Anna Gutmanis
Canada, Ontario, Toronto

About Anna Gutmanis

Anna Gutmanis is an award-winning Canadian songwriter, singer and keyboardist who writes and records across musical genres. Her 2014 single release “Lately It’s Cold” won a Global Music Award. Several songs from Anna's critically-acclaimed album "Glimmer In The Dark" appeared on 3 different Australian Indie Radio Charts (Urban, World, and Easy Listening) and and on the Roots Music Report 2014 Top ... read more

About Anna Gutmanis

Anna Gutmanis is an award-winning Canadian songwriter, singer and keyboardist who writes and records across musical genres. Her 2014 single release “Lately It’s Cold” won a Global Music Award. Several songs from Anna's critically-acclaimed album "Glimmer In The Dark" appeared on 3 different Australian Indie Radio Charts (Urban, World, and Easy Listening) and and on the Roots Music Report 2014 Top 100 Pop Song chart. The official video for "Another Way Out" won the 2014 Best Short Documentary award at Q Cinema Texas and was used by PFLAG as an educational tool. The song “I Am Who I Am” is an anthem to the LGBTQ rights movement, and has been recorded in rock and dance formats. The rock version won the 2009 Pride Song Award, and the official video for the 2019 Dance Version has been winning awards at film festivals internationally. Other recordings include Anna's eponymous debut album, which still receives airplay. Anna often performs live in and around Toronto, and also plays shows across Canada and the United States.

Plays Today: 77

Total Plays: 167,800

Profile Views: 207,764

Anna Gutmanis has no Merchandise yet.

This has been a July unlike any other. On Canada Day, tens of thousands across the country expressed solidarity with Indigenous Peoples by attending an Every Child Matters march. Most Canadians did not know until recently that thousands of Indigenous kids died while attending residential 'schools' between the mid 1800s and 1996. We should have paid more attention to the artists who tried to educate us, and less attention to successive governments who tried to bury the brutal history of the residential school system along with the deceased children.

In 1989, a film called Where The Spirit Lives was featured at Toronto International Film Festival, and I was lucky enough to see it. The film told the story of Komi, a young girl of the Kainai Nation who is abducted from her family by an "Indian agent" of the Canadian government and brought to a residential school. Her best friend Poona suffers ongoing sexual abuse, runs away to escape those horrors, and dies during her journey. The film's soundtrack was composed by Buffy Sainte-Marie, who has always told us the truth about the brutal history of colonization.

Two and a half decades later, terminally-ill Canadian music legend Gord Downie (of The Tragically Hip) recorded The Secret Path, a final passion project to raise awareness about the horrors of the residential school system. In song, he told us the true story of Chanie Wenjack, a young boy who died while trying to escape from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in Ontario. But Gord wanted us to do more than cry. Collaborating with the Wenjack family, he set up the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund to improve the lives of First Peoples in Canada and recommend ReconciliACTIONs that we can all take. This is what the greatest artists have always demanded of us: that we do something after we learn about an injustice. The actions have only just begun here in the unceded territories that some call North America. As we learn how to move forward together, let's listen to some inspiring work by Buffy Sainte-Marie and traditional drum group Northern Cree: YouTube

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Happy Father's Day to all who celebrate! The musical Dad on my mind today is Pops Staples. Recently, I discovered a gorgeous version of one of my all-time favourite songs, Laura Nyro's "Stoned Soul Picnic", by the Staple Singers. They apparently recorded it in the 1960s, but their lovely version was not released commercially until 2012, on a tribute album to the late great Laura. I still love the mega-hit version by The Fifth Dimension, and of course Laura's own recording, but The Staple Singers take the song to a new level. For me, Pops' guitar brings such warmth that you can just imagine yourself at that picnic on a gorgeous summer day, as this Father's Day has turned out to be.

As an older musician in a youth-obsessed business, the trajectory of Pops' lengthy career inspires me. He was in his fifties and sixties when The Staple Singers experienced their greatest chart successes with songs like "Respect Yourself", "I'll Take You There" and "Let's Do it Again". All of these songs were written by others, but Pops was an accomplished songwriter himself, winning a Grammy in his 80s for an album that contained both traditional gospel songs and the self-penned classic "Why Am I Treated So Bad". Indeed, Pops experienced some Nyroesque chart success with that particular tune in 1967, when versions by 4 different artists (including The Staple Singers) hit the Hot 100!

