Monday, December 31, 2012

Royal Conservatory of Toronto Concerts for January 2013

From a media release:

Jens Lindemann with Friends Doc Severinsen and Wycliffe Gordon
16th Annual Maple Blues Awards
Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca, Buika, and Roby Lakatos

January ice will melt when three of North America's top horn players get together for the next installment in the TD Jazz: Devoted to Dizzy concert series. Trumpeters Jens Lindemann and Doc Severinsen are joined by trombonist Wycliffe Gordon to celebrate Dizzy Gillespie's legacy on January 12. Named International Brass Personality of the Year by the Brass Herald, trumpeter Jens Lindemann plays with "seductive, golden timbre and virtuosic flair." (The New York Times) Former Tonight Show band leader, Doc Severinsen, continues to electrify audiences with his powerful and soulful trumpet playing while Wycliffe Gordon, named Trombonist of the Year six times by the Jazz Journalists Association, has performed with Dizzy, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and his own ensembles. They will be joined in the second half by an all-star big band. 

Performers from across Canada take the Koerner Hall stage at the blues party of the year on January 21, as the Toronto Blues Society and The Royal Conservatory celebrate the 16th annual Maple Blues Awards. Some of the most powerful blues entertainers in the country will be performing at the gala event, including Maple Blues Award nominees. This year the performers include Nova Scotia's road warrior legend Matt Minglewood, Mississippi "Musicians Hall of Fame" inductee Nanette Workman from Montreal, international award-winning harmonica virtuoso Carlos del Junco, Saskatchewan-native songbird Suzie Vinnick, Hamilton string-bending songwriter Steve Strongman, dynamic blues duo The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer out of Vancouver, and Harrison Kennedy, who made his Royal Conservatory debut during the Koerner Hall Grand Opening Festival in the fall of 2009. All the musicians will be backed by The Maple Blues Band featuring Gary Kendall, Michael Fonfara, Tom Bona, Teddy Leonard, Pat Carey, Al Lerman, Chris Whiteley, and Chris Murphy. Raoul Bhaneja hosts the evening and the after party features Chuck Jackson.

Three giants of world music return to Koerner Hall after their sold out performances in previous seasons. Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca bring a program titled Medianoche (Midnight) for two consecutive evenings on January 18 and 19. Under the direction of Martln Santangelo, lead dancer Soledad Barrio and the award-winning Noche Flamenca have become Spain's most successful artistic touring company. Their deeply emotional performances, suspense, strength, drama, and flowing movement are at the heart and soul of flamenco. The Spanish songstress Buika and her traditional coplas (female-centric Spanish torch songs), sophisticated flamenco and jazz cross-pollinations, gypsy rumba, beautifully rendered rancheras, and Afro-Cuban rhythms will once more enchant Koerner Hall on January 25. Roby Lakatos, the Hungarian known as "the devil's fiddler," makes an exhilarating return on January 26. The classical violinist virtuoso is equally accomplished as a jazz improviser, composer, and arranger. His "stunning display of finger-blurring virtuosity" (Los Angeles Times) is complemented by his the rest of his band, including the scorching-hot cimbalom player, Jenő Lisztes.

The Montréal à Toronto series continues in Conservatory Theatre on January 25 with the second CHANSONGS concert, featuring singer/songwriter/musicologist Benoît LeBlanc and lead singer/fiddler of Toronto's Cajun band Swamperella, Soozi Schlanger. Curated and hosted by Dominique Denis of Alliance Française de Toronto, these bilingual evenings offer a blend of music, stories, language, and culture, with song craft at their core.

The Mazzoleni Masters series in Mazzoleni Concert Hall located in historic Ihnatowycz Hall continues on January 20 with internationally-renowned cellist Andrés Díaz, joined by fellow musicians Jeanie Chung (piano), and Toronto Symphony Orchestra Principals David Kent (timpani) and John Rudolph (percussion). Their program consists of Sergei Rachmaninov's Cello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 19 and Tan Dun's Elegy: Snow in June. Soprano Monica Whicher, pianist Liz Upchurch, and violinist Marie Bérard present an afternoon of songs by British, American, and Canadian composers on January 27. Toronto Symphony Orchestra Principal Clarinet Joaquin Valdepeñas conducts The Glenn Gould School Chamber Ensemble in a program of Leoš Janáček's Capriccio for Piano Left-Hand and Winds, JW 7/12 and Igor Stravinsky's Concerto in E-flat Major for Chamber Orchestra, "Dumbarton Oaks" on January 22.

January Performances at The Royal Conservatory
- Jens Lindemann, Doc Severinsen, & Wycliffe Gordon (TD Jazz Series: Devoted to Dizzy): Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 8pm (KH); starting at $45
- Soledad Barrio & Noche Flamenca (World Music, Dance): Fri., Jan. 18 & Sat., Jan. 19, 2013 at 8pm (KH); starting at $45
- Andrés Díaz & Friends (Mazzoleni Masters): Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 2pm (MCH); $32
- Maple Blues Awards (Music Mix, Blues): Monday, January 21, 2013 at 7pm (KH); starting at $28
- Joaquin Valdepeñas Conducts (Discovery Series): Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 7:30pm (MCH); $15
- Buika (World Music, Jazz): Friday, January 25, 2013 at 8pm (KH); starting at $35
- CHANSONGS (Montréal à Toronto, Pop, Folk): Friday, January 25, 2013 at 8pm (CT); $25
- Roby Lakatos (World): Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 8:00pm (KH); $29
- Monica Whicher, Liz Upchurch & Marie Bérard (Mazzoleni Masters): Sunday, January 27, 2013 at 2pm (MCH); $32

KH: Koerner Hall; MCH: Mazzoleni Concert Hall; CT: Conservatory Theatre

• Tickets are available online at, by calling 416.408.0208, or in person at the Weston Family Box Office
• Create your own package: select any 4-6 concerts and save 10%; select any 7+ concerts and save 15%
• A limited number of $10 BMO Rush Tickets are available starting 90 minutes before all performances presented by The Royal Conservatory.

All concerts take place at The Royal Conservatory TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto

New York City Winter Jazzfest: January 11 & 12 2013

From a media release:

Friday, January 11th & Saturday, January 12th, 2013
6 Venues in the Village

Tickets here

NEW YORK CITY - BOOM Collective and Search and Restore are pleased to announce the lineup for 2013 NYC WINTER JAZZFEST.  The festival is to be held on January 11th & 12th, 2013 in New York City.  On both nights the festival will take over six venues in the Village, Le Poisson Rouge, Sullivan Hall, Zinc Bar, Bitter End, SubCulture and Bowery Electric.  This marks the ninth year of the annual NYC WINTER JAZZFEST, and the continued mission to showcase top quality jazz to industry professionals, avid jazz fans, and new audiences.

The 2013 NYC WINTER JAZZFEST will feature over 70 different jazz groups during the Arts Presenters (APAP) conference.  Similar to past years the festival will provide an opportunity for artists to showcase in front of presenters, promoters, talent buyers, educators, musicians and avid fans. Over 5000 arts professionals will be in New York City for the annual Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) conference from January 10-14. 

