Press Releases

Dec 1, 2017 HAMILTON, ONTARIO – Dundas, Ontario-based Cootes Paradise releases their self-titled CD.

CD Release Party:
Sunday, January 14th
Doors 7pm. Show 8pm.
The Corktown
175 Young Street, Hamilton, ON L8N 1V7 Canada

Tickets $15 Advance / $20 at the Door
Advanced Tickets available online. Visit for details.

Cootes Paradise will be celebrating by throwing a party at Hamilton’s historic landmark pub, The Corktown.

Produced by the legendary Nick Blagona (Cat Stevens, Deep Purple, Monster Truck, The Sheepdogs), the band’s warm personalities and talent shine through, and with world class fidelity. Recorded at the world-renowned Grant Avenue Studio, along with Psychotropic Studio, and cover art by Michael Wrycraft (Bruce Cockburn, Gordon Lightfoot, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings), the project was overseen by the best in the business.

Cootes Paradise has been the talk of the Hamilton area, ever since word got out that a super group of sorts was forming, and planning to record together. This collection of 12 songs (10 originals, 2 covers) is an excellent representation of the rootsy contemporary blues style that emanates from the golden vocal chords of Sue Leonard (k.d. lang and many more) and Wayne Krawchuk (well known for his songwriting and smooth, yet strong voice). Joined by Lily Sazz on keys (Rita Chiarelli, Women’s Blues Revue), Amy Di Nino on drums, Ian Taylor on bass, and Mark Volkov on flute, sax, and violin, the band stretches the boundaries of the genre, but never strays so far as to alienate.

High Resolution Photos Available:


For Media Inquiries, CDs, MP3s, contact Lily Sazz
905-730-LILY (5459)

The CD is available for sale online via CD Baby, iTunes, and more.
Local stores: Dr. Disc in Hamilton, Ellënoire in Dundas. 

Cootes Paradise

June 1st, 2017

JUNE 11, 2017, 3pm

Cootes Paradise band will be featured as part of the afternoon’s entertainment at A Day On The Bridge, a once in a lifetime Canada 150 event on Sunday, June 11th, 2017. A Day On The Bridge will raise funds to purchase and protect land that will become a part of the Cootes To Escarpment EcoPark System, one of the most biologically-rich areas of Canada. The McQuesten High Level Bridge (York Blvd Exit to Hamilton) will be closed to traffic for one, glorious, scenic day, and the public will be able to savour the vistas on the bridge, instead of driving over it wishing you could stop.

The band will be performing on a stage on the west side of the bridge, overlooking its namesake, Cootes Paradise. Cootes Paradise has been referred to as a “super group” with vocalist Sue Leonard (k.d. Lang, Leonard, Burns & Dell), keyboardist Lily Sazz (Rita Chiarelli & Sweet Loretta, Women’s Blues Revue, Groove Corporation), Wayne Krawchuk (guitar), Ian Taylor (bass), Amy Di Nino (drums), Mark Volkov (sax, flute, violin). Their roots-based bluesy style, with a mix of infectious originals peppered with a few choice covers, has been drawing the attention of music aficionados in the area. The band is set to record their debut CD in July at Grant Avenue Studio, with legendary Nick Blagona producing (Cat Stevens, Deep Purple, Tom Jones, Alexisonfire, Monster Truck). 

A Day On The Bridge will be a great opportunity for the community to gather and enjoy a picnic with family, or stroll around and take in some art, various performances, food trucks, etc. Cootes Paradise is expected to take the stage at 3 pm.

Link to high resolution photos of Cootes Paradise band:

For media inquiries, contact Lily Sazz
905-730-LILY (5459)

More Information:

JANUARY 31, 2017
Association Raising Money to Preserve Architectural Integrity of Dundas

“February Blues” Fundraiser, featuring Cootes Paradise (the band)
to support Dundas Preservation Association’s OMB Appeal

February 18th, 2017, 7:30 to 11:00pm
Shawn and Ed Brewing Co., (The Shed) – 65 Hatt Street, Dundas, ON L9H 7T6
Tickets $25: Call 905-912-0316

The Dundas Preservation Association needs your support to finance an OMB appeal regarding the proposal to build a 9-story residential development at 71 Main Street in Dundas, Ontario. They argue that this building, as proposed, is simply bad planning and totally incompatible with the Urban Hamilton Official Plan and Provincial Policy Statement (2014). The association’s mandate stipulates that any development should respect the surrounding built form and cultural landscape.

