Searchlight 2019: meet our judges
Searchlight is CBC Music's annual hunt for Canada's best undiscovered Juno-ready talent, and so far throughout this year's competition, you've had plenty of say through your voting as to which artists will move forward in the competition.
All that changes when our celebrity judges take over, as soon as our top 10 national finalists are announced on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019.
Until then, you can still vote for your favourite artists to make that coveted top 10. Votes will be accepted up until 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. The judges will decide which artist will win Searchlight 2019, and that decision will be announced on Thursday, March 7.
While you vote, let's meet our 2018 Searchlight judges.
Vanessa Adora is an expertise in music streaming, marketing and digital strategy at Warner Music, working closely with Spotify Canada. Prior to working at Warner Music, Adora was a freelance public relations manager for Toronto musicians. She also taught piano lessons at the Regent Park School of Music. With a bachelor of music from the University of Western Ontario, she is passionate about accessible arts programs for adolescents, and discovering new talent.
Jess Knights is the manager of education and public programs at the National Music Centre in Calgary, where the Searchlight 2019 winner will spend five days recording. Knights also sits on the board of Canada's Music Incubator, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing business skills for emerging musicians. Knights is also a classically trained singer-songwriter hailing from Calgary. After years of operatic vocal training and competing, Knights made a name for herself belting out the blues in the rough-hewn dive bars of her hometown. Her critically acclaimed debut album, Won't Wait, was released in 2018, straddling her love of the renegade worlds of blues, alt-country and soul.
Kai Black joined CBC Music a decade ago after a successful run as a producer on CBC Radio One's Go with Brent Bambury, and the music trivia game show Grooveshinny. In 2008, Black helped transition CBC Music from a classical network, to a multi-genre one. Black's accolades include a Canadian Screen Award, a New York Radio Award and the Robert Pearson Guiding Star Award for his work mentoring people with disabilities.
Thank you to all five judges for making what will likely be a very difficult decision as to who wins Searchlight 2019.