Bernice, the project of Toronto-based vocalist/songwriter Robin Dann, blends "melodies reminiscent of artists like Sade with the playful sounds of artists like Deerhoof and Dirty Projectors” (Pigeons & Planes). Dann, the daughter of two symphony orchestra performers, is a trained vocalist with a Masters in Music from Goldsmiths, University of London, and her band - Thom Gill (keyboards/samples), Felicity Williams (vocals), Phil Melanson (percussion), and Dan Fortin (bass) - features members of Bahamas, Owen Pallett, Leif Vollebekk, and DIANA. Formed in 2010, the band’s first release, 'What Was That', landed in 2011 and saw critical praise from Exclaim! Magazine and the Globe & Mail. Bernice performed shows with Colin Stetson and supported Tegan & Sara on tour. In 2016, the band returned from a residency at the Banff Centre, and supported the release of two singles, “St Lucia” and“Don't Wanna Be European”, with a series of performances at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Bernice started 2017 by supporting Martha Wainwright on tour across the UK before returning to Toronto for the Toronto Dance Theatre’s production of NOISY where Dann had written a bespoke composition for the performance. The band was then invited to Miami to support Angel Olsen for Red Bull Sound Select’s 3 Days In Miami festival. 'Puff', a 5-song EP, was released in June 2017 to resounding critical acclaim from Pitchfork, NPR, Zane Lowe, and The Fader. Full Article/Interview.Stereogum and Exclaim! named the release as one of the 'Best EPs of 2017. 'Puff' was produced by Grammy Award-winner Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Lucius) and Matt Smith (Owen Pallett). The band supported the release by touring with Charlotte Day Wilson and The Weather Station. Bernice followed the maximalist EP with minimalist sophomore album 'Puff: In The Air Without A Shape' released in May 2018 on Arts & Crafts. Continuing their enigmatic exploration of pop, jazz, and R&B, the new album attempted to mimic the playful intimacy of the band’s live show. The album was called “a monument to ephemerality” by the New York Times and received a long-list nomination for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.
Robin Dann, voice; Felicity Williams, voice; Philippe Melanson, e-drums; Thom Gill, synths; Dan Fortin, bass / synth bass.
Bernice and Ali Eisner (Puppeteer) invite parents and under 5s to engage in a drop in music & puppet song style adventure. We’ll be expressing our thoughts and feelings through puppetry, learning how to develop a musical character, and discovering the beautiful layers of our personalities through improvised song and play. Imagine yourself as a multicoloured sock with flowing hair, singing a song about that delicious sandwich you ate yesterday! Or maybe you find yourself singing about your best friend, who also happens to be your dog. Improvisation, play and listening with an improvised soundtrack to support.
Puppet creation materials provided. Children accompanied by their parent/caregiver.
One hour of play-based activity with live music by Toronto band Bernice throughout. Music at a kid-friendly volume. Program audience geared at under 5s - but all ages welcome :)