As there will be hundreds of showcases scheduled throughout the weekend around the city both at the Hilton Hotel and in alternative venues, Winter Jazzfest offers APAP conference attendees, and the general public, the opportunity to experience the best of today's new live jazz and experimental music in club venue settings.  Once famed as the focal point of New York City's rich jazz and live music scene, Bleecker Street and the Village provide for an ideal festival experience groups performing all night at six of the neighborhood's esteemed venues within close proximity of each other.  On this night the 2013 NYC WINTER JAZZFEST will continue to redeem the rich jazz heritage of the Village and again will bring jazz fans back to Bleecker Street.  The 2013 NYC WINTER JAZZFEST includes over 70 of today’s most interesting jazz groups from New York, Brooklyn, and beyond.  

Currently new jazz groups are underrepresented, yet they are culturally essential to the continued development and future of jazz and the cultivation of new audiences for jazz.  Jazz artists need support and exposure to the significant institutional booking forum that the Arts Presenters conference represents.  Winter Jazzfest is pleased to offer a forum for presenters and music enthusiasts to experience and support the future of jazz.

The 2013 NYC WINTER JAZZFEST features curatorial input from Meghan Stabile of Revive Music Group and Adam Schatz of Search & Restore.  In line with the mission of Winter Jazzfest, Stabile and Schatz continue to invigorate NYC's jazz scenes in their own ways by promoting and supporting young and deserving new jazz artists while bringing increasingly growing audiences to the music.

Search & Restore provides a point of discovery for the new jazz & improvised music community  Founded in late 2007 by Adam Schatz, S+R has since grown into a 501©3 non-profit organization, committed to bringing the artists and audiences of new jazz and improvised music together in new ways, while never forgetting it’s DIY roots.

Revive Music Group is a musician advocacy firm and boutique creative music agency that offers pioneering live music productions and online exposure for musicians. Revive represents musicians through artist development and global awareness, while educating and exposing younger audiences to jazz in nontraditional ways. 

Visit the online hub dedicated to musicians


Friday January 11th

(Le) Poisson Rouge
6:00pm - Ibrahim Malouf
7:15pm - Catherine Russell
8:30pm - Monty Alexander "Harlem - Kingston Express"
9:45pm - Don Byron
11:00pm - Evolutionary Minded! - 'The music of Gil-Scott Heron Re-visioned w/ Kentyah, M1 (Dead Prez), Brian Jackson and The New Midnight Band'
12:00am - Freedom Party

Sullivan Hall
7:45pm - Marcus Strickland Twi-Life
9:00pm - Revive Big Band led by Igmar Thomas
10:15pm - Dorothy Ashby Tribute feat. Brandee Younger
11:30pm - Corey King Band
12:45am - CHURCH feat. Mark de Clive-Lowe

Zinc Bar
6:45pm - Music of Ryuichi Sakamoto by Meg Okura's Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble
8:00pm - Dan Tepfer & Lee Konitz
9:15pm - Jaimeo Brown’s Transcendence w/ JD Allen and Chris Sholar
10:30pm - Eric Revis, Kris Davis, Andrew Cyrille
11:45pm - Felix Pastorious
1:00am - AfroHORN
2:15am - Ernest Dawkins Afro-Straight

The Bitter End
6:15pm - Maria Neckam
7:30pm - Yosvany Terry Quintet
8:45pm - Krystle Warren and The Faculty
10:00pm - Julian Lage & Nels Cline
11:15pm - Roy Nathanson Sotto Voce
12:30am - Charnett Moffett, Marc Cary, Will Calhoun
1:45am - Jason Stein Quartet

Culture Project Theater
7:00pm - Bryan & The Aardvarks
8:15pm - Michael Attias
9:30pm - Sunny Kim's Painter's Eye
10:45pm - The Fringe
12:00am - Nasheet Waits EQUALITY with Vijay Iyer, Mark Helias, Logan Richardson
1:15am - Seabrook Power Plant
2:30am - Spontaneous Construction

Bowery Electric
6:15pm - Bobby Previte Bari Trio
7:30pm - Erik Deutsch
8:45pm - Jacob Garchik The Heavens
10:00pm - Debo Band

Saturday January 12th

(Le) Poisson Rouge
6:00pm - Celebrate The Great Women of Blues & Jazz w/ Toshi Reagon & Allison Miller +Friends
7:15pm - The Big Picture featuring David Krakauer (A Sneak Preview)
8:30pm - The Cookers
9:45pm - Rudresh Mahanthappa's Gamak
11:00pm - James Carter Organ Trio
12:15am - Gregory Porter
1:30am - Bugge 'n Friends with Erik Truffaz, Ilhan Ersahin, Joaquin 'Joe' Claussell

Sullivan Hall
7:45pm - Ari Hoenig Group
9:00pm - Dezron Douglas' Jazz Workshop
10:15pm - Somi
11:30pm - Otis Brown III
12:45am - George Burton Group
2:00am - John Raymond Project

Zinc Bar
6:45pm - Tigran
8:00pm - Donny McCaslin
9:15pm - Alexis Cuadrado Group 'A Lorca Soundscape'
10:30pm - Omer Avital & His Band of The East
11:45pm - Rez Abbasi Trio
1:00am - Amir Elsafar Quintet
2:15am - JC Hopkins

The Bitter End
6:15pm - Pedrito Martinez
7:30pm - Claudia Acuña
8:45pm - Colin Stetson
10:00pm - Brian Carpenter's Ghost Train Orchestra
11:15pm - Hazmat Modine
12:30am - Rafiq Bhatia
1:45am - Oran Etkin

Culture Project Theater
7:00pm - Michael Formanek
8:15pm - Leo Genovese Trio
9:30pm - Tony Malaby Tuba Trio
10:45pm - Kneebody
12:00am - Jason Lindner Breeding Ground
1:15am - Merger w/ Andrew D’Angelo, Kirk Knuffke, Ben Street, Nasheet Waits
2:30am - Spontaneous Construction

Bowery Electric
6:15pm - Frank Lacy's '10 32k'
7:30pm - Mario Pavone Trio
8:45pm - Vinnie Sperazza 40Twenty
10:00pm - Red Baraat

Single-Day Festival Passes are available to the General Public for $35
Two-Day Full-Festival Passes are available to the General Public for $45

Six Village Venues:
- (le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street
- Sullivan Hall, 214 Sullivan Street
- Bitter End, 147 Bleecker Street
- Zinc Bar, 82 West 3rd Street
- Culture Project Theater at 45 Bleecker Street
- Bowery Electric, 327 Bowery

- Don Byron Quartet
- AFRO HARPING Dorothy Ashby Tribute w/ Brandee Younger
- E=MC2--Moffett/Cary/Calhoun
- Brian Carpenter's Ghost Train Orchestra
- Music of Ryuichi Sakamoto by PACJE


SACRE: Free Dance Premiere In New York City Jan 10 - 14 2013

From a release:

David Wampach / Association Achles (France)
US Premiere - Dance
Jan 10-14, 2013
Co-presented with The Invisible Dog Art Center with additional support provided by Chez Bushwick

Free with reservation

NEW YORK CITY - The 1913 premiere of Nijinsky’s The Rite of Spring caused legendary scandal and has since been regarded as a milestone in dance history. French dancer / choreographer David Wampach draws inspiration from filmmaker Jean Rouch and photographer Trude Fleischmann, as he radically re-imagines Nijinsky’s group choreography into a duet. Wampach’s pioneering SACRE is equally as earthy, wild, and dissonant as the original.

