Jason Fowler and Melanie Conly

Sunday March 12, 2:00pm

MERA Schoolhouse, McDonald’s Corners


Tickets are $25.00 plus fees available from Tickets Please

The MERA Schoolhouse is located at 974 Dalhousie Concession 9A, McDonald’s Corners, Ont., K0G 1M0

Jason Fowler is a highly respected Toronto singer/songwriter, session guitarist and producer. He has released six independent CDs under his own name and has played on over 100 albums. In addition to his own successful solo career, Jason is also currently the Musical Director & Guitarist for renowned Irish tenor John McDermott, and has toured with him since 2001. Jason has played with a who’s who of the Canadian roots music scene including Anne Lindsay, April Verch, Amy Sky, Marc Jordan, Susan Aglukark, The Cottars, Quartette, Susan Crowe, Nana Mouskouri, Murray McLauchlan, Brent Titcomb, Ian Tamblyn, Jory Nash, Ember Swift, Madison Violet, and Evalyn Parry. A two-time winner at the Walnut Valley National Guitar Championships, in both the Fingerpicking and Flatpicking categories ( a rare accomplishment), Jason is acknowledged as one of Canada’s most gifted guitarists (he also holds a degree in Classical Guitar Performance from McGill University). In 2004 he was the inaugural winner of the OCFF’s Instrumental Composition of the Year Award. As a “hired gun”, Jason is a rarity: he is a consummate musician with an extraordinary command of musical styles from folk, country and bluegrass, to blues, rock, jazz and classical. In 2003 he was the recipient of the CEC McEachern Porcupine Award for Outstanding Musical Accompanist in his native Toronto. These awards are handed out each year by Steve Fruitman (CIUT Radio) as a way to shine some light on those who deserve to be noted for their work at enshrining Canadian folklore into the sub-conscious realm. Fruitman said of Jason’s guitar accompaniment: “His guitars are like lungs breathing airs of brilliance behind a variety of foregrounds.”

Film soundtrack work includes Arbitrage, Tinker Bell, Going Back & Big Fat Lady. Television work includes Franklin, Relic Hunter, Mantracker, By The Rapids & Eight Days To Live. Jason has played on myriad commercials including spots for Tim Horton’s, LCBO, McDonalds, Hyundai, General Motors, Ford Motors, Fairmont Hotels, Lotto 649, BPI Mutual Funds, Chapman’s Ice Cream, Sportsline and Chieftain Products.
He has opened for Robert Plant, Steve Vai, Deep Purple and Ted Nugent.
He has contributed to Acoustic Guitar and Fingerstyle Guitar magazines and has been recognized as one of the city’s finest music teachers in that Toronto’s NOW magazine Reader’s Poll.

With all of the hours hours Jason has logged in recording studios playing on records and working with some of Canada’s top producers, it was a natural step for him to start producing other artists. His studio savvy combined with his musical literacy and vast stylistic knowledge has led to his producing John McDermott’s Journeys, David Bradstreet’s Lifelines, Kevin Hutchings “Light To Shine”, D’Arcy Wickham’s Feather Fingers, John McDermott’s On A Whim (co-produced with Brigham Phillips and Phil Dwyer) and Blake Papsin’s Entwined. and Serious Boy.

He has composed, produced and arranged a number of relaxation albums for Somerset Entertainment Inc. (Solitudes, Avalon) including Southwest Spa, Unwind, and Peaceful Country, in addition to playing guitar on dozens of other albums for their various label affiliates.

His latest solo recording, Lumens of Light, was released in 2010. It features 10 new songs, including 2 instrumentals, and is an amalgam of roots rock, country, folk and instrumental guitar.
Penguin Egg’s magazine said of it, “There’s a pleasing stylistic gamut that Jason Fowler runs through on his latest album, one that shows off both his at times understated guitar work (I Could Die Here), knack for observational lyrics (Now There’s You) and general attention to song craft throughout. Country-folk unhurried and steeped in reverie, but hooked in such a way that you’ll always come back.”

