It isn’t until you sit down and give it a good think that you realize – WOW, 2015 has been a great year!
I mean, anytime the Broads of Broadsway get together, we’re going to make lots of music and laughing until we’re aching…but then you actually look at what we did, well that’s a whole ‘nuther story.
It all started in January with the Broads returning to NYC for our second show at the Metropolitan Room – what a great night! There’s just something about New York City that makes you feel just that much cooler and that much hipper…ok…maybe it was the pastrami at Katz’s or the great Italian restaurants, but I’m going to go with it anyway!
Still in the Big Apple, we were off to APAP, an arts conference where we could watch, see and be seen by presenters and artists from all over the world. Of course, having the lights blow out and the sound board catch fire was also memorable. (Honest…we had nothing to do with it!!!)
Valentine’s Day weekend we played Diane’s home town of London, Ontario at the Aolean Hall. It’s a lovely room with great sound and an even greater piano (Diane was very happy. And if she’s happy, so are Heather and I). The audience braved a blizzard to come out and join us and the result was a warm, cozy evening with friends – even if they didn’t walk in that way – we were all together by the end of the night.
March had us going from the Performing Arts Centre in Lakefield (with great thanks to Michael Rosen) to the Homesmith Bar, right here in Toronto – the travelling is great, but it’s always good to play a room at home!
April had us travelling again to Ajax and the St. Francis centre with its beautiful windows and great audience to the Deer Creek Golf Club to sing for Autism Ontario. That was such a satisfying gig – to be part of thea supporting cast of a great organization doing great work.
In May, we gigged at Toronto’s Soul Pepper Theatre. It’s always a kick to share the stage with folks you truly respect and whose talent is a pleasure to see and hear. We had so much fun! I think it’s the energy that’s generated when you get that special concentration of music and an audience that truly appreciates what you’re doing that makes a night magical and that is what happened.
On Mother’s Day, we were warmly welcomed at The Bloom Restaurant. Not only was the audience astute and appreciative, the meal we were served at the end of the evening was sublime. Did I mention that we Broads are fond of food? Do I need to mention that?
There’s a new venue for music in Toronto and the Broads got a chance to play our tunage at the 120 Bistro on Church Street during the Toronto International Jazz Festival. It’s fun to be in an intimate spot and really get to make the audience part of the performance.
Let’s see…we’re in July now…(my how time flies!) and singing in Niagara-on-the-Lake for their Jazz Festival. It was a great, enthusiastic audience and we had a blast. And we even got to continue the great vibes the next day when we taught our first workshop together! We’re all educators, but it was really fun to pool our experience and give our workshoppers a truly 3-dimensional experience!
Now onto our biggest event in 2016 – our new CD, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Maybe”. Yup, the Broads have made a CD of Christmas music…and stuff…..well, you can’t expect us to leave anything the way we found it! Mind you, there were more than a few songs that Diane lent her special talents to – “Breath of Heaven” is definitely one of the loveliest arrangements I know. And Heather’s version of “Christmas Angel” is so pure and sweet. And me? I got to sing one of my all-time favourites, Gordon Lightfoot’s, “Song for a Winter’s Night”. Then there’s the other Broadsway take on Christmas…”Jingle Bell Rockin'” and “Winter Wonderland” as a kick-ass Latin carol! Yeah…we just couldn’t play everything the way it was written…really!
Now think about this – it’s August, 30-plus degrees Celsius and about 200% humidity. The only sound in the quiet morning is that made by our three collective curly heads kinking up! We are at the studio of engineering wizard, Jono Grant and singing Christmas songs at the tops of our lungs – ‘like we ever sing anywhere else! I gotta’ tell you, it’s kind of an interesting head space to get into the Holiday spirit when just standing in one place makes you schvitz! Still, it’s a really fun CD and we had a blast recording it.
In November we released it at our beloved Jazz Bistro. Sybll and the gang helped to make the nights even more special by being right there cheering us on…and laughing…and well, you get the idea.
I would be remiss if I did not talk about the Friends of Broadsway. Spearheaded by Lisa Landry and Claire Lavoie, this group raised funds to cover the cost of our Symphony orchestrations. Broadsway will be performing with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra on April 2 and 3 of this year!!!! Since early summer, Diane and Heather have been working with four orchestrators to create symphonic versions of twelve pieces from our repertoire. Yes, Broadsway Bacharach has been orchestrated! We could not have funded this project on our own and are extremely grateful to: Lisa and Claire, Martha, Jennifer and Lori, Jo and Cheryl, Andrea and Deb, A. Frank, Gail R., Gwen, Liz, Heather G., Jacki, Jaki, Yvonne, Noelle and Diane, Heather B., Joan and Ann and Gail C.
The rest of the year has been a flurry (no pun intended) of great times, including Trivia contests at the MCCT (my team are the reigning champs…’just sayin’) and Heather’s annual Christmas Kitchen Party – imagine – great music – great people – great wine and great food – you just can’t get much better than that!
Well, that’s the news! It’s been a great, crazy, wonderful year full of music! If you are missing us, join us at the 120 Diner on Sunday March 6 between 5 and 7 p.m. Ticket info is on our website. Until we see you again, we thank for your ongoing support and friendship and wish all of you a New Year full of joy and love, good health and lots of laughter!
We’ll see you later!
The Broads of Broadsway
For a list of our shows and much more, please visit thebroadswayshow.com