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December 4, 2020

Janis and I are so thrilled to have Vocal Gumbo so ripely out there, enjoying many many months of workshopping and now it is making a life of it's own. So many artists have been featured, many more we have collaborated with in some fashion, and the library grows and deepens in flavour.

The pandemic has changed us forever, but we feel the future of Vocal Gumbo lives beyond the vaccine and returning to the lives we once knew. Being able to bring each other close for an evening celebrating the art of survival and musician's resourcefulness is an affirmation worth living for.

The Vocal Gumbo production vision continues to evolve. We are interested in combining people from all over the map to make one of a kind experiences for them and our viewers. In particular, Rhiannon's "Breakaway" which debuted on Episode #9 may be the most ambitious to date. We featured the nimble intelligent piano fingerings from Laurence Hobgood in Queens, invited Frank Colon from Brasil, and Pura Fe' from the Tuscarora Indian Nation who resides in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to improvise in her native language and play frame drum, coach her Nieces to sing from their POV, all adding flavours to Rhiannon's soulful original and love song to the children of the world. Perfect and imperfect at the same time, full of soul and heart, we merged all our stories in the hope of communicating Rhiannon's dream. Other productions can be more simple and organic, they all work on the spectrum of goal and song. And they all have to work under the time constraints and technological possibilities at any given time. Perhaps that is one of the prouder feelings I have about our show, we work, we work fast, we work with heart, we work tirelessly, and somewhere in the middle of that tornado, another episode is born.

Thank you for being interested in Vocal Gumbo. We want to tell the singer's spirit, the artist's story and the resourcefulness of our music community. Pandemics are devastating, being out of work is real, Vocal Gumbo wants to be that glass of water in the drought, that smile in the night and that friend in the mist.

Join our Patreon Village and become more intimately involved and informed with what we are doing. Help us spread the word so every show, every artist that performs, every editor that polishes and every charity receives our humble honorariums and an opportunity to be seen and heard in the mist.

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Updated: Oct 1, 2020

When the pandemic hit, Janis Siegel and Lauren Kinhan reimagined their landlubber's vocal salon to live in the virtual performance-sphere. On May 9, 2020, Vocal Gumbo Episode 1 was aired.

Vocal Gumbo is by artists for artists.

“We didn't know what we were doing, we just knew we were going to do it," says musical hero of the jazz archeology Janis Siegel

Likewise, "I'm in," say Lauren Kinhan. Since we knew we would be making music regardless, same way that we knew we'd be whipping of tasty dishes in the kitchen, we thought we'd combine our passions, invite our friends, reach out to people we have long admired, and begin work on a virtual music show that would have a profound meaning during the pandemic and beyond when we emerge from our long hibernation back into the real world.

Enter Laurie Green

Long time manager of The Manhattan Transfer, Laurie comes from a theater background and we knew her knowledge and similar temperment were a perfect pairing with J+L's spirit and spice for keeping the creative fires burning.

We're not afraid to make mistakes......and we did

“If we had known the end result ahead of time, we would have done this sooner,” says Lauren!

Who knew Episode 1 featuring Jonatha Brooke and Silje Nergaard would show us that we had so much fun and so much to learn. We did. And as we learned how to program live shows and MCing prerecorded interviews and performances, we began to piece together a flow and learned what was working and what was not.

Vocal Gumbo Happy Hour was born

Soon after we produced our second show, we felt a strong need to not only make music, but allow for a space for people to talk about what was going on in their lives and the events that were happening in the world. Now VGHH is a regular part of our programming that precedes the main show, helping us to stay topical and timely, promote the upcoming show and sell tickets.

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