Megan Jerome
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Megan Jerome

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Band Jazz Cabaret


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"SOUND SEEKERS: Megan Jerome brings the candid, living room vibe to her CD release concert at the NAC this Friday"

SOUND SEEKERS: Megan Jerome brings the candid, living room vibe to her CD release concert at the NAC this Friday

Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine and follow her on Twitter @fateemasayani

Megan Jerome tries out some of her songs on writer Fateema Sayani's old Heintzman piano.

Megan Jerome is in my living room playing my upright piano. It’s an old made-in-Canada Heintzman, bequeathed to me by a family member and it hasn’t been tuned in ages.

“That’s part of the charm,” Jerome, 38, says. Sitting on the claw-foot stool, her corkscrew curls piled atop her head, she works with the slightly warped sound and broken keys. Getting a feel for this particular piano, she tears into selections from her new self-titled album to an audience of one and a housecat.

The songs are sparse in their composition, but are made warm by a sensuous voice and sultry delivery. The song “Mike,” written about her husband (musician-composer Mike Essoudry), is a tender re-telling of warm exchanges in their long-blooming relationship. The song “Want” is more obscure on details, but is clear in its intention. Of the nine songs on the album, it’s the horndoggiest.

Jerome delivers this tune smoothly on the piano, and laughs loudly when we dissect the lyrics. (She rhymes “more” and “sore” in a yowza stanza). Other tunes display a sprightly sense of humour and an appreciation for the ends and bends of the piano — and the many ways you can manipulate it to get a great sound that’s more resonant.

Jerome heads to the NAC's fourth stage on Friday for her CD release show. Photo by Rémi Thériault.

She plays a tune that’s heavy on the bass-clef notes and we get to talking about Gonzales, the McGill-educated musician and producer who writes indie rock piano tunes and does some low-tech torquing, like adding more felt to parts of the inside of the piano, to expand the sound possibilities.

It’s an approach that piques her interest, as Jerome is looking to change things up. She spent a month in New Orleans for inspiration and, lately, started composing on a Wurlitzer to get a groovier sound than in her previous work. In the past, she led a jazz trio with Essoudry and Petr Cancura. They recorded two albums as the Megan Jerome Trio, while she released the solo album Bloomers in 2010. (Jerome likes sharp left turns. She studied engineering at Queen’s and worked in mining before she got her BMus in jazz composition from Carleton. She teaches music full-time.)

For her new album, Jerome recorded with producer Ross Murray at home on her Heintzman. She’ll try to replicate that candid, warm, living room vibe when she hosts a CD release show at the National Arts Centre fourth stage on Friday. - Ottawa Magazine

"A Lovely Voice, and Soulful, Clever Songs"

Megan Jerome's 1962 Wurlizter organ rides the whimsical carnival gaiety of her lovely voice and her soulful, clever songs.  And her husband Mike Essoudry is a fine percussionist who is closely tuned into the subtle groove of these gems of songwriting.   So many bands add layers to the point where such an unique partnership and sense of play may be left unfelt. - Vincent de Tourdonnet

"I've Rarely Been as Entertained and Satisfied as the Day I Saw Megan Jerome..."

In a summer of touring with Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers on festivals and with opening bands, I've rarely been as entertained and satisfied as the day I saw Megan Jerome and her drummer Mike Essoudry at the Ottawa Folk Festival. A captivating performer and fine singer, Megan's songs are quirky and fun, dark and brooding, rich -- like traditional music. Still modern though for all you trad-avoiders - a big grooving sound with just the 2 of them. - Bobby Read (Bruce Hornsby)

"Sacré Ottawa!"

