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JPR Live Session: Laila Biali

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Edith Maybin

Biali - along with her husband Ben Wittman - joined us from her home in Toronto to share songs from her latest album Out of the Dust.

Laila Biali has been winning over fans and critics alike for years. Case in point: her first JUNO nomination came back in 2011 for the album Tracing Light. In 2019, Laila Biali took home the JUNO award for "Best Vocal Jazz Album." Known for her engaging stage presence and popular appeal, Biali's music fills the space in between traditional jazz and contemporary pop - alongside artists like Brit sensation Jamie Cullum and fellow Canadians Nikki Yanofsky, and Diana Krall.

On her new album Out of the Dust, Biali addresses the ups and downs of life (including some very personal recent downs), but always with a positive outlook for the road ahead.

In our session, she spoke about the events that originally led her down the jazz path, how she landed a gig hosting CBC's weekly national jazz radio show, and what life has been like with a young son at home during the pandemic.

You can watch Biali's home performances here:

As FM Network Program Director and Music Director, Eric oversees many aspects of JPR's broadcast day. He still hosts the occasional Open Air or classical music shift, and is the driving force behind JPR Live Sessions - our popular series of live in-studio music performances and conversations.