Music in Hamilton

Music Mondays

Artists preforming at Music Mondays infront of City Hall

Photo Credit: I Heart Hamilton

The City of Hamilton, in partnership with the Hamilton Music Advisory Team (HMAT), is pleased to present Music Mondays as a virtual music series for 2021. The series features pre-recorded performances by 15 local musicians.

Each Monday in May, a new video was released on Facebook @HamOntMusic and on the City of Hamilton’s YouTube channel. Each video features three Hamilton musicians, all of whom perform in a similar musical genre. In order to follow COVID 19 regulations, all participating musicians recorded their performances at home.

In addition to the performing musicians, volunteers from the Hamilton Music Advisory Team and local music industry representatives introduced each video.

The Music Mondays series started in 2018 and supports the City of Hamilton’s Music Strategy and its goal of cultivating music creation and talent along with increasing access to music experiences.

Artist Lineup for 2021 Music Mondays

May 3 - R&B

Video introduced by Lisa LaRocca, co-chair of the Hamilton Music Advisory Team and Director of Operations for Sonic Unyon Records, with Angela Nethersole.

Angela Nethersole

Angela Nethersole

Angela Nethersole is a singer-songwriter from the GTA whose intimate vocals and honest lyrics pull listeners into her R&B, Soul, and Jazz fusion. In 2018, she was the winner of the iLive Soulfest Open Artist Program and in 2019 she was selected for the annual Honey Jam Showcase in Toronto. She draws inspiration from artists such as Alicia Keys, India Arie, and Lauryn Hill.

Grany Smith

Granny Smith

Granny Smith is multi-instrumentalist Jason Bhattacharya. All tracks are composed, produced & performed by Bhattacharya using a Yamaha AW4416 Recording Console.



Whitness is a Canadian-Nigerian artist who grew up in Hamilton, and is best known as as the bridge between two cultures. She specializes in R&B and Afrosoul/Alternative music. With thousands of listeners worldwide, her music has really been listened to by people in countries she would have never imagined. Whitness has collaborated and performed with many artists across the city, Queens Park, and most notably performed for the ‘Black Lives for Change’ organization at Hamilton City Hall in July of 2020. She has released two singles titled ‘Jo Ki Jo and Call Me Again and has many more on the way this year as she is planning on releasing an EP very soon.

She has been committed to being an example of the light that is in the world despite the challenges she has faced, and continues to be an inspiration to those who follow her, on how to authentically be yourself and share your gifts. Singing and songwriting have always been a passion for her since childhood, and she uses music as a way to tap into her creative soul and connect with people all around the world. In 2020 she was also interviewed as a radio guest on three stations, and performed at ‘The Black History Celebration’— which garnered her many opportunities within the city. Many had to be put on hold because of the circumstances in the world at the moment, but she is hopeful for the future.

May 10 - Blues

Video introduced by Judy Marsales, musician and member of the Hamilton Music Advisory Team, with JUNO award-winning musician Steve Strongman

Nicole Christian featuring Alfie Smith

Nicole Christian featuring Alfie Smith

Nicole Christian is a little roots, a little country and a whole lot bottle-neck blues.  A multi-instrumentalist who specializes in flute, piano and resophonic guitar, Nicole released two solo albums before heading to the studio to record her most recent, Run Rabbit Run, which was voted The Best Debut Roots and Blues Album of 2010. Following the release of Run Rabbit Run, Nicole played a North American tour with Hamilton-based guitar player Alfie Smith that included stops in Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, Montreal, Ottawa, Hamilton and Kingston.

In 2011 Nicole was selected as a finalist for the Toronto Blues Society's Talent Search and was nominated for two Hamilton Music Awards, Best Female Vocalist and Best Blues Album. She appeared on an episode of Toronto Talent and won a Hamilton Arts Award for Performance in 2012. Nicole performs regularly throughout Southern Ontario, primarily as a duo with Alfie Smith. They released their first duo album, Come on In My Kitchen, in 2014. Previous appearances include Festival of Friends, Mariposa and the International Blues Challenge in Memphis where Nicole and Alfie competed on behalf of Western NY.

J Harvey

J. Harvey & the Inner Demons

Jon Harvey is a Hamilton musician who is part of the Juno winning Hard Rock band Monster Truck. Jon also performs under the moniker “J. Harvey & The Inner Demons”. His music is blues-centric with elements of rock n roll.

Steve Strongman

Steve Strongman

JUNO Award-winning Canadian bluesman Steve Strongman is a versatile talent, and a restless one. By constantly pushing himself in new directions, he has kept himself vital. His talent is huge and impossible to miss, and it’s matched by his staggering musical ambition — as guitar-slinger, songwriter or vocalist. The same structures and progressions that animate blues and roots music can also choke the air out of it, smothering it in caricature and cliché. But Strongman is a subtle shape-shifter who manages to slip that trap without betraying the music he loves. Throughout, he never sounds an inauthentic note or loses touch with the essence of the blues. 

