Mandy returns to the stage for an engaging and enlightening evening with her extraordinary band, ORIGINS. A wonderfully creative group of Juno Award winning musicians will be presenting their innovative program of Joni Mitchell songs, along with some original compositions. These arrangements are fun, compelling and imaginative.
About Mandy Lagan:
Ms. Lagan grew up in Ridgetown, a small town in southwestern Ontario. She left Ridgetown to attend Mohawk College in Hamilton in 1981.
Mandy began taking herself seriously as a singer in 1990 when she moved from Hamilton to Toronto and formed a band in order to play songs of Joni Mitchell’s as well as her own writing. In 2002 she released her first CD, “I Thought About You”, a collection of jazz standards and two originals. In 2003 she released her second CD, “You See Me”, a selection of five jazz standards and five originals. In 2007 she released her third CD, “Verses”, a collection of Robert Louis Stevenson’s poetry which she collaboratively set to music.
Mandy has been performing around Ontario at various venues and festivals, working with some of Canada’s finest jazz artists; David Braid, Nancy Walker, Dave Restivo, Keiran Overs, Jim Vivian, Barry Romberg, Kevin Dempsey, David Occhipinti, Andrew Downing, Kevin Turcotte and Ted Quinlan. The “Verses” project awarded her financial support from the Canada Council for the Arts and The Ontario Arts Council.
Mandy now lives in Toronto with her family, teaching, writing, recording and performing.
About The Joni Book:
This is a unique and stunning tribute to one of Canada’s most iconic singer/songwriters.
After ten years of being amazed and profoundly touched by the music of Joni Mitchell, I started a Joni Mitchell cover band in 1989, based loosely on her Shadows and Light touring band. We had a few gigs and then it fizzled. I came to realize that I could not find my own voice as long as I was focused on singing like Joni Mitchell. So I put away all my Joni albums and turned my attention towards writing and developing myself as an artist and singer. 25 years later the project returned only this time I have held on to my identity. I have focused mainly on music from Blue, Court and Spark and Hejira, and chosen songs with a positive message. I have amassed a huge catalogue of Joni’s songs, covering most of her albums but this seemed the sensible place to start.
I reached out to a handful of musicians in the city who I have enjoyed working with over the past two decades. It was important to me that they had an appreciation and love for Joni Mitchell’s music. The result is ORIGINS, a band of Juno Award winning musicians who have developed the arrangements and taken me to new heights as a singer and performer.
Dave Restivo, Ted Quinlan, Jim Vivian, Andrew Downing, Kevin Turcotte and Blair Mackay continue to contribute their creativity, intuition and mastery as we move forward with this project, following it’s natural creative, expansive course of evolution.
I hope that I can share this music with people who have also been touched by Joni Mitchell. The arrangements are fun, inventive and full of great musicianship. This is a very cathartic experience for me, extremely personal and an incredible musical ride.
David Restivo is one of Canada’s most respected and influential jazz artists. He is a 3-time winner of the National Jazz Awards’ Pianist of the Year. He received a Juno Award for his work on the 2001 recording The Rob McConnell Tentet (Justin Time). and can be heard on numerous recordings, including the Grammy-winning Mel Tormé/Rob McConnell collaboration Velvet and Brass (Concord Jazz), Mike Murley’s Conversation Piece (Cornerstone), Marc Jordan’s This is How Men Cry (Blue Note/EMI), and his own lauded debut Prayer for Humankind(ness) (Radioland/Universal). He has performed/recorded with Dave Holland, Jon Hendricks, Kenny Wheeler, John Abercrombie, Jerry Bergonzi, Mel Tormé, John Pizarelli, the Woody Herman Orchestra, Pat LaBarbera, Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, Randy Bachman (BTO/Guess Who), David Clayton Thomas and Molly Johnson. David has served on the music faculty at the Banff Centre for the Arts, St. Francis Xavier University and Humber College. He currently teaches at the University of Toronto.
