Sweet Pea is a Toronto folk-pop band led by Rebecca Hennessy and Julia Hambleton. The duo’s original songs blend dreamy vocal harmonies with ukuleles, accordion and the solid rhythm section of drummer Dave Clark (Gord Downie, Rheostatics) and Juno-nominated jazz bassist Michael Herring.
Their highly praised first release What It Is features a host of local talent including Ryan Driver (Analog Synth), Jason Kenemy (piano), Nichol Robertson (Banjo, Electric Guitar) and Joe Lapinski (acoustic guitar). The 12 songs on the album are at turns playful, dreamy or reflective with a nod to a range of musical genres including jazz, reggae, folk and pop. “Everything somewhere between cheery and thoughtful has its place.” (Michael Thomas, Greyowl Point). Divide and Conquer gave it a “Top Album” review and described Sweet Pea as, “ an example of what happens when two great minds collide.”
Hennessy and Hambleton met while playing in the horn section of Dave Clark’s Woodshed Orchestra. It was there that they nurtured the inspiration to start writing their own songs and in 2013 Sweet Pea was formed.
Rebecca Hennessy is a highly sought-after Toronto-based trumpeter, composer and bandleader who has been performing, recording and touring with various projects since moving to Toronto in 2003 from Vancouver Island, BC. As a leader and co-leader, Rebecca has released seven albums to date and has toured Mexico, Panama, Europe, USA and extensively in Canada. She has also performed and recorded with internationally recognized artists including Adele, Ron Sexsmith, Andy Kim, Owen Pallett, Broken Social Scene, Feist, Ab Baars and Ken Vandermark.
Julia Hambleton is a clarinetist, songwriter and music educator. Since graduating from McGill University with a BMus in Clarinet Performance, she has been committed to creative projects in a variety of musical genres ranging from jazz, pop, folk, rock, classical, klezmer and free improvisation. Julia has played on over twenty recordings and performed on festival stages across Canada. She has recorded and/or performed with artists such as Broken Social Scene, Andy Kim, The Bidiniband, Rheostatics, The Woodshed Orchestra, Friendly Rich and The Lollipop People, John Millard, Bob Wiseman, Christine Bougie and Runcible Spoon.