TONY QUARRINGTON and ZOEY ADAMS have been making music together for almost two decades, and between them they have (literally) one hundred years of professional experience. He is an accomplished jazz guitarist, with a producer's JUNO, and hundreds of credits on recordings in all genres. She brings to the duo her vast experience in theatre, movies, radio, and corporate entertainment. Although they have known each other a long time, it's really only over the last year and a half that they have concentrated on co-writing the original tunes which are the core repertoire of 'Q and A'.
Their first extended work together took place in 2005, when the late, great STUART McLEAN asked Tony to compose a cycle of songs that came to be called VINYL CAFE : THE MUSICAL. Tony of course sang the role of Dave, and Zoey portrayed everybody else : Morley, Stephanie, and Sam. The pleasure they took in this project convinced them that they should work together more, so they began a long stint as a nostalgic jazz duo, which they called PAPER MOON. But for a concert engagement in 2017 at the Sellers and Newel Speakeasy (actually an antiquarian bookstore), they decided to create some new material. While it's perhaps mainly true that Zoey writes words and Tony writes music, it's actually more complicated than that, and their compositions have in fact happened every which way.
In 2018, the duo began recording an ambitious 29 original songs, which will become both a pop/roots album, HOLD ON, to be released in June of this year, and a Christmas album of 14 new tunes, to be available by November. The tunes encompass big band jazz, bluegrass, country, folk, and sophisticated swing.
From the plaintive rustic strains of REDBIRD, to the dreamy bop lyricism of ON THE WINGS OF A MOONDREAM, Q and A's music is catchy and appealing, and the lyrics always witty and well-crafted. TONY likes to write about local history, and the duo has a song about THE GREAT TORONTO STORK DERBY, as well as his own family saga, MY GRANDPARENTS MET ON A STEAMBOAT. ZOEY likes wordplay and whimsy, and to do songs in character : so she has written a tune in Jamaican patois, GWAN YER WAYS, and a song, SUCK IT UP, about her favourite activity : vacuuming!On the forthcoming Christmas album, a mere glance at some of the titles is hilarious : MISSING MISTLETOE, PUT A BOW ON YOU, MR. AND MRS. CHRISTMAS, CRABBY CHRISTMAS, and MCSWIZZLEWORT , THE CHRISTMAS CAT.
They appear locally at Toronto clubs like the Tranzac, Free Times, De Soto's and the Senator Winebar, They appear regularly at the east-end Toronto Winterfolk Festival, this year late in February. They have done gigs in a bookstore and a barbershop. And now - the Innisfil Public Library in Cookstown!
When they appear in person, TONY plays acoustic guitar, and they both sing. On February 2, they will be joined by bassist Anthony Laviola.