The Phoenix Session Summer Retrospective Series is eight weeks of live entertainment presenting artist combos previously heard in the digitally offered Aeolian Phoenix Sessions:
For two years, the Aeolian Phoenix Sessions have provided patrons with a cross-section of the music going experience. From classical to jazz, rock to country, and bluegrass to folk, the Sessions aim to bring music back into your home and heart.
With over 200 musicians having participated, the sessions have been a safe and consistent experience during rather uncertain times.
Our goal was has always been the same: reignite live music and get artists on stage, technicians behind the soundboard and our patrons on their feet listening to extraordinary talent in extraordinary times.
Concerts will be recorded on the Dundas Garden Stage or in the Dave Southen Lounge depending on the weather and instrumentation and presented as part of the digital series.
Country singer-songwriter and tattoo artist Aaron Allen is back on the Aeolian Stage performing his favourites as well as cuts from his emotionally charged EP; Highway Mile released in April 2020.. Remaining true to his signature sound that fans have come to love, Allen brings his raw and honest song writing to the album, while marking Allen’s 10th studio release.
“I wanted to make something that stood up over time,” said Allen on the new EP. “Highway Mile is really about the stories from my real-life experiences – I just tried to be transparent with the hope that maybe my story would connect with others. I hope we’ve done that with this new record.”
Quickly becoming Allen’s fastest-growing single, the new releases’ title track — “Highway Mile” — was added to 7 playlists on Apple Music out of the gate, gaining almost 200,000 streams in its first month. Set to surpass the previously released “Where Music Comes From,” “Highway Mile” demonstrates Allen’s dedication to creating deeply personal stories through music.
Aaron’s story will sound familiar to many. Faced with some serious personal challenges as he entered his teenage years, country music became his lifeline and songwriting the outlet for his pain and frustration. Allen made a promise to himself that he would make country music his career, even though – thanks to his wife – tattooing eventually helped pay the bills. “All I had was my voice and a guitar so country music was really the only way to go for me,” Allen says. “I’ve always loved how simple and direct great country songs are. They go straight to the heart and that’s what I’ve always tried to achieve with songs I write. I feel like my favourite artists are speaking specifically to me and I hope people have that feeling when they hear my songs.” Keeping the momentum going Aaron released his new EP Highway Mile on April 3rd, 2020 produced by Jeff Dalziel.
Performing on stages for over 2 decades, classically trained Pianist and Singer/Songwriter Aimee Allen has just taken the next step towards the spotlight. Most notable as a multi instrumentalist and back up vocalist for partner Country Music star Aaron Allen. Her debut single was produced by multi award winning Producer Jeff Dalziel (Brett Kissell, The Washboard Union, Aaron Allen) and is raw, honest and vibes with today’s emotions and experiences. Although it’s a debut Aimee’s years of experience come shining through in her smooth, confident and uniquely pleasing performance on It Is What It Is.
Tara Dunphy is an award winning singer, songwriter and multi instrumentalist from London, Ontario, Canada.
For over 20 years Tara has been a professional musician, touring and performing across Canada and the United States.
Tara is a 6 time recipient of the Forest City London Mu
sic Award, was named to the Forest City London Music Awards “Fantasy Band” as favourite string musician. She is also a 3 time Ameripolitan Award nominee, 2 time Academy of Western Artist Award nominee and winner of multiple national championships for traditional Irish music.
Since founding in 2003 the acclaimed classic country band The Rizdales with her husband, Tom, Tara has gone on to release 7 albums with the group while continuing to be a sought after session musician. She has proudly performed alongside many artists, most notably Wanda Jackson, Dale Watson, Johnny Bush, Sylvia Tyson and Luther Wright and the Wrongs.
Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Larry Smith has over 45 years experience as a professional musician. From his early years in the Toronto Roots scene, Larry knew that his life would always head in a musical direction and eventually that road led him to London, Ontario.
Many years were spent touring North America as a sideman, performing alongside and sharing the bill with such names as The Smothers Brothers, Waylon Jennings and Eric Nagler. After many years on the road with children’s performer Glenn Bennett, Larry chose to start his own group and formed the acclaimed Canadian swing supergroup, The Jitterbugs. Larry has cemented his role as one of Southwestern Ontario’s most sought after bandleaders and guitarists while also serving as a composer and arranger for Symphony Orchestras including Orchestra London, the Thunder Bay Symphony and the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra. In addition to performing, Larry also teaches guitar, bass and computer based recording.