Archive for News


NEW SONGS:  Wrote Happy New Year for my CUJAM ukies, and got them singing it with me the first Wednesday back after the Christmas break.   Co-wrote a song with Ilana WaldstonThe Whatchamahoozit Blues.  Ilana is a lot of fun, with some zany lyrical ideas.  I crafted the music and arrangement and a lot of the lyrics.  Lost in Rosedale was written after my one-woman show in July, when I got rained upon very badly on the way home.  Cut through Rosedale to get back home, and got very VERY lost as I drove around for nearly 30 minutes until I found someone who could let me know how to escape the vortex.  Check it out:  Lost in Rosedale (cut#7)  .  If you scroll further down, you’ll find The Whatchamahoozit Blues with me singing it.

SOLO PERFORMANCES:  Winterfolk – I performed in a Song Circle with fellow songwriters from Songwriters Unite during Winterfolk – this year for the first time at the Delta-Chelsea Inn.

Guested with the Uptown Swing Band at the Gallery Cafe in Etobicoke – fun getting back to my “big band chick singer” roots.

Debbie fronts the Uptown Swing Band at the Gallery Cafe in Etobicoke. Photo: Gordon Deeks

Wailing away on some great R&B song with Bill King, Daniel Barnes, Russ Bosswell at the Dominion on Queen. May 2012


Songs of the 60’s at Dominion on Queen:  Performed songs by Bachrach/David; Ray Charles  and many more – with the able backing of the great Bill King on keys, Russ Bosswell on bass and Daniel Barnes on drums.  Betty Richardson, Colina Phillips and Mary Ellen Moore got up to do BG’s in Aretha’s “Respect” and brought the house down!!  What a wonderful gig this was – so many people came out to hear some good music, and wish me a happy birthday in May.

Debbie sings with the Niagara Rhythm Section on May 19, 2012 – with Steve Grisbrook, Penner McKay and Sandra Marynissen on percussion, David Norris on drums, Steve Goldberger on bass, and Rodger Niznik on keys.



Niagara Rhythm Section, May 19th:  Guested with this fabulous band at The Old Winery, and we rocked our tushies off!  One of the best nights yet with this ensemble!

Songs That Got Me Here:  I performed solo with my guitar and uke at the beautiful Artists’

It was a rainy night for Debbie’s first one-woman show at The Artists’ Garden, for the Plein Air series. Sam Broverman sits onstage under the canopy, and Al Mair sits in the front row under a brolly.

Garden run by Susan Brown.  I was part of the Plein Air series, and performed everything from Elvis to my own songs.  Singing and playing by yourself without a band is very different from what I’m used to – but something to continue honing!   It was a rainy night, but my audience sat under brollies, or onstage with me until the bitter end.  As we packed up – God decided to let’er rip, and the rain came down in buckets thereafter.  And THAT is when I got lost in Rosedale on the way home.



Terry Kelly and Debbie in the control room at Millstream – just after recording the BG’s for Terry’s wonderful CD, containing beautiful songs in the theme of war.

RECORDINGS:  Sang backup vocals on Terry Kelly’s new recording project, produced by Paul Mills at The Millstream.


JAMGRIA – A new open-mic Jam has opened in the east end of Toronto, helmed by Pat Murray, and featuring a stellar trio of musicians every week, ready to back up any singer or instrumentalist who wants to sit in.  Here’s a photo Bill Taylor  took of me on the first night of this great jam.

Debbie sings on the first Jamgria evening, backed by Artie Roth and Mark Kieswetter(unshown).

The Last Three Years – 2009 – 2011


JAZZ AT TEN FEET TALL: Sang a couple of Jazz gigs with Bruce Harvey and Jack McFadden at this charming east-end Toronto bistro, run by Carin Redmon and Andy.  TFT had a jazz policy, that supported jazz music and musicians for nearly 10 years.  Just before my third gig there, it closed down, much to the sorrow of Toronto’s jazz community.

Bruce Harvey, Jack McFadden and Debbie perform at this beautiful homey welcoming bistro, Ten Feet Tall, run by Carin Redmon.

SONGS OF THE 60’S:  Performed my first “Songs of the 60’s” show at the Dominion on Queen with Bruce Harvey and Russ Bosswell in November ’11. The place was packed! It seems a lot of people want to hear well written songs from that era – written by great writers like Bachrach and David, and sung by singers like Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Petula Clark  and many more.



EDO SUSHI:  Sang my jazz songs at this lovely restaurant on Eglinton W. with Tony Quarrington and Jack McFadden.  It was a lovely, quiet gig, and the food they provided for us was terrific!



