Statler’s is a bar on Church Street. Recently, I started to hang out there. The place is especially amazing on Monday and Thursday nights, around 10:00 pm. Monday night is SINGular Sensation, a show hosted by Jennifer Walls, with Donavon LeNabat on keyboard and Jamie Bird, on percussions. SINGular Sensation focuses mostly on Broadway songs. On Thursdays, LeNabat runs his own “Open Mic”, which lets anyone get up and sing. But usually, only the best voices in Toronto show up and entertain brilliantly. Occasionally, both evenings are “subbed out” to different hosts and musicians. For example, recently, Monday nights are headed by Jenna Warriner, who can belt out any song and acts as a glamorous ringmaster. But whichever of these two nights you go, there is stellar entertainment. The place just rocks!
I should mention that Donavon LeNabat is a brilliant pianist, and along with Jamie Bird, they make a phenomenal combo. Both are wonderful singers in their own right. In addition to these two, incredible musicians often just show up, and you’ll find yourself listening to a full band sound, spontaneously conjured. Statler’s is a window on Toronto’s complex network of musical talent. And if anyone is a true talent scout, this is the place to install a permanent chair.
Statler’s sits in the middle of the gay village, but music accepts all, on Monday and Thursday nights, the crowd is a mix of attractive men and women. The whole tone of the show is light, sophisticated, and SO much fun!
Toronto is splitting at the seams with gifted performers, and Statler’s is an easy showcase for both established and new singers. The type of music is all over the map. You can hear newly-written songs, pop, Broadway, and every type of classic, no matter the style. It’s all good and the atmosphere is cheering.
So I do urge you, if you like to listen to the best in Toronto, live, you must go to Statler’s and try it. Summer is coming, and the sound will spill out onto the street, scribbled in neon. Warm nights and hot music. Who could ask for anything more?
Check out Statler’s
All photos by Burke Campbell