Girls to the Front Songwriters Circle
Hosted by Julie Corrigan
Featuring Audrey Saparno & Jillian Kerr
Monday March 16, 2020
Sponsored by Red Leaf Music & CKCU 93.1 FM
Audrey is a singer-songwriter born and raised in Ottawa, Canada. Her warm and powerful vocals accompanied by her acoustic guitar weave a soulful sound to her folk-style songs with an R&B twist. Musical influences include Dawud Wharnsby, Lynn Miles and Joni Mitchell whereas her voice has been compared to that of Jane Siberry and Sarah McLachlan. Her writings give a voice to a Muslim woman’s perspective that is both refreshing and not often heard in the music industry.
Audrey was one of those kids who started singing before she could talk. In her elementary school years she learned the techniques of choral singing and participated in numerous Kiwanis Festival competitions. At the age of 11, inspired by her cousins, she taught herself how to play guitar. In her late teens she studied vocal music with a private teacher who helped her win her one-and-only Kiwanis Festival trophy in the musical theatre category. After that time she put music aside to pursue her love for biology and the sciences.
Recently, she started writing and performing her own songs. She wanted to write songs that she could sing and were reflective of who she was, a Canadian Muslim woman. One of her songs helped her win box seats in the CBC booth at a Stanley Cup final hockey game- the year when the Ottawa Senators made it to the finals (in 2007). Since 2008, she started writing songs for an annual show presented by Expressions of Muslim Women – an organization for which she is an active member.
Song-writing has become a way for her to express her spirituality and her story in a folksy sort of way. Hoping to unify people through universal themes, she shares her songs with the heart of whomever her songs can touch.
Jillian Kerr was born and raised on the outskirts of Ottawa, in a small community called Kinburn. Growing up, there was always music playing in Jillian’s house. She could hear it from the speakers or watch her dad practicing a new tune to play at the family bonfires.
Cottage campfires were and still are a huge part of Jillian’s life – a time when everyone gathers on warm summer nights to play and sing together. From the moment she was born, Jillian has been heavily influenced by the sound of acoustic guitars and simple country melodies.
Jillian writes lyrics that listeners can relate to yet there remains a hint of mystery in each song. Her most intriguing quality stems from her unique and soothing voice. When Jillian sings it leaves audiences wanting more. She has been described as sounding “like a cross between Sarah McLachlan and Alanis Morissette” and yet still has a touch of something all her own.
“I’ll be waiting for you, the wolves will be calling, the skies will still be blue” – Home
Born and raised in the Ottawa Valley, Julie Corrigan is a warm & soulful country singer/songwriter hailing from the small town of Shawville Quebec. Julie’s hometown has been a source of inspiration for many of her songs from her debut album The Language, recorded in Ottawa at Little Bullhorn Studios with producer Dave Draves. Through memories of growing up on a farm along the Ottawa River, her songs tells stories of heartache, loss, tragedy and a longing for going home.
Known for her stunning live performances around the Ottawa Valley and across Canada, Julie’s lifelong songwriting growth culminated in the summer of 2017 when she performed at Ottawa Bluesfest. She has also performed at the National Arts Centre and Blacksheep Inn, as well as other festival performances which include Marvest City Folk, Shawville Fair and Megaphono. Julie has been featured on CBC Radio and CKCU FM, in which “The Language” was the #1 played album of the year in 2015. Julie also hosts a live monthly event at Irene’s Pub in Ottawa called Girls to the Front Songwriters Circle, which showcases women in music locally and beyond.