LIVE BACKUP VOCALS:  Sang BG’s for Rob Young at Hugh’s Room, and for BettyRichardson as well.    Also sang backups at the Westben Festival, for Rodney Brown.

Paul Mills (Curly Boy Stubbs) band leader of the Rodney Brown concert at Westben.

GUEST APPEARANCES:  Debbie was honoured to be invited to sing at a special concert honouring Canadian

Deb was honoured to be the one drop of estrogen among this stellar lineup of musicians, honouring Rob Rox

Icon, Robbie Rox.  This concert, hosted by Bob Segarini, took place at the Black Swan in Toronto. Here’s a Youtube video of me singing When A Man Loves A Woman   with the great band including Michael Fonfara on keys, and Terry Blersh on Guitar.

RECORDINGS:  Sang backups for the new Rob Young CD, produced by Paul Mills at the Millstream.  Sang and arranged backup vocals for Sam Broverman’s sensational CD project containing all Johnny Mercer tunes, and produced by Ken Whitely.  Lots of horns and swinging big band material on this project, and Sam sings it all so sweetly!

ARRANGEMENTS:  More vocal and instrumental arranging for The Ault Sisters.  Some for Joe Sealy.  One for the Satin Dolls.

HAMPTON AVENUE-4:  Suba Sankaran, Dylan Bell, Tom Lillington and I – better known as the Hampton 4 – were invited by the Green Door Cabaret Theatre, to put on a show of our Christmas material in December.  It was fun to get back to our slick harmonies and Christmas songs – but on the day of the gig, Suba had laryngitis and pneumonia, and was flying at half-mast.  We did our best for the appreciative audience that showed up, and hope they understood that sickness was marring our performance just a tad.  Suba’s beautiful smile held it all together for everyone, and we got through it!  The Hampton 4 also performed Christmas songs at the Rotary Club luncheon at the Royal York Hotel, and did our wandering Carolling gigs at First Canadian Place. Check out our version of my song Christmas (W)rapping:

THE MENDELSSOHN CHOIR:  After a good audition in June, I was accepted back into the choir – but as a second Soprano.  This did not make me happy, as I can still hit the high C’s with the best of ’em – without sounds of strain, or wobble.  After a second audition to see if I could still remain a first soprano – Noel Edison declared he feels my sound is better for the seconds.  That’s the place I always feel the old cows are put to pasture.  However, sitting beside Jennifer Taverner and Cher Farrell– both Elora Festival professional singers – made it far more palatable.  I guess I’m lucky to still be in the choir.

This year we sang Bach’s St. John Passion at Koerner Hall; Mozart’s Mass in C;  Mozart’s Requiem at the Elora FestivalWalton’s Henry V with TSOBrahm’s German Requiem at Koerner Hall, and of course the Messiah.  We also did our Festival of Carols, and our Songs for a Sacred Space – performed in the St. Paul’s Basillica on Power St. on Good Friday.   I still love the the lofty experience of singing all these magnificent works with this magnificent choir, and the gestalt that happens when 160 voices are singing together.  Can’t be BEAT!

– 2010

NEW YEARS EVE: Performed my first New Years Eve gig in many years in Port Elgin Ontario, on the shores of Lake Huron.  Jack McFadden led the band, which also included Bob McLaren on drums, John MacMurchy on Sax and Ted Gibbons on Guitar.  We had a wonderful time entertaining the New Years revellers for their dining and dancing pleasure.

CHOIRGIRLZ performed at Winterfolk on the Danforth in February.  Their final concert was at Plein Air in July – where they performed to a sold out crowd of fans and friends who love their harmonies and quirky songs!

ChoirGirlz at the Willow during Winterfolk, 2010

Debbie sings with Bruce Harvey and Jack McFadden at the beautiful Homesmith Bar at the Old Mill.


JAZZ GIGS:  I performed with Bruce Harvey and Jack McFadden at the Homesmith Bar at the Old Mill on March 19th.  Here’s Our Love Is Here to Stay from that evening.



THE GALPALZ:  Briar Boake approached me about forming a duo – and performing an upbeat repertoire of oldies in Retirement residences. Since Briar is a fine uke player, and I’m ok on guitar – we worked it out.  We got a few gigs and went over very well with our audiences.  It was fun – with costume changes, and new songs.  Briar was great to work with.  Unfortunately with all the schlepping of gear and PA, with very small financial return, we didn’t continue after about a year.

Briar Boake and Debbie Fleming (The Galpalz) entertain the residents of Humber Heights on New Years Eve


The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir with the Vancouver Bach Choir in Vancouver – rehearsing Mahler’s 8th (Symphony of a Thousand) with the Vancouver Symphony during the Pre-Olympic ceremonies.

