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The entire SongStudio gang (2015) spots a hook somewhere in the sky

As well as making my own music and producing recordings for other people, I have been producing musical events for decades, including six annual coast-to-coast Bluebird North multi-songwriter concert tours (2002 – 2007), and 12 annual summertime songwriting workshops (2005 – present), called SongStudio, held every July in Toronto at the Royal Conservatory of Music.ss2015-lm-avery31

Booking songwriting, performing and coaching talent—people like Andy Kim, Kardinall Offishall, Snow, Ron Sexsmith, Lynn Miles, Jules Shear, Tal Bachman, Melanie Doane, Bruce Cockburn, Russell DeCarle, Jane Siberry, John Mann (Spirit of the West), Emm Gryner, Sylvia Tyson, Dan Hill, Neil Osborne (54:40), Bill DeMain, Ed Robertson (barenaked ladies), Steven Page (ex-barenaked ladies), Choclair, and many others—is only part of the job; successful venue rentals, production coordination, travel arrangements and so on, are some more of my responsibilities.

 

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Bluebird North, Ottawa, 2005 (L-R: Haydain Neale, Tom Wilson)
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Bluebird North, Ottawa, 2005 (Stephen Fearing)

In the late 1990s, I took over producing the Bluebird North in Toronto, a songwriters-in-a-row-telling-stories event held at various venues around the city (currently hosted by the Royal Conservatory of Music). Booking three or four notable songwriters for each show is my ongoing challenge, though the enduring popularity of the event indicates the Bluebird North has become a Toronto institution. (Update: Spring 2017 — after more than 20 years, for a variety of reasons, Bluebird North will be changing its name to Songbird North.)

PICTURES FROM THE 2015/2016 BLUEBIRD NORTH TORONTO SEASON:

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Justin Nozuka & Blair Packham
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Carlos Morgan, Justin Nozuka, Lisa Dalbello, Blair Packham
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James Keelaghan, Scott Moffat, Paige Armstrong, Shakura S’Aida, Blair Packham
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Steven Page & Craig Northey
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Rik Emmett, Selina Martin, Lori Yates, Blair Packham
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Shakura S’Aida, accompanied by Paige Armstrong