HANNAH & KAYLA – CHRISTMAS FOR TWO

Kalya Ramu and Hannah Barstow are happy to be performing all of the music from their two holiday duet albums LIVE at the Rex Hotel Jazz & Blues Bar! This fantastic band will be swingin’ some holiday jazz and standards on the first and third Fridays of December.

Featuring:
Hannah Barstow – Piano & Vocals
Kayla Ramu – Vocals
Julien Bradley-Combs  – Guitar
Racha Moukalled – Vibes
Connor Walsh – Bass (Dec 3)
Matt Coldwell – Bass (Dec 17)

 


Hannah Barstow (b. 1994) is a pianist, vocalist and composer in the Toronto jazz scene. As a performer, she is firmly rooted in the tradition of jazz, and is strongly influenced by the music of Shirley Horn, Ahmad Jamal and Blossom Dearie. As a composer, her motivic melodies, intricate harmonies and intimate lyrics are reminiscent of Jobim compositions, among other jazz standards, but with a modern perspective. Hannah’s unique technique of intertwining the piano and her voice, both in the performance of melodies and in improvisation, is a fresh sound that adds depth to her music.

Originally from Napanee, Ontario, Hannah studied classical piano and theory from the age of four. She began performing professionally at the age of twelve as a solo jazz pianist and vocalist, and subsequently in jazz and rock groups. She received an ARCT in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music (2012), a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance (2016) and Master of Music in Jazz Performance (2020) on piano from the University of Toronto.

Hannah has performed with a number of renowned jazz artists, including Emilie Claire Barlow, Mike Murley, Kris Davis, Steve Wallace, Pat Collins, the Brian Barlow Big Band, and the Greg Runions Big Band with the Kingston Symphony. In 2016, she was featured as the Rising Young Star at the Prince Edward County Jazz Festival, and in 2018, she toured Chile with saxophonist Mike Murley.

Hannah is an instructor at the University of Toronto Jazz Studies Program and Humber Community Music School. She has released three EPs: her debut, Hannah Barstow Trio (2017), followed by Christmas for Two with vocalist Kalya Ramu (2017), and Snow with Kalya Ramu (2020). Hannah released her first full length album, Beneath, in 2021, which features Mike Murley on saxophones, Reknee Irene Harrett on bass, and Keith Barstow on drums. (https://hannahbarstow.com/)


Kalya Ramu is a vocalist, composer and visual artist from Toronto, Canada. Ramu has a passion for storytelling and reinventing old jazz music. She fills her repertoire with rarely recorded songs, beautiful melodies and humorous antidotes. Ramu began her singing career at the age of 12, participating in Toronto jazz jams and performing with community big bands. At 22 she graduated with honors from the Humber College Bachelor of Music Degree Program. Three years later Ramu began writing original Jazz compositions, and on May 10th 2019 she released her debut full-length album Living in a Dream, which included four of her original songs and seven standards. Following this release, one of her original songs was featured on the soundtrack of CBC show Frankie Drake Mysteries.
​          Ramu’s latest work, Duo, is a short album of all original material performed by piano and voice. All tracks were cowritten with and feature pianist Ewen Farncombe. Influenced by the musical stylings of the 1930’s to ‘50’s, Ramu’s dynamic singing accompanied by Farncombe’s emotive playing evokes nostalgia for a past era.
As a visual artist, Ramu focuses on watercolour portraiture. She is currently working as an illustrator for smART Magazine (by Lighthouse Immersive) and was recently published in their first print issue! She has designed album art for Canadian musicians Marshal Herridge, Chris Platt, Tayua, Claire Coupland, Shealagh Rose, and Trevor Peverley. (http://www.kalyaramu.ca/)