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US award-winning Nanaimo former radio host/producer and global Rhythm’a’ning jazz podcast host Kerilie McDowall is a writer and has been a music critic/writer contributor for the American jazz magazine DownBeat (2016-2020). As a former volunteer live radio host, producer/on-air engineer, she listened to thousands of creative, jazz and improvised Canadian, US and global recordings during her 18 years in the radio industry. As a #1 globally ranked jazz podcast radio host on Player FM, McDowall interviewed Canada’s elite jazz and creative music artists including JUNO winners and Order of Canada recipients.

A bandleader of quintets and small ensembles, jazz and pop guitarist, instructor and music composer in the 90’s in Vancouver, McDowall is a York University Bachelor of Fine Arts music graduate. Her area of study was New Music Composition and Classical and Jazz Guitar Performance. A current guitar instructor, McDowall has 18 years of guitar instruction experience and 35 years of music industry expertise and currently instructs privately at Canadian Online Guitar Lessons at her studio.

McDowall sits on the Polaris Music Prize jury,  judged the JUNO Awards from 2016-18 and judges the annual DownBeat Critics Poll. She was a music judge for the young rising talent at the 2022 Canadian Musicians Cooperative auditions held in Ontario in 2022.

McDowall wrote the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music’s newsletter Chordial Notes in past years. As a freelance writer she has written for DownBeat magazine, the popular jazz website All About Jazz, Canadian Musician magazine, the Canadian Antique Phonograph Society, the Vancouver Island Symphony, Festival Nanaimo, Nanaimo Magazine, Nanaimo’s Bethlehem Centre, INSPIRED 55+ Lifestyle Magazine, and others like writing about Snotty Rez Nose Kids for the Polaris Music Prize 2022 Awards Gala. As a publicist currently McDowall works with musicians and arts and music/events organizations. Clients have included the Friends of Nanaimo Jazz Society and Nanaimo Musicians Association and McDowall was the publicist for Nanaimo’s multi-faith hub, the Bethlehem Centre (pre-COVID) and the Victoria Jazz Orchestra. Additionally McDowall hosts workshops with arts organizations. Past clients have included Nanaimo Opera and Bard to Broadway Theatre.

With her Nanaimo business in past years McDowall conducted PR, media liaison, publicity and writing work for jazz musicians Dan Brubeck, Mike Allen, Marianne Trudel with Ingrid Jensen, Monik Nordine and others. McDowall has produced Nanaimo jazz and art music concerts with Dan Brubeck, France’s award-winning pianist Benoit Delbecq, the island’s Roger Baird and Vancouver jazz saxophonist Mike Allen.

In 2016, McDowall won the Atlanta, Georgia Black Women & The Arts Awards Stiletto Woman of Distinction Award and was Nanaimo Magazine’s Celebrity of the Month. She volunteer hosts and directs television shows at SHAW Spotlight. A past host of Community Producers, currently McDowall hosts as a volunteer on SHAW Spotlight Nanaimo, Canada’s The Show. As a volunteer television director McDowall directed SHAW TV’s Coast Connections from October 2015-2020, as well as other SHAW Spotlight television productions like Change the World. Kerilie released her first short mini-documentary film for television/YouTube during COVID-19 on March 17, 2020 as a SHAW volunteer with the assistance of Todd Jones, Jocelyn Matwe and the SHAW Spotlight team.

The film is titled, “In the Zone: Rick Kilburn,” Vancouver Island Bassist and Producer. The film documents the life and career of multi-award-winning Canadian jazz bassist and producer Rick Kilburn, who has performed with artists ranging from Chilliwack and Mose Allison to Dave Brubeck and Chet Baker. Add in an endlessly long list of others. Kilburn as a bassist-composer, spent over a decade in New York learning the craft of production while performing as a professional jazz bassist with famous US jazz icons like Dave Brubeck and Chet Baker. Eventually, Kilburn returned to Canada running several recording studios, working on continuous projects including instructing at the prestigious Banff Centre for the Arts, and becoming a four-time JUNO-winning producer and a West Coast and East Coast Award winner.

IndieX Film Fest, Indie Short Fest, Roma Short Film Festival, Seoul International Short Film Festival, The Tokyo International Short Film Festival, Montreal Independent Film Festival, the Swedish International Film Festival, World Cinema Milan, FILMHAUS Berlin, and the Toronto International Women's Film Festival have selected the film. The “In the Zone: Rick Kilburn,” team is excited and honored that in January 2021 the short film placed as a Finalist for Season 6 - Documentary Short at the invite-only jellyFEST Film Festival.

The Nanaimo mini-documentary film about Vancouver Island/Vancouver, BC resident jazz bassist/producer/composer Rick Kilburn, “In the Zone: Rick Kilburn,” has achieved a third Hollywood award win. Film director and Canadian Polaris Music Prize juror Kerilie McDowall and her crew won the June 2021 Best Web and New Media award at IndieX Film Fest in Hollywood. Additionally at Hollywood's Indie Short Fest the short received the June 2021 Outstanding Achievement Award for Best Web and New Media and an Honorable Mention Award for Best Web and New Media at the Independent Shorts Awards in LA in March 2020. Additionally in June/July 2021, the short film won Best Documentary at the London International Monthly Film Festival, Best Director at the Seoul International Short Film Festival, and Best Canadian Documentary for short at the Toronto Independent Film Festival of CIFT.

In October 2021 the short picked up a Best Inspirational Film Award Of Prestige and Best Documentary Short Award of Prestige from the Vegas Movie Awards from Las Vegas, Nevada. The film received an Honorable Mention from the Tokyo International Monthly Film Festival and received 9 nominations from FILMHAUS Berlin including Best Documentary Short, Best Independent Film, Best Zero-Budget Short, Best First-Time / Directorial Debut, Short, Best Documentary Director, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Podcast or Documentary Host/Presenter. The film was also nominated at Paris, France’s Beyond the Curve International Film Festival and has been selected numerous times. The film was selected for a Milan entry at Film Fest International where it won Best Editing of a Short Documentary and has been selected and screened at the 2021 Hong Kong International Short Film Festival,  where the film won Best Documentary Short. Most recently the cast and crew were thrilled to win a 12th award for Best Short Documentary at the 2022 Japan International Film Festival.

More festing results came from New York, Spain, London, Berlin, Australia, and other invitations. McDowall especially wants to thank the cast Rick Kilburn, Jim Kilburn, Ron Hadley, recording artist John Stetch, Shaw Spotlight’s Cam McLean, Todd Jones, Stas Bobkov and Jocelyn Matwe, Shaw Spotlight volunteer cameraman/close captioner Doug Tombe, English and Italian close captioner Paul Rathke, and everyone in her circle for their support recently and/or along the way. Music fans and those curious can catch and watch the film, "In the Zone: Rick Kilburn," and subscribe to Nanaimo, Canada’s Shaw Spotlight.

Image of Kerilie McDowall by Dirk Heydemann of HA Photography.

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Video of Kerilie McDowall (guest host) from Coast Connections: 

Recent Press:

"Kerilie is an excellent guitar teacher and person. She was extremely patient and kind with my son. He really enjoyed his lessons and looked forward to them. If we hadn't moved out of the area he would still be going. I highly recommend her." —Jam Drones, Facebook review