Article by: Lee Fraser
Unwind from the holiday frenzy by catching the up-and-coming pop singer Sara Dell in the warm and cozy Rex Hotel Jazz and Blues Bar.
The Rex in Toronto, ON
Every Friday in December
6:30 to 8:30 pm, all ages, no cover (music appreciation jar)
Sara Dell is the perfect case study of musicians moving away from their friends and family and hometowns, to come to the big city to take their chances doing what they love. She moved to Toronto from Winnipeg several years ago and has been playing gigs at the Reservoir Lounge, the Shangri-La Hotel and The Rex, perfecting her songs and her show. She just recently landed a coveted spot on CBC Radio’s annual live broadcast to raise funds for the Daily Bread Food Bank, and was given an interview on Radio One's afternoon rush hour spot.
The Rex, although known for jazz and blues, supports local musicians who have talent and showmanship. Because Sara has been playing monthly residencies off and on there for a number of years, it's like a second home to her, and that comes through in her shows. She's always bubbly and smiling, interacting with the crowd. Both her piano playing and her voice are strong enough to persevere over a packed house. The Friday after work crowd, mixed with tourists and shoppers, chat and eat and drink their pints, but Sara plays every song as though she were headlining a stadium show with everyone rapt in attention.
Sara's set list includes covers that range from Carly Rae Jepson to Coldplay to Billy Joel, which often prompt the patrons to become the Rex Hotel back-up singers. She performs an absolutely stunning version of Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home". She also has developed quite the catalog of her own material. Many of her songs have an instant familiarity that will have you wondering who she’s covering, until you realize it’s one of her originals.
Sara is playing every Friday in December. For only one of those performances, December 21st, she will be joined by stellar bassist, Ross MacIntyre and the classy Ben Riley on drums. It's hard to think of a better alternative to fighting the holiday shopping frenzy.