LAILA BIALI DEBUTS VIDEO FOR NEWLY RELEASED COVER OF LEONARD COHEN CLASSIC ANTHEM
QUARANTUNES VIDEO FOR THE TRACK
PREMIERES TODAY WITH CBC Q
BIALI ANNOUNCED AS THE RECIPIENT OF
THE 2020 HAGOOD HARDY AWARD
AT THE 31st ANNUAL SOCAN AWARDS
Toronto, ON – September 21, 2020 – Today, JUNO Award-winner, Laila Biali, shares the third installment of her Quarantunes video series with Anthem – a special cover of the Leonard Cohen classic, aptly being released on what would have been his 86th birthday. Have a listen to the cover here and watch the video here, which premiered today with CBC q.
“‘Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.’ Leonard Cohen would be turning 86 today. I've always found his writing to speak to the moment history finds itself in; but these lyrics from my favourite song of his, Anthem, are as current and impactful as ever almost thirty years later – timely and timeless,” says Biali of the song.
This isn’t the first time that Biali has given her interpretation of Anthem. In 2007, CBC Records commissioned the singer to take music from what she considers to be the “Great Canadian Songbook”, and arrange it for a Jazz ensemble. “Anthem was the closing track on that album, which I called From Sea to Sky,” reflects Biali. “But the song stuck with me, and recently I found myself wanting to contemporize the arrangement, to bring it forward with a fresh approach that better aligns with my current sound.”
The video for Anthem follows previously released Quarantunes videos for Sugar and Revival – songs found on Biali’s 2020 release, Out of Dust – and again features an expansive ensemble of instrumentalists and singers including: GRAMMY Award nominee, Alan Ferber (trombone, horn arrangement), plus William Sperandei (trumpet), John Ellis (tenor sax), Glenn Patscha (organ), Ben Wittman (drums), Rich Brown (bass), and backing vocalists, Michelle Willis, Joanna Majoko, Adam Thomas, Venissa Butler, Jenna Cowans and Kerroy Williams. Each musician recorded their own part at home, with everything later mixed and mastered by Ben Wittman, Laila's husband and co-producer.
Biali's new album, Out of Dust, was to include 3+ months of global tour dates, covering Canada, the U.S., and Europe. Because she can no longer bring this music to physical stages around the world, Biali went for the next best thing – with the Quarantunes series – which even has its advantages. For example, she wouldn't typically be able to tour with a group this size; but, this new "virtual reality" enables her to involve a larger circle of musicians and peers based in different cities.
Stay tuned for a special tribute to Joni Mitchell set for release later this fall, and more installments of Laila Biali’s Quarantunes series coming soon!
About Laila Biali:
Multi award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter, pianist and CBC Music national radio host Laila Biali has headlined festivals and venues spanning five continents from New York City's Carnegie Hall to Beijing's National Centre for the Performing Arts, and supported international icon Sting. In 2019, Laila’s eponymous release won her a JUNO (Canada's GRAMMY) for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year. The year before that, she was awarded top prize at the Canadian Songwriting Competition in the Jazz category. Laila was also the youngest-ever double winner at Canada’s National Jazz Awards when she was named SOCAN Composer of the Year and Keyboardist of the Year. She received her first JUNO nomination for Tracing Light (2011), and a spot on DownBeat Magazine's Best Albums of the Year for Live in Concert (2013). In September of 2017, Laila was brought on as the host for CBC Music's national radio show, Saturday Night Jazz, a weekly show broadcast to listeners across Canada. While Laila continues to earn high honours in the Jazz world, her signature sound transcends genre as she "masterfully mixes jazz and pop, bringing virtuosity and unpredictability to songs that are concise and catchy" (Washington Post). Laila's highly anticipated album, Out of Dust, which features multiple GRAMMY nominees and winners including Lisa Fisher, Alan Ferber, John Ellis, and Larnell Lewis, was released March 27, 2020.
About Chronograph Records:
Chronograph Records is a boutique record label that works closely with artists who are looking for an insightful and collaborative partnership. Representing some of the best jazz, urban acoustic, and blues artists in Western Canada, Chronograph Records strategically helps develop their roster, allowing the artists to evolve into exactly who they're supposed to be. Since the label's 2004 inception, Chronograph artists have garnered numerous award nominations, most recently culminating in a JUNO Award win, multiple Canadian Country Music Awards, a TD Grand Jazz Award, Global Music Awards, a CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award, and Canadian National Smooth Jazz Award winners.