His previous recording, Buckets Of Rain, was released in 2009. It was recorded at his home studio and is a collection of his favorite songs that he’s been singing for most of his life; songs by Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Blake, Doc Watson, Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, John Prine, Bruce Cockburn, Murray McLauchlan, Gordon Lightfoot, Tom Waits and Hoyt Axton.

His fourth solo album, Temporary Ground, was released in 2004, and contains fiery bluegrass ensemble work, breathtaking solo guitar and a number of highly personal songs that tell of his recent life journeys. It came on the heels of the dissolution of his marriage, as well as extensive touring with Irish tenor John McDermott. His travels gave him new inspiration and new musical friends with which to collaborate. Canadian bluegrass virtuoso Ray Legere lends searing mandolin ands fiddle work on 2 tracks, Anne Lindsay plays a soulful chorus on the instrumental version of The Tennessee Waltz, veteran Canadian musicians Al Cross (drums) and David Woodhead (bass) lay down a solid groove on My Daily Burden, and Gary Breit, keyboardist for Bryan Adams (and brother of Canadian guitar whiz Kevin Breit) lends some soulful organ playing to a few tunes. It received the widest and warmest reviews of his career, doubtless due to his growing reputation as a tasteful and versatile Guitarist For Hire. The Toronto Star’s Greg Quill stated “The guitarist rips off some astonishing licks in the pursuit of melodic enrichment, never just for show. This is as fine as acoustic guitar gets.”
John McLaughlin, of The Vancouver Province’s wrote, “A guitarist with flashes of brilliance on a par with Cooder, Doc Watson and Tony Rice. A great find.”
Penguin Eggs, Canada’s roots music magazine glowed, “…a nicely crafted CD, with some exquisite guitar work…Fowler’s depth as a songwriter and instrumentalist is evident; there is nothing temporary about Temporary Ground.”

To see and hear Jason Fowler CLICK HERE

Praised for her “passion and charm” (Now Magazine) and “sweet voice delivery” (Toronto Star), soprano Melanie Conly is acclaimed for her distinctive voice and musical understanding. She originally trained in musical theatre and later classically, cultivating a diverse skillset serving her wide range of work.

An experienced chamber musician and recitalist, she often solos with orchestras and choirs and is frequently sought out for her compelling performances of new music. Ms. Conly has performed on many series such as Toronto’s Talisker Players Chamber Music and Syrinx Series, and Vancouver’s Music in the Morning. Festival engagements include the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival and Sweet Water Music Weekend in Owen Sound. She also creates and performs unique themed concerts presenting a wide range of musical styles with dramatic flare, and in the 2017 winter season was chosen to attend the Banff Arts Centre to develop a project in the residency “Concert in the 21st Century”.Her discography features a performance of Ashes of Soldiers by Toronto’s Colin Eatock, released by the Canadian Music Centre.

Alongside performing Ms. Conly maintains a voice and piano studio in Toronto. In 2012, and again in 2018/19 she was a singer for Frederick Harris Music for the recordings of the repertoire for the Royal Conservatory Vocal Series. In the summer of 2019 she was a presenter and adjudicator at the Royal Conservatory of Music Summit in Toronto, and in 2020 was invited to become a member of the Royal Conservatory College of Examiners. As a clinician with local choirs she has led a wide selection of sessions on topics including coloratura, expressive text and warming up the whole person. She is a certified yoga instructor for children and adults, and is currently cultivating workshops that explore tools for performance, creativity, and life; a synthesis of her passions as a teacher, performer, yogi, and meditation practitioner.

She lives in Toronto with her partner and enjoys having baking adventures with children.

To see and hear Melanie Conly CLICK HERE

Tickets are $25.00 plus fees available from Tickets Please

The MERA Schoolhouse is located at 974 Dalhousie Concession 9A, McDonald’s Corners, Ont., K0G 1M0