On February 2nd, 2013 at 8pm at The Drake Hotel in Toronto, five passionate artists who all sing about peace, change and empowerment will share the stage to raise money for War Child, an organization that works with war-affected communities to help children reclaim their childhood through access to education, opportunity and justice.
“We just have to help. I have two young children at home who don’t know about war, and I want that for all children. It breaks my heart to see them suffering and losing their spirit as they become ponds of war. As a recent example in Syria, children have been used as human shields. This is wrong in every way, and we cannot just sit and watch. Independent artists/bands, Angela Saini, Chris Assaad, JP Saxe, Kristine St. Pierre and myself are performing to raise money for this important cause”, says Heather Hill.
The “Childhood Matters Campaign” provides three areas of focus: Education, Opportunity and Justice. Children and youth can be educated in a protected space that is free from abuse, they can be trained for a vocation so they can support themselves, and women and children’s rights can be protected by laws so they are not subject to sexual and other abuses. Currently War Child is facilitating communities in South Sudan and Darfur, Northern Uganda, Afghanistan, Haiti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, and Sierra Leone (www.warchild.com).
“War Child Canada truly relies on the support of these individuals such as these artists who have chosen to support us to continue our programming which reaches hundreds of thousands of children and families each year”, says Jennifer Ivanovs, Manager of Music and Special Initiatives –War Child Canada.
The show will take place on February 2nd at 8:00 pm until 11pm (doors at 7:30pm) at the Drake Hotel at 1150 Queen Street East. Kat Leonard will be our MC for the evening. Admission is $10 at the door – all proceeds raised will be donated to War Child Canada. The artists donate a portion of their merchandise sales to War Child, and additional donations will be collected throughout the evening.
Chris Assaad is a man on a mission to spread his message of Peace, Love and Inspiration around the globe. Chris is a Toronto born singer/songwriter from Toronto who left a promising career in law several years ago to pursue his dream of a career in music. Since then, he independently released his first full-length album, Glory Fire (2009), followed by his latest release Into The Light (2012) and has enjoyed international success, touring in support of the records in Canada, the U.S. and Australia. Chris is a big believer in the transformative power of music and in the importance of community. As such, he has been active in lending his talents to support philanthropic causes and in using his voice to encourage others to follow their dreams, express their creativity and live life to the fullest. Check him out at www.chrisassad.com
Kristine St. Pierre
A natural singer with a strong, clear voice, Kristine shifts seamlessly from delicate finger-picked folky melodies to a rollicking, bluesy side. Kristine’s first bilingual five-song EP, entitled “Stand Still for A While,” was released in 2010. After two solo tours through Eastern Canada and Ontario, and being a finalist with Ontario Pop, she began work on her first full-length album. This debut album, also bilingual, was released in November 2012. Entitled “Call Me Crazy,” it is intimate and honest, all the while keeping her playful attitude. Her CD was named one of Ottawa Citizen’s music “highs” of 2012. www.kristinestpierre.com
In parallel to her music, Kristine has been working for the last six years on issues of peace and security. While her focus is not on children specifically, she has worked extensively on human rights, gender equality and protection issues in humanitarian and conflict-affected environments. Through her extensive travels in Africa and Latin America, Kristine has seen first hand the impact of disaster and war on communities, including men, women and children, and has been a strong advocate for women’s and girls’ rights. This is her second benefit concert in support of War Child and she is pleased to be a part of such an important cause.
JP Saxe is a different kind of up and comer in the Toronto music scene. He is not only a singer songwriter and multi instrumentalist who has impressed audiences across Toronto with his lyrical ability and vocal creativity. He is also a strong proponent of positivity, passion and collaboration among the indie-music community. He speaks of his mentors, Robert Scott and Micah Barnes as his foremost influences. His Grandfather, renowned cellist, Janos Starker, has also had a profound impact on his perspectives as both an artist and as a human being.
JP has been compared to artists such as John Legend, Paul Simon, and Chris Martin, but regardless of the audiences’ musical tastes, JP’s lyricism has proven to be universal. His ability to condense some of the most intense of emotions into a verse, chorus or bridge has often left listeners in tears. Whether it be alone with a guitar or piano, or playing with his 7 piece band of some of Toronto’s most sought after musicians, JP’s music is always powerful.
JP believes in the power of art to inspire others and his passion for his subject matter is immediately obvious. The songs for his much anticipated debut album currently being recorded were inspired by the last year of JP’s life living both in Toronto and in a rural village in Kenya. It was in Kenya working at a local orphanage for three months that he discovered how his art could inspire others and led him to become part of a movement called “Anton’s Chair.”
Late one night on a business trip in London, an unmistakable voice told Heather she needed to quit her job and pursue her music. Heather left a successful career in high-tech marketing, sold everything, went backpacking, and the songs poured out. She fell in love, had babies, wrote songs, made albums, and created a songwriting guild. Heather volunteers her time in several children’s organizations including her local school where she heads up the healthy snack program. Her goal is to bring positive change and spread hope and love to anyone who will listen.
Rooted in piano rock, Heather Hill is currently working on her third release. She launched her second independently released full-length album Leuty Station in May 2012, which features a collection of songs about women’s experience and the courage to face life challenges head on. She quickly followed the success of the launch with a Canadian tour, TV and radio play. “Listen”, her full length debut album was released in 2005, with Shelter Island Sound, NYC. Her voice is often compared to Kate Bush and the Wilson sisters, while her songwriting draws comparisons to Tori Amos and a young Leonard Cohen. She is working with Jan Cooper Publishing in Vancouver. www.heatherhill.ca
Singing from the womb, Angela picked up the guitar at 14 and started writing songs in the backdrop of Calgary, Alberta. Her Austrian mother and Indian father drove her to gigs as she began strumming her brand of rootsy-pop at local clubs, breaking into the local music scene before she had finished her first year of high school. Her first band, Supernal, quickly established itself on the festival circuit performing alongside bands such as Evanescence and Sum 41; touring experiences that further inspired her songwriting and vocal ability. With a diary full of songs and the self-confidence to move to Toronto, her recent band Drive Faster was featured on the AUX TV show “Master Tracks” filmed in Metal Works studios with producers Moe Berg and Laurence Currie. Berg described the process as a “homerun” and said Angela “is just so outstanding. You almost get a rush when you are recording someone like that.”
Frequently gigging as an acoustic solo artist, Angela decided to take her songs electric and got the attention of Johnny Fay, drummer for The Tragically Hip. Demo sessions together resulted in pre-production for a solo record. Nominated for “Best Female Artist” in the 2010 International Acoustic Music Awards and for a Toronto Independent Music Award in 2012 for “Best Adult Contemporary,” her solo debut “Cake and Callouses” was released in April 2012. Two cross-Canada tours later, Angela is poised to record her second EP, a collection of songs conveying a message of self-renewal and empowerment. Known for her sweet melodies with pitch-perfect conviction, she is a proponent of positivity, love and passion for music wherever she goes. www.angelasaini.com