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Musical siblings turn Friday night driveway jam sessions into a way to help community

Asia and Bradshaw Sinkovic have become a formidable musical duo.

For the past month, the Aurora siblings – with Asia on vocals and Bradshaw on drums – have been performing in their Hollandview Trail driveway, attracting neighbours and passers-by for their Friday night jams.

Over time, this impromptu concert has not only become a weekly tradition for residents in the neighbourhood, but a way for the community as a whole to give back to local residents in need.

Their audiences numbered at just a handful when they first came outside to flex their musical muscles, but these numbers have swelled with each passing week.

Just a few weeks ago, the double act became a temporary trio when a York Region Paramedic, guitar in hand, joined in the fun.

“One Friday, it was pretty cold so instead of performing, I thought I would come outside and bang some pots instead of setting up to perform,” says Bradshaw. “I started to bang and I saw there was a paramedic supervisor [on the street] saying something. I stopped and he asked if we were playing that night. I said we weren't planning on it, and he said, ‘Could you? We have eight other ambulances and a bus coming over.'”

Their audience was more than just a handful or two that particular week; off-duty ambulances lined the street to take in the performance, and Friday night jams are going from strength to strength, evolving from just an evening of music to a musical evening for a cause – the Aurora Food Pantry – where music lovers are encouraged to bring food donations to each performance.

The Aurora Food Pantry was selected as the recipient charity by Bradshaw after researching the needs facing Aurora residents at this difficult time.

“We had been doing this for more than a month before we came up with the idea of doing it for the Food Pantry,” says Asia, a student at Richmond Hill's Alexander Mackenzie High School. “We wanted to give back to our community not only in a musical way but also being able to provide something because COVID-19 has brought a lot of homes down financially and they aren't able to get food. We really wanted to give back to them.”

While Bradshaw picked the charity after researching needs facing Aurora residents as a result of the pandemic, they are also performing for a reason that hits very close to home.

When the microphone and drum kit are put away, their backdrop remains in place – a hockey net draped in the Canadian flag emblazoned with a sign thanking frontline workers for the work they are doing every day to fight the virus.

Not only is their next-door neighbour a frontline worker in their capacity as a paramedic, Asia and Bradshaw's mother, Chandra, is a palliative care nurse at Southlake Regional Health Centre.

“I am very proud of my mom,” says Asia. “I am honoured to perform and make signs because it is helping people like her. It is empowering for me and it's for her and the entire community.”

Adds Bradshaw: “It makes me feel really glad I am able to do something to brighten people's spirits.”

And there is something to brighten everybody's spirits each Friday night.

The siblings take pride in the fact their loose musical programs offer something for everyone. They come by these eclectic musical tastes honestly, growing up with parents who never shied away from exposing them to the classics, everything from 1950s pop, to Led Zeppelin, and even to Nickelback.

“We want to bring genres of music that everyone enjoys, so everyone gets a taste of everything,” says Asia, an active member at Marquee Theatrical Productions who, until the pandemic forced its cancellation, was poised to tread the boards in an upcoming production of West Side Story.

“We have some songs that people might not always hear, and some songs that everyone knows,” adds Bradshaw, noting he is particularly into “prog-rock” and, as a drummer, takes his cues from late Rush drummer Neil Peart. “He was a big influence on the style of what I do. I want to drum professionally for my career, so this is a great way to get myself out there and give back to the community.”

To take in the Friday night jam sessions, grab something to donate to the Aurora Food Pantry and head over to 237 Hollandview Trail for 7 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, the siblings perform on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.

By Brock Weir

Excerpt: Asia and Bradshaw Sinkovic have become a formidable musical duo for the Aurora Food Pantry.
Post date: 2020-06-04 18:24:04
Post date GMT: 2020-06-04 22:24:04
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