Musical siblings turn Friday night driveway jam sessions into a way to help community | The Auroran

June 4, 2020   ·  
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Asia and Bradshaw Sinkovic have become a formidable
musical duo.

For the past month, the Aurora siblings – with Asia on
vocals and Bradshaw on drums – have been performing in their Hollandview Trail
driveway, attracting neighbours and passers-by for their Friday night jams.

Over time, this impromptu concert has not only become a
weekly tradition for residents in the neighbourhood, but a way for the community
as a whole to give back to local residents in need.

Their audiences numbered at just a handful when they first
came outside to flex their musical muscles, but these numbers have swelled with
each passing week.

Just a few weeks ago, the double act became a temporary
trio when a York Region Paramedic, guitar in hand, joined in the fun.

“One Friday, it was pretty cold so instead of performing,
I thought I would come outside and bang some pots instead of setting up to
perform,” says Bradshaw. “I started to bang and I saw there was a paramedic
supervisor [on the street] saying something. I stopped and he asked if we were
playing that night. I said we weren’t planning on it, and he said, ‘Could you?
We have eight other ambulances and a bus coming over.’”

Their audience was more than just a handful or two that
particular week; off-duty ambulances lined the street to take in the
performance, and Friday night jams are going from strength to strength,
evolving from just an evening of music to a musical evening for a cause – the
Aurora Food Pantry – where music lovers are encouraged to bring food donations
to each performance.

The Aurora Food Pantry was selected as the recipient
charity by Bradshaw after researching the needs facing Aurora residents at this
difficult time.

“We had been doing this for more than a month before we
came up with the idea of doing it for the Food Pantry,” says Asia, a student at
Richmond Hill’s Alexander Mackenzie High School. “We wanted to give back to our
community not only in a musical way but also being able to provide something
because COVID-19 has brought a lot of homes down financially and they aren’t
able to get food. We really wanted to give back to them.”

While Bradshaw picked the charity after researching needs
facing Aurora residents as a result of the pandemic, they are also performing
for a reason that hits very close to home.

When the microphone and drum kit are put away, their
backdrop remains in place – a hockey net draped in the Canadian flag emblazoned
with a sign thanking frontline workers for the work they are doing every day to
fight the virus.

Not only is their next-door neighbour a frontline worker
in their capacity as a paramedic, Asia and Bradshaw’s mother, Chandra, is a
palliative care nurse at Southlake Regional Health Centre.

“I am very proud of my mom,” says Asia. “I am honoured to
perform and make signs because it is helping people like her. It is empowering
for me and it’s for her and the entire community.”

Adds Bradshaw: “It makes me feel really glad I am able to
do something to brighten people’s spirits.”

And there is something to brighten everybody’s spirits
each Friday night.

The siblings take pride in the fact their loose musical
programs offer something for everyone. They come by these eclectic musical tastes
honestly, growing up with parents who never shied away from exposing them to
the classics, everything from 1950s pop, to Led Zeppelin, and even to
Nickelback.

“We want to bring genres of music that everyone enjoys,
so everyone gets a taste of everything,” says Asia, an active member at Marquee
Theatrical Productions who, until the pandemic forced its cancellation, was
poised to tread the boards in an upcoming production of West Side Story.

“We have some songs that people might not always hear,
and some songs that everyone knows,” adds Bradshaw, noting he is particularly
into “prog-rock” and, as a drummer, takes his cues from late Rush drummer Neil
Peart. “He was a big influence on the style of what I do. I want to drum
professionally for my career, so this is a great way to get myself out there
and give back to the community.”

To take in the Friday night jam sessions, grab something to donate to the Aurora Food Pantry and head over to 237 Hollandview Trail for 7 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, the siblings perform on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.

By Brock Weir

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