Toronto Community

FabCollab presents Women In Song

CBC Toronto is proud to partner with FabCollab to present Women In Song, a virtual music festival highlighting Toronto's global music scene featuring female artists

Toronto's global music scene takes the spotlight in a new type of music festival

Featured artists Tamar Ilana, Lia Grainger (Flamenco/World) Nastasia Y (Slavic soul), Eliana Cuevas (Latin jazz), Naghmeh Farahmand (Persian rhythms), Samidha Joglekar (Classical Indian) and Lauren Barnett (Electro acoustic). (Image provided by FabCollab )

CBC Toronto is proud to partner with FabCollab to bring you Women in Song. A virtual all day music festival celebrating female artists in Toronto. CBC Toronto Reporter Lisa Xing hosts the inaugural event on Sunday, August 9, 2020.

(CBC Reporter Lisa Xing )

In case you missed it: watch the replay of the concert here.

FabCollab is a newly formed music initiative committed to amplifying minority and underrepresented groups, particularly BIPOC and female-identifying artists.  Their first of many live-streamed music festivals planned for the coming months feature a roster of Toronto's acclaimed female artists, each from a different musical background and genre.

One of the unexpected silver linings of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it has brought many of us in the music community closer together," said Ilana. "We've joined in solidarity and are more open to collaboration and diversification than ever before.

Organizer and musician Tamar Ilana worked with Musicians' Performance Trust Fund and Small World Centre to create a new opportunity for musicians to collaborate while keeping physical distancing measures in mind. 

"One of the unexpected silver linings of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it has brought many of us in the music community closer together," said Ilana. "We've joined in solidarity and are more open to collaboration and diversification than ever before."

World music ensemble group Ventanas will accompany each performance. ( Carlos Gárate at Toronto Music Garden)

Each artist will perform a 30 minute set accompanied by Toronto world music ensemble Ventanas along with backing from Tamar Ilana. The event will feature musical styles: Flamenco, Slavic soul, Latin jazz, Persian rhythms, classical Indian and electro acoustic.


12:00 - 12:30 pm Tamar Ilana feat. Lia Grainger (Flamenco/World)

2:00 - 2:30 pm Nastasia Y (Slavic soul)

4:00 - 4:30 pm Eliana Cuevas (Latin jazz)

6:00 - 6:30 pm Naghmeh Farahmand (Persian rhythms)

8:00 - 8:30 pm Samidha Joglekar (Classical Indian)

10:00 - 10:30 pm Lauren Barnett (Electro acoustic)

Streaming starts Sunday, August 9 at 12pm. For more information on how to tune in click here.

Meet the Artists

Tamar Ilana & Ventanas - World Music and Flamenco Dance 

Tamar Ilana is a multi-lingual vocalist, flamenco dancer and choreographer, and has performed on international stages since the age of five, spending much of her childhood in Spain. Based again in her hometown of Toronto, Tamar now performs with Jaffa Road, Esmeralda Enrique and the Sultans of String, and has been actively pushing the boundaries of the music industry since the pandemic hit the city. Ventanas, founded in 2011, is composed of some of the city's finest world musicians: Justin Gray, Demetri Petsalakis, Jessica Deutsch, Derek Gray and Benjamin Barrile. Tamar Ilana & Ventanas have been nominated for four Canadian Folk Music Awards, toured North America extensively and recently released their third album, MISTRĀL. They will be accompanying all of the artists of Women in Song. 

Lia Grainger - flamenco dance

Lia is an award-winning professional flamenco dancer who has spent the last decade performing and touring throughout North America and Europe. Lia was based in Spain for five years, where she trained at the prestigious Amor de Dios Academy and performed. She led the international ensemble Fin de Fiesta Flamenco for seven years and is currently artistic director of world music ensemble Qairo, who will release their debut album in 2021.

Eliana Cuevas - Latin jazz 

Over the years of touring throughout the world, Eliana Cuevas has received the National Jazz Award for Latin Jazz Artist of the Year, two Toronto Independent Music Awards for Best World Music Artist , an Independent Music Award for Best Latin Album, and a Canadian Folk Music Award for World Solo Artist of the Year. Eliana has released 5 albums of original Latin music to this date and her latest album Golpes y Flores is a musical love letter to her native land of Venezuela that integrates Afro-Venezuelan rhythms with Eliana's very own Latin Jazz approach.

Naghmeh Farahmand - Persian rhythms 

Naghmeh Farahmand, the daughter of master percussionist Mahmoud Farahmand, has performed with many well-known ensembles in Iran and at festivals in Europe, Asia, and North America while collaborating with Iranian TV for more than a decade. In 2010 she moved to Canada, releasing her solo percussion CD Unbound and collaborating with top performers of world music. In 2016 she released her first Instructional DVD on Persian rhythms "The Iranian Daf " in international drumming language. 

Nastasia Y - Slavic soul 

Ukraine-born Nastasia Y is a multifaceted artist & entrepreneur in Toronto, Canada. She is the leader of DoVira and a founding member of BLISK. Nastasia began her career as a pop/r&b artist, eventually developing a passion for cross-cultural and cross-genre collaboration performing with artists including Ahmed Moneka, Tamar Ilana, JoSH, StereoWorld. She sings in multiple languages, from Serbian to Arabic, and her voice was featured on the TV show "Orphan Black". Nastasia is an accomplished pianist with a bachelor of contemporary jazz degree, and the founder/CEO of StereoFlavour Entertainment.

Samidha Joglekar - Classical Indian

Samidha Joglekar is a Canadian vocalist of South Asian origin known for her Hindustani, Marathi language and cross-cultural performances and recordings. Samidha began her vocal training at age eight with the Royal Conservatory of Music and concurrently, at age ten, began studying Hindustani vocal music with her Guru, Shree Narendra Datar. Samidha has received prestigious scholarships from the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, allowing her to study with masters  in India. She performed and recorded extensively with musicians in Canada and around the world and her voice is featured on the soundtrack for Deepa Mehta's Midnight's Children, the song Sahil Tak produced for Coke Studio India, and her own album of original devotional songs (Bhajans) called Kirtan Karlo. 

Lauren Barnett - Electro acoustic 

Lauren Barnett is a passionate singer, songwriter, saxophonist and educator from Toronto, Canada. Her musical style is influenced by her Jamaican - Canadian roots, her jazz performance background and the vibrant stories and sounds found within the city of Toronto. Over the last 10 years, she has written for many projects that have featured her songwriting, compositions and arranging skills including her most recent project, the electronic music duo Catchfiyah. The duo released their first self entitled EP in December 2019. 

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