Latest News

February 21, 2021
 While Cootes Paradise have not been in the same place all at the same time since our last public performance in March 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been occupying our time in ways we can do safely.

Aside from following through on the release of our 2nd CD, “Downstream”, releasing a performance video and a “meet the band” vignette, we have been video conferencing weekly, and finding the time to work on new material!

That brings us to our latest pandemic project, a new song for children of all ages called “Little Evie”. The song is based on a real little girl who lives in Chatham, Kent, U.K. She is the great-niece of our bass player Ian Taylor and his wife Josephine, who co-wrote the lyrics. Written by Wayne Krawchuk, the song was inspired by Little Evie’s unwavering enthusiasm for all things Cootes Paradise.

Upon the release of our first CD, Evie fell in love with the song “Lily’s Pad”. So much so, that she hid the CD from her nanna so that she could play it over and over, singing and dancing to it. The song finally made it out of the shadows and into Hamilton’s Pine Street Studio, where members of Cootes Paradise were invited one by one to record our parts safely.

At one point, our self-described biggest fan Evie drew a picture of the band, which we decided was the perfect artwork for the song. Originally, this was meant as little more than a small gift to share with close friends and family, but we’ve been encouraged to distribute it a little more widely, as children of all ages are responding with enthusiasm and affection. Seems Little Evie’s song wants to put more smiles on more faces.

View Little Evie Video:

Little Evie (the song) is available digitally for purchase on various platforms, including Apple Music, Amazon, and for streaming on Spotify. We do hope that you will consider purchasing for download instead of streaming. It’s a huge support for artists these days.

August 26, 2020

Cootes Paradise has been enjoying airplay as far away as Australia, and as illustrious as CBC’s top drive home show, “Here and Now”.
This week, our live performance video for “The First Time” was chosen as Video Of The Week by, and “Downstream” was placed on the recommended listening list for the month.
Lily Sazz was featured in The Sound Café publication, based on a radio interview with Ken Wallis.

August 16, 2020

Cootes Paradise will host a Facebook Watch Party on August 21, 2020 (7:30 pm).
Cootes Paradise will be streaming a video that will include fun facts, trivia, pictures, and more, along with the music from our new album, “Downstream”. It’ll be a fun and interactive gathering where you can communicate with the band and each other through the chat.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the band has opted to take their listening party to a virtual platform. For their first self-titled CD (which earned them a Maple Blues Award nomination), they hosted an invitation-only listening party at Grant Avenue Studio. Since that won’t be possible for their new album, “Downstream”, the next best thing will be this Facebook Watch Party. It will be open to anyone who would like to attend.
“Downstream” will be released on the day of the party, and will be available for physical and digital purchase at that time. Details will be available at
The CD has already enjoyed airplay on CBC, and several other radio stations.

August 7, 2020

Here’s a little preview “commercial” just over 2 minutes for “Downstream”.

August 2, 2020

We’ve launched a newsletter! Through the magic of Mail Chimp, we’ll be keeping our friends updated now and then. If you’re interested in subscribing, please visit our contact page and scroll down to where you sign up.

July 18, 2020

Our new CD, entitled “Downstream”, has gone to the manufacturer! Our release date is August 21, 2020, and if all goes as planned, it will be available on several platforms digitally as well as available for hard copy orders.

Recorded at Grant Avenue Studio in Hamilton, Ontario, and Psychotropic Studios in Caledonia, under the talented eye of the late Nick Blagona, world renowned producer, “Downstream” is our 2nd CD, following up on the success of our Maple Blues Award nominated self-titled release from late 2017. Nick’s death and the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the release of the album, but under the capable hands of Roman Marcone (Halo Recording Studio), the project was completed, and we’re is eager to present our new music to the world!

Stay tuned, and please follow us on social media, subscribe to us on YouTube, reach out to us, tell friends about us, and so on. There is no better way to support independent musicians right now!

Latest News:

June 3, 2020

Big news! We are releasing a live performance video from Hugh’s Room Live, and the premier is being presented by The Toronto Blues Society on their Facebook page at 5pm on June 18, 2020. Tune in and don’t miss the zoom interview following the video. Ken Wallis of The Hawk FM and Blues and Roots Radio will host the conversation. The video will be available on various platforms after the premier. Mark your calendars!

Read all about it on Page 5 of the June 2020 issue of MaplesBlues.

November 13, 2019

We’re pretty excited about our song, “Meant For Something More” being featured in a video for Trans Teen Suicide Awareness. It’ll be released on November 20th on social media. We’ll be announcing it soon! In the meantime, here’s the press release:

Trans teen suicide awareness music video to launch on Transgender Day of Remembrance – November 20

VANCOUVER/TORONTO: Trans teen suicide is a growing crisis in Canada. To raise awareness, Vancouver-based production company Whitehall Entertainment Incorporated collaborated with Ontario-based blues band Cootes Paradise to produce a groundbreaking music video, “Meant for Something More”, that tackles the controversial subject.

The video – starring trans activist Romeo Reyes, along with Olivia Ducayen (“B-Side”), Danielle Braund (“Falling In”) and Lee Shorten (“The Man In the High Castle”) – will be released via social media to commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20.

