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Getting The Gigs You Want The Freaked Out Vocalist Everyone Has “TALENT” Winter Health Tips Vocalist DIET

January / February / March 2013




January / February / March 2013 Credit Photo: Mertalas / Marcus Piggot

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Madonna Quotes



Latest Gear Mobile Apps Recording Microphones

The Keys Foods to Eat More The Keys Foods to Reduce or Avoid



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Getting the Gigs You Want

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Photos Souvenir

Fashion Stylist Tips For Rock Stars

Winter Health


The Freaked Out Vocalist W A T E R: Sound



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SANDY Duperval


No Secret Formula No Such Thing as Talent






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Madonna is an American Singer, Songwriter, Actress, Director, Dancer, and Entrepreneur. She is recognized as The Best-Selling Female Recording Artist of All Time by Guinness World Records. Considered to be one of the “25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century” by Time for being an influential figure in contemporary music, she is known for continuously reinventing both her music and image. - Source: MADONNA IS OUR ICON AND NUMBER 1 FEMALE VOCALIST OF ALL TIME At The Vocalist Magazine we focus on vocalists. In this Issue are featured some of our favourite vocalists: Shaharah, Sandy Duperval, Lorraine and Thandie Klaasen, Ranee Lee, Jeri Brown and Carl Henry, who share with us their techniques and secrets for reaching your maximum potential. We also focus on issues such as how they maintain their images and fashion style and what they eat before and after they sing. We share tips & insight on Look, style and design for vocalist, care and maintenance from professional vocalists, vocal coaches, music producer and live venue owner. Publisher/Editor

Publisher / Editor: Samuel Biks Associate Publisher: Adelene Biks Marketing / Advertising Manager Art Director Intern: Besher Al Maleb Associate Art Director Intern: Alessandra Mantovani Public Relation (PR) Intern: Jenny Lee Contributors: Kalika Hasting, Alessandra Mantovani, Sol Ines Peca, Jennifer Meade, Diva Devodee, Andrea Fuss, Megan Closs (Voice Council), , Mary Beth Felker Founder of The Voice Project Studios, Anne Peckham, Melissa Cross, Ruth Epstein PhD and Ronald C. Scherer, Mister Tim, Lori Maier, Chelsea Chandler, Dasol, Tamara A. Malak Cynthia Lecavalier. QUESTIONS or FEEDBACK Email Info: Mail: 372 Ste Catherine West. Suite 121. Montreal QC H3B 1A5
COVER 1: Credit Photo STEVEN KLEIN COVER 2: Credit Photo Mertalas / Marcus Piggot

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Credit Photo: Andrea Fuss for The Vocalist Magazine



here have been so many Reality TV shows that have come out these past years. The popular ones include American Idol, X-Factor and The Voice. What do they have in common? They’re all looking for the best singer in the country. Vocalists compete head to head after weeks of elimination and challenges. How do they do it? How do they preserve their voices under so much stress? What keeps them motivated? As a vocalist, you have to know what your strengths are. Are you a pop, jazz or RnB singer? What is the range of your voice? Know your strengths and play up on them. It is also important that you know your weaknesses so that you can work on them and improve your skills. You also need to be responsible not only for your voice but your body as a whole. What are the right foods to eat? What are the no-no’s in a vocalist’s lifestyle?

Bernard Jordan



“I always acted like a star long before I was one.”

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“I wa “I want to

ant to conquer the world” o conquer the world”
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Credit photo: Getty Images

“I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want.”

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1991 - Madonna by Patrick Demarchelier for Glamour Cover

“Because I’ve taken my clothes off in public doesn’t mean that I’ve revealed every inch of my soul.”


“I think my biggest flaw is my insecurity. I’m terribly insecure. I’m plagued with insecurities 24/7”


“When I first came to New York I was a dancer.”
Credit Photo 1984-Madonna-by-Steven-Meisel-for-Like-a-Virgin-Cover

“It is a struggle to balance my career with my children.”

Credit Photo FW11 -12 Show


“Be strong, believe in freedom and in God, love yourself”

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“It doesn’t matter who you are; it’s what you do that takes you far.”



“Set your goals high and go far. Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today.”

The VocalisT - Wire
TC-Helicon has announced their latest product aimed at singers. The Mic Mechanic pedal features some of their essential processing tools in a small, robust unit. It includes an adaptive-tone function that automatically adjusts EQ, compression, de-essing and gates; a selection of reverbs and delay; pitch correction; and a pre-amp with phantom power. The unit is shipping now and costs $149. See for more details.ments. At the end of the day, though, it’s just a bit of harmless fun.

The MXL Trio
The MXL Trio is an iPad compatible USB condenser microphone, which also can be used via USB with PC and Apple computers. Built out of a rugged all metal design, it is designed with the travelling recording artist in mind, as well as consumers who want to podcast or record vocal demos at home. The Trio is an addition to the already popular Tempo series from MXL and allows users to record on-the-go into their iPad using the Camera Connector Kit. A zero latency headphone jack is also built into the body of the microphone so that users can monitor whilst they record.

Zoom’s Q2HD
Zoom’s Q2HD is a portable video and audio recorder. It supports full HD video recording and a mid/side mic to capture audio. The battery powered unit has a HDMI connection for playback on a TV and comes with editing software to use with a computer to help you make your finished movie to share online. It can also function purely as an audio recorder if you want to capture your performances to listen to later. The Q2HD is out now and costs around $199.

K Multimedia

Latest Gear
HK Audio LUCAS Nano
HK Audio has announced their smallest PA system to date. The Nano is a highly portable modular PA system that weights only 10KG yet is loud enough for small solo gigs and rehearsals. It features individual inputs and level controls for mic, guitar, keyboard and MP3 player; making it a versatile system for singers performing more intimate gigs. The Nano will soon be available in the US, however it is available in Europe for E599.

K Multimedia have shown off the iKlip – a universal microphone stand adapter for the iPad. Now it’s easy for you to use your iPad in any live setting or in the studio to display lyrics or musical notation. It has a multi-angle adjustable design, so you can securely position your iPad to your mic stand for optimal viewing and accessibility, while all controls, buttons and connec-

Line 6 XD-V Series Digital Wireless Microphone Systems
Line 6 have introduced a new range of wireless microphone systems – the XD-V75, XD-V55, and XD-V35. These have features first found on their XD-V70 wireless microphone, such as microphone modelling technology which aims to deliver the sound of the world’s most popular wired mics within the single unit. With 24-bit, 10Hz– 20kHz, compander-free performance, XD-V series digital wireless systems should provide great audio clarity and license-free operation worldwide.


Mobile Apps
Vocal Processor For iPad The Voice Band App
Voice Band for the iPhone US $3.00 (a lite version is available free at the App Store) UK -not yet available on the UK iPhone app store Mic Scale At a Glance: Voice Band turns your voice into songs; simply use your voice to record multiple instruments on to separate tracks and mix your own original compositions. Choose your ‘instruments’ from guitars, bass, sax, synthesizers and drums and add built-in effects of distortion, reverb or delay. High Notes: While it may seem like “cheating”, it does allow you to sketch out and arrange a song very quickly when you have an idea and no other way of getting it down. You can also export your creation as an MP3 file and email to your band mates and friends. Off Pitch: Some reviewers are warning that this kind of application contributes to future generations unable to play real musical instruments. At the end of the day, though, it’s just a bit of harmless fun. Type: Mic for iPhone Item: IK Multimedia iRig Mic – Microphone for iPhone/iPad/iPod Price: US $19.99, UK €15.99 VocaLive for iPad gives you the ability to record vocals or other instruments (single or multitrack) with effects and master section, sing along with your favorite iTunes song library (with a Voice Cancel feature for practicing over songs with existing vocals) and warm up your voice with the included Vocal Tools. The included audio recorder of VocaLive for iPad can be expanded to a flexible 8-track mobile studio with easyto-use volume, pan, insert effects and two send levels for each track along with a fullfeatured master effects section with with Reverb, Chorus and Delay for track sends, and a global parametric EQ and compressor for final mastering. The iPad version adds a fourth effect slot to the signal processing chain, and two of those effect slots can hold the specific “vocal effects” compared to just one vocal effect per chain on the iPhone version. The preset browser is also available in the main window of the interface making loading and saving VocaLive presets even easier. The Favorites section has been expanded from 4 to 40 in the iPad version utilizing a new bank button. Favorites put presets right in the bottom panel on large, accessible buttons for immediate loading of the artist’s most-used settings.

Musicopoulos Vocal Warm Up
Musicopoulos Vocal Warm Up App Price: US $4.99 UK £2.99 Mic Scale: At a Glance: Vocal Warm Up is an app for iPhone and iPad that claims to be the perfect application to prepare your voice for singing. It offers a range of singing exercises that are intended to prepare your voice for a performance. There are different exercise routines depending on how much time you have and even a cool down routine to use after your performance. High Notes: Musicopoulos’s Vocal Warm Up allows users to define a custom singing range to tailor the exercises to their voice. The interface is clear and sensibly laid out, and you can slow down and pause the exercises to help you learn them. Although the software comes with a useful range of preset exercise routines, users can also create custom warm-up routines by combining any number of the exercises in any order. Each individual exercise comes with a written description and video of how to perform it, and there is a useful help section that explains clearly how to get the best out of the app. The app primarily focuses on traditional warm-up techniques including scales, arpeggios, trills and sirening, however there is plenty of variety within the excercies for singers performing in more contemporary styles to find something of use too. Off Pitch: No Android or Windows support. Also, although the software contains some great warm-ups it can’t offer you the same feedback and guidance a good singing teacher could.


Thanks for permission to reprint from VoiceCouncil Magazine (

The VocalisT - Wire

Recording Microphones
Audio Technica’s AT2020
Studio Microphone Item: Audio Technica AT2020 Price: US $99, UK £89

Peluso P12
Peluso P12 Vacuum Tube Microphone Price: US $1299, UK £999 At A Glance: The Peluso P-12 is a tube microphone designed for studio use. Its design has been based on the legendary AKG C12 microphone that was produced between 1953 and 1963, which is a mic renowned for its luxurious sound on vocals. With original versions of the C12 being highly sought after, the Peluso P12 aims to provide vocalists with the same sound quality at a lower price. High Notes: The microphone has a boost in the higher frequencies that enables vocals to shine though a mix without sounding harsh and unnatural. This, combined with a solid and rich sounding low end, means that often very little additional EQ is needed to be applied to recordings. It also offers a range of 9 polar patterns for use with different instruments and mic techniques – making it a very versatile all-round studio mic as well. The microphone comes as a kit which also includes a wooden box, power supply, XLR cable, shock mount and flight case. Off Pitch: The microphones deliberately bright sound will not necessarily suit all instruments and tastes.

The iRig iPhone Mic
Type: Mic for iPhone Item: IK Multimedia iRig Mic – Microphone for iPhone/iPad/iPod Price: US $59.95, UK £35 At a Glance: The iRig Mic is a handheld microphone that connects to an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. It is primarily designed to be used in combination with IK’s VocaLive software, which enables you to make multi-track recordings and use vocal effects on your device; however, it can also be used with any other compatible App that requires a microphone. High Notes: When used in conjunction with VocaLive, the iRig Mic can be used to produce real-time effects on your vocals that you can monitor through headphones or by connecting up to a speaker system. The mic can also be used to record other instruments, enabling you to record and mix entire demo tracks by using VocaLive’s multi-track recording function. Also included with the software is a metronome and vocal warm up tool, which singers might find useful. Off Pitch: The iRig Mic does not come with the full version of VocaLive software –meaning you will need to purchase this if you want to have all the available vocal effects and recording functions. Also, although the sound quality of the iRig Mic is far from awful, it does not really compare to a decent studio microphone.

At a Glance: The Audio Technica AT2020 is an entry-level studio condenser microphone that claims to offer great performance at a low price. It is ideally suited for recording vocals and acoustic instruments in a home studio setting and comes with a basic stand mount and soft vinyl case. It requires phantom power and features a cardioid pickup pattern. High Notes: Considering the relatively low cost of the microphone it performs well when recording vocals, proving a flattering low-mid peak with a pleasant high frequency boost that adds air to recordings. The AT2020 also has a flat enough response over a wide frequency spectrum to make it capable of producing decent results on acoustic guitar or other instruments as well. Its off-axis rejection is particularly good, which is useful if, for example, you want to keep computer noise out of your recordings as much as possible. Off Pitch: The included stand mount holds the mic firmly in place, however it is no replacement for a full shockmount as it is quite prone to noise from external vibrations. Compared to higher end studio mic’s the AT2020’s noise level is slightly higher than most, however it is certainly useable in most situations.


November 3rd Vocalist Masterclass at BASE BIN Studio, give participants insight in Branding and Marketing strategies for artists. Jennifer Meade shared vocal tips and vocal techniques. Malik Shaheed explained how to market and brand yourself as a vocalist. At the end participants were given an opportunity to perform 3 minutes in front of our panellist and took away Jennifer Meade’s latest album (download card) and Malik Shaheed mix tape.

The Vocalist Masterclass

Hosted by Vocalist / Songwriter Jennifer Meade & VJ / Reporter Malik Shaheed

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Credit Photo: Andrea Fuss for The Vocalist Magazine

Credit Photo: Malik Shaheed for The Vocalist Magazine

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coach corner

The Freaked Out Vocalist
How Do You Judge the Judgment? Vocal Coach Mary Beth Felker shares her solutions to mental chaos.

By Mary Beth Felker Founder of The Voice Project Studios
As a busy vocal coach, it had been 10 years since I had done a solo gig outside the recording booth and much longer than that since I had done a long, multisong performance. You would think that as I again faced the stage all past performance memories would have faded away and I would be starting with a clean slate. Instead, it seemed like my body was completely ready to recall every single insecurity and replay each negative tape from the past 25 years. So what was really going on inside of my head? Everything—they say that elephants never forget and evidently neither do we! 1.“What the hell am I doing?” 2.“I suck.” 3.“I think I might be getting sick.” 4. “What will people think?” I want them to be impressed.” 5.“I’m going to blank out and forget the words.” 6.“ If I’m myself on stage, I’ll look like a fool.” 7.“I just know that my voice will give out.” 8.“Will people pity me and just say polite things?”

So how did I deal with it? “I Better Stop Thinking and Start Working!”
I’d observe myself thinking one of the thoughts above, would watch my emotions and then apply an antidote in the form of a reasoned and positive response.

The Cognitive Sickness Chorus

Here’s my 8 bar “Cognitive Sickness Chorus” that whirled around in my brain:

Thanks for permission to reprint from VoiceCouncil Magazine (

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8) Do I expect to be handed a Grammy at the end of the night?! No. I am going to let people react and say what they will. If they’re polite then they’re polite. If they pity me, they pity me. But I won’t pity myself nor be embarrassed or ashamed. I’ve worked hard to get to this point and this is my celebration.

Credit Photo: IRIG

Beyond Freaking Out

The Counter-Chorus

So here’s my “Counter-Chorus” to each of the refrains above! 1) I am doing something, deep down, that I want to do. I want to sing. I love to sing. It’s meaningful to me! Furthermore, I know how to do this; I’ve trained for years. The only question is “How well will I do it?” And the only answer to this question will come through practice and preparation – so I better stop thinking and start working! 2) Yes, I have sucked at times – who hasn’t? But I haven’t really S-U-C-K-E-D; I just fell short of my own expectations. We all sound bad at times. Solution: Listen, fix it, do my best and move on. 3) Well, it’s true that stress can wear my body down. However, I’m going on my pre-show training regime and making sure I eat well, sleep a lot, hydrate, cut down on the alcohol and remind myself to enjoy the process! 4) How much can I really control what other people think? I think I will leave being a control freak to my own preparation and let people think whatever they will think! I am at my best when I am authentically me, and not what I think others want me to be. 5) I’ve blanked out before but guess what? I just improvised and kept on going – few people even noticed! Besides, I’ll have a plan: in addition to rehearsing the songs a cappella to help build my memory, I’ll remind my back-up singers to feed me words if I blank out plus keep a binder nearby with the set list during the performance. 6) Well, my choice is to either be myself or to try to keep myself controlled and reserved. I’ve done the latter much of my life and now it’s my turn to arrive on stage and be myself as authentically as possible. 7) I am going to sing my best and trust my training. I’m going to rehearse hard – with care. After all, noone ever comes to hear a technically perfect singer. They come to be moved by the music and taken on a journey with the singer. Heck, if I’ve made it this far, I can’t wait to see how much further I can go.

