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Australia Post, 1st edition!

Our first day off of tour today!  I mean, don’t get me wrong, we’re totally living the dream here, with amazing performances, loads of interviews for radio and print, and getting to see and experience new things and new people every day, but we went straight into it right off the plane, so we’re tired!

So far we’ve performed around Victoria, with shows in Geelong, at several venues in Melbourne and at Yackandandah Folk Festival which was incredible.  Here’s some of what’s been going on:

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Arrived and were picked up by our tour-mate Marta Pacek in her fancy tour van!  My koto in its case barely fit, but we made it work.

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Our first show was at The Espy in St Kilda in Melbourne

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The next day we got to the beach and went for our first swim of tour!  It was windy but beautiful, and the locals were not touching the water, thinking it was too cold, but I’m used to the ocean on the west coast of Canada, so it seemed perfect to me!

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That night we drove to Geelong and played at Beav’s Bar with Isabella Khalife and Pat and Gem.  It was a beautiful intimate show.

Then we headed to Yackandandah Folk Festival!

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We played the main stage both nights, and also an acoustic performance at The Court House (shown below, courtesy of @knightstickc) and kicked off the Earth Hour celebrations totally unplugged in front of many hundreds of listeners!

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And we saw old friends like Scott Cook and made new friends, like the members of the awesome band Oh Pep, and some llamas:

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We’ve played twice more in Melbourne since the fest, both awesome at Elwood Food & Wine and The Retreat Hotel, and tomorrow we’re off to Bendigo, Castlemaine, Wangaratta and then out of Victoria to Canberra.

We’re posting all sorts of fun stuff on instagram (@thejessicastuartfew) and facebook (/jessicastuartfew) and twitter (@jessstuartfew), so please follow us there for insider info.  Als0, we’ve been all over ABC, PBS and community radio, as well as articles in The Beat, The Music, The Brag, and many more, so please keep your eyes peeled.

Thanks as always for staying in touch, and keep spreading the word, lovelies!
xoxoxox from Australia,
Jessica

‘Songs Are Like Tattoos’ – Joni Mitchell Tribute/Saturday, March 7

When I moved to Toronto from BC in 2008, I got wind of the Annual Joni Mitchell Tribute at Hugh’s Room and dreamed of being on the roster.  Joni has always been a huge inspiration ever since I heard Blue  for the first time; one of the four records in my parents’ extensive collection that weren’t classical, musical theatre or world music.  Being invited to join the bill this year, I can’t explain how excited I was to have a reason to get together a koto arrangement of one of my favourite Joni songs, and be on stage with the fantastic Mia Sheard (who also has recorded some back-ups for the new record, by the way!).

So this is my last major gig in town before our Australian adventure, and by the time we return, the leaves will be greener, and the only white I see will be in the new blooms peeking out at me.  So, lovers of Joni, please join us on Saturday, March 7 at Hugh’s Room for an incredible roster of artists doing a tribute to Joni Mitchell.  This show sells out every year, so I recommend buying tickets asap!  It is an all ages show, fyi  (Ticket link HERE)

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SO, maybe it’s my moment in the tribute show circuit!  I also played Hugh’s Room in November at the Tom Waits tribute put on by Michael Wrycraft, and just got my hands on a copy of an article that ran in the Nikkei Voice last month by Mel Tsuji.  Here’s a photo by Robert Saxe from the event, and the article below.

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And the article:

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Torontonians -hope to see you this weekend! Australians – see you in two weeks!
xo
jessica

2015 Australia Tour Announcement!

It is with immense excitement that we can officially announce our amazing Australian 2015 Tour dates!  This tour has been in the works for 12 months, and is finally around the corner, running from March 17 – April 12, 2015, much of it on a co-bill with lovely Australian songstress Marta Pacek.

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We’re thrilled to have Yackandandah Folk Festival (VIC) and Fairbridge Festival (WA) on our tour itinerary this year as well as dates throughout Victoria, New South Wales and  Western Australia.  Check out our complete tour itinerary below:

The Jessica Stuart Few + Marta Pacek Australian Autumn Tour 2015!

