TANIA GILL, TorontoTania Gill is a Toronto-based pianist and composer. Her work is centred in jazz and improvised music, and is influenced by earlier classical training and performance of diverse genres. “All aboard for first-class and fanciful Toronto pianist!” (Globe and Mail). Over the past ten years, she has accompanied several silent films for TIFF, Revue Silent Sundays, and with Andrew Downing’s Melodeon Ensemble. She leads the Tania Gill Quartet, with current members Lina Allemano, Rob Clutton and Nico Dann. Her ensemble recorded the “quirky, wonderfully listenable” CD Bolger Station and has toured Canadian jazz festivals and clubs. Tania is also a regular member of the Brodie West Quintet, Rebecca Hennessy’s FOG Brass Band, the Woodshed Orchestra, and former member of The Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band, Deep Dark United, The See Through Trio, Charles Spearin and the Happiness Project among many other projects. She has performed with numerous other world class musicians including Steve Reich, Anthony Braxton and Mary Margaret O’Hara. Tania teaches at her home and Humber College.
JORDAN KLAPMAN, Toronto
Jordan Klapman is a multi-talented pianist, accompanist, bandleader, popular music lecturer, arranger, composer and music producer. He has over thirty years’ worth of experience performing multiple genres of music including jazz and swing standards, The American Popular Songbook, Broadway, Latin, R&B, Klezmer, and Jewish music of all kinds. He also regularily performs with the Wintergarten Orchestra. He is equally at home in festivals, clubs, concert halls and theatres, and has appeared throughout the Toronto area and internationally, on CBC national television and radio, and JazzFM as a guest co-host with the late Jeff Healey.
Jordan leads several of his own bands and performs and records with many award-winning jazz, cabaret, and pop musicians including Adi Braun, Julie Michels, Judy Marshak, Sharon Smith, Donna Greenberg, Tony Quarrington, Richard Underhill, Jon Seiger, Henry Heillig, Tom Skublics, Glenn Anderson, and many others.
He has recently added silent film accompaniment to his repertoire. He is the regular pianist for the Toronto Jewish Film Society, the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, Silent Revue, and the Vintage Film Festival. He made his debut with the Silent Film Festival in 2014 and was a key member of the team of musical accompanists for the 2014 Canadian premiere of the Hitchcock 9. www.jordanklapman.com
FERN LINDZON, Toronto
JUNO Award nominee Fern Lindzon has been praised as “an engaging pianist and singer who brings an unassuming authority, an inquiring spirit and a natural grace to contemporary jazz,” and as “a rare and fascinating talent.” She moves freely between jazz standards, Brazilian, klezmer/Yiddish music and her own compositions. Her CDs Moments Like These (2008) and Two Kites (2011) have been well received critically in such publications as Whole Note, Coda, Now and LA Jazz Scene. Two Kites has been nominated for a 2012 JUNO Award as Vocal Jazz Album of the Year. It also won a Special Projects award from Toronto Downtown Jazz, received much airplay on CBC and JAZZ-FM and was “CD of the Week” and reached the Top 10 on many campus charts.
Fern has performed at leading jazz clubs in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver and Victoria, and on CBC’s Canada Live. In 2011, she introduced Forgotten Melodies, which brings klezmer/Eastern European music to contemporary jazz, at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Also in 2011, she presented a concert in tribute to Mary Lou Williams at the Barrie Jazz Festival. Fern also composes and improvises contemporary scores to silent films. In 2010 Fern led her own sextet in several performances of her original score for Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr. at TIFF’s Bell Lightbox. That score has now been performed at many festivals. In 2012 Fern returned to the Bell Lightbox to perform scores to several silent surreal and horror films for Nuit Blanche. Since then, Fern has performed at the Vintage Film Festival in Cobourg, TIFF Bell Lightbox and is a regular at the annual Toronto Silent Film Festival. www.fernlindzon.com
WILLIAM O’MEARA, Toronto
Bill is well known in Toronto as the co-artistic director for the annual Organix Concert Festival, and as staff cathedral organist at St. Michael’s Cathedral. He has worked on hundreds of silent films here in Toronto on behalf of the Toronto Silent Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Cinematheque Ontario, Nuit Blanche, the Toronto Film Society, and is a sought-after performer at the National Gallery, Pacific Cinematheque, and at the world’s largest silent film festival, Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, in Pordenone, Italy. Bill’s busy freelance career as a soloist and choral and silent film accompanist has taken him to festivals and concert series throughout North and South America, Great Britain, and Europe, for over 30 years. www.williamomeara.com
LAURA SGROI, Toronto
Laura Sgroi is a young, up-and-coming composer, DJ and pianist in Toronto and holds a Doctorate in Music Composition from the University of Toronto. A classically trained musician with a passion for popular and electronic music, Laura’s unique style explores popular music idioms adapted to the sonic and structural complexity of traditional classical ensembles.
Laura also combines contemporary classical orchestral composition with popular and electronic music genres to create a unique personal artistic expression that captivates music lovers of all ages. Her electrically riveting performances feature her own contemporary classical music, DJ turntables, and piano improvisation with and without the presence of electronic media. Her piano/DJ fusion was featured at the Ontario Celebration Zone for the 2015 Pan Am Games.
Laura was featured on CBC’s 2015 list of “30 Hot Classical Musicians Under 30”. When she isn’t writing or performing her original music, Laura teaches private lessons and is a composition instructor at the prestigious Royal Conservatory of Music. Laura has been accompanying silent films at TSFF since 2010. www.laurasgroimusic.com
“My music is a unique blend of classical and electronica – two different genres together as one voice. I hope to bring contemporary classical music to a younger and more diverse audience by combining it with popular electronic styles.” –Laura Sgroi
JELANI EDDINGTON, Indiana, USA
During the years that Jelani Eddington has given organ concerts, he has easily established himself as one of the most prominent and sought-after artists on the circuit. Jelani has performed in most of the major concert venues throughout the United States, has toured extensively abroad, and has received numerous awards and recognitions, including his selection as the 2001 Theatre Organist of the Year.
At the age of 13, Jelani won the American Theatre Organ Society’s Young Theatre Organist Competition, prevailing over competitors ages 13-21 from the United States, England, Australia, and New Zealand. He remains the youngest competitor ever to win this title. He then went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude from Indiana University in 1996, and later received a Juris Doctor degree from the Yale Law School in 1999, after which time he was admitted to practice law in New York and later in Wisconsin.
During the course of his concert career, Jelani has been featured at numerous national and regional conventions of the American Theatre Organ Society, and has toured extensively throughout the world. He has also produced and marketed over 30 theatre organ albums on some of the best-known and most dynamic instruments in the country. With that extensive work he has added his very popular Star Wars Symphonic Suite for theatre organ to his repertoire, a YouTube video of which is available of a live performance.