TORONTO GOSPEL BRUNCH SERIES: It seems like music making has always been part of our family. As kids, my brother Chris Whiteley andI would make up songs and together we became avid music fans and budding musicians in the 1960’s. We began performing together in 1965 and through the years have created a large legacy of performances, recordings shared repertoire and mutual musical understanding. Scheduled appearances together are infrequent but eagerly anticipated. Diana Braithwaite,who is an award winning blues and jazz vocalist, is married to Chris and has a special way with gospel material. She brings her deep knowledge of the traditions combined with her perennial, positive attitude. Jenny Whiteley (Chris’sdaughter) is notable for her multiple JUNO wins in the Roots and Traditional category, her clear, rich vocals and her wonderful songwriting. Her husband, Joey Wright isan outstanding guitar and mandolin player who performs across North America and Europe with Jenny, leading his own ensembles or as a sidemanfor a host of others. Ben Whiteley (myson) has become one of the busiest bass players on the scene, touring over 200 dates last year with the Weather Station, Basia Bulat, Tim Baker (of Hey Rosetta), Sarah Harmer and the Good Lovelies. We began performing together 15 years ago and I’m especially happy he’ll be here because it will be the first live gig we’ll have done together all year. Allin all, it should be a great way to celebrate a December afternoon and arare chance to bask in the glow of some Whiteley family musical magic. A Whiteley Family Special on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 2pm at Hugh’s Room Live. Brunch Reservations &/or Show Tickets are now available from Hugh’s Room Live.
ON THE ROAD: I’m looking forward to joining The Sultans of String’s Christmas Caravan Tour along with guests Rebecca Campbell and Amanda Martinez for shows at the Markham Flato Theatre (Dec. 13) and Welland J.M. Ennis Auditorium (Dec. 15). Go to my Shows tab or click on Sultans of String.
IN THE RECORDING STUDIO: This summer Nik and I worked with a number of talented artists… The Afro-Métis Constitution Project, Vince Halfhide, Chris White, Lenore Elaine, Sam Broverman and Kim Wallach. I encourage you to pick up these exciting CDs from the artist’s website.
FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT: For your enjoyment here’s my newest song/video “That’s What Makes America Great”. It takes less than 2 minutes to watch. If you like it, I encourage you to share it. I had the idea and refrain line for months and then after sharing them at a solstice party the enthusiastic response gave me the energy to finish the song. May we all be encouraged to work on projects that have the potential to make our countries and our world a better place. Thanks to Liam Romalis and Mako Funasaka who jumped on my ideas for the video and made it happen.