“This appeal is critical not only to the immediate neighbours, but also to the whole community. If we can show that the residents of Dundas will not be complacent with such affronts to our townscape, we can hope that developers will be more careful in the proposals they present. If we lose the appeal, it will be open season on any vacant land within our town”, said Jeanne Norris, a participant in the appeal.

“Our main focus is keeping the by-laws as they exist – not allowing builders or wealthy corporations to take advantage of our community. We are a proud historical town and want to keep the integrity of our community and landscape. We are home to the RBG and some of the oldest buildings in Hamilton, one of which is the Dundas Town Hall, which would be overshadowed by this monstrosity, not to mention that some very old trees will be destroyed”, according to Patti Peetz, one of the many concerned residents who live in the shadow of this development. Other concerns include parking issues and health risks from exhaust fumes from the underground garage.

The association has invited Dundas’ own Cootes Paradise (the band), to perform at “The Shed”, (Shawn and Ed Brewing Co.) at 65 Hatt Street for a fundraiser that will prove to be a fun and entertaining evening in a gorgeous and interesting venue. Cootes Paradise has been described as a “super group”. They form a collaboration of six musicians with rich and impressive backgrounds, and lots of Dundas history and roots. (High res photos available on media page)

Food will be available via India Village and Emilio’s Pizza, as well as wine and beer. Artwork by local artist Danuta Niton will be on display and for sale.

$25 admission includes 2 free drinks. Tickets are available by calling Peggy: 905-912-0316.

For Media Inquiries, please contact Jeanne Norris: 905-628-9282,

More info: and

Donations can also be made at any TD Bank, account number 0239-5237010 or

September 26, 2016

St. Mark’s United Church in Dundas presents a Sunday afternoon concert featuring Dundas’ own “Cootes Paradise” band.

 St. Mark’s United Church in Dundas (corner of Governor’s Road and Creighton), is presenting a Sunday afternoon concert in their sanctuary, featuring six-member Dundas-based musical group, Cootes Paradise. The live concert will take place at 2pm on October 23rd, 2016.

Cootes Paradise is a who’s who of musicians who have pooled their talents to form what has been referred to as a local “super group”. Specializing in a mix of roots, blues, and r’n’b style music, including some infectious original material, along with unique takes on carefully chosen cover tunes, expect to hear lots of Bonnie Raitt, Delbert McClinton, and even some B.B. King.

The 2 principle lead vocalists are Sue Leonard (who toured for years with k.d. lang among others), and Dundas native, guitarist Wayne Krawchuk (Sidestreet, Tight Little Island). Music therapist and Berklee Master’s student, Amy Di Nino, is just as comfortable rocking out on her drum kit with Cootes Paradise, as she is playing in the Guelph Symphony and conducting her choir, Grand River Voices. Mark Volkov, another Dundas native, adds violin, flute, and saxophone to the mix, while Ian Taylor (originally from Southampton, England), plays bass. Founding member and Dundas resident Lily Sazz plays keyboards, and enjoys her gigs with Cootes Paradise between her tours with Juno Award winning Rita Chiarelli, (Canada’s Goddess of the Blues), and performing with the Women’s Blues Revue at Massey Hall, the National Art Centre, etc.

Proceeds from the concert will contribute to funding the new roof at St. Mark’s. Fair trade items will be available. Tickets are $25 dollars at the door.

High resolution photos of Cootes Paradise are available at

Media Inquiries: Lily Sazz Tel: 905-730-LILY (5459)

St. Mark’s United Church
1 Lynndale Drive
Dundas, Ontario L9H 3L4

Cootes Paradise

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MAY 31ST, 2016

Spain’s “Smiling Jack Smith” Makes Ontario Debut
Performing with Cootes Paradise
July 15th, 2016, 8pm
Oddfellows Hall, 63 Main Street, Dundas, ON

Sue Leonard, of Cootes Paradise band, and Smiling Jack Smith have been “virtual” friends for at least 10 years. Despite both of them having lived in the Vancouver area for quite some time, they never actually met, although they had myriad mutual friends. Leonard heard about Smith shortly after moving from the Queen Charlotte Islands to Vancouver in 1980, and knew that he was working with a host of mutual musician friends on the local club scene. It seemed that everyone knew Jack Smith – but Sue. Well after all these years, the opportunity has finally arrived.

