In 2014, Ottawa’s Jill Zmud not only gave birth to a daughter, she also released her sophomore album “Small Matters of Life and Death”. Nominated for the Canadian Folk Music Awards “Contemporary Album of the Year”, the soulful rootsy album weaves together loss, hope, and a 40-year-old reel-to-reel tape belonging to an uncle Jill never met. Featured are guest artists Jim Cuddy and Nashville’s The McRary Sisters. Award-winning producer Steve Dawson brings exactly the right mix of old-school Nashville soul and Southern swamp that Jill was looking for, and uncovers both the darker grit and hopeful light in her voice.
“Small Matters of Life and Death” has brought with it undeniable magic. Of course, there is the nomination for the Canadian Folk Music Awards alongside The Strumbellas, Matt Andersen, The Bros. Landreth and Colleen Rennison. "Small Matters" was also the #1 album on CKCU for 2014. Jill has showcased at Canadian Music Week, Ontario Scene and Megaphono. She recently returned from Boston where she played at the legendary Club Passim. This past August, she embarked on a Western Canadian tour with her baby daughter in tow. And in January 2016, she was thrilled to play at the Calgary Folk Club opening for one of her musical heroes, Grammy-nominee Ruthie Foster.
Behind the scenes, there has been another kind of magic brewing, one that speaks to what music is really all about. Somehow, Jill's album has brought people together. It's even healed a few wounds and opened joyful new chapters. By chance, old friends of Jill's late Uncle Ed Clynton found the album and have connected with Jill to tell their stories. Which brings Jill back to what inspired her in the first place... What do we leave behind when we're gone? And how do we connect with those who have gone before us? As Jill has discovered, it can be as simple as a song.
things to know
- "Small Matters of Life and Death" received the Canadian Folk Music Awards nomination for "Contemporary Album of the Year" (other nominees were The Strumbellas, The Bros. Landreth, Matt Andersen and Colleen Rennison)
- "Small Matters" was the #1 album on CKCU radio in 2014
- Jill's song "Chained and Bound" was a finalist for the 2014 Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award
- Songs from "Small Matters" were featured on The International Americana Music Show and syndicated to over 30 American radio stations
- Jill's debut album "as we quietly drive by" was selected for the Top Ten Canadian Albums of 2009 by Lynn Saxberg
- Jill was chosen as the 2009 Best New Musical Act (Female) by The Black Sheep Inn
- Jill has sung duets onstage with Jim Cuddy, Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Amelia Curran
quotes and such
- “Jill Zmud’s new CD has everything I want to hear from an original, rootsy singer-songwriter. Her alluring voice and evocative lyrics that come from a deep personal place, bolstered by tight harmonies, sonic lushness and authentic twang, make for an irresistible listen.”
- Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen
"Jill Zmud has more soul than a singer-songwriter from Saskatchewan should be able to lay claim to. Her voice has the warmth and burn of a fine single-malt Scotch, and her songs take you to places that are filled with emotional depth and described with precise and vivid images. If you don't walk away from one of her performances moved and uplifted, you need to get a checkup. You may have died."
- Bob LeDrew, BobCat House Concerts
"[H]er rich, soulful voice imprinted itself on the crowd and she left everyone longing for another sample."
- Lynn Saxberg, Ottawa Citizen
"The crowd loved Jill's set. She played plenty of songs from her latest CD, as well as some new material, a sweet version of Tennessee Waltz, and some incredible a capella tunes."
- David Yazbeck, Ottawa Tonite
“The production is stark and satisfying, and the songwriting boasts a level of maturity rarely attained on a debut record... this is no ordinary county-folk waltz, and no ordinary female singer-songwriter... both unsettling and addictive.”
- Kris Millett, Culture Magazine
shows, festivals and conferences
NAC Presents, Canadian Music Week, Canadian Folk Music Awards, NXNE, Megaphono, Ottawa Bluesfest, Ottawa Folk Festival, Elphin Roots Festival, TD Ottawa Jazz Festival, Prairie Scene, Ontario Scene, St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage, The Black Sheep Inn, Folk Music Ontario, Folk Alliance, Westfest, Northeast Children's Festival, BobCat House Concerts, O'Hara House Concerts.
To listen to a selection of tracks from both albums, please press "Play" on the music player at the bottom of this page.
If you'd like a CD or a link to either album, do get in touch and we'll be happy to oblige.
For anything you need, do send us a message here.
If you'd like to chat in person, we can arrange that too.