Intimate concert series looks to ‘put Brockville back on the music map’

Sarah Segal-Lazar will perform in Brockville April 16. – Submitted photo

A group of Brockville musicians and music lovers is looking to bring live music back to the city with 1000 Islands House Concerts, a series of pop-up performances by local and national artists at surprise locations.

One of these artists is Prince Edward Island (PEI) native and folk singer Sarah Segal-Lazar, who will be touring from Montreal to Toronto to promote her latest album, “Valleys.” On Tuesday, April 16, 2024, she’ll make a stop in Brockville for an intimate concert, as part of a collaboration with 1000 Islands House Concerts to help bring live music back to the city.

When she’s not on the road, Segal-Lazar splits her time between the bustling streets of Montreal and the quieter beaches of PEI.​

“I’m lucky to have a place to land in both Montreal and PEI and consider both places my homes, in equal but different ways,” she shared with Brockvilleist.      

Segal-Lazar’s musical roots were planted at a young age in PEI.

“Growing up, I was surrounded by trad sessions and singer-songwriters on PEI and while I don’t write Celtic music, I think that seeing how community and music can go hand-in-hand from a young age, really informed my experience,” she explained.

Segal-Lazar started her career as an actor.

“I went to New York to study acting at NYU and I was so lucky that the program that I was in also encouraged other forms of artistic practice, like playwriting, choreography, and vocal composition.”

One day, she brought a song she had written into a singing class, and the group encouraged her to start playing in bars.

“So I did,” shared Segal-Lazar.

While being a singer/songwriter was not her original career plan, Segal-Lazar found her priorities shifted towards music during the Covid-19 pandemic. She explained to Brockvilleist, “It was actually the only way that I could earn money artistically since all the theatres were closed. I went straight into the studio to record my album ‘Valleys’.”

Sarah Segal-Lazar’s visit marks the first official ‘House Concert’ to take place in Brockville in 2024. These events will be organized and hosted by musicians and music lovers Amanda Keeley, Mark Lloyd and Jeremy Kahn. Brockvillist spoke with host Amanda Keeley about what locals can expect from this intimate concert experience. 

“We want to support local artists and artists touring throughout Ontario or Canada so for any artist passing through, we could have a venue where they could come for them to showcase their material,” Keeley said.

“The goal is really to support live music and help put Brockville back on the music map. Brockville used to be a place back in the day for live music and it was very much incorporated into the whole 401 tour. We just want to help boost the community back up in that regard.” 

In terms of what the audience can expect from her show, Segal-Lazar shared, “I perform mostly original songs, though I will definitely throw in a few covers. I love covers and playing them for folks during the pandemic allowed me to keep my sanity. I’m also known for my banter, so audiences can expect jokes and intimate details, in addition to the tunes.

“I’m a big believer in the community created in cities and towns less frequented and I’m so excited about what 1000 Islands House Concerts are doing,” she continued. “I’m thrilled to be a part of it!”

Segal-Lazar’s show will take place in Brockville on Tuesday, April 16, 2024 at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. Keeley noted that a reservation is required to secure your seating as the venue operates with limited seating. 

The exact address of the home will be sent to attendees upon their reservation. Keeley did share that the venue is a beautiful historic home right in the heart of downtown Brockville by the waterfront. Due to the unique nature of the venue, guests are encouraged to bring their own beverages and can also bring a food item to share on the snack table. 

1000 Islands House Concerts are intended to be accessible and affordable, therefore organizers are suggesting a minimum donation of $25; however, lower donations will also be accepted. Payments should be sent to: 1000islandshouseconcerts@gmail.com. Those will further questions can contact Amanda Keeley at 613-340-3053 or 1000islandshouseconcerts@gmail.com

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