Leonard signed up to MySpace a decade or so ago, and she and Jack became fast musical friends because of their many common connections. They shared each other’s music, even unfinished pieces before they were recorded, offering each other feedback and encouragement. She still talks of one song in particular, “This Blue Before”, that she hopes to record one day, and describes as “stunning”.

Smith eventually relocated and lives with his family in Spain, working as a full time musician. A few weeks ago, he mentioned to Sue via one of their occasional Skype conversations, that he was planning a tour in Germany, followed by a few shows in Vancouver, including a reunion with fellow musicians he has not seen or played with in many years. The subject of coming to perform in Ontario came up, and the idea of joining forces with Cootes Paradise was born.

Sue Leonard, as both a friend and a fan, jumped at the chance to make this talk turn to walk, and proposed a double bill with Cootes Paradise, and also invited her friend and Leonard, Burns and Dell bandmate, Cindy Dell to join the fun. She and Sue will perform a few songs, as well as add sweet harmonies to Smith’s set, followed by a Cootes Paradise performance. It’s shaped up to be a special evening not to be missed in a funky and fun venue that reminds one of a cozy rec room with great sound and ambiance.

Cootes Paradise is a newly formed Dundas-based band that is already drawing crowds and piquing curiosity due to its impressive lineup of musicians.

For more information, see and

Con’t with bios below:


SMILING_JACK_SMITHSmiling Jack has been writing and singing his songs in a career that spans five decades and three continents…from New York City to Vancouver, from Florida to New Jersey, from Madrid to Australia, from London to Hamburg.

His music has changed and evolved with the times and the places he has seen and lived: folk songs with The Smith Brothers in New York (with lead guitar Stan Jay), folk-rock in Vancouver (with players like Joe Mock, Pat Coleman, Ed Patterson and Robbie King), country in Florida (with T.C. Carr on harmonica) and blues in Europe and Australia (with David Gwynn, Antonio Serrano and Jim Finn).

On street corners, at arts and craft fairs, in concert halls and bars, and more recently in house concerts (especially in Kiel, Germany) the audiences have been warm and responsive, giving Jack a place in their hearts and minds.

His recordings, ranging from the A Capella CD with Party Fever in Vancouver through This Blue Before (produced by Pat Coleman with an all star cast of Canadian musicians) to the acclaimed acoustic project Now That Truth Was Gone with David Gwynn, have been played all over the world.

Now That Truth Was Gone was named as one of the Top Ten Blues Records released in Europe in 2012 by the Underground Blues Network.

Jack has just released a new CD, Simple Pleasure, again working with David Gwynn. It is the logical successor to their last CD, an eclectic mix of many different blues styles and topics following along the path that led him to be called “Spain’s blues poet” by Vicente Zumel from La Hora del Blues.


Cootes Paradise is a collective of six musicians (see bios) who chose to play together based not only on their talents, but who they are as people. The business of music can be a cold and punishing enterprise, so forming a group comprising of kind, enthusiastic, collaborative individuals was the goal that founding member Lily Sazz had in mind when she began to recruit the musicians. The hope was that if these gifted individuals gelled personally, great music would follow. And she was right.

Cootes Paradise specializes in roots based music that is bluesy, funky, and filled with soul. Featuring lead vocals by the legendary Sue Leonard (k.d. lang, Bruce Willis, Bon Jovi), and Wayne Krawchuk (Sidestreet, Tight Little Island) supported by Mark Volkov (a triple threat, playing flute, sax, and violin), Lily Sazz (keyboards, vocals), Amy Di Nino (drums, vocals), and Ian Taylor (bass, vocals), the result is an infectious, groove-based sound with a mix of super cool covers and originals that easily stand up to the rest of the repertoire.

Expect to hear some interesting covers of songs by Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, The Temptations, as well as Canadian artists like Jack de Keyzer, plus cool interpretations of well-known hits, along their own strong material.

The name Cootes Paradise comes from a local wildlife sanctuary, named after Captain Thomas Cootes. It was also the original name of the community that later became the town of Dundas, now part of Hamilton, Ontario, where the band is based.

For media inquiries, contact Lily Sazz
905-730-LILY (5459)


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