Thursday, October 20, 2016

1828 Smart Hotel: Cutting-edge luxury in Buenos Aires most hip neighbourhood

From a media release:

1828 Smart Hotel
Cutting-edge luxury in Buenos Aires’ most hip neighbourhood

BUENOS AIRES - Open the curtains from your bed. Boost the air conditioning before you even enter the room. Check the weather ahead of a day out. At state-of-the-art 1828 Smart Hotel, everything is designed to make your stay in Buenos Aires completely effortless.
  • Urban garden with feature pool and trendy cabanas
  • Personal smartphone or tablet for making reservations, checking the forecast and even setting your room temperature
  • Candlelit Piano Lounge serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in elegant surrounds

The small, luxury spa is tailor-made for city breaks, with a sauna and menu of massages to soothe you after a day spent exploring. Before a night on the town, order a delicious dinner and drinks in the glitzy Piano Lounge. Or retreat to a cool garden cabana, watching the pool lights change to the rhythm of the music. When you return, a fresh, contemporary bedroom awaits.

1828 Smart Hotel puts you right in the heart of Palermo, arguably Buenos Aires’ trendiest district. By day its trendy cafés and boutiques are buzzing. But by night it really comes alive. See if you can find one of the area’s ‘secret’ bars, such as Frank’s that you enter via a phone booth using a secret code. Or seek out a milonga after midnight to watch the locals practice sultry tango. Nearby metro stations put you a subway ride away from the city’s best-known sites too, from Recoleta Cemetery to San Telmo’s Sunday market.

The Rooms
Welcome to a cool, crisp monochrome haven. Everything about the 1828 Smart Hotel rooms is designed to envelop you in luxury after a day of sightseeing – or late night out. Expect marble bathrooms, in-room espresso machines and almost-all-white décor. Airy suites even come with a Jacuzzi on a private terrace.

Food & Drink
If you’ve a sweet tooth, you’ll be at home in Buenos Aires – and at 1828 Smart Hotel. It celebrates the city’s best-loved treats, with medialunas and Argentinian favourite dulce de leche gracing tables. Breakfast is served until mid-morning, if you need a relaxed start to the day. Gourmet lunches and dinners can be wherever you choose – in the Piano Lounge, beside the cascading pool or in your room.

Cuisine type: International
Meals served: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Enjoy a unique buffet breakfast and a gastronomic service in an intimate and elegant atmosphere. In this space you can enjoy the music of the white grand piano and the beautiful view of the Pool Corner, with its 8 metre water cascade.

Amenities include a gym and a garden with an indoor pool and sunloungers, plus a ritzy piano lounge with elegant silver-trimmed furnishings. There's also a spa with a sauna and a massage room.

Address: Fray Justo Sta. Maria de Oro 1828, 1414 Buenos Aires, Argentina
Phone: +54 11 2060-9011 / 800-916-4339

Arts Day: 160 delegates descend on Ottawa October 25 2016

From a media release:

Arts Day: 160 delegates descend on Ottawa to celebrate a promise ten years in the making
October 25, 2016

Ottawa, October 20th, 2016 – More than 160 members of the arts sector will be coming to Ottawa from across Canada on October 25th to discuss the key role of the arts with decision makers.
Delegates will be celebrating the commitment made in Budget 2016 to double the funding of the Canada Council for the Arts – a promise that has been ten years in the making.
The government of Paul Martin had committed to doubling funding for the Canada Council in 2005, a promise that evaporated when the Liberals lost the 2006 election.

“For the last ten years we’ve been continuing to tell government that the arts sector delivers huge economic and social impact for the cost,” said Kate Cornell, co-chair of the Canadian Arts Coalition. “To see all that work finally pay off is exciting.”
Calgary, public art

A perfect example of the impact of the government’s support is the story of Indigenous singer/songwriter Christa Couture. Christa’s second album came out of the heartache she dealt with after the death of her first son. While touring, Christa spoke openly about her loss and realized her music was consoling others who had also lost someone dear to them. She began receiving regular letters or emails from people explaining how her music has touched them. “That kind of exchange has become one of the most important parts of my work and I've continued to create work about loss for almost ten years now for that reason.”
Winnipeg, mural

Christa concedes, however, that she would not be able to produce or share her music without public funding. “I can and will always write songs - and foremost, as an artist, the work I create is for me. But it is without exaggeration to say that the work evolves from there; the work that has found its place within the cultural fabric of Canada, has only reached ears and hearts through the financial support of our arts councils and foundations”

About the Canadian Arts Coalition
The Canadian Arts Coalition is a collaborative non-partisan movement spearheaded by a group of national arts service and membership organizations.  They are united in the belief that the future of our citizens, their towns and cities and the nation itself depends on a rich, vibrant and diverse arts and heritage community. Since its inception, the CAC has successfully lobbied for increased support for the arts through the Canada Council for the Arts and the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

80s Rock Revisited: Jim Peterik - The Songs

CD Review
Jim Peterik: The Songs
(World Stage International Records - May 16, 2016)

Buy the CD

Issuing a retrospective collection can be an ego-stroking exercise, or a creative take on an artist's existing catalogue. For Jim Peterik, to say the catalogue is extensive is to make a gross understatement.

