Drew Birston

Drew is a versatile bassist, composer, producer and singer/songwriter living in Toronto, Canada. He has been contributing to the Canadian music scene as a composer and bassist for over 25 years and has toured the world with a variety of different artists. Some career highlights include:

•2007 to present - recording and touring Canada, US and the UK with 3x CFMA winning, 3x JUNO Award nominated group Sultans of    String including performances in Glasgow, Scotland for the 2018 Celtic Connections Festival.           
solo recording “Orca Songs”;  a critically acclaimed collection of 10 original songs, released 2016  
•2007 to present - recording and touring Canada, US, Mexico with singer and wife Amanda Martinez from including performances for the 2010 World Cup in Johannesburg and Soweto, South Africa.
•performance at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC with singer Justin Hines
•1999 to present - recording and touring Canada and the US with singer Chantal Kreviazuk including performances at Madison Square Garden and the 2000 War Child Benefit in Winnipeg, MB for 80, 000 people along side the Tragically Hip and Angelique Kidjo
•1992 to present - recorded and toured with several Toronto based pop and jazz artists including Melanie Doane, Justin Hines, Kevin Barrett, Peter Smith, Ron Davis, Melissa Boyce and The Worst Pop Band Ever

Music was in the cards for Drew growing up in Winnipeg, MB. The youngest of five siblings, he was surrounded by a wealth of sounds ranging from his father’s stride piano to his brother’s love of Beethoven to Carol King. With an interest in singing, he started off performing in school choirs eventually moving onto the clarinet in band class. Switching over to double reeds, he pursued the oboe and later studied the bassoon at university level. Meanwhile, during visits to his aunt and uncles farm near Cloverdale, MB, he would borrow their Epiphone guitar and spend many hours in the basement playing along with records and learning Beatles, Stevie Wonder and Bruce Coburn songs. After trying his older brother’s Hofner bass guitar, he developed a love for electric and upright bass and pursued that through high school and into university.

After completing jazz studies in Antigonish, NS and Montréal, QC, the Toronto music scene was calling and his good friend, Mark Mariash, invited him to come and audition for a pop band there. He got the gig with Lava Hay in 1992 and that opened up the incredibly rich and diverse scene that Toronto had to offer. From there he recorded and toured with The Leslie Spit Treeo, The Wild Strawberries, Melanie Doane, Chantal Kreviazuk, Justin Hines, Tomi Swick, Lily Frost and Moon V Sun. He has also had the great fortune to work with producers such as Brent Bodrug, Justin Abedin, Ron Lopata, Danny Leblanc, George Seara and Stephan Moccio and has appeared on over a 100 recordings. Along his musical journey, he joined good friends Chris McKhool and Kevin Laliberté’s band Sultans of String and has enjoyed recording 6 albums and extensive touring throughout Canada, US and the UK. Drew also met the love of his life, Amanda Martinez in the city and has the joy of raising their 3 children together and sharing the gift of music. Composing is also underway for a sophomore solo album.