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Nikki Yanofsky has been belting out jazz classics since she first appeared at the Montreal International Jazz Festival at the age of 12. Seven years later, the singer has released her first single, “Something New,” and is working with legendary producer Quincy Jones on an album slated for release in April 2014. Here are her quintessential Montreal tunes. Listen to them on our 8Tracks playlist.

01 “The Nearness Of You,” Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
This song reminds me of Montreal summer nights because I listened to it so much then. Also, the pianist on the album, Oscar Peterson, is from Montreal.
02 “Gravity,” John Mayer
I met John for the first time when I was 14. We both had a show at [Montreal’s] Bell Centre, and I got to spend some time with him before he got onstage. He gave me some great advice, and we even made up a handshake. Then he dedicated his set to me, and when he started singing “Gravity,” I looked up at him from the front row and he smiled at me. I’ll never forget that!
03 “Hymn to Freedom,” Oscar Peterson
Such an inspiring and moving song. Oscar is one of the best pianists that ever lived, and this piece tells his story.
04 “Hallelujah,” Leonard Cohen
This is one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded, and I’m proud to share the same hometown as the man who wrote it.
05 “You Oughta Know,” Alanis Morissette
I grew up with Jagged Little Pill on repeat. My mom and aunt loved this album, so my cousins and I knew every word by the time we were six. I have such great memories singing the chorus to this song in the car with my family. My brothers and I would get really excited when we heard the line with the “F” word in it; it was the only time we were allowed to swear.
06 “Treasure,” Bruno Mars
I had this on repeat this summer. I’d play it superloud in my car with my windows down and sing along while getting dirty looks or laughs from other Montrealers.
07 “Montreal,” The Weeknd
This is such a cool song. Abel (the Torontonian behind this solo act) really paints the picture of his experience in Montreal in an original way. He even sings in French at times.
08 “Dude (Looks Like a Lady),”Aerosmith
My cousins and I went swimming at the Hillsdale golf club in Montreal when I was little, and on the way there, we would all take turns singing this song in the car. Being about five years old, I used to think the intro was a sheep noise, so I would go, “Baa, baa, dude looks like a lady!”
09 “The Wilhelm Scream,” James Blake
This was my winter song last year. It reminds me of those days where the sun goes down at 4 p.m. here in the city. There’s a simultaneous warmth and coldness about it.
10 “Respect,” Aretha Franklin
This is the first song I sang at my first show ever in Montreal. It was at Club Soda, and I was 11 years old. It’s also the song that got me my first big gig at the Montreal International Jazz Festival in 2006.



Comments… or add another


Monday, January 20th 2014 18:25
she's right - it does sound like 'baaa' 'baaa'

Dorothy Waxman

Monday, January 20th 2014 19:13
What a great selection!!!!
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