We are thrilled to announce that Allison Au Quartet has won the Stingray Rising Star award at Halifax Jazz Festival this year! Allison's band includes Todd Pentey, Jon Maharaj and Fabio Ragnelli. Check out the short Q&A below to get some insight on Allison's musical path!
What is your earliest musical memory?
My earliest musical memory is of my Dad playing opera on vinyl at home. He would play a lot of opera and classical music when I was a kid. He used to tell us (my sister, brother and I) that while we were sleeping, a whole orchestra had come to the house to rehearse and play music. I used to believe him.
Where/When did you start playing professionally?
I started to play professionally after I graduated college. I was playing the odd jobbing gig in and around Toronto with friends from school… some weddings, some corporate events. And the repertoire was all Jazz standards.
Who are your main influences?
Today, my influences range from such a variety of incredible musicians and artists. But some notable people that really got me interested in music as a kid are: my Dad, my first piano teacher Mrs. Faibish, my band teacher Mrs. Thompson, Ella Fitzgerald and Ibrahim Ferrer.
How did you come to play at this event?
I was invited to perform at the Halifax Jazz Festival by Lulu Healy.
What do you plan to do with the prize money?
We are thrilled to accept this incredible award. The money will be used toward the band’s next recording and tour.