New Show Feb. 25th at Folly Brewpub!

Hey everyone!

Hot on the heels of my new single, I am having a one-time show as part of Wonderfest on Feb. 25th! I don’t play live very often, so I hope you can make it down!

Jeff Greenway CD Release, C'est What, May 2012, 143

Details here:

I’ll be performing the new single, as well as songs from my album “Great Expectations” and some other brand new originals and covers! Hope to see you there!

And in case you missed it, check out the latest single here:

I’ll also be playing my David Bowie tribute:


Official release of new single!

I am really happy to announce my first all-new original recording in three years! This was a six-month labour of love (and it’s about love, so I guess that’s fitting . . .) – for once I actually played all of the instruments, except for my good friend Andrew Lauzon on bass (and mixing duties) and Cheryl Beatty on backing vocals. Hope you enjoy!

If you like it, please share! You can also check it out on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and CD Baby.

Download is available here:

Thanks for your support!




New Single on Feb. 15th!

I’m really excited to announce that I will be officially releasing my new song “I Need” internationally on Feb. 15, 2016!

This is the first of several singles I will be releasing this year, and the first original song I have released in four years! I hope you enjoy it! For a change, I played all of the instruments on this track except for bass, which was supplied by my good friend Andrew Lauzon who also mixed the song. I also produced it and arranged all of the parts. I was particularly blessed to be able to play this on a hand-built Yamaha grand piano, and it was a joy to put together.

Lyrically, it is a complex song about love and need – what the word “love” means to different people, what it means in the context of a relationship between two people and how it can drive them apart or bring them together. Sometimes our expectations of love can actually destroy it, whether we realize it or not, and this song is both about the dangers of expectation and the power of love.



Welcome to Jeff Alan!

Jeff Red Background L

Thanks so much for visiting my new website! 

Some things are still under construction, but feel free to look around and explore!

There are some exciting things in the pipeline right now! New website, new single on the way, new shows coming up, and more music!

Also, check out my new tribute to David Bowie, my cover of “Space Oddity” below:

Thanks again for visiting! Hope to see you again soon!




Gimme a hand. (Please?)



So, the past year has been a pretty bumpy ride.

I would probably liken it to the old defunct roller coaster at the CNE in Toronto, “The Flyer”.  In its heyday, The Flyer was where it was at.  Long before Canada’s Wonderland, it was THE roller coaster in Canada to beat.  It had one great big hill and a few small ones, but the thing was pretty damn rickety, and all wood.  It was a great ride, to be sure, but you always felt that it was just one step away from going straight off the rails.  (And then a bunch of people were finally hurt in an accident on it, and that was the end of the Flyer. But I digress . . .)

Like the Flyer, there were some great ups in 2013 (landing a music publishing contract, nailing down an East Coast tour for the first time and playing at the awesome “Musideum” in T.O.) and some pretty big downs as well – a nasty car accident back in March, followed by months of rehab, and then this:


Yes, this is my right hand.

There’s not much worse that you can do to a pianist than wreck their right hand.  Except, perhaps, wreck both hands . . . This was actually a direct result of the therapy from my car accident, which is especially annoying.  They actually wrecked my wrist by pulling on my hand to stretch out my shoulder (don’t ask).



At the last band rehearsal I had, my friend Jason Lapidus asked me what happened, and then recommended that I change my story to say I saved someone’s life by pulling them out of danger.  Or performed some other massive heroic feat of some sort.  Perhaps lifted up a car to save a kitten?  Or rescued a poor old lady from a runaway bus?  I don’t know – maybe I should make up a new story for each new inquiry. It certainly beats the truth.

At any rate, a few days after feeling a little bit of pain in my wrist from the wayward physiotherapy, I woke up in severe pain.  Unable to move my wrist or my hand at all.  With two gigs coming up in less than a month.

I use my hands a lot.  More than most people.  Besides being super-animated when I speak (every description has to be accompanied by a life-size air drawing), I have to conduct, write and play as a music teacher.  And then there’s that piano playing thing too . . .

So needless to say, I was mortified to find that I couldn’t even dress myself, let alone touch the piano.  Luckily, some good friends suggested some specialists, and after a trip to a hand and wrist surgeon, a music injury specialist and a physiotherapy clinic that specializes in musicians, things started to (very) slowly improve.


