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FYI

A Podcast Conversation With ... Vezi Tayyeb

Kensington Sound is home ground in central Toronto for musicians. It has just celebrated its 50th anniversary, and much-loved owner Vezi Tayyeb has chronicled its history in a new memoir. Learn more in this FYI podcast.

A Podcast Conversation With ... Vezi Tayyeb

By Bill King

How many musicians at one time or another have enjoyed the convenience and goodwill of Kensington Sound? This is home ground in central Toronto. I’ve spent more than one or two occasions bagging a couple of meat paddies, grabbing a tea and combing the backstreets to the entrance.


The early ‘80s the big jam was with Billy Reed & The Street People, Emilio and Doc from Tower of Power, and a few covers of the band’s classics. Then there was a serious effort to document the often-overlooked soul singer Ron Hedland and document his Yonge Street escapades. Hedland played the strip joints – one hand popping the snare and ride cymbal, another playing a Fender Rhodes all while singing rhythm & blues classics, this while a lone foot popped the bass drum. Impossible? Ron did it!

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Keeping it all in perspective and with an open-door policy – owner of Kensington Sound, Vezi Tayyeb.

As told to me in this engaging conversation, Tayyeb reflects on opening day in 1971. And through pen and paper, he captures the excitement and incidents that have evolved through time and scripted into two hundred-plus pages of antidotes and short stories. It’s a joyful read. One most will refuse to put down. Musicians have a way of expressing themselves in tone, language, and rhythm, unlike most writers. The book is called – On the Records – The Story of Kensington Sound and Other Musical Adventures, published by iquanabooks.ca

More on Vezi...

 “A musician, songwriter, sound engineer, and producer, Vezi Tayyeb is one of the founders of Kensington Sound, the celebrated studio tucked down a back alley in Toronto. In this entertaining memoir of his five decades in the music business, he recalls encounters with Lenny Breau, Joni Mitchell, Gene MacLellan, the Drifters, Harry Belafonte, Jeff Healey, Cyndi Lauper, Prakash John, Murray McLauchlan, Alannah Myles, Mendelson Joe, Jimmy Webb, Jordan John, Daniel Lanois, Paul Shaffer, and Cat Stevens, among many others.

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Vezi has been an integral part of the Canadian music industry for over thirty years. The original owner of the still operating, seminal independent recording studio Kensington Sound in Toronto, Vezi has engineered and produced countless domestic and international talent and worked with the best influential and creative artists in Canada. From Alannah Myles to Tower of Power to Daniel Lanois and Chris Spedding, Vezi's long list of credits almost reads like an urban history of the evolution of the independent Canadian recording scene.

After deciding to form a record label, Quantum Records signed and produced records by Harlow, Belinda Metz, The Look People, Keith McKie, Steve Fox, Rex Chainbelt, The Crack of Dawn, Jay Jay W. McGee, Mad About Plaid, and many others. With singles in the top 15 on Billboard and publishing deals, Vezi has also made a mark for himself, not only as a career songwriter, but also a solo performer with two CDs of his own released to critical acclaim: Army of Angels and Between Us All. These versatile talents have made Vezi a popular musical director, and he is currently touring as MD for the legendary R&B band The Drifters. Recently, Vezi has expanded his horizons to include film scoring with documentaries and has many feature films under his belt.”

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Valence
'La nuit s’achève' album cover

Valence

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Music News Digest: Canadian Artists Valence Jon Mullane & Jay Douglas Earn Awards

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The Grand Théâtre de Québec and its partners, the City of Québec, Solotech and De la Létourneau, are awarding the inaugural Bourse Karim-Ouellet to singer/songwriter Valence (Vincent Dufour). The prize was created last Sept., in memory of the late Quebec City-based singer-songwriter Karim Ouellet. It awards a $7,500 cash prize, plus consulting and publicity services from communications firm, and the opportunity for a paid performance at the Grand Théâtre de Québec in 2024. Applications for next year’s Bourse Karim-Ouellet open on Aug. 30, with a Dec. 1 deadline.

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