THE MENDELSSOHN CHOIR:  Still in the Soprano 1 section, though our director seems to doubt that someone of my age should be able to hit the high C’s clearly and strongly.  We went to Vancouver in January for the Pre-Olympic festivities.  We performed under the baton of Bramwell Tovey while performing Mahler’s 8th – Symphony of a Thousand.  Upon our return to Toronto, we performed The Verdi Requiem two weeks later with the TSO.   We did “Last Night of the Proms” with Bramwell Tovey – this year, with a “Kate and Wills” theme – here I am with my homemade “fascinator”.

Fascinating Debbie and her homemade fascinator, fashioned for Last Night of the Proms.

In November – another favourite of mine – Janacek Glagolithic Mass, and of course, the Messiah.  TMC is now performing at the spiffy new Koerner Hall – a gorgeous acoustic space for us!

BACKUP VOCALS:Sang backup vocals for the wonderful Betty Richardson at Hugh’s Room in November.

Debbie rocks it out with the fabulous Niagara Rhythm section-Steve Grisbrook on guitar, Penner McKay on percussion, David Norris on drums and Rodger Niznik on keys.

  R&B:  Did my yearly stint with the Niagara Rhythm Section in May, and twice guested with Robbie Lane and the Disciples as guest singer.  Please check out my version of  Proud Mary, as sung with Robbie Lane and the gang.

FIRST ONE-WOMAN SHOW: Performed my first one-woman show – entitled “Coming of Age in Etobicoke”.  It was a house concert, and very well attended.  Everyone seemed to really enjoy it, and eagerly asked me to write a sequel to the ongoing story.

CUJAM:  Still playing that uke nearly every Wednesday night at the Dominion on Queen. Here I am singing Dream a Little Dream of me, mistakes and all!


THE AULT SISTERS: Did a few vocal arrangements for this talented trio of young sisters – very enjoyable project.


Switched to Logic 8 – much better and less glitchy than Logic 4.5.  Makes chart writing and song recording much easier!

The St. Paul’s Choir, under the direction of Eric Robertson (top left) just before Eric was fired.

ST. PAUL’S CHOIR:  Resigned my position as Alto lead in the choir at St. Paul’s Bloor Street.      Politics within the church hierarchy, tainted my spiritual journey, when our beloved organist/director (and former R&B and recording studio associate) Eric Robertson was fired.

CHOIRGIRLZ   had a banner year.  Appeared at Winterfolk, The Wellington County Library

Mary Ellen Moore, Wendell Ferguson, Debbie Fleming and Dorothy McDonall – ChoirGirlz with Wendell Ferguson at Summerfest 09.

in Harriston,  Toronto Taste, Beaverton’s 125th Centenary celebration, Plein Air and Summerfolk. 

MENDELSSOHN CHOIR:   Performed  Berlioz Damnation of Faust in February;  Mendelssohn Elijah, the Proms;  Berlioz Requiem and Carmina Banana at the Elora FestivalIsrael in Egypt at the new Koerner Hall;  Britten’s War Requiem; and of course the Messiah.

The Debbie Fleming Trio plays at Trane Studio in Toronto – featuing Bruce Harvey on piano, and Jack McFadden on bass.

SOLO PERFORMANCES AT: Winterfolk,  Statlers Cabaret, and at the Anchorage in NOTL with The Niagara Rhythm Section, and at Trane Studio with her jazz trio.


BIG VOICE TV, WITH ELAINE OVERHOLT:  Arranged a chart for The Fawcett Sisters, and helped to coach them for their appearance on the show, which featured Carol Fawcett coming into her own, under the guidance of Elaine.

STAR WARS  at the Air Canada Centre:  Sang in a choir assembled by Susan Suchard.  We were accompanied by an orchestra from Britain, and I met and conversed with  emcee Anthony Daniels – the original C3PO from the Star Wars movie.

ANDREA BOCCELLI  at the AIR CANADA CENTER:  Sang backups for Andrea  in a choir made up of members of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.  It was lovely to reunite and chat with David Foster, who was accompanying Andrea.

RECORDING PROJECT:  During the slow days of summer, I compiled a children’s CD/DVD for my grandchildren Sadie and Benson. I recorded some familar and some original songs as Gramma-Lama-Ding-Dong, and added the songs, and photos of the children to a DVD entitled “Special Times”.  It was a favourite Christmas gift.

UKULELE:  I began attending CUJAM – (Corktown Uke Jam) and learning to play ukulele in July of this year.  David Newland, and Steve McNie run this very entertaining and educational evening every Wednesday at the Dominion on Queen in Toronto.  I LOVE my uke!


Make Lemonade – performances by choirs everywhere!

