The Tiki Collective

 
 

The Tiki Collective are a large ensemble of friends who perform jazz, pop and exotica music. Their debut CD "MUSE" is released on Vesuvius Music. The collective was conceived by Jaymz Bee and Music Director, Eric St-Laurent in 2016.  Bee has been a fan of exotica and Lounge music for years and felt the time was right to present a nuevo-retro sounding ensemble that included elements of surf, jazz and pop with a nod to Tiki Culture. The instrumentalists bring decades of experience and share a love of world music while the singers bring a fresh approach to a diverse array of material. This ensemble steers clear of the type of cultural appropriation that appeared in exotica recordings of the fifties, relative to Polynesian and South Pacific island cultures. Instead, the collective  focuses on using similar instrumentation to those of early exotica records, with thoughtful arrangements that blend Eastern, Western, and local influences.

 

VOCALISTS

GENEVIEVE MARENTETTE

“A lovely muse of music…a femme fatale from film noir” – Don Francks

Gigi grew up in Windsor/Detroit, was based in Hong Kong and Berlin and now makes Toronto her home base while continually performing around the world. On top of her solo EP she has recorded with numerous artists including David Clayton Thomas.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5brcJAEExk

 

JOANNA MAJOKO

From Germany to Zimbabwe, South Africa to Canada, Joanna is a singer songwriter who may be predominantly jazz but she also enjoys dabbling in various musical genres.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iX3A0E8HPCw

 

HEATHER LUCKHART

Heather Luckhart’s inventive phrasing and strong blues influences are injected into her jazz-styled repertoire. Luckhart’s musical honesty allows her to connect with audiences in an intimately personal way. Now calling Toronto home, this performer and composer is gaining momentum.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSZBwihXEow

 

LILY FROST

Lily is a cross-genre, multi disciplinary singer, songwriter and performer. She’s recorded over a dozen albums to date and has written many television shows.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhmZJbNtVJo

 

TYRA JUTAI

“Monroe meets Winehouse? Baby Holiday? The Love child of Jessica Rabbit and Tom Waits?” – Tipsy Patron at The Horseshoe Tavern 

Tyra moved to Toronto in the Fall of 2017 and is already taking the city by storm, packing venues and working with local producers and promoters while writing and recording her original music. 

 

PAGET BISCAYNE

Paget Biscayne is a 20 year old singer and songwriter who is a student at the university of Toronto. She is a music educator for children and has plans of releasing her first solo EP soon. 

 

MELISSA LAUREN

A jazz-pop chanteuse with eclectic taste” – Kerry Doole

Melissa Lauren is a prolific young songwriter who also enjoys interpreting pop hits and jazz standards on her various recordings as leader.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9fhoJ0zsDI

 

THE WILLOWS

“The Willows could have easily appeared in the golden age of Hollywood, yet here they are in our modern era…with charisma and sparkle and beautiful harmonies!” – George Koller

The Willows are Krista Deady (contralto), Andrea Gregorio (soprano), and Lauren Pedersen (mezzo-soprano). All three grew up together in Calgary and then moved to Toronto to continue harmonizing while studying dancing and singing. They appeared with David-Clayton Thomas on his “Canadiana” record.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTbpoPu3DeY

 

JESSICA LALONDE

When hearing her unique and timeless angelic voice, one might be surprised to discover Jessica is a fan of rock and country as well as opera and jazz. She is currently working on a solo album and also collaborates with saxophonist and composer John MacMurchy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGm-aJtzCak

 

IRENE TORRES

Irene is from Lima, Peru and has been based in Toronto since the late 80’s. She has performed in America with her Sugar Devils and continues to collaborate with various musicians while enjoying her life as a new mom.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVpcP-FA-is

 

JOCELYN BARTH

Four lines into any song and it’s easy to understand why Jocelyn is a rising star in Canada. She approaches every song with authenticity, sensitivity and skill. She has recorded and performed with Marie Goudy, Collective Order and Jane Sibbery among others.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhWLWqVN0uE

 

MINGJIA CHEN

Mingjia is an improvising vocalist, composer, lyricist and teacher. Her 13-piece chamber ensemble, Tortoise Orchestra keeps her busy and she also collaborates with Geoff Young, Shannon Gunn, Alex Samaras and David Occhipinti, among others.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLCoEbObyC0

 

AVERY RAQUEL

Avery started in showbiz at the age of 7 and has already had a busy career on screen and stage and has recorded two solo albums. Her song “Dreaming” (co-written by Sophia Perlman) is featured on both The Tiki Collective “Muse” recording and her CD “Without A Little Rain” released in 2017 when she was sixteen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-lHBiTTNWE

 

DENIELLE BASSELS

“She will stop you in your tracks!” – Juliet Dunn

“What About Wool Wishbags”, the debut solo CD by Denielle Bassels was one of the finest albums of 2017.  She spent time based in Switzerland and you can hear the Euro-influence in her music, which has picked up four John Lennon Songwriting Competition prizes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUwFeGDfFtk

 

 
 
