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March 2013

Dear Friends,

Greetings from beautiful Palm Beach where I've been for the last three months escaping the worst of winter, apart from a week in February when I returned to Toronto to perform and present medals at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee gala in Roy Thompson Hall.That was a great experience and an honour indeed.

Since being here I've written four new songs and composed an instrumental tribute to the Canadian Maritimes for which my producer has written a fantastic orchestration. It truly evokes the feel of Atlantic Canada and we're adding it to the new CD. The Globe and Mail will run a feature next Thursday about my little car of all things and another one will come out soon about the house that I'm very fortunate to own here on the island.

I'v attended some lovely events at Mar-A-Lago where I always seem to run into one of Palm Beach's more colourful characters, The Donald, and last time it was at a performance of two Beethoven symphonies to which I'd been invited to by the Palm Beach Symphony director. What a treat to hear Beethoven in that amazing home, which is actually more like a palace! If you follow me on Twitter @lionaboyd you can see everything I've been up to :-) In the next few months we'll be posting a link to pre-order the new CD...but we have to first shoot the cover!

On a sadder note Canadian legend Stompin' Tom recently passed away at age seventy seven. I was unable to attend the memorial concert they staged in the arena in Peterborough, but they read out a message I had sent. It was Tom's label, Boot Records, the first ever Canadian classical label that launched my career back in the 70s. All of Canada will miss him.

Tom was so patriotic he handed back his five Juno Awards in protest because nobody was writing songs about Canada! Dear Tom would have been so proud if he had lived long enough to hear my new CD which is all very much inspired by Canada and contains the best music I've ever written.

Next week as part of Fashion Week in Canada I'm walking two runways in two different designer outfits I've yet to see... ha ha me and all the beautiful young models. Wish me luck!

I have some concerts with Michael that you can see here www.classicalguitar.com/tour and I particularly want to encourage my fans to come to the beautiful Christchurch Cathedral in Ottawa on May 14th and also a lovely church in Oakville where there will be a huge variety of guests performing including a children's choir and my friends, flutist Ron Korb and singer Eleanor McCain, plus dancers too. Then on June 1st we'll be playing in my home town of Toronto at Grace Church-On-The-Hill. All of these are fundraising concerts for a variety of charities that I'm delighted to help support. If anyone is interested to come to a shorter performance ( 20 minutes I believe) at Calgary's Zoomer Show please click here for free passes.
www.zoomershow.ca/cal/ZoomerShow2013_cal_ticket_admit1.html.

Lastly if you'd like to see an article that came out last week in a US magazine here's the link: www.shineonhollywoodmagazine.com
My story, and a rather out of date video narrated by my former husband, Jack.( they chose it!), are to be found on page 36. You just click the red button.

Happy March everyone and remember that spring is just around the corner :-)

love,
Liona

PS. I have a very beautiful, new 2013 Solista model Vasquez Rubio for sale. If interested please let me know!

with two European friends at the American Cancer Society Ball a day at the Breakers Hotel beach
Liona with Donald Trump one of my favourite Vias in Palm Beach

December 2012

Dear Friends,
Greetings from beautiful Palm Beach where my dear mother and sister are vacationing with me. I want to ask a favour of you who are my friends, fans and much appreciated supporters. Can you please buy my new song "My Special Christmas Present is You" from iTunes? It's now available worldwide and will only cost you 99 cents:-) If you wish you can also gift it to your friends. Please leave a rating and a review. This would mean a lot to me and I thank you for helping me as its important I show some significant sales. My other past albums are also on iTunes, but its particularly this X-mas song I'd appreciate your buying. I'm so proud of this song and having little Maria Aragon sing with me was a delight. Why not have it playing Christmas Day as you unwrap presents or serve that turkey. I think that along with Feliz Navidad it's one of the happiest catchy Christmas songs ever written, and I apologize if it gets stuck in your head! If you'd like to learn to sing along I've had the lyrics sheet posted on the homepage of my site where you can print it for free, and you guitarists can easily figure out the chords. Ha ha... good luck with the harmonics, You can also see our video on YouTube.

