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Stratford is Alive with Music

Here in Stratford, music is as much a part of life as the swans on the Avon. We love all of it! From the sweet poetry of a Celtic songstress, operatic vocalists of the world stage and up-and-coming country, folk and rock artists, we want all the music we can get.

Our love for music shows with the number of artists coming from and visiting Stratford. Did you know the legendary Duke Ellington dedicated “Sweet Thunder” to Stratford? And one of Oscar Peterson’s career-making concerts was recorded here? Glenn Gould summered in and swooned over Stratford for many years, and Ben Heppner is a regular visitor.

In that classical vein, Louis Applebaum and John Boyden represented Stratford on the world’s classical and opera stages—as do Roger Honeywell, James Westman and Gary Relyea now.

In terms of contemporary music, Richard Manuel of The Band, and John Till—a key member of Janis Joplin’s band—were both born and raised in Stratford. Juno Award-Winning artist Ron Sexsmith, Loreena McKennitt, one of the world’s most eclectic and successful folk musicians, and Ali Matthews, an award-winning Christian artist, all currently live and create in Stratford.

The tradition continues with new artists, such as Dayna Manning, Emm Gryner and Graham Van Pelt. In fact, Juno winner Brian Dickinson credits his youth spent in Stratford as one of the reasons he’s enjoying a successful career as a jazz pianist.

Upcoming Music to Enjoy!

TUESDAY KARAOKE
Hosted by Gemstone Entertainment, karaoke sessions are your ticket to a night of music, laughter & unforgettable performances.
Tuesdays 8:00-11:00pm

WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY OPEN MIC NIGHT
Show us your talent at the Open Mic Night at 8pm. All ages welcome. Wednesday & Thursdays 8:00-10:00pm

LIVE MUSIC SATURDAYS
Join us for live music every Saturday this winter. Follow us on Instagram for artist details. No cover. Support local live music in Stratford and come on out for a great time! Saturdays 8:00pm

SUNDAY KARAOKE NIGHT
Be the singer you’ve always dreamed of… but with a real microphone instead of a hairbrush… a real audience instead of a mirror. Sing your heart out at Gilly’s. Sundays 8:00pm-Midnight

DRUM CIRCLE
Experience the benefits of drumming. Facilitator: Barry James Payne (String Bone, Rant Maggie Rant). Participants must bring their own drum. February 29, March 28, April 25 7:00-8:30pm

ELLIOTT BROOD
Elliott BROOD is never more at home than in the wash of distorted, evocative strings and stomps that make their signature alt country sound. February 29 7:30pm

FRIDAY NIGHT SESSIONS
A fantastic lineup featuring three performers: Mitch Szitas, Ryan Desaulnier, and the dynamic Barry & The Yellow Cards. Prepare for a night filled with exceptional music and good vibes. March 1 8:00pm

MARCH MUSIC NIGHTS
Mar 1 Jeremy McDonald, Mar 2 Rae Melvin, Mar 8 Graham Bedard, Mar 9 Chuckee Zehr, Mar 15 Stephanie Sellers, Mar 16 Rick Taylor, Mar 22 Johann Yundt, Mar 23 Rick Taylor, Mar 30 Stevie T. & Luke Robertson

SMALL-TOWN STRIP CLUB LIVE
Stratford rock band inspired by blues, southern rock & alternative. Local opener Celly Miles (Marcel Lundrigan). March 1 8:30pm

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE FT. HENRY TAYLOR & BAND
A musical luminary with a career spanning back to 1998, has etched his name into the tapestry of the Toronto music scene with a rich repertoire of folk-rock albums. March 2 8:00pm

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE FT. ANGELICA APPELMAN
Angelica Appelman, a rising star in the Canadian country music scene, draws inspiration from 90’s country female powerhouses like Shania Twain & Martina McBride. March 9 8:00pm

MY SON THE HURRICANE
Multi-horn, multi-drummer, multi-singer brass funk beast. The 12-piece brass-dance crew has toured & played some of the biggest festivals in Canada, USA & Europe. 19+ March 9 9:00pm

SIDE-BY-SIDE: WINTER BACH 2.0
Performers from Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra & Stratford Summer Music’s Artistic Director perform alongside U of T’s Faculty of Music students. March 10 4:00-5:30pm

LIVE PIANO SESSIONS FT MYLES AVIGDOR
Join us the second Monday of every month for live piano from talented local musician Myles Avigdor. Expect an eclectic mix of genres. Something for everyone. March 11 8:00-10:00pm

