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Strong Women Strong Music 2016: Leora Cashe

In preparation for the Strong Women Strong Music 2016 Benefit for the Atira Women’s Centre (details below), Karin Plato has been posting profiles of the artists involved with her Platonic Questionnaire – these are too good to simply evaporate on Facebook. Vocalist Leora Cashe will be one of the featured artists on March 11th @ Frankie’s:


Do you remember a concert that you attended that impacted you in a profound way?
Last year I had the pleasure of hearing Cecile McLorin Salvant at the Chan. Her exquisite voice and her captivating story telling in song….. along with her very talented and sensitive musicians, well, together they transported us, the audience into numerous magical moments. It was stellar!

Could you name a music teacher or mentor who has influenced and inspired you?
My fellow musician friends have inspired and influenced me profoundly. Every time I sing and create music with my fellow musicians I feel like I’m at a music lesson. My vocal teacher, Sam Lancaster at Grant MacEwan College was a wise and passionate instructor who helped me commit to finding my own voice.

Could you name a few artists whose recordings you enjoy listening to?
I love Dianne Reeves, Nnenna Freelon, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Anita O’Day, Karrin Allyson, Nancy King, Kurt Elling, Nancy Wilson, Cleo Laine, Carmen McCrae, Ernestine Anderson, Shirley Horn, Cecile McLorin Savant, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Nancy Wilson, and the list goes on. For instrumentalists I love Oscar Peterson, Red Garland, Sweets Edison, Clark Terry, James Moody, Chic Corea, Bill Evans. and I love listening to my friends too … lately, it’s Jennifer Scott, James Danderfer, Ross Taggart and Jill Townsend’s Big Band.

Do you come from a musical family?
Not really. However, my mom loves to sing and I sang in my church choir. My Nanna used to play piano and I do remember some fun Christmas family sing-a-longs.

Is there a famous musician you admire and if so why?
I love Ella Fitzgerald! I never had the chance to hear her live however her musical voice speaks to me with immense joy, sensitivity and her improvisation is so articulate and natural. For me, her persona radiates honesty and humility and a big all encompassing heart. I love that.

Do you play any other instruments other than your main instrument?
I play the piano and guitar mostly for composing but also I accompany myself when I play music with young children.

What it is about performing music that you particularly enjoy?
I enjoy telling the story in the song and experiencing an emotional connection with the images of the lyric, and connecting with my fellow musicians for the purpose of building a thriving community where musical ideas inspire and serve the greater good.

Could you name a famous song that you wish you were the composer of?
There are many, and Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell is beautiful, imagery and wisdom, a perfect musical picture.

If you were able to share coffee, conversation and a duet with an influential female musician who would that person be?
Oh no, I have to pick only one? Joni Mitchell and Ella Fitzgerald, it would have to be 3-part harmony.

Advice to young aspiring musicians?
Music is a language, so study and play with many in order to find your unique voice. Follow your heart and trust in your instincts and don’t let the naysayers bring ya down.

Looking forward to singing and making some swingin’ music together on Friday March 11th! See you there,


Help us celebrate 10 years of Strong Women Strong Music!

In celebration of International Women’s Day join us on the 8th, 10th and 11th of March for the 10th annual Strong Women Strong Music concert series, featuring West Coast’s most prominent women jazz musicians singing up support for Enterprising Women Making Art (EWMA), a program of Atira Women’s Resource Society. Revel in the voices and music of these talented artists while investing in the soul and spirit of the Downtown Eastside, where EWMA helps art and empowerment bloom.

One hundred percent of all proceeds will go to EWMA. For more than thirteen years EWMA has provided safe, income-generating opportunities for women in the Downtown Eastside free from exploitation, abuse and other vulnerabilities.

This year we are delighted to be partnering with Vancouver Coastal Jazz. With their support we have been able to extend the concert to three nights and to use their fantastic location Frankie’s Jazz Club, where food will also be available. The Strong Women Strong Music Concerts are part of a month long celebration of women in jazz.

Mar 8 – Jennifer Scott, Laura Crema, Jaclyn Guillou, Jen Hodge, Sharon Minemoto, Karen Graves
Mar 10 – Karin Plato, Kate Hammett-Vaughan, Daphne Roubini, Jillian Lebeck, Geeta Das, Wendy Solloway
Mar 11 – Leora Cashe, Dawn Aitken, Andrea Superstein, Diane Lines, Wendy Solloway, Mili Hong

Location: Frankie’s Jazz Club, 765 Beatty St, Vancouver, BC
Time: 8pm-10pm – Performances start at 8pm.
Tickets: $20

Reservations for Frankie’s:
Admission at the door

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