Click the links below to download directly from:
iTunes Canada
iTunes USA
iTunes Philippines

Thanks a million for doing this, if you haven't already. Please share this newsletter with friends, and may you have a most blessed and enjoyable holiday season!

Lots of love,
Liona

July 2012

Dear Friends,
 
Well it’s been over a year since I moved back to Toronto and as you can tell by my now rather infrequent newsletters I’ve been amazingly busy! If you’ve been following me on twitter you know all the details.
 
In March I was on tour out West, in April was often in the studio, in May was doing concerts in Ontario, and in June I flew to Florida to stay a few day in my Palm Beach house and also record my dear friend Olivia Newton-John who agreed to sing with me on one of my new songs. Ha ha we both sound amazing!!! I zoomed back to Toronto for a couple of days and then left for Los Angeles with my new manager Shaun. I was invited to polo, stayed with dear friends in Hollywood, hiked in the hills with my doctor girlfriend, had a lovely lunch with my former husband Jack his wife, son and daughter-in-law, and of course saw my beloved kitty Muffin who survived his misdiagnosis of cancer and the chemo treatments and now looks as beautiful and fluffy white as ever! He even wore his diamond necklace for my visit.

While in LA I sang and played guitar with Dr. Michael Beckwith’s Agape choir doing a song I’d written for “Women’s Day Live” called “We Are The Women of the World.”  The next day Michael and I had a concert arranged by Shaun in Anaheim…quite a the whirlwind trip, and as soon as we returned home to Toronto we performed at Moses Znaimer’s Idea City, and then to my surprise I was given a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal by the Governor General of Canada, His Excellency The Right Honorable David Johnston, at a ceremony at Roy Thompson Hall. 
 
Peter Bond, my producer and I are on the home stretch with the all Canadian inspired CD “The Return… to Canada with Love”, and I know it's my best album ever! It has fourteen songs and has taken us over a year to create.
 
I can’t believe another birthday has crept up on me …how did a year fly by so fast! I hope you are having a great summer and remembering to make music part of every day life, whether playing classical guitar, strumming some folk songs, dancing to live bands or just humming in your own living room as I still do when I’m not writing or outside walking around town.
On July 22nd I’ll be the MC for Youth Day in Toronto from 2-4pm and on the 28th  it’s the Toronto Beaches Jazz festival where Michael Savona and I are playing for an hour.
 
You can see some of these upcoming dates on the website. Oh yes I’m also invited this week to a gala garden party for the Canadian Music Competition (which I won many years ago), was just booked to play with the symphony in an old fortress (Old Fort Henry) in Kingston, Ontario this August, and am going there on the train for a press conference on Friday.
 


Polo with the Beverly Hills ladies

Rehearsing with the Agape choir, Los Angeles

With my beloved Beverly Hills pussycat, Muffin

With my mother before receiving the Diamond Jubilee Medal


Keep in touch and please follow me @lionaboyd on Twitter to share my ongoing musical adventures. Feel free to retweet me.
 
Lots of love,
Liona

May 2012

Dear Friends and Fans,
 
Greetings from Toronto! I’m still busy finishing the new CD “The Return…to Canada with Love” comprised of twelve songs, and I’m convinced that this is my best musical writing ever. The album is taking on a life of its own and has pretty much consumed my life and that of my producer Peter Bond’s too!

We recorded sixteen wonderfully talented youngsters at the Toronto French School, and their sweet voices singing French Canadian folksongs added a lovely nostalgic charm to my instrumental tribute to Quebec, “A Mes Beaux Souvenirs.”