By repeating these affirmations, I was able to overcome my cognitive sickness, or what I call ‘swirling thoughts.’ On performance day, I made the decision to let go and deal with whatever came my way. As I walked off stage that evening I was, and still am, extremely proud of myself. The next morning, I was even more proud. When I heard the first recording, I actually impressed myself. This was not the singer I had always been, this was the performer I knew I could become. Having birthed 3 children, I think the process can easily be compared to labor. I grew it, I prepared for it and I just needed to keep my head calm through the tough parts in order to birth something satisfying and life affirming on the other side.

“I Made The Decision to let go”
What emerged was priceless—and that’s exactly what our attitude should be towards performing and towards our vocal work. When we are authentically ourselves musically, personally and vocally we offer a gift that is uniquely ours to give – and grow – in ways we never knew possible.

Credit: Italian singer and composer Laura Pausini



Vocal healTh

Winter Health
The winter season is a busy time of the year for a lot of people. Along with changes in weather comes an increased potential for colds and upper respiratory ailments that can adversely affect the musical activities of singers. What follows are some basic ideas to help you maintain your vocal health.

By Anne Peckham - Photographs by Susan Wilson
Get plenty of rest Everyone has different needs for sleep. Know how much sleep you need to function best, and maintain a regular sleep schedule as much as you can. Rest your voice whenever possible. Schedule time to unwind during your day. This will help you have renewed energy when you need to sing. Don’t wait until you burn out before you schedule downtime away from stressful activities. Drink water If you stay well hydrated, your body is better able to flush out the germs that cause colds. Make sure to drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Drinking plenty of water can help your voice function better because your vocal cords must be well lubricated to vibrate with the least amount of friction. The water you drink does not go immediately to your vocal cords. Although you feel the immediate relief of water in your throat, it goes to your stomach and passes through your entire system before hydrating the vocal cords. This takes time, so be sure to drink water before you feel thirsty. Stay physically fit Your body is your instrument. Whatever you do to improve the health of your body and mind eventually shows up in your voice as increased vitality and energy. Singing is physically demanding, and maintaining good health is essential to career success. Exercising can help you to stay physically and mentally alert and have more energy. Do not smoke Anyone who is serious about having a singing career should not smoke. Smoking has long been known to cause emphysema and cancer of the mouth and vocal tract. It irritates vocal tract membranes and the vocal cords. When these membranes are dry and irritated from the chemicals in smoke, your body tries to

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can sing over or through congestion. The first line of treatment for your singing voice is moisture. Drinking a lot of water will keep your throat and nasal mucus thin. Inhaling steam seems to be helpful for the same reason. Cough drops can keep you from coughing to the point of hoarseness. However, the sugar and menthol in them can make you feel dry. Caffeine-free herbal teas can be soothing and add moisture back to your system. Caffeine, alcohol, and smoking should be avoided because they all have a drying effect on your voice and body. Develop good rehearsal habits Warming up before rehearsals will help you avoid straining your voice. During a long rehearsal, be sure to take breaks and drink plenty of water. compensate with secretions. These make you need to clear your throat, which causes further irritation. Smoking can also aggravate reflux, a condition that occurs when the contents of your stomach migrate back into the esophagus and throat, causing inflammation. Singers sensitive to reflux react to a number of foods and drinks that can impact their vocal condition and singing by causing reflux laryngitis. Singers are particularly prone to reflux due to the high abdominal pressure that is used for breath support. Don’t sing if it hurts As simple as this advice sounds, many singers get caught up in the moment and don’t listen to their bodies when they feel discomfort. When you are tired you should rest your voice. If you have what seems to be more than a simple cold or slight pain in your larynx, see a qualified laryngologist who works with singers. Sometimes, when singers suspect a health problem beyond a cold, they delay going to a doctor because they don’t want to receive confirmation that they have a serious vocal problem. Don’t delay! Go to a laryngologist who can diagnose the problem and offer advice regarding upcoming singing engagements. Singing over a cold There are times when you can sing with a cold and times when you absolutely must rest your voice. When the occasional cold comes on, sometimes you can rely on breath support and body awareness to get through rehearsals and concerts without exacerbating fatigue or doing permanent damage. You can usually sing over a cold if you have nasal congestion but no throat symptoms. Your tone may be a bit nasal, but in general, you Always use a microphone when singing with an amplified band. Position yourself so that you can hear your voice from an amp or monitor. Singers who cannot hear themselves tend to compensate by over-singing. This is a sure way to wear out your voice. It is important to prevent problems by knowing yourself, your voice, your limits, and how to take care of yourself. Many singers complain of being sick with colds and various illnesses all year long. However, if they were to examine their daily voice use, practice habits, and vocal hygiene, they would probably find that they are slighting or ignoring some basic elements for maintaining good health. If you follow these basic precepts, you will have a better chance of fighting colds and getting through the season. Use common sense. Rest your voice, eat right, and get enough sleep.

(These guidelines are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical care. Consult your physician if you develop health problems.)

Anne Peckham, an associate professor in the Voice Department, is an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and authoredThe Contemporary Singer, which is published by Berklee Press.



Eating for Energy
To get the best out of yourself, whether you are rehearsing, performing, teaching or simply getting on with getting on, having reliably good levels of energy is essential. Getting enough good quality sleep is obviously key, but so is eating the right foods. That, in turn, means not eating foods that sap your energy. The key foods to eat more of are mostly pretty obvious – foods that keep you healthy in general:

especially dark leafy greens as they contain a lot of chlorophyll which provides the body with ready-energy. Highly coloured vegetables and cruciferous veg like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower are also really key as they contain loads of anti-oxidants which protect your cells from damage. The healthier your cells, the healthier and more energetic you will feel.

Lots of fresh veg

The Keys Foods to Eat More

Whole grains

Good quality protein

meaning lean meats, fish and dairy (preferably organic). Protein is essential for repairing and rebuilding your body. All your cells and tissues need protein and lack of protein will leave you feeling lethargic and fatigued.

Ilike brown rice, whole oats (not instant oats), quinoa, wholegrain breads and crackers plus pulses like lentils, beans, chickpeas etc. are excellent sugar-balancing, energy-giving foods. The fibre as well as the nutrients in whole grains will provide slow-release energy and vital nourishment needed by your cells to generate energy.

Fresh fruit
is healthy and good for quick energy as it gets digested very rapidly if eaten on an empty stomach. Do bear in mind that most fruit contains high levels of sugar (fructose), so it should not be eaten in abundance. 2 – 3 pieces a day are recommended. Berries are by far the most beneficial fruits to eat.


is essential for energy. If you are even mildly dehydrated, your blood thickens, slowing how quickly it moves around your body delivering nutrients to your tissues and brain. If you wait to feel thirsty before you drink water – you’ve left it too long!


Thanks for permission to reprint from VoiceCouncil Magazine (

You maybe surprised to hear that coconut is a really, really healthy, energy providing food. You can have it in many forms: coconut chips, toasted coconut flakes, coconut water, coconut milk to use in cooking, coconut oil, also excellent to use in cooking and coconut ‘drink’ which is a cow’s milk alternative. Coconut contains a very healthy from of saturated fat which is rapidly broken down and converted to energy.

the most commonly used (and abused) ‘pick-me-up’. Too much coffee, tea or caffeinated sodas can disrupt sleep cycles, digestion and energy management. Try and reduce your intake and match your cups of tea, coffee or soda with the same amount of water.


The Keys Foods to Reduce or Avoid

Highly processed, packaged foods

Refined sugar

like ready meals, fast food and processed meats. These foods are mostly high in harmful fats, high levels of salt and/or sugar. This creates a lot of work for your liver as it has to breakdown all the harmful toxins in these foods. This takes up a lot of energy.

high sugar foods will give you a quick energy high but will leave you tired and craving for more sugar shortly after. Get in to the habit of checking labels. On average you should aim to consume no more than 25 grams or 5 teaspoons of added sugar per day. Also watch out for foods containing high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), this is even worse for you than normal sugar. Many so called ‘healthy’ foods are actually packed with sugars. Most commercial breakfast cereals including muesli and granola; granola & cereal bars; fruit yogurts; smoothies and low fat foods often have at least one type of sugar as one of the main 3 ingredients.

Artificially sweetened drinks and foods

artificial sweeteners confuse the body as your brain is expecting to get energy from sugar as the taste buds have detected sweetness. When no sugar comes, your brain will trigger a craving for sugar. This can leave you feeling very fatigued and more likely to overeat.

No need to lecture on these nutrient black holes. A little alcohol is fine but never drink on an empty stomach as this will cause the same sugar spike and following crash as described above. Both alcohol and smoking deplete the body of nutrients through the process of managing the toxins they contain. Smoking massively depletes vitamin C levels, key for energy and immune health, so if you must smoke, make sure you take a high potency, good quality vitamin C supplement every day.

Excess alcohol and smoking


coach corner

You’re singing…and sweating. A friend says smugly: “I drink 12.5 glasses of water a day”.You can’t be bothered. All of this measuring sounds like a lot of work. What’s the big deal about drinking so much water? By Melissa Cross, Ruth Epstein PhD and Ronald C. Scherer, PhD - Photos by Lauren Mcconnel / PPR

W A T E R: Sound Advice


Dr. Ron Scherer explains: “I ask my students to clap their hands hard – there is a slight stinging sensation. Then, I ask them to do the same thing with a little soapy water: no sting. When you’re singing, your vocal folds are essentially slapping together. What the singer needs is a “cushion” between the folds and this is achieved by having a nice mucus coating on the vocal folds. This coating requires proper hydration. “If you are not well-hydrated the vocal folds can become irritated more quickly, leading to redness and swelling. For physicians, this is called a ‘predisposing condition’ – leading more easily to vocal fold changes and issues”. So, an inadequate intake of water is certainly not ideal for a singer. Vocal Coach Melissa Cross adds: “Maybe you don’t care about being ideal; you can still do a show. But why not strive to be at your optimum for performance?”

Most experts recommend six to eight glasses of water a day, but there is no “magic amount”. Everyone’s body is different and glands work in unique ways. As a general rule of thumb, Scherer says: “The more you use up water, the more you have to ingest to maintain a good balance”. Singers use up more water if they are sweating during performances, or simply working in a hot, dry venue. It’s easy to become dehydrated without even knowing it. Speech Therapist Ruth Epstein urges singers not to wait for the interval and then rush and drink all that they can: “Water should not be “glugged” as a punishment but sipped throughout the day and throughout the performance”. But there’s another variable to account for when assessing water consumption: the amount of caffeine you’ve had.

How Much H20?

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Thanks for permission to reprint from VoiceCouncil Magazine (

The muscles and mucus in one’s nose, mouth and throat (the pharynx) have a great deal to do with determining the singer’s sound quality. Dr. Coneys explains: “Muscle function can be inhibited by very cold fluids while very hot fluids may cause the mucous membranes lining the pharynx to swell slightly and the muscles to relax too much”. These effects may be negligible for some vocalists but it’s why the experts say that room temperature is best.

Your H20 Checklist.

• Drink six to eight cups a day (but this is not a “magic number”) • Adjust the amount of water you consume to take into account sweating and caffeine • Have enough so that you ‘pee pale’ • Room temperature is better than hot or cold • Sip rather than glug • Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink. But there’s another variable to account for when assessing water consumption: the amount of caffeine you’ve had.

Watch Your Other Fluids

Tea, coffee, coke and other caffeinated beverages tend to dehydrate the body by increasing urine production, known as the ‘diuretic effect’. The singer needs to compensate for caffeine consumption. Marcus Coneys, MD, says: “One rule of thumb is that 10 fl oz of coffee needs 10 fl oz of water to replace this extra loss from diuresis”. Coneys warns that the extra water needed to compensate for caffeinated drinks is a problem with vocal performance: “A singer can’t keep leaving the stage to urinate, can they? So best avoid caffeinated beverages before and during performances”. You’ll know if you are drinking the right amount of water if you “pee pale” – though this is not a perfect measurement as multivitamins can color the urine and stress can cause urine to be excessively pale. Don’t worry about the exact amount of water to drink—worry itself is not good for one’s health. Keep to six to eight glasses a day, but adjust up to take account of performance movement and caffeine intake. Hot, Cold, or Room Temperature? There is no magic number in terms of the amount, but is there a magic temperature? The vocal folds do not need to have the water at a certain temperature to be lubricated. However, vocal folds are not the only part of your body responsible for your sound.


coach corner

Success at your vocal art means dedicating yourself to more than just one thing. At the professional level, EVERYONE HAS “TALENT.” By Mister Tim - Photographs by Angie Wilson


When speaking of singers, actors, athletes, and artists, the world at large says “They have TALENT.” That word is very misleading, because instead of a single TALENT, there are a group of TALENTS. No one has a TALENT for basketball. What good basketball players have is a collection of TALENTS that allow them to play the game well: tall, strong, fast, coordinated, good special reasoning, good memory for and recall of specific plays, understanding of their teammate’s skills, ability and willingness to work hard in practice— a myriad TALENTS that combine to make a great player. 200 years ago there were people who were tall, strong, fast, coordinated, had good special reasoning, etc. 200 years ago the game of basketball did not even exist. It would be silly to say that they had a TALENT for basketball. They had skills that could be beneficial for the game of basketball that could also be beneficial for other activities, but in that specific combination would allow them to play basketball well.

At the professional level, EVERYONE HAS “TALENT.” You don’t get to that level without natural ability, athleticism. What makes some players rise to elite status above others? It might be that they have a few special skills the others don’t, but more often than not it is their competitive fire, their compulsion to improve, their relentless work ethic, their intellect, or sometimes just their willingness to start a little earlier and stay a little longer than other players that eventually pushes them to the top. Apply this to singing: if you have aspirations to ‘make it big,’ realize that everyone you are competing with has just as much if not more “TALENT” than you. In the modern world everyone has access to virtually the same resources as everyone else. Your chance to succeed will come as you take advantage of those resources and decide to spend the time needed to develop all your TALENTS to make your dreams come true.

Success in Singing and in Life

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coach corner

Getting the Gigs You Want
In conversation with VoiceCouncil magazine, Lori Maier shares 4 steps for getting the gigs you want.
By Lori Maier


Photos: WireImage, Getty

At the heart of the process is a decision. In some secret place within yourself you decide that you are going to go for it. You are going to pursue a vocation as a vocalist. No one can make this decision for you— it is made in silence. This decision is more than a feeling; it’s an act of will. It’s a firm commitment. You are going to go for it even if it doesn’t always feel good, even if it means enduring setbacks, frustrations and failures. You are going to move forward. If you don’t make a specific decision to pursue a certain kind of vocal career, you can make the decision to be a consummate musician—so that when an opportunity presents itself you are ready for it. It may be that you make a decision to learn to read music, or to become better at your art in very specific ways. This kind of decision carries you through those days and weeks


and months when you think nothing is happening. Something is happening: you are improving; you are becoming ready. I often tell my vocal students that the time when you are not performing is incredibly valuable; you can be growing. You can actually celebrate the chances that not performing can give you to refine your skills. Either way, there is a decision—a commitment to go for it.


You begin wherever you can find a place to perform— it may be a club, sharing the bill with an established band, an open mic situation or a private party. You might even throw the party yourself to give you the chance to perform! You get out there where people

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so that you never lose the ground you gained through the past strides. You maintain contacts with people who have helped you or who can help you in the future. You follow through with things you have promised. You are aware of what people expect from you. You set parameters for yourself. You strive to always be reliable, reasonable and respectful as you build relationships. All of this takes organization. There are some great new tools that were not available to me when I was getting off the ground twenty years ago. Singers should know how to use web based social networking tools to organize their own promotion. This is especially important in light of the fact that landing a recording contract is no longer the singer’s “Holy Grail”. There are just so many ways now for a vocalist to build a career. Facebook, MySpace and a quality web site are all tools which can be used to manage a fan base and to reach toward new opportunities

can see you and hear you. You get some sort of buzz started that can build on itself. How often have you heard vocalists who get the gigs they want say something like: “you are not going to believe what happened!” Once you start getting out there, opportunities come your way. It is an organic process. Woody Allen said: “80% of success is just showing up”. Other musicians begin to call you for things they cannot do, or they want to bring you along for the ride simply because they want to make music with you. It’s a process that opens up as soon as you decide to pursue the opportunities that are in front of you.

Photos: http://hdfan-vidz.


Let’s face it; there are many times when a singer doesn’t get the response they’d hoped for from a venue manager, events coordinator or talent scout. The temptation is to see this response as a “closed door”, but I have to question this. In fact, I believe that aspiring vocalists often come to negative conclusions much too early.