Andrew Downing is a Toronto based double bass player, cellist, composer and bandleader. He plays primarily in the creative jazz scene in Canada, but also performs classical chamber music, improvised music, folk and roots music, and world music. His projects include MELODEON, a 7-piece chamber ensemble that performs live music to silent films and ANAHTAR, a Turkish-Canadian project inspired by his yearly visits to İstanbul, Turkey and OTTERVILLE, a quiet jazz ensemble. He has composed music for The Vancouver Bach Choir, the Prince George Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra London, and he has arranged music for The Gryphon Trio, the Art of Time Ensemble and Patricia O’Callaghan. He has won two Juno awards for work with his group The Great Uncles of the Revolution and Zubot and Dawson.
Jim Vivian has been at the forefront of music making in Canada for nearly 30 years, and has performed and/or recorded with most of the well known jazz artists working in the country today. Jim has long-standing associations with many musicians in Toronto and across the country such as Mike Murley, Jeff Johnston, Don Thompson, Brian Dickinson, and John MacLeod, to name a few. He appears on over 100 recordings, 29 of which have been nominated for Juno awards in as many years. He has also performed and recorded with many internationally esteemed artists such as John Abercrombie, Jerry Bergonzi, Mick Goodrick, David Leibman, John Taylor, Kenny Wheeler, and Norma Winstone. Jim is currently on faculty at the University of Toronto and York University.
Ted Quinlan is regarded as one of the most versatile guitar players in Canada. His skills are highly in demand as a jazz player, session musician, writer and educator. Ted is the Head of the Guitar Department at Humber College’s Music Program in Toronto. As a sideman Ted has performed with Chet Baker, Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Smith, Joey DeFrancesco, Michael Brecker, Dave Holland, Maria Schneider and Dave Liebman. His debut CD ” As If” received a Juno nomination for Contemporary Jazz. He has also released “Streetscape”, 2009, “Around the Bend”, 2010 and will soon release his newest recording, “Absolutely Dreaming” Ted has also recorded on Mike Downes’ Juno winning CD “Ripple Effect”, Doug Riley’s “Con Alma”, Radioland Records’ ” Tribute to Wes Montgomery”, Phil Dwyer’s ” Road Stories”, Dave Restivo’s ” Prayer for Humankindness”, Ted Warren’s ” First Time Caller”, David Clayton-Thomas’ “Combo” and Nancy Walker’s “New Heiroglyphics” and “ ‘Til Now Is Secret”. Ted is the recipient of the 1998 Jazz Report Award for Guitarist of the Year.
Kevin Turcotte has been playing trumpet on the Canadian music scene for over two decades. He is a busy recording artist who has played on over 175 albums from many different genres. His warm sound and melodic tones have graced recordings by folk Legend Bruce Cockburn, opera star Measha Bruegergossman, jazz icon Rob McConnell’s Boss Brass, Michael Occhipinti’s Sicilian Project, Rich Brown’s Abeng. He has played on over 20 Juno nominated albums, winning Junos with Occhipinti’s NOJO, Andrew Downing’s Great Uncles of the Revolution and banjo player Jayme Stone. Kevin has been featured in many performances alongside players like Dave Holland, Brian Blade, Sam Rivers, Branford Marsalis and Joe Lovano. He has been named Trumpeter of the year on 12 different occasions by the Canadian jazz magazine The Jazz Report. This past fall Kevin recorded all the trumpet parts for the feature film called Born To Be Blue based on the life of Chet Baker starring American actor Ethan Hawke. Kevin also teaches in the music department of York University.
Blair Mackay has been performing and recording on percussion and drumset in a variety of contemporary, instrumental contexts since 1976. He has performed and recorded with Arraymusic ensemble, Serena Ryder and toured with April Wine. Blair toured and recorded with the Dangerous Kitchen Ensemble, performing the music of Frank Zappa in Europe, United States and Canada and has been a frequent performer with The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) and the Canadian Opera Company. As well, Blair was the principal percussionist with the Esprit Orchestra. Blair has been artistic director of the Evergreen Club Contemporary Gamelan since 1992. Under Blair’s direction, Evergreen Club has produced 10 critically acclaimed CDs. He recently received a Hall of Fame Juno award, and in 2009 Blair was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. In 2007 Blair, with his wife Lynda Clouette, founded the Hudson Music Festival (HMF).