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Jayda "Bonobo"

Our loveable Bonobo
is not hosting full time at the moment.

You can catch her
filling in when needed

I don't remember a time when music wasn't a part of my life. One of my earliest memories is of my older sister teaching me how to find a beat by hitting a pipe with a stick listening to Raffi. We had tonnes of records and tapes, and my dad always had a guitar or two kicking around. I was the geeky kid who was in recorder club and choir in elementary school, started playing clarinet in grade five, switched to bass clarinet a bit later, and tried out the bass guitar for jazz band. I joined a marching show band and got to go on tour in Europe. High school took me to a performing arts school, where i joined as many music classes, ensembles, choirs, and shows as possible. I think when singing took over as my favorite form of music was at 17 when i picked up a guitar for the first time and felt the power of providing my own backtrack to my favorite songs. I fell in love with idea of being one of my heroes Ani Difranco, Tegan and Sara,Veda Hille (insert awesome grrl with guitar here).

I discovered karaoke at the '97 Calgary Stampede. I was the 30th person that afternoon to sing “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion. It was a thrill and I had the bug. Later on I occasionally got to solo to prerecorded versions of Sara Mclachlan songs at assemblies and felt like a star. It wasn't until I was 18 (and legally allowed to enter bars) that I got hooked. There was a tiny gay bar downtown that had once a week karaoke and after discovering it, I don't think I missed a night. I I found a few good spots to sing (mostly gay bars) and even ended up as a host for a few months. I loved everything about it...the silliness of it, the amazing singers who silence a room, the groups numbers that get a place dancing, and the overwhelming and consistent love for every singer, good or bad. There is an unspoken rule of: Hate the song, love the singer.

Dog and Pony came into my life about three months after I moved to Ottawa. After hearing me pine for a new karaoke haunt a new friend took to Lookout. After that I popped into the Lookout for my fix here and there, stumbling upon D&P around downtown a while before finally landing at Swizzles with Dog. Under the guise of 'karaoke night', D&P have helped me celebrate, consoled me, given me escape, and provided community. I've always felt welcomed and warm and cared for. I met my husband-to-be at karaoke night. For years I've been welcomed and befriended by the pack of folks who make up Dog & Pony, and I'm excited to join the team.


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