By Anjali Singh
The Youth Showcase Concert Series, Markham’s free and exciting new summer music festival, brings together local musicians under the age of 25 together for a month-long music festival.
This concert was created by singer-songwriter and producer Senaida Ng to help youth put their music out there, and give them more opportunities to perform and showcase their music around the city.
“The whole reason we started this concert was because I wanted to give youth more opportunities. As a musician myself, I found it really hard to find gigs to play at, and you can’t play bars cause you’re not 19. All of the places say you don’t have enough experience, so where do I get that experience? That was a huge problem for me, so I wanted to have this big stage and welcoming environment, we have a lot of young artists come here, a professional tech crew, it’s perfect for your portfolio and resume.”
The lineup for 2019 includes Miwako, Analog Hybrid, Equal, Lorand Kis, Azalyne, Kiana Persad, Matero Mancuso, Alexia Marian, Loren Aronov, Sabrina Adair, The Cooks, The Barcodes, Nicole Haber, Kings of our Kin, Aliyah Azz, Nameless Friends, Senaida, Berk Mutlu, Laura David, and Allegra Jordyn.
Allegra Jordyn, a talented 17-year-old singer and songwriter, performed five solo tracks on Saturday, August 10, written about her personal experiences including first loves, heartbreaks, self-confidence, and determination to pursue what she loves most. At the young age of 17, her self-confidence draws you into her world and lets you feel her passion. As a songwriter, she is influenced by some of the greatest storytellers including John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchel and Stevie Nicks.
Allegra explains that getting into Berklee College’s music program “was a dream, an absolute dream loves was the most amazing moment of my entire life. I did an audition during their summer program which was such an out of body, surreal experience. I remember seeing all of these amazing people getting scholarships and thinking there’s no way I’m going to be up there, and sure enough I got accepted with a scholarship.”
At the end of each season, the Youth Showcase donates a $2000 gift to a non-profit organization. This year’s recipient is Big Brothers Big Sisters of York Region, a local organization that empowers youth.
Certificates of recognition from Mayor Frank Scarpitti are presented to all performers.
Admission is free, and the showcase runs every Saturday in August from 2 to 5pm at the Downtown Markham Courtyard.
Main photo: Allegra Jordyn and Senaida Ng. Photo courtesy of Jade DeLuca-Ahooja