It’s always a beautiful day with the not-so-alter egos of best friends and musical partners Lisa Sonshine and Brock Burford. Fun and bubbly Sonshine and the lovably goofy Broccoli have been entertaining families for over ten years, engaging children and parents alike with their infectious enthusiasm and energetic pop-rock songs. Their grassroots 2004 debut album Sonshine and Broccoli Jam was a hit with parents looking for real music for their kids, and the 2009 follow-up Feel the Beat introduced fan favourites such as the title track and “Hide and Seek.”
From as early as the age of five, Toronto-born Lisa Sonshine was eager to perform for family and friends. She was belting it out at her own bat mitzvah when her powerful voice caught the ear of the evening’s other entertainment – jazz legend Jackie Richardson. Richardson connected the family with renowned vocal coach Theodore Gentry and at age fourteen Lisa began her professional training. Gentry encouraged Lisa to try everything from opera to jazz, but when she was alone and singing from her soul, it was lyrics from the musical Rent that echoed out from behind teenage Lisa’s bedroom door.
In nearby Thornhill, young Brock grew up playing elite-level hockey, hanging out in studios with his television-producing father, and trying his hand at acting. The diverse musical collection in the Burford home shaped Brock’s tastes to include everything from The Nylons and barbershop quartets to The Beach Boys, The Who, and The Beatles. But it was learning to play the riff from Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love” that got seven-year-old Brock hooked on the guitar, and he spent years studying both classical and rock guitar. Then in his teens a role in Annie led Brock to re-discover the joy of singing, and to the revelation that his love of acting and music could be combined.
And so at Sheridan College’s Musical Theatre program the driven vocalist with boundless positive energy and an eye to stardom met the charming and down-to-earth guitarist who loved a great lyric as much as a great lick. More than ten years, two albums, and countless live shows later, the playful harmony of that friendship is still reflected in the songs and stage presence of Sonshine and Broccoli.
With a third album on the way, a family musical currently being adapted for schools, and a feature-length documentary in post-production, Lisa and Brock have already taken Sonshine and Broccoli boldly into the second decade of an endearing – and enduring – creative partnership.