As I write this, I am sitting on the floor of my new apartment in Boston. That's right - back for year two! After an amazing summer working at a camp for special needs children, songwriting and soaking up the sun I'm ready to jump head first into my third semester at Berklee College of Music. I just wanted to update the masses on a couple new and exciting things!
First of all I would like to address your attention to the fact that my hometown, Salt Spring Island, hosted its very first music festival on August 8-9th 2015! I was extremely happy to be asked to play on the main stage with my newly formed band. The entire festival was incredible - the venue was full of food and garlic vendors, smiling faces and amazing musicians sharing their craft. I have no doubt that this festival will continue to take place every year and lift the spirits of all those who attend and perform.
Stay tuned - footage from my performance will be released very soon and I will attach some photos from the festival below. For more information on the Salt Spring Garlic & Music Festival click on this link: http://saltspringgarlicfestival.com/
Second of all, I just want to clarify that by saying this I am not making any promises... but being back in Beantown means music, music, music! My new school year's resolution is this - to record a new album. That's right folks, after tooooooo long I am buckling down and releasing some tunes! The details have not yet been figured out and the process has yet to begin, but be prepared! How could I possibly study songwriting without sharing my creations with you?
This year brings a new and exciting chapter in my life. Thank you again to everyone that has helped me to come back and live my dream in Boston.
In spirit of the closing of my second semester at Berklee College of Music, I'm here to speak about the amazing experience I've been blessed with this year. There are no words that can possibly express my gratitude, and I can say with complete honesty that these past seven months have changed my life in an extremely positive way.
I came to Berklee to study songwriting, and that's exactly what I'm doing. I declared my major halfway through my first semester and have been inspired by all of my peers and professors ever since. The opportunities that have presented themselves since I moved across the continent to pursue my dream are endless. I've made great and supportive friends, recorded original songs and covers, gone to amazing performances, filmed videos and got a job working on the Berklee stage crew - all while maintaining a GPA of 3.8.
I would be lying if I told you that it's easy. My days consist of running to and from class, consuming an unhealthy amount of coffee, working shifts at different venues around campus and trying to remember to eat in between it all. Some may look at this as stressful, but I can't imagine doing anything else. This is where I want to be.
As you may or may not know - this year Boston had an insanely cold and snowy winter. We were gifted with almost 100 inches of snow between January and February of 2015, and of course there was 'Juno'. The record breaking blizzard that hit the city in mid-January. Coming from BC where it's cool and rainy, I certainly wasn't ready for the -25 degree (celcius) weather and 50-80mph winds but I did enjoy cozying up in my room with some hot chocolate and Netflix.
Anyway, I just wanted to remind you all that I'm still alive and well and inspired! Stay tuned for some upcoming projects and new material. I've attached some photos of my neighbourhood in Boston to please your eyes.
Sending love and East Coast vibes. x
PS. I have a new instagram account for all of my musical endeavours. Feel free to follow! @phoenixlazaremusic
SaViOuR sKiN (Daddy!)
My father passed down his musicianship to me. He is the one who gave me all of my inspiration and knowledge of the art, and has created some of the most powerful songs I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. You may argue that this is my bias opinion, but all I know is when I hear his voice on the tracks I instantly fall into a puddle of tears.
Christopher Lazare has just released an album under the project name, 'SaViOuR sKiN' entitled "Love Stands". If you ask me, there are no two words that could be more appropriate to portray what the album means. This selection of 14 songs is close to my heart - not only because they are written and arranged by my own father - but because I've been listening to some of these pieces since I was a child.
My personal favourite, 'Sufi Joined a Yoga Class' has been ringing in my ears since we lived in my childhood home. Daddy would sing the song around the house, just him and an acoustic guitar, every single day. I had probably memorized the lyrics by the time I was eight years old. Being able to watch this song grow from a simple idea into a well-written, well-recorded track complete with acoustic guitar, bass, drums, vocals and violin has been a blessing.
My father is not one to disappoint when it comes to all things music. His lyrics are simple and powerful. You could bottle up his musicianship and throw it into the ocean but still be able to feel the emotion in your bones. The album is available on iTunes and CD Baby, along with a FREE download of one of the songs, 'Esoteric Geometry Part Two', on the project website.
Take a moment to buy and listen to my father's beautiful music, it is well worth your time.
Long time no see! I know it's been a while since I've updated this blog, although I'd like to think I have good reasons. As some of you may know, this past year (my final year of high school) I applied and auditioned for my dream school - Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. On March 31st, 2014 I got the news that I was accepted.
This was the moment that everything changed. Berklee is known as the top contemporary music school in North America, and I was beyond ecstatic when I realized that there was a chance I could soon be attending this prestigious institute. Although I was accepted with a scholarship which I am extremely grateful for, the tuition and overall costs were overwhelming. This is where my beautiful community came into play.
On July 31st 2014, I brought together a group of fellow local musicians to perform with me on stage in a fundraising concert! The community was unbelievably supportive and loving, and the atmosphere in the theatre that night brought me to tears. Without this fundraising event, there is no way I would be sitting here right now in my dorm room in Boston. Thank you to all who came, donated, supported and put up with my awkward banter between songs. I am so blessed to be able to call Salt Spring Island, BC my home.
