LIVELab Hybrid Concert Series 2023-2024
Laila Biali - Wintersongs & Holiday Classics
with Jane Bunnett (flute), Rebekah Wolkstein (violin), Shannon Knights (viola), Naomi Barron (cello), Dan Fortin (bass), Ben Wittman (drums)
Following a triumphant near sold-out premiere at Toronto’s Koerner Hall in 2022, Laila Biali brings Wintersongs & Holiday Classics across Canada. This offering features winter-inspired original material alongside thrilling arrangements of beloved secular and sacred classics, inviting audiences of all ages and tastes into an enchanted experience of snow-swept landscapes, twinkling lights, and the magic of the holiday season.
Laila’s live show is eclectic and energetic, a true representation of her on and off stage. Melodies take thrilling left turns and pre-choruses give way to instrumental interludes. One minute Biali is soaring over a bluesy storm of handclaps and hard-charging keyboard riffs, the next she is pouring out her soul on an impassioned ballad. It’s jazz, it’s pop, it can’t be put into a box but it’s beautiful.
In-person and LIVEStreamed from the LIVELab
Friday, December 8 2023
7:30 PM ET
Doors open at 7:00 PM
Multi award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter, pianist and CBC Music national radio host Laila Biali has headlined festivals and venues spanning five continents from New York City’s Carnegie Hall to Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, and supported international icon Sting. In 2020, Laila was honoured by SOCAN Music with the Hagood Hardy Award for Excellence in Songwriting. In 2019, Laila’s eponymous release won her a JUNO (Canada’s GRAMMY) for “Vocal Jazz Album of the Year.” The year prior, she was awarded top prize at the Canadian Songwriting Competition in the Jazz category. Laila was also the youngest-ever double winner at Canada’s National Jazz Awards when she was named “SOCAN Composer of the Year” and “Keyboardist of the Year.” She received her first JUNO nomination for Tracing Light (2011), and a spot on DownBeat Magazine’s “Best Albums of the Year” for Live in Concert (2013) and Out of Dust (2020). In September of 2017, Laila was brought on as the host for CBC Music’s national radio show, Saturday Night Jazz, a weekly show broadcast to listeners across Canada. While Laila continues to earn high honours in the Jazz world, her signature sound transcends genre as she “masterfully mixes jazz and pop, bringing virtuosity and unpredictability to songs that are concise and catchy” (Washington Post). Laila’s highly anticipated album, Out of Dust, which features multiple GRAMMY nominees and winners including Lisa Fischer, Alan Ferber, John Ellis, and Larnell Lewis, released March 27, 2020 and was also nominated for a 2021 JUNO Award.
“Biali provides the positive, come-together messaging we need in these challenging times.” – Parade Magazine
“Masterfully mixes jazz and pop, bringing virtuosity and unpredictability to songs that are concise and catchy” – The Washington Post
“A keyboard virtuoso with a distinctive sultry voice – intimate and emotional.” – Toronto Star “Accomplished and brave … a gifted player and natural risk taker” – Exclaim! (CA)
“Mellifluous vocals, dynamic pianism and hook-laden songs” – Jazzwise (UK)
Listen to Laila Biali – “Joy to the World” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yagp7xmHyr8
This concert will be LIVEstreamed and video recorded
This concert is generously supported by incite Foundation for the Arts, McMaster University Alumni and TD Insurance, Marsales Real Estate and Long & McQuade Musical Instruments