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Laila Biali

Tuesday, June 18

Canadian Museum for Human Rights

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Catchy, sophisticated, and unlike anything currently on the radio, this is jazz and this is pop music, but not the kind that can be neatly tagged by an algorithm. Melodies take thrilling left turns and pre-choruses give way to instrumental interludes. One minute Biali is soaring over a bluesy storm of handclaps and hard-charging keyboard riffs (“Got to Love”), the next she is pouring out her soul on an impassioned, slow-burning plea for empathy (“Refugee.”)

The raven-haired musician has won awards (SOCAN Composer of the Year and Keyboardist of the Year at Canada’s National Jazz Awards) and played the world’s most prestigious venues (North Sea Jazz Festival, Tokyo’s Cotton Club, Carnegie Hall). She’s toured with GRAMMY award winners (Chris Botti, Paula Cole, Suzanne Vega) and recorded with an international icon (Sting). In short: Laila has established herself as one of Canadian jazz’s brightest young stars.

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