Toronto singer/songwriter Donna Greenberg has made up for lost time since recording her first CD, Stranger, at age 50.
Since Greenberg recorded it in 2009, she has received so much praise for both the CD and her live performances that she has recorded three more CDs over the past four years.
Greenberg will showcase music from her four CDs, performing with her pianist and arranger, Jordan Klapman, in A Harvest Of Song concert Oct. 17 at Musideum.
Prior to recording Stranger, Greenberg excelled as a ballet dancer, choreographer and instructor with her company, Ballet Espressivo, which she founded in 2003. She still continues to teach adult ballet classes through her company.
“I always loved to sing and write music, but also loved the world of dance and have no regrets for beginning my music career later in life. I felt committed to realize my dream of recording my songs, proving that it is never too late to meet your goal”, Greenberg said.
Although not signed with a major record label, Greenberg has hit the top sales charts as an independent artist in Canada. Her recording of Stranger has received airplay internationally on radio and been promoted on her YouTube channel.
Greenberg is known for her rich voice, singing jazz standards as well as her own songs of dramatic ballads that speak of love, and can sing in English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.
Her latest CD, Burnt… and Toasted, is a semi-autobiographical grouping of 12 songs that was staged as a one-woman musical cabaret show in July at the Toronto Fringe Festival. Many of the songs were based on a romantic relationship that she described in song as a relationship of abuse, betrayal and lack of trust.
“I don’t want to talk about the relationship, except to say that I have emerged as a strong person and have deep, mature lyrics to share with the audience. I tell the story of a woman, in character, not really me, who emerged from her pain as a stronger person fulfilling her dreams”.
“In Burnt, she at first was singing in the third person,” Klapman said, “but I worked with Donna to let her sing her heart out, and she connected immediately with the audience. I admire Donna for her courage to share her pain and journey with the audience.
“Donna’s strength of projecting her voice with her emotional songs makes her an exciting performer,” added Klapman, who has been Greenberg’s music director and arranger since 2009.
Born and raised in Toronto, Greenberg developed her love of music from her parents’ love of the Great American Songbook composers such as George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Richard Rogers. She studied English literature at the University of Toronto and received further training in music after graduating. While on a summer break, Greenberg toured Israel and worked on a kibbutz.
After working in the Toronto library system for 11 years, she founded her dance company and excelled, not only in performing ballet and choreographing dance, but also in creating short films on the ballet.
One of her films, I Can’t Go On, is dedicated to her grandfather, who was a Holocaust survivor.
“The film, told totally through dance and music without the spoken word,, is set in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943. The two dancers portray Jewish resistance fighters who battled the Nazis against the odds of survival. I was proud not only to choreograph the dance, but to produce and direct the film as well.”
Singer/songwriter Donna Greenberg performs in concert in A Harvest Of Song, with pianist Jordan Klapman, Oct. 17, 8 p.m., at Musideum, 401 Richmond St. W., in Toronto. Tickets are $20. For tickets, call 416-599-7323 or go to www.donnagreenberg.com.