Jonathan Deon launches first album tonight at Masonic Hall
“Everybody gets a trophy”— it’s a phrase musician Jonathan Deon first read on an Internet message board years ago, used to describe a mentality of coddling children and praising them no matter how well or badly they do at something.
His use of it, as the title of his new record, refers to the music industry.
“It’s in the context of what music seems to me these days. It seems like everyone I know has an album and is a musician, and everyone is only interested in promoting their own stuff,” he explained. “It’s also a play on ‘atrophy.”
With the help of For the Love of Learning, a local arts-based organization that provides support to youth by nurturing creativity and supporting life-long skills, Deon is officially releasing “Everybody Gets a Trophy” with an event at the Masonic Hall this evening. He’s got a star-studded lineup of performers sharing the stage with him, including Craig Young and Duane Andrews, Mark Bragg, Dave Sullivan, Julia Halfyard and Pamela Morgan, who worked with him on the record as part of a mentorship program.
The program, facilitated by For the Love of Learning, is called Futures Look Bright, and sees youth paired with established professionals in their field. Deon was paired with Morgan for the first phase of the project; the second phase will see young poet Janelle Hillier working with poet James Langer to create a manuscript and publish a book.
“(The program) improves their employability. It improves their discipline in terms of their level of commitment. It gives them a focus on deadlines and the opportunity to network with other people who are well-established in the community,” said Gemma Hickey, For the Love of Learning’s executive director.
“It gets their name out there in a positive way and it highlights the great work we do as an organization.
“It also lifts the youth up — it builds their self-esteem and lets them know they can do this and they have the support they need to continue on with an artistic career.”
Deon, a native of Nelson, B.C., had never met Morgan before this project.
“All the music I wrote myself, and she played guitar and some other instruments, and she gave me some ideas as far as mixing. She also introduced me to her brother, George, who recorded some drum tracks,” Deon said.
“She’s got a lot of experience, and I haven’t had much experience working with other musicians. I’m used to trying to figure everything out on my own.”
Deon said he hasn’t actively pursued a career in music until now, but would love for that to happen, if the chips fall that way.
The launch party for “Everybody Gets A Trophy” starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $15, and there will be complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.