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LOCAL SPOTLIGHT (Ottawa Sun 4/10/2014)

Jonathan Estabrooks makes a triumphant return to his hometown with an intimate performance at the NAC’s Fourth Stage Thursday, April 10.

The classically-trained baritone spent time with Opera Lyra, and with various musical theatre companies before following his musical education at the University of Toronto and the famed Juilliard school in New York, where he is now based.
His debut album These Miles was independently released on April 8, with funding to the tune of $27,500 raised through the crowd-sourcing site Kickstarter.
Labelled one of the “new breed” of classical performers, Estabrooks is active on Twitter and Facebook, interacting with fans and even procuring musical collaborators like Jonathan Antoine and Jennifer Thomas.

Here is my conversation with Jonathan Estabrooks:THESE_MILES_COVER

Q: Tell me about your musical upbringing and how you got to this point?

A: I grew up in the Ottawa South area, and then went to the University of Toronto and then Juilliard, and I’m now based out of New York, so this project is one of many, but I had long wanted to do a crossover project like this that involves a real cross-section of styles.
I grew up with both classical and popular influences, especially being involved with musical theatre in Ottawa, and I performed throughout the city. I’ve always had an eclectic mix of musical tastes, so to do an album like this that really is a cross-section of classical and popular styles, with a full orchestral sound, it just snowballed and took off.

Q: Tell me about the role of crowd-sourcing, like the Kickstarter campaign, in making These Miles.

A: We look at the music industry now, and people say the recording industry is in such shambles, and it’s so hard to make money as an artist, but then you look at these creative platforms that allow people to micro-fundraise.
Even the Obama campaign and how they were able to fund it from such a grassroots level, with just $5 and $10 donations.
The idea that you involve people in the community of the project, and they’re involved with you, you let them follow the creative process with you, it does two things: Not only can you raise the funds, but you build a fanbase that really feels as if they’re part of the final result. And they really are. I even sourced my cover photos to the fans through Twitter and Facebook, so it really does go beyond anything else, it’s about building a relationship that you hope will last well into the future.

We surpassed the $25,000 goal, which was amazing, but just to connect with people. About 70% of people who donated were people I didn’t know, from all over the world. So all aspects of social media were involved.

Q: You’ve been called “the new breed” of classical performer. Is there some resistance to this new world from some staunch classical purists?

A: The old school classical crowd may be resistant, simply because they don’t understand it, and I think the more we can engage people and realize at the end of the day, it’s about making great music, something that speaks to you, then it plays on the same emotional tones.
If we can find ways to reach people by using traditional marketing tools, as well as newer tools to get the word out, it’s a win-win.
As long as your doing your art with an understanding of high-quality, high-calibre performance, then why not?

Q: How did you go about choosing the tunes?

A: I really wanted to pick songs that spoke to me, and the album as a whole talks about journey a lot — journey in life and in love.
A lot of these songs I grew up around, with my dad playing Roy Orbison records, or The Everley Brothers, Simon & Garfunkel. But we went through so many songs, and whenever you’re doing an album of covers, there’s always the question of how can I make this my own?
So my goal was never to become a songwriter, I wanted to pick other people’s songs that I could make my own, and at the same time people could see them in a different light.

Here’s more about Jonathan’s These Miles:

JONATHAN ESTABROOKS – ‘THESE MILES’
RELEASE DATE: APRIL 8th, 2014 (Independent)

1. Play Me
2. Kathy’s Song
3. Time After Time
4. Le Cose Che Tu Sei (The Things You Are to Me) ft. Jennifer Thomas
5. Calling You
6. She
7. Por Una Cabesa ft. Jonathan Antoine
8. Always On My Mind
9. Away From The Roll Of The Sea
10. Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home
11. All The Things
12. Fly Away (Bonus Track)

JONATHAN ESTABROOKS – UPCOMING LIVE PERFORMANCES

April 10th – Ottawa, ON – National Arts Centre – 4th Stage (7:30 PM)

May 20 & 21 – Toronto, ON – Roy Thompson Hall (Featured soloist with Toronto Symphony Orchestra for Classic Broadway: Lerner & Loewe)

FOR MORE INFO:
www.jonathanestabrooks.com

www.twitter.com/JonEstabrooks

www.facebook.com/estabrooksbaritone

NEW CANADIAN MUSIC (‘These Miles’ Review)

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Acclaimed young Canadian baritone Jonathan Estabrooks sure knows how to make a splash with a debut record. He raised $30k through Kickstarter to fund the recording of These Miles, and this enabled him to hire Grammy-winning producer Dave Reitzas (Streisand, Josh Groban) and the Macedonia Radio Orchestra. The result is a suitably rich and lush sound that complements Estabrooks’ impeccable phrasing and delivery. The album blends classical and pop elements (a la Groban), and the singer reprises such pop classics as “Time After Time”, “She”, and “Always On My Mind”. Guests include Jonathan Antoine and Jennifer Thomas. The disc was launched with release shows in Toronto and Ottawa this week. He will be a featured soloist with the TSO at Roy Thomson Hall on May 20-21. A talent to go the distance. – Kerry Doole

CANADIAN BEATS (‘These Miles’ Review)

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By: Jessica Lewis

Album: These Miles
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Genre: Classical/Opera/Pops/Crossover
Label: Estabrooks Entertainment Group LLC

Jonathan Estabrooks is releasing his debut album, ‘These Miles’ on April 8th of this year. The Ottawa native is trained in Opera singing and has done a twenty city tour across Canada. Because he is a versatile artist, his style ranges from opera and classical to pop and crossovers.

