The Musical Firefighter® Descends Upon Toronto

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Show combines talents of sax virtuoso Matthew James, Jazz pioneer Jeff Lorber, guitarists Dale Russell and Rob Laidlaw, drummer Aubrey Dayle and dancer Blake McGrath in debut.

The Musical Firefighter® will present a feast for the senses, combining music and contemporary dance in an exciting stage production at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts on September 20, 2014. The debut will feature the talents of Canadian musician Matthew James, renown Jazz artist and producer Jeff Lorber as musical director, guitarists Dale Russell and Rob Laidlaw, percussionist Aubrey Dayle and Canadian dancer Blake McGrath.

The Musical Firefighter® fulfills James’ life-long vision and utilizes powerful visual imagery and stunning choreography, combined with a haunting original score, to promote the heritage of the firefighting profession and fire safety education. The show’s audience is broad and includes all ages, enticing teens, young adults, mature adults as well as seniors.

MATTHEW JAMES is a seasoned and acclaimed musician who has been performing professionally for the past 14 years and has three albums to his credit, with a fourth on the way that he is creating with Jeff Lorber.

Grammy® nominated keyboardist JEFF LORBER is a composer and record producer, who is considered the pioneer of contemporary Jazz. With over 1,600 credits to his name, five #1 singles on the Billboard charts, he has done extensive production and session work for artists including Dave Koz, Eric Benet, Herb Alpert and Laura Branigan. In addition to recording and performing, Lorber also hosts his own show on Sirius Satellite Radio. Matthew James is proud to be collaborating with Jeff Lorber on the original music for the show.

James has assembled a dream team of musicians for the show, including guitarist DALE RUSSELL who spent 17 years with THE GUESS WHO, producer and guitarist ROB LAIDLAW of Platinum Blonde, and drummer Aubrey Dayle. These three will join James and Lorber onstage to deliver the show’s moving soundtrack.

The show also welcomes contemporary dancer BLAKE McGRATH who is best known from the premiere season of So You Think You Can Dance USA and LifeTime’s Dance Moms. Recounting the life of a firefighter (played by James) whose immunity to fire allows him to save lives and inspire through music, The Musical Firefighter is a classic tale of good triumphing over evil, set in a fictional place. The show includes music written and produced by James and Lorber, and performed with Russell, Dayle and Laidlaw. The unique format of the show will feature the stage production followed by the first-time intimate performance by these five incredible musicians.

The cast of the stage production introduces real-life firefighters; actress Katharina Castell; and dancers: Samantha Rennie, Jaden Brough, Natalie Manson, Emily Gibson, Tylee Jones, Diego Varela, Claire Wallis-South, Zoe Bevan, Latrell Lyttle and Kelly O’Rourke.

The Musical Firefighter will be directed by Dana Sacco, produced by Matthew James, Tamara McKee and Dana Sacco, and choreographed by Becky Regan.

Tickets are on sale now at and part proceeds will support the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness.

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Tamara McKee
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