Sacré Ottawa! A fascinatingly quirky, bilingual, squeezeboxing (and piano) composer-chanteuse from our Nation’s Capital.
- Montreal Mirror

"Sweet and Whimsical and Crisp"

Well, we’ll call it jazz, but the sophomore release by this often-quirky Ottawa trio has enough folk and cabaret and country bubbling through it that labels are even more pointless than usual. What’s relevant is that, as with their debut album Unlonely, lead singer and pianist Jerome, percussionist Mike Essoudry, and all-around instrumentalist Petr Cancura know how to have fun while creating evocative moods and vignettes peopled by mining engineers, campfire fans and blissful lovers. There’s room for everyone and everything in these songs, a happy fact underscored by Jerome’s beguiling, open-hearted vocals. With winter creeping in, the crystalline, melodica-accompanied track Skating deserves a special listen: sweet and whimsical and crisp, it’s everything that’s best about the trio. - Pat Langston, The Ottawa Citizen

"An Evening of Sheer Delight"

Critics have called them "a breath of fresh air for jazz" and described their songs as "beguiling, quirky and fearlessly beautiful." But for audiences, Ottawa's Megan Jerome Trio -- Jerome on piano and vocals, Petr Cancura on saxes, mandolin, accordion and vocals and Mike Essoudry on drums and vocals -- usually means an evening of sheer delight. - Doug Fischer, The Ottawa Citizen

"Jazzfest 2011: Megan Jerome brings unusual instrumentation and songs to Rendez-Vous Rideau Jazz Stage"

At 2 p.m. Saturday, June 25, cabaret singer Megan Jerome appeared at the Ottawa Jazz Festival's Rendez-Vous Rideau Jazz Stage with drummer and husband Mike Essoudry.

With a music degree in jazz piano and experience in free improvisation in IMOO concerts and the Ottawa Jazz Festival's Ottawa Composers' Collective, Jerome has jazz creds. But she's best known these days for her songwriting, as exemplified on her 2010 CD, Bloomers.

Her songs are short vignettes: quirky and clever with bright sparkly accompaniment, almost reminiscent of Dave Frishberg. Most of those she played were in English, but a few were in French, or bilingual. She alternated between a vintage Wurlitzer electric piano, and an accordion.

The songs have diverse influences – for example "Want" is about a homeless man in Ottawa; "Flora" was inspired by a painting by Marc Chagall called The Acrobat. Some were jazzy, some were bluesy and sultry.

When asked afterward, Jerome said these songs were less influenced by jazz – or by English vocalists in general – but rather by French cabaret and chanson. She was first intrigued by the soundtrack to the film Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain, and then listened to other chansonniers.

In her live performances Megan Jerome consistently conveys the feeling that she's glad to be there and having fun. Saturday's show was no exception. Perhaps she had additional reason to be sunny - about a month ago, she learned that she had won a Galaxie Rising Star Emerging talent award, through the Ottawa Folk Festival. All the artists chosen to perform at the Folk Festival were eligible, but "I nearly didn't apply, because surely, they're looking for some 20-year-old." The prize is worth $1000.
- Ottawa Jazz

"A Charming Voice and Inventive Piano Work"

Ottawa singer-songwriter-pianist Megan Jerome launched the mainstage program with a lovely performance of her quirky songs, including several that make reference to life in the nation’s capital. Accompanied by her husband, drummer Mike Essoudry, the curly-haired Jerome wore an eye-catching orange tutu dress designed by Ottawa’s Ashley Parsons for the occasion. Displaying a charming voice and inventive piano work, her musical style was reminiscent of a cross between Jane Siberry and Kate Bush. Jerome is the recipient of this year’s Galaxie Rising Star award..." - The Ottawa Citizen

"Flora - Top Songs of 2010"

I'll always remember the first time I heard "Flora": I was sitting in a cab, barely paying attention to the radio, when all of a sudden it came on and instantly captivated me, to the point I actually shouted at the cabbie when he changed the station. There's really no way to describe it as other than hauntingly beautiful. - i (heart) music

"Megan Jerome's Easy Way Out"

Twisted tangos and bawdy lyrics, tipsy dancers and Francophone hecklers, calls for an encore before the first song had begun. All this and more marked my introduction to Megan Jerome’s latest musical renaissance during a rollicking December gig at Kaffé 1870 in Wakefield.

