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Singer-songwriter pianist Jeffery Straker grew up taking piano lessons in small-town Saskatchewan and has gone on to perform over 100 shows per year across Canada, Europe and Latin America. The rootsy-storytelling of his songs has the power to transport a listener -out onto a lake in Canada’s North or to the main street of a prairie town. A clever lyricist with an energetic piano style, his song writing has drawn critical comparisons to the likes of Harry Chapin, Kris Kristofferson & Billy Joel, while maintaining a style distinctly his own. He’s recorded his ROOTS/FOLK music for CBC radio’s ‘Canada Live’, has seen his songs used in film, TV and theatrical productions and in 2019 won a Western Canadian Music Award. Recently he was awarded “Roots/Folk Artists of the Year” at the 2020 Saskatchewan Music Awards.
A musical vagabond, he’s toured internationally as far as The Netherlands, Mexico and Nunavut with tour stops ranging from intimate house concerts totheatre shows as well as festivals. Never one to let ‘genre’ constrain him he’s also taken the stage in sold-out concerts performing his songs with symphony orchestras. In 2014, an international career boost came from winning the prestigious Vina del Mar (Chile) song competition, representing Canada. Performing to a festival crowd of 20,000 people and to a TV audience of 100,000,000 viewers across the Spanish-speaking world, he gained a fan following in Latin America.
Jeffery’s 2017 full-length recording, “Dirt Road Confessional” revealed a sonic evolution in a roots direction, accompanying his personal storytelling style. The 12-song album debuted at #5 on the iTunes Canada singer-songwriter charts andplayed on CBC Radio and college/community radio across the country. Listeners and critics tooknote. The Chicago Free Press has written, “Rufus Wainwright, as well as k.d. lang are among the Canadians making essential and beautiful music. Add the name Jeffery Straker to that list”. The Calgary Herald has added praise saying, “traces of some of the best piano-based singer-songwriters of the past 40 years, couched in his inimitable and effervescent style”.
Straker’smost recentfull-length album“Just Before Sunrise” launched on May 7, 2021. Produced by Russell Broom (Calgary, AB) the album strikes a reflective and optimistic tone, with many of the songs written in the wake of the sudden & unexpected passing of Jeffery’s mom. Two co-writes & 2 co-productions by Royal Wood feature on the recording. Several singles were released in the lead up to the launch including the upbeat “Light a Fire” (March 2020) and the pensive ‘Morning Light’ (Sept 2020). ‘Ready to be Brave’ (Feb 2021) was sparked by time spent as artist-in-residence at a summer camp for LGBTQ2+ youth in Saskatchewan and speaks to finding the courage for difficult conversations. ‘Play that Song Again’ (April 2020) in the feel of an old-time waltz adds to the varied soundscape of the recording. In only 6 weeks post-launch songs from the album have received over 100,000 streams on Spotify. The launch was celebrated with a 6-show national virtual tour and a 45 date “Pandemic-Piano-Backyard-Tour” also crossing the country in summer/fall 2021.
Jeffery is a classically trained pianist raised by a church-organist mother and auctioneer father. He swears he was born under the piano on the family grain farmin rural Saskatchewan. All this might explain his incredible ability to share songs with audiences. He was a student of the Royal Conservatory of Music and received his licentiate diploma in piano performance from Trinity College, London when he was only 19. Straker has showcased at major events including Canadian Music Week, NXNE, Breakout West (Western Canada), & JunoFest.