Wednesday, March 18  – The Esplanade Hotel, St Kilda VIC

Thursday, March 19 – Beav’s Bar, Geelong VIC

Friday, March 20 & Saturday, March 21Yackandandah Folk Festival, VIC **HEADLINERS**

Sunday, March 22 – Elwood Food & Wine, VIC

Monday, March 23 – The Retreat Hotel, Brunswick VIC

Wednesday, March 25  – The Music Man w/Bentley & Steph, Oscar Lavista, Bendigo VIC

Thursday, March 26 – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine VIC

Friday, March 27 – The Vine Hotel, Wangaratta VIC

Saturday, March 28  – B-block hall, Gorman Arts Centre, presented by CMC, Canberra ACT

Sunday, March 29 – The Rum Bar (3-6PM), Kingston ACT

Wednesday, April 01 – Shirt Bar (5-8pm), Sydney NSW

Thursday, April 02 - The Royal Exchange, Newcastle NSW

Friday, April 03 – The Great Northern Trading Post, Laguna NSW

Saturday, April 04 – Django Bar, Marrickville NSW

Tuesday, April 07 – The Ellington, Perth WA

Wednesday, April 08 – House Concert, Mt Hawthorn WA (reserve: mellie1@iinet.net.au)

Thursday, April 09 – Four5Nine Bar w/Katey Brooks, Tashi Hall, James Atles, North Perth, WA

Friday, April 10 Sunday, April 12 Fairbridge Music Festival, Fairbridge WA

Please help us spread the word to your Australian friends and family!  This is The Jessica Stuart Few’s debut tour of Australia, and we hope it will be the first of many :)  If you know anyone involved with music journalism through print, internet, radio or tv, please send them our way also!  (Tour press release below for those of you interested)

ALSO, I’ve been really keen on taking photos lately, and our instragram account has a lot of insider pics & vids of our recording process and always has tons of great tour photos when we hit the road.  (Also, facebook and twitter too!)

xo
jessica

THE JESSICA STUART FEW (CANADA) & MARTA PACEK (AUS)

2015 AUSTRALIAN TOUR

Wafting through the Autumn air this March/April will be the sounds of Alt Folk singer-songwriter MARTA PACEK and Canadian Folk/Jazz power trio THE JESSICA STUART FEW, co-headlining their first Australian tour together.

If you have never witnessed a Japanese 13-stringed harp (Koto) in action, then let Canada’s award winning Indie Folk/Jazz trio THE JESSICA STUART FEW show you how it’s done. Living in Japan as a child and growing up with a Koto master for a mother, Jessica’s innovative take on the instrument has put traditional Asian sounds next to double bass, drums & three-part harmonies in a compelling contemporary singer-songwriter context. Stuart’s beguiling vocals and signature songwriting (often compared to that of Joni Mitchell), coupled with The JS Few’s upbeat fusion of folk, soul, jazz & rock has seen the trio gain worldwide critical acclaim – garnering rave reviews, international airplay, a Top 40 single (Don’t Ya) in Japan and numerous awards.  Renowned for their dynamic live performances, The Jessica Stuart Few have graced the main stages of Festivals in Canada, Japan, Germany & USA, and have performed alongside the likes of Jamie Cullum, Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Bruce Cockburn and members of The Barenaked Ladies among others.  Be sure to keep an ear out for the exclusive Australian pre-release of their infectious new single What Is It For, a sneak peak of what to expect from their late 2015 album.

“It’s a rare album that comes along that truly sounds unique and independent of the rest. Toronto’s The Jessica Stuart Few gave me one of those WTF moments, stopping me in my tracks for a good, close listen…  Stuart has a gorgeous voice, pure and expressive… All that, and the distinctive koto playing, a blend not heard anywhere else.”  Bob Mersereau (CBC Music)

Over the last few years, Canberra’s MARTA PACEK has drifted between North America and Australia with her guitar, the “modern day gypsy” delighting audiences with songs from her debut album Rebel Baby, and 2014’s Voodoo Dolls and False Alarms.   ‘Voodoo Dolls…’ features Marta’s heartfelt & wistful Alt folk / country offerings andwas produced by Brooklyn’s Brad Albetta (Martha Wainwright, Angus & Julia Stone, Glen Hansard).  Its Australian release saw first single ‘Nothing Going On’ added to DIG/Double J & the Country Music Channel’s ‘Alt Country’ slot, along with community radio airplay, favourable reviews & ABC Radio live performances.  After beginning her career writing, recording & touring with Mark Seymour, Marta has gone on to win various music awards and secure worldwide TV & film placements.  Live, this lady will have you under her spell when she takes to the stage.  To coincide with the upcoming tour, Marta will release her new single & video Sometimes You Lose (lifted off her latest album Voodoo Dolls and False Alarms). 

“(Pacek’s) fine voice will capture you right away, and she has the songs to match up with the best.”  Bob Mersereau (Veteran Canadian Broadcaster/CBC Music)