“Instead of <no> it is really, <not yet>”
Singers contact me all the time to get a place at Chick Singer Night. I may not have time to get back to them, I may send them to someone else, or I may not yet see how their music will fit in. If a singer immediately interprets this as a “closed door”, they are making a mistake. Instead of “no” it is really, “not yet”— there is a world of difference between these two responses! Watch your mind-set. If you conclude that all lessthan-ideal responses are closed doors, then you are missing opportunities. Instead of thinking ‘closed door’, think: ‘I am going to persevere’. In my role as Executive Director of Chick Singer Night, I have to admit that it is the singers that keep coming back to me who get my attention. You see, I know what it is like to send off that 5th email. It’s perseverance. In my own career I have found that doors have opened only on the 2nd or 3rd or 4th try. It was never a mistake to keep on trying.

“80% of success is just showing up”
Sometimes singers feel that they have to discover their own unique sound right at the beginning—but that is not necessary. This happens as you perform and work with other musicians. You discover your own style— it starts to seep into what you are doing. You begin to recognize the ways in which you are different and begin to emphasize these aspects in future performances. The main thing is that you pursue opportunities to share your music.


I think that the whole process of being a successful vocalist is two-fold. The first part is the talent part, the performing-musical part. The second part is almost as important: having and developing the skills required to keep things moving forward. You have to be organized


MUsic ProDUcer
Albert Chambers was raised in a little town called Lachenaie (east of Montreal). From co-hosting a Local Montreal T.V. show called Rock Stage, to Record Retail in N.Y.C. and Montreal, for the past ten years He has been running and operating a rehearsal studio called ‘Studio Base Bin’ in Montreal. Albert created Sweet Albi Productions for independent and signed acts. By Chelsea Chandler - Credit Photos Studio Base Bin


TVM: Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started in the music industry. Well how I got started I mean my father was a bbop, r&b singer back in the 50s to 60s and so I grew up knowing my father for always being on the road. When I was 6, he retired from show business. My great-grandfather on my mom’s side used to build pianos for Willis Piano’s in St-Therese, my grandfather played violin and piano, my grandmother on my mother’s side also played piano so, like, everybody was pretty musically inclined. By the time I was maybe 14, I think that’s when I bought my first guitar and that’s when I started taking lessons. I started playing shows when I was 14, maybe 15 years old. That was probably my first show at a high school, and I literally still have the contract. Probably got paid like 175$ to do the whole gig, half of it probably went into renting all the gear, but you know it was my first experience of playing in front of people. So I never really did anything else in my life besides music. I even moved to New York at one

point when I was in my 20s, and worked in music retail, record retail, while I was there, as well as cowriting with somebody that was down there. I eventually ended up coming back to Montreal, continued to play live, at clubs, bars. So I met Karl Wolf and started playing with him, he was starting his solo career, and we were doing “Africa” and all that. I was there for the ride. TVM: What motivated you to open Base Bin Studio? I had gotten a job at Steve’s music store, I worked there for probably like 6 years, and I was part management at the end, and that was my second home. It took a lot of my energy and self-esteem just working with music instrument retail, it just wasn’t satisfying. So I just went in one day, and I punched my card on a Saturday and walked back home and that was it. I started to think of what else I wanted to do and I thought of opening up a fully equipped

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Coral Egan rehearsal studio. With all the contacts I had over the years working at Steve’s, I was sure that I would have a clientele pretty fast. Within 6 months I had written my business plan, presented my business plan, and it wasn’t a year later that I was starting to build the studios, which was my first location on 55 Pine Avenue, east, corner of St-Laurent. I ended up moving to this building, been here about 15 years but I’ve had the studios just over 17 years now and the rehearsal studios have brought me the opportunity to continue to get back to my creative side which I love. TVM: Talking about the creative side of music, can you give us some tips on how to record vocalists? A lot of people ask me for tips on how to record vocalists, and um I think the most important thing that’s always lacking is the communication and the people skills that you have to have before the even go into the booth. If somebody is nervous, they are going to start tightening up. If you tighten up, your vocal cords tighten up; everything just like sounds like it’s in a box. When someone is totally relaxed and totally open and it’s sort of like when someone does a complete free open laugh- its loud and you hear it. I’ve had artists at times come in, where let’s say for example we were tracking a vocalist and a backup vocalist would come in and we would ask, how are you doing today? And the vocalist would answer “Great” but we would say “this is a really sad song”, we don’t need you to be great. We need you to be in that zone you know. I’m saying they have to be comfortable enough to be open with you, whether it’s a sad song or a happy song. They have to go to that place that’s extremely personal, that they usually wouldn’t let anyone else in. I have to make them feel comfortable enough to share that with me, and to share that emotion. I’ve had vocalists sing a line and be so touched by the line they are singing that they literally break down and drop to their knees in the studio. That’s when I know I’ve accomplished my job, bringing them to that level, because they never thought they would be able to bring themselves to that point of emotion and being able to define it in song. TVM: So that’s definitely part of the creative process. How do you help vocalists find their creative voice when they walk into the studio? Well everybody is different. There are some singers that have more experience than others. Those are the singers that sometimes you almost have to hold back from giving too much. Whereas some singers have so many chops, their technique is so advanced that they forget about the melody. Those are the sort of singers that you have to hold back and then when u get something from them it’s like spectacular, it’s unbelievable. Coral Egan was a singer I worked with that was exactly like that. If you let her go, the technique would overrule the melody. I often tell people also that it’s important to not sing in the key of the song-singing in the key of a progression is a lot different than singing a melody to a progression. You have to be able to separate the melody from the chord progression. So that means not always following the tonics, which are in that chord progression. That’s kind of the easy way out and that means that if somebody is strumming a chords progression, every time the chord strums down you are singing on that down beat. That’s kind of something you want to get away from. More experienced singers don’t have a problem with that, but less experienced singers I have to sort of give them a certain task, and sort of concentrate on that certain task. So if they’re singing, the most important thing I’m going to do, especially for a less experienced singer in the booth, is let them sing the one verse for example, maybe 10 times. Let them find their voice. The more comfortable they get with me, the more I might throw a couple things at a time.


TVM: What should vocalists expect when walking into your recording studio? How should they be prepared beforehand? Well, if the song has been written or produced by me and arranged, they usually have tracks that they can actually rehearse with. I usually give them what’s called a “ghost lead” for them to practice-it almost like practicing a cover song. So they work with their vocal coaches before coming into the studio so they are a little bit more prepared when they walk into the room here. Now that being said, I prefer them to come in knowing all the words, not looking at a lyric sheet, because If you can’t remember the words then you can’t remember the emotion that you’re trying to deliver. So being prepared beforehand, whether you’re practicing on your own or whether you’re practicing with a vocal coach, is always a plus. TVM: You were saying before that you have worked with Karl Wolf-Who else have you worked with, have you collaborated with? Well lately, well the latest album for Coral Egan that’s coming out, uh that’s out right now, it’s called The Year You Drove Me Crazy, I co-wrote that record, and I was just hired recently to actually re-record, a French musical called “Don Juan”, so Corey Hart actually had the pleasure of re-writing all the lyrics to that musical in English. TVM: Based on all of these experiences, tell us what makes a vocalist easy to work with, vs. difficult to work with It’s very simple; some vocalists are just easier to work with because there’s a trust factor I guess? The vocalists that I would consider “easy” are vocalists that are open to trying things, without fighting you on every suggestion. And then there are vocalists that are so used to doing their own thing and self-producing themselves that those are the vocalists that, after a while, you just can’t fight them. So, even if it’s a vocalist that’s pitchy, and out of tune, I have more fun REHEARSAL STUDIO

RECORDING STUDIO with somebody like that, at times, that’s willing to try things, as opposed to somebody that has all the technique in the world and just fights you on every, you know, vocal melody. TVM: What do you personally expect vocalists to take away from their recording experience? I want them to leave here feeling like they had fun. Yeah. I want them to feel like it was an experience and they learned something. I want to be able to give and to take, and I want to be able to learn things from the singers in the booth, and they can show me something that’s either like a vocal technique they have, the way they sing, the way they approach the mic, and that makes my day. So it’s a give and take, but I think overall I just think that I want them to say that “Albert was super open” and “I learnt a lot” and above all, “I had so much fun”….”we laughed a lot”. TVM: Finally, do you have tips to share on the recording process? Maybe how to act, how to ease any nerves? Uh, you know what- the most important thing to do before you come into the studio is to make sure that you warm up. So if you have a vocal coach of some sort, um, try to learn some vocal techniques to warm up your vocal cords, so when you come in you’re not feeling like your range is limited just because you haven’t actually used those vocal cord muscles for the whole morning. If you don’t have a vocal coach, YouTube is your best friend. There’s like, hundreds and hundreds of vocal coaches giving free advice on how to do vocal exercises or just to warm up before either going to a recording studio or performing live. Come in with a good attitude, and you know, come in with a positive attitude. I mean I think that will just make for the session to be a lot of fun. So they need to come in here and feel like “wow, this is what I want to do for a living because I love doing this”, and it’s got to be fun.

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By DIVA DEVOTEE - Credits Photos

Vocal Type: Contralto Vocal Range: 3 Octaves and a semitone Bb2-B5
Whistle Register: No Vocal Strengths: Alicia Keys is capable of singing complex vocal runs, through the registers, and is able to hold notes for periods of time without wavering in pitch or tone [Fallin’]. The lower range is easily accessed and has a darkness and weight that pervades through the rest of the range. It has a slight breathy quality at times, but the voice sounds comfortable in this part of the range. Alicia Keys’ midrange is sweet and warm, with a smokiness and slight rasp to it. Her voice finds this part of the range easiest, as well as the extremes on either side of it, to navigate. The belting range is weighty and thick and often shares the smoky quality of the lower range. The notes above the fifth octave are most often reached without the aide of mixing with the head voice, and the resulting tone has a good dynamic, fuller sound and a rawer edge. Alicia Keys can mix her notes- hear How Come You Don’t Call Me- and produce a purer tone, but it comes at the expense of the power and fullness of the sound. The head voice is pure and bright with a weight and warmth.

Vocal Weaknesses: The way Alicia Keys maintains her thicker belting tone, without mixing, could have a
negative effect on the voice, ultimately inflaming it and producing a harsher sound.

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By Diva Devotee - Credit Photo

Vocal Type: Mezzo-Soprano Whistle Register: No Vocal Range: 2.7 octaves (C3-B5 approx) Vocal Pluses: Powerful, passionate voice, with a
rock tinge. Expressive and well controlled voice that does not lean on melisma to impress, though she is capable of using this vocal technique if required. Lady Gaga’s low notes are well supported, and have a dark, solid and weighty timbre to them. The midrange can be melodic and lyrical as well be utilised in a talk/singing fashion- see Poker Face. The lower part of the belting range has a weight, and thick timbre to it along with a strong resonance. This resonance can be carried into the higher part of the chest register- past a C5- but it calls for the use of

improper technique, making the sound raspier and raw, as its placed in the throat. These qualities can be eliminated, at the expense of the resonance of the voice, by mixing with the head voice. The sound produced is clearer and brighter with a healthier sound. The head voice alone can be light and airy- see the chorus of Paparazzi- or thicker and with an operatic like tone- see the intro of Government Hooker. Lady Gaga’s vibrato is strong, quick and reminiscent of that utilised by stage singers, but she is capable of singing without it if she chooses.

Vocal Negatives: Lady Gaga’s high belting can
sound like shouting at times, which would indicate bad technique or singing outside of her range.




By DIVA DEVOTEE - Credits Photos

Vocal type: Lyric-Contralto Vocal Range: 3 octaves 2 notes(B2- D6)
Whistle Register: No Longest note: 8 seconds - ‘Hate That I Love You’ Vocal Pluses:Distinct tone that makes Rihanna’s voice easily identifiable. Voice sounds best in it’s low to mid range- as heard in the verses of Russian Roulette- where it finds a solid tone that has a slightly smoky quality to it. Rihanna’s belting range has improved in recent years; where previously her voice was nasal and thin, it now has a degree of strength and weight to it, sounding correctly placed- Listen to Only girl (in the world). Rhianna’s head voice is soft and airy with a sweet and warm tone and is capable of switching quickly and effortlessly into that part of her range. She has the ability to hold notes for lengths of time, while maintaining its dynamics and tone, as well being capable of singing vocal runs with apparent ease.

Vocal Negatives: Rihanna’s voice can still sound nasal at times, particularly in live performances.

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Vocal Type: Coloratura Soprano Vocal Range: Four Octaves and One Note

Whistle Register: Yes Vocal Pluses: Tamar Braxton finds her
strength in her head voice and higher chest register. Her lower range is not as strong but is still well supported. Due to Tamar’s expert mixing of her head and chest voice, her belting range extends all the way to a Bb5; having a very bright, light quality to it. Her head voice is smooth and airy, and is well connected to the rest of the voice. She is also able of singing notes in the whistle register, producing a tone that is not piercing but instead very smooth. Tamar Braxton’s voice has an uncanny ability to execute complicated runs, along with ad-libs, which she uses to add to the emotion of the music. Her voice also has a quick vibrato that she uses well.

Vocal Negatives: Under utilized whistle
register, and her lower range lacks the true strength of the voice as a whole.



VocalisT PRoFile

Mezzo Soprano. I’m very strong on the Alto side but I would say I have about three octaves from middle C down, to at least two octaves above that are very comfortable. Any thing above that or below that is a workout.

is range?

What your vocal

I’ve notices nowadays, peoples’ lack of emotion in their vocal performances. So when I listen to an artist, I’m not impressed with how high or low she can get – it’s really how the emotion comes through in her voice.

two hours, h a v e breakfast, and start recording. For the rest of the day I’m good, until I get tired.

Do you have a favorite song?
I still listen to Lauren Hill’s album – that song “when it hurts so bad”. She remains my main inspiration. When I think of a vocalist that really sticks out, Lauren Hill comes to mind. When I listen to her songs, I feel like I’m getting to know her.

Describe one challenge you constantly face in your practice time?

Who is your favorite artist right now?

Right now, I can’t stop listening to Lianne La Havas. She has a voice straight out of heaven. She’s a new artist and her vocals, the thing

What time of the day does your voice sound its best?

I’m not sure. I had a coach tell me that when you wake up you need to wait 2 hours before singing. So now, that’s what I do. I usually wait

Its probably one thing that Jennifer Meade will agree with me on, I use a lot of my muscles. When I get to a certain range, you will see all my muscles and veins. I am now learning how to control that by learning which muscles have to be a part of that. It almost looks like I’m training when I’m singing in the higher ranges, it’s like I’m lifting weights.

What your favorite thing about your own voice?

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By Alessandra Mantovani - Credit Photo by Sandy Duperval

It’s not perfect. I love that, and I want to keep it that way. The techniques are helping me improve, but my vocals are very perfect in their own imperfect way. Because I know the things I can’t do, and I will do them all the time as well as I can. I know my voice is not standard, and it might not fit just to jazz, I’m versatile. The fact that it’s not perfect is exciting me all the time.

What don’t you like about your own voice?

I wish it were easier. I wish I could just open my mouth and have it come out. Without having to practice, without having to think about it. Technically, I don’t have anything to complain about because my voice will work its way out of the things that bother me. If I have a bad day, and its not really working I know the next day it will do better. My vocals are so loyal; I don’t have much that bothers me.

What kind of vocalist are you?
An emotional vocalist. (Laughs)

What is the strangest comment someone has said about your voice?

When I was at Star Academie, they said they loved what I was doing because it was unique and because I could do so much, but then I got into elimination because they said I was doing too much. So, I’m very confused from that, that’s the strangest thing I’ve heard. Otherwise, people don’t really complain, I think people are going to like you or they won’t. If they like me, I take it in, I appreciate it, I never take it for granted, and if they don’t like me, they’ll never hear about me, so that’s good. (Laughs)


Fashion Stylist Tips For Rock Stars
By Carla Lynne Hall
Fashion stylists help rock stars create signature looks, and stay on the cutting edge of fashion. The time to think about creating your fashion style is at the same time you create your music. You don’t have to be Lady Gaga to get the right attention either. According to stylist June Ambrose, who’s worked with Missy Elliot, Jay-Z, DMX, and Nas among others says, “When you see someone who looks fabulous, you’re inclined to want to get to know them. When you go on a job interview, you want to look your best because you want to get the job. This is a record deal, you want to look the part, and have your image say ‘I want a million dollar deal’. When you’re meeting with label execs, you’re going to have an incredible demo, and your image has to sell it.”