(This isn’t my hand . . . mine is much more handsome.) 😉

An MRI showed that I had a “Stage 2 ligament strain” (Stage 1 is minor, Stage 3 requires surgery because the ligaments are shredded).  I was given a series of masochistic stretching exercises to try to regain some movement in my wrist, which I initially balked at because each one felt like I was shredding the tendons and ligaments all over again. But, like the surgeon said: “use it or lose it”.  I had developed scar tissue in the 3 months before I was able to get in to see anyone (thank you Ontario Health Care), and in the process of breaking through it I learned a lot about my tolerance for pain.  I had none.  I would often have to grit my teeth and fight back tears every time I did them, up to ten times a day.



When my wrist was first injured, I thought “3 weeks”.  It will get better in about 3 weeks.  3 months passed before I could even see a specialist, and the pain was still constantly there, night and day.  Then after treatment started, I thought “Ok, 3 more months and it will be over”.  So here I am, over 9 months later, and I still can’t play piano.



I’ll be honest here.  There have been more than a few times that I have been raging mad or close to tears because of pain and frustration.  Despite even lowering expectations (forget playing, I’ll be happy with pulling up my pants without pain . . .), I was making incredibly slow progress. Even the doctors and physiotherapists couldn’t explain it.  The wrist surgeon was convinced I was making it up. “Your tests are not consistent”, he said, as I screamed when he twisted my wrist every possible way to check my range of motion. “You feel pain in one place, and then another – it doesn’t make sense”.  He couldn’t operate on it, so he quickly lost interest in actually, you know, trying to help. His last comments to me were: “You don’t need to see me again, right?”. Um, definitely not.



Luckily the Musicians Clinic of Canada was a lot more helpful.  After having electrodes taped to my arms while I stumbled through an atrocious (and painful in more ways than one) version of Fur Elise on the grand piano in Dr. John Chong’s Hamilton office, I was referred by his colleague Dr. MacMillan to a physiotherapy clinic in Newmarket (why don’t any of these doctors actually practice in Toronto?!?) where I finally got some much needed advice on stabilizing and strengthening my wrist.  It’s not too often that adults get to play with silly putty and rubber balls, so I jumped at the chance.


Again, sometimes the treatment can seem worse than the affliction.  My wrist would ache beyond belief after doing exercises with 1, then 2 lb weights and silly putty/rubber strengthening balls.  You really have to have faith that what you are doing will end up fixing your wrist, because you really feel like you are breaking it.


PUTTING THINGS BACK TOGETHER (or, saving yourself from becoming Grumpy Cat)

One of the things that a lot of people don’t think about when you have a hand or wrist injury is just how much of your life it affects.  It’s not just about playing piano.  Showering, dressing, driving, cutting a sandwich(!) . . . it’s amazing how useless you can feel.  There were certainly days when I was just downright depressed and didn’t want to do anything. Getting out of bed? Pain. Putting on a shirt? Pain. Tying your shoes? Forget about it.

Friends and family have been very supportive. But I’m sure at some point, everyone was thinking: Ok, surely it must be better by now. What’s taking so long?

The physiotherapist I was seeing was helpful at first – she tried stretching, massage and muscle stimulation. Over time, things definitely did improve. But there was always a problem with my wrist getting “stuck” when stretching – using warm water helped, but it was always an issue.  Finally, there was a breakthrough when we realized that with her compressing my wrist with one hand while stretching it with the other, the problem disappeared. She had the brilliant idea of using athletic tape to help support the wrist in the same place. It worked.

While obviously not a long-term solution, it has allowed me to actually start playing piano again. Mind you, I’m still playing at a student level for short periods of time, but it’s a huge change.  And it makes me hopeful for the future. Hopefully with continued exercise, the muscles will strengthen enough to hold the wrist themselves, eliminating the need for the tape.

I’m now approaching the one-year anniversary of my wrist injury.  I can only hope that I will be well on my way to recovery by then.  I have resigned myself to the fact that I may never get back to the place I was at before, but I am hopefully positive.  I will take it day by day, with no expectations.  Then perhaps, like with the athletic tape, I may have a pleasant surprise.


YouTube Milestone! Over 4,000 views of my cover of Peter Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill”!

