Saturday, June 30, 2012

Toronto Fringe 2012: Tracey Erin Smith in snug harbor & SOULO July 4-15


From a media release:

Tracey Erin Smith Steps Out at The Fringe with 2 shows!
snug harbor July 4-15
SOULO July 6-14

Toronto -
Toronto actor/producer Tracey Erin Smith who last performed at The Toronto Fringe in 2007, returns to the 2012 festival with two new theatre works: her site-specific one-woman show snug harbor, presented by Burning Bush Productions and SOULO, directed by Smith for The Fringe mainstage series, presented by her SoulOTheatre.

Site Specific snug harbor July 4-15 at The Centre

Burning Bush Productions presents snug harbor, a one-woman show written and performed by Tracey Erin Smith and directed by Anita La Selva, who directed Smith previously in her award-winning shows The Burning Bush and Two in the Bush.

Tracey and her Dad did everything together and couldn't have been closer.  They camped together, partied together, volunteered together - and ate chocolate pudding. Then one day he performed the ultimate unspeakable "magic trick" and disappeared. Forever.

One of The Fringe's site-specific shows, snug harbor takes place at The Centre, a building used for psychotherapy and the training of psychotherapists.  The show is presented as if the audience are members of a "Survivors of Suicide Support Group" and in this meeting of the group, we hear Tracey's story of losing her father and how she re-found hope to carry on.

Recently CBC Radio's The Current produced a documentary about Smith and the effect of her father's suicide. snug harbor was also selected to have its world premiere at the Solo Performance Festival in Santa Fe, New Mexico in September of 2011 where it met with peels of laughter, tears and a standing ovation. Audiences raved: "her evocative performance is filled with compassion, irreverence, side-splitting humor and poignant insight.  A truly intimate invitation and presentation," said Michelle Baker Vest; "a stunning show about love, coming to terms with our imperfections and our deep affection for our loved ones.  It's heartbreaking and hilarious.  Moving and profound," offered Jacob Fischer.

SOULO July 6-14 at the Robert Gill Theatre
The world premiere of SOULO is presented by SoulOTheatre, Tracey Erin Smith's company that teaches actors and non-actors how to use material from their own lives to create short solo theatre pieces. A collective creation by The Soul Circus Collective, directed by Smith, SOULO is a magical soul-circus featuring three hilarious queer-identified men sharing their personal stories of love, loss and how cross-dressing saves lives.  SOULO has its own float in Toronto's upcoming Pride Parade on July 1.

Mckenzi Scott (the female ring leader) along with Marco Bernardi (nominated for the 2010 Tim Sims Encouragement Fund, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre's Homo Night in Canada), Terrence Bryant (Almeda Theatre's The Refugee Hotel, Theatre Passe Muraille's My Fellow Creatures) and DJ Edwards (a character comedian and Drag Queen who has performed at Second City, Yuk Yuk's, and more) star as a sparkly funny-boy turned guardian angel, Terry the Fairy saved by applause and a Gorge-ganic Queen who devours convention and poops glitter. 3 different men, 3 unique soul stories and one message: You are the one you've been waiting for.

Images:
• Standing L-R: SOULO performers Terrence Bryant, Marco Bernardi, and DJ Edwards surround director Tracey Erin Smith
• Standing L-R: Terrence Bryant and Marco Bernardi  flank  DJ Edwards
• Tracey Erin Smith, photographed as a "giraffe" from snug harbour Photo credit: Shy Alter


Burning Bush Productions presents snug harbor
written and performed by Tracey Erin Smith,
directed by Anita La Selva
at The Centre, 316 Dupont Street
Wednesday July 4 - Sunday July 15, 2012
Tues-Sat at 7:30pm except July 12 when the show is at 9:30pm, Sun at 3pm

SoulOTheatre presents SOULO
conceived and directed by Tracey Erin Smith, created by The Soul Circus Collective
starring Marco Bernardi, Terrence Bryant,  DJ Edwards and Mckenzi Scott
at The Robert Gill Theatre, 214 College Street (use St. George St. Entrance only)
Friday July 6- Saturday July 14, 2012
Friday, July 6 at 3pm, Sunday, July 8, at 8pm, Monday, July 9 at 2:30pm, Tuesday July 10 at 6:45pm, Wednesday July 11 at 4pm, Thursday July 12 at 2:45pm and Saturday July 14 at 7pm.