You may not know the name, but you've surely heard the music of  James Michael - Jim - Peterik, co-writer of that perennial anthem, Eye of the Tiger. He's also co-written songs for a range of artists that include 38 Special, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blackhawk, Cheap Trick, Sammy Hagar, Cathy Richardson, Van Zant, Brian Wilson, REO Speedwagon, and the Beach Boys.

Producer Fred Mollin (Jimmy Webb, America, Kris Kristofferson) helped to choose eleven of the biggest tunes to rework and re-imagine. It's something that could, in lesser hands, have become something of a gimmick. Here, it's a second look at well known songs to find their emotional heart, and it's an approach that works.

Vehicle - the Ides of March smash hit from the 1970s that Jim sang and wrote - is stripped down to electric piano, lead guitar and voice, striking at the impassioned plea that drives the song. The vocals and phrasing are spot on, and under the spotlight in acoustic arrangements that leave Jim's voice front and centre. Is This Love? is slowed down to an ballad with acoustic and slide guitar. Eye Of The Tiger - that arena rock hit that is still a fave at sports events - is nearly unrecognizable in a bluegrass version with fiddles and mandolin, complete with a swell of voices on the chorus.

Caught Up In You, featuring an interesting treatment with a George Martin-esque orchestral string arrangement, is a real highlight, turning the definitely 80's pop/rock Top 40 hit into a timeless track. Heavy Metal as an acoustic blues song with a gutsy harmonica track and raspy vocals is another stand out.

Other tracks include L.A. Goodbye as a piano ballad, Hold On Loosely in a slightly twangy acoustic country mode, and two new tracks penned by Peterik, Miracle At Ground Zero and The Same Muse. He's used some of Nashville's top session musicians to flesh out the album - all cut live.

A long career in the music business is enviable, but it's also something of a challenge. The more popular your songs become, the more you have to play them...over and over. A re-creation as imaginative as this adds new life and longevity to long familiar tunes.

On top of the "The Songs" album, Jim has just released "We All Bleed Red", a track inspired by 2016 Orlando Nightclub shooting. After the mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Jim Peterik was inspired to write and release “We All Bleed Red,” released exclusively on iTunes. It's a return to Jim's rocky roots.

Buy it here

Avant Garde Jazz: Legendary Composer and Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith Releases 'National Parks' (Cuneiform Records - October 14 2016)

From a media release:

Legendary composer and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith creates a new masterwork inspired by the country's most stunning landscapes
National Parks (Cuneiform Records - October 14, 2016)

Buy the 2CD Set
Buy it in HD 96k​/​24b

"New Orleans: The National Culture Park USA 1718" is the opening track of visionary composer and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith's latest epic collection, the new two-CD America's National Parks out October 14 on Cuneiform Records. Inspired by the country's most stunning landscapes, America's National Parks features Smith's newly expanded Golden Quintet featuring pianist Anthony Davis, bassist John Lindberg and drummer Pheeroan akLaff and cellist Ashley Walters.
Wadada Leo Smith by Scott Groller
The second piece, "Eileen Jackson Southern, 1920-2002: A Literary National Park," takes an even broader view, suggesting that the African-American musicologist, author and founder of the journal The Black Perspective in Music, to which Smith has contributed, should be honored for her efforts to document a musical common ground shared by all Americans. Another piece represents the "Deep and Dark Dreams" of the Mississippi River, which Smith calls "a memorial site which was used as a dumping place for black bodies by hostile forces in Mississippi. I use the word 'dark' to show that these things are buried or hidden, but the body itself doesn't stay hidden; it floats up."

The other three pieces are based on more conventionally recognized national parks: Yellowstone, which became the first place in the world so designated in 1872; Sequoia & Kings Canyon, whose trees Smith marvels at as some of the largest and oldest living things on the planet; and Yosemite, which contains striking glaciers and some of the deepest lakes in the world.

Smith crafts six extended works that explore, confront and question the preserved natural resources that are considered the most hallowed ground in the U.S. - and some that should be. "New Orleans: The National Culture Park" argues that the entire Crescent City deserves to be recognized for its influential contributions to American history and culture.

His 28-page score for America's National Parks was penned for his Golden Quintet, a fresh reconfiguration of the quartet that's been a keystone of his expression for the last 16 years. Pianist Anthony Davis, bassist John Lindberg and drummer Pheeroan akLaff are joined by cellist Ashley Walters, affording the composer and bandleader new melodic and coloristic possibilities. "The cello as a lead voice with the trumpet is magnificent," Smith says, "but when you look at the possibilities for melodic formation with the trumpet, the cello, the piano and the bass, that's paradise for a composer and for a performer. My intent was to prolong or enhance the vitality of the ensemble to live longer."
Wadada Leo Smith
While these preserved landscapes offer the inspiration of powerful natural beauty, Smith's always open-minded view of the world leads him to find that same inspiration wherever he is. "Every concrete house is from nature," he says. "Every plastic airplane that flies 300 people across the ocean comes out of nature. Every air conditioner conditions a natural piece of air. I think that the human being is constantly enfolded in organic nature and constructed nature, so I'm constantly inspired, inside the house or outside the house."

