Lynn Harper-Cheechoo

Discography

Gathering of our People performance with son Marlon on guitar and Clayton on Bass.

LYNN HARPER_CHEECHOO

Biography

 

 

Lynns first experience singing in the recording studio came at the age of nineteen when one of her first compositions, "Steal me a Rose" was arranged and  recorded by renowned jazz  flutist Moe Koffman and performed  by members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

 

In 1969 she studied voice and piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto while singing weekends at a small but vibrant club in Yorkville called "Crazy David's Little Fillmore." In the early 70's Lynn headed off to Los Angeles with her sister Lea  to pursue a recording contract. After a few years making her living singing backgrounds on other artists recordings, she decided to return to Toronto, and started an independent record company  to produce her original material with her sister forming the duo Syren. The live Syren band consisted of some of the best reggae musicians in Toronto such as Carl Harvey, (Toots and the Maytals) and Tony Springer on guitar, Charles Sinclair on bass and Paul Williams (Toots) on drums.

 

 

The One was recorded in Jamaica at Jimmy Cliffs Music Mountain Studios and The Grange in Toronto with a host of all star musicians from the Peter Tosh band,  as well as an appearance by Reggae great, Leroy Sibbles, the innovative guitarist Tony Cambell (One Love) and Rod Ramsey on harmonica and the late Marty Kolesnyk on piano.  The recording received critical acclaim which led to television appearances  on Much Music, City Tv, Breakfast television and the Music Circle CTV, garnishing Juno and Casby nominations for the sisters in Syren, Best Reggae performance and Best Vocal performance as well as winning Best Reggae Duo and Best Video for Higher Love at the  Toronto BMAC awards in 1985.  

 

As the lead vocalist and one half of the  sister songwriting team in Syren, Lynn  went on to co-produce two other recordings of original material, titled "Wisdom of the Heart" and " Let Them Live." Clayton Cheechoo joined Syren on this project and co-wrote Blood of the Earth which appeared on the recording.

 

   In 1991 the video-cassette "Let them Live" was produced with the assistance of a grant from the Canada Council  for the Arts and paying  tribute to the Lubicon Cree of Northern Alberta  featuring appearances Ojibway guitarist Marde Lucier Porte , bassist Clayton Cheechoo and The Eagle Heart Singers.

Clayton, Marde,  and drummer Eric Roberts performed as Syren  at the Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto, The Frostbite Festival in the Yukon, Harbourfront, and several  First Nations communities. across the country  bringing attention to the struggle facing the Lubicon in their homelands.

 

In 1988  working with arranger composer John Lang, Lynn  contributed vocal soundscapes for the  "DesRosiers Dance Theatre's production of  "Concerto in Earth Major"  which debuted at the DuMaurier Theatre at Harbourfront in Toronto.

 

With the assistance of a grant from the Canada Council of the Arts in  1998  Lynn and husband Clayton with the assistance of a  grant produced the historical recording of 300-year-old fiddle tunes for father James Cheechoo, titled " Shay Chee Man, Traditional James Bay Fiddle. " 

 

In the fall of 2003, Lynn and Clayton released   "Red Willow Bending",  a collection of nine compelling songs " recorded  in their home studio, "Flash of Blue Light Sound" in Moose Factory.

Ooh Canada" sung   in the Moose Cree dialect  also appears on the cd and is played each morning in the local schools.

Red Willow Bending  showcases  guest performances by guitarist  Lawrence Cheechoo, Nelson Alisappi  and Cree songwriter  Paul Wesley  of Kashechewan on the tracks, "Love is the Only thing", and  "One Leg."

 

Lynn is best known for her  richly woven melodies  and  "soaring  soulful vocals reminiscent of Jennifer Holiday,"  wrote   Liam Lacey in The Globe and Mail. in his review of "The One."

 

She has contributed backing vocals to such notables as Canadian Reggae artists  Nana Mclean, Leroy Sibbles and  Errol Blackwood while living in Toronto.

 

" The unreleased tracks The Dream is  Alive" and "Take it to the Beat"  and "Dangerous Music" were produced by Michael "Ibo" Cooper of Third World at Hit City West in L.A. in 1987.

 

Guitar Robben Ford and LA Express Sax player, Tom Scott played on some of Lynn and Leas studio recordings.

 

Lynn's musical career has spanned over  four decades, performing and recording   throughout Canada, Jamaica, Los Angeles  and  South America.

 

 

She is currently working on her devotional music with husband Clayton engineering and son Marlon in their home studio in Moose Factory.

 

Awards & Honours

Nominated for a JUNO AWARD  for the single "HIGHER LOVE " from the critically acclaimed LP, "THE ONE" in Syren. (1985)

 

Nominated for a  CASBY AWARD  for Most promising new vocalist of the year (lyn and lea)  in Syren.(1985)

Won CANADIAN REGGAE AWARDS for TOP DUO and BEST VIDEO for the single "Higher Love" at the BLACK MUSIC AWARDS (BMAC) in Syren. (1985)

Discography

 Red Willow Bending  ~ Lynn and Clayton Cheechoo, Migisoo Peseim Productions, 2003

Wisdom of The Heart ~ Syren

Magnum Opus Records, 1993

Let Them Live~ Syren ~ featuring Eagle Heart Singers- A tribute to the Lubicon Cree of Northern Alberta *video cassette Magnum Opus Records, 1991

The One~ Syren  (LP)

featuring the Juno nominated single Higher Love ~Magnum Opus Records, 1985.

Other Productions

 

"Shay Chee Man"

Traditonal James Bay Fiddle ~

 Artist ~ James Cheechoo

Produced by Lynn and Clayton Cheechoo for Kwiskhegun Productions, 1998.