Tickets for both snug harbor and SOULO:  $10 / $11 in advance.
Call The Fringe Box Office 416-966-1062 or visit www.fringetoronto.com

Toronto Fringe 2012: Driving Home July 6-15

From a media release:

Driving Home
Part of the Toronto Fringe Festival
July 6-15, 2012


All roads lead to reality…

Trapped inside their car, Derek is forced to reveal a secret he's been keeping from Katherine. Confronted with their new reality, they begin questioning their relationship and themselves. Will they like where this road leads? Working Artist presents the world premiere of DRIVING HOME, a new play by Heather Sande, at the Tarragon Extra Space as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival July 6-15, 2012. Tickets are available via www.fringetoronto.com, by telephone at 416-966-1062 (ext.1), or at the door.

When Derek and Katherine go to Muskoka, Katherine's estranged mother announces she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. In the car driving home, Katherine struggles with the ramifications of her mother's revelation, while Derek comforts her. He asks her to move in with him, and initially Katherine is thrilled… until Derek lets slip that his ex is spending the weekend at his place. While he insists the ex was only there to pack up things she had had in storage, Katherine becomes increasingly convinced Derek has been unfaithful.

DRIVING HOME features playwright/performer Heather Sande (Sleeping Beauty, Casa Loma; Emily, Talk is Free; Against All Odds, Discovery Channel; My Babysitter's a Vampire, Fresh TV/Teletoon) as Katherine. Known for her Working Artist blog project and her songwriting (www.heathersande.com), DRIVING HOME marks Heather's Fringe debut. Newcomer Daniel Baumander (La Ronde, Buddies in Bad Times) will be featured as Derek. Actor/Director/Producer Ryan Fisher of rainyfresh pictures and ACTRA's Young Emerging Artists Assembly directs DRIVING HOME while second-time Fringer Jayda Woods (Missed Connections, Alumnae Theatre Company/New Ideas Festival; Village of Idiots, Fringe 2011) stage manages the production.

DRIVING HOME
Venue: Tarragon Extra Space (30 Bridgman Avenue, Toronto)

Performances:  
Fri, July 6th - 5:45 PM (Opening)
Sat, July 7th - 7:00 PM
Sun, July 8th - 10:30 PM  
Tue, July 10th - 10:30 PM
Wed, July 11th - 9:15 PM
Thu, July 12th - 1:45 PM
Sun, July 15th - 3:30 PM (Closing)

Please note there is absolutely no latecomer seating.

Tickets:
$10 at the door (cash only)
Or in advance beginning June 15 via www.fringetoronto.com or 416-966-1062 ext. 1

Toronto Fringe 2012: pomme is french for apple July 6-14


From a media release:

POMME COMES TO THE FRINGE: GET A LIKKLE TASTE
pomme is french for apple
July 6-14, 2012 at the Toronto Fringe Festival


Toronto.  - pomme is french for apple, a new play written, produced and performed by Liza Paul and Bahia Watson, explores the lives of modern women and their most intimate, embarrassing and empowering moments. Following a sold-out series at Cinecycle last year and after closing to a standing-room-only crowd at the Tranzac in early 2012, pomme is french for apple returns to the stage at Theatre Passe Muraille as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival July 6-14, 2012.

Distinctly West Indian, pomme is composed of outrageous vignettes about dating, sex, and society. Pum (patois for a woman's private parts – sounds like...) gets speaking roles, too. Liza Paul (anitafrika! dub theatre, b current, Soulpepper Theatre Company) and Bahia Watson (anitafrika! dub theatre, Soulpepper Theatre Company, Nightwood Theatre) create a series of charmingly outlandish characters in settings as diverse as the islands, downtown Toronto, southeast London, and the too-tight crotch of the pants. pomme is french for apple is a fresh, funny and irreverent look at womanhood in all its glory: its perils, its pleasures and all kinda madness in between.

pomme is french for apple
Theatre Passe Muraille (16 Ryerson Avenue, Toronto)


Fri July 6 11:00 pm (Opening)
Sun July 8 4:00 pm
Mon July 9 8:45 pm
Tues July 10 4:30 pm
Thur July 12 12:00 noon
Fri July 13 6:15 pm
Sat July 14 1:45 pm (Closing)

$10 at the door (cash only)
(or in advance beginning June 15 via fringetoronto.com or 416.966.1062 ext. 1)

Please note there is absolutely no latecomer seating.


Toronto Fringe 2012: The Omega Project July 5-15 2012

From a media release:

THE OMEGA PROJECT
Part of the Toronto Fringe Festival
July 5-15, 2012

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE WHAT YOU BELIEVE?
WHAT WOULD IT TAKE FOR YOU TO GIVE IT UP?


