Layah Jane Singer-Wilson
Layah is an award-winning Folk/Soul singer-songwriter, and a certified teacher of 5Rhythms® movement.
Music and movement have woven their way all through Layah's life. She currently makes her life as a teacher, dancer and musician, in the creative urban hub of Toronto, and in a corner of Eastern Ontario's beautiful wilderness, though happily follows the call of far-off stages and dance floors too.
In the realm of music, Layah has recorded 6 Folk/Soul albums for indie label Grace Note Records, and has performed across North America in festivals, concerts, and showcases since 2005.
Awards include: The Ottawa Blues Fest's Best Emerging Female Artist (2011), Ontario Arts Council/Ontario Council of Folk Festival’s Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award Shortlist (2009), an Ontario Independent Music Award for Best Female Artist (2008), and Best Folk (2007), a Toronto Independent Music Award for Best Jazz (2006), a CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award (2005), and an Ontario Council of Folk Festivals’ Best Political songwriting award (2005).
Performance highlights include: The Ottawa Blues Fest, ON, Rochester International Jazz Fest, NY, Falcon Ridge Folk Fest Emerging Artist Showcase, NY, Shelter Valley Folk Festival, ON, Ontario Council of Folk Festivals Official Showcase, ON, Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Formal Showcase, NY, Canadian Music Week, ON, Toronto City Roots Festival, ON, North By Northeast, ON, Blue Skies Music Festival, ON, New Music West, BC, and the Ottawa Folk Festival, ON.
In the realm of dance, Layah has delighted in creative movement since childhood, and has a background in Contemporary Dance, Ballet, Eurythmy, and Continuum Movement. Layah first fell for 5Rhythms as a teenager, and since 2009, has followed her love of the practice across North America, Central America, and Europe. Layah was trained and certified as a 5Rhythms teacher in 2013-2014. Layah is accredited with the 5Rhythms Teachers Association, an associate member of the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association. Movement mentors include Gabrielle Roth, Jonathan Horan, Lucia Horan, Adam Barley, Mia Borodacz, and Taeji (5Rhythms), Kathy Altman (Open Floor), and Kim Brodey (Continuum Movement).
With heARTSpace productions, Layah offers children’s music, art, and creative movement classes and camps, and produces 5Rhythms workshops with visiting certified teachers of the 5Rhythms movement practice. Passionate about offering dancers sacred space to experience music and motion as medicine, Layah has taught expressive arts and has led all-ages freestyle dance gatherings in Toronto since co-founding the non-profit organization, The Move Dance Collective, in 2003. A regular DJ at Toronto’s conscious dance hubs, The Move, and Ecstatic Dance Toronto, Layah says: “the musical offerings I make are those that rock my own heart, move my soul, and make me sweat, be it a funky groove, a soulful melody, or a big thumping tribal beat.”
Informed, inspired and nourished by the natural world, ritual, making music, Waldorf education, and holistic medicine, off the dance floor and off the stage, Layah is a graduate of the Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine, a lover of local food and “jazz” (improv) cooking, an urban farmer-in-training, an eldest daughter, a sister, a wife, and a hearty lover of life.