From the Titanic to the Speakeasy: Patricia Hammond and her Ragtime Parlour Band in Toronto!

Our listeners are queueing up, writing in and tripping over themselves, desperate to hear Patricia again.”

BBC Radio 3

Possessing a beautifully warm mezzo soprano voice and a passion for the charm and allure of nostalgic music, Patricia Hammond is spearheading a revival of the great songs of the last century – from Victorian and Edwardian “parlour” songs to early jazz. Originally from BC’s Sunshine Coast and now based in London (UK) where she is known as the “Canadian Nightingale,” Hammond makes her Toronto debut in From the Titanic to the Speakeasy at Hugh’s Room on Tuesday, June 19th at 8:30pm.

Growing up in a house that contained thousands of 78-RPM records, Patricia’s early obsession with old sheet music – the only “antiques” she could afford to buy – began at the age of nine. While she trained as a classical singer and went on to perform with numerous opera companies and symphonies under the baton of esteemed conductors like Ivan Fischer and Sir Simon Rattle, she never let go of her early passion for this delightful and sentimental music. Songs like the entrancing “Yours”, the spirited “Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry,” and “The Honeysuckle and the Bee,” which is only demure on the surface, are also featured on her new recording Our Lovely Day. Veteran broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson calls the recording: “a music-box of vintage treasures, beautifully sung by a remarkable woman.”

Featured frequently on BBC Radio and television, Patricia was the only contemporary artist included on Sony’s 2010 compilation Down Memory Lane, alongside Dame Vera Lynn and Mario Lanza. Patricia performs frequently around London with groups including the Piccadilly Dance Orchestra, the RMS Lusitania Ragtime Orchestra, and Albert Ball’s Flying Aces band.

Patricia Hammond has also made it a personal mission to bring these songs directly to the people who remember them, spending endless hours singing to the elderly in hospitals and nursing homes. Here, the effect of her music has been poignant and life-changing, an experience she chronicled in a touching personal essay, “Awakenings” for The London Telegraph and reprinted in The Week.  Her story so moved Damian Jones, producer of “The Iron Lady,” that he optioned the rights for a film, which is now in the works.

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