Hill Kourkoutis Musician Filmmaker Has A Visit In Her Dream From David Bowie

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“I’m just an individual who doesn’t feel that I need to have somebody qualify my work in any particular way. I’m working for me.” – David Bowie 60 Minutes 2002

David Bowie named his yacht ‘Deneb Star C’ ( Deneb) the brightest star in the constellation Cygnus. Bowie while in a courageous battle with cancer before his death released  ‘Black Star’.   The stars in the sky have been guiding humankind since time began and it’s in these sky’s that the Greek gods live. These deities or gods presided over the elements of sky, light and heavens.  They at times to amuse themselves play chess with the lives of those who live on earth.  The gods of Greek mythology, can whirl us into the nasty vicissitudes of life or into a magical space and it is up to us to recognize this and act upon it.

Hill Kourkoutis, is a award-winning songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist, performer and filmmaker from my home town of Toronto, and a day after David Bowie’s death she was placed into such a magical space.

Holy Holy a band formed by Bowie’s longtime producer Tony Visconti and his one-time drummer Mick (Woody) Woodmansey, named after an obscure 1971 Bowie single was playing at The Opera House in Toronto.  The Holy Holy gig booked since December took on new meaning since the passing of the ever-evolving, boundary-kicking artist.

Holy Holy two gig’s in Toronto had sold out, and now this Canadian girl with Greek heritage ( don’t forget those Greek gods I was telling you about),  because just like that, a ticket to sold out show found its way into the hands of Hill.  While Hill was apprehensive about a tribute concert as Tony Visconti said on the stage in Toronto to the nine hundred people, “The reason why we’re doing this is about 46 years ago Woody and I were the original musicians who played this album, so technically we’re not a tribute band; we are the real deal”.

Hill was in the space now feeling the emotion of the musicians on stage and all those Bowie fans the ‘community’  she was listening to them playing “Ziggy Stardust,” and a couple of those lyrics had poignant meaning, too: “Became the special man/then we were Ziggy’s band” was fitting since Visconti and Woody were Ziggy’s band.

Hill that night was transported to another universal dimension, emotionally overwhelmed she would confess to me that after the gig that night in her dreams David Bowie came to visit, ( yes folks David Bowie is not dead, yes physically but his spirit lives), after all she was placed in my path and I quickly recognized why Bowie would have like her.

So who is Hill Kourkoutis you ask?  Well she is in her mid twenties  but as she told me she has sixty years of work under her belt having played all the dingy places, or living it as they say.

Hill as a performer and musician has played for Serena Ryder, The Weeknd, Martha and the Muffins, Tara Slone, The Cliks, Saidah Baba Talibah, Keisha Chante and Dane Hartsell, to name a few.  Hill through this collective of pursuits has  had the opportunity to tour across North America, Europe and Asia that led to many television appearances including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Juno Awards and the MuchMusic Video Awards. Hill was a part of an array of musical projects including the indie alt/pop/rock band Drowning Girl, before pursuing her current solo project Hill & The Sky Heroes, an alien/surf-rock band.

Hill has also acted, and directed music videos and won several awards directing.  I told her to me she seemed like the film director Jodie Foster and that should tell you something.

Hill like the quote above by Bowie creates for herself, she is not looking for fame, she is purely a creative person stimulated by the community which is her anchor.  Hill in her own small way wants to create a shift for the positive she has been fortunate to have been able to make a living pursuing her passions, whether that be playing music, directing, acting, doing talk shows on television or whatever comes her way.  Like Bowie who said –

“I suppose for me as an artist it wasn’t always just about expressing my work; I really wanted, more than anything else, to contribute in some way to the culture I was living in.” – David Bowie

Hill has David Bowie looking out for her and I have a very good feeling that something magical is around the corner from the girl who wants to buy a house one day and grow her own vegetables, while enriching the collective community around her.

Heavens are smiling upon you because you are in luck as Hill & The Sky Heroes are playing on April 25th.



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Vortex of Magic and Music – Queen West Music Festival

Last year I arrived in Toronto from Los Angeles to discover the Queen West Music Festival, (coincidentally), if there is such a thing. It was one of those pleasant surprise’s discovering talent the purpose of my move back to Canada.

On Queen Street West is a store called Magpie I discovered two designers shot a video and guess who saw it? the legendary man of music Prince and next thing you know these designers are making wardrobe for Prince for his Welcome to Australia Tour.

The magic did not stop, it was on Queen West I ran into and became friends with Canadian film director Bruce McDonald who invited me to come see his film Hard Core Logo 2 about a punk band.

Walking to Chippy’s the fish and chip place I ran into two ladies who became friends of mine one of whom owns the recording label in Vancouver File Under Music with some very talented bands.

My first encounter with the organizer of the Queen West Music festival Krista Grant was at the drake while she was carrying some shots for the band at the Drake Hotel to say thanks guys for helping out. So was I going to miss this music festival in the vortex of magic? What do you think? It was not gonna happen.

There is no better place to come chill then Trinity Bellwoods Park, it truly is the vortex of magic, you just have to be open to it. My friend Josefine a health crazed Swedish model, mathematician, brain’s with beauty joined me especially since I told her my friend Jessica Mitchell was going to play.

On a sunny day in the park with great people the bands played, while Jeff and Krista ran around as if waving their magic wand making sure all went well. The magic was at play, as these images will show you.

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Little Bit of Country by Grand Canyon at The Drake Hotel

In Los Angeles, I lived in the hills above Sunset and could go see several bands in one night from the House of Blues, to the Viper Room.

Since arriving back to Toronto from Los Angeles I have been wanting to go to The Drake Hotel and see what’s up. It’s taken a while to get there but I am glad that it happened on an evening when a friend of mine the very talented Jessica Mitchell was opening for Grand Canyon a country band comprised of Courtney Farquhar & Chris Seldon.

Never rush things in life, that is my motto, things will happen when the universe wants them to happen. For me I was not meant to walk into The Drake Hotel till this moment, where magic was at play with the music of Grand Canyon and the voices’s of Courtney and Chris blending like fine aged whiskey.

From the moment I walked into the The Drake, I was pleasantly surprised and instantly helped and guided by Sonia at the door. A musician whom I had seen play live was tending bar. My friend Jessica Mitchell was the opening act, and talented photographer Michael Patrick a very good friend had also arrived. The lighting in the room was perfect and I was at home at The Drake.

Courtney Farquhar & Chris Seldon are two very nice human beings, and when you listen to them perform it will sound as if they have been together forever yet they have only been together as Grand Canyon for a year and a half. Chris talked to me about country music and connecting with the audience, and this duo connect. If you have been around country music you will find everyone is just nice pleasant and Courtney and Chris are no different. The Grand Canyon is a MUST see if you are in the city, you really don’t want to miss the magic they perform on stage at The Drake on any given Tuesday.

The Grand Canyon is all about keeping the magic of music alive and they perform magic because they believe that magic is real and dreams do come true at the right time. Courtney Farquhar & Chris Seldon’s time has arrived. Have a listen from last night as they perform ‘The Departed’.

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