ST. PADDY’S DAY CELEBRATION
Paddy Murphy’s Ghost providing East Coast & Irish music. Shakespeare Brewing Co. beer & wine for sale. Includes East coast dinner & dessert. Purchase by Mar 8. 19+ event March 14 5:00-9:00pm

MAD HATTER DANCE FUNDRAISER
Are you mad, bonkers, Off the Wall? I’ll tell you a secret. The best people are! Music, food, costumes, auctions, drinks & dancing. Live music by Downie Street Collective. March 15 7:00pm

ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARTY – MICHAEL KELLY CAVAN & KETTLE’S ON
Come out & enjoy live music by Michael Kelly Cavan & Kettle’s On. Licensed event. Door prizes & luck o’ the draw. Finger food, photo booth, singing & dancing. March 15 7:00-11:00pm

DAN STACEY
Come for an afternoon coffee & stay to enjoy some traditional tunes from Stratford’s hardest working fiddler, Dan Stacey!
March 16 2:00-4:00pm

ST. PATTY’S DAY PARTY: FIDDLE STIX & CELTIC DANCERS
Doors open at 7:15pm. Must be 19+. Advanced tickets.
March 16 8:30pm

SHANE COOK WITH EMILY FLACK AND GREG WILLIAMS
This trio relies on a foundation in traditional music, song & dance of Ontario for the core of their sound & styles such as Celtic, folk, roots, bluegrass & swing. Food & drink for purchase. March 17 2:00-4:00pm

DUELLING PIANOS WITH NOTE FOR NOTE DUELLING PIANOS NIAGARA
Experienced musicians performing for both listening & dancing.
March 23 7:30-10:00pm

INNERCHAMBER: EXILE
Singer Tamar Ilana, collaborating with Andrew Chung and Daniel Ramjattan, she will share stories and songs from Sephardic Jewish tradition, tying them to other stories of exile. March 24 7:00pm

KARAOKE NIGHT @ THE STARLIGHT
Join us & host Myles Avigdor for our monthly Karaoke night! Bring your friends & your favourite tunes & be ready to sing your hearts out (or at least watch others do so). March 25 8:00-11:00pm

THE JAM FAM ACOUSTIC BAND LIVE
Two Stratford Duos collide in to one acoustic 4-piece band: musicians Steph Sellers, Meg Riley, Brady Lewis & Colton Carter will have you singing along to the hits of past decades. March 28 7:30-11:30pm

COTS & BRY WEBB
Webb, renowned singer & principal songwriter of underground rock band & 2x Juno nominee, The Constantines. Plus the solo project of composer, singer & guitarist Steph Yates – COTS. March 28 8:00pm

SHEWOLVES OF LONDON
Doors open at 7:15pm. Must be 19+. Advanced tickets.
March 28 8:30pm

ENSEMBLE CANTATE ITERUM
A captivating in-person event that will leave you in awe. Get ready to be mesmerized by the enchanting melodies & harmonies performed by talented artists. March 30 7:00-9:30pm

RED DIRT SKINNERS
The UK duo crosses more genres than would make sense to mention & have won National & International Awards in Rock, Folk, Blues, Country, Roots, Alt-Rock & Songwriting. April 6 7:00-10:30pm

LIVE PIANO SESSIONS FT MYLES AVIGDOR
Join us the second Monday of every month for live piano from talented local musician Myles Avigdor. Expect an eclectic mix of genres. Something for everyone. April 8 8:00-10:00pm

BRAHMS VIOLIN CONCERTO WITH SARAH PRATT
SSO brings Beethoven & Brahms with their April Masterworks concert. Beethoven’s fiery Egmont overture starts the night before Sarah Pratt joins to perform the Brahms violin concerto. April 13 7:30pm

DESTROYER TRIBUTE TO KISS
Doors open at 7:15pm. Must be 19+. Advanced tickets.
April 13 8:30pm

BILL WELYCHKA MEET AND GREET AND BOOK SIGNING
Since stepping in front of MuchMusic’s cameras, Bill Welychka has been one of Canada’s most enduring & respected television personalities. Accepting cash donations for Optimism Place. April 16 10:00am-Noon

JEREMY MCDONALD
Stop by for an afternoon coffee, but stick around to enjoy the acoustic musical styling of Huron County native, Jeremy McDonald! April 20 2:00pm

VOICES OF WALES CONCERT FT. TRIO CYMRU
The Ontario Welsh Festival is thrilled to be back in Stratford, ON with award-winning soloists direct from Wales for one night only.
April 20 8:00pm

