Jackie Strano is a local vocal legend. —SF Bay Guardian
- Strano could match any rock vocalist on the national scene. —Washington Blade
…their rebel attitude and righteous rage has earned The Hail Marys a place in dyke-rock history. Their lyrics, penned by lead singer Jackie Strano, are a captivating combination of pugnacity and profane poetry. Think AC/DC with lyrics by Patti Smith. —SFGATE
Full of intelligent lyrics. —New Orleans Impact
Jackie (Jack) Strano is a Canadian born alt-folk, alt-country singer/songwriter currently based in Nanaimo Canada on Vancouver Island and also a veteran of the San Francisco Bay Area music scene. Jack (they/them) is a non-binary trans-masculine queer musician who has fronted various bands and projects including The Hail Marys who are featured on the soundtrack of the Wachowski sisters’ noir cult thriller, Bound.
Jack is currently working on a new recording of songs written during the pandemic. New project is tentatively titled, The Wishing Well. They started recording in May 2022 and basic tracks are coming along great. For a quick listen to a new single, check out Strano’s Bandcamp HERE.
Along with their wife, author, Shar Rednour, Jack is also the founder of TransStation Radio.
Strano’s sound is true grit working class Canadiana. Haunting vocals, searing melodies, and activist leanings are trademarks of Strano’s songwriting. Their last full band project was called Ladykillers and their song, Smash(the)Patriarchy, recorded at House of Faith in Oakland California by Bart Thurber, was released on punk label, Die Laughing Records in 2019. Strano has performed on stages from coast to coast from CBGB’s in NY to the Fillmore in SF and all up and down the West Coast from Northern Vancouver Island to San Diego and more. Strano has shared the stage with many legends through the years including X, Cindy Lauper, Dead Moon, John Waters, and so many hard working performers and musicians from multiple genres.
Besides Bound by the Wachowski Sisters who did The Matrix franchise, Strano and their music is also featured in other history making productions including Sundance Selection 2003, Radical Harmonies, a documentary about the origins of ‘women’s music.’
Strano is the grandchild of Holocaust survivors and featured in this Time magazine article about their cousin who was killed in the Sobibor Death Camp during WW2. Strano’s maternal grandfather was a longshoreman and an ironworker and Strano’s song, Second Narrows is dedicated to the memory of their hard working grandfather who was tragically killed during the construction of the Second Narrows bridge, now renamed the Ironworker’s Memorial Bridge in Vancouver Canada.
Strano has fought in the trenches of third wave feminist revolutions including the sex positive feminist movement and is a longtime activist and community organizer especially around LGBTQ rights, marriage equality, AIDS activism, Black Lives Matter, union activism, and youth at risk in foster care. Back in High School, Strano fronted a rock band that gigged steadily and made decent money and Strano has never stopped writing, recording, or performing while still raising and supporting a family with their longtime partner, author, editor, and filmmaker, Shar Rednour. Besides their solo career, Strano founded The Hail Marys, Building 80, Low Sky Echo, The Passengers, Strano & Reed, and was a regular member of The Servants who recorded their debut album at The Record Plant in Sausalito. Strano’s prolific and intense songwriting has inspired various productions including the short narrative film, Override by Director, Lisa Ginsburg and Alley of the Trannyboys by groundbreaking vanguard Transman filmmaker Christopher Lee.
Strano has been featured and quoted in various publications including Playboy, Playgirl, Cosmopolitan, Self, Salon.com, The Stranger, Chicago Reader, Washington Blade, News & Review, Village Voice, SF Bay Guardian, East Bay Express, Bay Area Reporter, and various other publications and in documentaries including Hot & Bothered: Feminist Pornography, HBO’s 6 part series Pornocopia, KRON’s The History of Sex in San Francisco, and UK’s The Truth About Lesbian Sex.
Jackie Strano has been featured in several anthologies and studied poetry with Beat Poet, David Meltzer in the Master of Poetics program at New College of CA in SF and was published in their literary journal Cayati 17 in 1989.