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1917: The trenches, a musical cradle

A full house at l'Alliance française de Toronto this past November, celebrating the Centenary of the First World War and the introduction of jazz to the French, thanks to African-American soldiers who brought it with them via the trenches. Our set was mostly in French, celebrating jazz in Canada's two official languages. Please go to my "video" page for a sample tune from that night.

Merci encore une fois à la communauté francophone et francophile de Toronto!

https://www.alliance-francaise.ca/en/culture/concerts/1917-tranchees-en

 With Eric St-Laurent & Rachel Melas at L'Alliance française de Toronto, November 10, 2017

With Eric St-Laurent & Rachel Melas at L'Alliance française de Toronto, November 10, 2017

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An ice pop named "Alouette"

Augie's Ice Pops is Janet Dimond's labour of love and Toronto's finest retailers, markets and festivals have embraced her product with open arms. Her ice pops use all natural ingredients, along with local and tropical juices. This summer Janet came up with the idea of an Artist's Series and I was invited to participate. I designed a popsicle based on the colours or my album "Alouette" and lo and behold the Alouette-sicle was born! Stay tuned for September, when you will be invited to vote on the best Artist Series popsicle. Thanks Janet!

http://www.augiesicepops.com/event/the-artist-series/

 

 Checking out the "Alouette-sicle" post-run at the Leslieville Market.

Checking out the "Alouette-sicle" post-run at the Leslieville Market.

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Promotion "Alouette" at the CBC!

A busy morning at CBC Radio 99.1 and CBC Radio-Canada!

Recorded an interview with Eli Glasner for "Fresh Air", then did a TV interview with "Téléjournal's" very own Kevin Sweet AND met with "Big City Small World's" Errol Nazareth, 'cause he's also going to play my tunes! Lots of love for "Alouette"!

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Promoting "Alouette"

First day of interviews for the promotion of my new album "Alouette". Thank-you to Guillaume Lorin of ChoqFM for the interview and "live" session with my guitarist Eric St-Laurent.

Première journée d'entrevues pour la promotion de mon nouvel album "Alouette". Merci à Guillaume Lorin à ChoqFM pour l'entrevue et la session "live" avec mon guitariste Eric St-Laurent.

http://choqfm.ca/chronique/session-acoustique-envoutante-joanne-morra-accompagnee-eric-saint-laurent-choqfm-105-1/

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Another year end...

Looks like the blog has been suffering a bit, but that's because I've been too busy making music! So here's a post before the year ends... On December 8th I was invited to sing with Matt Morgan and the Mayday (minus Matt Morgan) at the Great Gulf Homes Holiday Party at the Liberty Grand. Felt like I was cheating on my band, but it was worth every second, even met a fellow Morra in the crowd. I love doing these types of shows, the audience is always so appreciative.

To end, I'd like to wish everyone a gentler, kinder, more generous 2017. May we slow down enough to realize that we need so much less than we want, and that others need so much more than they have. May we be more respectful towards our planet, towards our fellow citizens, and to all life forms. Please spay-neuter your pets. 

Paix et amour. xojo

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Belly button birthday and a new year.

2016 started with a fabulous gig on my birthday, exciting changes to our repertoire, and some time in the recording studio. I'm chuffed with the new shift that's evolving, and am intrigued by the possibilities that lie ahead. Come along for the ride, we're a hoot to hang with and hopefully a delight to your musical senses. Bonne année à tous. Paix et amour. xo

 Birthday girl, 2016

Birthday girl, 2016

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December spectacular at Gate 403

This performance year ended on a really sweet note with this gig. I was accompanied by the ridiculously talented Eric St-Laurent on guitar, and Rachel Melas on bass. We played to a full house of happy patrons (thanks to a 60th birthday party), positive vibrations abounded. It was a blast. Thanks for a great year everyone! Merci!

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Tiffany & Sean's wedding

On July 11th, 2015 we performed at the rustic wedding of Tiffany and Sean Arnfinson, at Ball's Falls Conservation Area. 

