Primary Instrument: Vocalist
BIO-MANDY LAGAN Mandy was born in England and raised in Ridgetown, a small town in southwestern Ontario. She studied piano and sang in various choirs under the tutelage of her mother who was a piano teacher, organist and choir director. She eventually picked up a guitar and learned some chords so she could accompany herself singing songs she knew, as well as work on her own writing. After graduating from Mohawk College Music Department Mandy went to McMaster University and got her B.A. in music. She began taking herself seriously as a singer in 1990 when she moved out of Hamilton and into Toronto and formed a band in order to work on some of her favourite music as well as develop her own compositions. In 2002 she released her first CD, I Thought About You, a collection of jazz standards and two originals. In 2003 she released her second CD, You See Me, a selection of five jazz standards and five originals. She has been performing around Ontario at various venues and festivals, working with some of Canada's finest, David Braid, Nancy Walker, Dave Restivo, Keiran Overs, Jim Vivian, Barry Romberg, Kevin Dempsey, David Occhipinti, Andrew Downing, Kevin Turcotte, to mention a few. Her latest project is Verses for which she received financial support from The Canada Council for the Arts and The Ontario Arts Council.
VERSES is a selection of poems taken from Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses written in 1885. While the lyric comes from children's poetry, the music speaks to poetry lovers of all ages. Combining this classic children's poetry with musical composition brings the poems to another realm of artistry. The end result is a collection of vignettes that blur the boundaries of jazz, folk and classical music while enhancing the poems' identity. “Verses” is full of intelligent creative writing, imaginative arrangements, and superb, intuitive musicianship, that is tastefully and respectfully presented. This enchanted collection of songs features the compositional and playing skills of David Occhipinti (guitar), Andrew Downing (bass), Nancy Walker (piano), Joe Lagan (piano), and Carl Horton (piano), along with performances by Kevin Turcotte (trumpet), Blair MacKay (percussion), Ross Wooldridge (clarinet) and The Madawaska String Quartet.
“I was completely captivated ............... Verses is a little masterpiece.” Norma Winstone, International jazz singer.
“.... a warm tone and a highly evolved technical ability” George Evans of Planet Jazz Magazine.
“She blends the sincerity and warmth of a folk performer with the technical prowess of a jazz artist” Richard Bourcier of Jazz Review.com
“On her most recent album VERSES, she sets the words of Robert Louis Stevenson to some soaring - and more importantly, original � musical compositions.......Mandy Lagan is the real deal.” Mark Rheaume, CBC radio.
“..she possesses a fresh and distinctive voice that grows more knowing and mature by the hour.” Carl Horton Mohawk College Music Dept.