When Laila Biali isn’t singing, playing the piano, or arranging music this summer, you can find her guest hosting CBC Radio 2’s jazz show, Tonic.
Biali explains that after Tonic’s 10-year host Tim Tamashiro decided to pursue other interests, five of Canada’s top jazz vocalists were invited to host the show throughout the summer.
“I always loved radio and a number of people had suggested it could be an interesting and complementary pathway to pursue,” she says. “This is the first time I was approached about hosting a show and I’m amazed it has national reach.”
Prior to hosting Tonic, Biali has toured around the world and worked with musicians like Chris Botti, Paula Cole, Suzanne Vega and Sting.
The Humber music graduate has been awarded “SOCAN Composer of the Year” and “Keyboardist of the Year” at Canada’s National Jazz Awards and has also been nominated for a JUNO award.
Biali is recognized for her work in merging pop, rock, classical, world and soul music into jazz, musical arrangements and original songs.
“We just released a surprise single, available exclusively in Canada to celebrate Canada 150. It features an all-Canadian band, including luminary Larnell Lewis. It’s our cover of Neil Young’s Heart of Gold.”
With many milestones to celebrate this year, Biali will also be releasing a new album this fall featuring original songs and covers of David Bowie, Coldplay and more.
Although Biali will not be featuring her own songs on Tonic, other guest hosts will be featuring her music throughout the summer.
Biali will be hosting Tonic six times a week from Monday to Saturday from 8 pm to 10 pm until July 15 and from August 28 to September 2. The show will play a collection of songs and musical arrangements admired by jazz listeners.