“I have trans friends who have died by suicide and it’s a way to pay tribute to their memory,” said video writer, producer and director Brenda Whitehall. “Several studies have shown that trans teens have alarmingly high rates of suicide, suicidal thoughts and self-harm behaviours. We need to do more to ensure better supports are in place to help those who are struggling.”

“Meant for Something More” tells the story of a young girl grappling with her gender identity. Her cry for help through a suicide attempt turns her family’s world upside down. But with love, support and compassion, she is able to successfully transition. It’s a beautiful story of a mother-child bond and unconditional love. And most of all, it’s a story of hope.

“Our band is very supportive of the LGBTQ+ community, and we are honoured to have our song provide the inspirational backdrop to support this important cause,” said Cootes Paradise band founder Lily Sazz.

The entire cast and crew donated their time and talent, and the video was produced with the generous support of community sponsors and donors.

For actor/band interviews, please contact Brenda Whitehall,

Whitehall Entertainment is an award-winning, independent film production company. Credits include “And Now This?”, “The Curtain” and “Little Oliver”. Cootes Paradise is a Maple Blues Award-nominated band specializing in original roots-based blues music. The track features lead vocals by Sue Leonard (k.d. lang, Bruce Willis, Bon Jovi), and Wayne Krawchuk (guitar, vocals) with Mark Volkov (sax), Lily Sazz (keyboards), Amy Di Nino (drums), and Ian Taylor (bass).


Cootes Paradise fragrance vials

Dec 9, 2018

We’ve launched our new custom, all natural fragrance! It’s available to purchase at live performances, or online here!



Nov 14, 2018

Cootes Paradise Fragrance Sample
Cootes Paradise Fragrance Sample

Cootes Paradise will be unveiling our new custom designed, natural, gender-neutral fragrance, made right in Dundas, Ontario by Ellë very soon! We will be offering free samples with every purchase of a CD at the Women’s Blues Revue at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto (November 16th 8pm), where our keyboardist, Lily Sazz, will be performing as part of the all-star band backing six spectacular vocalists. The fragrance will be available for sale at Cootes Paradise gigs and online very soon.

Nov 1, 2018
Hamilton Spectator: Cootes Paradise featured in Hamilton Spectator announcement, Hamilton-area musicians nominated for Maple Blues Award.

Nov 1, 2018

Cootes Paradise is delighted to announce our Maple Blues Award nomination for “New Artist of the Year”.

Maple Blues Awards Logo

The Maple Blues Awards is Canada’s national blues awards program. Its goal is to promote blues music across Canada, and to recognize outstanding achievement in the field. 

Online voting started on November 1st, 2018 at 12:01 am Newfoundland Daylight Time. Canadian blues fans can vote online in the eligible categories until December 1st, at 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time. Register at

Cootes Paradise, based in Dundas, Ontario (Hamilton), has been gaining momentum, great reviews, international airplay and charting, a growing fan base, is playing some great gigs to growing audiences (including Supercrawl), since their debut self-titled CD was released late last year (produced by Nick Blagona, who has worked with Monster Truck, Alexisonfire, The BeeGees, Tom Jones, Cat Stevens, and more).

Their song, “Kind of a Rain” has been picked up for a short film called “Little Oliver”, and will be screened at numerous film festivals in the coming year.

Founded by keyboard player Lily Sazz (Women’s Blues Revue, Rita Chiarelli), the band members include legendary Sue Leonard (k.d. Lang, Bruce Willis), Wayne Krawchuk (Tight Little Island), Ian Taylor, Amy Di Nino, and Mark Volkov. The sound that developed when these like-minded individuals joined forces, is a mix of contemporary roots/blues music that is resonating with a wide audience of blues, adult contemporary, and even country audiences.

The Maple Blues Awards will be handed out at a not-to-be-missed show at Toronto’s beautiful Koerner Hall on Monday, February 4th, 2019. Voting is open to anyone across Canada with a valid email address. Even if you are out of the country at the moment you are allowed to vote.

Here are the simple instructions:

Go to
Click on “Register to Vote”
Enter your first and last name, city and province, and your email address.
Click “Register”

You will receive a password by email right away.

Click on “Vote Online”.
Enter your email address and your assigned password.
Once you’ve made your selections, be sure to finish the last step of reviewing your choices, then click “Confirm”.

That’s all there is to it!

If you have any questions, you can check out the FAQ provided on the website.

For more information:    905-730-LILY (5459)

October 30, 2018
Cootes Paradise is thrilled to be nominated for a Maple Blues Award for New Artist of the Year!
Read more: Toronto Blues Society’s website and the Hamilton Spectator.

Maple Blues Awards Logo

October 23, 2018
Fresh from wowing the crowds on a very hot day in September at Supercrawl, Cootes Paradise is preparing for a special acoustic show on November 10th as part of the Acoustic Blend Café Series. Details on our gigs page and in this press release. Meanwhile, Lily Sazz is preparing for the annual TBS Women’s Blues Revue, taking the stage on November 16th at Roy Thomson Hall. Stay tuned for more big news with announcements coming soon!