In 2002, David Wampach started his company: the Association Achles, where he revealed himself as one of the most trailblazing young choreographer of France. His solo circon c is (2004) won the first prize at the Biennale des jeunes créateurs d’Europe et de Méditerranée. High-profile performances such as BASCULE (2005), QUATORZE (2007), AUTO (2008) and BATTEMENT (2009) ensued (note that Wampach always capitalizes his titles). The choreographer is now also making waves internationally. He was laureate of the famous Villa Kujoyama programme in Kyoto and, unique for a non-commercial dance, his SACRE piece is sponsored by cosmetics giant Hermès.

Raw minimalism and abstract eroticism characterize Wampach’s work, as does a form of skillful emotional extremism. He admires conceptual makers, but finds it equally important to engage in dialogue with the canonical tradition and pop culture. A different work he made is CASSETTE (2011), based on the legendary masterpiece Nutcracker, using ballroom dance.

Curiosity for other art disciplines is a recurrent theme in Wampach’s artistic development. He collaborated with novelists and filmmakers. At the moment, the choreographer is working on his first film RITE, an echo of SACRE.

Choreographer David Wampach
Performers Tamar Shelef and David Wampach
Sound Designer Mikko Hynninen
Stage Manager Gaëtan Lebret
Artistic Collaborators Chiara Gallerani, Johanna Korthals Altes, Enora Rivière, Mark Tompkins and Christian Ubl
photo by Valérie Archeno

45 minutes
Jan 10 – 11, 14 7:30pm
Jan 13 5pm
The Invisible Dog Art Center: 51 Bergen St., Brooklyn

Nightwood Theatre’s revival of Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad Jan 10 to Feb 10 2013 in Toronto

From a media release:

Megan Follows and Kelli Fox return in Nightwood Theatre’s revival of
Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad
Written by Margaret Atwood
Directed by Kelly Thornton
Starring Megan Follows
with Maev Beaty, Neema Bickersteth, Fiona Byrne, Sarah Dodd, Monica Dottor, Audrey Dwyer, Nicole Joy-Fraser, Kelli Fox, Cara Gee, Patricia Hamilton, Pamela Sinha and Sophia Walker

January 10 to February 10, 2013 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

Toronto, ON… Nightwood Theatre will revive its 2012 smash hit production of The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood. The play, directed by Kelly Thornton, will open January 10 and run until February 10, 2013 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.

The Penelopiad is Atwood’s uncompromising response to Homer’s The Odyssey following Penelope (Megan Follows) through the 20-year absence of her husband Odysseus who is fighting in the Trojan War. Left to raise an unruly son, fend off hundreds of opportunistic suitors and maintain composure amidst scandalous rumours, Penelope enlists her maids in a ruse to protect her good name. But when Odysseus returns and massacres the suitors and brutally hangs the 12 maids, all eyes look to Penelope in her culpability. “Now that I’m dead I know everything” are the first lines uttered as she returns from the underworld, Hades, to set the record straight. But in Atwood’s clever hands, Penelope is haunted by the twelve handmaidens who’ve fallen victim in her deceptive ploy. Laced with wit and wisdom, Nightwood’s production of Atwood’s The Penelopiad is pure theatre: a bold theatrical spectacle, matching gorgeous design, stage invention, potent storytelling, song, dance and powerful performances.

Set and Costume Design by Denyse Karn, Lighting Design by Kimberly Purtell, Choreography by Monica Dottor, Original Composition and Sound Design by Suba Sankaran, Stage Manager Melissa Rood

• Nightwood’s 2012 production played to sold out houses and garnered critical acclaim
• 2012 Dora Award winner for Outstanding Performance in an Ensemble
• Toronto Theatre Critics’ Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Play, Kelli Fox in The Penelopiad

Documentary Screening: Portrait of Wally Jan 9 & 10 2013 in Toronto

From a media release:

January 9 & 10, 2013 in Toronto

Toronto –
Hot Docs is pleased to announce that January’s Doc Soup will present PORTRAIT OF WALLY (D: Andrew Shea, United States, 90 min.). Called “a cinematic masterwork about a painted masterpiece” by The Huffington Post, PORTRAIT OF WALLY will screen on Wednesday, January 9, at 6:30 p.m. and 9:15 p.m., and on Thursday, January 10, at 6:45 p.m. at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, 506 Bloor St. West . Filmmaker Andrew Shea will be in attendance to introduce the film and answer questions following the screenings.

When Jewish art dealer Lea Bondi fled Vienna in 1939, his Egon Schiele painting “Portrait of Wally”, a tender picture of the artist’s mistress, was seized by the Nazis. The painting resurfaced in 1997 while on loan to Manhattan ’s Museum of Modern Art , sparking a thirteen-year legal battle with the owner’s heirs. PORTRAIT OF WALLY traces the history of this iconic image, from Schiele’s gesture of affection toward his young lover, through the post-war confusion and subterfuge, to its surprising reappearance and the ensuing legal battle. This is the stunning account of a painting that brought Nazi art looting into the public sphere and forced museums to search their own collections and return the last “prisoners of war” to their families.

• Single tickets for PORTRAIT OF WALLY are $15 and can be purchased in advance online at or in person at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema box office.
• In the event advance tickets sell out, a limited number of tickets may be available at the door on the night of the screening.

Upcoming screening dates for Toronto ’s Doc Soup are February 6 and 7, March 6 and 7 and April 3 and 4. Doc Soup titles are announced at least one month prior to their screenings and, whenever possible, guest directors are in attendance.

The Doc Soup monthly screening series brings the latest Canadian and international documentaries to the big screen in Toronto and Calgary . Hot Docs also presents Best of Hot Docs weekends in Vancouver and Winnipeg . Hot Docs is pleased to acknowledge Citytv as the Presenting Partner of the Doc Soup and Best of Hot Docs series. Doc Soup Toronto is sponsored by Rogers Group of Funds and by print media sponsor The Globe and Mail.

Jazz Guitar: Eric Divito 'Breaking the Ice' CD Release Jan 9 2013 in New York City

From a media release:

Jazz Guitar:
Eric DiVito - Breaking the Ice CD Release Show
Jazz@Kitano - the Kitano Hotel, New York City
January 9, 2013 - 8 & 10pm sets

Get Breaking the Ice here
• He'll also be at The Harold Pratt House (NYC) on January 24 & 30, 2013, with a Canadian tour in the works for February

For his remarkable debut album, "Breaking the Ice," Eric DiVito draws on his command of both jazz and classical guitar styles, as well as on his interests in jazz and pop composition, to create a wonderfully varied set of nine original tunes and a gorgeous solo guitar rendition of Bill Evans's "Time Remembered."

In the midst of a busy career as working musician and educator, New York guitarist/composer Eric DiVito has finally carved out the time to make his recording debut as a leader. "Breaking the Ice," a quartet date co-produced by DiVito with Portland pianist/arranger Ezra Weiss and veteran jazz producer/promoter Todd Barkan, was recently released on the Canadian Pioneer Jazz Collective (PJC) label on October 2.

