I’m going to admit something here on this very public platform: I’m not musically inclined. I long to be able to pick up an acoustic guitar and expertly pluck out CCR’s Down by River or belt out Van Morrison’s Gloria, but my voice quivers somewhere between squeaky and scratchy, and the only instrument I’ve ever managed to carry a tune on was the recorder.

Still, music is an incredible art form. A single chord struck on nylon strings has the power to transport us from a mundane evening commute back to a sunnier, more carefree moment on some sandy, palm-lined tropical beach. If you’re mending a broken heart, every song that plays on the radio feels like it was written specifically for you.

As much as I wish I could be the source, I recognize that I don’t have to be a musician to enjoy and appreciate music, just as I don’t have to be a professional athlete to enjoy watching a Raptors game. This year at Festival Style, we’re celebrating a variety of art forms, including film, fashion, and, yes, music. Our fashion shoot, On the Off Beat was photographed in Toronto’s Kensington Market at Poetry Jazz Café, a moody music club that vibrates with a liveliness thanks to incredible local and international acts. We also take a look at how musical programming in hotels subtly affects its guests, as well as spotlight upcoming musical events like the Kensington Market Jazz Festival.

While I’m not going to be invited to live out my fantasy and play a set at a jazz café any time soon, I’m looking forward to experiencing all that Toronto has to offer this autumn. Based on the contents of this issue, there are plenty of ways to get that creative fix without subjecting anyone to another recorder performance of Hot Cross Buns.

Lisa Felepchuk