In celebration of International Jazz Day last Thursday, JUNO Award winner Laila Biali has launched her new Quarantunes video series with a “live” performance of her single, Sugar. For this project, Biali invited some of the musicians she would ordinarily be on tour with right now to film and record themselves performing at home. Each individual track was then collated into one performance by Biali’s husband and co-producer, Ben Wittman. None of the performances were altered or overdubbed after the fact, and in this way, Biali and her fellow musicians formed a virtual band, on a virtual stage, to brighten these quarantine days!
It’s tough to not be on the road right now. Live performances bring the music to life and connection with audiences is what motivates me as an artist. So here we are, in this new space, creating a Quarantunes virtual stage where we can do that in a new way.”
Biali’s new album, Out of Dust, released on March 27 and was to include 3+ months of global tour dates, covering Canada, the US, and Europe. Because she can no longer bring this music to physical stages around the world, Biali went for the next best thing, 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 – Toronto, Ontario; Wolfville, Nova Scotia; and Brooklyn, NY.
The Quarantunes video for Sugar features an all-star lineup of musicians: JUNO-nominated electric bassist, Rich Brown, Larnell Lewis (electronic drums), Ben Wittman (percussion), Glenn Patscha (organ), Rob Christian (tenor saxophone), current Sky Trails Band member, Michelle Willis (backing vocals); and Snarky Puppy founding member, Mike “Maz” Maher (backing vocals). The performance video compilation was created by Nick Collingwood & Halla Creative.
Stay tuned for more instalments of Laila Biali’s Quarantunes series coming soon!
Hi there! My name is Marie, I am French born and raised, now living in Montreal. I work in Marketing by day, and I’m an avid concert-goer by night. I have always had a passion for photography, and realized that this mixes quite well with my love for live music (the absolute best way to experience music, if you ask me).
You can check out some of my work on my website or on Instagram!