Jerome’s Wurlitzer-and-vocals performance backed by drummer, husband, and long-time collaborator Mike Essoudry was illuminated by Christmas lights and would be illuminating in a different way to anyone who has listened to Jerome’s two existing recordings. Compared to the live performance, material on This Uneven Pace and Unlonely is much more laid back, pristinely recorded, and jazzier.

Jerome is, evidently, a tough artist to pin down, but that’s fine by her.

“If you weren't constantly self discovering,” she told me later, “you wouldn't be making music at all.”

When Jerome graduated from Carleton University’s music program in 2002 she was encouraged by a professor to apply for songwriting grants and began performing at smallish venues such as 107 4th Avenue in the Glebe. She released the two albums with Megan Jerome Trio—featuring Essoudry and multi-instrumentalist Petr Cancura—played countless festivals and even launched a semi-successful cross-Canada tour.

Jerome seemed to have found her groove singing love songs, songs lamenting the loss of lonely days, and meditative songs about skating. So forgive me for being not quite prepared for the Wurlitzer-fueled party that happened in Wakefield that night. You see there is a vibrant new recording in the works. I had chanced upon a Megan Jerome in the midst of a liberating musical discovery.

Megan the mining engineer

I couldn’t help but see evidence of the woman and the artist everywhere in her home. Jerome’s paintings hang on stark white walls, a family photo rests atop a grand piano, an enormous window that illuminates the living room seems to match her bright and open personality. And of course there’s the vintage Wurlitzer, which seems a good fit for Jerome’s old-school approach to art and life.

As she poses for photos, sitting at ease behind her piano, smiling and laughing through new songs she hasn’t quite finished yet, I imagine that Jerome’s carefree expression was passed on to her from her father, James Jerome, a former speaker in the House of Commons and avid musician.

“My family played a lot of music,” she told me. “My dad would play the piano for hours at the end of the day, and at parties. On Sundays, after dinner, we would sit around and sing songs.”

But although music was ever-present and piano lessons began at the age of nine, Jerome became seriously sidetracked on her musical journey during high school. She quit piano lessons when drawn in by a promotional campaign called “Women in Science.”

Much to the confusion of what Jerome calls her “liberal arts” family, the same teenager who had once written lyrics to fit with a Harry Connick Jr. recording enrolled in the mining engineering program at Queen’s University.

The rationale? Jerome wanted to challenge herself by studying something that wasn’t already all around her.

“I sort of had a feeling that it would be taking the easy way out if I took art,” she recalls.

Thankfully for the world of music, that feeling wouldn’t last. Jerome had a change of heart in the third year of her program after a key conversation with an engineering classmate about challenging herself.

“He said to me, ‘I have no idea what you mean, Megan. I'm really good at this and I find it easy and I like it. I'm not doing it because it's hard for me and I have something to prove’."

It wasn’t long before Jerome left Queen’s, moved back to Ottawa, and found a home in the Carleton music department, where she would receive her most valuable education under influential professors such as Jennifer Giles. But the lessons learned from her experience at Queen’s wouldn’t be forgotten.

Megan the painter

On the white chair below the living room window, Jerome sits, cross-legged, confident and upright, and seems to smile all of her words. She offers her visitors coffee and doughnuts early on a Sunday morning.

“We don’t usually have doughnuts for breakfast,” she assures us with a chuckle. I can’t imagine this woman going through a quarter-life crisis.

“I liked writing words and poems a lot in high school,” Jerome explains. “But my poems always rhymed. I remember this one friend of mine in grade nine saying ‘Welcome to the 20th Century Megan, poems don't rhyme anymore!’”

It’s likely that Jerome has never quite felt at home with other people’s conception of art. Her music is deceptively transient. The simple song structure and lyrics feel like folk songs, but the musicianship on her albums is rooted firmly in jazz. She has played both jazz and folk fests, but the two genres don’t always play nice, as in the story she tells about debuting a song she wrote to a pragmatic jazz teacher.

“I finish this song, and she goes, ‘That's it? The lyrics—maybe—but the piano playing? It's like you're taking spinach and you’re putting it between your own teeth’."