GYMANFA GANU (HYMN SINGING) SESSION
Part of the Ontario Welsh Festival. Free will offering at the door. April 21 1:30-3:30pm

ELTON ROHN – ELTON JOHN TRIBUTE SHOW
They’ve headlined over 400 theatres & festival shows in North America. The only Elton John tribute asked to play the Elton John convention in Las Vegas where they met the band. April 27 8:30pm

KARAOKE NIGHT @ THE STARLIGHT
Join us & host Myles Avigdor for our monthly Karaoke night! Bring your friends & your favourite tunes & be ready to sing your hearts out (or at least watch others do so). April 29 8:00-11:00pm

MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU
Best of Hollywood to Avondale, with scores from Star Wars, Gone with the Wind, The Sea Hawk & a suite of music from Brotherhood, by SSO’s conductor & composer, William Rowson. May 4 7:30pm

HOTEL CALIFORNIA – THE ORIGINAL EAGLES TRIBUTE
Incredible lead vocal similarity, intensely accurate instrumental work, soaring harmonies & top flight live performance. May 5 7:00pm

KARAOKE NIGHT @ THE STARLIGHT
Join us & host Myles Avigdor for our monthly Karaoke night! Bring your friends & your favourite tunes & be ready to sing your hearts out (or at least watch others do so). May 27 8:00-11:00pm

KARAOKE NIGHT @ THE STARLIGHT
Join us & host Myles Avigdor for our monthly Karaoke night! Bring your friends & your favourite tunes & be ready to sing your hearts out (or at least watch others do so). June 24 8:00-11:00pm

STRATFORD SUMMER MUSIC OPENING NIGHT GALA
Michael Bridge, Yolanda Bruno and Mark Fewer in “Bring The Light”, featuring music by J.S. Bach, Benjamin Britten, Johnny Cash, Edith Piaf and more! July 18 7:30-9:00pm

STRATFORD SUMMER MUSIC – ALINE HOMZY AND FRIENDS
Award-winning violinist & composer born to a Québécois mom & an American dad with Eastern-European roots, Aline’s original music reflects her culturally-diverse background. July 19 9:00-10:30pm

STRATFORD SUMMER MUSIC: VESUVIUS ENSEMBLE
One of North America’s only music ensembles dedicated to the traditional music of Southern Italy. Group leader Francesco Pellegrino grew up singing & playing in Campania. July 20 7:30-9:00pm

STRATFORD SUMMER MUSIC: ANGELA HEWITT
Bach: Partita No. 6 in E minor, Beethoven: Sonata in C-sharp minor, Op. 27/2 (“Moonlight”), Scarlatti: A selection of Sonatas, Brahms: Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24 July 21 4:00-5:30pm

STRATFORD SUMMER MUSIC: FREEPLAY DUO
Using voice & live looping techniques, FreePlay Duo sings you around the world without leaving your seat. NY jazz, UK pop, European classical, Indian ragas, Brazilian samba… July 27 7:30-9:00pm

OFRA HARNOY WITH MIKE HERRIOTT – A CLASSICAL AFTERNOON
Ofra Harnoy has established herself as one of the greatest cellists on the world’s concert stage. Canadian trumpeter, Mike Herriott, is in demand as a lead trumpeter, jazz improviser… July 28 4:00-5:30pm

KARAOKE NIGHT @ THE STARLIGHT
Join us & host Myles Avigdor for our monthly Karaoke night! Bring your friends & your favourite tunes & be ready to sing your hearts out (or at least watch others do so). July 29 8:00-11:00pm

STRATFORD SUMMER MUSIC: VIVA MEXICO MARIACHI
Proudly the most successful & prestigious mariachi band in Toronto, performing a worldwide known, appreciated & praised Mexican tradition in the world: ‘Mariachi Music.’ August 1 7:30-9:00pm

STRATFORD SUMMER MUSIC: FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE – ALL-STARS
Jodi Proznick on bass (BC), Kelly Jefferson on sax (ON), Jim Doxas on drums (QC) and Florian Hoefner on piano (NL).
August 2 9:00-10:30pm

GREGORY OH: LESSONS IN FAILURE
Lessons in Failure embraces the taboos of classical music with delight & vulnerability – part recital, part tell-all confessional.
August 3 7:30-9:00pm