Make Lemonade, written and arranged by Debbie Fleming is being performed by choirs all around the world.  Check out some of these Youtube offerings:

Hampton Avenue

Sheldon-Williams End of Year Concert

Halcyon Chamber Choir

Siyacula Youth Choir

Ecco with SonoLux

Niagara Rhythm Section

For the past 5 years, around May, I travel to Niagara on the Lake to work with the award winning Niagara Rhythm Section led by Steve Goldberger.  The band is made up of Mr. Goldberger on bass and vocals, Steve Grisbrook on guitar, Penner MacKay and Sandra Marynissen on percussion, Dave Norris on drums and either Roger Nyznik, Denis Keldie or Herb Nelson on keys.

What BAND!  They get their groove on every time!  They were playing for years at the Anchorage, and later, Corks – and are now playing at the Old Winery Restaurant in Niagara On The Lake every Saturday evening with special guests!  I’m very privileged to be one of those special guests.

It’s always little bit of heaven for me to “loosen up the belt” on my favourite R&B standards for two long sets.  It’s quite a fun adventure using my big voice once again, since I’ve been used to mostly “blendy” group singing and sweet jazz for so long.   I love to get the audience grooving, and dancing their faces off.  Can’t wait ’til next year!

MOVING DAY – Moving elderly parents to Assisted Living

It seems 2007 was a blur of activity for me — not necessarily in the music area — but busy enough that I didn’t have the chance to do needed phoning and booking of gigs for my jazz trio or ChoirGirlz.  I was doing what a lot of people of our age-bracket are doing — moving my parents out of their home of 60 years, and into retirement care.   It was quite the journey, going through dusty memorabilia dating back years and years.  Good Will became my new best friend, and I became the Queen of Schlepping for a number of months.  Thanks to an expert in the field of Elder care, Ms. Pat Irwin, with whom I sing in the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the move itself was smoothly implimented.  Visit her website at to find out more helpful information.  I wrote and recorded a song about the experience which you can click on.  It’s entitled Moving Day.


Earth Hour Lights Out at Trane Studio


Trane Studio

964 Bathurst St. (just south of Dupont, West side)

Shows:  8 pm and 9:45

Admission:  $10

Excellent food!  Reservations recommended

Phone: 416.913.8197

Hosted by ChoirGirlz, and featuring Crabtree-Mills, Rosemary Phelan and Peter Verity.

Saturday March 29th was designated as Earth Hour throughout the world, and in order to do our very small part to conserve the rapidly depleting energy sources of our planet, we were all asked to simply turn off our lights between 8 and 9 pm on March 29th.  On 31 March 2007, 2.2 million people and 2100 Sydney businesses turned off their lights for one hour – Earth Hour. This massive collective effort reduced Sydney’s energy consumption by 10.2% for one hour, which is the equivalent effect of taking 48,000 cars off the road for one hour.

At Trane Studio, I assembled a stellar group of singer-songwriters to provide entertainment for this concert, where we all performed acoustically, with no PA, while our audience dined on great food, to the soft light of candles.
It was like a campfire — we were lit with battery operated lanterns, and we invited the SRO audience to sing along with our Earth Hour song.

Interesting how quiet an audience is when they’re not bombarded with the amped up sounds blasting from the stage.

ChoirGirlz got a large photo in The Toronto Star, advertising their successful Earth Hour show at Trane Studio

Listen to our version of  The Earth Hour Song– written to teach people how to conserve the energy we use (on our CD “Livin’ It)


                       September 2007 – In Memory of a wonderful man, and musical genius – by Debbie Fleming

Doug Riley, ueber-talented keyboardist from Toronto, passed on suddenly Aug.27, 2007 at the age of 62.  He set the bar so high! Excelling in R&B, jazz, classical, blues — playing Hammond B3 and piano — it will be very difficult for anyone to come close to his genius.   My association with Doug was a long one, having recorded hundreds of commercial jingles and recording sessions under his guidance.  I like to say that owning my house is thanks to Doug Riley (and Trudel Productions, for whom Doug plied his talents).  The hole that is left in all our hearts and souls, now that Doug is gone, is huge, and we are all grieving, and missing him so.

Two days after Doug died, while carrying him around in my heart and soul every waking minute, the chorus of a song came to me. By the end of the day, I had written a song for Doug, called “Song For the Doctor”.  I sang it for some of my friends, and we all agreed we had to record it in Doug’s memory.  The response was nothing short of mind-boggling.

The recording of the song took place on September 23rd at Phase One Studios.  With everyone, including the studio, donating their time, and Lou Pomanti at the helm as MD, we had 43 singers, 12 musicians and a very helpful number of people looking after catering, photography, video, and making sure everyone was taken care of.  By the end of an 11 hour day, we had it all in the can.
   Gary Gray  mixed it,  Charlie Gray mastered it and Accudub manufactured it.