The Look

Credit Photo

Credit Photo

Create Drama

According to David Dalrymple, who designed infamous breakaway outfit for the MTV Video Awards, the right outfit is theatre: “I’ve always loved costumes for people who are on the edge: drag queens, dancers, strippers. I love that kind of performance, real dramatic, theatrical, Las Vegas. That’s what it’s about, that theater.”

If you’re not ready to hire a fashion stylist of your own, here are some ideas to bring out your Inner Rock Star:

Look Around

Inspiration can be found everywhere. George Clinton found a book on a train to Dallas called The Clones, which led him and Funkadelic to the futuristic outfits that became their trademark. “At the time we were putting Funkadelic together, we saw the Beatles with Sgt. Pepper, the British group The Who had Tommy, which was their rock opera, the original production of Hair was on Broadway, so we decided to come up with a funk opera.” * About Carla Lynne: She is a musician and music marketing consultant based in New York City


Credit Photo glamazondiaries

Credit Photo Andrew Zaeh

Rip It Up

Dare to be different and take your clothes to another level. Says Dalrymple, “Your outfit has to be something that doesn’t look like it’s off the rack. That could be taking something as simple as a T-shirt, slicing it up, perforating it, and making it your own. I’m from the school of using what you’ve got to make something splashy. It could be painting something or embellishing it, finding a great leather jacket in a thrift store and having an artist friend paint a mural on the back. Then it’s your own.”

Think Costume

Your recording artist clothes need to separate you from the rest of the pack, as well as the everyday life. Continues June Ambrose, “The psychology of it is to understand that for 20 hours of the day you’re not going to be the same person that your mother gave birth to. It’s about your character. I worked with DMX when he hadn’t come out yet. He didn’t understand shoes, suits, or slacks or any of that stuff. I told him, ‘It’s not about you, it’s about your character’. It’s playing dress-up. It’s not real life.”

Work It

Don’t be afraid to be sexy. Continues Dalrymple, “I think it’s very liberating to get up and show your sexual side. It’s about revealing different sides of you, and if a particular artist wants to share that part of them which will make the audience feel closer to them, it’s just a choice of how much they want to reveal.”
Credit Photo (Djansezian/AP )

Hide it

Let your body be your guide when wearing things that make you look good. Dalrymple adds, “An artist needs to play up the positive things and play down the things they’re not feeling great about. They need to be feeling great when they’re on the stage performing. They need to not feel like, ‘My back fat is jiggling and I feel embarrassed’. You don’t want to be preoccupied with that when you’re onstage. You don’t want anything to take away from the performance.”


Designer, Stylist, Entrepreneur and Fashion Innovator. Capone began to sketch original fashion designs at the age of five. Easily considered a child prodigy, he has styled for well known bcelebrities such as: Chris brown, Joe, Angela Simmons, and Erika Badu to name a few.

By Alessandra Mantovani - Credit Photos Capone Noel


TVM: How did you become a fashion designer? My name is Capone Noel and I started sketching around age 5 or 6, I perfected it at age 8. Growing up I always loved sketching fashion sketches, and loved taking t-shirts and throwing paint on them to make them unique. At age thirteen I opened my own clothing line. My father was a big part of my brand and helping me show my creativity and get started. He got me my first boutique store in Manhattan, and here I was thirteen years old, I was still in Junior high school and I had my own boutique store-- that’s where it all started. I started off with graphic t-shirts, later that year we started moving on to sweatshirts and denim. TVM: In your experience do you think it’s important for a vocalist to have his (her) own style? Oh yes. I think it’s very important. When I was do-

ing wardrobe styling, I felt like a wardrobe stylist is close to the most important thing besides the artist. Because we have to find out what the artist feels and translate that into an artistic fashion value that the regular consumer can appreciate. In that case, we’re very important. If an artist has no look, we don’t want to hear they’re music until we know what they’re about. For instance, Rihanna, she started off wearing converse in her first videos – she kind of had that image of a teen pop thing. But as soon as she got super urban, wearing heels and fur and sat front run at fashion week, the general public took notice of that and brought her career higher. It’s the stylist and the style and fashion that takes artists to a whole other level, where the public want to know what they’re all about.

The VocalisT Magazine

TVM: Do you find that singers who make an effort with their appearance will have better results/ impact than those who don’t? Of course. I think anyone who puts any kind of effort in their style when they’re a musician or artist, it will pay off in the long run. Our world is fashion organized, everything you see is fashion, whether it’s a coca cola ad, its fashion behind it and a stylist who put the coke can at a certain angle. So yes, I believe that everything should be done with style and grace. TVM: Do you think look and style make a difference in getting a job in the music industry? I hate to sound so superficial, but I believe it does -- I believe that for any job you take, even if you’re applying for a regular office job, they are going to hire you on your look. That’s what the interview is for, or they could done a phone interview – I think everything is the look, what look you have to offer. I don’t think you can get past with just music anymore. Right now there are so many great artists that are giving so much – if you want to even be looked at our heard, you have to give that extra percent to have your style be on point, or not even wear what is in style, but creating your own style. A creative style is the best style. TVM: Do you have a favorite Vocalist? Yes, I actually worked with her. Erika Badu is my favorite artist, she is so soulful and she brings something to the table. No matter what artist I listen I never hear anything like her. I had the opportunity to work with her on several occasions and she’s such an amazing artist and vocalist, very passionate about what she does and best of all is she has her own sense of style.


Even when I was styling her, I didn’t feel like I had to create her identity, it felt like I could kind of ‘surf’. Like I was just going with the waves, and her look, adding on and complementing it but not making it. TVM: Do you have any tips or advice to singers out there regarding choosing an outfit for an audition? Be yourself. If you don’t have something that is yourself, don’t copy because I hate to see something that looks like someone else. Besides that, confidence. If you have confidence, it will take you so many more places than a designer pair of shoes can. And I recommend that for everybody. TVM: Who have you styled before? All my clients are my favorite (laughs) I got the opportunity to work with Chris Brown, Andrea Simmons, John Legend, Chilly from TLC, Chingy, The Barge family – classic Motown artists, Joe Thomas. Those are the ones I can come up with on the top of my head but I’ve worked with a lot of great artists, who I really appreciate their style . TVM: Talk to us about your fashion line and inspirations When I first started my line, my line name was Dirty Genius. I got that name from everyone would say that I’m genius but there was something dirty about my tshirt designs. So I stuck with that, and I still love that name, but when I stopped styling I decided I want to put my name out there, and brand my name, and Capone Noel is like no other name in the world. So Capone Noel line is going towards underground streetfeel in New York, being in a café with a cool sweatshirt and graphic t-shirt and feeling hip. Because rights now we are in a time where you can’t be in a graphic t-shirt and feel comfortable anymore. A lot of my clientele, especially my female clientele, wear my sweatshirts out to club and say that they feel sexy in it. For me to get that from my clients, for my clientele to be happy and comfortable, I feel like I’ve done an amazing thing. My line is going towards being comfortable while still being chic. TVM: What is your day-to-day style like? Crazy (laughs) my personal day-to-day style. Hmmm. I go through changes. Today, I wanted to be comfortable so I through on some leather stretch pants. I love designer clothes but I don’t think you need designer clothes to be fashionable. I have a love for art, so I look at my designer clothes as art that I love to collect. And I have a closet of archives. But my day-to-day style is comfortable, fashion-forward, and over the top in some ways. I love layering and outerwear pieces. I think the most important pieces for a guy are a good watch, good coat and good sneakers, with those you can get anywhere in the world.



iMage consUlTanT

By Kalika Hastings - Credit Photos Gerardine
TVM: How did you become a stylist?And why? I do more image consultation than styling; the difference is it’s more of an overall look. So it’s not just the clothes it’s the makeup, the hair, the whole image. I just simply realized that I had an interest for it ‘cuz I’ve done different things in my life and everything falls into image consultation. On a personal level, I’ve worked at MAC as a makeup artist for years, I also modelled in an agency. So I’ve done modeling, makeup and working in the industry as a creative director for a label. I’m always involved in fashion in some way, that’s what made me realize that I would love to be able to help others create an image (mostly artists). I can work with everyday people, but there’s something about artists, as an artist myself, I prefer working with artists. TVM: Where do you get your inspiration? My inspiration comes from the client I am working with. I look at them and then ask questions, I am very intuitive. Usually my inspiration is from talking to the person, the moment, and how we engage. TVM: Did you always want to be a stylist and when did you realize you were really good at it? (Smiling) As a kid ever since I can remember I like to stare at people, I’m always staring. When I was like five or six my mom used to tell me to stop staring, But I just love it because for me everybody has a story and I always want to know why a person dressed a certain way, why they did their hair this way, and then I imagine them a different way. For instance, I am an eyebrow fanatic. So the first thing I look at are ‘brows, when I look at someone I think ‘oh maybe they should be shaped a different way and then the clothes-maybe she should wear a shorter dress. I realize that I’ve been staring at people for years so why not make it a career?

The VocalisT Magazine

TVM: Which artist and personalities have you worked with? I worked with Jennifer Meade, I am currently her image consultant, I work with her whenever she performs. I’ve worked with Nicole Musoni, she is an R&B singer. We did a photo shoot for her website, I worked with her twice. I work with Dorothy Rhau a stand-up comedian, she performs every month and we grow together. You always have to try to figure out ways to create a persona, a costume so that it’s not very accessible, it can be challenging. TVM: Do you follow trends when styling an artist? Right now tribal African print is very big so it just so happens that it’s more accessible, but for instance the color burgundy, everybody is wearing burgundy, so I will stay away from it. I usually try to stay away from what’s out there, but at the same time there’s nothing wrong with trends. If there is a trend that I like then I will incorporate it, but it really depends on the client’s vision and also their budget. Some people are like ‘no I want something exclusive I want to find a specific designer’, well then they need to spend a little bit more. So as a stylist you need to be open to trying different things. TVM: What advice would you give buddy stylists? I’d say first of all have fun with what you are doing, And understand the client’s silhouette, their bodies. Like we were saying about trends, if high-waisted pants are a trend, but the person has a shape that just doesn’t work with them, then you have to let it go. I believe in education more than just saying ‘this is what you have to wear’ and I’m not afraid to give my advice to someone. So for me it’s just sharing with and educating the client. I’ve noticed that a lot of stylists who work with artists are also costume designers. Build a good network, so that whenever you need something, you know who to call. TVM: What does fashion mean to you? I see it as a communication tool, like how you express yourself. Really that’s what it is. I’ve noticed that a lot of people are like ‘Oh I’m not into fashion’ but I say ‘Hmm you kinda are, if your style is sweatpants and t-shirts and you don’t comb your hair and you don’t care, well that’s your expression of fashion. I think that everybody has their own way of interpreting fashion and it’s not that far-fetched or fancy. It’s just a way of expressing how you feel.


TVM: How would you define great style? (Pause) Hmm…It would be two things, first, someone who has great style understands what works for them. It’s about knowing how to balance everything out. And second someone who is not afraid to mix and match, for me, every color works together you just have to know how to coordinate everything. You can mix patterns and really have fun. At the end of the day it comes from the individual and whenever I see someone that I feel just embodies what they wear, to me that is great style. Even if you wear like a white simple T-shirt, but depending on the way that you carry yourself, that for me can be great style. TVM: What does a stylist/ image consultant’s job typically consist of? Well first you have to understand what they are looking for. Understand their personality; ask questions to find out who they are and what they want to project. The projection is very important. For some people, they are performers, when they get on stage they wear fancy clothes but then when they are off stage they wear sweat pants. I dig really deep, sometimes the clients are like ‘ok I didn’t come here for a therapy session’ (smiling) ‘cuz I will ask questions a n d some people will feel certain things and realize certain things about themselves. So it’s the interview and then I shop with the person, and then we try on the clothes, if it’s for a photo shoot we take the pictures. TVM: What do you love about being an image consultant/ stylist? Deep down, I absolutely love the way my client feels at the end of the day. Cuz it’s not about me, I always say that I come and help and see how I can enhance but then most of the work has to be done by the client. The results are fun ‘cuz some people are like ‘I don’t know... I don’t feel good’ but then when we go shopping I show them how amazing they are and how beautiful they look. At the end of the day when someone wears a dress and I see how they feel it gives me goose bumps. For me, if they’re happy, I’m happy. TVM: How important is a stylist for an artist and how soon should an artist seek one? It’s important to start from the beginning. For instance if you start your own company, you register it, you get an accountant, it’s just the basic things.

could break you. But not your style, since you can always change, fix, take off and put on. It’s more the personality that can break you. If you feel average, then you look average and you’ll act average and everything will be average about you. You have to learn to feel good and then everything else will fall into place. TVM: What can we expect from you in the future? Any artist you would like to work with? Umm…no, I would work with anyone who wants to find their image, I don’t have anybody specific. Meeting new people and helping them find who they are is really the challenge and the fun part. The more people I touch the better it is for me. It’s the evolution of helping others. Offering my services and then growing with them. I haven’t really sat down and created a five-year -from-now plan for myself, maybe I should (laughs).

are and take it from there. It can be your friend or a family member, it’s important for you as an artist to have someone that can help you create that image. TVM: Give your top 5 styling tips for aspiring artist? Know your silhouette, know your body. Take the time to define who you are, don’t rush. Make sure whatever you wear on stage fits your personality and won’t interfere with your performance. You can have a cool outfit for twenty bucks (especially women). Get to know stylists and designers. TVM: Can a style make or break an artist? (Pauses) Umm…I wouldn’t say that it could break an artist in the sense that not everybody cares about what I care about. As an image consultant, I will look at the nails, the toes, the brows, the hair, everything. But then someone that just wants to listen to good music and then goes to a show and the person is wearing something that is too tight or too short, they don’t care, they will be like ‘the music was good’. So I don’t think that it can break you, but I feel that as an artist, if the kind of music you sing doesn’t go with who you are then that






By Kalika Hastings - Credit Photos stéphanie lefebvre

The VocalisT Magazine

TVM: How did you become a stylist? And why? I studied fashion marketing at Lasalle College and one of my teachers told me about a styling agency that styles regular people, called Les Effrontes. I applied for the personal stylist training program and then I asked to do my internship there. I was hired by the owner of the agency, Marie Claude, as a marketing director I worked there for a year. I also followed her around (since she is a male stylist also) and a year later she hired me as a personal stylist. TVM: Where do you get your inspiration? Well, I’ve been raised by a man, I helped to take care of my dad’s transport company, so I was always dealing with men, it’s easier for me. I also read a lot of magazines and I watch a lot of movies, I find many trends come from movies. Also, the inspiration just comes with experience, by having fittings with clients you see what works with what or what type of guy is gonna like this or that. TVM: Did you always want to be a stylist and when did you realize you were really good at it? When I was in high school I always said I wanted to be a buyer, and my teacher laughed at me and said ‘there’s no such thing as a buyer, people can buy their own things’. But I told him I wanted to be a store buyer. That is what I wanted to do and that’s why I decided to go to Lasalle College. I had no idea that this job as a stylist existed but when I discovered it, I knew I wanted to do it… About a year later, I became a fashion stylist. TVM: Who is your clientele? It’s so vast. My youngest client is 17 and my oldest client is probably 65 years old. I also have lawyers, 3D artists, architects, all sorts of guys. I even have a janitor from the Montreal subway. So many people use our services, not only rich people.


TVM: Do you follow any particular fashion trends when styling an artist? I love to incorporate some of the trends. But I don’t like to dress my clients like they are going on the runway if that is not what they want. If it is what they want, then I will do it. I want them to feel comfortable. There are certain things that are impossible to do, for example hot pink from head to toe, no guy is going to wear a suit that color. But I might add a touch of color in his outfit. If his skin tone doesn’t suit hot pink, then I will just use it as an accessory for example with a pocket square. The military trend- I love it but I am never going to buy a suit for one of my clients to go and work in a lawyer’s office. So I do follow trends but I don’t think that all trends are for everyone. TVM: What advice would you give to up-and-coming stylists? To be yourself. And to be inspired by other people, we can never stop learning from others. TVM: What does fashion mean to you? It’s a way of expressing yourself. I think fashion is so wide, I’d like to talk more about style as a way to express yourself. There are so many different aspects of fashion: there are trends, the marketing of it, the style… Fashion, to me, is a huge industry. Fashion is fun. TVM: How would you define great style? Style for me is from head to toe. But it’s also an attitude. Even if you are wearing the right clothes but you don’t have the attitude that goes with it then it’s going to show. I mean, someone can be wearing a black suit with a white shirt and nice books and look awesome in it, and another person wearing the exact same thing, with the same body type may not look good. When you feel comfortable in what you wear it shows. Also I don’t like people that are trying to look like something that they are not, as if they are disguised. TVM: What does a stylist’s job typically consist of? I meet with clients, then I go shopping without them, I go to different stores and bring the clothes to the agency or I’ll just put some clothes aside for them. Either we go shopping together or they come to the agency and try on the clothes I picked out. There are interpersonal aspects also, you have to deal with people a lot. There is also marketing, I have to promote myself through social media and go to networking events. I attend events from the fashion industry but also other industries. For example I’ll go to an art show here and there, I’ll be at a charity event or a wine tasting event, just to meet different types of people that could be potentially interested in my service. I have to spread the good news that this service exists!

