June 25, 2024


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Chelsea McBride is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer and bandleader: Video

15.01. – Happy Birthday !!! Chelsea McBride is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer and bandleader based out of Toronto, Ontario. After relocating to Toronto from Vancouver to study contemporary music at Humber College, Chelsea now leads two of her own projects, Chelsea and the Cityscape and the Socialist Night School, both of which feature her original compositions and talents as a saxophonist.

Her unique blend of pop, jazz, and moody atmospheres has coalesced into a sound that is entirely her own; her next goal is to take this music and share it with the world.

Chelsea got her start playing the piano at the age of 3, and picked up the saxophone near the end of elementary school. After the saxophone, she started singing, and in high school she learned flute and clarinet while playing in her school’s big band. When she’s not found working with her own projects, she can be seen with hip-hop collective DMDP or working as a session musician on various other projects.

Growing up in Vancouver provided a unique opportunity for Chelsea to foster her musical talents. “I was always around music, whether it was through lessons, or radio, or anything like that,” she said, “so as I grew up, it never occurred to me that I could be doing other things with my spare time. When I did summer camps, it was all music-related; when other kids were playing for sports teams at a regional, provincial, national level, I was doing the same thing with music. When we talked about what we were going to do after high school, there wasn’t really another option…music seemed to be the obvious choice.”

While still in Vancouver, she had the opportunity to work under the direction of such artists as Nicole Mitchell, Jeremy Hepner, Mike Allen, Campbell Ryga, and Ross Taggart. She also was selected to be a part of the 2010 Paralympic Opening Ceremonies Welcome Band, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that served to inspire her even more. “There’s nothing like the energy of being in a stadium filled with 60,000 screaming, pom-pom waving people. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Chelsea completed her Bachelor of Music at Humber College, where she had the opportunity to work with guest artists such as Danilo Perez, Maria Schneider, Bob Mintzer, Mike Stern and Guido Basso. She has also studied with Alex Dean, Shirantha Beddage, David Occhipinti and Andy Ballantyne and has received additional instruction from Kirk MacDonald, Pat LaBarbera, Geoff Young, and John Macleod. Chelsea has been fortunate enough to receive a partial academic scholarship, the Moe Koffman Universal Music Scholarship and the AM 740 Award from the school for outstanding achievement in her studies & musical endeavours.

Chelsea released her first EP in February 2013 with Chelsea and the Cityscape – a self-titled, three-track release recorded, mixed and mastered in Toronto which features a snapshot of the band’s versatility and maturity. The EP is available as an online-only download from her Bandcamp page.

Chelsea is also releasing the Socialist Night School’s debut CD on May 17, 2014 at the Rex. Physical copies and downloads will be available through Bandcamp.

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