I have just past 4,000 views on this video, as well as almost 15,000 views of my artist page at:

This is one of several videos from my CD Release show at C’est What in Toronto. Complete with full band and string section!

Hope you enjoy it!



Freeman’s Little New Yorker and Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia!


I had one more show before I headed back to Toronto from Halifax.

Freeman’s Little New Yorker is a pizza and burger chain that has a number of locations in Halifax, and you won’t find it anywhere else.  For Torontonians, you could compare it to a Boston Pizza but with more of a pub vibe, and a really great commitment to live music.


And they have a lot of live music at Freeman’s.  They have three locations in Halifax (since 1956!), two of which offer live music of some sort, during day and night.  It’s great to see so much emphasis on the music.

That said, it’s a little intimidating to walk into such a huge place with a big stage and do a solo four-hour show!

In Toronto, these kind of venues would be all cover songs, all the time.  But Freeman’s had specified a mix of covers and originals, so I had three full sets of originals and all sorts of new covers that I had learned specifically for this show and the Wolfville Farmers Market.  The last week before the tour I was still trying to remember the lyrics to “Still Rock And Roll To Me” by Billy Joel (damn, there’s a lot of lyrics in that song!!), “In My Life” by the Beatles and “Give A Little Bit” by Supertramp.  I decided to pull out my favourite piano-based songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s, so I had a good collection of Beatles, Supertramp, Elton John and Billy Joel mixed in.

When I came in to set up, I found another band just leaving the venue, complete with a standup acoustic bass, drums and full rhythm section.  They were the “Lucky Dog Blues Band”.  I also quickly realized that I was the replacement for “A.J. and the Last Shots”, another blues cover band that usually plays on Sunday nights.  I really didn’t know what kind of reception I was going to get for my music.  It’s pretty far away from the blues.


When I started, the restaurant was about half empty, and quite noisy.  I got some scattered applause here and there, but there didn’t seem to be a lot of interest in the music.  I finished my first set, thanked everyone, and headed over to the bar feeling a bit dejected.  There was a fellow drinking at the bar who asked me some questions about my trip from Toronto, and I sat with him and chatted for a while.  Turned out he was a contractor from the Halifax area who used to live near Toronto.  His friend, a bass player who played in the Halifax area, joined him later and we started having an animated discussion about the music scene on the east coast and the fact that there were “too many blues bands” in the clubs here.  They both said it was refreshing to hear something different, and I felt a lot better after hearing that.

After my second set, a lovely (and slightly crazy) elderly lady named Barbara came up to me and said “welcome to Nova Scotia!  I love your music!” with a warm smile and a strong handshake.  She went on to repeat that about ten times during the night, and even danced across the floor a couple of times to my songs.  It was nice to know that people were actually listening.  My new friends (the contractor and the bass player) were also more supportive now, clapping after every song and throwing some positive comments my way.  They ended up being my only audience at the end of the night (I finished at midnight), so I really appreciated them being there.

In the end, it would have been nicer to have a bigger audience, but like at the Rockbottom and Plan B, they were positive and supportive, and I came away with a great feeling about the East Coast in the end.  I may not have been able to reach a lot of people, but the people that I did seemed to like my music.  And in the end, that’s all you can ask for.



I had an extra day to do some sightseeing thanks to the very kind Gloria Burbridge, who hosted the house concert I played in Brooklyn.  She graciously offered a place to stay on the way back, which allowed me to look around Halifax and visit Peggy’s Cove.

Peggy’s Cove was quite the hike from Halifax, and incredibly busy for a Monday (!?).  Beautiful, but very touristy.


Some other beautiful bays near to Peggy’s Cove.


I also took some time to visit the Swissair Flight 111 memorial just outside Peggy’s Cove.  Like many who watched the news at the time (1998), I was heartbroken to hear about the terrible disaster that claimed 229 lives (the plane crashed due to an onboard fire and all of the passengers and crew perished).  But there was also a heartwarming element to the story, as the people of Peggy’s Cove and neighbouring communities opened their homes and hearts to the relatives of the victims who came from all over the world to mourn and come to terms with the disaster.  It showed the best of Canadian heart, warmth and spirit in the face of tragedy.


