Sylvia Tyson, singer/songwriter/guitarist/broadcaster and with a career spanning almost six decades, is a Canadian musical treasure who is a member of the Order of Canada, a member of the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, and a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame as a duo with her former partner Ian Tyson. Sylvia’s work has been covered by other artists, and she was half of the duo Ian and Sylvia. She has hosted TV shows, and worked as a scriptwriter. Sylvia is a member of the group Quartette, four women singer/songwriters with a wide range of musical influences.
Dan Hill, who ditched high school to work as a songwriter for RCA, has been sharing his gift of words and music with the world since 1975. Since then, he’s released 14 albums. His music has been on Billboard Hot 100 charts, is part of the First Blood soundtrack, and he performed on the benefit single Tears Are Not Enough. He wrote I Am My Father’s Son: A Memoir of Love and Forgiveness in 2009, which recounts his childhood. Dan is a member of Room 217’s Artists’ Circle, which recognizes musicians who share their stories of music and its role in health and well-being.
Jill Barber, two-time Juno Award nominee, is one of Canada’s brightest stars – selling out theatres coast to coast and headlining the country’s most prestigious festivals. Her albums have sold more than 100,000 copies and her album Mischievous Moon spent 13 straight weeks at #1 on the Canadian Jazz Charts and debuted at #12 on the US Billboard Jazz charts. Her song “Chances” was also featured on the soundtrack for the hit series “Orange is the New Black.” She has fans in Josh Ritter, Kathleen Edwards, Kris Kristofferson (who hails Jill as a “real songwriter, a damn good songwriter”) and collaborator Ron Sexsmith.
With two top-selling albums in English, in 2013 Jill released the French language album “Chansons,” after a celebrated performance at the prestigious Montreal Jazz Festival where she sang (for the first time ever) a French translation of one of her songs, “Tous Mes Rêves” (“All My Dreams”). Chansons has firmly established Jill as an artist to watch in both French and English.
Murray Mclauchlan is one of Canada’s most highly regarded songwriters. He began writing and performing songs in his late teens and has played at major music festivals and rooms throughout North America. His work has been covered by other folk and country artists. Murray has won 11 JUNO awards and has 18 albums to this credit, with his 2017 release Love Can’t Tell Time the most recent. Murray has composed for television, starred and made appearances in numerous television shows, and in the ‘90s, hosted CBC’s Swinging on a Star, a live showcase for songwriters. With his unabashed love for Canada, his other great passion is painting Canadian landscapes. Murray is a member of the Order of Canada and in 2016 was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. Murray is a valued member of the Room 217 Board of Directors and has organized tonight’s stellar concert program.
Ezra Jordan is a Canadian singer, songwriter and piano player from Toronto. A graduate of the Independent Artist Program at the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, CA, Ezra’s music blends R&B and alt-pop with his keyboard-oriented approach to writing songs, creating a style that is soulful, refreshing and authentic. He is a contestant on CTV’s The Launch.
Denise Donlan, Host, has dedicated her career to promoting and contributing to the development of Canadian artists. Whether as an on-air personality, producer or executive behind the scenes, Denise Donlon displayed vision and creativity in shaping the medium of music television in this country. She is credited with raising social awareness among MuchMusic’s large demographic of young people by addressing issues such as racism, literacy, and politics. Possessing a unique knowledge of the marketplace, she was later recruited to head Sony Music Canada and then moved to CBC Radio as an executive director. Denise has generously contributed her time and used her industry contacts to benefit numerous charities, including War Child Canada. You can read more about Denise’s accomplishments in her 2016 autobiography Fearless as Possible (Under the Circumstances).