We were so privileged that singers such as Jackie Richardson, Dione Taylor, Sharon Lee Williams, Shawne Jackson, Colina Phillips, Cal Dodd, Wayne St. John, Roy Kenner, George Olliver, John Finley, Molly Johnson, Danny B were there to add their voices to the rest of the choir.  All singers had worked with Doug over the years either in the studio, or on live gigs.  It was an amazing feeling among all of us, both vocally and spiritually,  and that translated to the recording, which was sold at the Memorial Concert in November.  The artwork was beautifully designed by Juno award winner, Michael Wrycraft — an 8 panel tribute in words and photos to Doug Riley.


Concert Details:

 (A musical benefit for the Doug Riley Scholarship Fund
in association with the Faculty of Music,
University of Toronto)

CONVOCATION  HALL,   31 Kings College Circle    

Soloists:   David Clayton-Thomas,  Cal Dodd,  Dione Taylor,
 Courtney Farquhar,  Danny B. &  Michael Burgess

Featuring voices of:
 Sharon Lee Williams,  Shawne Jackson,  Colina Phillips,
     Brenda Russell,  Jackie Richardson, Betty Richardson, Kim Richardson,    Sheree Jeacocke,
  Debbie Fleming,  Lynne Deragon,   Neil  Donell,  
Roy Kenner,  Wayne St. John,    Steve Kennedy and a choir of close to 40 handpicked singers, all of whom are singing on the recording “Song For the Doctor”  You will see Debbie’s Song For The Doctor around 4’17”.

Doug Riley Memorial Concert Part 3

The concert featured a  Classical Section,   Famous People Players,
 A Jazz Segment, featuring Don Thompson, Phil Dwyer, Guido Basso,
Mike Murley, Ted Quinlan and many others.  
A Doctor Music Section,  A Motherlode section,   A Gospel section,
An R & B section with Bernie LaBarge,
 David Clayton-Thomas and his band with Bruce Cassidy and Lou Pomanti,   Planet Earth With Ben Riley
.   Jesse Riley  provided a spectacular Police Honour Guard during the Concert.



During this concert, Song For The Doctor was performed as the grand finale to the show, with the full monte of singers and horns, as it was recorded. The CD single of the song was sold during intermission and after the show.  All proceeds for the sale of this song  go towards The Doug Riley Scholarship Fund through the U of T Faculty of Music.   Song For the Doctor may be purchased through our shopping cart .

Song For The Doctor, CD Single, written by Debbie Fleming

Singers and Musicians – Toronto’s Elite – who played on this CD are all together at Phase One Studios.

Back to R& B roots!!
 Troiano Tribute

On May 15, 2008, I was privileged to have been invited to sing as a guest artist at the Third Annual Tribute to Domenic Troiano – a fundraiser for the Toronto East General Hospital, taking place at the glorious on Toronto’s Lakeshore. The night was a perfect spring night – the moon on Lake Ontario was breathtaking, and reconnecting with friends from the music business was such a pleasure. The Lincolns, led by Prakash John and fronted by Steven Ambrose,  provided a dance set for the audience, and the dancefloor was crowded to the max.  What a band!

Last year at the same function, I saw and chatted with Doug Riley for what was to be the last time, so there was a little bitter-sweet involved. I decided to sing “This Little Light of Mine” to honour the bright light always shining from Domenic Troiano and other great musicians such as Doug Riley, Oscar Peterson and Jeff Healey when they were still with us.  In the band, led by guitarist-extraordinaire Bernie LaBarge, were Grant Slater on keys, Rob Gusevs on Hammond B3, Paul Delong on drums and Howard Ayee on bass.  Backing me up in the vocal department were Sharon Lee Williams, Shawne Jackson, Colina Phillips, Lynne Deragon and my dear friend B. J. Cook.  
You can check out my performance on YouTube

Sentimental Songs Contest

DATE:  Feb. 17, 2008


ADDRESS:  292 Brunswick Ave.,
(south off Bloor between Bathurst and Spadina)