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INSTRUMENTALISTS

ERIC ST-LAURENT

“A solid contribution to modern jazz” – Matthew Parsons

Eric is a guitarist, arranger and award winning composer. He’s played with Till Bronner, David Liebmen, and Richard Underhill when not leading The Tiki Collective or his own bands.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2XdjpIzi3M


GEORGE KOLLER

George is a bassist and multi-instrumentalist who has played virtually all genres of music. From Holly Cole and Ian Tyson to Larry Coryell, Sonny Stitt and Dizzy Gillespie. He’s released half a dozen albums as leader and is a member of The Shuffle Demons. He also produces records for countless artists and produces live events.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfwyOzMQzwo


GREAT BOB SCOTT

Great Bob is a musician and actor who was first known for his work in the 80’s and 90’s with The Look People. His fans included Dr. Suess, Frank Zappa and Flea. He plays drums for many Toronto bands including Kevin Hearn’s Thinbuckle, Stoopy, Whippoorwill, Astrogroove and Brain Fudge.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWMr-3Y0ItQ


MICHAEL DAVIDSON

Michael Davidson is becoming renowned in the Canadian jazz scene for his unique approach to playing the vibraphone. He's performed and recorded with artists such as Michael Occhipinti, Allison Au, Darren Sigesmund and David Braid. He leads his own band Hobson's Choice and was recently featured on a double album by Andrew Downing's Otterville. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7meoIv_NdI

 

ATTILA FIAS

Attila was born in Budapest, Hungary and raised in Toronto. He has released solo albums, the latest being “Ride” and when he’s not backing up singers he can be found playing piano for Soulpepper Theatre. Attila has played piano on over 100 albums.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITygyaRSvpI

 

ERNIE TOLLAR

Ernie Tollar has been a professional musician since his teenage years and has toured Europe, India, Egypt, Argentina, Mexico and throughout North America. On top of the sax, he plays exotic instruments like the Indian Bansuri flute and the Middle Easter ney flute.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nq1lErdQ4MU

 

GUESTS

DREW JURECKA

Drew was trained classically but has been busy working in various genres of music. He has recorded and played with Dave Brubeck, Alex Pangman, The Bebop Cowboys, Russell DeCarle, Jim Cuddy, Ron Sexsmith, Jill Barber and the late Jeff Healey.  He plays violin, clarinet and sax, and is a talented singer and whistler!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tjzkSOxS0s

 

BILL MCBIRNIE

“He’s entirely idiomatic, but also effortlessly inventive” – Mark Miller

Bill is one of the most famous flautists in Canada and is as comfortable with Latin Jazz as he is with Bebop. Bill has released seven albums of his own and is played constantly on radio across Canada. The recordings feature pianists Robi Botos, Mark Eisenman and Bernie Senensky. He is also Resident Jazz Flute Specialist for Sir James Galway’s website.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qqudstcz-CA

 

CARLOS DEL JUNCO

Carlos was born in Cuba and raised in Toronto. He began playing harmonica at fourteen and graduated from OCAD where he majored in sculpture. He’s released nine solo recordings and has also worked with Kevin Breit, Bruce Cockburn and Kim Mitchell among others.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44u2CcsKe7U

 

TOM WALSH

“Tom plays the shit out of Duke Ellington!” – Anonymous

Tom and his trombone have played around the world in venues large and small; and in styles ranging from experimental to cabaret, hip-hop to power pop. He’s worked with such artists as Oliver Jones, Robert Lepage, David Mott, Bobby Wiseman, Mary Margaret O’Hara and The Cowboy Junkies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxY4XyUtuxg

 

JOHN MACMURCHY

John is a woodwind player and a prolific composer. He’s worked beside the best: Henry Mancini, Guido Basso, John Dankworth and Carol Channing. In the past few years he’s turned out an impressive collection of songs and is constantly recording and performing. His latest release “Art of Breath” is a must-have. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfhLM39tM4U

 

WILLIAM SPERANDEI

William is best known for his collaborations with Amy McConnell but also has played trumpet for Harry Connick Jr., Ellis Marsalis, Marcus Robert, Colin James and countless others.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wv196O-I9uI

 

JONO GRANT

Jono is an award winning composer and producer, a multi-instrumentalist and when not making albums for all styles of music he can be found composing soundtracks for film and television. He was the original musical director for Jaymz Bee’s Royal Jelly Orchestra and won a Juno for Richard Underhill’s “Tales From The Blue Lounge”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdkHRQXFeGc

 

JAYMZ BEE

Jaymz is a bandleader, composer, singer, music producer, broadcaster and emcee. His bands include The Look People, The Royal Jelly Orchestra, Tuk, Bonzai Suzuki and now The Tiki Collective.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xng672X5cx0&t=67s

 

LORENZO DIGIANFELICE

Lorenzo graduated with honors from Ryerson from the Applied Geography program, specializing in analysis, statistics and economics. He’s authored many articles in well-known industry trade publications. He is a die-hard music fan and adds a fresh perspective to the overall direction and marketing of The Tiki Collective.

 

 

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