This story gets a big laugh from everyone in the room—and the biggest from Jerome herself.

“You have to honour your impulse to create,” she explains. “The songs that I write are much easier to play on the piano than what I am capable of doing. But it's what I discovered with engineering. My friend, who likes it, does it. He’s not doing it because it’s hard.”

It’s a deceptively simple idea. I mention Jackson Pollock choosing splattered paint over classical techniques and Jerome responds, “Anybody could splash paint on a canvas, but anybody doesn't.”

Megan the wife

In many ways, Essoudry and Jerome are one person, and they seem perfectly content being that way. In performance they have a kind of chemistry that could only come from years of practicing, arguing, cohabitating, and being totally in love. But is union like this antithetical to the self-discovery that Jerome talks so much about?

“I didn't want to make any compromises,” she says of her early days with Essoudry. “But I realized, maybe I have something to learn from this person's perspective. Maybe the ways that I would compromise are going to be a way of growing, not giving up. The stronger you are as an individual, the stronger you are as a partnership.”

Essoudry is quiet, handsome, and a skilled wood worker. Jerome is quick to point out that the impressive, decorative coffee table in their living room was hand-made by Essoudry when they were dating. He seems calm and collected standing next to the whimsical wife, and gives only frank-yet-thoughtful answers to questions.

When asked what he thought of Jerome’s analysis of their relationship, Essoudry smiles and says, “What she said.”

But after a moment he elaborates: "It just gives you the security to express yourself. And there's a bunch of others things that come out of the equation of being an artist. Who does it have to be good for? Are you impressing somebody? Are you trying to get this girl or this guy? We aren't trying to create on that level. We try to create just to put it out and to be ourselves. In the best way, without any sort of pretext."

Megan the soloist

With the departure of bassist Cancura, Megan Jerome Trio is now a duo, but with a bigger sound in the new material. Jerome claims that the 2007 album Flying Club Cup by the Balkan folk band Beirut and recent vocal training with Jose Hernandez were major influences.

Big, European folk rhythms pervade the new album on songs such as “Little Girls,” while the lyrics drip with arched-eyebrow bratty-ness: “I like sweet and I like nice, and I am learning I like a little spice/ champagne in my orange juice/ making love to who I choose.” The song turns on a dime from delicate, precocious piano to bold, bombastic drumming and accordion.

Another tune, “Cocktail,” a song about cafés, alcohol, and lustful alleyway encounters, is buoyed by staccato drumming and Jerome’s tango-tinged accordion.

“I think the songs evolved because I wanted to have more rhythmic music and I wanted to have a groove to play. I'm happy to move away from the Trio for a while so I can be a bit more autonomous,” says Jerome.

It turns out that that Kaffé 1870 show was typical of recent performances, partly due to Jerome serendipitously finding a Wurlitzer to bring to gigs and partly to the teachings of Hernandez, who encouraged Jerome to bring out a sensuality in the songs.

“To bring out a character, a femininity, a women-ness—not a girlishness,” says Jerome.

“The whole self-discovery thing is very, very necessary to create the music I want to make,” she explains. And she knows that such discovery never really ends. After the new album is released, Jerome plans to take a year away from lessons to learn even more about creating songs just for her self.

Fittingly, she describes this essential process, in her own terms, as “removing what I thought I wanted, and getting closer to what I want.”

Megan Jerome releases her third independent album, Bloomers, with a performance at the National Art Centre’s 4th Stage on Thursday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20.

- Guerilla Magazine

"Late Bloomers"

Really, what I wrote about Megan Jerome last week in the context of "Flora" could go double for her most recent album, Bloomers. About half the album is comprised of similarly bewitching songs, hauntingly gorgeous piano melodies that simultaneously sound beautiful and eerie.