Daniel and Lindsey met working on the biggest project in FLIP's history: a documentary film about the 2011 uprising in Egypt - called THE OMEGA PROJECT. Their work propelled FLIP (the Foundation for Lasting International Peace) to the forefront of the NGO community and helped to create a world-wide movement for non-religious peace initiatives. But was it all a lie? Glasswater Theatre presents THE OMEGA PROJECT, an immersive theatre experience that casts a critical eye on the NGO world, Western interference and the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. Created by the Glasswater Theatre ensemble, THE OMEGA PROJECT is playing at Trinity-St. Paul's United Church as a site-specific production in the Toronto Fringe Festival July 5-15, 2012. Tickets are available via www.fringetoronto.com, by telephone at 416-966-1062 (ext.1), or at the door. Refreshments provided!

What would you do to hold on to the ones you love? Would you create a lie, or stand up to one? Welcome to THE OMEGA PROJECT, by Toronto-based Glasswater Theatre. Set in 2015, we as audience are cast in the role of new members at a workshop for the fictional organization FLIP. We are introduced to Daniel and Lindsey Cooper who worked with FLIP during the uprising in Egypt that birthed the Arab Spring. Daniel loved working with FLIP, but Lindsey seems to know something that he doesn't. As the workshop progresses, it becomes obvious that the truth FLIP is presenting isn't quite right. Who's lying, and what does that mean?

THE OMEGA PROJECT features performances by Glasswater Artistic Producer Luke LaRocque (The Elephant Man, Transient Voices, Wonderful, The BENCH), Emily Opal Smith (Far From the Tree, Glasswater; Pretty Little Instincts, SNAFU Dance Theatre/Summerworks 2011), and Kristen Scott (A Question of Faith, Next Stage Hollywood; Ash Girl, Scenedock Theatre), who also stage manages. Glasswater Artistic Director Mairin Smit (Far From the Tree, The Queens, Glasswater; Theatre Recap) directs THE OMEGA PROJECT. Graphic Design/New Media Design by Linn Øyen Farley. Costume Design by Beth Duffus. Video Design/Editing by Niall O'Halloran.

THE OMEGA PROJECT
Venue: Trinity-St. Paul's United Church Gym (427 Bloor St West, Toronto)

Performances:
Thu July 5 - 7:00pm (Opening)
Fri July 6 - 8:00pm
Sat July 7 - 2:00pm
Sun July 8 - 4:00pm   
Mon July 9 - 8:00pm
Tue July 10 - 3:00pm
Wed July 11 - 2:00pm
Thu July 12 - 5:00pm   
Fri July 13 - 8:00pm
Sat July 14 - 8:00pm
Sun July 15 - 4:00pm (Closing)

Please note there is absolutely no latecomer seating.
Tickets:
$10 at the door (cash only)
Or in advance beginning June 15 via www.fringetoronto.com or 416-966-1062 ext. 1

Toronto Fringe 2012 for the Kids: ROCKgarden Party July 5-14

From a media release:

ROCKgarden PARTY
July 5-14, 2012
as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival


Can music bring the rain? When the wind howls and a rock talks, will you listen enough to join the Garden Groms and Pixies? Little Fingers Music presents ROCKgarden Party, a highly interactive children’s musical created by Charlie Kert, (with additional material by Justin Ross and Megan Nadain) playing at the Palmerston Library as part of FRINGEKIDS! at the Toronto Fringe Festival July 5-14, 2012.

Inspired in part by the UK National Trust list "50 Things To Do Before You're 12", ROCKGarden Party aims to encourage the next generation to get offline and out into the garden. Tickets are available beginning June 15 via www.fringetoronto.com, by telephone at 416-966-1062 (ext.1), or at the door.

SkaterDude, an urbanite, loses his way while searching for a rock concert and winds up in a rock garden. Feeling like a fish out of water without the comforts of the city, SkaterDude eventually changes his tune after meeting creatures of the garden Jack in the Green, Earth Angel, and the lonely Talking Rock. Through these new friends SkaterDude learns to appreciate the beauty of the natural world.

ROCKgarden Party was created by Charlie Kert, an aging hipster skateboarder who has been writing and performing music for over 10 years. During a songwriting workshop, Charlie and his students created a song about urban vs. rural life. This planted the seed in Charlie’s mind to modify his rock-concert-style trio performance into a multi-character, plot-driven musical play about music and magic and their connection to nature.

