Photo by Reenie Perovic
Cassie Norton - bio
At time fragile and sweet, at other times bold and complex, Cassie tells the stories behind her lyrics with sound. She uses violin and octave violin to express the dynamic emotional range present in her lyrics, from haunting and dark to fun and folksy.
Cassie has been a side-person and improvisor in folk, jazz, and creative music communities all over the world. Her varied experiences as a performer are reflected in her songwriting and brought to life by her stellar band. Tristan Murphy's warm, textural accordion playing, catchy trumpet lines, subtle vocal harmonies, and folk-pop sensibilities weave seamlessly into Cassie's songs. Patrick O’Reilly, electric guitar, Wes Neal, bass and David Benitez, drums all share a background in improvised music and jazz taking her songs to new places with each performance.
Cassie and her band have been performing at Toronto venues such as Burdock Hall, Arrayspace, C'est What and The Supermarket since January 2018, and released their first EP: Lullaby for the End of Time in February 2019. Cassie Norton also plays house concerts and more intimate shows as a duo or trio, through venues such as Artery and Toronto Oasis.
Cassie Norton has recorded two full length albums as a solo artist, Little Strength (2009) and Quiet Wilderness (2010), and has recorded both as a guest artist and band member on many other projects.
As a violinist and improvisor Cassie has collaborated and played along side a wide range of notable musicians in Toronto and abroad, including: Hassan El. Hadi, Emilyn Stam, Dr. Draw, Jim Creegan and Jung Mina (South Korea). She remains an avid improvisor, composer and arranger and performs both as a violinist and fiddler in many contexts. Her current side projects as a violinist, singer and co-arranger include the "Erik Bleich" band, Mike Hopkins's "Spanish Waiter", Tristan Murphy's "Amateur", "Willow Rutherford", and Arnd Jurgensen's "Pickle Juice Trio". Cassie is the music director and a regular performer with Oasis Toronto as well as a regular fiddler, dancer and jam host with Balfolk Toronto.
Cassie's music is intimately connected to her climate activism. She believes that music is a powerful tool capable of providing us both with the strength we need to make massive changes and the resilience we will need to live through those changes in the years to come. She brings music to her activism through group song leading and organizing benefit shows and activism to her music through her lyrics.
When she isn't busy making her own music, Cassie shares her love of music with others through teaching. She teaches a variety of private and ensemble classes at Regent Park School of Music, and through her private studio.