“One of the most totally unexpected and pleasant surprises of my last 30 years of jazz production has been the constant smile to be regularly experienced in Eric’s consistently uplifting compositions, arranging, and guitar playing,” says Barkan.

The 31-year-old Long Island native chose to feature his original compositions with trio or quartet comprised of tenor and soprano saxophonist Jake Saslow, a friend and colleague since high school days; acoustic bassist Corcoran Holt alternating with Motohito Fukushima on electric; and Israeli-born drummer Nadav Snir-Zelniker. DiVito’s solo performance of “Time Remembered,” the Bill Evans classic and the album’s only nonoriginal, is played classical-style on a nylon-string guitar.

Throughout, DiVito draws on his command of both jazz and classical guitar styles, as well as on his interests in jazz and pop composition, to create a wonderfully varied program—from the “dizzy, hectic feel” of the opener “Like Minded,” to the ballads “For Maria” (written for his wife of five years) and “Her and Hymn” (partially inspired by Joni Mitchell), to the gently swinging “Pass’ Time” (for Joe Pass, one of his heroes) and high-energy “Shoot the Messenger” (for Art Blakey).

The mysterious “Tango” is a quartet number, with Saslow on tenor. “Being a classical guitarist,”DiVito says, “there’s a lot of tangos and Latin music in my repertoire. I thought it would be a nice contrast to some of the more straight-ahead or pop kinda tunes.”

Growing up in Northport, NY, Eric DiVito played percussion instruments in his elementary school orchestra and concert band and “learned to read music first as a percussionist,” he recalls. He took up guitar in middle school. Although he had an early interest in Jimi Hendrix and Guns N’ Roses, jazz guitarists were his primary inspiration, particularly Jim Hall, Pat Metheny, and Joe Pass. He also cites Jack Wilkins and Paul Bollenback, both of whom he studied with, as later influences, and he counts Julian Bream among his classical guitar favorites.

“I gravitated towards jazz on the guitar because it allowed for what I felt was more creativity and improvisation,” DiVito says.

Joni Mitchell, Wayne Shorter, and Maria Schneider stand out among his favorite composers. “They take you on a journey,” he explains. “Those composers in particular almost transcend genres. That’s a quality I like to strive for in my compositions.”

The guitarist began playing professionally while still in high school at restaurants, bars, weddings, and other private affairs, sometimes solo, other times in combos with classmate Jake Saslow. DiVito still does solo jazz and classical gigs, often mixing the works of J.S. Bach and other Baroque composers, Spanish and Brazilian guitar music, jazz, and “stuff in between.”

DiVito majored in classical guitar and music education and minored in jazz at the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY, from which he received a B.M. in guitar performance and music education. At the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, where he earned an M.A. in jazz performance, his instructors included Bollenback, saxophonist Antonio Hart, and trumpeter Michael Philip Mossman.

The guitarist has been living in Queens since completing his education there. For the past six years, he’s been the music teacher at Castle Middle School on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where he created a curriculum that includes general music, music appreciation, theory, band, concert band, chamber ensemble, and guitar. And, when he has the time, he teaches guitar privately in the evenings and on weekends. Besides solo guitar engagements, he has performed with his own combos at such leading New York jazz establishments as the Iridium, Smalls, Miles’ Café, the Garage, Puppet’s Jazz Bar, and Tutuma Social Club. And every month or so, he leads a Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute band called PepperSpray.

“It’s a balancing act,” DiVito says of his career. “Sometimes things get too busy, and I don’t gig as much as I want to or I can’t have as many private students as I want. I’m always trying to juggle.”

With "Breaking the Ice," Eric DiVito is finally breaking out beyond the New York City club circuit and stepping onto the world stage. “I’ve been blessed since moving to New York City to be able to regularly work with some of the greatest musicians,” says DiVito. “It is their talent and skill that help push me forward both creatively and technically and that make me want to be a better musician. It is both humbling and extremely rewarding.”

January 9, 2013
Venue:  Jazz @Kitano
At the Kitano Hotel - 66 Park Ave., New York City
Ticket Price(s): $10
Ticket Phone: 212.885.7119
Sets at 8pm and 10pm.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The COC's Stunning Tristan & Isolde with Peter Sellars, Bill Viola (Video) & Ben Heppner Jan 29 to Feb 23 2012

From a media release - tix already 90% sold as I post this!

legendary director peter SELLARS AND renowned video artist bill viola make coc debuts with awe-inspiring production of
wagner’s tristan und isolde

• January 29, February 2, 8, 14, 17, 20 and 23, 2013
Tickets available here

Toronto – The Canadian Opera Company opens its winter season with one of music history’s most influential works, Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde.  The COC’s 2013 presentation of Tristan und Isolde marks legendary director Peter Sellars’ company debut and the first time his original, awe-inspiring production has appeared in North America.  This multi-sensory experience features video imagery by internationally renowned video artist Bill Viola, who “has come up with an image of the scale and scope, grandeur and immensity, and genuine transcendence that Wagner was imagining,” says Sellars.  COC Music Director Johannes Debus, who conducts his first production of Tristan und Isolde, leads the COC Orchestra and Chorus through Wagner’s epic masterpiece as well as an acclaimed cast led by celebrated Canadian tenor Ben Heppner in a role for which critics have hailed him as “the great Tristan of this generation” (Associated Press).  Last seen at the COC in 1987, Tristan und Isolde returns for seven performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on January 29, February 2, 8, 14, 17, 20 and 23, 2013, and is sung in German with English SURTITLES™.

The COC’s Tristan und Isolde is the first time Sellars’ production has been performed by an opera company other than Opéra national de Paris, since its premiere in 2005.  The design features a 40-foot-wide screen suspended above and behind a somberly lit space, featuring only a square platform for a set piece.  Accompanied by video, singers have minimal staging as they project the emotional depth of the piece through their voices.

Renowned theatre, opera and festival director Peter Sellars is one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the performing arts in the world, and he makes his COC debut with this production of Tristan und Isolde.  Following his iconic stagings of Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Così fan tutte in the 1980s, Sellars established a reputation for unique stagings of classic and contemporary operas, and has directed productions for Lyric Opera of Chicago, Glyndebourne Festival, Netherlands Opera, Opéra national de Paris, Salzburg Festival, San Francisco Opera and Metropolitan Opera, among others.

Bill Viola is internationally recognized as one of today’s leading artists, and has been instrumental in the establishment of video as a vital form of contemporary art.  The video imagery he has created for this production provides literal, metaphorical and spiritual complements to the tragic love between Tristan and Isolde.

COC Music Director Johannes Debus conducts his first production of Tristan und Isolde when he leads the COC Orchestra and Chorus.  Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde premiered in 1865 in Munich and is considered to be one the most revolutionary and influential works in music history due to Wagner’s use of tonality, orchestral colour and harmonic suspension.  Wagner raised the union of music and drama to new heights with Tristan und Isolde with the sheer power and passion of its score. 

Based on the tragic medieval tale of two lovers fated to share a forbidden but undying love, Tristan und Isolde features two of the most strenuous roles in all of opera.  The title characters must sing above a 100-piece orchestra with vocal power and tonal brilliance, and possess the sheer stamina required to sing these roles over four hours of musical performance.  At any given time, there are only a handful of singers in the world who are able to meet all the challenges of these two roles.