Of course, that would only tell half the story. After all, for every song on Bloomers like "Flora" or "Upside Down", there are tracks like the Eastern European-tinged folk of "Cocktails", or slow-moving ballads like "Starry Star" or "Big Old Moon", or upbeat jazz like "Cake Tray", or Franco-accordion folk like "Ils ne sontaient pa là" -- in other words, songs that show that that Megan Jerome is an incredibly talented artist. It adds up to make Bloomers a wonderfully diverse album, and one that absolutely deserves to be checked out. - i (heart) music

"The Jazz Singer"

Surrounded by the headlining band’s crate amplifiers and electric steel guitars, Megan Jerome appears particularly delicate, sitting at a small keyboard with an accordion tucked under her arm.
But once Jerome belts out a few of her signature cabaret-style songs, that first impression fades quickly – she already has the audience howling out choruses and slamming pint glasses down onto their tables.

Bigger, more boisterous audiences are a reality Jerome is becoming accustomed to.

“That’s a really recent development, and it’s a thrill,” Jerome explains. “I just hope that continues to grow and keeps happening.”

And after nearly a decade spent writing and performing her way into the heart of downtown Ottawa’s music scene, Jerome’s performance schedule is busier than ever.

Later this month, she will be launching her newly recorded third album, “Bloomers,” with a release celebration at the National Arts Centre.

Having played in a number of groups and collaborations over the years, Jerome – now well into her 30s – has simplified the operation this time around.

These days, it’s just her songs on the piano with help on the drums from husband Mike Essoudry.

“She does the writing,” Essoudry admits with a grin. “I love the clarity of Meg’s songs . . . They’re all very beautiful.”

Her repertoire of original songs is impressive, considering she has only been crafting them since she was in her late 20s.

Born in Sudbury and raised in Ottawa, Jerome pursued a degree in mining engineering from Queen’s University before returning to the city to study jazz music at Carleton University.

After she graduated, she started taking songwriting more seriously as a profession.

“I always thought it would be something I’d do for fun on the side, but then I started to do it more and more,” she explains.

Her early compositions – reflecting a folky twist on the jazz she fine-tuned at Carleton – brought her to a wide variety of stages in and around Centretown. She has performed at multiple jazz festivals, both outdoors near Elgin Street and inside the National Arts Centre as a part of the Composers’ Collective.

The latter locale is one she visits regularly for dance classes.

“I met a whole gang of theatre people in Ottawa who are doing really creative things,” she says.

Robert Turner is a longtime friend of Jerome’s and worked with her and Essoudry at the Ottawa Folklore Centre.

Ever since the three quit their jobs on the same day, he has kept in touch with the couple, and even now regularly attends her performances.

He recalls his first time watching her perform, with a “great and very fun little band” called Four Little Cars.

While a lot has changed musically since then – Four Little Cars delivered a jazzier sound than one would hear in her current work – Turner believes it was a change for the better.

“Her stagecraft, and being a performer, has really improved dramatically,” he says. “It’s really, uniquely her.”

Jerome’s gift for songwriting and creative keyboarding is one she has started passing along to local youth, through teaching piano lessons to children at her home studio.

Her teaching method is unique. Along with structured progress through levels of piano theory and technical skills, Jerome encourages the children to use their creative muscles, working with them to play improvisations and write their own songs.

“It’s really, really inspiring. Especially the young kids are excited, because they have no barriers to their creativity,” she explains.

Essoudry agrees that there’s a lot to gain from Jerome’s lessons – if the student is prepared to make a serious commitment to music.

“She’s a very demanding teacher,” he explains. “One of the things she focuses on is making the kids have a really strong connection with music.”

Jerome’s love of working with youth has spread into Centretown.

Last year, the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals selected her to be a mentor for a young singer-songwriter during the course of their annual conference.

She says her music professors at Carleton emphasized creative output, and were a significant inspiration for the approach she takes to working with young musicians.

“It was a tiny program, at the time, with really amazing professors,” she recalls. “That’s a very fun way to learn, you know? You’ve got somebody who knows more than you do, who can help you filter through information.”

But even with the unexpected growth of her reputation as both a performer and a teacher, Jerome says she has stayed true to herself through the whole process – and found a widespread local acceptance of her genuine approach.

