Press Release - Bravo Niagara!'s 3rd Annual Spring into Music Series Launches in 1 Month


April 6, 2016 - (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario) Celebrate spring this May with a series of world-class performances in “Canada’s Prettiest Town” Niagara-on-the-Lake. Bravo Niagara! presents the 3rd annual Spring into Music @ Stratus, plus a recital by GRAMMY, GRAMOPHONE, and ten-time JUNO Award-winning violinist James Ehnes and acclaimed pianist Andrew Armstrong as part of the James Ehnes @40: Canada 2016 national recital tour.

Spring into Music @ Stratus #PianoParty  
Stratus Vineyards: 2059 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON  

On May 6-7, 2016, experience the synergy of music and wine and a “Symphony of the Senses” as Bravo Niagara! presents the 3rd Annual Spring into Music @ Stratus. Witness the Stratus Vineyards Press Alley transform from a working winery into an intimate, industrial chic concert hall with a 9-foot concert grand taking centre stage. This one-of-a-kind #pianoparty will celebrate the piano with performances by some of the world’s finest pop, jazz, and classical pianists. Limited tickets are available.

Opening night of the #PianoParty begins May 6 at 8pm and features a double bill with the Canadian debut of Hungarian pianist/composer/music producer Peter Bence, followed by the Laila Biali Trio. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Peter is a YouTube pop piano sensation whose innovative arrangements and compositions continue to make him one of the most watched rising stars on the internet today. His rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Bad/Smooth Criminal” was recently featured on Ellen DeGeneres’ “EllenTube” and has since become a viral hit with over 17 million views. Recent concerts have taken him to Japan, Russia, Belgium, Hungary, and Switzerland.

Award-winning Canadian pianist and vocalist Laila Biali has been garnering worldwide recognition for her music which she has performed at prestigious venues including the North Sea Jazz Festival, Tokyo’s Cotton Club, and Carnegie Hall. She effortlessly melds traditional jazz with contemporary pop and has toured with GRAMMY award winners Chris Botti, Paula Cole and Suzanne Vega, and recorded with and supported international icon, Sting. Sting says of Laila, “She is an exciting and unique talent, and I admire her greatly.”

Laila’s studio recording, Tracing Light, received a JUNO nomination in 2011 for “Best Vocal Jazz Album of the Year”, and her follow-up album, Live in Concert, was given an enthusiastic four-star review and named one of the “Best Albums of 2013” by DownBeat Magazine. In 2015, Laila released her first album of entirely original music, an indie-pop project entitled House of Many Rooms. She is currently working on her second album of original music slated for release in 2016. Laila’s accolades include “SOCAN Composer of the Year” and “Keyboardist of the Year” at Canada’s National Jazz Awards.”

Tickets: $59-$79, including a glass of Stratus wine. $29 student tickets available.

On May 7 at 1pm, 17-year-old Canadian pianist Tony Yike Yang takes the stage. Tony’s most recent success at the 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw led him to become the competition’s youngest ever laureate, winning the 5th prize at the age of 16. In previous years, Tony has won the first prize at the Thomas and Evon Cooper International Piano Competition and the Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Junior Piano Competition. He recently embarked on the Chopin Competition prizewinners’ tour in Japan and Korea and will record for CBC’s “In Concert” as their Young Artist of 2016.

Tickets: $39-$59, including a glass of Stratus wine. $19 student tickets available.

On May 7 at 5pm, world-renowned piano protégé Emily Bear makes her Canadian solo debut. Mentor Quincy Jones says of Emily, “I am at once astounded and inspired by the enormous talent that Emily embodies… She is the complete 360-degree package, and there are no limits to the musical heights she can reach.”  At age 14, Pianist/Composer/Arranger Emily Bear is one of the most astonishing and prolific musical talents of our time. She has performed at many of the world’s most famous venues including Carnegie Hall, the White House, Lincoln Center, Montreux Jazz Festival, Blue Note, Ravinia, and the Hollywood Bowl, among others. Emily was recently honoured with the 2016 ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award. She has released 6 CD’s of original music, with her most recent CD, Diversity, produced by Quincy Jones for Concord Music.  Emily has been composing since she was 3 years old and, at 6 years of age, was the youngest recipient to ever receive the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award. A documentary on Emily has attracted more than 26 million views on YouTube and has recently won an Emmy Award. She has appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show 6 times.  

The concert will be hosted by Jazz FM 91’s Senior Arts Editor Mark Wigmore.

Tickets: $49-$69, including a glass of Stratus wine. $29 student tickets available. $99 VIP tickets include premium seating and an exclusive post-concert reception with Emily Bear
including wine and hors d’oeuvres.

James Ehnes @40: Canada 2016 National Recital Tour
St. Mark’s Anglican Church: 41 Byron Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

On May 30 at 7pm, James Ehnes returns to Bravo Niagara! for a recital at the historic St. Mark’s Anglican Church. James will be joined on the James Ehnes @40: Canada 2016 national recital tour by acclaimed pianist Andrew Armstrong with whom he has performed in recital across the globe and recorded numerous award-winning CDs. GRAMMY, GRAMOPHONE, and ten-time JUNO award-winning violinist James Ehnes is widely considered one of the world’s finest violinists. Known for his virtuosity and probing musicianship, he has performed in 37 countries on five continents, appearing regularly in the world’s great concert halls and with the most celebrated orchestras and conductors. He is a Member of the Order of Canada, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and is an Honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music. James Ehnes plays the “Marsick” Stradivarius of 1715.

A highlight of the tour is the premiere of a new work by award-winning composer and Vancouver Symphony Music Director Bramwell Tovey. The program also features Handel's Sonata in D major HWV 371, Beethoven's Sonata in F major, Op. 24 "Spring", and a selection of virtuoso pieces to be announced from the stage. A CD featuring the tour program will be available exclusively to recital audience members, and the tour will be filmed for a documentary and covered extensively by CBC Music. Concert Sponsors: The Village & Brookfield Residential

Tickets: $60-$80. $30 student tickets available. $100 VIP tickets include premium seating and an exclusive post-concert reception with James Ehnes and Andrew Armstrong including sparkling wine and dessert in celebration of James Ehnes’ 40th birthday tour.

For tickets and more information, visit or call (289) 868-9177

All artists, programmes, dates, and prices are subject to change without notice.

Founded in 2014, Bravo Niagara! Festival of the Arts is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to defining Niagara-on-the-Lake as an international destination for world-class music and intimate, innovative performances of the highest calibre. Concerts are multi-sensory experiences and “Symphony of the Senses” that celebrate a synergy of music, wine, culinary, and visual arts combined with Niagara’s natural beauty and historic riches.

Season Presenting Sponsor: CIBC
Presenting Sponsors: The Village, Brookfield Residential, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Stratus Vineyards
Twitter @Bravo_Niagara
#BravoNiagara #BravoSpring

Media Contact:
Alexis Spieldenner

Co-Founder / Director of Marketing & Development
Bravo Niagara! Festival of the Arts
289.868.9177 | 289.686.3835