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'Stompa' with Serena Ryder at free concert in Bell Park Aug. 19

Multiple Juno award-winning Toronto musician promises 'super fun' concert in celebration of Ontario's 150th birthday
Serena Ryder headlines the ONTour concert series performance at Bell Park's Grace Hartman Amphitheatre this Saturday, Aug. 19. (Supplied)

Multiple Juno award-winning Toronto musician Serena Ryder said she's “stoked” to be headlining the ONTour concert series performance at Bell Park's Grace Hartman Amphitheatre on Saturday, Aug. 19.

“It's going to be super fun,” said 34-year-old Ryder in a recent phone interview with, adding fans should expect a “high energy,” interactive show.

The free concert, marking Ontario's 150th anniversary, is part of a series of shows in more than 20 communities across the province this summer.

Other performers at the Sudbury show, which gets underway at 7 p.m., include Coleman Hell, Mia Martina, Jonathan Roy and the Nickel City's own Stef Paquette.

Ryder is probably best known for her 2012 hit single “Stompa” — co-written with her friend Jarod Bettis — from her album Harmony. 

When asked about the appeal of Stompa, Ryder chalked it up to the song's simplicity.

“It's almost like a nursery rhyme,” she said. “It's also kind of like an old traditional jazz song as well. It's really simple. I think that's why it catches people.”

In May, she released her latest album, Utopia — her sixth. You might recognize her single “Electric Love,” which has been getting a lot of radio airplay.

The album has “kind of already superceded my hopes so far,” said Ryder, who said the five-year gap between albums was because she toured so long with Harmony. “The record was No. 1 out of the gates, which is super cool.”

Ryder said she's wanted to be a musician since she was “literally two years old.”

To make it in the music business, you have to have an “undying belief” that this is what you should be doing, she said.

You have to love it “so, so much” and not expect much in return. “Be prepared to be very broke and live off of a baloney sandwiches for a good 10 or 15 years,” Ryder said.

Learn more about the local ONtour concert on its Facebook page


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Heidi Ulrichsen

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