A West Coast girl through and through, I was born in North Vancouver and still live there. It’s amazing how many people I run into that I went to school with and who also have remained in North Van. I guess you can’t really beat it for beauty and a “small town next to a big city” feel!
I studied music at UBC, entering as a concert piano major and switching to voice in my second year. At that time UBC was strictly classical - any other kind of music was considered “illegitimate”! During that time my sisters and I were involved in a BCTV national series called “Banjo Parlour”. We had won a talent contest at the Centennial Theatre in North Van, the grand prize of which was a guest spot on the show, and after our guest performance, we were invited to be a weekly fixture as “The Bye Sisters”. It was an awfully fun introduction to show biz!!
During second year at UBC, I was asked to join a funk band called “New Breed”, which I did. I thought I might at some point return to academia, but so far that hasn’t happened. However, that training, as well as my twelve years of Royal Conservatory piano, have stood me in good stead.
As well as working with a number of bands over the years doing live performance, I’ve spent many hours in the studio, doing commercial jingles and backgrounds on other people’s albums. I can be heard on “Livin’ On A Prayer” and “Lay Your Hands On Me” by Bon Jovi, Cher’s “Love Hurts” album and “Elegantly Wasted” by INXS. I also sang on a Bowie track that, ridiculously, I can’t remember the name of!!
One of my favourite things to do is vocal arrangements, which I’ve had the pleasure of creating from the days of “The Bye Sisters”, more recently with The Euphorics, and most recently for SMP Publishing and several local choirs.
I’ve had the great pleasure over the past few years of working with Voni Grindler of Jupiter Productions on several theatre productions, including “A Mid-70s Night’s Dream”, “Hooked On A Feeling”, “Cruisin’ With the Boomers”,, “Songs From the Attic” (with Tom Pickett, Janet Warren (my sister!), Dave Pickell, Tim Porter and Lisa Lambert), “Rock and Romance at the Roadhouse” with Tom Pickett, Lisa Lambert, Tim Porter, Dave Pickell and Bill Buckingham. Rock and Romance”, and this past November, “The Martini Lounge” with Tim Porter, Dave Pickell, Oliver Conway, Bill Buckingham and Ron Stelting.
Right now my main live project is the R&B Allstars http://www.rbalive.com. I played with this amazing orchestra for several years until it disbanded in 1992, and was thrilled to get the call to reunite three years ago. The Allstars is an 11-piece horn-driven powerhouse - so much fun!! I’m one lucky gal :)
I’ve also recently taken a course to become certified as a SongShine instructor. It’s so inspiring and so much fun. Please check it out!!