The 2019 release of Strongman's 7th studio recording "Tired of Talkin'" is destined to further establish the guitar slinger's reputation as one of the most exciting artists on the International Blues scene.  Strongman’s impressive resume includes stints opening for guitar legends such as B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Johnny Winter. The performer’s breakthrough 2012 release A Natural Fact was hailed as a standout, earning Maple Blues Awards for Recording, Songwriter, and Guitarist Of The Year as well as a 2013 Juno Award for Blues Recording Of The Year. In 2014 he was thrice-nominated at the Maple Blues Awards (Guitar Player, Electric Act, and Entertainer of the Year) and in 2015 received a second Juno nod for Blues Album of the Year (for Let Me Prove It To You).  In 2018, No Time Like Now, was a Juno award nominee for Blues Album of the Year and in 2019, Strongman won Best Guitarist for the Solo Duo Category at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.  His 2019 release “Tired of Talkin” is earning rave reviews and showcases why Strongman is one of the most exciting performers on the scene today.

Beyond Strongman’s talent as a songwriter, guitarist and front man is his ability to engage his audience and deliver an outstanding performance at every live show. With his inimitable guitar playing and soulful vocals, Strongman delivers incredible performances with power and passion. Steve Strongman has a way of stirring a crowd that evokes the emotion, maturity and authenticity of classic blues themes. His music speaks for truth and passion, and offers hope for the soul in the face of hard times in a way that leaves audiences craving more.  In a musical world of many pretenders, Steve Strongman is as real and authentic as it gets.

May 17 - Hip Hop

Video introduced by Garrett Lajoie, musician and member of the Hamilton Music Advisory Team, with local hip hop artist LTtheMonk.

Jr. Bebble

Jr Bebble

James Gordon Jr ( born January 20, 1989), known professionally as Boi Bebble- Jr Bebble is a Jamaican-Canadian Hip-Hop performer, singer, songwriter, & producer. Developing his unique style from the stages and streets of Hamilton Ontario, Bebble delivers a polished, hard hitting lyrically intelligent, commercial sound. Mother England born, father Jamaican born- Bebbles’ upbringing was anything but normal, with a wide family amouting in over 2k people to date. Jr started writing & creating at the age of 14, crediting his musical epiphany to grade school breakdance crews, piano classes at age 15, and a deep lyrical study of Hip Hop classic ‘The Rockwilder’ by Redman & Method Man. “Respectfully, going solo was the best move I ever made”- Bebble. Having spent countless hours wearing both artist & management caps throughout the industry, Bebble has always formulated elevation in his own career seeing such highlights as studio sessions with Canadian legend JRDN, opening performances featuring rap vetrin Bow Wow (Shad Moss), and Dancehall icons- Popcaan & BeanieMan. Another notable moment for Jr was hosting a self branded Birthday event- Dayonez: ‘Real Recognize Real’ which saw over 500 guests in attendance. Dayonez Entertainment was formed as a multimedia company & street team to further both brands as a larger conglomerate in urban music and culture.

2018 onward served much growth in both sound and lyrical content for Bebble as he would release his game-face establishing single & video ‘New Culture’, streamed and viewed in +25 countries including China, Russia and Africa over 9000 times. Fans in 2019 embraced Bebble’s debut album “Eighty 9th- The Beginning” a self composed, all original therapeutic journey & transition of personal struggles, Bebbles’ growth as a musician and becoming a new father. Highlights for 2019-2020 included Reeboks‘Aztrek’ retro shoe launch, located in a transformed after hours FootAction Shoe Store, dedicated to social media influencers around the GTA. Bebble has continued into present with timeless classic records such as: Bells, High Lows, & Walked In The House with over 17k Streams. Bebble has easily become a ‘not so local, local household name & shows potential for major gains in the near future.

Elley Jeez

Elley Jeeze

Elley Jeeze was born in the city of Hamilton, Ontario and is ⅓ of the group 2Fs (The Family, Family First), and half of the group AM. His love for hip hop and lyricism has taken him a long way having opened up for the likes of “Joey Bada$$”, “Flatbush Zombies”, “The Under Achievers”, “R.A. Rugged Man”, “M.O.P", “AZ”, “Cormega”, “Lord Finesse”, “Raekwon”, “Elzhi”, and more. Listen close and expect great things to come from this uniquely humble artist.

Paolo Leon

Paulo Leon featuring Malaz

Recently coming off his latest album “Partly Stabilized Partly Curious” (PSPC), Paulo Leon is an artist, musician, producer and rapper who is unwilling to fit the mold within the evolving musical landscape. Born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, Paulo is  known for his melodic soulful production and exceptional lyricism. His artistic roots began in the Hamilton spoken word scene, as he led his high school team to place first in the largest spoken word competition in Canada, “Louder than a Bomb Canada” (2017). During this time and after, he not only tightened his skills as a writer but also as a producer, and began crafting his post-hip-hop sound, which is rooted in soul, r&b and pop-jazz fusion.

