Posts Tagged ‘Christmas Gift’

Christmas Gift Celebrates 10 Years

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2016 at 5:30 pm


We’re bringing our Christmas Gift album back to the stage this holiday season! Starting off with the Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery District (Fri Nov 25th 6:30 pm $6) and then a dedicated full length performance at London Ontario’s Aeolian (Sunday Nov 27th 3pm, $22- $30 tix).  We will also be performing some tunes from the project at Upstairs Jazz in Montreal (Dec 2),  Allsaints swing dance in Ottawa (Dec 3) and The Jazz Room in Waterloo (Dec 10)

The story of Christmas Gift….

In 2006 I recorded my Christmas Gift album to help raise awareness for organ donation. I’d seen people waiting for lung transplant, althought transplant had not yet entered my own life. The rampant commercialism of Christmas got me thinking about the misplaced spirit of giving… the gift of life is truly a gift worth giving. And so the album was born.

While the album is a non-typical roller coaster of Christmas tunes from the swing era, I also re-wrote some lyrics for the cause to a Julia Lee song, the Christmas Blues, “If one kind soul would sign on, I’d have a brand new song to sing….” That’s the only overt musical reference to organ donation on the album.

Since I made that record I was able to receive the gift of life in both 2008, and again in 2013. I remember there was one song on this album which became more and more difficult to sing as my disease progressed.  At present, the jam packed mouthful of words are such a joy to sing: I want to share that joy with you again!

Gift of Life…

Visit in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada to sign your consent to be an organ donor here. One person can save up to 8 lives & enhance countless others through organ and tissue donation!

The album….

A special re-pressing of this album has been prepared for this season! Having gone out of print, this 10th anniversary was a good reason to get it pressed again.  As CDs are going the way of the dinosaur, I’d like to point out that aside from being a nifty stocking stuffer, the CD itself also acts as a very reflective mirror for putting on holiday red lipstick, or straightening a holiday bowtie.

The band….

The group I’m traveling with this season includes myself, Peter Hill (piano), John Macleod (cornet), Chris Banks (double bass), and Glenn Anderson (drums.) There will also be guest cellist Christine Newland at the Aeolian show!

The rehearsal….

Click here to preview a few sounds from our rehearsal last week…. The Boogie Woogie Santa Claus!!

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2 Year Assessment

In Uncategorized on December 9, 2010 at 2:25 am

Alex plays her last show of 2010 AT THE RESERVOIR LOUNGE, Thursday DECEMBER 9th,  7-9 pm, $5. 52 Wellington Street East. (Please no CFers for bacterial reasons)


So, the week of my Two-Year Assessment rolled around. I did CT and Xray, lung function, bloods and the like. All looking good. My exercise test was even better than last time (best yet!!!)

Biopsy day rolled around and I found myself on the table prepping and casually discussing the Doctor’s colourful cowboy boots when the Versed and Fentonol hit my system: my eyes crossed like in a cartoon and I was well and truly lit… Huh. For a jazz singer you’d think I’d be stoned all the time. But no. No. Only when they mainline drugs into my veins to knock me out so they can shove a camera and a biopsy aid down my throat and into my lungs!

At the end of the biopsy (honestly I slept through most of it)  I was in the recovery room when they confessed that I might have been given a slight pneumothorax during the proceedings. For those of you who don’t know what that means, it means they put a HOLE in my lungs when they were taking the biopsies!  AHHHHHHH!  “Don’t play the trumpet until this heals or it could collapse the lung!” OKay, don’t have to tell ME twice. Anyhow, all that trouble and worry only to find out a few days later that they thought –on second appraisal of the xray– that they had been wrong/overly cautious. No hole. No problem. Whew! Just what every singer wants to hear!

Oh well, the pony was lame anyhow, so we both took a few days off. Hopefully both my pony and Tom’s horse at last are sound. Sufficed to say it was a month with many vet bills…!!!

Attended the ONE OF A KIND show here in Toronto and purchased THE BEST T-SHIRT EVER from one of the transplant nurses who is also the designer for Sylwanka Clothing…. here is a detail of the awesome back of the t-shirts she designs! Check her out on Facebook!