In the Comedy Fusion Show studio, Cat Bernardi discusses her beginnings and rise to commercial music. She is a multi-talented performer in that she spends as much time behind the piano composing original music and rearranging standards for her music career as she does writing and developing musical theatre. She has played some of the best jazz bars in Toronto, Canada as well as many of the biggest jazz festivals in the Greater Toronto Area. She walks us through her latest projects that include a recently recorded full-length live LP that she is still overseeing the mix-down of and tips her hand as to what she has on the horizon that she is writing and collaborating on for stage production. It’s a big-time interview with a big-time vocalist and writer.
Cat has 2 very successful lives; last week we covered her music and jazz vocalist career and today we dive in for a full-picture look at her foray into composing and writing original theatre… MUSICAL theatre. Today’s episode of Comedy Fusion Show opens and closes the way Cat would design a stage production; book-ended by two great pieces of original music.
We meet our first classically trained musician, Haley Marie, and she turns the show on its head! She blazes into how as a youngster she had NO interest in classical music, she wanted to play rock. She has an amazing, yet controversial take on "Flutist vs. Flautist" that will spin your head. She discusses her past love of pro wrestling, watching the old WWF while cheering for the classics: Ted Dibiasi and Ric Flair to name a few. Then, after describing to us why her flute's mouthpiece is a special wood section and NOT metal, Haley-Marie dives into Bach, Beethoven and Mozart and how everything we have been told about them and the music scene from their day is basically contrived stories and lies. The truth is actually WAY better than our fiction....and we now know why it could not be taught in schools...especially not today! It's all in Part 1 of our time with Flutist/Flautist/Vlogger, Haley-Marie.
In this follow-up episode with Haley-Marie, we discuss her career, her company and then things nose dive into the seedy and the sordid side of the classical era. If you thought you knew JS Bach, Franz Liszt and the way concerts were received in the renaissance...you don't know nuttin’! From barnstorming to panties thrown from the crowd, and doctors who weren't doctors and played a hand in the death of some of the masters! It’s all here in Part 2 with Haley-Marie. Then she delights us with a light and bright German piece that is as quirky as it is beautiful.
We wrap up our 3-part mini-series with the brilliantly talented Haley-Marie as she dedicates this whole segment to the music and the history of The Beatles. All Toph had to do was ask about her personal integration of Classical music with her love of Rock and Roll and BOOM! - off she goes! :) There are stories here on The Beatles that unless you are an authority on their history (which Haley-Marie is) you would never know any of what we get into today. Plus we kept the “tape rolling” on a really cool special piece she plays and if you last right to the end of this episode…..you’ll be glad you did.
Today with Karen Thornton, we chat about where she started in her songwriting and performance career and how it evolved over the years. While walking back the years, we also uncovered great stories of the live performance “establishments” and opportunities that used to be in place and what may have played into their disappearance. For anyone who either lives in or near Toronto, as well for anyone who has ever visited the city, this is a very cool look at its music scene then and now. However, having said all that, we knew we needed her to appear on our show when we caught wind of her MUSICAL COMEDY compositions!! Just the titles of her 2 songs in this episode (“You Can’t Dance” & “Please Don’t Sing) are enough for you to want in on this action!
On today’s program, Rob talks about his latest album “Synergy”. He talks to Toph and the Thudman about how he has established himself as an award-winning guitarist and recording artist performing contemporary jazz/world instrumental music. We chat about how many of his releases have charted on Billboard's Top 10, he has been recognized as the Canadian Smooth Jazz Guitarist of the year in 2010 and Rob won 1st place in the IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) in 2017 for best instrumental composition for "Voyageur" (CD: Moments). We cover his accolades and successes and later in the program, he plays an exclusive live version of his song “Moments” This is part one of our time with Rob Tardik to close out the second season of Comedy Fusion Show. Today will likely have you reaching for something to sip with salsa...or just sip salsa on its own...but wouldn’t that then just be gazpacho? Regardless this leaves us off in a perfect position to check out next week’s continuation of our time with him.
In this session, Rob expands on his discussion regarding the absolute dedication to “the dream”. He tells us about how he imparts on his children the ideals that go with striving for success in anything. He has a motto: “No Plan B”; go into what you want with no looking back. He recounts the successes and setbacks along the way to where he is today, playing at some of the biggest music festivals anywhere and he tells us some of those stories as well. AND he too has a side business that he has wrapped up nicely into his music career: HOT SAUCE! Yes, you read this correctly; Rob Tardik tells us about how Hot Sauce became “a thing” and how he fits it into his career universe. This is an interview you and your kids need to listen to; everybody learns something important today!!
We close with Rob with him taking us back to where he began...at the beginning. If you have a child who aspires to be a musician, especially a guitarist...you NEED to hear this! He talks us through getting started in his youth, who inspired him and what his first instrument was. SHOCKER ALERT: his first instrument was NOT the guitar!! We get that story plus a wildly hair-raising hilarious recounting of WHO his first real influence was...and you will NEVER in any lifetime have seen THIS coming :) LOL He discusses his time with Roland Canada and how he came to love and acquire his Godin guitars, made in Montreal. You will come for the insight, you will stay for THE most improbable inspiration story you have ever heard!!
Chris Burr and Colin Ferguson open from the highest point in the company’s history; the evening of the grand launch party for both the new facility and the new game. We discuss the transition between games and their development as well as the funding and process for that. The company grows from a few to over 20 and things really take off! But the video game biz is as fickle and competitive as music and acting in many ways, so Chris and Colin take us through the tribulations and triumphs on today’s episode with them.
We open our 3-part series with Canada’s “The Wanted” by diving right into the process behind the varied setlists dependent on venue. We discuss the many challenges but also pleasures of different venue types, and Natalie walks us through not only how she builds a show, but Jeff and Richard chime in on how it’s also necessary it is to be able to “duck and weave” depending on the setting. The 3 members of this group all came from distinctly different musical backgrounds and they have a ball relating how it all comes together for his unique mix.
In part 2 of our time with Canada’s “The Wanted, we get all into the myriad of instruments that this band plays. Instruments you either had never heard of or thought were long forgotten; they are all played in our segments with The Wanted and in this discussion we learn their rich history. The story doesn't end there however; The Wanted have the history of the time that gave rise to each unique piece so that we come away with a true appreciation for not just the instrument itself, but the music it creates and the heritage it adds to.
Today Natalie, Jeff and Richard discuss band chemistry and the very unique and varied pasts they each bring to the group. Collaboration is always a tricky topic, especially when you have 3 members who are so different coming in, but there is a psychology behind it all; there has to be, especially after the many many members of the band over the years! We hit up their favourite gigs, favourite lawyers (?), how SARS shaped the course of the band’s history forever; plus a 200-year Canadian heritage that you never saw coming! All this and a song at the end of the episode that will have you hitting the rewind button to listen to it again, and again, and again, and…….