June 27, 2018
Cootes Paradise continues to chart on the Roots Music Report, and we have some nice local gigs coming up, with a matinee at The Corktown in Hamilton, Canada’s Largest Ribfest (aka Burlington Ribfest), and Supercrawl, which is arguably Hamilton’s biggest event these days. Take a look at our gigs page for details.

The members of the band are all taking some deserved R and R over the summer. Amy Di Nino has recently completed her Master’s at Berklee in music therapy. Wayne has released a solo album. Sue is performing at a Lori Yates show (Patsy Cline tribute), and Ian has his “Amy Project” tribute to Amy Winehouse, (which our Amy and her husband Dom perform with). Lily has been touring with Rita Chiarelli (Mexico and Switzerland). Mark has been gigging with a Celtic outfit and having a ball.

We’re looking forward to continuing the Cootes Paradise momentum and we have some great new tunes to debut at the upcoming gigs. Hope to see you all soon.

***UPDATE! Roots Music Report Chart  for the week of March 3, 2018: Cootes Paradise is now #11 in Canada (all genres) and #28 world-wide in the blues genre!

FEBRUARY 18, 2018
Cootes Paradise debuted at #29 on the Top 50 Contemporary Blues Chart on Roots Music Report for the week of Feb 10, 2018. RMR is the number one independent music chart in the world. They compile radio airplay data from radio stations around the globe that play all forms of roots music. Unlike some charts out there, the Roots Music Report charts are not subjected to radio promoter, special interest groups or record label input.

JANUARY 28, 2018
****Feb 5, 2018 update to this post: Cootes Paradise has just been given the “Reason to Live Award” for debut albums coming in 2018 by Twirl Radio out of Sacramento, California!
ootes Paradise has been enjoying lots of airplay locally, nationally, and internationally.
We started charting on CFMU, and made it all the way to #1 in late December/early January. We dropped to #4 by the time this video was made. In January we made the top 30 on CFBX in Kamloops main chart, and #2 on their blues chart. We also made the Top Blues list in MapleBlues Magazine, and “Best of the Hammer” Spotify playlist by Glen Brown.


JANUARY 11, 2018
VIEW Magazine features Cootes Paradise in Ric Taylor’s Hamilton Music Notes (p. 8 & 9).

Cootes Paradise in VIEW Magazine
Ric Taylor features Cootes Paradise in his Hamilton Music Notes column.

VIEW Magazine Jan 11, 2018

DECEMBER 26, 2017
Hamilton Spectator article on Sue Leonard and Cootes Paradise.

Spectator Article Dec 26, 2017

NOVEMBER 5, 2017

We’re So Close!

We’ve uploaded our music for digital release and our self-titled CD will be available for download any minute! We’ll keep you posted when you can purchase it online, and of course, physical copies will be available in just a few more business days. They are being manufactured right now.

Thank you for your patience as we get closer to the finish line!

OCTOBER 29, 2017

CD Coming Soon

We’ve been working hard for a few months putting the final touches on all things Cootes Paradise CD. After recording our bed tracks at the legendary Grant Avenue Studios, we moved on to Psychotropic Studio, where (also legendary) Nick Blagona produced, mixed, and mastered the project. We were also very happy to be able to engage A Man Called Wrycraft (Michael Wrycraft) to design our beautiful album cover. We even managed to record a choir (members of the Grand River Voices) at QED Media to add to our song “Wake Up”. It’s been a fantastic ride, and all that’s left is to plug in our new photos (shot by Melanie Gillis), and send off for manufacture.

The CD will be available digitally within about a week, and hard copies will go on sale shortly after that. In the meantime, please enjoy our “Coming Soon” video:

OCTOBER 27, 2017

Readers Choice Winner

Readers Choice 2017 Winner

Every year, The Hamilton Spectator reaches out to the community for votes on the best of the best in all categories imaginable. Cootes Paradise is proud to announce that we are winners in the Local Band or Musician category. Well over 300 nominations were submitted, so we’re pretty happy to be among the top ten.

JUNE 26, 2017

Cootes Paradise in the Studio

Great news! Today, we finished recording our bed tracks at the legendary Grant Avenue Studio, in Hamilton, Ontario. We were in good hands, with the very talented Amy King engineering, and (also legendary) Nick Blagona producing. If you’ve never heard of Nick, no doubt you’ve heard of many of the world famous artists he has worked with. From Cat Stevens, The Police, The BeeGees, Deep Purple, Tom Jones, to The Sheepdogs, Alexisonfire, and now Cootes Paradise, Nick is a wealth of knowledge, talent, and of course, outrageous and riveting stories. We’ll be working throughout the next few weeks putting finishing touches on the record, and figuring out how to navigate the latest trends in sharing our music. Vinyl, anyone?

JUNE 21, 2017

Brantford Expositor

Cootes Paradise in the Brantford Expositor
“Street Festival Celebrates Canada 150”
Cootes Paradise performs at the CDBA Street Festival

JUNE 7, 2017

Best Bets

Our first time in Graham Rockingham’s “Best Bets” section of the Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton Spectator Best Bets