awards website:
In light of the COVID-19 crisis, adjustments to the Arts Awards have been necessary to ensure the well-being of all program participants and public safety. We will continue to celebrate 2020 nominees and award $35,000 in cash prizes to recipients.  The event will shift from a live award ceremony to a series of web-based performances and award presentations. These videos will be posted during Hamilton Arts Week June 11 to 20.  Details to follow.
Musical nominees include:

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

New Ensemble! Episode ft Two Strangers

The incredible musical duo, Two Strangers are the latest stars of the Cable 14 show, Ensemble!. Their episode of the long-running series is currently being broadcast on TV.  The always amazing Lily Sazz hosted the show at Hamilton's Grant Avenue Studio.

This episode shoule be available on demand at soon (available only for ShawRogers and Cogeco customers.) Anyone can now live stream Cable 14 for free at

Below are a few videos from the duo (this is not the episode):

Links: Two Strangers, Videos above courtesy of Two Strangers

The schedule for this episode (more will be added as we find out):
  • None schedule
More Ensemble Stories

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Friday, May 8, 2020

Legendary Hamilton Broadcaster Nevin Grant Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of legendary Hamilton broadcaster and author Nevin Grant (aka Mr. CKOC and "The Hitmaker") who died on May 6, 2020. Our condolences to his family, friends and fans.

Career highlights

Media Roundup
Here are some social media reactions to his passing:

Brandon P General
Both Nevin Grant and Jason Farr had a hand in getting me my very first radio play waaaaay back in 1999. On oldies1150. That was a pretty great moment and remains a pretty great memory. Having a song you wrote played on the radio right before the Beatles.
Michael B Davie
Mourning the loss of friend and radio icon Nevin Grant. Nevin was one of the nicest people I've ever met in my entire life, a wonderfully thoughtful, supportive, caring music icon who went well out of his way to give Canadian artists radio airplay when so many others wouldn't give them the time of day.
Nevin helped make the careers of of Ian Thomas, Gowan, Crowbar, the Spoons, Teenage Head and countless others. He transformed the Canadian music scene and made it shine. It was an absolute pleasure to have known him and his lovely wife.
It was a privilege to have published and worked with Nevin on his book Growing Up With The Hits! relating his life story and love of music, going through the books passages and his insightful thoughts on the industry together and selecting key photos from his enormous collection of photos and albums, choosing great shots of him with Alice Cooper, Elton John, Hall & Oates, and other iconic rock stars he'd met over the years. Nevin was absolutely wonderful, and my heart aches from this loss.
Sincere condolences to Heather and their family. 
It is with great sadness that The Stampeders send their deepest condolences at the passing of our very good friend and supporter of Canadian Music Nevin Grant. Thank you for playing many of our records, and being the first to broadcast, and break, our song "Wild Eyes" You will be forever missed, and remembered by Rich, Kim, Ronnie = The Stampeders, and our families. 
Andy Kim
The headline reads Nevin Grant Radio Legend and Champion of Canadian Artists. And he was. Although he programmed CKOC Hamilton, his talent crossed borders & helped so many of us who were just starting out. He often told me “I just love my job”
Onto the light Dear Nevin

Video above courtesy of etaradio

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Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Happy National Cartoonists Day!

Reality Check
Bent Pinky
Argyle Sweater
Local Cartoonists:
Please email us at if you know of any other cartoonists that should be on our list.

Links: More of our CartoonsMore Cartoonist Day Posts

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