Who: Jully Black
When: Sunday, May 18, 10:30 p.m.
Tickets: $15 (presale)
This Toronto-based R&B singer and songwriter hasn’t performed in Whistler for almost eight years, but Jully Black is finally coming back over the May long weekend to blow the roof off of Garfinkel’s with her rich, powerful lyrics, and over-the-top stage presence.
As the youngest in a family of nine children, Black is truly a natural-born performer, taking to the stage for the first time at the age of six with her church choir.
“I got a positive reaction from people, and you know, a child likes attention, but in an interesting way, I knew I was giving something,” said Black.
Song writing, another aspect of her career, also started during her childhood.
“I was basically writing my feelings… I actually wrote a song called, I Got a Fever, when I was like 10 or something,” she said, adding that she finds the process of writing therapeutic.
As passionate as she is about writing, Black would never step off of the stage to pursue a career behind the scenes.
“Performing is my drug of choice,” said Black. “I get such a satisfying feeling from performing.”
This is Me , Black’s first full-length album, was released in 2005, garnering a lot of industry attention and accolades. And just seven months ago, she released Revival , featuring a solid backdrop of live instruments, which gives the album a confident, vintage-inspired sound.
“I’ve grown a lot as a writer, and Revival came at a time that I was a lot more comfortable with who I am and really being a woman and being able to speak about things that I’m comfortable speaking about,” she said.
One of the songs on Revival , Seven Day Fool, a cover of the Etta James classic, scored Black a 2008 Juno nomination for Single of the Year.
“When you think about some of the great songs that we’ve loved from back in the day, those were live instruments — it wasn’t a digital time!” Black said wistfully.
Though her hit, Seven Day Fool, didn’t win in that category, Black ended up taking home top honours in the category of Best R&B Solo Recording, and performing during the Juno award ceremonies.
“It was totally amazing, but even more amazing was being able to perform and close that show, to have my mom see her baby, like, ‘Wow, okay, this is why I migrated to Canada, so my children could dream and actually have them come true,’” said Black. “There’s no trophy in the world that could make me feel better than knowing that my mom was so proud.”