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Music Memory - Kate McGarry

Music Memory is sponsored by the Alzheimer Society of Toronto, offering the "Music For Memory Project":  a program based on the effects of music and stimulation on people with dementia, by providing them with iPods containing personalized music. For more information, visit

This week's Music Memory comes from Kate McGarry. Kate was the first vocalist signed to the prestigious Palmetto label, and has recorded 5 CDs on that label, including her Grammy-nominated recording If Less Is More, Nothing Is Everything.  She has collaborated on several projects with Fred Hersch and Kurt Elling, and is a member of the vocal ensemble Moss, with Peter Eldridge, Lauren Kinhan, Theo Bleckman, and Luciana Souza.

“When I was a kid - about 8 years old - some family friends opened an Irish pub and brought 2 brothers over from County Cork to play for the summer.  Our large family (10 kids) fell in love with them, and they with us, and they ended up staying on for the year.  Because of this exposure we all began to learn the great songs and stories of Ireland and sing them together as a family, which is a tradition we carry on to this day.

My favorite thing was going to the pub to hear the music live.  I would get 1 Shirley Temple (which seemed like the most magical drink) and could make it last for hours.  There was a time for a while when my mother and I would slip out together and go to enjoy the music alone after a hard day’s work.  She seemed to know that I was going to be a singer and wanted me to be exposed to as much good live music as possible.  I have always been grateful to her for these special trips and felt like even at the age of 8 these experiences fired up my passion for singing and making community through music.”


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