June 05

30 Film Festival Accolades… Album debuted at #1… 300k Views…Toronto’s Ori Dagan Is Jazz’s Newest Star

“Let Yourself Go” at LulaWorld!
w/ Alex Pangman + Natasha Powell
Tuesday, June 5th @ Lula Lounge, Toronto

AFME Filmmaker & VIP Lounge @ IBIZA
Thursday, June 7th @ Albuquerque Film & Music Experience, Albuquerque

Live at the Celebrity Club!
Friday, June 15th @ PAL Celebrity Club, Toronto

Ori Dagan & Nathan Hiltz: A Tribute to Nat King Cole
Friday, July 6th @ Toronto Reference Library, Toronto


Award-winning jazz singer, songwriter and recording artist Ori Dagan is, quite simply, an original. His rich baritone voice and impressive abilities as an improviser produce an instantly recognizable sound.

Ori Dagan’s critically acclaimed releases S’Cat Got My Tongue (2009) and Less Than Three ❤ (2012) established a daring musical adventurer on the global jazz landscape.

Having won numerous accolades for his witty and inventive original songs — from “Googleable” (his ode to a search engine) to “Clap on the 2 and the 4” (an anthem for the rhythmically challenged), it’s his most recent release Nathaniel: A Tribute to Nat King Cole (2017) and its accompanying collection of imaginative and delightful videos that have created the largest bounty of awards for the singer yet.


Released October 2017, Ori Dagan’s third studio recording won Silver for “Best Album” at the Global Music Awards soon after release. The collection debuted at #1 on the iTunes Canada Jazz Chart, and is a unique homage to one of the genre’s most legendary musicians and pop culture icons.

In addition to a collection of original songs on the release — and in a move as bold and next-level as Ori himself — Nathaniel: A Tribute to Nat King Cole was also jazz’s first ever visual album, with a collection of 12 original music videos spanning the mediums of live action to claymation to felt puppetry portraying each track. The results have taken the jazz and film community by storm, with the video featured at more than 25 world-class film festivals around the globe, and collecting more than 30 accolades and wins along the way.

"Toronto jazz singer songwriter Ori Dagan is working on an ambitious project: his third-
full-length recording, Nathaniel: A Tribute to Nat King Cole will be released as the first
visual album in the jazz genre, a collection of music videos he is currently raising funds
for by way of a PledgeMusic campaign. In collaboration with 6 Canadian independent
film directors, Dagan’s team is producing 12 music videos over the next 6 months with
the first video for lead single “Pretend” to be released in late summer.

The project follows up on Dagan’s music video success with “Clap on the 2 and the 4”,
an original and humorous “jazz anthem for the rhythmically challenged.” The 2016 clip
has earned over 85,000 online views, was screened at 15 film festivals worldwide and
garnered 7 international awards including “Best Educational Jazz Short” at the inaugural
New York Jazz Film Festival.

“These days you could be a Charlie Parker but if you don’t have a video for your single,
nobody’s going to share your track,” says Dagan. “At first I was pretty surprised by the
success of “Clap on the 2 and the 4” considering we made the video on a budget of
$1000, Canadian! But then when you think about it, social media in particular has
changed the way people consume just about everything, music included. Most success
stories you read about today in the music business have to do with a video going viral,
making a platform like YouTube key to having your music discovered by new fans.”
Dagan is looking to his fans – and those of Nat King Cole – to support this project by
pre-ordering the album on PledgeMusic. In addition to fresh takes on Cole classics, he
presents 5 original songs on this album, inspired by the master musician’s life, music
and legacy, from the bright nod to his style “Keep it Simple” to the haunting
“Complexion,” which was inspired by Dagan’s learning of the April 10, 1956 onstage
attack on Cole by white supremacists in Birmingham, Alabama.

So, why Nat King Cole and why now?

Dagan explains, “As we gear up for Nat’s centennial in 2019, I think a lot of listeners
take for granted just how much of a genius he was, maybe because he made everything
sound so easy. Pianistically he made dazzling solos seem almost casual. In researching
for this project, I was completely surprised by his forays into foreign languages like
Spanish, Japanese, French, Italian and the way he effortlessly and honestly delivered
any song.”

Recorded with producer Doug Romanow at Noble Street Studios in Toronto, the album
features special guests: 5-time JUNO award winner Jane Bunnett, “Canada’s
Sweetheart of Swing” Alex Pangman and 88-year-old jazz legend Sheila Jordan, the
first female vocalist to record for BlueNote Records back in 1963."