Singer, pianist, and composer Elizabeth Shepherd and guitarist Michael Occhipinti have been featured in each other’s projects for almost a decade. Their duo – ESMO – is touring in support a new album, The Weight of Hope. The album includes songs by Canadian legends Leonard Cohen, Bruce Cockburn, and Gordon Lightfoot, and features 1960s Toronto soul legend Jackie Shane’s Any Other Way.
Known for having a pop sensibility, arrestingly original writing, and a velvet voice, Elizabeth is suitably paired with Michael whose guitar work draws on the jazz tradition while exploring the instrument’s electronic and sonic possibilities. ESMO is currently working on a new and very different second album, which will consist entirely of original music, much of it started last summer when the two bubbled together with their families in the Laurentians. Expect a magical and immersive concert that will have you holding your breathe one moment, and moving your body the next.