Tamar Ilana is an internationally renowned award-winning vocalist in over 20 languages and a mesmerizing flamenco dancer and choreographer. Tamar grew up on stage on the road as the daughter of a travelling ethnomusicologist and is of Jewish, Indigenous, Romanian and Scottish descent. She has released three Canadian Folk Music Awards nominated albums with her world music project Ventanas with whom she has also toured across North America, including a sold-out show at the Skirball Centre in Los Angeles in 2019.
Tamar is the lead singer of Jaffa Road, the flamenco dancer with Sultans of String, cantaora with the Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company and producer for her own solo electro acoustic sets. Tamar has also worked closely with the Afro-Brazilian Maracatú and the Ukrainian communities of Toronto for more than a decade.
Sought after for her artistry and versatility, Tamar has been featured in award-winning musicals in New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, the UK and Germany and has collaborated with JUNO winners and nominees including Measha Brueggergosman, Jim Creeggan (The Barenaked Ladies), Jesse Cook, Eliana Cuevas, Briga, Aline Morales and the Lemon Bucket Orkestra, among others. Tamar has lived in Barcelona, Seville, Paris and Ibiza, and is currently based in her hometown of Toronto, Canada.
A pivotal presence in the Canadian music community and beyond, Tamar has also been producing events for over a decade. She was one of the first Toronto-based artists to pivot to live-streaming during the COVID-19 pandemic, successfully making the transition to online as a presenter, performer and teacher and co-founding the presenting arts organization FabCollab, which focuses on BIPOC, female-identifying and minority voices.
Awards and Nominations
Unsigned Only Semi-Finalist for “Marbella”, MISTRĀL (2019)
Canada’s Music Incubator Full Scholarship (2018)
Outstanding Ensemble Performance, Dora Mavor Moores Award
Lemon Bucket’s Counting Sheep (Toronto, 2017)
Best Ensemble Helen Hayes Award
Yaël Farber’s Salomé, (Washington, DC; 2016)
Ontario Arts Council Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts
Emerging Artist Nominee (Toronto, 2016)
IAP Indie Acoustic Project “Best World Music CD of 2015” runner-up
Canadian Folk Music Awards Nominee: Best World Music Group of the Year (2015), Best Traditional Singer of the Year (2015), Best Ensemble of the Year (2014) Best Traditional Singer of the Year (2014)