ROCKgarden Party features writer/performer/educator Charlie Kert as SkaterDude alongside Megan Nadain (Event Horizon Dance; Godot Arts Productions; Typecast Dance Company) as Earth Angel and Justin Ross (Life Blown Open) as Jack in the Green. Andrew Joseph Richardson (Cascade Theatre, Shakespeare in the Ruff), directs ROCKgarden Party. Employing up-and-coming Toronto musicians, the Little Fingers Music school is a creative haven for budding songwriters and rock stars. ROCKgarden Party marks their Fringe debut.

ROCKgarden Party

Venue: Palmerston Library (560 Palmerston Ave, Toronto)

Performances:

Thu July 5 – 2:30pm
Fri July 6 - 11:30am
Sun July 8 – 12:45pm
Mon July 9 – 7:45pm  
Tue July 10 – 6:00pm
Thu July 12 – 2:30pm
Fri July 13 – 6:15pm
Sat July 14 – 11:30am

Please note there is absolutely no latecomer seating.

Tickets:
Adults $10, Children (under 12 years of age) $6, at the door (cash only)
Or in advance via www.fringetoronto.com or 416-966-1062 ext. 1

Toronto Fringe 2012 - CHARLIE: A Hockey Story July 5-15


From a media release:

CHARLIE: A Hockey Story
July 5-15 at the Toronto Fringe Festival


"If you're too tired to skate, I always say, then you can still crawl.
And crawling back is better than not coming back at all."~Charlie Sands


Hockey meets Shakespeare for a rock 'em, sock 'em theatrical experience! Jim Sands solo show CHARLIE: A Hockey Story is coming to the Toronto Fringe this summer. Using music and storytelling, Jim weaves a tale about his love of Shakespeare, his father's love of hockey, and the important lesson in forgiveness he learned while exploring the hockey career of an uncle he never met - Charlie Sands, a smooth skating right-winger who played in the NHL during the '30s and '40s.

CHARLIE: A Hockey Story is playing at The Annex Theatre as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival July 5-15, 2012. Tickets are available beginning June 15 via www.fringetoronto.com, by telephone at 416-966-1062 (ext.1), or at the door.

Over twelve NHL seasons from 1933-43, Charlie Sands played at Right Wing and Centre for the Leafs, Bruins and Canadiens. Along the way Charlie met many of hockey's greatest legends including Foster Hewitt, King Clancy, Eddie Shore and Ace Bailey. He was involved in one of the longest hockey games ever played and one of the most violent incidents in all of hockey.

"Although there is a lot written about hockey, we rarely get a chance to hear about the players who devoted their lives to the game, but didn't become superstars. I wanted to tell this story to honour my uncle as well as the other great players who we see in photographs alongside the big names," Jim Sands says.

Over ten years ago, Jim started investigating the hockey career of his uncle, collecting hundreds of newspaper clippings, articles and books about hockey during years his uncle played. Jim used the material as the basis for this solo show, which debuted at the Vancouver International Fringe Festival in 2011.

The play, which includes original songs, stories and characters, focuses on the early years of Charlie's career, when he played for the Toronto Maple Leafs during two tumultuous seasons. "It’s the only place in the universe where you'll see the Maple Leafs in the playoffs," Sands says. "It's also a play that explores my own passions for literature and the arts and how they relate to my uncle's story."

Jim Sands is an East Vancouver based storyteller, actor, songwriter, musician and occasional clown who has performed both as a solo artist and with a variety of musical groups. He has appeared as an actor and storyteller in plays and events such as the Downtown Eastside Romeo and Juliet, the Alice in Wonderland Festival, Heart of a City Festival, We Are the People!, and Vancouver International Fringe Festival.

CHARLIE: A Hockey Story
Venue: The Annex Theatre, 736 Bathurst Street, Toronto.

Performances:
Thu, July 5 -10:30 pm (Opening)
Sat, July 7 - 1:45 pm   
Sun, July 8 - 5:45 pm
Tue, July 10 - 6:15 pm   
Thu, July 12 - 5:15 pm
Fri, July 13 - 2:15 pm
Sun, July 15 - 5:15 pm (Closing)

Please note there is absolutely no latecomer seating.