“As I waked down the aisle, our ceremony was started with a beautiful rendition of At Last, sang by Joanne, accompanied by a two piece band.  She then continued to entertain our guests throughout cocktail hour with sultry jazz, both in French and English, a component my bilingual family adored! Joanne added an incredibly special and personal element to our wedding day that will always be remembered. “  Tiffany & Sean Arnfinson.  Photos by LVImagery.

 w/ Rachel Melas & Jeff Hewer. Photo by LVImagery

w/ Rachel Melas & Jeff Hewer. Photo by LVImagery

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True Stories Live at The Garrison

This event rocked me out of my comfort zone! An amazing night of storytellers (including yours truly), led by the incredibly talented and vivacious Marsha Shandur.

Check out this amazing event at www.truestoriestoronto.com

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TD Toronto Jazz Festival 2015

This year I was fortunate enough to do two shows as a part of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival!

 At Relish w/ Kurt Lund, Rachel Melas, Jeff Hewer and Phil Myers

At Relish w/ Kurt Lund, Rachel Melas, Jeff Hewer and Phil Myers

 Design by Evelyn Roitner, 2015

Design by Evelyn Roitner, 2015

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Spring Into Parkdale Festival 2015

 w/ Jeff Hewer and Rachel Melas

w/ Jeff Hewer and Rachel Melas

What better way to start the summer season than with some gigs in my favourite Toronto neighbourhood, Parkdale. A big thanks to the organizers of the "Spring Into Parkdale Festival", the Parkdale Village BIA and Duggan's Brewery.

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Book launch at Heliconian Hall

On November 22nd, my quartet performed at Heliconian Hall in Yorkville for the launch of Dr. Vera Tarman's new book "Food Junkies". Pretty sure it'll be hitting the bestseller list, look out for it... As for the venue, the acoustics were outstanding, the Steinway was in tune, there was a working fireplace, and the rose window let in the light of the Gods. A wonderful wintery afternoon.

Here's what Vera had to say about us:

'Who is that band? Where did you find them?'.... These were comments I was asked repeatedly at my book launch. Joanne and her band lifted the whole event into a happy spirited vibe.... there was great chemistry between the band and the audience, Joanne's singing, and the band made this once-in-a-lifetime event a truly joyful memory.

 

 With Dr. Vera Tarman, author of "Food Junkies"

With Dr. Vera Tarman, author of "Food Junkies"

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A Night to Remember

A week ago we had the pleasure of performing at a private party in Port Credit. The hosts were generous and gracious, and they spared no expense when it came to celebrating in style, including flying in their favourite chef from Whistler (which made us feel all the more honoured to take part). Truly a night to remember!

Here is what the hosts had to say about us:

On November 1, 2014 we celebrated my 70th birthday in style with a seven course tasting menu dinner prepared for 40 guests by an excellent chef at our home. Joanne Morra entertained us for most of this three hour meal with soothing jazz and blues in both official languages. She was instrumental in creating and maintaining the ambiance one would expect in a 5 Star restaurant or an exclusive resort. Many guests commented on her excellent choice of songs and flawless delivery. We couldn’t have made a better choice for entertainment on this very special day. 

Thank you Joanne,

Klaus and Irene Buechner

 w/ Jeff Hewer and Rachel Melas

w/ Jeff Hewer and Rachel Melas

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4th Annual Music Fundraiser for Nikibasika

On Saturday July 26th, I performed along with other local bands at a fundraiser for the Nikibasika Development Program in Uganda. This is an amazing program that supports orphaned and vulnerable youth in Uganda by providing them with food, shelter, education and training.  For more information about the organization go to http://www.nikibasika.ca/

Another great way to get involved is with the Triadventure, go to http://www.triforafrica.org/ for more details.

Big thank-you to Lisa Hipgrave (board member with Nikibasika and Triadventure co-chair) and Suzanne Porter (host of the Music Fundraiser for Nikibasika) for inviting us to perform.

Peace!

 Suzanne Porter, me and Lisa Hipgrave

Suzanne Porter, me and Lisa Hipgrave

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