Top 5 Styling Tips For A
1) 2) 3) 4) 5)

Wear clothes that fit you (try a size smaller, m When standing, always button your jacket Know how to roll your shirt sleeves Always dress for the occasion Dress for your body type


TVM: How would you describe your personal style? I would say I am classic with a touch. Chic and casual. TVM: Are you the type of person who changes your style depending on your mood? Not really. I would say I am very conservative with my own style. Well… Sometimes I’ll wear bold colors; I would say I am a very colorful person. I try to incorporate some trends here and there. I am more the type of girl that is always going to wear a dark pair of jeans with a shirt and a blazer. My shirt can be leopard print or something but I would say classic with a touch. Sometimes I feel more rock, like on the weekend (laughs), but always very conservative. Which is kind of funny for someone that is a stylist... TVM: What do you love about being an stylist? Umm… Everything (smiles). I love to be able to meet with people and help them feel better about themselves, you can see when someone tries on something that fits them, they just feel much better about themselves. So that is a very rewarding part of the job (the human aspect of it). Of course I love shopping, like most girls (giggles). TVM: How important is a stylist for an artist and how soon should an artist seek one? It is very important because it’s the first thing people are going to see. Many pictures will appear online, so you don’t want to look bad because it will follow you forever. A lot of people will just go to Versace and say ‘go ahead and dress me, I’m paying a lot of money for my clothes so for sure it’s gonna suit me nicely’ well no that is not true! Just because you pay a lot of money for your clothes, it doesn’t mean you are going to look good in them. Everyone has a different body type and you have to dress according to that. TVM: Can a style make or break an artist? Yes because people are going to judge you. Unfortunately that’s how it is. People do judge a book by the cover. People might think that you are not as good as an artist that dresses better. There has been a lot of statistics about that. Let’s say two people have the exact same resume and they go to an interview, the person that is dressed better is going to get the job over the person that is not. I am not saying to dress flashy, just dress nicely. TVM: What can we expect from you in the future? Any artist you would like to work with? I want everyone to know that our service exists (smiles). I think that is one of my main goals. Eventually, I would like to give styling tips on TV. I wouldn’t mind working with a major artist, not only for a photo shoot but also helping them with their daily life.

Aspiring Male Artist

most men wear clothes that are too big)

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Ranee Lee recently spoke about what jazz music means for her and why she’s so willing and ready to vocalize about it.


TVM: How would you describe your voice? My personal voice?... well I try to use my voice as an instrument. I consider my voice as the first instrument – before there were instruments of technique and play, the vocal instrument is a form of communication and sounds. I mean, in every culture there are different sounds that the voice will make and attribute it to that of an instrument of communication. In my early career as a jazz vocalist, because of course I sang other idioms of music before I decided to stay in this field. But when I used the icons that I had chosen to research to sort of encourage my own career, I recognized in a lot of the singers that I chose the way they performed within the structure of the band – rather than in front of the band, or as a sideline to the band. You know what I mean? So in my ‘today world of performance’, I instil the sound of my voice even when I am using lyrics and forming phrases, I still like it to be a part of the musical structure as much as the instruments are. TVM: After having sung all those idioms as you

say, what made you decide to stay in the field of jazz? Well I love the freedom of the music. I love the fact that you know the creativity, the liberation, the improvisation… you know a lot of these skills have to be acquired in today’s cases through the educational road, because there are not that many places for the burgeoning vocalist to work. So you know in the old days, this sort of thing wasn’t taught in school - instrumentally or otherwise. Especially for the vocalist however because the vocal was always, you know, was the ‘second thumb on the hand’ because the vocalist could just stand up there and sing the melody and sit down, or leave the stage and the band would take over. And the forerunners, like Sarah and Carmen McRae, and Ella Fitzgerald – even as far back as Billie Holliday – they produced the voice to be recognizable more than just as the melody and the lyrics. TVM: So you think that education of the voice is recommendable?

The VocalisT Magazine

Definitely. And that’s sort of my experience from working in the schools, especially at McGill. Well I shouldn’t say that because, it’s recognized throughout the other universities that I work for, but let’s say at McGill, in particular, the vocalists are not treated separately from the instrumentalists. They have to go through the whole curriculum, the whole performance, educational programme, just as any other instrumentalist would. Be it piano, drums, guitar, bass or voice. So they have to, you know, manage and perform with the voice as they would if they were performing with a musical instrument. So this is the history, this is the practice, this is the way many vocalists, including myself in the early parts of our careers, gained many kind of experience and the aptitude to be able to you know, perform with the freedom that jazz allows us to perform. You know I love other idioms too; it’s through those idioms that I was able to express what I do now. Jazz is [an] electric music; it’s taken from varying sources, rhythms, cultures. So you know, the pot-pourri of sounds and experiences that one can collect through a career is a definite asset to being able to perform in the idiom of jazz. The instrumentalist today has a wide variety of places to be able to learn their instrument, like piano or a horn player of any description. And that’s essential because the rudiments, and as I said, the academics – are as important as the liberation. So if you don’t know what you’re doing, in your skill as far as chords and scales and progression, it’s a difficult road to travel, although it’s not impossible. TVM: Do you feel that all this applied to just jazz, or do you apply it to any vocal genre? Well you know, as I said I had some experience in other idioms, I sang a lot of Broadway, a lot of pop, a bit of country western (laughs) a bit of R&B before I found my niche in Jazz. And you know, the voice is a very particular instrument because we can’t tune it like we can a guitar or another instrument. The tuning has to come from within. And if that’s a drawback, if you can’t hear, you know the pitch or pitch problems or things like that; I think that’s an essential tool.

You must have a fairly good if not perfect complement to pitch, rather than ‘perfect pitch’ because not everyone has that, but to be able to recognize and perform in a certain tonality. But if you have these performance qualities as far as tone, and pitch and rhythm and style, when then of course, any music is relative to being able to be performed with perfection. But jazz has that one extra element I feel is the liberation to take a song and perform it differently every time you sing it. To re-evaluate or to re-compose the original piece or structure, that’s the criteria that I like in jazz that you know, you have the freedom to express – or not. TVM: How has your life changed as an artist? Well, I’ve known nothing else really. To be an artist for me is the title of my job description. It doesn’t matter that I feel anything about notoriety or you know, any sort of fame. It’s the description of what I do. I am a performer, I’m a singer, but the artist in me is because I focus on that element of my gift. So I am privileged, I’m learning all the time. I am expressive, I’m given the knowledge from the people I work with, from the people I listen to, from those who I admire, so therefore it’s a continuous wheel of...(pauses)… of life. TVM: What would be one characteristic teaching that you would give? Oh, there are so many, because not one individual is alike, you know… people have varying apprehensions or thoughts of their capabilities, or lack thereof. The encouragement of those who want to find their way in music, first of all, you need to know that you really love to perform this music - that has to be the gift. If you can find the love and the need to keep this one particular source in your life, then you find ways to research it and to practice and the possibilities to extend it. And then just trust in the fact that you enjoy what you do.


JERI BROWN IS A SOFT SPOKEN WOMAN WHO IS A MASTER OF HER OWN VOICE. “I am known as a singer who mixes up several textures in one song.”



By Sol Ines Peca
TVM: You’re a singer, a teacher, a performer - an overall artist. How has your life changed during this? Well my life has changed just phenomenally. Once I started taking myself seriously as a singer and started getting invitations to perform, and referrals to perform more and more nationally and internationally, (and this was before I moved to Canada) I just began to appreciate the fact that I was able to see God’s earth, to see different countries and continents and to be in places that most people that I knew had not had the opportunity. I felt humbled and fortunate, and very much like a religious vessel in being able to be in different areas and to sing songs that could inspire and motivate people in some way. TVM: And do you remember your first performance? (Nods while laughing) I remember singing in front of my family at the fireplace, things like ‘Silent Night’ and Christmas songs. I sang so much as a child. But I’m reminded recently- I’m work ing with a singer on a song called ‘Bridge over Troubled Water’ which is a popular Simon and Garfunkel song. This was her selection and we’re working on this song, and I remembered when I performed as a young teenager, applying for grants to go to college at the time. And that was the song that won my scholarship (laughs) for sororities and for colleges and that’s the song that sticks in my mind for some reason. I did classical music, but ‘Bridge over Troubled Water’ was one of my favorite pieces. TVM: And when it comes to your actual voice of which there are so many descriptions, how would you personally describe it? Well... (Soft laugh) I tend to have a wide range vertically. I think I am about a four octave person. I am singing lower now as I have matured and I can still sing very high, but I am so happy that I can sing lower. All my life I’ve wanted to be able to sing ‘lower notes’ (she lowers her voice appropriately while laughing). And now that I can resonate in the low areas I just love that. The lower I sing the higher my notes are nice and clear. I tend to use a 3 and a half octave range when I sing songs.

The VocalisT Magazine

TVM: So this lower range, how does it affect what you sing? Well it’s allowed me to go into the character more of the contra-alto type singer. I think I think of Sara Vaughn as a jazz singer, a very important role-model for me. I believe that she is one of the greatest singers who ever lived, and her decision to sing mostly jazz was simply a decision of style, she could have sang in my opinion classical or any particular genre of music. So yes the music that I am now able to sing with this lower range-- it’s just that I can go deeper. It just allows my instrument to be deeper and whether that allows me to have a more soulful edge in my singing or if it just allows me to change the keys from high lyric soprano or to drop them into more of what we call the ‘key of the people’ which is a little lower than a high singing soprano. I’m happy to be able to do that now, happier than I was before. TVM: Your most recent album Firm Roots, contains styles ranging from jazz, soul, pop, R&B to contemporary music. What do you consider your music style or category to be? Well internationally I’m known as a jazz singer for sure, although in Europe and in my audiences worldwide, an evening of a performance by me includes always at least one classical piece, one spiritual, one gospel as well as a jazz repertoire and often a pop or soul, R&B style song, because those are all the styles of music that influenced my life, and have shaped me and made me who I am. I love putting them all in an evening performance. But I am definitely a jazz singer because I love customizing songs and making things extremely personal and using full capacity of my instrument, my voice, as if it were an instrument that you can touch and feel and because I implement a strong sense of rhythm and harmony. TVM: You mention your Europe performances as opposed to here, why are they different? The audiences are different. In Europe I am more of what you might call, on the positive side, ‘a diva’, where it’s expected when you walk on the stage to just maximize that opportunity and to draw from all of the riches of one’s instrument and presence on a stage. In North America, there seems to be more of an interest to ‘pigeon hole’, or type-cast a singer in their style. Sara Vaughn, the great jazz singer, the great jazz singer, never thought of herself as a jazz singer. Frank Sinatra, great popular singer is probably known as a jazz stylist, and he never promoted himself as a jazz singer but just a singer who loved beautiful music. And that’s the way I like to think of myself because I love beautiful music and it could be something that I could hear Lauryn Hill sing or Macy Gray sing, and then Pavarotti sing, and then it can

vary in different cultures as well, so I’m just a weird bird (laughs), eclectic. TVM: Alright, so for when you do perform how do you warm up, what would you suggest be done? I always say that a warm-up has to do with tradition and discipline. Once you have a discipline for something and once you can perk up your mind - your intellect and bring up your creative juices, if you can be inspired inwardly, then that’s 90% of what you’re trying to accomplish in a warm up. I can warm up, practice and prepare for a performance while standing in a crowded airport (laughs softly) - if I put my mind to it. But that’s something that doesn’t happen easily for others, so for most people, they need a warm up routine and with that if I were to prescribe a routine that I follow from time to time it’s one where I sing mostly chromatic scales and harmonic minor scales - fast - and then very slow. I’m utilizing the various resonators of my vocal instrument, so basically I’ll sing outward to try to get more volume, I’ll sing back (motions towards herself)to get more warmth in the voice. And when I know my voice is more elastic, by all of this I’m really working on what I call the ‘horizontal range of my voice.’ Then I do speech slides which allow me to just sing from low notes to very high notes, and high notes back down. Just knowing that I can slide up and down throughout the range that I want to use in a performance or in a song and then I just need to wake up (laughs) to energize... TVM: You still need to wake up after all besides the warm up advices, what is one final thing that you suggest a singer do? (Laughing)... yes that’s right...well. (Pauses) I believe that singers need to embrace the song structures that they are singing. It’s one thing to say that a singer should be telling a story with a song, but stories are made up of phrases and phrases have sort of a life span. They start, they build, and usually they resolve. And one phrase to another phrase to another and so on, and you are adding phrases and so you have the completion of a song. Too often I find that a singer is very uptight about a certain note in a song you know , like ‘I can’t hit that note’ or ‘I don’t have enough breath to sing this and that ‘and they’ve lost track of the fact that a phrase has meaning and that you breath through the phrase, as you go from one phrase to the other it has a body and a shape. So these days I have my singers actually physically moving while they sing a phrase. So they can begin to associate activity with singing phrase per phrase so that their songs aren’t just choppy and each word is just emphasized but an entire contour is focused on, an entire phrase is felt. •


The Jamaican born and Montreal raised Henry considers his music a fusion of all styles that have influenced him.
By SOL INES PECA - Credit Photos CeSoul Music

TVM: This year is primed to be your break-out year; do you feel it has been so far? (Laughs)… so far so good you know? Um… the first single, I mean we got a lot of radio here in Canada. We definitely stepped it up a notch, you know from the previous album and things are definitely starting to roll. Things are definitely happening on a much larger scale for me. TVM: And tell us how it was at the beginning Well… I started singing in church choirs in Jamaica when I was 4 - little hymns (laughs). I then left Jamaica, came here. I mean church was always a big part of my life and still is. I sang here in church choir groups. Just did the whole thing and started doing solos. And you know it’s always in some way, shape or form, kind of been my informal training, where I got my whole start. TVM: And how has singing in choirs shaped you vocally? I think I’s made me listen more to a lot of different things, especially in a choir situation, when it kind of like – well you have to be aware or you know, what’s around you. You’re listening to the other parts, and you try to balance and make sure that you are blending, so I think that for example opened my ear in listening to other styles of music and you know just wanting to hear different things. It peaked my curiosity in wanting to better myself, so therefore when I hear something that’s interesting and I want to hear more about it, or how I can implement certain things I like from certain styles of music, and incorporate it into my style. So it’s definitely opened me up to other things. TVM: And how would you describe that style, is it reggae, is it R&B, what is it to you?

The VocalisT Magazine

Um, I think it’s all those things. I guess we have this need to put things in categories, so we can catalogue them and create a certain order. But you know, it’s R&B laced dance hall… those are the things that I am. Naturally, being Jamaican I grew up listening to reggae music, you know not just gospel and R&B and so forth. So I think it’s all those things that have influenced me. I mean you hear the album - it’s kind of like how Homie’s Girl was. It’s R&B with a reggae rhythm, but it’s how the two are blended together to make it work. You know, so basically I think it’s a fusion of that, it’s just kind of like ‘Usher meets Sean Paul (laughs)’, that gives you some kind of visual indication, but I mean it’s all those things that I am as a person and an artist. TVM: Going back a bit, do you remember your first performance? Well, my first, first, first, first, first show I ever did, outside my church setting, was actually opening for Mary J. Blige here in Montreal. TVM: And how was that? Oh, that was a decade ago (laughs). I think that was in 95? You were still in diapers I guess (laughs some more), well it was nerve-wrecking. It was a brand new experience for me. I was excited, I had butterflies. I mean I had all the emotions stirred up. I didn’t know what to think, what to expect or how people would perceive me. But I just went out there and did my thing, and people loved it. I got a really, really, warm reception and I was like, ‘wow’, half the people didn’t know who I was, they had never heard of me. It was a really nice experience. And I think that night I got a kind of taste of the whole ‘show thing’. I had always performed in church, where the people are supportive. There is that constant love and support and even if you are bad and not technically in form. People are still going to encourage you, whereas in the outside world, it’s ‘ah you suck, boo’ (laughs). Not to say that people in the church aren’t honest, but it’s not as cut and dry. I think that was a nerve thing for me. I liked it.