So many other places I wanted to see on this trip – I missed the lookout near Grand Pré (which is supposed to be spectacular) and a bunch of places I would have liked to have seen in New Brunswick.  Oh well, I guess I will have to save that for the next tour!


Wolfville and Halifax, Nova Scotia!



July 20, 10:00 am.

Wolfville is about an hour away from Halifax, so I left early to allow lots of travel time from Dartmouth, which is where I was staying.

For once, Google Maps was correct!  I had back-up directions from Jenny ready too though, just in case.

I had just recently escaped the heatwave in Toronto (45+ C with humidity) and I was appreciating the lower East Coast temperatures.  Until today.

It was the hottest day of the tour.  40 degrees with the humidex on this very sunny Saturday.  There was a nice breeze at the Farmers Market, but unfortunately the stage was against the wall of a building.  No breeze.

I could feel the heat burning me as soon as I stepped on the stage to set up.  For those of you who don’t know, heat and me don’t get along.  I tend to sweat copious amounts on a freezing, air-conditioned stage just because I’m under the lights.  So you can imagine what 40 degrees while performing is like.


I set up my equipment, grabbed a towel and made the best of it.

I was booked to play from 10 am to 1 pm, with breaks, but due to some power issues, I didn’t get started until about 10:30.  Apparently a lot of people stayed away from the Farmers Market because of the heat, but there was still a considerable crowd milling about.  It was certainly the biggest audience I had played for since coming out to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

There were a couple firsts at this show for me.  #1 – it was my first outdoor show as a solo artist.  I had done a couple before with bands, but this was the first time it was just me and my piano.  No helpful stage banter, no jamming with the band, no one to cover if you didn’t happen to know a good joke.  The whole spotlight was on me.  #2 – this was my first “busking” show.  Ever.  The Farmers Market was kind enough to let me put up a sign, advertise my CDs and also collect money through busking (and the show was paid as well!).  Pretty awesome.


Photo by Chris Peters

You know what else was really awesome?  People actually sat and listened.  People clapped.  Little children danced to the music, and parents gave them money to put in my busking basket.  Several people took pictures and video, and took the time to tell me that they enjoyed the show.  I sold three CDs, made a couple of new fans and really enjoyed myself.

That is, until I started feeling lightheaded and dizzy, and started forgetting which song I was playing (I literally blanked on the lyrics to my own song that I had played, oh, about 1,000 times).  I had taken regular breaks (and thanked God for the breeze just off the stage), but the heat was really getting to me.  I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and I looked like I had a third-degree sunburn.  But I wasn’t in the sun!!  I was just being cooked.  Slowly, and well done.


I packed up around 1:30, and quickly headed for anywhere with A/C.  I ended up at the Just Us Cafe, on the main street of Wolfville.  After dunking my head in the cold water in their sink, I managed to hang out long enough to cool down and feel better.  I had definitely been suffering from heat stroke, and I’m glad I didn’t have to play any longer than I did.  And it was a very cool coffee shop.


Artwork at the Just Us Cafe, Wolfville

When I had recovered my balance and my sanity, I took the scenic tour out of Wolfville (very pretty town, reminds me a bit of Unionville in Ontario).  Here is the stunning Blomidon Inn, which is where I would really love to stay when I come back!!


My future home, Wolfville NS



July 20, 10:00pm

Here’s another first.  Two shows in one day!  Not only that, I had already played for three hours and was suffering from heat stroke.  Was I going to be able to pull this off?

Luckily I had already been to the Rockbottom Brew Pub a few days earlier for the Open Mic.  So my chances of getting lost were reduced.  A bit.

This was the first time I actually was able to meet the wonderful singer/songwriter who had booked the whole tour for me, Jenny MacDonald.  I was actually on my way to see her in Toronto several months earlier for NXNE, when my car was hit by someone running a red light in Pickering.  Needless to say, I didn’t make the show, and felt incredibly guilty about it.


It was great to chat with Jenny and although it was a slow night, both her and her friends and fans were wonderfully supportive.  And despite not feeling well from the morning show, I actually put on the best performance of the tour.  I really had fun!  And Jenny’s set was fantastic – she has a wonderful, bluesy voice with some very personal, captivating songs.  You can check out her original music here:

Next up:  Freeman’s Li’l New Yorker (huh?) and Peggy’s Cove!!