in the beautiful city of Toronto Canada

TIME:  7:30

Murphy’s Law:  With ten entrants in this “mawkish” song contest, that has gone on for at least 10 years, under the auspices of the Flying Cloud Folk Club, I performed my song “Summer in the City”.  It was a ditty I wrote out of frustration with the renovations surrounding me a few years back.  My philosophy has always been “Make Lemonade” (another of my songs!), and instead of allowing myself to go quite mad with the barrage of noise, dirt and disorder surrounding me daily,  I wrote my song.  Since I was told this “Sentimental Song Contest” was supposed to be with a wry and mawkish undercurrent, I figured I’d perform this “cathart” tune – without the help of my ChoirGirlz, as both were busy that night.  I didn’t care if I won the prize — I am a beer and wine girl, NOT scotch (which was to be the prize, along with a box of Kleenex — very symbolic).  Being a “Sentimental Songs Virgin” — I knew not what to expect, and just wanted to be there to enjoy the songs that other people brought to the table.  I sang my song.  I heard some really fun ones — David Newland played his uke, and sang about crying in the rain.  I heard a song about unrequited love between a lobster and a crab, and about yearning for Charlotte (which I figured would win). Stewart sang an old song about a dog “Old Shep” — I remember Elvis singing this years ago.   When the winner was announced, I was totally aghast that my song “Summer in the City” was the winner of the night.  I think when you go into something not even THINKING of winning, and not really knowing what you’re doing — the chances of winning are quite high.  (Like the time I first joined the Musician’s Curling League in the ’80’s, and we all shot a rock for the chance to win a turkey — because I had NO experience or technique in curling, and not a hope in H*%^llof winning — I shot one of the closest rocks in the competition, and walked home with a turkey for our Christmas dinner that year.   The next year – when I knew a bit more about what I was doing — NOT EVEN CLOSE. )  I guess you win when you’re relaxed and have no expectations.  Now I have this GOOD bottle of scotch.  Hmmm.

Deb’s Still At It!

January 2007

Well folks, last year was a very busy year in my life.  The JAZZ part of me did a few gigs with my band — Orleans Newmarket, Gate 403 and the revered Montreal Bistro.  Just a few weeks after I appeared there with my band – Bruce Harvey, Jack McFadden, Donnie Vickery  and  John MacMurchy the favourite Jazz room in the city of Toronto closed its doors for good.  Although there are still a few small places in Toronto for jazz musicians to play, there was nowhere like the Montreal Bistro — where the  grand piano was always tuned, the food was amazing, and there was a “no talking” policy while the musicians played and the singers sang.  Can’t get more special than that.  We are still mourning the loss, and hope that Lothar and Brigitte Lang will be opening another venue soon in Toronto.

The CHOIRGIRLZ part of me took up about 75% of the year – arranging and co-producing our second CD entitled “Girl Time” during the summer.

Mary Ellen, Dorothy and I during photo shoot for our 2nd CD “Girl Time”

 It’s an album we are all proud of, and it features the swingin’ Bebop Cowboys backing us up.  The band is led by Steve Briggs on guitar and mandolins, the co-producer of the “Girl Time” CD, and incidentally – -my guitar teacher.  In the band along with Steve, are John Adames on drums, Victor Bateman on upright bass, Burke Carroll on steel and dobro, Denis Keldie on Accordian, the totally amazing Drew Jurecka on fiddle and Duncan Fremlin on banjo.  Produced at Soundhole Studios owned by uber-talented   Ray Montford, it all fell together like clockwork.  The CD may be ordered and listened to via the ChoirGirlz website.   Choirgirlz have done a lot of performing as a result of the new recording, and we’re reaching  ever wider circles of appreciative fans .

Steve Briggs at Soundhole

Steve Briggs, co-producer of Girl Time, takes a sunny moment.













GREG KING has a slew of great photoz he’s taken of both me, and Choirgirlz — we even have a special page on his website.  Go to gregking‘s website  to check out the talents of this fantastic photographer.  He did the cover of our CD, and there are photos on his site of the CD cover shoot.

The CLASSICAL part of me had a very busy year with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. Because of my involvement with

Festival of Carols Recording session 06

Noel Edison conducts Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, as they record Xmas CD “Festival of Carols” in a heatwave, during June 2006.

ChoirGirlz and Jazz, I chose not to be a member of the Mendelssohn Singers — the smaller 80 voice unit made up of the creme-de-la-creme of the Mendelssohn Choir.  I was part of the recording of Christmas music that was done in June, and released just before Christmas this year. It is a lovely recording entitled A Festival of Carols, and will be a seasonal favourite for years to come. I also enjoyed going to Elora to sing the Mozart Requiem and the mighty Mahler 2nd Symphony — better known as “The Resurrection Symphony”.  What a thrill to sing both those amazing works under the baton of Noel Edison with full orchestra!  We will be performing the Mahler again this year – I think in April.

