Playtime! 

It's been an incredible month so far - kicked off June at Field Trip Music Festival watching Thundercat, Feist, and our pals Bernice weave gorgeous sound quilts, and it's time to acknowledge that spring is finally here to stay!

Thundercat mind melted many at Field Trip Festival, myself included. 

Let's talk about what's upcoming for The JSFew:

  • RONCY ROCKS main stage, Saturday, June 17th, 2pm, free!
  • Taste of Italy Festival, College Street, Sunday, June 18th.  I'm playing on a killer bill at JUNE Records at 1:30pm (solo set!)

And, excited to be playing the Toronto Jazz Fest again on June 29th - details to follow.  Western Canadian friends - news for you too...  keep checkin' in, please!

Our epic 'Same Girl' music vid is still in production (stop-motion is so time consuming, but soooo worth it), so we're shooting 1-2 days most weekends, and I'm having a fun time playing as a side-gal in a bunch of projects with cool things coming up (i.e. Idioteque - OK Computer 20th Anniversary, Civil Wray CD Release Tour - Eastern Canada & hitting a stride with incredible singer/songwriter Lizzie Lyon), so do keep your eyes peeled!

More behind the scenes with KAJART shooting our epic music vid for 'Same Girl'.

K - keep checking in, loves, and have an amazing weekend!
xo
jessica

Music Video Shoot bts & Canadian Songwriting Contest Winner's announcement! 

I don't know about you, but I always get really excited about larger scale creative projects.  Take for instance, this super elaborate stop-motion video I'm doing with KAJART for the song "Same Girl" from our latest album - I think we've done between 35-40 hours of shooting so far, and have another 50 at least to go!  BUT, the technique we're doing is so cool that it's absolutely worth it.  And I've never shied away from a challenge before! (Remember our very first music video for "Kid Dream" which was made up of 2800 drawings by 80 people? Yup.  Kinda my MO.) Needless to say, my legs are getting quite the workout while standing perfectly still in various squats on a skateboard.. (scroll to the bottom of the post for pics!)

BUT here's the big news of the day!  The Canadian Songwriting Competition announced it's winners, and although my song "Shame On You" did not win the big prize, it did get an honourable mention from among the finalists and that's huge! (Woot woot!)  I've been told time and time again by Canadian media that I do not fit in the box when it comes to musical genre, and to be honest, it's put me out of contention for the major canadian music prizes that acknowledge the work of my deserving contemporaries.  The problem is that JUNO awards, for instance, are separated in genre-based categories, and my latest album just doesn't really belong in any of them neatly.  As expressed by a JUNO juror after he heard the band perform at a music conference in 2014, "Well, you're not really Rock, and you're not really Jazz, and you wouldn't fit in Adult Alternative or Roots.  But they were talking about making a category called 'Out Of The Box', and you'd fit there." Me: "Oh really? Will that category be starting next year?" Him: "Nah, I don't think so."   SO, unfortunately, this leaves me and other less categorizable creators unacknowledgable in these situations, which is why an Honourable Mention in the Canadian Songwriting Competition makes me very happy.  Thank you CSC for the shout out - I really appreciate it!  And a huge congrats to my pal Elizabeth Shepherd whose classic track "Seven Bucks" won the title.  Elizabeth was a part of The Passage actually - contributing Rhodes to a few tunes and joining me on lead vocals on "Without You".  Listen to Elizabeth & I HERE

Back in Graffiti Alley again!  We've actually been shooting all over Toronto, but definitely a high volume of hours here. :)
Taravat & Kajeh of KAJART setting everything up just so at one of our 150 shoot locations while i act like a delinquent kid.
And this gorgeous gal is Cassie Campbell who is our Make Up and Hair Wizard. (Is it just me, or do i feel like we could be in some hip hair commercial here?)
 
I post lots of great behind the scenes pics of life on instagram these days, so feel free to follow me there to see it in real-time. My Instagrammmm

Thanks for reading, loves.  Have a gorgeous day and feel free to comment or share or ignore. :)
xo
jessica

Finalist in the 2017 Canadian Songwriting Competition! 

Lots of fun news!  Here's the main gist of it:
  • Music Video Production for "Same Girl" Has Begun!  The amazing folks at KAJART and I started shooting what will likely be our most elaborate video ever!  It's stop motion, but a particular technique I've never seen before, and just to give you an idea about how much time it really takes - our second day of shoot took 11 or so hours, shooting in 90 locations (yes, 90!), and we came out with 13 seconds of footage.  YUP. that's a labour of love.  Shoot days #3, #4, #5 happen this weekend!  Listen to "Same Girl" HERE
In Graffiti Alley at the start of the shoot day - it was colder than we thought!
 
