jazz & blues music blog with news, reviews, concerts & more, with a Canadian focus

July 26, 2007

Vancouver’s Layla Zoe Wins International Songwriting Contest

Written by
cindy mcleod

blues music news, Canada


Layla Zoe
International Blues
Heritage Contest Winner

Canada’s Darling of the Blues To Perform at Finn Festival

Layla Zoe, the 29 year old blues guitarist and singer from Vancouver, has won the prestigious International Blues Heritage Contest in Finland. The blues songwriting competition was organized by the Lakeside Blues Festival and Compo10.com, an internet music website. The musician won a prize package including 3000 US dollars and a performance spot at the 2008 Lakeside Blues Festival in Jarvenpaa, Finland.

Layla Zoe beat out other contestants from around the globe to take home the prize, judged by a panel of local judges. Winners are selected from over 60 submissions of compositions and lyrics collected during a 6 weekly internet contest, with each week’s winner invited to participate in the final live performance in Jarvenpaa.

This year’s contest celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Lakeside Blues Festival, which takes place in the Finland city.

Born in Victoria, B.C., Layla Zoe began singing in a blues band at age fourteen. In 2001 she attended the Hornby Island Blues Workshop, where she was introduced to several leading Canadian blues musicians including guitarist David Gogo, with whom she later performed with for a sold-out audience at the Port theatre in Nanaimo, B.C. The concert was later aired on CBC Radio’s Saturday Night Blues program, hosted by Holger Peterson of Stony Plain Records.

Working with producer Alec Watson (Great Big Sea, Spirit of the West, Michelle Right), Layla released the limited edition EP You Will, followed by her debut full length album in 2006, Shades of Blue. The self-produced album has received critical acclaim and brought her to festivals across the nation, where she’s shared the bill with such greats as the Nitty Gritty Dirt band, David Lindley, Bo Diddley, Keb Mo and Michael Franti & Spearhead.

Layla appeared on a pilot episode of the tv series “Canadian Idol” but was deemed “too bluesy” for the television competition.

for more information visit www.layla.ca

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.