The COC’s Tristan und Isolde marks tenor Ben Heppner’s long-awaited return to the company’s mainstage, having last appeared in a COC production in 1996’s Pagliacci.  Excelling in some of the repertoire’s most challenging roles, Heppner is acclaimed worldwide for his beautiful voice, intelligent musicianship and sparkling dramatic sense.  In the role of Tristan, he’s been praised for his “utter honesty and visceral power” (New York Times) and called “the finest Tristan since Vickers” (Fanfare).  Singing opposite Heppner is a German soprano known for her mastery of the Mozart, Strauss and Wagner repertoire, Melanie Diener, in her COC debut as Isolde.  Cited for her “genuine transcendence” (The Guardian) and “beaming, youthful Wagner voice” (Opera Today), Diener has collaborated with many of the major orchestras and conductors of today, is a frequent performer at the prestigious Bayreuth and Salzburg festivals and has been heard at the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Opéra national de Paris and the Vienna and Berlin state operas, among others.

Sharing the title roles with Heppner and Diener for two performances (February 8 and 23) are German tenor Michael Baba and American soprano Margaret Jane Wray.  Baba makes his COC debut as Tristan.  His wide operatic repertoire, ranging from Mozart to Wagner, has created a great deal of demand for his voice.  He has performed throughout Germany, Austria, the United States and Japan, and recently gave his debut performance as Tristan at Salzburg’s Landestheater.  Wray is an award-winning dramatic soprano known for her interpretations of the works of Richard Wagner, and has performed at the world’s major opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Bavarian State Opera, Berlin State Opera, and Opéra national de Paris.

Matching this acclaimed principal cast is an equally strong and renowned supporting roster of singers.  German bass Franz-Josef Selig has established himself on the international arena as one of the world’s most sought-after basses.  He makes his COC debut as King Marke of Cornwall, the man betrayed by Tristan and Isolde’s love affair.  The role of Isolde’s maid, Brangäne, is sung by Greek-American mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas, winner of the 2008 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and hailed for her “capacious power” and “a voice lustrous and exciting” (San Francisco Chronicle).   American bass-baritone Alan Held, a “commanding figure both vocally and dramatically” (Globe and Mail) and who was noted as “on his own is worth the price of admission” (Toronto Star) for his star turn in the COC’s double-bill production of A Florentine Tragedy/Gianni Schicchi last spring, returns as Tristan’s servant, Kurwenal.  American bass-baritone Ryan McKinney, praised for his “elegant and articulate” vocalism (OC Register) and powerful voice that “drips with gold” (Opera News), is the courtier Melot.  Rising young artists and Ensemble Studio graduates bass Robert Gleadow and tenor Adam Luther return as the Steersman and the Sailor/Shepherd, respectively.

The COC’s Tristan und Isolde is a production from Opéra national de Paris.  Tony-Award winning designer the late Martin Pakledinaz created the costumes.  James F. Ingalls, who has worked extensively in theatre, opera and ballet and frequently with Sellars, designed the lighting.

Focus Dance Festival January 8-13 2013 in New York City

From a media release:

Promoting the Export of American Dance:
Focus Dance Festival
January 8-13, 2013
in New York City

NEW YORK CITY - The Focus Dance Festival shines the spotlight on American dance with three programs open to the public at three different venues.

FOCUS DANCE at The Joyce Theater - January 8-13
DANCE GOTHAM at Skirball Center  - January 11-13
FOCAL POINT at the  Ailey Citigroup Theater - January 11-13

Check out all programs here
Tickets for all events available here

FOCUS is a celebration of American dance, featuring performances of US–based companies at three different venues.  The Main Stage is The Joyce Theater, which will host the eight dance companies curated into the platform for that year.  Additional performances occur at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts and Ailey Citigroup Theater. 

FOCUS  has multiple objectives, but first and foremost, it aims to create more demand for American dance specifically on the international tour circuit. While international governments routinely invite U.S. presenters to see work in their countries, there has been no similar unified effort on behalf of our own dance artists.

FOCUS attempts to redress this imbalance by re-introducing key decision-makers to American dance on view in our nation’s cultural capital. Gotham Arts Exchange is leading this new venture with advisory support from a coalition of artist representatives and presenters that have come together as a steering committee for FOCUS.

The steering committee does not make any curatorial decisions. The committee’s primary function is to help identify international presenters appropriate for this programming and to encourage their attendance and participation as well a pick the curators for the next platform.

DANCE GOTHAM at Skirball Center - January 11-13
For its seventh annual season
DANCE GOTHAM expands back to three full programs at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.

Presented under the FOCUS banner for the second your, DANCE GOTHAM continues to present a thrilling range of aesthetics and artistry.

From post-modern athleticism to seasoned theatricality, these programs, curated by Martin Wechsler (The Joyce Theater), offer choreographic works that are sophisticated, witty, wonderfully intelligent and revealing.

FOCUS Dance at the Joyce Theater
Jan 8-13, 2013

An exciting week-long celebration, now in its second season, FOCUS Dance is a partnership between Gotham Arts Exchange and The Joyce Theater that promotes American dance to the national and international community. This year's curator, Jodee Nimerichter of the American Dance Festival has assembled four programs featuring some of the most captivating companies performing today.

The Joyce Theater hosts FOCUS DANCE the Main Stage and featured artists for the FOCUS 2013 platform. This year FOCUS DANCE features eight US based companies in a repertory schedule.

The 2013 featured artists are:    
Brian Brooks Moving Company, Camille A. Brown & Dancers, Doug Varone & Dancers, Eiko & Koma, Jodi Melnick, John Jasperse, Rosie Herrera Dance Theater, Stephen Petronio Company

• Tickets start at $10!
• Call JoyceCharge at  212-242-0800  for $10 tickets. All other tickets can be purchased online.

FOCAL POINT at the  Ailey Citigroup Theater - January 11-13
This year we introduce a new program and our third performance venue.

Comprised of three programs, The goal of FOCAL POINT is to bring focus to dance artists that warrant attention. However, unlike our other two stages, which are curated by presenters, here we give the artists a voice in framing the work shown on the platform.

Robert Battle, artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre selected the curators and then served as their artistic advisor. For 2013 the programs were curated by David Parker, Robert Moses and Trajal Harrell.

Special Note:  The Friday night show at FOCAL POINT is dedicated to percussive dance artists.  We are very fortunate to have a astate-of-the art percusssive floor provided to us courtesy of our Platinum Sponsor: STaGESTEP


The performances listed above all require that you have a printed ticket to enter the theater. DANCE GOTHAM and FOCAL POINT are general admission, and FOCUS DANCE is reserved seating.

It is important that you arrange for tickets as far in advance as possible. These shows are available to the general public and are currently on sale.

Tarragon Theatre Toronto Presents The Amorous Adventures of Anatol - Jan 1 to Feb 10 2013

From a media release:

The Amorous Adventures of Anatol
Previews January 1, 2013 - Opening Night January 9, 2013
Closes February 10, 2013

"The fact is, the woman you have in your life is never the woman you want."

