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Posts Tagged ‘Jill Zmud’

The lovely late blooming of Jill Zmud

November 13th, 2009

I posted a video of Jill performing at Westfest a few months ago, and then more recently, I had the honour and pleasure of doing the artwork for her first CD, As We Quietly Drive By (some of which you can hear here). Saskatoon-native Jill wanted the artwork to be welcoming, warm and cozy, like her music; she had her cousin (who still lives in the prairies) take the cover photo of one of her favourite roads:

The imagery and pallette continue inside, along with a photo of her guitar that was broken when she traveled on United Air (duet with Dave Carroll, anyone?):

This has been a labour of love for Jill, who only started writing and playing music in her early 20’s. She’s a public servant by day, and then works on music whenever else she can. It’s paying off… She’s already been nominated by Ottawa Xpress for Favourite New Musical Artist/Group (voting just ended, results will be up on the 19th). And album reviews have been positive, such as this one from Culture.ca.

At her CD release show this Sunday, she’ll be accompanied by Dave Draves (who recorded the CD), Christine Mathenge and Jerusha Lewis from Voices of Praise gospel choir, Safwan Javed (who you might remember as the drummer of Wide Mouth Mason), among others.

If you do get the chance to go, you’ll be charmed by her humble wit, you’ll be treated to her thoughtful words and tunes, and something tells me you’ll definitely feel welcomed, warm and cozy.

(Sadly, I can’t make the show, as I’ll be vending my wears at a craft show all weekend… but if you go, please feel free to comment here and let me know your thoughts!)

Listen to Jill here.

Join her facebook fan page.

And as a post-script fun fact, according to my website stats,  Jill’s name has been near or on the top of my blog’s most-searched keyphrases for the last few months. This partial screenshot is just for November so far:

I don’t think I’ll be too surprise if this trend continues.

Good luck, Jill, and have a terrific kick-off show! Sending goodness…

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My crooked legs brought me to Westfest

June 15th, 2009

This past weekend was Westfest, a 6-year-old outdoor annual arts festival in one of Ottawa’s hottest ‘hoods, Westborough. Tens of thousands of visitors enjoy this family-friendly and free event, which features all sorts of creative talents — anything from spoken word to visual media, from theatre to performance art — and it is driven by one tireless and passionate Elaina Martin, founder and producer of the annual mindblowing weekend, and her army of volunteers.

As a music-head, I tend to get most excited about the singers and groups who come through. Below are a few highlights from Saturday and Sunday…

I had seen Lake of Stew earlier this spring, and was keen to see them again. They did not disappoint — here they are, performing “Down, Down, Down”, in front of a mini-mosh pit:

On Sunday, producer Dave Draves showed us his performing side, and was joined by friends on stage. I shot this video of lovely local singer/songwriter Jill Zmud, who will soon be releasing her first cd, performing “Reconcile” with Dave, Chris Page, and Christine and Jerusha from Ottawa’s Voices of Praise Choir:

The highlight of my weekend was The Acorn, who headlined Sunday evening. I’d seen them a handful of times, but it’d been about a year and a half since I’d last seen the local sweethearts play; since then, they’d gotten a shout-out on Kanye West’s blog (!!!) and did a European tour… and well, they rocked my socks. They seemed incredibly together, comfortable, spot on, and still keen about the music and performance. I’ve always been awed by Jeffrey Malecki’s drumming (so intricate, deliberate, understated) so wasn’t sure what a second percussionist would add, but Pat Johnson put me in my place. Everything was just so. Here’s my 5′ 3″-view of them performing “Brokered Heart”:

What an inspiring event, all ’round… I’ll be back there for Year 7!

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