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Toronto jazz singer Barbra Lica.Tara Noelle

With her new album I'm Still Learning (her first on Justin Time Records), the graceful jazzer Barbra Lica announces her ability to absorb the teachings of those singers who came before her.

A fan of Betty Hutton, Peggy Lee and Nat King Cole, Toronto's Lica is comfortable in spry and breezy situations.

Her investigation into Ron Sexsmith's Secret Heart leads to whistling and lighthearted reggae ideas; elsewhere there are casual bossa nova invitations.

With her upbeat lilt and vocal cuteness on covers and originals, Lica offers smiles and sympathy, not blues. Maybe that is still to come – we understand she is still learning.

Barbra Lica launches I'm Still Learning on Oct. 3, 8 p.m., $40, Old Mill, 21 Old Mill Rd., 416-236-2641 or

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