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Central Band Welcomes Juno-Award Winner to Its Holiday Stage this Year

By Sergeant Natalie Alcorn, Central Band of the CAF –

With the holiday season quickly approaching, the talented musicians of the Central Band of the Canadian Armed Forces (CBCAF) are busy preparing for their 8th annual Holidays with the Central Band concert. The CBCAF is extremely honoured and excited to announce this year’s concert will be featuring multi-award winning vocalist Laila Biali as special guest soloist!

Winner of this year’s Juno Award for Best Vocal Jazz Album and host of CBC Radio’s Saturday Night Jazz, guest artist Laila Biali is taking time from her busy international tour schedule to perform for this very special holiday event. Throughout the evening, Laila will perform a solo set on the grand piano as well as several songs backed by the Central Band that are sure to have you dancing in your seats!  You will also get to hear the RCAF Pipes and Drums Corps and the CAF Serenade of Strings.

Guest artist Laila Biali

Captain (Capt) John Fullerton, Commanding Officer and Music Director of the CBCAF, is once again leading the Band’s 40 Musicians in this wonderful evening of festive song and music. This year’s annual holiday event will present a variety of traditional Christmas carols, original performances, as well as seasonal favourites. Given the special guest at this year’s event, we will see a distinctly jazz themed holiday event that is sure to get you into the spirit of the season!

To that end, Laila Biali has graciously shared some thoughts with the CBCAF on this exciting upcoming holiday event:

  1. What are you most looking forward to in your upcoming collaboration with the Central Band?

It’s not often I get to perform with a large ensemble. It’s truly an honour for me to play with the Central Band. And what could be better than the holiday season in Ottawa?!!

  1. What are you most proud of in your career?

I’m proud to have won this year’s JUNO award for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year. I’m also proud to have worked with my hero, Sting. But I think I’m most proud of a life that balances music and touring with a family that is precious to me – my husband and son.

  1. What do you like to do in your spare time?

I don’t have much spare time, but when I do, I love to get outdoors and walk, especially if it’s a new area to me. I also enjoy a good sit down with Netflix now and then, a guilty pleasure, and I listen to podcasts almost non-stop as I’m doing chores around the house or traveling.

  1. Do you have a favourite memory of a performance?

Good question. There are many fond memories of performances, but one that stands out would be opening for Diana Krall at Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre in 2005. That was certainly a highlight! I also love playing the Confederation Park stage at Ottawa Jazz Festival.

  1. What inspires you as an artist?  What influences your music?

My love of people. My faith, friendships, family, and stories of loss and overcoming, the stories that change us when we hear them.

  1.  What is your favourite holiday song?

There are many to choose from! I especially love Christmas Time is Here, and I also love In The Bleak Midwinter.

  1. Do you have a favourite holiday tradition?

The advent calendar – counting down the days to Christmas with a daily treat or surprise! Watching The Christmas Story is another beloved tradition in our household.

  1. Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to share? 

I’ll be releasing a new album in 2020!

The Central Band with special guest Laila Biali will be playing shows on both Tuesday, 10 December and Wednesday, 11 December, 2019 at 1900 hrs, both at the Meridian Theatres at Centrepointe. Tickets may be purchased on the MeridianCentrepointe website. DND/CAF personnel may use the promo code listed in the CFSU(O) Routine Orders to purchase tickets at a discounted rate, with tickets ranging from $10-20. Please note that this is a family-friendly event and as such there are no formal dress requirements for a night of holiday fun.

All photos provided by the CFSU(O) Imaging Services

This post is also available in: Français (French)

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