I felt like I was on the right track, and that I should keep doing what I was doing. TVM: How has it changed since then until now? Well, since then, it’s gotten better. I’ve done so much, learned so much. I mean I travelled the world, I’ve recorded I don’t know how many songs, I’ve managed to put out an album happened and I’ve learnt a lot about the business end of things. I’m still learning my voice, there’s still a lot of things that I’m learning about me as an artist, as a person. Hopefully I’ve grown to understand things a little more, with hopes of getting better. TVM: And how have you learned to practice for a performance? Well, it does depend on the kind of show that I’m doing. I’m getting ready not to put my band together, which will be hopefully doing a little quick run across Canada. So we want to bring in the live element, because most of the shows I’ve been doing have been primarily tracks, and dance halls and things like that, but like the festival that I did in Europe, we had a band, even though it wasn’t mine… but rehearsing, um, it varies. I mean you do your little rituals. I have something that I do. TVM: And they would be?... Well, I jump around and get all excited (laughs), I do my little humming warm ups and so forth, but I mean it depends on how I feel. Like if my voice isn’t warmed enough, I’ll start humming, you now just doing simple little things that will get me ready and excited. And I mean it also depends on how late in the day, I mean if my show’s at ten o’clock at night, then you know I’ve been talking all day ,then I feel I’m ready. It does depend on the timing, because I know my body, so I know how ‘ok this doesn’t feel right’ so therefore I have to do certain things to bring my energy and my body up.


TVM: And is it true for you that there is a certain time during the day when your voice does sound better? Um, for example when I’m recording, when I’m in the studio, I like singing late afternoon. I mean I have recorded early in the morning and sometimes I need to sing live on TV shows so you’ve got to start getting ready two hours before, because I’m not really a morning singer – but if I have to do it, then I do it. But naturally, my body and my voice are starting to really peak late afternoon, so sometimes when I’m recording I’ll start off with you know, doing backgrounds because that does also help in the warming up. By the time I finish doing background, and it’s time to do leads, it’s like 7, 8 o’clock and my voice has reached the blessed point where ‘wow’ I’m good to go. And then you know, when it gets to 2 or 3 in the morning, it’s ready to shut down, if I’ve been singing all day. TVM: Is there something special that you do to help your voice? I don’t talk a lot, (laughs softly) so I think that helps a lot to preserve my voice, so I don’t really have to worry about other things, such as diet as much. You know, I’m not a screamer. TVM: And how would you describe your voice? Um my voice… (laughs then pauses) wow, well other people have described it as – I guess my tone reminds them of a variety of different artists. They go ‘Oh I hear a little Michael in you’ or ‘a little Clarence Trent’. I guess it depends on the song and so forth… How would I describe my voice though? That’s kind of hard (laughs some more) I’ve never really thought about that, I mean it’s always been what other people have, you know felt, or interpreted. Um.. oh wow, I really have never thought about this… me describing my voice, it’s always others describing what they hear. TVM: Well, how do you feel you sound, what do you hear? I guess – well I’m my biggest critic. When we’re recording, I’m like ‘Ah, it doesn’t sound good enough…’ But I think honestly, you know I like my mid-range tone, and I like singing in that range. I feel it’s the tone that resonates the best, but people are saying ‘when you do sing lower, in a falsetto and like that, you should use that a lot more because it’s just as good’. TVM: Do you feel then, that your tone is your vocal strength or is there something else? I do think it’s one of the big points because I think there’s a certain resonance to it. I like hearing it (laughs). And I think it has a certain softness to it but yet, it’s not weak. I mean there’s still a strength to it

but you know I don’t think it’s too common that a guy has a tone like that – not to sound egotistical BUT – (laughs softly) it’s just that I don’t hear that tone too often. And then I think my range is also another plus because I have pretty wide range. Those two things and being able to still learn how to work the two and still maximize my capabilities, is a never ending quest. TVM: What advice do you have for those who would want to be singers? Well, I think there’s anyone who wants to sing – music is an elemental part of the human psyche. Music is very important. And if anybody who doesn’t enjoy music, I think ‘wow’. I think music does things to people. It helps in a lot of different ways. It gets you excited, it might help you through a moment in life when things aren’t going so great, and then you get over that moment and remember that song that helped. So I think music is an essential resource that we need. So for those who sing as a hobby, I definitely encourage it. On the business end of things, if you want to get into it to make a career, I definitely say, that you better love it with all your heart. Because it’s not an easy business to be in, there’s a lot of you know, ups and downs, and shady people (laughs). I mean it’s like in anything else, but the competition is somewhat fiercer. So you have to really really love it and know that this is what you want to do, and I think for success in this business, you can’t be ‘Oh I’m obsessed with singing’. I don’t think it’s a question of obsession, I think you have to have a desire to want to make it. TVM: And you have this desire? Oh, definitely. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be here, trust me (laughs). I mean I have recognized other talents that I have and things that hopefully one day I will accomplish and that I want to do but, right now the music thing for me is so overwhelming. I can’t get away from it (smiles and laughs).

The VocalisT Magazine






Singer, DJ, Producer and musician, Sandy Duperval, is a true artist in every sense of the word.

By Alessandra Mantovani
Credit photos Sandy Duperval


TVM: When did you know you were going to be a singer? I didn’t know I was going to become a singer – but I knew that I wanted to sing when I was three years old. There was something about singing that was relieving, and I didn’t grow up with my parents, so when I was singing it felt like I wasn’t alone anymore, it was a way for me to get attention. TVM: What genre of music did you first like to sing? I first started singing songs from TV, like ******Passe Partout, but we would go to church at least four to five times a week, so I would know all those songs and officially, I started singing for people at church. TVM: What moves you to write your song? I became a writer later on, at about 9,10,11 years old. When we become adults were so consumed with stress and crisis, but I think crisis in childhood is from 9-14 years old. You express yourself, you discover

feelings, you find out about yourself, you get betrayed for te first time, and you become very aware of your surroundings –and that’s where I started writing to express myself. The first songs I wrote were gospel songs, because in church we learned that singing is the equivalent of praying two times, its praying in double. So I would write songs and it was my way of worshiping and expressing. TVM: What is a typical practice like for you? I’m not very disciplined (laughs). I don’t really say ‘Oh, I need to practice’ but I’m always singing. For instance, a typical practice would be in the shower – its funny how a shower can make you sound good (laughs). Also, now that I own a studio, I always singing while I’m doing the vocals on my song, so it’s my practicing where I discover little things that I need to tweak. TVM: How would you describe your own voice? Intense (laughs). Sometimes it’s

overwhelming and hard to control. When I was a gospel singer, it wasn’t about control; it was about letting out your emotions. When I started studying jazz, that’s when I learned that it’s not all about just singing, its knowing what to do and controlling the right things. Now, I think I have a balance of both. Really knowing what I’m doing and actually letting out. When I’m performing I don’t have to think too much anymore. TVM: How would you describe your music? I’m a rebel, but Im also inspired by many of the singers we don’t hear anymore. I listen a lot of Lauren hill, a lot of Soul like Jill Scott, but I also like artists like Robin. I know that it’s not conventional to mix all these styles but I’m a rebel, anything I like I will try to incorporate. TVM: When you perform, what message do you want people to get from you? That’s where the Gospel side is different from singing on a regular


basis. When you sing gospel, you sing for a purpose, which is to speak and share about god, which makes it a lot easier. When you sing outside of that, its about the song, its not about what I want people to learn about me. I usually choose songs that are meaningful, so while I like pop, you wont hear me sing anything that doesn’t have meaning. So whether I’m singing about love, or attraction, I try to make it as real as possible. TVM: For a singer who’s just staring out, what kind of vocal advice would you give them? I used to be a basketball trainer and player, and I learned that vocals are the exactly the same as any other muscle in the body. So if I could give any advice, it would be to treat your vocals like you treat your body. If you’re not willing to make the sacrifices, you’re not going to get anywhere. Not straining your vocals, not abusing alcohol, not smoking, are basic things that will help you develop. But if you don’t respect your voice, it will crash one day. TVM: What is your overall vocal regime? Water (laughs). From the time I started taking classes with Jenifer at nine years old to now, the overall thing I learned is drink a lot of water. TVM: Does what you eat affect your singing? Well what I eat on a daily basis doesn’t, but what you eat before a show does. I remember when I was twelve years old and I was performing, my grandmother gave me a sandwich before performing, and it was the hardest thing to do , sing while having a sandwich in my stomach. So I usually tell people, try to eat at least two hours prior to singing because digesting while singing is not a good idea. How have your vocal practices changed since your began recording and performing? I am more aware of my mistakes and strong points, so now I try to use them properly. Throughout the years it’s the maturity I’ve gotten, not only as an individual but also as a singer, that has made me more aware. Back then, when I started if I missed a not, I would just say ‘Oh well, next time’ but now I know what I need to do prior to singing and what techniques to use. I am a lot more disciplined and it shows in my performing. TVM: What do you do vocally before a performance? My weakest point was always breathing, so right before singing I try not to talk a lot and I will do a lot of breathing exercise. TVM: When you record and perform live what are the different vocal demands? Well live there’s not ‘let me retake that one’ so when I’m doing vocals in the studio, I take everything, even if its not a good take, because I can go back and listen to it to see what’s wrong, but during a performance, you better know what you’re doing because there’s no rewinding. But being spontaneous is actually a lot better than being in the studio. For some reason, the things that can come out of you when people are around, it’s like the energy in the room that allows you to come up with surprising things. When you’re in the studio it feels a bit stiff, you have to stay within a certain range of the microphone and when you’re performing you get to move which helps your voice and emotion. TVM: Which do you like better? I prefer live performances. TVM: What are your main influences? So much. I’m a little old school – I’ll always be a fan of Whitney Houston, no matter what. I’ll listen to Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Lionel Ritchie, and a lot of Motown, so that’s my main influence. As far as a musician and a Dj, I’m leaning towards the future of sound. I do a lot of sound deign, so I have a specific sound in my music that people can relate to me. TVM: Describe a challenge that you’ve constantly faced while practicing? When I was a gospel singer, I could do anything, whatever I felt would come out of my body. But when I did jazz, I had to tame it down. When you’re a gospel singer, you poor out of your soul. When you’re a professional singer, you have to not do too much; because there’s only so much people can handle these days. From Whitney Houston to Celine Dion, you used to have to be a real, hardcore vocalist, where as now, if you can sing in the proper key and be gentle, you’re an amazing singer. So I have learned to fit to both eras. TVM: When are you vocally at your best? When I had a lot of water and slept well. TVM: What is one discovery you made about yourself vocally? That I can do anything I set my mind to. Like I said, singing and belting out was always easy for me and having to tame it down was quite the challenge. But since I’ve made it, I know that if I work hard I can achieve it. TVM: Is your vocal practice environment very important to you? In general, yes, I like my environment to be calm. The funny thing is, my studio used to be at my grandmas. I love her to death, but she always had something to come say to me, made a big difference. In a nine hour frame, if I’m at my grandmas I’ll do one hour, but if I’m alone, I’ll do the whole nine hours without even thinking of the time. So its very important to me to be in a quite environment, so being in my studio is quite perfect. TVM: Share with us a vocal secret. I do the exercise where you vibrate your lips for fifteen minutes. If I can do this for fifteen minutes prior to being on stage, then I know that I’m good.


“My vocals are so loyal; I don’t have much that bothers me.”





all-arou abilities music


TVM: How would you describe your voice? Hmm...I would say that it’s raspy (laughs), I would say it’s passionate, I think at times it can be smooth. I guess that’s the way I would describe it. I’ve never been asked that question before. That was interesting. TVM: How would you describe your music? I’m still sort of playing around with genres and feels and stuff like that, but I would say the common thread between all the songs that I have written so far is that they are all very emotional, whether its a happy song or a sad song, I like to really take the time to make sure that it’s properly understood and explained in the right way. ‘Cuz I was in English Lit. actually, I studied English Lit. at Concordia and I’ve always been a writer, lyrics are sooo (emphasis) important to me so I like to really take the time to make sure that people understand what I’m saying and it’s well put together. I find that is the common thread in all my songs. TVM: What moves you to write songs and is there a particular song that you feel most proud of? Um (pauses), again, depends, could be different things, could be something personal that I went through, could be a story of someone else that really touched me in some way, a lot of times I find I write to help me express what I’m feeling. If I’m feeling a certain way about something, when I put words on paper it really helps me to identify exactly what it is that I’m feeling and how to sort of acknowledge it, accept it, and then deal with it. So I guess that would probably be my biggest inspiration for songwriting if I had to generalize (chuckle). Every time I write a song I’m always like ‘Wow I can’t believe I wrote that, I sing it back to myself and I’m like ‘That’s Awesome!’ I can totally hear that on the radio. I have a lot of moments like that with my songwriting. And, every song that I write I find is better than the last. It happens all the time, it feels good (smiling). TVM: When would you say you discovered your passion? When I was probably fourteen, I joined a choir and the first time that I performed on a big stage with a big audience and the whole choir, you know, the beautiful harmony and emotion I remember thinking to myself wow this is what I wanna do, this feels right. So that’s probably the moment that I decided that that’s what I wanted to pursue. Or that’s what I love, that’s when I discovered that it is my passion.



und talent and experience has set no limits to her vocal s. In talking to her, I can feel her genuine passion for and her love for life.




“In the studio, I’m a lot more careful and I pay a lot more attention to specific techniques.”

TVM: Who influences you vocally? That changes all the time. For the last few years, I’ve been really into India Arie, Music Soulchild, Anthony Hamilton, Jill Scott, Erykah Baduthat’s my girl- I love Sade. So I mean all these great artists that I have the pleasure and the honor of listening to all the time, really inspire me to change the way that I write and the way that I sing. I would say they are probably my biggest influences. TVM: What is your overall vocal regime? Well, I do my humming in the shower (laughs) I do that every morning, that’s like my favorite time of day, its so relaxing, I hum and I do yawning and all sorts of different very relaxing vocal exercises , stretching, I do all that in the shower, which I love. And then what I usually do for shows is in the first set, I’ll start with like warm up songs, songs that are in that range that’ll help me warm up and get that sort of vibration happening. You know, that’s pretty much what I do, I do my vocal warm ups in the morning in the shower, if I shower before a show which is great I do my warm ups before I leave the

house. And then, I just sort of start slow my sets and ease into it and I won’t really start projecting until I know I’m warmed up. TVM: So when would you say that you are vocally at your best? I would say I’m vocally at my best when I’m performing live for sure. Because that’s when the feeling just takes over and I have no control, it just comes out (laughs). Umm… I would say evening, ‘cuz that’s when I do most of my shows. So I sort of plan my days in a way where it sounds the best at that time. I try not to speak much during the day, usually during the day is when I do my administrative work and I’m on the computer answering emails and stuff like that. That’s when I drink water and tea and really try not to speak, I don’t answer my phone. So because I sort of plan my day that way, I start speaking in the later afternoon and by the evening, my voice is sort of warmed up and ready to rock–haha-. TVM: Is there any difference vocally for you between recording and performing live? And which one you do

you prefer? Definitively. I push more when I’m singing live, obviously ‘cuz I got all the live instruments playing in the background. My body just sort of, you know….. gets taken over by the feeling and the vibe that I don’t even realize that I’m pushing that hard. Sometimes, by the end of the night I’m like Oh Boy (laughs) ‘cuz I just get so inspired. Whereas in the studio, I’m a lot more careful and I pay a lot more attention to specific techniques and stuff like that. Hands down. I would take the live show over the studio any day. I mean I love the creative process of being in the studio mind you, but when it comes time to like singing the line, once, twice, doubling, and harmonizing, it’s not always fun (laughs). TVM: When you perform what messages do you want people to get? You know what I love? I love to set the right mood and feel and environment for people to feel free and let go. And that’s what I do in my live performances and that’s what I would like people to feel even when they are listening to me on the radio. You know what I mean? That’s


probably the most important thing for me, ‘cuz that’s what I feel when I’m singing music and I’d like to be able to transfer that feeling to the world ‘cuz it feels sooo (emphasis) good. I’d just love everyone to feel that way when they listen to me sing or hear my voice. TVM: Do you find what you eat affects your voice? I wouldn’t say that there’s a direct connection between what I eat and the way that I sing but it obviously has a huge impact on the way that I feel which then affects the way that I sing, I guess (laughs). So I mean in general I eat pretty healthy, it’s hard sometimes ‘cuz when I do shows and I finish late I’m really really really hungry and I go home and I’ll have like raisin bread with butter or something like that. Which I don’t really like to do ‘cuz I don’t like to eat carbs late at night so I try to avoid that but sometimes it’s tough ‘cuz it’s something that you can make quickly that tastes good and it fills you and you feel good enough to go to sleep. But I mean, I eat pretty healthy I love fruits, I’m a fruit maniac (laughs) I eat fruits like they’re going out of style and veggies. TVM: What is your favorite drink prior to a performance and why? Water! If I have a really rough week, let’s say and I have like six shows in a week, I just make sure that I have water all the time, and that really helps. Like, if the night before I do a show and I feel that I’m really raspy and I’m losing my voice, I’ll just be quiet for the entire day and drink water, and it’s like a whole new set of vocal cords for the end of the night (laughs). So with water, I can really feel the change it’s the best thing to do: just drink plain old-fashioned untampered water that’s the trick (smiling). TVM: How has your vocal practices changed since you first began recording and performing? I worked with Jennifer Meade on and off for about two or three years, and she really really helped a lot. I also had to work with a speech therapist, after I had my tonsils removed who also really helped. She taught me how to speak in a way that relieved the pressure on my vocal cords and I found that really helped. It’s funny ‘cuz when I run into people that I went to high school with they’re like your voice sounds different, you know my regular speaking voice; so I think I’ve just adapted a different way of speaking that’s really helped to ease the pressure on my vocal cords. TVM: What is a typical practice like for you? We try to rehearse once a week and I’ll normally bring songs that inspired me or touched me that week to rehearsal, for the band to learn (laughing). It’s just us having fun, jamming, changing up the songs playing them and singing them the way