“There are lots of places where I don’t fit in. I’m not an indie rocker, I’m not alt country,” she explains, adding that cities such as Montreal and Toronto might be too “self-consciously hip” to enjoy her music the same way Ottawa crowds have.

And Jerome insists she is never content to rest on her laurels.

Over the past year, she signed herself up for vocal coaching, all the while working hard to improve her stage presence and musical form.

“Somebody told me the other day that they don’t know how I’m doing it, but every time I perform there’s more richness in my voice,” she recalls. “What I’m doing is practising… I’m working on singing, I’m working on piano playing, I’m working on musicianship.”

Her plans for the future are as ambitious as they are quirky. She plans to play a set of “improvised accordion” music at the upcoming Ottawa Fringe Festival, and hopes to continue her involvement with the SAW Cabaret and Ottawa’s dance community.

Jerome says these days, she feels more liberated as an artist.

“After jazz school, I think I was hoping to impress some jazz musicians with my music,” she says. “I’m not as concerned about impressing anymore, and that makes everything a lot more fun.”

She believes that her new CD “Bloomers,” which she is set to release on April 29, will reflect the big changes in her both her persona and her approach to music.

“It’s a big difference,” she says of the new album, which is currently receiving finishing touches in the studio.

“I think it’s a bit sexier than the other CDs that we’ve had.”

While Essoudry says that he agrees that the sound has shifted towards a slightly more sultry style of composition, he believes she has held on to one intrinsic quality that has been there since the very beginning.

“Some of the sentiment is sexy,” he explains, “But some of the aesthetic is also beautiful.” - Centretown News Online

"Life's a Cabaret! Megan Jerome's songcraft evokes emotional journeys and erotic adventures."

Listening to Flora, the first “single” from Megan Jerome’s album Bloomers, induced a daydream about a smoky Parisian bar, sipping a glass of absinthe, while the artist Toulouse Lautrec flirts with writer Colette and Serge Gainsbourg dances with Jane Birkin while Jerome begins playing another new song, a romantic waltz called Amour on the accordion.
There’s something inherently, unabashedly romantically French about Bloomers, Jerome’s beguiling third album. Playing accordion and piano and singing in English and French, the Ottawa-based singer-songwriter creates a fin-de-siecle style cabaret of songs that takes the listener on an emotional journey leading to erotic adventures. Little Girls, Cocktails, A Field, The Moon, The Stars.
“I like to tell stories,” Jerome explains. “Most of my stories are about women. I’d say my music is feminine in the same way that Tom Waits’ music is masculine. My songs tell stories about women. They’re songs about life, people I know. I write songs the way Marc Chagall paints. You create a moment and distill that moment into a song.”
When it came out in 2010, Bloomers seemed to end up on everyone’s top-10 list. Flora was picked the song of the year by local press, and earned Jerome an invitation to play at all three of Ottawa’s major music festivals — jazz, blues and folk — all in the same year.
“That’s a big accomplishment for a performer to have the support of a diverse range of people,” Jerome says.
But the biggest compliment Jerome’s gotten so far came at the Folk Festival, when two of music’s heavyweight players, Earth Wind & Fire’s Sunny Emory, and Levon Helm and Bruce Hornsby’s Bobby Reid, watched her solo show, and at the end of her set, shared their enthusiasm backstage with the 37-year-old multi-instrumentalist.
Scared silly
“I was having too much fun playing to be nervous about them,” Jerome admits. “Otherwise I would have been scared silly.”
A graduate of Carleton’s jazz piano program, Jerome began playing as a child. Her father, James Jerome — Speaker of the House from 1974 to 1980 and a self-taught piano-player — taught his daughter whimsical songs from the 1920s like Sunny Side of the Street and Paper Moon.
“The older I get the harder it is to find music you really love. That’s why I love Rufus Wainwright. Like him, I want to play the grand piano all by myself.”
She currently teaches piano to children and is an associate at Carleton University. On Feb. 4, she’ll play Cafe Paradiso as part of the new winter Jazz Festival.
- The Ottawa Sun

"Peter Hum"