STRATFORD SUMMER MUSIC: A WORLD TRANSFORMED
Echo Chamber is a performance series that intertwines live chamber music & dance in new choreographed works. “A new lens through which both music and dance can be experienced.” August 8 7:30-9:00pm

STRATFORD SUMMER MUSIC: ALLISON AU QUARTET
JUNO-winning saxophonist Allison Au brings her quartet featuring Todd Pentney (piano), Jon Maharaj (bass) & Fabio Ragnellli (drums).
August 9 9:00-10:30pm

STRATFORD SUMMER MUSIC: QUATTRO MANI
Susan Grace and Steven Beck form one of the most dynamic piano duos before today’s concert-going public.
August 10 7:30-9:00pm

KARAOKE NIGHT @ THE STARLIGHT
Join us & host Myles Avigdor for our monthly Karaoke night! Bring your friends & your favourite tunes & be ready to sing your hearts out (or at least watch others do so). August 26 8:00-11:00pm

KARAOKE NIGHT @ THE STARLIGHT
Join us & host Myles Avigdor for our monthly Karaoke night! Bring your friends & your favourite tunes & be ready to sing your hearts out (or at least watch others do so). September 30 8:00-11:00pm

KARAOKE NIGHT @ THE STARLIGHT
Join us & host Myles Avigdor for our monthly Karaoke night! Bring your friends & your favourite tunes & be ready to sing your hearts out (or at least watch others do so). October 28 8:00-11:00pm

KARAOKE NIGHT @ THE STARLIGHT
Join us & host Myles Avigdor for our monthly Karaoke night! Bring your friends & your favourite tunes & be ready to sing your hearts out (or at least watch others do so). November 25 8:00-11:00pm

KARAOKE NIGHT @ THE STARLIGHT
Join us & host Myles Avigdor for our monthly Karaoke night! Bring your friends & your favourite tunes & be ready to sing your hearts out (or at least watch others do so). December 30 8:00-11:00pm

EXPLORE THE ONTARIO CULTURE DAYS STRATFORD CULTURE GUIDE

Stratford’s Music Highlights & Contemporary Music Scene

Whatever time of year you visit Stratford, you will be treated to musical events and concerts from churches, heritage concert halls and in our parks and gardens. Check out some of our musical highlights below:

  • The Stratford Concert Band has been a Stratford musical institution since 1907 and is recognized as one of Ontario’s best community orchestras.
  • The Stratford Symphony Orchestra is a regional orchestra that offers classical music concerts to Stratford and surrounding communities. “A Life-Enriching Experience Through Live Music Performance.”
  • The Stratford Concert Choir was formed almost 30 years ago and is around 90 voices strong. The Choir sings mainly from the classical repertoire and their concerts often include other musical forces, like the Stratford Concert Band, children’s choirs and many great soloists.
  • The highlight of the year is Stratford Summer Music with musical artists of international stature filling our concert halls, parks and churches each summer.
  • The celebration of savoury ribs and soulful blues takes place each June along the banks of the beautiful Avon River at the Stratford Live Music & Food.
  • INNERchamber is a chamber music concert series in Stratford, with a vision for reshaping the typical concert-going experience.
  • Spring brings out the blooms in our gardens but it is the start of our musical concert season starting with the Kiwanis Festival of the Performing Arts every spring.
  • Start Stratford‘s arts and culture magazine offers profiles and features on the writers, performers and artists who make Stratford their creative home.

Stratford’s contemporary music scene is one of the most vibrant in Ontario. From alt-country to folk, indie-rock to dance, we are pleased to present a few of our local musical artists and links to sample their music:

The place Justin Bieber calls home

Everybody knows it—Justin Bieber is from our town, and we’re proud to say it! Although he’s now an international musical sensation, he still comes back regularly to visit his good friends.

When Justin was growing up, there were a lot of places around Stratford where he hung out that now have special meaning for him. From the steps of the Avon Theatre, where he first started singing and earned enough to take his mom to Disney World, to the place he went on his first date—these locations are a part of Justin’s journey.

To let you take the same journey as Justin, we’ve created a map for you to tour Justin Bieber’s Stratford. The schools he went to, the ice cream parlour he visited after soccer games and even the skate park where he learned some tricks.

Download our Bieber-iffic Map of Stratford to start your tour.

Don’t miss the Justin Bieber Steps to Stardom Exhibit at the Stratford Perth Museum.

Please note that schools listed on the map are not open to the public. Destination Stratford is responsible for the creation and production of this map. The content is based on publicly available information and is not endorsed by Justin Bieber or his management.
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