“I like to be comfortable... And sexy, comfortable and sexy.”


the songs playing them and singing them the way that we feel them as oppose to the way that they are recorded originally. TVM: Describe one challenge you constantly face in your practices. I’ve definitely gotten a lot better at maintaining my voice. I remember when I first started singing live, oh my goodness, like I wouldn’t even be able to do this interview with you at the end of my show. I used to give so much that at the end of the show I couldn’t speak. I learned the hard way (laughs) how to really take care of my voice and really learn to control it and make it through a show without hurting my vocal cords. So that’s probably what I’m the most proud of, that I’ve been able to overcome and it definitely was the most challenging part of becoming a professional singer. TVM: Do you feel a connection between physical and vocal workout? Oh absolutely. I love to work out (laughs) you feel great, you get your blood circulating, you breathe better, you feel stronger, your posture is better. I could do dance moves that I wanna do that go with what I’m singing. So it just brings everything together. You eat well, you feel fit, you sing better (laughs). TVM: How regularly do you workout vocally? Well every morning, it’s like a routine for me which has been great, it helps a lot. Every morning in the shower, that’s when I do all my vocal exercises. With the steam and the heat and you’re by yourself and the acoustics it just feels great. It’s become an everyday habit for me. So even if I don’t have a show, that’s what I do every morning it’s a habit, it’s like : soap and hum -haha- it just flows (laughs). TVM: What do you like about your voice? I would say… I guess my tone. I love the way that my voice sounds to me. I love the raspiness of my voice. Whenever producers try and tell me ‘can you take out the raspiness?’ I’m like ‘nooo’, I love it. That’s me you know... it’s a part of who I am. I love that I’ve totally accepted the way that my voice sounds and I love it (laughs). TVM: What differentiates you from other vocalists? I just got pure love man. I have love for everybody. I don’t really see myself different from any other artist. We all love music; we all have different skills, different abilities. I can’t really say that I see myself differently. I’m just really confident about what I have and what I do. And every singer should have that ‘cuz we’re all different, to school, and I could only wear orthopedic shoes that I got from a special place. So I learned at a really young age to accept who I was and be proud of that. I think a lot to do with making that happen was my grandmother. She used to always tell me that everything was a blessing. So I felt like I was given that leg problem and got my voice because of that. I’ve just always been so happy about who I was and what I had. I guess it came from that, ‘cuz I appreciated a lot of things that people who don’t have those struggles at a young age don’t appreciate, you know what I mean? So that’s probably where that came from (smiling). TVM: In today’s competitive music industry, what does it take to pur-

“I think it takes confidence, perseverance, hard work, discipline and talent...,”

we have different tones, different ranges, styles, song writing, and different lyrics. And there’s a place for all of us, you know what I mean. We just need to stand firm and be who we are. TVM: And where did you get that confidence? Umm… Well, I was actually born with one leg longer than the other. My right leg was 10 cm shorter than my left leg by the time I was seven. As I grew, my right leg grew slower than my left. And so I used to wear this huge lift on my shoe

sue singing as a career? I think it takes confidence, perseverance, hard work, discipline and talent. I would say it’s a combination of all those things. TVM: For those who want to be singers, what kind of advice would you give them? I would say take the time to really discover who you are, ‘cuz what’s most important is that you have confidence no matter what kind of singer you are or how skilled you are, I find what’s most important is for you to own whatever



it is that you do and whoever you are, that’s the most important so my advice to anybody, not just singers, would be to really take the time to discover who you are. I heard a really great saying yesterday that was: “discovering who you are empowers you, and accepting who you are makes you invincible”, something to that effect. And I thought that that was soo true ‘cuz that’s exactly how I feel. I think that’s the most important thing to do, really discover who you are and really accept it and own it so that whatever you are performing you can just be so confident, you can be like : this is me this is what I do. That, I think is the most important. TVM: Where would you like to be in your career, five years from now? Um (pause), I would love to, at that point, have shared the stage with all my biggest inspirations. That’d be it for me (smiling). I’d be ready to go after that –haha-.




To my g relaxing rounde photog had the


“To be a singer you must exercise the muscles, otherwise it is useless. You need to sing and perform in order to put it to use.”

TVM: So how do you like Montreal? (To Tandie) I’ve been in Montreal many times, about 5 – 6 times I think. It’s been wonderful, but I love Canada in the summer, I don’t love Canada in the winter. Oh no… (Laughs) TVM: How have you been musically influenced? (To Tandie) Well I’ve always loved music because I came from a musical family, my mother and my father. But they were staunch Methodist church goers. You know, and singing was their thing at home. While seated in the house we would sing and then in school too. I was very much into singing. Like when they had concerts, my teacher would say ‘call Tandie’ you know if there’s something because I was very much like a comedian in those days. When I was a young girl, I was very forward. (Laughs) TVM: Do you think you were ahead of your times? Yeah… I can’t remember everything into details – I can only talk to you about what I can remember – you know ‘cause it’s too long, long time ago. But music has always been something beautiful to me even if what we sing is for the church choir, or in school. I always want to be involved, included in that. TVM: And how did your mother influence you? (To Lorraine) Well I think growing up in a musical household and to be surrounded by music all the time, it’s something that just came naturally. TVM: So you always knew you were going to be a singer? Oh yes, from a very early age I had always known that when I grew up I wanted to be a singer. And like my mother says, when you’re surrounded from a very early young age by things that shape you… some people try it but then they realize that it’s really not what they liked. But in my case it’s something that still remains true. TVM: From Africa to Montreal, why? One of the things about Montreal is the cosmopolitan aspect of this city. And the variety of different cultures and with their different styles of music that make each cultural group unique and distinctly. Our vocal ranges and style, how we interpret our songs are completely different from one to the other, and this just goes to show the beauty of the vocal chord. And how one person can sing ‘Summertime’, which is a


great surprise, there was Mrs. Tandie Klaasen g on the sofa, watching T.V. The walls that sured her were adorned in an African motif, and graphs of both mother and daughter. Now I em together, divas in their own right.

L INES PECA. Credit Photos Justin Time Records


very well-known American jazz standard, and how if you have 4, 5, 6 singers they can interpret it so differently in the style of their vocal range, and that’s the beauty of singing. TVM: And how would you describe your own vocal range? Ahhh… I don’t know… Like sometimes when I listen to American singers – just as an example – you see how they wail, they have that wonderful way of twisting and get ting all those ranges, but I never went to music school, but growing up in theatre we had coaches that showed us the basics of breathing and so that was all discipline. But my vocal range is very large in a sense that the only thing that I know I don’t do well and I don’t even attempt to do – is classical music. So I stay within a very middle range so that gives me the room to go high and low as much as I can. But never those octaves [classical] – I don’t even attempt that (laughs). I stay away. I leave it to those people who have gone to school.

TVM: So you do think school is necessary in order to be a singer and to have a career? (Tandie answers) There were never schools for us in South Africa, because when we are sad we sing, when there is death we sing, where there’s marriage we sing and when it’s true lovers, they hum. (smiles) (Lorraine answers) Well, like my mom, we never went to school… you know, we grew up singing at home in a natural form. And this is why when you listen to South African music in particular; you hear a lot of acapelas where people sing a lot in harmonies. Because it’s a natural way of singing that we had. Here I find that sometimes people – unfortunately – most people… well I shouldn’t say most, but some people who have gone to schools, they get the techniques but then they lose that feeling. Because it’s almost like when you read music you stay in those boundaries, and you’ve got to read what the chart says. (Tandie nods and hums in agreement) You can’t improvise. And the way we’ve learned music at least the way I’ve learned music

is that I can take any song and interpret it any way I want. I don’t have those restrictions that sometimes when you go to school, when they tell you ‘oh you have to go like this or like that’ and sometimes it can mentally block you from exploring because you’ve got all those rules and regulations. But then, it is also a discipline that I sometimes find I lack. Personally because of not having had that training sometimes I tend to strain my vocal chords. Because I sometimes don’t put into practice proper breathing techniques that could’ve helped me - that could help me. So it does have its advantages, but it also has its disadvantages when you are ruled by that rules. But if you take those disciplines that you’re learning – the breathing and the techniques and your knowing of your own voice in its highs and its lows and then allow yourself to have the freedom of experimenting – then it could take you farther. TVM: What do you think has taken you this far into the music business… what is it about you?


What is it about me?... I think it’s the fact that I’m very determined and I’m very – (pauses) it’s determination and perseverance, they are like mighty weapons. Like I said, I chose this to be my career. And then I see how long my mom has lasted (looks towards her) with a career in the same field – from infancy my mother sings, and she still continues to sing. And so it’s not like those people who retire – who work for a company and then after 20 or 40 years they retire. There’s no retirement in this, so as long as God gives me the ability to use my vocal chords, and make people happy with the music, it’s something that will always be there. And what sustained me here in Canada I must say, is the fact that the style of music that I do is so original. It’s unique in itself, and people want something different. And so you tap in to the needs of the people, but without losing – in my case – my cultural uniqueness. TVM: And how would you personally describe that style that you sing? Well, I think the style that I sing varies because it depends on the theme. Um… I call it African music, but now they have a name for it, ‘world beat’ – people call it world beat music. I don’t know if that’s an appropriate term or not, but I guess the reason they term it ‘world beat’ is because it has all the elements of different parts of the world. Like if you come to my show, the musicians that I work with are from Haiti, are from Jamaica, are from Trinidad, [and] are from Quebec. So naturally their influence with the influence that I’m bringing creates this world beat because since I don’t have authentic South African musicians, I work with what I have. And so it creates a sound that is unique, in its own, and that’s why people keep coming back when they listen to my concerts, because it’s not so foreign. Like if you have a Caribbean person who comes they feel they can relate because of the rhythm. Or you get somebody who’s from other parts of Africa; they can feel that underlying part of ‘africanism’ in there. So people, when they come to a Lorraine Klaasen show, it’s not just one style of music. They get to hear all those different rhythms that make it so unique and interesting. TVM: And what do you think of her eclectic style? (To Tandie)


Oh it’s great (smiling). I am glad that she has found herself because when she left I said, ‘girl, you don’t leave South Africa and think you’re gonna jazz overseas, because jazz, it’s out there. YOU must take something different.’ And definitely she listened and she made it and I’m proud of her. She is a very strong young lady. Not because she’s my daughter, but because for herself she is very strong and she knows what she wants. And she never backs off. If she doesn’t get it, she’s gonna get it right until it’s there. I’m very proud. She’s very independent you know and like people ask me in South Africa, ‘when is Lorraine coming to South Africa? That will happen on its own. I would like her to go to South Africa but unfortunately, she’s very busy out here. TVM: Do you want her to go for good? No (Lorraine speaking), definitely not for good. My mom is talking about concerts; I mean I go often to South Africa (Tandie nods). But like, it’s not so much about me performing, it’s about working with all the different artists, as long as I’m aware of somebody who’s an artist, who wants to perform, ‘cause I learnt from them as well, and [from] working with them, especially young people. I work with a lot of young people – with the choirs, because that’s where the different variety of vocals comes in. The harmonies - that makes me miss that part of South Africa - the voices that sometimes I don’t have here. So my musicians are very versatile in the sense that they are not just musicians, they also sing. And they sing in my traditional African languages, but sometimes I need – I miss that acapella choral of voices and that’s when you really see the beauty of vocal chords, as to how beautiful it compliments. It’s like an instrument, and how the voices complement each other. TVM: Can you both sing something ‘acapella’ style for me now? Oh… (Laughs) … no because you cannot write about it there… (pauses) I don’t know. You want to do something? (turns to her mother and starts to sing. Instantly their voices meld into a flow of harmonies. For a few moments, their rhythms takes over and breathes on its own.) So you see, the idea was to show you the ranges, you see? You can take a song like that and take it like this and like that (motions with her hands up and down) but the difference with somebody who has never had the chance to explore those things, would only sing it like this (sings a short halted line of the same song) They sing straight, but they won’t be able to play with the song and still come back to the original melody. And you must leave that melody and you go and you fly, ‘I love my things, even if he is a drunk. I love him very much because he works for me, because he gets some peace jobs,’ like little jobs, doing someone’s garden one day and fixing someone’s roof. So she tells them ‘I don’t care because I love him and he works for me. And so you shut up, and you shut up, and you shut up! And you don’t say nothing, he’s my man!’ (smiles) That’s the rough English translations… TVM: So what general message do you try to transmit to your audience? (Lorraine answers) Well for me, I’ve been doing this for more than two decades in Montreal. And it seems to be getting better and better and better all the time.

and then you bring it back again. (Tandie says, ‘it’s the improvisation.’) Yes it’s the improvisation, and that’s what makes it so nice. TVM: It did sound nice, beautiful actually. What were you singing about? (Tandie answers) This song it’s about a woman married to this young man. And this young man was not working, and every time, he gets drunk. So the other ladies they used to laugh at this lady and say, ‘oh my God you married a drunk’ to which she would say