Through his music, he hopes to convey a sense of escapism for his audience by exposing his truest self. At only 20 years old, he writes, composes, arranges and produces all of his work. It is clear from listening to any of his records from his past three projects, singles and latest album PSPC, Paulo is a unique artist with a voice too talented to be unheard. 

May 24 - Classical

Video introduced by Tricia LeClair, Chair of the Hamilton Music Advisory Team and Executive Director of the Hamilton Children’s Choir, with Kim Varian, Executive Director for the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra.

All of Her Sound

All of Her Sound

All of Her Sound is a multi-instrumentalist and composer of an ever-expanding variety of genres and musical structures who loves to discover artists and instruments from all periods of time. Those learnings are applied to every aspect of life and musicality and will be expanded upon while attending Mohawk College. Currently running a collective in Hamilton, All of Her Sound looks forward to being more involved in the evolving artistic community.

Emilio Bonito

Emilio Bonito

Born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario - Emilio Bonito crafts intricate instrumental songs that combines a deep background in classical music training with influences that include pop culture, contemporary music from a diversity of genres and the great fingerstyle guitarists that came before him, such as Tommy Emmanuel, Antoine Dufour, Andy McKee, Calum Graham, and Dylan Ryche.

Azaline Duo

Azuline Duo

Azuline Duo features award-winning musicians Sara Traficante (flute) and Emma Rush (guitar).  This ensemble pushes the boundaries of their instruments and conventional programming with unusual and rarely heard repertoire, and a dynamic onstage presence that engages the audience from the first note.  They tour regularly throughout North America and have a mission to bring live classical music to rural Canada.  Whether up north in the Yukon Territory or down south in Texas, Azuline Duo makes a lasting impression with their innovative performances on both traditional and unexpected stages.  

“beautiful textures, intense rhythmic grooves, and excellent performances” - 

Performance highlights include the Lonestar Guitar Festival in Texas, the Sauble Beach Guitar Festival, and Guitarfest West in Alberta.  They have visited Vancouver Island, Whitehorse, Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Winnipeg, Brandon in Western Canada and have toured Nova Scotia and New Brunswick with stops in Halifax, Dartmouth, Musquodoboit Harbour, Wolfville, New Minas, Avanport, Truro, and Moncton.  They perform regularly throughout Ontario and have been featured artists for the Ottawa Guitar Society, Caledon Chamber Music, Cinquefoil Hamilton, and Mississauga Chamber Music.  They have been livestreaming concerts during the COVID-19 pandemic, most recently for the Philadelphia Guitar Society and Festival Cultural de Marzo in Mexico.  

May 31 – Rock

Video introduced by Marie Cassidy, member of the Hamilton Music Advisory Team and Station Manager / Technologist at 101.5 The Hawk / Ignite Radio, with local musician Derek Palango from the Checkerboard Floors.

Boxcar Ben

Boxcar Ben

Boxcar Ben is a one man blues-rock band hailing from Hamilton, Ontario. With dynamic elements of classic rock and heavy blues influences shining through his moody guitar work and a raspy melodic voice woven throughout. In 2017 he released his first EP “Steel City Streets” which he performed on the streets busking for Hamilton’s monthly Art Crawl. So inspired by this he began to perform open mics downtown almost weekly and began to develop his ‘one-man-band’ busking inspired sound. In 2018 Ben wrote and recorded a live off the floor album that showcased his energetic grunge fueled blues-rock sound. Gaining momentum with his new music and building a local following Ben began to perform opening sets at nearly all of Hamilton's music venues.

Showing no signs of slowing down in 2019 Ben recorded a second album of songs. "Fragments" that was released during Hamilton's Supercrawl festivities. Solidifying his blues rock sound as well as stepping into uncharted sonic realms. Pandemic aside in 2020 Ben released two singles and an acoustic album of his fans favourite songs. With plans in the works to release more music videos, songs, livestreams & performances, the new decade is shining bright on the horizon.

Los Chukos

Los Chukos

Los Chukos are Hamilton's Alt-Vato rock band with a sound that has influences from Rock, Latin, Punk, and Classic genres. They started off in 2013 with 4 members and have grown to a 5-piece band. Los Chukos showcase their love for music and pride for Hamilton. An original band who loves to try new things, Los Chukos aren't afraid of crossing musical genres if that's what feels right.

The Barettas

The Barettas

Hailing down from steel city Hamilton these firecracker girls have been in the game for over 10 years playing electrifying shows that range from the unsung music halls to the opening slot at Burlington’s SOM festival opening up for The Diodes and the  New York Dolls. Speaking of New York City, they’ve been there as well playing shows in Manhattan and Detroit Rock City where the crowd sang along to their music. 

If you like the novelty of a dynamic duo you’re in the right place! The Barettas have been resurrected and are back from the grave. And we’re aiming right in between the music industry’s eyes! Bang Bang, baby.

All artists have been selected in collaboration with the Hamilton Music Advisory Team and thought given to representation from a wide variety of genres. Questions about this project or the Music Strategy, please email [email protected]

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