So now here I am. It's 12:43pm on October 23rd and I'm in my first semester at Berklee. The weather is a dull, rainy 55 degrees (I'm still getting used to Fahrenheit) and the wind is strong enough to push you over. I've never seen so many umbrellas in garbage cans along the sidewalk, and I can't help but to laugh. Autumn is creeping up on us; the leaves are a deep auburn colour, there is a distinct chill in the air and it's oddly comforting to watch the world from underneath a scarf and toque.
City life is certainly something to get used to. Coming from an island with a total of 10,000 people to a city with a population of 646,000 is overwhelming to say the least. Although I do terribly miss the clean air, stars, sunsets and beach access, I get inspired by people-watching and all the pretty lights.
So I'll leave you with a few photos and a promise to update this blog more than in the past.
Thank you for your ongoing support and love.
Guys, I was nominated for a Vancouver Island Music Award! After hearing about the organization and submitting my music, I had no expectations... but this happened. It's great to know that these awards exist and I'll be able to meet and experience local artists and learn from them. The category I am nominated for is 'Island Youth Artist of the Year', along with eight other young artists, two of which I've had the pleasure of working with already. Along with the nomination came a warm, happy feeling of content knowing that all of these great musicians are getting local recognition for their work. The west coast is such a creative place, Vancouver Island in particular. I'm so looking forward to the Award Ceremony in Victoria on April 28th, and it is a public event. If you're interested in attending, all the information can be found here: http://islandmusicawards.wordpress.com/
There was also a lovely article in my local newspaper about the nomination and a recent CBC competition I was in, and you can read that online here: http://gulfislandsdriftwood.com/entertainment/phoenix-scoops-best-artist-nods/#.UTuq1xysiSp
Thank you all for your continuous support, I am forever grateful!
So, it's official! My band and I will be taking a trip over east to Ontario this September! The objective of this getaway is to play lovely music and get the name Phöenix Lazare as familiar as possible. We've got five gigs booked in and around the Toronto area, and you may find all of the dates and information up in the 'Events' tab.
There has also been a recent addition to my band, and that is Carly Davenport, my talented friend who provides our songs with beautiful harmonies. She's coming along to Ontario, which should be a blast.
We're flying out on the 30th of August and our first gig is on the 1st of September at the Dakota Tavern in Toronto. My mind has been running wild lately, thinking mostly excited thoughts. This will be my first time playing anywhere that isn't in the town I live in. I'm thrilled to see what it will be like playing for so many people I don't know in a place that's unfamiliar.
So guys, if you live or happen to be in Ontario around this time, come on out and see me! I promise I don't bite. I'm ready for this adventure... I hope.
I've been invited to play a couple songs and speak about my musical background at this wonderful fundraiser. Pass It On Mentors present an evening of music, poetry and stories by inspiring women of many generations, as I represent the next generation of musicians. Mocktails and desserts will be served! (that's always fantastic) Proceeds will be going to SWOVA and the Pass It On Program. Come on down for a lovely night. :)
Orchard Room at the Harbour House Hotel, SSI
Sunday, April 29th - 7:00pm
Tickets are $25 (children 12 and under are free) and are being sold at the SWOVA office, Salt Spring Books and B-Side Clothing Co.
First physical EP's - THANK YOU
I've just recently received the physical copies of my EP! I can't tell you how excited I was to see two big boxes and instantly realizing what was inside them. What a surprise that was! They look wonderful, everything I had hoped for. I just wanted to thank ALL OF YOU so much for supporting my music, you have no idea how much it means to me. It seems as though I've had a constant feeling of love and gratitude lately. I like to compare it to when I was a child setting up a play date with a friend. Butterflies and all. :)
THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. REALLY, THANK YOU.
I promise you, I won't stop playing music. Ever.
If you'd like to buy/order one of my EP's, here are some ways you can:
Thrifty Foods, SSI
B-Side Clothing Co., SSI
Salt Spring Coffe Co., SSI
I've been invited to be the opening act for these two amazing folk musicians, Aidan Knight and Jeremy Fisher, at a Benefit Concert for Velo Village! The concert will be at Salt Spring Island's Artspring theatre on April 7th at 8pm. Tickets are being sold for $20 + HST at Artspring and B-Side Clothing Co. I am so grateful for this opportunity, first because I'm a big fan of both Aidan and Jeremy, and also because the island is beautiful and I'm proud to be playing music for a good cause. Jeremy is a fantastic choice for this fundraiser because he toured coast to coast on a bicycle while performing all across Canada! The two adore Salt Spring and are glad to be coming back. Aidan Knight adds, "I mostly judge cities on people, food and what kind of bulk section the grocery store has. I think Salt Spring has such an incredibly warm, inviting, musically excited population in a lot of ways. It also has lots of trail mix."
I will be performing solo, singing original songs from my new EP with an acoustic guitar. Afterwards in the lobby, as well as Jeremy and Aidan, I'll be selling my EP for the first time publicly.
Hope to see you there!
Facebook Event - http://www.facebook.com/events/328174533902192/?ref=ts
Artspring Theatre - http://artspring.ca/
B-Side Clothing Co. - http://www.b-sideclothing.com/
Aidan Knight - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9bypXV_YNY
Jeremy Fisher - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGn0q1zoibw
Velo Village - http://velovillage.ca/