For all of his immense musical legacy, perhaps Pops' greatest accomplishment was being a great role model for his children. As daughter Mavis wrote after his passing, "I still loved to sing, but what could I sing without Daddy? You've been singing with your father for over 50 years, and now he's gone". Participating in a tribute concert to her father helped Mavis resume making music, and I suspect that Roebuck Staples would be VERY proud of his daughter's illustrious solo career. Obviously, longevity and musical genius were passed from dad to daughter. So what better soundtrack for Father's Day than some music by Pops, Mavis, and her sisters?

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Anna Gutmanis
2 months ago

Finally, I can share some new music with you! Last night, the INSPIRE Awards took place. Usually they happen at Toronto's beautiful Hart House, but due to the pandemic, the big 10th anniversary edition of the awards went online. What a year for me to have the honour of providing the theme song, "Inspire"! The legendary link. lang received the International Icon Award, and HER personal idol, Anne Murray, delivered congratulations. Performer Drake Jensen tipped his cowboy hat to Anne by singing the song that made her an international superstar and Grammy winner, "You Needed Me". His rendition was gorgeous and heartfelt, one of the highlights of the evening. Performances by Carole Pope (from sunny California), Amythyst Kiah (from Tennessee), and other incredibly talented musicians made for a memorable night, helping us to celebrate the lofty achievements of all of the INSPIRE Awards nominees and recipients.

On a personal note, it was lovely for me to have comedian and actor Gavin Crawford (co-host of the awards with Martha Chaves) say that he enjoyed listening to "Inspire", and that it made him want to dance. I hope my newest tune has that effect on all of you as well! James Atin-Godden, who produced the tune, did an amazing job, and I'm currently working on another project with him - more on that later. Wishing you all a joyous, music-filled weekend ahead!

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Anna Gutmanis
3 months ago

Hello! Lately, I seem to want to write my newsy emails on the birthdays of my favourite musicians! Today is Barbra Streisand's 79th birthday, and so this email is all but writing itself. I've loved Barbra's work since I was a child, whether it was her gorgeous covers of Laura Nyro songs, her jaw-dropping silver screen talent in Funny Girl, or the wise things she had to say as a social justice activist. This morning, I perused my cache of Barbra vinyl and opened up my favourite of the bunch, Barbra Joan Streisand. For some strange reason, the fact that she had prominently featured female songwriters, arrangers and musicians on this album hadn't made an imprint on my consciousness until today. Why had I never taken the time to savour all the wonderful photos of the first all-female superstar rock band Fanny (members June and Jean Millington, Alice de Buhr and Nickey Barclay) amiably working with Barbra? Underemployment of talented female session musicians, arrangers and songwriters is STILL a huge issue in the music industry - and there was Barbra, 50 years ago, proudly and prominently sharing her considerable platform with other women!

It would be remiss of me not to mention that 10 years ago, I was having the time of my life recording my album Glimmer In The Dark. It was important to my producer Karen Kane and me to have great women musicians play on the album. Colleen Allen played sax on 6 album tracks, Alyssa Wright played cello on 2, and Karen Dinardo sang on every song (except the bonus track I Am Who I Am and The Voice Of Bliss, the latter being a vocal solo by one of my cats)! At the time I referred to the blissful recording experience as "Ten Days That Shook My World", amateur historian that I am. How amazing it was to have met and worked with all of these Wonder Women - and Magic Men too!

May you all experience the joy of doing what you love to do - and with people who rock your world and should be rocking the WHOLE world with their copious talents! And may Barbra have a great birthday :)

Virtual hugs,

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Anna Gutmanis
4 months ago

Happy Spring everyone! It is also Sister Rosetta Tharpe's birthday, and by now everyone knows how much I admire The Mother of Rock and Roll!

There is a lot to be grateful for these days. Two musical projects to which l have been devoting lots of time and energy are well on their way to being completed. The back-and-forth pandemic dance has been frustrating at times. Of course, my team and I only record in-studio when such things are allowed by our governments and public health spokespeople, and we have experienced months of delays. But spring is the best time to see things being born, whether we are watching buds on trees, baby birds in nests, or new music releases. l wish l could tell you more about the upcoming projects, but when the time comes, you'll hear lots. Stay safe, well, and full of hope as you spring into the new season!

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Past Events

May 27
All Ages
Sep 09
All Ages
Feb 04
All Ages
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