Tickets:
$10 at the door (cash only)
Or in advance beginning June 15 via www.fringetoronto.com or 416-966-1062 ext. 1

Toronto Fringe 2012: Annabelle'sTails from Jail July 6 - 15


From a media release:

MODERN ATTITUDES in association with THE TORONTO FRINGE FESTIVAL PRESENT:
Annabelle’s Tails from Jail
Written & performed by Morgonn Ewen
Directed by Bruce Hunter
Stage Managed by Mollie Jacques
Tarragon Extra Space - 30 Bridgman Avenue


Seven Shows!
Friday, July 6: 9:15pm
Saturday, July 7: 3:30pm
Sunday, July 8: 4:45pm
Wednesday, July 11: 5:45pm
Thursday, July 12: 3:30pm
Friday, July 13: 1:45pm
Sunday, July 15: 7:30pm
Tickets: $10.00 at the door, $9.00 advance
For tickets go to: www.fringetoronto.com or call:(416) 966-1062 x1

Modern Attitudes is pleased to present: Annabelle’s Tails from Jail!

Annabelle is a white trash alt country singer/guitar player who finds herself in jail on „excusable‟ homicide charges. She tells her story about jail life, family life and life with The Biter - the man who got away – almost - through singing and talking with the audience.

Annabelle is on her way up, she’s just facing an obstacle, a life changing…ok she’s in prison. But it’s just temporary, more like a spa-like vacation, ok, 8 years for attempted murder. Her lawyer called it ‘justifiable attempted murder’. But she still has music, meatloaf, memories of men, pictures of men, women who look like men…wo-men but no men... Modern Attitudes is very excited to have critically acclaimed Comedy and Gemini award winning actor, writer, director and teacher Bruce Hunter as director for ‘Annabelle’s Tails from Jail’.

Free Flicks 2012: Wednesdays July 4 - August 29 at Harbourfront Toronto

From a media release:

Free Flicks 2012: Rise of the Underdog
Harbourfront Centre presents FREE movies under the stars
at Harbourfront, Toronto

TORONTO, ON –
This summer, pack a picnic, bring a blanket and gather family and friends for a night of movies under the stars at Harbourfront Centre. Back by popular demand, the 2012 Free Flicks movie series features nine weeks of free outdoor movie screenings alongside the scenic shores of Lake Ontario.

Every Wednesday night at approximately 9 p.m. (from July 4-Aug. 29), head down to Harbourfront Centre for a variety of family-friendly movies that explore this year’s theme “Rise of the Underdog” through documentary, biographical and cult films.

July 4-Office Space
July 11-Zoolander
July 18-When We Were Kings
July 25-Napoleon Dynamite
Aug. 1-The Social Network
Aug. 8-Whip It
Aug. 15-Whale Rider
Aug. 22-Moneyball
Aug. 29-Voter’s Choice: Karate Kid, Rocky, Rudy or Billy Elliot

All Free Flicks movies are screened, rain or shine, at the WestJet Stage amphitheatre. Come early to find a good spot and enjoy activities prior to the start of each screening. Snacks, drinks and other treats will also be available for purchase before and during the show.

Free Flicks is part of Harbourfront Centre’s 2012 Summer Festival Season that boasts more than 20 FREE festivals and events, from the Victoria Day long weekend until Thanksgiving, featuring world-class local and international programming for children, youth and adults.

For additional information and complete event listings, check out harbourfrontcentre.com/summer or call the Information Hotline at 416-973-4000. Harbourfront Centre is located at 235 Queens Quay West in the heart of downtown Toronto’s waterfront.

Toronto Fringe 2012: Soup Can Theatre's Antigone July 4-15

From a media release:

SOUP CAN THEATRE
Presents
ANTIGONE
By Sophocles (Translation by David Greene)
Director – Scott Dermody

July 4th-15th, Randolph Theatre, Part of the Toronto Fringe Festival

“… And the cities will stir in hatred …”

TORONTO - Soup Can Theatre is proud to announce its next production: a visceral and physical adaptation of Sophocles’ legendary tragedy Antigone that ties ancient Greece and modern-day Toronto together by drawing inspiration from the searing images of the 2010 G20 Summit protests, as well as the worldwide ‘Occupy’ movement.

Sophocles’ timeless story centres on Antigone, a young Theban woman determined to bury and honour her two brothers, both slain fighting on opposite sides of a senseless war. This act, in violation of an edict put forth by Creon, the iron-willed King of Thebes, forces her to both confront and defy his authority in the name of principle – a brave and noble choice with costly consequences.