Like I mentioned earlier, it’s to be able to show people. It’s an art, a God-given gift that you have. One of the ladies that I met once said something very important. I have always used it as a reference point. She said ‘many people decide when they grow up they want to become a singer, and then you see them years later on and you say what happened to so and so? … Oh she’s not singing anymore. She gave up. She said ‘singing didn’t want me to sing.’’ It’s not about the money, because some people they think they are going to be


the Madonna’s or the Beyonce’s, you know. Those are the ones that do not last because their motives are not right. They are doing it because they think they are going to get money. It’s for the love of music. This is why I’ve been able to hang on that long. So I would tell people that it’s beautiful gift. Music is very therapeutic. Music will move you either way, it can make you happy, it can make you sad (mother nods in agreement) it can make you cry, laugh. Either way, it evokes emotion. It’s one of the cheapest forms of spending money. Because it’s there, you can look at someone when they sing, not knowing each other, but you can tell by their expression if they are sad. Our music, since it is African, people never have an idea of what I’m singing about, but they keep on coming. Now why do they keep on coming? There must be something they get out of me to keep coming. And the something that makes me continue to do it is that they keep on coming, which ensures me that there must be something right that I’m doing. write and create my music through the sounds that I make. I play it with my voice, but if I were to write it out, but it doesn’t sound the same as when you say it, and as somebody who reads. Because the person who’s going to read the chart loses out on the sound because they only play what they are reading and not what they are hearing, you see the difference? I’m able to compose my music through sounds. ‘Cause I cannot and do not write music, but I’d love to learn how to because, I hopefully see myself. If God gives me the ability to live as long as my mom has lived, I can see myself opening my concert with a piano, starting my own song. That is really my dream and it’s something I’ve been thinking seriously as I grow older, how will I be able to sustain myself? So I’d need to accompany myself (laughs). I better start learning ‘cause I can’t keep doing that but also play an instrument – I can have a one act woman when I’m 80 years old! (laughs) What I’m saying though is that you grow, and sometimes you take an inventory – you go back and say, ‘ok I’ve done all these thing, TVM: So you feel this mutual ‘feeding off’? now what’s in the future? Can we keep on doing all Definitely. They come and enjoy the culture, they en- that? I’ve travelled quite extensively and my idea is joy the music, the rhythm, they dance, they listen, to try to really widen out and work with more artists and you try to explain what this song is about – not and hopefully they’ll give me the same chance that all of them – but for me it gives me reason to get up I’ve been giving so many other artists here. the next morning. I want to try again. It is very taxing though -extremely tiring. Because you are alone TVM: So, so far you are happy… doing it, there are no sponsors or grants to do these I’m very happy! Very at peace with myself. I’m thankthings, so I do everything on my own, literally. And ful to God for the ability to make people happy with it’s taking chances, but like I said; if I didn’t have the my music, I’m thankful to be able to sustain myself love of the music I wouldn’t be doing it. I would have throughout the years, make a life for myself through long given up too. So for those people out there the music that I do. And I’m grateful and forever who read this, if you are a musician, you play an in- thankful to the people who continuously come and strument, or you are a singer, it should be done first support and have them asking when your next confor the love of the music. And in my case I always cert is?... and it tells me that there is something right say God gave me the ability to make people happy that I’m doing. And it’s for the love of music. with this music. Put a smile on somebody’s face, or at least touch their core (Tandie nods and hums in agreement) whatever it may be. TVM: And what are your plans for the future? Oh… what are my plans… well (pauses) my plan is that I need to widen out. I’ve been very fortunate to work with incredible artists from the States and vgbhghfAfrica, such as Patti Labelle, Roberta Flack. So by working and observing all these singers and looking at my mom, I learned. And so I took some of those techniques that I see and I try to incorporate it. TVM: What would be an example of a technique? Well, for example I like bass. If I played an instrument it would be the bass because for me it’s a foundation. So sometimes in my band, I start the music (makes deep rhythmic sound with her voice) – that’s a bass, but it’s still making vocal sounds. So I always



1254 MACKAY, MONTREAL, TEL: 514.931.6808

Tucked away in the basement of 1254 Mackay Street, the Upstairs Jazz Bar is where anyone would want to escape to and hear the sound of live Jazz any evening of the week. In the heart of downtown Montreal, its intimacy sets it apart from the nearby clamor of St. Catherine street.


By Kalika Hastings - Credit Photos: Sophie Tremblay/CBC)
“These walls have absorbed eighteen years of nightly music...You can feel the ghosts of musicians that have performed here,” said Joel Giberovitch, owner of Upstairs, proudly about the ambiance of the place. Frequented at all times of the day, the bar’s welcoming atmosphere provides a venue for hungry regulars during lunchtime and for jazz lovers in the evening, or simply for anyone looking for good food and equally good music. The menu, orchestrated by chef Juan Barros, ranges from tapas, to burgers, salads, grills and fish: something delicious for meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Barros suggests a healthy plate such as fish or salad for vocalists prior to their performance. He believes a healthy diet is like exercise “You cannot eat a big meal before you start running a marathon, take the time to digest. To be able to sing you have to treat your body the right way.” As a culinary artist, Barros explains that the sense of freedom at Upstairs is what inspires him the most. “The greatest thing for you to be able to express yourself through singing, writing, playing, or whatever it is, is for you to have the freedom of being able to do it,” Barros said. It is no wonder many consider Upstairs a second home, the sense of freedom is expressed not only through the creativity of the performing artists, but also through the casual comfort and intimacy of the environment and staff. With the farthest person from the stage just forty feet away, Upstairs is all about familiarity between the vocalist and the audience.

The VocalisT Magazine

Al McLean and Kevin Dean @ Upstairs

Joel Giberovitch, The Owner “We are a great venue that doesn’t seat a lot of people, but we’ve got a big heart. That’s the key to our success,” said Joel Giberovitch. The place exudes a sense of warmth with its low-ceilings and dim lighting, marked by candles reflecting off the cozy brick wall. Decorated with photographs of vocalists who have performed at the club, the ambience is inspirational to any Jazz lover. Before a show begins, everyone is asked to turn off their cell phones, leaving the audience attentive and respectful. The quiet of the room compliments the intimate performance, allowing the musician to fully engage with the audience. From exceptionally experienced vocalists to up-andcoming strong talent, Upstairs enthusiastically welcomes both. As a jazz bar, it shouldn’t surprise that ninety percent of the programming is pure jazz, however in recent times, the club has been experimenting with other forms of music such as their Thursday night Blues event. “Musicians love performing here because we’ve got a great sound system, a great piano...” said Joel Giberovitch. When a vocalist is booked, Upstairs delivers a great amount of promotion and exposure for them. Their website has over 10,000 unique visitors every month, and their live streaming is a hit. Radio advertisements, social media announcements, and exposure to festivals such as the Montreal Jazz Fest all driven by a full time publicist, is sure to get the name out of any visiting artist. A stay at the Upstairs Jazz Bar won’t disappoint, from the very first curious moment of walking downstairs to enter the bar, the ambiance coupled with tasty food and soulful music leaves a lasting impression. (Video Link)

jazz pianist Julie Lamontagne (Dario Ayala/THE GAZETTE)


A premiere, intimate venue for music and art, this licensed Plateau district establishment also serves as a cozy bistro and cafe, serving coffee, sweet treats, breakfast, light lunch and late-night snacks. Local, regional and national music acts are showcased. Address: 5490 St. Laurent. Telephone: 1 514 509-1199

Le Cagibi

House of Jazz

Located on rue Saint-Denis in an area full of popular French bars and clubs, Pub Saint-Ciboire is popular among fans of Quebecbrewed beers as it offers 12 local lagers and ales on tap including Blanche de Chambly, Belle Gueule and Boreale. For a very Quebec experience, visitors can try out a tasty Quebec brews while watching one of the local bands that play at the pub on a regular basis. Address: 1693, rue Saint-Denis Telephone: 1 514 843-6360

Pub Saint-Ciboire

A landmark since 1968, this live music club brings the best of emerging regional artists and well-known international jazz performers to downtown Montreal. Louisiana-style culinary offerings are featured, in addition to extensive cocktail selections and terrace dining. Address: 2060 Aylmer St. Telephone: 1 514 842-8656

This concert venue in downtown Montreal has a capacity of 2300 people and often gets packed to the rafters during performances by artists such as Beck, David Bowie, Ben Harper and Jean Leloup. When not being used for a show, the venue transforms into a nightclub. Address: 59, rue Sainte-Catherine Est Telephone: 1 514 844-3500


The VocalisT Magazine

La Casa del Popolo is not only a fair trade cafe offering light snacks. It is also a bar, a live music venue and a gallery. Address: 4848, boulevard Saint-Laurent Telephone: 1 514 284-3804

La Casa del Popolo

Club Soda

Open in the early 80s, Club Soda has since become one of Montreal’s busiest and most popular venues. Aiming to give new artists and producers of all performance genres an audience, the club’s stage has been graced by many now-famous performers such as the Tragically Hip, Jann Arden, Soundgarden, Chris Isaak, Oasis and Canadian comedy troupe Kids in the Hall. Address: 1225, boulevard Saint-Laurent Telephone: 1 514 286-1010

Club Lambi

Filled with local in-the-know music fans, Club Lambi is one of the venues for the Pop Montreal indie music festival. The club boasts a friendly atmosphere and hosts up-and-coming and on-the-verge bands and artists. Address: 4465, boulevard Saint-Laurent Telephone: 1 514 583-5098

Cafe thEATre

Live music, art exhibitions, weekend brunches and comprehensive cafe and bar services are hallmarks of this downtown bistro, which features menus of comfort foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Address: 1832 Ste-Catherine E. Telephone: 1 514 564-4440



Nestled in the historic quarter and offering live jazz performances seven-nights-a-week, this bar and restaurant features a menu of Mediterranean-inspired selections, extensive cocktail offerings and large-group menu options. Address: 1 St. Paul St. West. Telephone: 1 514 287-9582

local rock acts as well as bands from across Canada and the US. The club also hosts DJ nights when the music played includes hardcore, punk, rock, alternative and old school depending on the night. Address: 2031, rue Saint-Denis Telephone: 1 514 844-1301

Theatre Plaza

La Tulipe

Since the 1920s Theatre Plaza has worn many hats. From a bowling alley to an illegal Asian karaoke bar. Today it boasts a newly refurbished look and hosts and hosts some of the hottest bands around. Address: 6505 rue. St-Hubert Telephone: 1 514 278-6419

Located in the Dominion Theatre, a heritage building constructed in 1913, La Tulipe is a former movie theatre that is now used as a concert venue. Visitors can expect to see rock shows, French-speaking singers, jazz concerts and musical reviews. Address: 4530 avenue Papineau Telephone: 1 514 529-5000

La Sala Rossa

Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill

Run by the same people as Casa del Popolo (and located right across the street), La Sala Rossa is a restaurant serving Spanish tapas and paella as well as a weekend brunch. The club portion puts on a range of entertainment including cabarets, breakdance competitions, live bands and more. The venue often hosts some of the world’s most popular indie rock bands. Address: 4848 boulevard SaintLaurent Telephone: 1 514 284-0122

Located downtown and a vibrant venue on Montreal’s jazz scene, this bar and grill features nightly live music and a menu of North American classics. Extensive cocktail offerings and late-night dining services are available. Address: 1254 Mackay St. Telephone: 1 514 931-6808

Bell Centre

Cafe Campus

Having moved to rue Prince-Arthur after receiving noise complaints from the neighbours at the previous location, Cafe Campus is better than ever with three floors and live shows that see the club packed to the rafters. The venue also puts on theme nights such as retro Tuesdays, Blues Wednesdays and Francophone Sundays. Address: 57, rue Prince-Arthur Est Telephone: 1 514 844-1010

Home of the Montreal Canadiens hockey team, the Bell Centre also hosts a number of big-name music artists making stops in Montreal during world tours. Past and futures bands and performers at the Bell Centre include The Cult, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Coldplay, Madonna and U2. Address: 1260, rue De la Gauchetiere Telephone: 1 514 790-1245

Bar Chez CloClo

Cafe Chaos

One of Montreal’s many live music venues, Cafe Chaos presents

Located in the Plaza St-Hubert district, this casual bar and lounge features live music acts, karaoke nights, social dancing and DJ dance parties. Address: 6944, rue St-Hubert. Telephone: 1 514 727-0308


Foufounes Electriques

An alternative club with style, Les Foufounes Electriques features two beer gardens, three dance floors and a daily happy hour that lasts from 4 pm to 6 pm. The club hosts live rock, hardcore and industrial bands and also puts on club nights such as GoGo Tuesdays, Under Attack Wednesdays, Sweet n Sour Thursdays and Electrik Saturdays. Music includes alternative, old school punk, rock n roll, hardcore, hip hop, 80s rock, pop and ska depending on the night Address: 87, rue Sainte-Catherine Est Telephone: 1 514 844-5539

Les Bobards

Live music is the hallmark of this club, which showcases an eclectic mix of performances, including reggae, hip-hop and world music. Daily happy hour and nightly DJ dances are also hosted. Address: 4328 Boul St-Laurent. Telephone: 1 514 987-1174

Le Petit Medley

Le Divan Orange

Le Divan Orange is a newcomer on Montreal’s live music scene but has nonetheless become a favourite among those looking to discover some cool new talent. The club hosts both English- and French-speaking bands that represent a range of music genres. Address: 4234, boulevard SaintLaurent Telephone: 1 514 840-9190

Live, local talent hits the stage weekly at this casual pub and lounge, which features complete bar services and a menu of pubstyle favorites. Complimentary wireless Internet is also available to patrons. Address: 6206 rue St-Hubert. Telephone: 1 514 271-7887

Le National

Grumpy’s Bar

Le National concert hall presents a range of local and international music artists and bands. The popular C’est Extra and Pop 80 nights are held, here and the space can be rented for special events such as concerts, product launches and corporate parties. Address: 1220, rue Sainte-Catherine Est Telephone: 1 514 845-2014

Grumpy’s is a live music bar that offers different themes each night of the week. Various nights include 80’s Goodness Sundays, Grumpy’s Happy Mondays, Jazz Night open jams on Wednesdays, Moonshine on Thursday bluegrass and old-time jams, live bands on Saturdays and more. Address: 1242, rue Bishop Telephone: 1 514 866-9010

Le Gainzbar

Located in the heart of Plaza StHurbert, this casual lounge features a weekly line-up of live jazz performances, an ambient social atmosphere and extensive bar services. Address: 6289 St-Hubert. Telephone: 1 514 272-3753

Le Rendez-Vous

Le Theatre Corona

Le Theatre Corona is mainly used for theatre performances and musicals but also occasionally hosts popular bands Arcade Fire. Address: 2490, rue Notre-Dame Ouest Telephone: 1 514 931-2088

In addition to operating as a tea house, this casual bistro also features dining for lunch and dinner and hosts weekly live dinnermusic events. The on-site boutique also carries an extensive selection of tea sets, tea pots and other brewing essentials. Address: 1348, rue Fleury Est. Telephone: 1 514 384-5695



McGill University - Schulich School of Music
Description : Intensive and complete jazz program, including theory and practical instructions. Wide variety of venues to perform, including McGill University and various restaurants & jazz clubs. Description : We have a jazz guitar & jazz vocal ensemble, a latin combo, and a jazz history course. UQAM offers a popular music program allowing a vast array of musical styles (popular song, jazz, world music, rock, folk, country, etc.)

Université de Montréal

Description : Our jazz program distinguishes itself in that it not only takes into consideration jazz music from the 1940s to the 1970s but also, fusion and contemporary jazz music from the 1970s to today. A number of styles are thus covered, such as ragtime, swing, be-bop, hard-bop, free-jazz, acid-jazz, funk, fusion, latin, etc. The program follows the evolution of jazz all the while adapting to the new styles that can attach themselves to these. Of course, the blues and the jazz standards remain the classic repertoire and the basis of teaching.

Description : We offer popular and jazz programs including piano, bass, guitar, drums, trumpet, trombone, saxophone & voice.

University Laval - Faculty of Music (Québec)

University of Sherbrooke - Faculty of Music

Description : Our jazz program allows students to perform standards, to improvise, arrange, compose, teach and use the technology.

Université du Québec à Montréal - UQAM

The VocalisT Magazine

University Bishop (Lennoxville)

Description : Jazz & blues guitar...standards & jazz repertoire 1930-2000, improvisation & combo coaching + jazz history in a small, friendly & relaxed atmosphere, jazz concert(s) & masterslass(s) with invited artists every year.

Cégep Saint-Laurent (Montréal)

Description : It’s tradition, the diversity of it’s ensembles, the recording studios & the music department of the Cégep de Saint-Laurent all join together to allow the student to develop many aspects such as interpretation, composing and arranging in a unique environnement. Québec’s largest music department, the first to teach jazz, the first music department to give a technical music program, the first Cégep to offer double DEC.

Online Singing Lessons via Skype All Vocal Styles from Amateur to Professional

Cégep Marie-Victorin (Montréal)

Description : Concerts given by students in training - in and outside of the cégep. Stage Band and many ensemble possibilities and quality auditive training. A new music pavillion equipped with the latest technology. A team of teachers specialized in their field and recognised in the jazz world. Vast choice of large ensembles.

Cégep Drummondville (Drummondville)

Description : The Cégep de Drummondville is the only college institution to offer these four programs : Pre-university Music DEC, DEC - Professional Technique Music & Song, AEC in Creation & Sound Mixing as well as Mixing and Recording.

Segal Centre for Performing Arts

Description : Group music courses for teenagers. Different genres: jazz, rock, blues, pop. Guitar, bass guitar, saxophone and drum courses. Students are eventually matched with students from other groups in order to introduce students to playing in a group. Beginner and intermediate levels. We also offer coaching to either existing or newly created Rock bands or Jazz combos (all ages). Courses in music history (including the All American Song Book history class) as well as a guitar class are available for adults.

Cégep Alma (Alma)

Description : Arranging & writing, drums & percussions, saxophone, keyboards & piano, voice , doublebass, electric guitar & horns. Improvisation et instrumental comprehension, musical groups productions, specialized music pavillion, professional recording studio, 2 concert halls.

For Informations: