Although Alex Pangman grew up a couple of generations late to have sung with Benny Goodman, the vibrant vocalist is the say-no-more quintessential jazz and swing artist Canada knows and adores. Pangman possesses the requisite taste, talent, and the historical knowledge of an avid record collector to breathe new life into the sturdy songs of the classic jazz era. She is also the host of Swing Set, a weekly program on Jazzcast.
She has recorded four albums for Justin Time Records, toured internationally including several mainstage appearances at the prestigious Montreal International Jazz Festival, recorded with her own Alleycats group, plus Bucky Pizzarelli, Kevin Clark, Jeff Healey, Ron Sexsmith, Dick Sudhalter, and many more classic jazz luminaries.
And now Canada’s ‘Sweetheart of Swing,” JUNO Award-nominated singer Alex Pangman & Her Alleycats has released a heartfelt new video for her take on Louis Armstrong’s classic composition, “If We Never Meet Again.”
Listen and watch “If We Never Meet Again” here on YouTube:
“This isn't the first time that jazz music has come to the rescue!” Pangman says, mindful of the times. “It saw nations through the 1918 flu pandemic, the second world war, and many other crises... It was built for catharsis, distraction, and also celebration. I'm hopeful that 2021 will bring celebration!”
The song was chosen during the darkest times of the first wave of COVID-19, Pangman recalls — and with a layer of especially personal reasoning; the sincerity with which she imbues the lyrics is genuine. As an immune-suppressed double-lung transplant recipient, the singer has had to stay isolated more than the average Canadian and, while other musicians were back in clubs or giving porch concerts, Pangman had to explore monthly livestreams from her home to maintain connection to fans and friends.
Recorded safely in isolation booths, the longtime quintet was able to play together after over six months apart due to the pandemic. Pangman's Alleycats feature JUNO Award winner John MacLeod on cornet, Peter Hill on piano, Glenn Anderson on drums, and Chris Banks on the bass.
The session was made possible by a COVID 19 grant from the Canada Council For the Arts, with award winning producer Jeremy Darby at Toronto's Canterbury Music Company, and gifted director Sean Ryan
Her most recent 2020 single went to #1 on the iTunes Canada jazz singles chart, with violinist Drew Jurecka and guitarist Nathan Hiltz, with whom she performs online monthly concerts the first Saturday of each month.
She is also an advocate for organ and tissue donation, and an avid equestrian.