Last weekend Michael and I performed near Ottawa, in Pembroke and Renfrew, and this weekend we have a special matinee Mother’s day concert in Bolton, Ontario, just north of Toronto, so please come and treat your mothers to a relaxing afternoon of music… some beautiful instrumental duos, a few short solos, some romantic songs from the “LB Sings Songs of Love’ CD, and some sneak previews from the new album accompanied by the tracks. It’s a small venue so if you live in this area please get your tickets soon as I imagine it will be sold out. If you look at this page http://www.classicalguitar.com/tour/ you’ll also see three more Ontario concerts coming up this month. (Picton, Ganonoque and Cornwall)

A few days ago I was invited to hear the Toronto Concert Orchestra conducted by Kerry Stratton . They gave a fantastic performance of Rossini and Dvorak at the former Toronto Stock Exchange, which actually had pretty decent acoustics. The soloist, 27 year old Chinese piano virtuoso,Haiou Zhang, completely knocked me out with his playing. The orchestra’s manager,Shaun Pilot, kindly sat me in the front row about two feet behind him and the Steinway piano, so it was exhilarating to feel part of the music and never in my life have I been more impressed by a pianist… wow! No wonder he’s taken the world by storm. We chatted quite a bit afterwards and I warned him not to overdo the practice as his hands were going a mile a minute!… altogether a beautiful evening, and for sure if I were still 27 I would have fallen madly in love with him on the spot. J  On Friday I’m being taken by a girlfriend to the opera, and tomorrow a dinner party with a dozen new women friends.

Happy advance Mother’s Day to all mothers, and may your springtime days be filled with music. On Sunday don’t forget to play my Romanza CD, if you have it in your collection, as it contains a piece I composed called “Song For My Mother”
 
love,
Liona

April 2012

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Toronto where winter is still lingering on… after trying to fool us two weeks ago that spring and even summer had suddenly arrived in Ontario.
 
The tour of Western Canada went very well in spite of a six hour delay one evening at the Calgary airport where the wings had to be de-iced and we were held up due to blizzards. It was wonderful to see old friends and new ones and revisit some of the townsand the cities such as Edmonton and Saskatoon where I’d not played for many years.  Every night we enjoyed making music on stage and the familiar routines of hot lentil soup and fresh salads before the shows, and warm baths and cozy hotel rooms afterwards. We premiered a few new piecesI had composed eg “Spirit of the Canadian Northlands” from my upcoming CD “The Return”. Many people brought their well worn LPs for me to sign so the whole tour was rather like a nostalgic time warp for me, back to the days of flying small Dash 8 planes over the wind swept Rockies and snowy drives across the prairies seeing cars in the ditch, skid marks from the tires and elk gathered and at the edge of the forest. Sometimes I think nobody knows Canada the way I do~
 
Michael and I were delighted to receive standing ovations each night from our appreciative audiences and felt badly that we were all sold out of CDs by the end of the tour. Ian Tyson (Canada’s Four String Winds country legend) attended one of the Alberta concerts and one was filmed, so I hope it will be aired before too long. We already have concerts booked in May for Pembroke, Renfrew, Smith Falls, Bolton, Ganonoque and Cornwall plus a show in Anaheim, California as well as a mini-concert at Koerner Hall for Idea City in Toronto. Last night I was at the studio recording my last song for the new CD. My producer, Peter Bond, has made some haunting Enya like tracks, but this last one also has a Leonard Cohen quality to it that I think you’ll love once you hear it.

Toronto has been a whirlwind of activities including an exciting women’s conference I was invited to attend by the president of United Nations Women Canada. I’ll be flying down to Palm Beach soon for one last snowbird get-away and then concentrating on completing the album.

Please visit my new website that has finally been designed and launched and share with your guitar friends and students. Under STORE you’ll see some new instruments for sale including a beautiful new Vazquez Rubio ( Solista, the same model I play) that I was able to get my hands on two months ago while in the US, and I hope you’ll enjoy some of the new pages such as Life, Experiences, Writings, Poetry. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @lionaboyd where you can read more details about that recent tour.
 
Happy April y adios al invierno!!!
 
love,
Liona

P.S. For Saskatchewan residents only you can see part of my live show any day now at MAX Local on Demand in Saskatchewan. Go to channel 48, and look in the Music category or press the Video on Demand button on your remote, choose Local on Demand, and then find the Music category. It should stay up for about a month after it's uploaded.

Michael Savona and I
on tour in  Alberta

Slow snowy drive down from
Canmore to Calgary

With Almas Jiwani president of
United Nations Women/Canada