Izzy Gilden
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Izzy Gilden

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2015

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Established on Jan, 2015
Solo Folk Acoustic




This band has no press


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


    Izzy Gilden’s alluring voice backed by his intricate yet soothing finger-picking classical guitar is the kind of music you would want to hear on a Sunday morning as your barista carves a leaf design on the foamy milk of your cappuccino. His melodies and lyrics are uplifting and positive and offer encouragement in tough times. 

     Izzy was born in Toronto, Canada to Jewish Orthodox parents. The 9th child out of 11 kids, he was immersed in music since before he could walk or talk. His father Julius, a music major, concert pianist, composer, and music teacher, used to teach Izzy and his siblings how to harmonize and sing as a choir together. At the Sabbath and Jewish Festival family meals the huge Gilden family would sit around the table and sing Jewish hymns for hours in perfect harmony. Many of the songs were composed by their father and hero Julius. 

     When Izzy was around six or seven his father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Years of decline lead to a deterioration in Julius’s health and in his musical ability. Izzy, at 13 years old, was angry at the unfairness of the world, at God and at everything that was happening to his seemingly perfect family. He started acting out and making poor choices. His parents, after seeking a lot of counselling as to what do with this 13 year old rebel, who was only hurting himself and those around him, sent him to a boarding school in South Bend, Indiana. He started performing in South Bend, singing lead for a band that his buddies put together to perform at various school events.

     After Izzy got his high school diploma from South Bend, he moved to Queens, New York with some friends and took on odd jobs in restaurants eventually ending up as a restaurant manager. It was while he was in Queens that he taught himself to play the guitar at the age of 19, never expecting to become a singer-songwriter, but just needing to put musical ideas on an actual instrument instead of only singing them. He learned guitar quickly by jamming as often as possible with far more superior players than him while never letting on that he was only a beginner.

     At the age of 22, Izzy made one of the toughest decisions of his life in leaving his job, friends, and life in New York behind and moving home to Toronto to help out his parents. It was difficult moving back to a place that he hadn’t spent a significant amount of time in since he was still a child, even though it was his hometown. Unsure wether to stay in Toronto or head back to his life and friends in New York, Izzy applied to Seneca College’s Independent Music Production (IMP) Program after hearing about it from a friend. Thinking that he would never get in, he wrote his first 2 songs ever and submitted them as a demo that he self-produced without any recording experience. Izzy decided that if he was somehow selected as one of only twenty students to get in to the program, he would stay in Toronto. If not, he would move back to New York. He got in. That was the start of his musical career.

     It was in the IMP program that Izzy learned the craft of songwriting and fell in love with it. When he isn’t studying, he performs at small bars and pubs which he books and promotes himself, as well as at open mics around the GTA. Through these performances, he continues gathering and building a small but dedicated following of fans. His fans argue over what the best aspect of his act is. Some say it's his vocal range, some say that it's his soft and soothing finger-picking guitar, and some love his meaningful songwriting and inspiring lyrics.

     Izzy’s father has recently been moved to a long-term care facility, or nursing home. Izzy frequently visits and brings his guitar. Of all the audiences Izzy performs in front of, he says his favourite is to play for his father and for the other senior citizens at the home. He says there is nothing like watching the joy on these usually sad faces. There is nothing like watching people who can barely walk suddenly start dancing to your music. Izzy’s father, who physically can’t talk loud enough that anybody can hear, will always sing in a clear, loud voice when Izzy comes by with his guitar. Julius can’t carry a conversation but he can communicate through the music. That is all the reason Izzy needs to pursue his dream of uplifting people with his songs. 

Band Members