The Hampton Avenue 4 part of me enjoyed thoroughly reuniting with Suba Sankaran, Dylan Bell and Tom Lillington as we sang carols at First Canadian Place and The Atrium on Bay before Christmas in 2006.  The wonderful arrangements in our book just rang out pitch-perfectly, and I felt my life was full-filled musically.  We don’t get much chance to gig together any more — Suba is heavily involved in recording and touring with her jazz/Indo/fusion group  autorickshaw .  Dylan has just left the talented group  Cadence to pursue more writing and recording, as he is becoming greatly in demand for both these talents.  Tom is busy with his piano tuning business, and also tours extensively with the Canadian Chamber Choir.  With ChoirGirlz’ busy schedule, it’s really difficult to find a window of time to just get together, let alone do a gig.

PLANS FOR 2007 include:
Getting my jazz trio back on the rails and doing more gigs around the GTA.
Performing with ChoirGirlz — Winterfolk is our first 2007 gig — the weekend of Feb. 9 – 11th.  It’s free admission for all, and taking place in the Broadview-Danforth area.  Go to  Winterfolk  for more info about venues.
Practising harder on GUITAR and taking a few more lessons from Steve Briggs.
Getting back to a more healthy workout regimen at Metro Central YMCA.
Writing more jazz vocal arrangements and having a few more “singoffs” with members from Hampton Avenue and Cadence.
Writing more music for my wonderful church choir to sing (St. Pauls Bloor St.)
Writing more songs for ChoirGirlz.
Laughing more.  Enjoying my granddaughter Sadie.  Spending time with friends.  Eating healthily, and drinking good beer, enjoying life.
 It’s gonna be a busy year!

Rained out at Parti Gras

June 2005

Parti-Gras, the weekend before the Beaches Jazz Festival, took place at the Distillery district.  Debbie and her quartet were to follow the wonderful June Garber in the afternoon.

Rain began to fall, and the outdoor “Tankhouse Diva Stage” was protected only by overlapping patio umbrellas.  By the time Debbie and her band stepped onto the stage, the rain was coming down steadily, and dripping onto the drumstool.  The kit was moved to slightly drier ground, tarps were loaded atop the floor monitors to protect them, and to successfully muffle the sound coming out of them.   Nobody seemed to think about protecting the singer, and Debbie stood in a puddle while holding a mic and singing “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On Your Head” as a soundcheck tune.

A few diehard fans took to the tables and chairs, wrapped in protective raingear, and prepared to get up and dance anyway!  During Debbie’s third song, a massive series of “poofs” took place in the speakers, which immediately lost power along with the piano,  and that was the end of that!  Debbie felt very frustrated not to be able to sing her songs for the audience who had come to hear her, however she was saved from electrocution, and lived to tell the tale.

Debbie Gets ’em Dancing Wherever She Goes!

September 1, 2005

Debbie had a busy run of gigs in May and June 2005.   She guested to a full house in Markham, with the marvellous Sgt. Pepper’s Quartet consisting of the great Norman Amadio on piano, Frank Wright on vibes, Jack McFadden on bass and Don Vickery on drums.  These guys swing their patooties off — and Frank Wright is downright amazing as he continuously dances like a twenty year old from one end  of his vibes to the other!

The Distillery Jazz Festival was fabulous — if a little chilly.  The crowds were out to have a good time, and Debbie and the boys got them up and dancing in front of the stage!  Debbie’s catchy tunes usually do that — it’s hard to stay in your seat with the infectious rhythms — swing, bossa, Latin — ole!

For more photos of Debbie and her gigs, check out Greg King’s website — Deb has her own special feature page.

Debbie appears at the Distillery Jazz Festival in May

Photo by Greg King



Debbie, Jack McFadden and Bruce Harvey appeared at Le Select Bistro during the Downtown Jazz Festival.  A white-tuxed Bob Segarinni and his very nattily dressed party of four graced the narrow aisle at LeSelect with some fancy ballroom dancing while Debbie filled their requests.

What Radio is Saying About “Steppin’ Out!”

Debbie’s newly released solo CD “Steppin’ Out” was requested and played by many radio stations across Europe, America and Australia.  The kudos and reviews were very positive:

**” you reached me good on A Bad Goodbye. That track is soulful and heartfelt.”

Fradley Garner,
International Editor of Jersey Jazz
(Journal of the New Jersey Jazz Society).


**” For sure this CD will get airplay in my program Jazz & Blues Tour as from next Tuesday — really like your style !”

Joost Van Steen
Jazz and Blues Tour, Holland


**Your style, is perfect “mainstream”, … really nice and …. your voice is so
beautiful! Classic, yes, but also modern, thanks to your particular
 approach. My sincere compliments. For me will be a pleasure to insert your
music in my program.

Bruno Pollacci – “AnimaJazz” – Pisa – Italy


**”Steppin’ Out” arrived today and I love it. It will go in our show “Jazz World” starting next week.  Great songs – well done, and great arrangements too I think. All good wishes for your musical future!!