America's National Parks will be released shortly before Smith's 75th birthday in December. It arrives, coincidentally, in the midst of celebrations for the centennial of the National Park Service, which was created by an act of Congress on August 25, 1916.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Roast 'N' Reggae with Jay Douglas & Chris Butcher - Every Sunday Night in Toronto Starting October 30 2016

From a media release:

w/ Jay Douglas & Chris Butcher
1279 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON
Every Sunday starting October 30, 2016
Dinner 5:30 / Music 6:30 – 9:30 pm

TORONTO – Two of Toronto’s finest musicians reggae star Jay Douglas and trombonist extraordinaire Christopher Butcher (of the Heavyweights Brass Band), team up for a real reggae feast every Sunday starting October 30th with a dinner at 5:30 pm and music starting at 6:30 pm for three sets.
Jay Douglas
Jamaican-born and Toronto-based reggae star Jay Douglas has been in the entertainment business for more than 45 years performing a wide-ranging repertoire of American blues, West Indian rhythms, and jazz standards.

Since the early '60s, through to the late '70s, Jay combined his fancy footwork and incredible on-stage charisma while fronting the R&B group "The Cougars." They lit up the city of Montreal as well as Toronto's Yonge Street nightclubs, with soul, funk and reggae.

Over the past 10 years, Jay has performed around the world, and at annual Toronto events such as the Beaches Jazz Festival, Jerk Fest, Canadian National Exhibition, Yonge and Dundas Square, and a Taste of Lawrence.

Jay was proclaimed winner of NOW Magazine's Toronto's Best R&B Act in 2006, and Male Reggae Vocalist of the Year at the Annual Toronto Reggae Awards in 2007. Jay was nominated for Reggae Recording of the Year at the 2012 JUNO Awards and was the recipient of the G98.7 FM Entertainment Award at the Harry Jarome awards that same year.
Chris Butcher
Winnipeg-raised and now Toronto-based trombonist Chris Butcher is a musician firmly established as a representative of the global music village, transcending genre and cultural predisposition, and pleasing audiences across the world. As leader of the Heavyweights Brass Band Christopher has been behind one of the brightest lights to emerge on the Canadian music scene. Combine that with his extensive experience as a sideman – playing with some of the country's most prestigious artists, including Jane Bunnett, Hilario Duran, Archie Alleyne, Jay Douglas, and QuiQue Escamilla – his work as a radio host/producer, role as an educator/community builder, Christopher Butcher illustrates a promising portrait of an influential career in music.

On special occasions Christopher has recorded or played with some of the finest international artists like Quincy Jones, The Treme Brass Band, Delfeayo Marsalis & The Uptown Jazz Orchestra, David Clayton-Thomas, Ernest Ranglin, and Giovanni Hidalgo. In 2015 Christopher was awarded Emerging Artist of the Year at the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and continues to run Street Brass with Uma Nota Culture, a community based ensemble that teaches and performs brass band music of the Americas.
Emerson Restaurant (Toronto)

The Emerson, 1279 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON | (416) 532-1717
WHEN: Sunday, October 30 & every Sunday night – Dinner 5:30 pm / Music 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
TICKETS: No Cover! Reserve Now

For more info please visit: FACEBOOK EVENT 

Chris and Jay playing together as part of Rhythm Express at the Brantford Jazz Festival, 2013

Exclusive - Khalid "Location" Oren Yoel Remix

From a media release:

Khalid "Location"  Oren Yoel Remix

Exclusive !!!  A guitar driven remix of Khalid's breakthrough hit "Location". Fresh new remix from producer OrenYoel, giving us something to vibe out and knock our heads to!

Fresh out the oven, Oren Yoel puts his spin on Khalid's breakthrough hit "Location" with a guitar-driven sound guaranteed to get you moving. With  hard-hitting  drums, distorted bass, and a guitar riff like "Woah", Oren changes up his sound from previous work with Miley Cyrus, Tori Kelly, and Eliza Doolittle etc. Be sure to check out it on his soundcloud page.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Celtic funk fusion: Matthew Olwell - CyberTrad (Independent - June 29, 2016)

From a release:

Celtic funk fusion:
Matthew Olwell - CyberTrad
(Independent - June 29, 2016)

Buy it/Check it out

CyberTrad is an experimental music project that combines traditional & original Irish wooden flute with vocals, bass & Human Beatbox.

This album comes out of Louisiana. It's a tour-de-force of breath and voice. Beatboxing mixes seamlessly with the Irish wooden flute. The album also features lovely ballads like "Pretty Saro" and "The Bonny Irish Boy". Flutist Matthew Olwell conceived of this innovative fusion of voice and wind, drawing from his love of traditional Irish and Breton music. The album also features bassist Simon Lepage of the Québécois band Matapat.