I’m not a trained musician but I know what I like, and my night at Wanderlust was certainly a musical treat.
On the last Sunday of March, I had the pleasure of discovering three musical artists at Wanderlust at Lula Lounge, featuring Ozere, Ventanas (both from Toronto), and Briga from Montreal. All three bands are led by up-and-coming Canadian female artists Briga, Jessica Hana Deutsch (Ozere), and Tamar Ilana (Ventanas). Together they played an incredible array of traditional and original music including Roma, Flamenco, Celtic, Balkan, Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jewish, bluegrass and more.
Ozere got things started with their lovely mix of Americana, Jazz, Classical, and Celtic sounds. One of the songs I enjoyed the most is titled Wyoming which is on their album “Three Generations”. The lyrics to this track are actually a poem written by Jessica’s sister. Absolutely lovely words and music.
Another standout was a cover of Tallest Man on Earth’s Ribbon In A Hurricane. This cover was Emily Rockharts’ choice; her voice complemented the music style so well here. Such a great song.To close their set, Ozere chose to combine the folk song See Lion Woman with When I Was A Young Girl. Definitely a neat combination. Ozere certainly got things started on a good note, no pun intended.
Next, we were treated to the sounds and dance of Ventanas. They opened with a fiery Flamenco number. Vocalist Tamar sounded great, albeit nursing a bit of a cold. Percussionist Nagmeh Farahmand performed one number on her own, and was she impressive! I’m a huge percussion fan, and Ventanas incorporated it really well throughout their set.
They performed some wonderful North-Eastern European folk music; I wish I knew what the titles were. Nonetheless, all the songs pleased the crowd in attendance. Showcasing some Flamenco moves was Alex Talbot, who along with Tamar, certainly heated up the place. Ventanas, as a whole, are definitely talented and so pleasing to see and hear live.
To continue heating things up and close out the party was Briga. She is a fierce violinist whose music is rooted in eastern European and Romani folk sounds. Along with two multitalented musicians, she treated us to some great Romani, Turkish/Bulgarian songs accented with electronica sounds.
I wish there had been more people in the audience, as Briga certainly got people dancing with her energy. Her own songs playful in their lyrics but the music holds it own in its depth and complexity. What more could an audience ask for?
I’m not a trained musician but I know what I like, and my night at Wanderlust was certainly a musical treat. The best part of concerts such as this one is that we get to hear new music. We also get to see some very talented musicians in a new element, so to speak. Ozere, Ventanas and Briga mix classical sounds with world music and bring it to a new level. If you are looking for new music, these are three Canadian artists I would highly recommend. Look out for their upcoming concerts at a venue near you!
For other related events, check out Ventanas at the Campbell House Museum on April 27th in Toronto, and Celebrating Resistance, an event at Lula Lounge this Sunday that’s inspired by the diversity of cultures that identify with being Latin American. I’ll definitely be there!
Heidy is a guest contributor on the BeMused Blog, sharing her love of film, theatre, music, art, and culture in general to encourage more audiences to discover what Toronto has to offer. Check out more of her writing at Hye’s Musings.