Siberry, Jane

In Toronto Jane Siberry formed a band and recorded a self-titled debut album in 1981. She signed with Duke Street Records, which released No Borders Here (1984), The Speckless Sky (1985), The Walking (1987) and Bound by the Beauty (1989).


Siberry, Jane

 Jane Siberry, singer, songwriter (b at Etobicoke, Ont 12 Aug 1956). Jane Siberry took piano lessons as a child and played French horn in her high school band. Her first performances were in campus coffeehouses at the University of Guelph, where she studied for her degree in microbiology. She also worked in a Guelph bar called The Chooch, which inspired one of her better-known early songs, "Waitress."

In Toronto Jane Siberry formed a band and recorded a self-titled debut album in 1981. She signed with Duke Street Records, which released No Borders Here (1984), The Speckless Sky (1985), The Walking (1987) and Bound by the Beauty (1989). Her ambitious, quirky and melodic folk-based pop songs include the hit singles "Mimi on the Beach" and "One More Colour" as well as concert favourites "Ingrid and the Footman,""The Life Is the Red Wagon" and "Everything Reminds Me of My Dog."

Poor sales for the critically acclaimed Warner Brothers albums When I Was A Boy (1993) and the jazz-oriented Maria (1995) convinced Siberry that she would be better off working back in the independent recording community. In 1996, she founded her own Toronto-based label, Sheeba Records. Relying heavily on the Internet to inform fans about tours and new albums, Sheeba has released a series of unique recordings, including Teenager, which features recent recordings of songs Siberry wrote as a girl, and the Christmas album Child. Hush, from 2000, featured Siberry's unique interpretations of such traditionals as "Streets of Laredo" and "Ol' Man River."

She delved as far back as the 17th century for the classical repertoire heard on 2003's Shushan the Place (Hymns of Earth), with works by Handel, Bach and Holst set to pastoral arrangements that were written and orchestrated by Siberry with Peter Kiesewalter. After nine years of operation, she closed down Sheeba as a traditional record label in May 2005 and reinvented it as a "virtual webstore" offering "self-determined" pay-what-you-can downloads of her catalogue. Recent recordings offered for sale on line have included the the three-part "Three Queens Trilogy," comprising Dragon Dreams (2009), With What Shall I Keep Warm (2010) and Meshach Dreams Back (2011). She changed her name to Issa (pronounced "eeee-sah") in June 2006 as part of her personal and professional reinvention, but in Dec 2009 changed it back to Jane Siberry. In 2010, fed up with working in conventional club venues with the attendant problems and complications, Siberry began doing informal living-room concerts for smaller, more attentive audiences.