Since capturing first place at 2016’s Toronto Open Mic Contest, Richmond Hill’s Jay Dee has established her band as a high-voltage, spell-binding feature of numerous music festivals (Wintersong, Markham Village, SOTC, Markham Ribfest, Taste of Stouffville, and more) and venues such as Hideout and C’est What in Toronto. She has recently released her debut EP “Smiling Face” produced by Epidemic Music. This can be found on Spotify, Apple Music and other platforms.
To witness the Jay Dee Band in a live setting is to see them in their natural habitat. At times Jay Dee struts and prowls around the microphone, cradling her ukelele as she strums it into submission; her band falls in-step with her boot-stomping energy as she leads them into the next moment, a new gear of excitement, and you expect the roof to shake. Or with guitar in hand, Jay Dee might seduce you with a ballad, but with her like-minded band of Michael Guinane, Peter Han, John Shisko, Tyler Reznick, Michelle Rubinov, and Mark Stratton, where the song starts isn’t necessarily where it will wind up.
After a December 2018 appearance, photographer Chris Robart wrote: “As they got set up I saw Jay Dee request that the sound be turned up – all the way up. I suspected we might be in for a treat. And were we ever: it was Jay Dee at full throttle. At the CD release party she put on a show that sounded better than the CD. This one last Sunday was better still.”
There’s something electrifying about watching an artist reaching for, and attaining new heights from one performance to the next. And will be something not to miss at the 2019 Markham Village Music Festival.