The studio door opens, the lights lower, the nervousness in your chest rises and falls, and then you exhale, smiling. This is exactly what fiddler Jessica Wedden experienced last Friday morning on March 15th, at the City TV studio in Toronto. Wedden is a former St. John’s High School student and professional 16 year old performer, but appearing on Breakfast Television Toronto for St. Patrick’s Day was a whole new experience. “I have had the pleasure to be interviewed on Kingston’s CKWS TV twice, but I have never been on TV in Toronto before!” She also performed over 60 times last year and is a 2018 Canadian Folk Music Award nominee for her original tune, “One More Time”.
Wedden accepted the request to be on Breakfast Television Toronto, even though she was previously booked for a performance in Sharbot Lake at the Crossings Pub the night before the broadcast. At the Crossings, she performed with singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Jon McLurg, who has been Wedden’s prime performance collaborator since she was 13. Following Wedden and McLurg, was the Folk and Celtic band, Turpin’s Trail, based out of Kingston, ON; a band she enjoys and McLurg is a member of.
Immediately after the performance, Wedden set out and arrived in Toronto around 12:30 a.m. She gained about one or two hours of sleep at a hotel before waking up to prepare for her 7 a.m. arrival at Breakfast Television’s City TV studio. “It’s okay that I didn’t sleep much. I was thinking a lot about the show, and during that time I also happened to figure out the title of my next CD!”
Shortly later at 7:15 a.m. in the studio, Wedden was wide awake and energized. She rehearsed with the talented RNT Irish Dance League as arranged, who she performed with on the segment. At 8:30 a.m. when broadcasting, Wedden performed part of a tune called “Pressed for Time”, and played a bridge she wrote which lead into a track the RNT Irish Dance League had danced and practiced with, in advance.
When asked about her overall experience, Wedden stated, “I am so grateful and I really enjoyed the experience! All of the employees and attendants were very welcoming, which made me comfortable throughout the entire process. I was a little nervous, but it’s a good kind of nervousness because I care. I always want the audience to enjoy my performance! Overall, I had an amazing time on Breakfast Television Toronto!”
Jessica Wedden is a 16-year-old upbeat Celtic, East Coast and Ontario Valley style fiddler, trick fiddler, step dancer, composer and back-up fiddler. She is a 2016 Canadian Folk Music Award nominee based on her first CD she recorded at age 12, a 2018 Canadian Folk Music Award nominee based on a tune she composed and a semi-finalist for the 2018 Canadian Songwriting Competition. Jessica performed at the Havelock Jamboree, Ottawa’s Canada-US Inter-Parliamentary Group, Breakfast Television Toronto and opened for fiddler Ashley MacIsaac with a standing ovation. Fiddling is her passion!
Jessica’s next television appearance will be on Rogers TV, Daytime Ottawa at 1pm.