The album runs 12 tracks with a total playing time of 51:02. Jonathan is a baritone singer and the songs on this album do a fabulous job of showing off that vocal range. Baritones tend to hold a more soulful sound than tenor, alto or soprano, and Jonathan definitely has a soulful sound. The sound of the album in general is a mash up between classical and pop, which gives it an interesting twist. I found myself mesmerized by both the sound of the music and the sound of Jonathan’s incredible voice.

Every song on the album is a cover of a classic song, but they are covered so well that you would think they are original to Jonathan. His voice suits the songs to beautifully, that they sound like they were written by him and not someone else.

To give a general example of the album, I would recommend listening to the first track “Play Me”. It is a good introduction to the album and is already released. If you want to decide whether or not to listen to or buy the entire album, have a listen to “Play Me”. If you like it, then you will enjoy the rest of the album.

It’s been a while since I’ve heard an album like this, and I really enjoy the sound. It’s like each song has a story, but each story plays into the other songs, even though they are all written by different artists. Jonathan delivers each song with amazing vocals that are awe-inspiring and very visual; you can easily put picture to each one.

“These Miles” definitely has an older sound to it, but that doesn’t mean that the younger generation can’t find it appealing. Sometimes it’s good to take a break from the generic pop from today and let your soul relax into an album like this. It’s a really good de-stresser to just sit back and listen to some amazing classical music.

Overall, the sound is amazing, the vocals are incredible and the music is phenomenal. The album is sure to make it onto my shelf. It is a sound that any music fan can appreciate, stepping out of today’s mainstream music and plunging into a musical world that does not receive enough credit, but does wonders for the listener. It’s one of those albums that will never get old.

Rating: 5/5

TORONTO SYMPHONY POPS – May 20/21

estabrooks_headshot_March_2014

Am very excited to be returning to Toronto and the beautiful Roy Thomson Hall to perform three concerts of Lerner & Loewe with the incredible Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Steven Reineke. I am so thrilled to be making my second appearance with them as a featured singer with one of the very best orchestras in Canada and dare I say North America. They are a joy to work with and I can’t wait! I will also be doing a CD signing for ‘These Miles’ after each of the shows in the lobby so come and say hello!

Here are the full details:

tso2

  • Tue. May 20, 2014 at 8:00 PM
    Roy Thomson Hall
  • Wed. May 21, 2014 at 2:00 PM
    Roy Thomson Hall
  • Wed. May 21, 2014 at 8:00 PM
    Roy Thomson Hall

Pops Maestro Steven Reineke and company pay homage to another legendary Broadway duo: Alan Jay Lerner & Frederick Loewe. You’ll enjoy all the most memorable songs from such classic musicals as My Fair LadyCamelotGigi, and Brigadoon, sung with verve by a top-notch cast of singers.

Come for: You know the songs: I Could Have Danced All Night,On the Street Where You LiveIf Ever I Would Leave YouThanks Heaven for Little Girls, and so many more unforgettable melodies.

And more: Classic Broadway, newly minted.

  • Steven Reineke, conductor
  • Amy Wallis, soprano
  • Colin Ainsworth, tenor
  • Jonathan Estabrooks, baritone
  • Toronto Mendelssohn Choir

[CLICK FOR TICKETS AND INFORMATION]

OFFICIAL ALBUM LAUNCH TODAY!

I am so excited to announce that today my debut album ‘These Miles’ is officially on sale! I am overwhelmed by all the of the support so far and am so excited to know that is is now available for all of you to enjoy! You can hear samples and order a number of ways! First and foremost visit my STORE to order physical and signed copies. After that there are a number of ways from CDbaby to Amazon to iTUNES! I hope you enjoy it, share it and consider leaving a review on any of those sites to help spread the word!

THESE_MILES_COVER_cdbabynew4

Sincerely,

Jonathan

New Website, New Album!

Welcome to the NEW jonathanestabrooks.com! I am so excited to be launching this new home for all things music as it relates to my career in Opera, Classical-Crossover and Musical Theatre. I hope you’ll have a look around and let me know what you think! Lots to see and hear and ways to learn about my debut album ‘These Miles’, available April 8th.

Upcoming Shows

For those of you in the Ottawa and Toronto area, I’m looking forward to bringing my debut album launch tour your way. I have 4 shows coming up in late March early April, beginning at the hotel Montebello on March 29th and finishing in Ottawa and the National Arts Center 4th Stage on April 10th. Here’s a complete list of upcoming concerts with links to learn more and order tickets! See you on the road!

L’ACADIE NOUVELLE, Caraquet.

The theatrical game of the five singers onstage is also flawless. Baritone Jonathan Estabrooks plays sergeant Belcore as well as could be desired, chest raised, a military step and a smile in the face of every jab. Additionally, the baritone exhibits great vocal flexibility with a round voice thundering especially in its lowest register.

THE NEW YORK TIMES

‘Robert Erickson’s “Sierra,” an impressionistic work for baritone and chamber ensemble, is steeped in California, thanks to a hokey text of his own, filled with repetitive evocations of “Yosemite,” “Wawona,” “Gold,” “Devil’s Basin” and more. Jonathan Estabrooks, a robust baritone, gave his all to the solo part’.