MacCrimmon, Gzowski & Singh

Co-produced with Harbourfront Centre and sponsored by TD Bank.

Turkish and Balkan music kicks off the weekend, as celebrated singer Brenna MacCrimmon is joined by percussionist Jaash Singh and guitarist John Gzowski.


Brenna MacCrimmon has been studying and performing the music of Turkey and the Balkans since the early 1980’s. She has performed in Turkey and abroad with Selim Sesler and Karsılama (trad Turkish Gypsy), Muammer Ketencoğlu (trad Balkan) and experimental rock group Baba Zula. She has also toured across Europe with Balkan beat DJ Shantel and the Bucovina Club Orkestra. She has recorded with the above musicians and has appeared as a guest on many diverse albums and film soundtracks in Canada, the US and Europe. She is a featured performer in “Crossing the Bridge,’’ Fatih Akın’s 2005 documentary of the Istanbul music scene. In 2010, she found herself in Moscow as a member of the cast of Bobble with Bobby McFerrin. Her theatre work includes musical director of the award-winning Volcano production of Goodness. In addition to singing with vocal quartet Turkwaz, she plays with Zephyr (Demetrios Petsalakis and Jaash Singh), has delved into vintage women’s blues with pianist Bill Westcott, travels widely to teach and perform and has much to do with ukuleles. With the generous support of a Chalmer’s Fellowship she has recently been exploring her Scottish-Canadian roots.

Find on Facebook / Follow on Instagram @brennamacc / Listen on Soundcloud


John Gzowski is a musician of many interests. Some were instilled by studying with Alexina Louie, James Tenney, Ann Southam and Trichi Sankaran. Originally studying classical guitar, John switched to electric after developing a taste for rock and jazz. He played in many groups in the Queen Street scene in Toronto in the 80’s, most notably the Garbagemen. Around the same time he began playing with some more experimental jazz groups, like Graeme Kirkland’s groups, Tom Walsh’s N.O.M.A., Paul Cram’s early groups, and doing free improv work across the country at jazz festivals in Montreal, Halifax and Vancouver.

He then started listening to and playing world music, performing Romany Gypsy music with the Altin Yildiz Orkestar, South African pop with Siyakha, Greek and Arabic music with Maza Meze, and North Indian flavoured jazz with Tasa on instruments such as oud, tambouritsa, cumbuc, cello, and mandolin. He has studied with U Shrinivas, Ali Akbar Khan and Trichi Sankaran, and performing shows at folk festivals across the country. His work in New Music includes playing with Hemispheres for over 6 years, concerts with New Music Concerts and the Canadian Electronic Ensemble. He has written for Array Music, the Evergreen Club Gamelan Ensemble and Hemisphere’s.


Jaash Singh is a percussionist specializing in live performance, dance accompaniment, studio recordings, theatre and television. He plays drum kit, doumbek, tapan, cajon and more in a variety of styles, and in numerous projects including Zephyr, Nomadica, Ventanas, and the Lemon Bucket Orkestra.