TORONTO - Tarragon Theatre presents the Toronto premiere of The Amorous Adventures of Anatol, a contemporary re-visioning of Austrian playwright/novelist Arthur Schnitzler's Anatol (1893), adapted and directed by Morris Panych, one of Canada's most celebrated playwrights and directors. This theatrical treat about a Viennese womanizer and his amorous trials and tribulations runs January 9 to February 10, 2013 in Tarragon Theatre's Mainspace (with previews beginning January 1).  Tickets range from $27-$53 (inclusive of HST) and are available by calling the box office at 416.531.1827 or by visiting

It is fin de siècle Vienna. The young, incurably romantic - and indecisively neurotic - Anatol pursues each woman as if she is "the one," without commitment or care. With Anatol's eye ever-wandering, his psychologist friend Max tries to counsel his incorrigible friend.  Though Anatol demands absolute loyalty in his lovers, it is not the same yardstick he holds up for himself. As the narcissistic Anatol woos a succession of seven different women, we learn what Anatol knows - and does not know - about women, while revealing all about himself.

A talented cast take to the stage for this sharp and fast-paced black comedy: Shaw and Stratford Festival star Mike Shara portrays philanderer Anatol, the role he originated at the play's premiere in 2008 at the Vancouver Playhouse. Nicole Underhay (Toronto Theatre Critics' Award winner for Best Actress in Tarragon's The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs last season, plays all seven women); Robert Persichini, a 10-season Stratford Festival veteran is Max while Dora Award winner Adam Paolozza, Urjo Kareda resident artist at Tarragon and artistic director of TheatreRUN, plays a variety of roles.

Morris Panych is back at Tarragon, adding to his long list of acclaimed black comedies, including 7 Stories, Vigil, Lawrence and Holloman, Girl in the Goldfish Bowl, Earshot, The Dishwashers and Benevolence. His plays have garnered countless awards including two Governor General's Literary Awards for Drama (for The Ends of the Earth and Girl in a Goldfish Bowl), fourteen Jessie Richardson Awards, and five Dora Mavor Moore Awards. His newest work, In Absentia, premiered at Centaur Theatre in Montreal in 2012. Panych made his Stratford Festival directorial debut in 2008 with his adaptation of Moby Dick, followed by The Trespassers the following season. Also in 2008, he premiered The Amorous Adventures of Anatol at the Vancouver Playhouse. The much-lauded A.C.T. (San Francisco) production of Vigil starring Olympia Dukakis and Mario Barricelli was remounted at the Mark Taper Theatre in Los Angeles in fall, 2011.

Set designer Ken MacDonald, who works regularly with Panych, revisits his original design, dominated by a large wall of drawers. Award-winning costume designer and Tarragon regular Charlotte Dean has fun with period costumes and wigs, partly inspired by the paintings of Schnitzler contemporary Gustav Klimt. The lighting designer is Jason Hand (The Ugly One for Theatre Smash, A Midsummer Night's Dream for Canadian Stage). Emily Porter is the sound designer and Kate Porter is the stage manager.

Tarragon Theatre presents
The Amorous Adventures of Anatol
by Arthur Schnitzler, Adapted and directed by Morris Panych
Starring Mike Shara, Nicole Underhay, Robert Persichini, Adam Paolozza
Set Designer: Ken MacDonald
Costume Designer: Charlotte Dean
Lighting Designer: Jason Hand
Sound Design: Emily Porter
Stage Manager: Kate Porter

Opens January 9 and runs to February 10, 2013 (Previews from January 1)
Tarragon Theatre's Mainspace, 30 Bridgman Avenue, Toronto, M5R 1X3
Tuesday-Saturday at 8pm, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:30pm starting January 6.

Tickets range from $27-$53 (including discounts for students, seniors and groups)
AND a Pay-What-You-Can 2:30pm matinee on Saturday, February 2
- $13 Rush Tickets at the door Fridays (on sale at 6pm) & Sundays (on sale at 1pm) starting January 11 -

Expect Theatre Premieres AWAKE Jan 3-13 2013 in Toronto

From a media release:

Expect Theatre premieres
as Part of the Next Stage Theatre Festival (January 2-13 2013)
A theatrical experience
exploring the inner world of
one of Canada's most violent,
yet inspiring, 'hoods

• Tickets On Sale online at or by phone at 416-966-1062

Toronto -
Expect Theatre proudly premieres AWAKE as part of the 2013 Next Stage Theatre Festival which runs January 2-13, 2013. AWAKE was one of the most popular and socially relevant plays at the 2011 Fringe as well as a Globe and Mail Hot Ticket Pick. AWAKE gives audiences a glimpse into the lives of those we usually only read about in the headlines and runs at Factory Theatre's Mainspace from January 3-13.

AWAKE takes audiences deep into the heart of one of Toronto's most violent neighbourhoods - Jamestown - to explore the ripple effect of gangs within a community. AWAKE was inspired by the infamous 2005 shooting of Amon Beckles when his killer entered a Jamestown church during funeral service, found him, and shot him six times in the chest.

AWAKE, a verbatim script based on interviews with community members gathered by writers/directors Laura Mullin and Chris Tolley, the co-Artistic Directors of Expect, has been rewritten since its workshop outing at the Fringe, and re-focuses the story on Amon's mother, Nadia Beckles, as well as on the aftermath and stress of a community shooting.

Less than eight years later, gun violence continues to plague neighbourhoods across the city, sometimes spilling out into the common spaces shared by everyone. After high profile gun incidents such as the Eaton Centre and most recently the Danzig shootings this past summer, the message of AWAKE is all the more resonant.

Mullin notes, "To create this show, we interviewed nearly 100 people including gang members, youth in gang exit programs, youth workers, mothers who have lost children to gun violence, and police. We created the script using the words from these interviews. The reality that so many people experienced bloodshed was a disturbing discovery for us. Even though we had worked in this area for years, we had never been privy to the full story behind what these young people were dealing with. It became obvious that there is a real disconnect between the experiences of those living in priority communities, and those who do not."

Tolley adds, "Everyone we spoke to had a connection to gun violence, either directly, or through friends and family. It felt as though there was a collective post-traumatic stress disorder overtaking the community. And because it is rare for people who commit gun violence to be brought to justice, and violent crimes within the area are rarely solved, the wound within the neighbourhood never heals."

But AWAKE is not only a story about mourning the loss of lives; AWAKE is also a celebration of the people and culture coming out of one of Canada's most dangerous, infamous, yet inspiring and culturally exciting areas.

AWAKE is created and directed by Expect Theatre Co-Artistic Directors Laura Mullin and Chris Tolley (Expect's Romeo and Juliet Remixed-5 Dora Award noms, Static-Harbourfront Centre's World Stage, urbanNOISE arts festival) with choreography by choreographer Nicola Pantin (Stratford Festival, Dora Awards for Outstanding Choreography for Romeo and Juliet Remixed and LKTYP's Jacob Two Two Meets the Hooded Fang). Music direction is by multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and CBC Radio 2 host Andrew Craig and soundscape is by Ed Hanley (Juno nominee, Auto Rickshaw). Set and costume design is by Jackie Chau and lighting design is by Arun Srinivasan. The dramaturge is Erica Kopyto.

