Looking Back with Love

1024 718 Ann Mortifee

 Valerie Hennell was my manager and dearest friend. We were two impassioned innocents without a clue as to what we were doing or where we were going.

Valerie Hennell and Ann Mortifee - taking a beach break from songwriting and being neophytes in the music industry.

“Valerie Hennell and Ann Mortifee – taking a beach break from songwriting and being neophytes in the music industry.”

We wrote songs together, built a company together, and fashioned our careers together. After all these years and many twists and turns along the way, we remain close and are committed to each other’s happiness and fulfilment.

Robbie King was the first musician with whom I performed as a soloist. I hold him to be a gift of the highest order. Robbie was completely fearless. Other musicians might have tried steering me into genres that already existed, but not him. He would leap in, find the energy, and follow it to where it wanted to go. I adored him, and my music flourished under his enthusiastic creative genius.

My first band was Robbie (keyboards), Doug Edwards (guitar) and Tom Hazlitt (string bass). I played and toured with these three magicians for years in concert halls and theatres. Marsha Sibthorpe (lighting) also travelled with us, and she and I shared many a Grand Marnier in our hotel rooms after the shows. Greg Pauker (sound) always made us sound great, and I never went anywhere without my dear friend and production manager, David Graham.

Since those beginnings I have performed with many magnificent musicians, actors, directors, artists and technicians. I’ve toured with such gifted artists as Harry Belafonte, Michel Le Grand and John Denver, and with my exquisitely beautiful husband, Paul Horn. I’ve loved the joy of sharing with audiences in many different settings and lands. The gift of performing has led to fascinating adventures around the world and I marvel at how blessed I have been.

Ann Mortifee

Singer Ann Mortifee is a genre unto herself. Blessed with a remarkable four-octave range and a gift for impacting hearts with her music and lyrics, her albums, concerts, full-length musicals, scores (ballet, film, opera, TV), and In Love with the Mystery book have generated national/international distinctions and awards. She is an Order of Canada Member, the country’s highest civilian honour. A world traveller, compelling storyteller, and sought-after keynote speaker for major conferences, Ann creates and facilitates inspiring arts and consciousness workshops and co-founded two foundations - for social innovation and for forestry conservation. Based in BC, Ann is the wife of the late jazz flutist, Paul Horn.

All stories by: Ann Mortifee