Presenter, “Jazz World”, Radio Maldwyn

**Wow!!  You’ve got a HOT CD!!  Thank You so much for sending it  to us at WJSK.  I just received it this PM, previewed it, and into our ON AIR programming computer it went.
We have a “Traditional Jazz’ format daytime, with a smooth, layed back jazz style on our evening programming and “Steppin’ Out” covers both time periods!
 I am one who appreciates diversity in one’s career,  now you’re on top by going SOLO!
  A salute to Jim Morgan, who definitely has “ears”.  Your CD technically, is excellent.

Frank Pingree


*Thank you for sending Debbie Fleming, “Steppin Out”CD, to WBCX at Brenau University in Gainesville, GA!
We will be adding the following tracks for airplay in a variety of our eclectic formats:
 Que Pasa
One More Birthday Blues
I’m sure we’ll be adding more tracks in the future on Eclectic 89.1 WBCX covering NE Atlanta and North Georgia!

Scott Fugate, WBCX, Georgia, USA


**You have every reason to be proud of the project, good music, good rhythm, nice groove, great voice, very professional performance (choosing your partners is very important and a good indication to the attention given to the project).  One can be only complementary and respect your maturity and musicianship.
I am very glad to have this little treasure and my audience will be sharing my delight with me tomorrow night (Thursday) during the show as 1st introduction with more to follow in the coming weeks.

Ilan Oz


**My audience sure liked you, Debbie, got a couple of calls saying so. I have very faithful & devoted people and they are constantly in contact with me.  If I pass something that is not appreciated I’ll know about it within minutes).

Ilan Oz

Steppin’ Out Gets a 5 Star Review! E-Jazz News in California:

Debbie Fleming..Steppin’ Out..Riverdale Records..2004

CD Reviews / CD Reviews

Date: Apr 06, 2005 – 08:23 AM

By John Gilbert
First and foremost, let it be known that Debbie Fleming is a first rate
 composer and lyricist. Every tune on this album goes right to the heart
of hip. There is a message in every tune and it comes from the soul. The 
ballads exemplify Fleming’s ability to coax romanticism out of a song
without waxing any saccharine sentimentality.
“Let’s Jive” is a masterpiece of solid jazz writing and combined with
Fleming’s cool vocal, it is both bouncy and true to the genre. Her
phrasing is impeccable and the timing is true. A clean tone and clear
 enunciation are the ingredients that make it all come together. John
MacMurchie’s saxophone solo is free of mindless notes, He gets after 
this number with an artistic zeal bred of professionalism and talent.

“Corner Of my Mind” is a thoughtful reminder of lifes travails superbly
 written and sung beautifully.
“Crazy In Love” features a great melody with ultra hip words..MacMurchie 
is in his groove and his solo is a joy to listen to. I would like to
 hear more of this fine artist. Fleming again brings this tune to life 
with her interpretive powers.

I highly recommend this recording, it is not only tasty and cool, it has 
more hits than a relevant google search.
This album can be purchased at CD Baby or by visiting the artist’s
website at
Visit California Coast Jazz At:


This article comes from  : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net
The URL for this story is:

January 24th CD Release Launch, Montreal Bistro

Bistro Band

Groovin’ at the Bistro


It was a cold frosty evening on Monday January 24th, but there was some hot jazz, and some warm vibes permeating revered Montreal Bistro, as Debbie Fleming took to the stage, backed by her stellar band.  The room was close to full, and the audience was enrapt as Debbie soared through her originals and cover tunes.  Bruce Harvey gave excellent support on the beautiful grand piano, as Jack Mcfadden pumped out the rhythms on his upright bass.  Don Vickerytapped out some fine rhythms on drums, and John MacMurchy played some exciting solos on saxophones.  Debbie and John did a number of duets throughout the night, and Debbie’s treatment of heartfelt ballads such as “Suppertime” and”Lush Life” evoked audible catch breaths from the audience.  Many compliments came from the audience who enjoyed and were amused by Debbie’s quirky lyrics.  Many of Toronto’s finest singers  and musicians came to support Debbie — Julie Michels, Michael Danso, Michele Mele, Gregg Lawless and Steve Briggs, as well as Larry Green from
Toronto Star Review of Debbie’s new solo jazz project “Steppin’ Out”In a Toronto Star feature on Thursday Dec. 23, 2004 headlined “What’s On Disc”Star Jazz Critic Geoff Chapman includes Debbie Fleming’s “Steppin’ Out” under “Some good Canadian discs that slipped past the review radar this year. First Vocal Jazz:”*Debbie Fleming’s Steppin’ Out on Riverdale shows off her versatile pipes, big range and quirky originals like “One More Birthday Blues” and “Let’s Jive”.