The multi-media piece features actors Beryl Bain (Shaw Festival's The Woman, Theatre Archipelago's I Marcus Garvey), Lauren Brotman (Fringe Festival's Dirty Butterfly, Dora Award for Theatre Direct's And by the Way Miss), Quancetia Hamilton (Soulpepper's The Sunshine Boy, Da Kink In My Hair at Princess of Wales), Muoi Nene (Obsidian Theatre's Ruined, Volcano/Can Stage's Another Africa-Shine Your Eye), Peyson Rock (Soulpepper's King Lear, LKTYP's Bunnicula), David Shelley (Stratford Festival's Henry VIII, Next Stage Festival's Grace Project: SICK!) and Richard Stewart (Theatre Archipelago's I Marcus Garvey, Shaw Festival's The Devil's Disciple). The stage manager is Laura Cournoyea.

All photos by: Steve Carty
- Peyson Rock  (first & last); Lauren Brotman; Quancetia Hamilton; Richard Stewart

Expect Theatre premieres AWAKE as part of Next Stage Theatre Festival
Written and Directed by Laura Mullin and Chris Tolley
Musical Director: Andrew Craig
Choreographer: Nicola Pantin
Set & Costume Designer: Jackie Chau
Lighting Designer: Arun Srinivasan
Soundscape: Ed Hanley, Dramaturge: Erica Kopyto
Stage Manager: Laura Cournoyea

AWAKE performance times (Next Stage Theatre Festival runs January 2-13, 2013):
January 3 at 5:00pm, January 5 at 7:15pm, January 6 at 9:15pm, January 7 at 8:45pm, January 8 at 6:45pm,
January 10 at 7pm, January 11 at 7:30pm, January 12 at 9:15pm, January 13 at 4:45pm
Factory Theatre Mainspace, 125 Bathurst Street
Tickets $15 (7pm onwards start-time); $12 (6:59pm or earlier start-time)
Tickets On Sale - online at or by phone at 416-966-1062

Tarragon Theatre Toronto Presents Hanna Moscovitch's This Is War to Feb 3 2013

From a media release:

Tarragon Theatre Presents:
This is War
by Hannah Moscovitch
directed by Richard Rose

In previews now - Opening Night January 3, 2013
Continues to February 3, 2012

Tarragon Theatre proudly presents the world premiere of This is War, written by acclaimed Tarragon playwright-in-residence Hannah Moscovitch and directed by Artistic Director Richard Rose. This is War opens January 3 and runs to February 3, 2013 in Tarragon Theatre’s Extra Space (with previews from December 28). Tickets range from $27-$53 (inclusive of HST) and are available by calling the box office at  416.531.1827  or by visiting

It is 2008. Canadian Forces are holding Panjwaii, the most volatile region of Afghanistan, with very little support from NATO-ISAF. Captain Stephen Hughes is always looking for the next threat, knowing it can come at any time from any direction. Four different perspectives emerge as three soldiers and a medic are interviewed by an unseen journalist about a critical event.

Hannah Moscovitch is one of the most prolific playwrights of her generation and considered one of the strongest voices in the country. Her Governor General-nominated East of Berlin premiered at Tarragon to great acclaim, and toured successfully for two seasons. This prodigious young talent’s most recent play, The Children’s Republic, premiered at Tarragon in the 2011–12 season to rave reviews.

Lisa Berry (CanStage/Obsidian Theatre’s Intimate Apparel, Shaw Festival’s The Crucible) as Master Corporal Tanya Young, Ari Cohen (Tarragon’s The Little Years, Soulpepper’s Death of a Salesman-Dora nomination) as Captain Stephen Hughes, Sergio Di Zio (Tarragon’s Scorched, Leo; CTV’s Flashpoint) as medic Sergeant Chris Anders and Ian Lake (Stratford Festival’s Elektra, Cymbeline and more) as Private Jonny Henderson star in this fictionalized version of a real incident taken from the pages of the controversial Afghanistan conflict and Canada’s role in it.

Tarragon Theatre presents the world premiere of
This is War

Written by Hannah Moscovitch
Directed by Richard Rose
Starring Lisa Berry, Ari Cohen, Sergio Di Zio, Ian Lake
Set and Costume Designer: Camellia Koo
Lighting Designer: Rebecca Picherack
Composer and Sound Designer: Thomas Ryder Payne
Stage Manager: Nicola Benidickson

Opens January 3 and runs to February 3, 2013 (Previews from December 28)
Tarragon Theatre's Extra Space, 30 Bridgman Avenue, Toronto, M5R 1X3
Tuesday-Saturday at 8pm, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:30pm from December 30 on.

Tickets range from $27-$53 (including discounts for students, seniors and groups)
AND a Pay-What-You-Can 2:30pm matinee on Saturday, January 26
- $13 Rush Tickets available at the door for Fridays (on sale at 6pm) & Sundays (on sale at 1pm) -

On Broadway: Scarlett Johansson is Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (in Previews Now)

From a release:

On Broadway:
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Written by: Tennessee Williams
Directed by: Rob Ashford
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Ciarán Hinds, Benjamin Walker, and Debra Monk

Theatre: Richard Rodgers
Address: 226 West 46th St. New York, NY 10036
Get Tix: Get CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Tickets
Previews from: December 18, 2012
Opening Night: January 17, 2013
Closing: March 31, 2013

The most hotly anticipated event
of the Broadway season.

NEW YORK CITY - Tony Award® winner Scarlett Johansson (A View From the Bridge, Lost in Translation) returns to Broadway as "Maggie the Cat" in Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Ciarán Hinds ("Political Animals," There Will Be Blood), Benjamin Walker (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) and Tony and Emmy® winner Debra Monk (Curtains, "Damages") co-star in Williams’ classic story about a wealthy Southern family and the passions and secrets that come close to destroying them.

On the eve of his 65th birthday, "Big Daddy" Pollitt, the richest cotton planter in the Mississippi Delta, is distressed by the rocky relationship between his beloved son Brick, an aging football hero who has turned to drink, and Brick’s beautiful and feisty wife Maggie. As the hot summer evening unfolds, the veneer of Southern gentility slips away revealing unpleasant truths as greed, lies and suppressed sexuality reach a boiling point.

Tony and Emmy winner Rob Ashford, fresh from his recent Olivier-winning West End production of Anna Christie, directs this stunning, must-see new production.

imagineNATIVE & NFB Call for Proposals for Interactive Works (Deadline January 31, 2013)

From a media release:

imagineNATIVE and the NFB Renew Digital Media Partnership with Call for Proposals for Innovative Interactive Works

• The submission deadline is January 31, 2013.
• All Canadian Aboriginal artists are eligible to submit their proposals.
• Full submission details can be found at
• The recipient of the 2013 NFB imagineNATIVE Digital Media Partnership will be announced at the imagineNATIVE Awards Celebration on October 20, 2013.

Toronto – The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) have renewed their digital media partnership for a third year of collaboration, and are inviting Canadian Aboriginal artists to submit proposals for innovative interactive digital media projects. Proposals can be for works in any digital medium and genre, including interactive documentary, mobile and locative media, interactive animation, interactive photo essay, data visualization and physical installation.

De Nort, an online locative video, photo and auditory journey into life on a northern reserve, by Winnipeg’s ITWE collective, was selected through the inaugural call for proposals in 2010 and is now in the final stages of production at the NFB’s Winnipeg production studio. An installation preview at imagineNATIVE 2012 will be followed with an interactive site launch in early 2013. Tyler Hagan’s project In the Similkameen (working title) was selected for production under the 2012 partnership and will premiere at the 14th annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in October 2013.