"beguiling homemade songs"
- The Ottawa Citizen

"Louise Daniels"

"a breath of fresh air" - The Ottawa Sun

"Bill Stunt"

"lovely...a nice new direction...for jazz" - CBC Radio

"Melissa Proulx"

"chansons eclatantes et bien ficelees" - Voir

"John Sekerka"

"who knew crooning could be this much fun?" - X-press

"Arthur McGregor"

"smart, edgy, a wonderful bag...of musical treats" - Editor, Folk Prints Magazine

"Fateema Sayani"

"plucky boho-jazz" - The Ottawa Citizen

"Peter North"

"impressed...this observer" - The Edmonton Journal

"Linda Tanaka"

"a delight" - Salmon Arm Roots and Blues


*All recordings receive regular airplay on CBC radio.

Megan Jerome (2012)
Streaming on CBC Music

Bloomers (2010)
CBC Radio One CD of the Month
CBC Radio Three Track of the Day
Top 20 iTunes Jazz Charts, Portugal and New Zealand
Nominated Best New Folk/Country Album of the Year, XPress
Song of the Year, i (heart) music

This Uneven Pace (2006)

Unlonely (2004)
CBC Radio One Top 5 Ontario Records




Megan Jerome is a singer-songwriter specializing in cabaret-style songs. She plays solo on piano. Arty, funny, sparse and sexy, her music and shows are eclectic and Bridget Jones meets Chocolat.

Megan’s albums have delighted critics and audiences alike, topping CBC and community radio station charts nationwide. Megan's newest, boldest and most intimate recording is truly a solo performance - just Megan and her grand piano, in her living room. Beautiful singing, playing, arranging and songwriting pervade this very sparse, very original album that is both raw and fragile. In their pared down state, these new songs reflect an emotional depth never before heard in her work.

"The songs are sparse in their composition, but are made warm by a sensuous voice and sultry delivery. The song “Mike,” written about her husband (musician-composer Mike Essoudry), is a tender re-telling of warm exchanges in their long-blooming relationship. The song “Want” is more obscure on details, but is clear in its intention. Of the nine songs on the album, it’s the horndoggiest.

Jerome delivers this tune smoothly on the piano, and laughs loudly when we dissect the lyrics. (She rhymes “more” and “sore” in a yowza stanza). Other tunes display a sprightly sense of humour and an appreciation for the ends and bends of the piano — and the many ways you can manipulate it to get a great sound that’s more resonant.

For her new album, Jerome recorded with producer Ross Murray at home on her Heintzman."
-Fateema Sayani, Ottawa Magazine

Megan's vibrant performances have enchanted critics and audiences at a wide range of venues, from art galleries, clubs and taverns, to some of Canada's major jazz, blues and folk festivals. She is a recipient of the Galaxie Rising Star Award.

"It is not just her incredible musical talent, but her laughter, her story telling, her light, that is so memorable.  She is so brave to talk about places that are vulnerable and tender for all of us...  I do still keep thinking of fearless Megan".
-Audience Member

Described by poet David O’Meara as “not only one of our most interesting artists, also one of our most interested artists” Megan is inspired by Marc Chagall paintings, time spent in Paris, riproaring chic-lit, eclectic decorating books, field recordings, grooves and bass lines that make her move. Megan has worked with choirs, actors and dancers, including collaborating with renowned choreographer Tedd Robinson on a contemporary dance work set to her songs. Megan has recently returned from a month in New Orleans spent soaking in the brass bands, soul food and culture - a powerful experience sure to fuel both her performances and future songwriting.

"Exquisite, fresh and sparkling!"
-CBC Radio

“A captivating performer and fine singer”
—Bobby Read, Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers,

“Sacré Ottawa! A fascinatingly quirky composer-chanteuse from our Nation’s Capital”
—Montreal Mirror

“an incredibly talented artist”
—Matthew Pollesol, i(heart)music

“Intimate, quirky and fearlessly beautiful”
—Peter Hum, The Ottawa Citizen

“Megan Jerome is awesome”
—Simone Deneau, National Arts Centre