  • "Shame On You" a Finalist in the Canadian Songwriting Competition!  A couple posts ago I was super excited to find out that three of my songs from the latest album, The Passage made it to the semi-finals, and now I'm in the finals!  I don't know when the results will be announced, but either way, it's a honour to be recognized for my writing, and alongside a bunch of great songwriters/composers (many of whom are friends of mine!). Listen to "Shame On You" HERE
     
  • Live in Toronto!  As you know, we haven't been playing locally that often BUT, we've got some cool stuff coming up in the next month or two that you should know about:  Wed, May 24 @ Castro's Lounge - intimate 2 set gig in The Beaches, 9-11pm, pwyc.  Or if you're a foodie, we're performing at the Ontario Culinary Festival at Ontario Place on Mon, May 22 from noon-1pm, and it's free and all ages.  AND, very excited to have been invited back to the Toronto Jazz Festival next month - details to follow. :)
Toronto Jazz Festival 2013 (or 2014?) in the Distillery. Photo by Marian Dragiev.

Have a gorgeous week, everyone, and hope you get to enjoy the outdoors!
xo
jessica

Canadian Music Week 2017! 

Happy Canadian Music Week!  Tons of artists from out of town arriving in Toronto right now, and some of my favourite locals will be playing their latest around the city.  There will be parties, and lots of panels and conference-y stuff during the days, AND me & my bandmates Liam Smith and Steve Foster get to play together for the first time since our China tour! Our showcase is this Friday, April 21st at Supermarket on Augusta Ave in Kensington Market and it's the first JSFew show in Toronto in 6 months (holy crow, yup it is), so if you missed our last, better get your little tush to this one!

CMW and NXNE aren't known for their perfect bill pairings, but I was hugely impressed with our Friday night line-up: soulful singer-songwriter, Chad Price, a groovy Irish band called BARQ and The JSFew. Yes! It's an early gig, 8-11pm and we're on last at 10pm, so see you there?

Here's a little trip down memory lane, photo by Robert Saxe from CMW 2013 (with bandmates Tony Nesbitt-Larking & Dan Fortin):

I plan to go to a bizillion shows (k, maybe some exaggeration there..), and giving my show reviews also, so if you want to know what's good, I recommend keeping in touch on instagram, as it's my main poison ( @thejessicastuartfew). 

See you round town!
xo
jessica

Canadian Songwriting Competition Semi-Finals! 

SO, this past week has been a bit of a thrill - aside from crossing "climb the CN Tower" off my bucket list, I found out that 3 of my songs made it to the semi-finals of the Canadian Songwriting Competition! Something particularly cool about the 3 songs that made it through, is that in Canada, my music is often not considered "mainstream" enough to be heard anywhere but campus/community radio or CBC Radio 1 (and geez, do I love CBC and campus radio!), although it certainly doesn't have the same problem in other countries we tour to. (For instance, did you know that our last album's single, "Don't Ya" made to the Top 40 charts in Japan in 2013?  Of the semi-finals selected songs, one of them, "Same Girl" was chosen in the Pop category, so that's a victory for me!  The other two were in the Jazz/Soul category, which is also great, because of the amazing company my songs get to keep there (alongside Elizabeth Shepherd, Myriad3, Amanda Tosoff etc).

Anyhow, do you wanna hear those songs?  

1. Pop semi-finalist, Same Girl 
2. Jazz/Soul semi-finalist, Shame On You (featuring live-off-the-floor vocal harmonies with Michelle Willis & Jocelyn Barth)
3. Jazz/Soul semi-finalist, Passage, and we made a video for it that came out a few months ago, so I'll post that at the end.

Winners announced next month!

LAST NEWS for the moment - you might have noticed that we play more outside the country than we do in Toronto these days, so our local shows are Few and far between (oops!  Totally unintentional capitalizing of 'Few', but i'll leave it be..), SO we are super stoked to be playing Canadian Music Week for the manyth time, but have an awesome slot on Friday, April 21st at 10pm at Supermarket with some great co-bills, Chad Price and BARQ (nice work, CMW!  These festivals are not known for the cohesion in their line-ups, but totally nailed it this time!).  SO, whoever's gonna be in Toronto, we hope to see you then. 

Enjoy the vid, like/share/comment liberally, and thanks for reading, lovelies. xo

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