“imagineNATIVE does an unparalleled job of showcasing and supporting the work of Aboriginal digital artists. Our collaboration with the Festival on this partnership has given us a great new opportunity to work with talented Aboriginal artists like Kevin Lee Burton, Caroline Monnet, Sébastien Aubin and Tyler Hagan as they explore new forms of storytelling and expression through digital media. As we enter our third year, we’re all looking forward to a new round of submissions,” said Michelle van Beusekom, Interim Director General of NFB English Program.

“Coming off a record year for attendance and presentation of Indigenous media arts at imagineNATIVE, we’re pleased to partner once again with the NFB,” said Jason Ryle, Executive Director of imagineNATIVE. “The opportunity for creative growth in this field through this partnership is remarkable, as we have seen with De Nort, and we all look forward to this year’s applications. This collaboration is an incredible opportunity for an Indigenous artist to create a new interactive work through the NFB, which continues to support Aboriginal creativity in Canada for an international audience.”

One project will be selected jointly by imagineNATIVE and the NFB for production, with the NFB serving as creative and administrative producer and imagineNATIVE providing creative input at key stages throughout the production. The chosen project will be presented at imagineNATIVE 2014 and must be realizable within a $30,000 to $50,000 budget range.

imagineNATIVE has been active in the programming and commissioning of digital media work by Aboriginal artists since the early 2000s. The NFB is Canada’s leading producer of internationally acclaimed innovative interactive digital media works, and has been producing audiovisual works by First Nations, Métis and Inuit directors since the late 1960s. The NFB works with a range of artists to reflect Canadian perspectives through film, video and interactive digital media projects.

For the Kids: Puppetmongers Holiday Show in Toronto to January 5 2013

From a media release:

Puppetmongers proudly presents
Cinderella in Muddy York
December 28, 2012 -January 5, 2013 at Theatre Passe Muraille's Mainspace
Created and performed by Ann Powell and David Powell, Directed by Sue Miner


Puppetmongers celebrates its 23rd anniversary of delightful winter holiday performances this season with the return of its twice Dora-nominated favourite, Cinderella in Muddy York, created by Puppetmongers' Co-Artistic Directors (and brother and sister) Ann and David Powell, and directed by Sue Miner.

This year, the magical Cinderella in Muddy York runs at Theatre Passe Muraille's Mainspace with 2pm daily matinees from December 28, 2012 to January 5, 2013 (except no performance January 1st).

A whimsical take on Toronto history that will tickle the funny bones of adults and children alike, Cinderella in Muddy York is a fairy tale of a Cinderella in Canada, reset in 1834 at the time when "muddy" York is about to become Toronto.

This witty and acclaimed work is ingeniously staged with beautiful rod-marionettes, inventive special effects and the charming performances of David and Ann as live actors along with their puppets. A traditional marionette theatre is imaginatively transformed to create scenes evoking the wilderness, settler life and early Canadian society, and the historic references, costumes, scenery and musical selections are authentic to the era.

Puppetmongers presents Cinderella in Muddy York
Created and performed by Ann Powell and David Powell, Directed by Sue Miner
Theatre Passe Muraille's Mainspace, 16 Ryerson Avenue
Dec 28, 2012 - Jan 5, 2013; Suitable for adults and ages 5 and up.
Performances:   Daily matinees at 2:00pm (no performance January 1st)
Tickets: $25 adults; $20 child/senior/student (Family bundle of 4 tickets for $75) - 416 504 7529

Soul/RnB Release: Kat Webb's 2nd full length album "A Better Picture"

From a release:

Soul/RnB Release: Kat Webb's 2nd full length album, "A Better Picture" getting rave reviews!
You can have a listen at this link

Kat Webb is an Austin, TX-born soul singer with a warm and flexible voice and a great rnb sensibility, but confining genres definitely aren't her style. Since graduating Yale University in 2007 with a degree in English and substantial training with the Yale School of Music, Webb has resided in Brooklyn, NY, singing background for various NYC artists, writing for up-and-coming artists and interning in audio engineering at The Honablue Institute (formerly Royal Blue Studios).

In May 2011, she made her solo debut with “An Old Soul”, a compilation of jazz standards and soul classics re-imagined for the modern listener, recorded entirely in analog with a live band to recreate the true vintage sound. Since then she's been performing in venues all along the East coast, including the legendary Lenox Lounge, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Bowery Poetry Club, Drom, and many more.

The release of "A Better Picture" (November 2012) marks the first time Kat presents to her audience her own original music. Seasoned soul veterans Christian Ver Halen & Jesse Fischer co-produced, and Grammy-winners were involved in its production. It draws on the numerous musical styles in Webb’s background, including some folk from her home state of Texas, some blues from the South, and some New Jack Swing from her new home on the East Coast.

“I named this album ‘A Better Picture’ because this album is my way of giving the listeners insight into me as a person and as an artist. It’s also my debut as a songwriter of my own music, so I’m beyond thrilled people are responding so strongly and positively.” –Kat Webb

Big things are coming for this Southern Songbirg!

Chef Patience Chirisa Releases Wine Dine Africa for Home Cooks

From a media release:

Foremost African Food Expert Patience Chirisa Releases Book for Home Cooks
Author Makes African Cuisine from Morocco to Madagascar—and Beyond!—Accessible

Book available at this link

Toronto, Canada:
Zimbabwe native and Canadian Patience Chirisa--whose love of and expertise in preparation of African cuisine was first showcased on Rogers TV and in Wine Dine Africa magazine--recently released her latest book, Wine Dine Africa on Friday, December 14, 2012

The exciting and easy-to-prepare recipes featured in the book, geared for the home cook, feature the varied cuisines of Africa from Morocco to Madagascar, Nigeria to South Africa, Congo to Zimbabwe, and Sudan to Sierra Leone. "Sharing food unites people and it helps us discover and honour our common values,” Patience Chirisa says. Though Wine Dine Africa introduces foods that sound exotic to some, its recipes actually highlight the commonalities among cultures: love of good food, respect for quality ingredients, and a nod to tradition. It features mouth-watering recipes for dishes such as Sosaties (grilled marinated meat with apricots) , fried okra, Moroccan Lamb Tagine among myriad foods the home cook will love to prepare and share.

Patience Chirisa acknowledges that it can sometimes be difficult for the home cook to find the unusual ingredients for exotic recipes. To make the foods of Africa accessible to the home cook, she incorporates Western ingredients—all while preserving authenticity. “Making and sharing African food is the best way I know,” she says, “to celebrate the joy of being African-Canadian."

Wine Dine Africa will be available for sale now from our website, and from retailers nationwide, retailing for $19.99. Chock-full of flavorful recipes, the book advocates using simple: fresh, local, and organic foods. “Using the best ingredients you can afford, and doing as little as possible to them,” she says, creates "delicious food that tastes of itself.”

Patience Chirisa is the founder of Wine Dine Africa on Rogers TV and Wine Dine Africa Magazine.. She also has sponsored several African Artists-- including Hugh Masekela, Oliver Mtukudzi and Chiwoniso--since 2000. She remains one of the truly outstanding rising entrepreneurs and role models to the African youth globally.