With half of the summer still remaining, Toronto has been a hot bed of live music and free concerts everywhere. While celebrating the annual summer music festivals (Luminato, TD Jazz, Beaches Jazz Festival) the city is also running a series of free, live concerts called Panamania 2015 in conjunction with the Pan Am games (which have just concluded).
But it isn't over just yet. The Parapan Am games will be taking place August 7th-15th which means lots more music to take in. July saw the likes of Wyclef Jean, Serena Ryder, Sergio Mendes and Tessanne Chin (to name a few). I had the opportunity to take in her concert and it was fantastic. If you get the opportunity to see her live then I highly recommend it. For the Parapan Am games there will be concerts given by The Roots, Jann Arden, Janelle Monáe and 3 Winans Brothers (with loads more music that I just don't have time to list). And among these names are bands from all over the world as well as our own back yard. Toronto is doing a fantastic job representing itself on the World (or at least this half of the World) stage while hosting the games and it's taking the opportunity to showcase what it has to offer. You have eight more days to take in what's left of this wonderful series. Go out and enjoy! For performance listings: https://panamv3prod.s3.amazonaws.com/system/asset_pdfs/4996/original/panamania-daily-calendar-nps.pdf
o those of you who know me, you know how much I've talked about wanting to make it on my own terms. Trying to maintain a sense of self and integrity while still giving the people, the industry, what they want can be very difficult. I've always hoped that any success I would garner would be from the fruits of my original music; the lifetime a craft-honing, blood, sweat and tears. I've been at this for a while now and I'm finally starting to realize, "this is really frickin' hard to pull off!!!". Of course this isn't news to me but maybe after all the years of denial, it starts to seep in. That being said, I've decided that, while still trying to maintain my sense of self and integrity, I'm going to do WHATEVER it takes to be seen and heard. And to date, this has come in the form of a singing competition. In February of this year, I made a submission to the Avon Voices Global Talent Search. A chance to be heard by a panel of celebrity judges like Diane Warren, Fergie, Sheila E., David Pack and Natasha Bedingfield (to name a few), to perform the newly penned Avon Anthem alongside said judges and most importantly the opportunity to record an album...State-side. Who wouldn't be excited about a chance like this? It was a shot in the dark but has turned out to be an amazing ride to date. From the over 6000+ video submission made worldwide, I have moved through the competition, from Rounds 1 and 2, to the Semi-Finals. This has been an exciting time for me: I've traveled to Nashville where I met some of the other contenders, received makeovers and filmed our round 1 & 2 video performances with some amazingly talented television and film industry people. This most recent round had me traveling to Hollywood, California where we: filmed the semi-final and final video performances again with the cream of the crop in Hollywood's film/television industry. performed with a band comprised of music elite musicians (Patrice Rushen, John Peña, Ricky Lawson, David Pack & Tom Brooks), had a high fashion photo shoot with photographer-to-the-stars Cameron Regan, received professional vocal/performance coaching from songwriter/producer David Pack and Latin Grammy winning artist Maia. The highlight for me, however, was meeting and performing for Percussion and drummer extraordinaire, Ms. Sheila E. The whole trip was unforgettable. So here we are in the middle of the Semi-Final round. Online voting will end August 26th. I'm the only Canadian left in the competition seeking support from fellow Canadians and music lovers alike. I'm looking to make this happen. Avon Voices is looking for the next singing sensation. I believe I have what it takes to see this through to the end. Do you? Please register and vote at: www.AvonVoices.com. Thank you all for your support!
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for helping to make the CD release party a success! It was wonderful seeing so many of your smiling faces again. Everyone on stage really kept it together (shout-outs to Joe, Dane, Melissa, Wendy and Kim - you guys were so tight!).
This is going to be a year to remember. We have lots planned and the release of the album ("Bad Weather") is just the beginning. Of course, being an independent artist doesn't necessarily mean that you're doing this alone. So, with you're help, we can really make this something major. Spread the word everybody. Stop in and drop me a line and let me know what's on your mind. Or maybe just check in for an update or a listen to some music. And if you're feeling so inclined, bring a friend! (The more the merrier)
Again, thank you. Stay tuned for more updates...
All the best to you, Selena