Utilizing the play’s original text as the foundation for his vision, director Scott Dermody – in collaboration with his top-notch ensemble cast – has infused the production with elements of contact improv and physical theatre that reference iconic and incendiary visuals taken straight from the front pages. By revealing parallels between Antigone and today’s politically divisive climate, Dermody aims to examine themes of social justice, humanity’s historic penchant for bilateral conflict, and the long-standing tradition of using rebellion as a tool for change.

Antigone marks Soup Can Theatre’s return to the Toronto Fringe after their cabaret spectacle Love is a Poverty You Can Sell took the 2010 festival by storm, garnering four and five star reviews, and being selected to participate in the coveted ‘Best of Fringe‘ performance series. Antigone also follows in the footsteps of Soup Can Theatre’s stirring and critically acclaimed 2011 production of Marat/Sade (nominated for three ‘My Theatre’ Awards and one ‘Broadway World’ Award) which too fused past and present, in keeping with their mandate to “reinterpret classic theatre for a twenty-first century audience.”

Performance Details:
Randolph Theatre – 736 Bathurst St, south of Bloor (formerly the Bathurst St. Theatre)

Wed July 4 – 6:30pm
Fri July 6 – 10:30pm
Sun July 8 – 1:15pm
Mon July 9 – 8:15pm
Tues July 10 – 1:00pm
Fri July 13 – 5:15pm
Sun July 15 – 7:00pm

Tickets are $10 and available at www.FringeToronto.com


Cast:
Antigone – Cydney Penner
Creon – Thomas Gough
Ismene – Leah Holder
Haemon – Glyn Bowerman
Eurydice – Kathryn Malek
Teiresias – Michael Mcleister
Sentry/Messenger 1 – Chloe Payne
Messenger 2 – John Chou
Chorus – Adriana Crivici, Daniel Kim, Heather Motut, & Aaron Rothermund

About Soup Can Theatre:

Soup Can Theatre is a vibrant Toronto-based theatre company dedicated to the reinterpretation of classic theatre for a twenty-first century audience. Our aim is to use existing works as a means to explore and comment on contemporary issues and societal challenges, and in so doing, to offer our audiences a theatrical experience that is both entertaining and enriching.

Summer Organ Concerts at the Riverside Church NYC July 3 to August 7


From a media relase:

THE RIVERSIDE CHURCH HOSTS ACCOMPLISHED GROUP OF ORGANISTS FOR ITS ANNUAL SUMMER ORGAN SERIES
Tuesdays, July 3 to August 7, 2012


Concert Series Highlight to Include Live Organ Improvisation Accompaniment to Cecil B. DeMille’s Classic Silent Film King of Kings by Renowned Organist David Briggs

HARLEM (NEW YORK CITY) - Continuing its commitment to provide diverse and culturally rich programs to the community, The Riverside Church is presenting its Annual Summer Organ Series—featuring six concerts throughout the summer—every Tuesday, July 3 to August 7 at 7:00 p.m. in the Nave, 490 Riverside Drive (bet. 120th & 122nd St.), Morningside Heights.

Each concert will feature music performed by talented organists on the Church’s 206-rank Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ, the second largest instrument in New York City, with over 12,000 pipes.  

The schedule of performances is as follows:
  • July 3 – Christopher Johnson, Director of Music & Organist of The Riverside Church, NYC.  Works by Ives, Barber, Paine and Copland
  • July 10 – Ulrike Theresia Wegele, Professor of Organ, Univ. of Graz, Austria.  Works by Bach, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Zebinger and Aranyi-Aschner
  • July 17 – Christopher Creaghan, Assoc. Organist, The Riverside Church  Works by Bach, Widor, Schmitt and Hilse
  • July 24 – Harry Huff, Minister of Music and Organist, Old South Church, Boston, MA.  Works by Bach, Franck, Dupre, Messiaen, Alain, Hampton, Puccini and Mancini
  • July 31 – David Briggs, Concert Organist, Ipswich, MA.  A special concert of live organ improvisation accompanying the epic 1927 Cecil B. DeMille silent film King of Kings
  • August 7 – David Davies, Assistant Organist, Exeter Cathedral, UK.  Works by Langlais, Howells, Sowerby and Liszt
Prior to each concert at 6:30 p.m., audiences will also have the chance to enjoy an incredible recital performed on one of the most famous carillons in the world—the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Carillon.  The carillon’s centerpiece, the Bourdon Bell—weighing 20 tons—is the world’s largest and heaviest tuned bell ever cast. Its smallest bell weighs ten pounds.  Featuring 74 bells in total, in terms of physical size and weight (over 100 tons), the Riverside carillon has never been surpassed.

• Tickets are available at the door and are $20 for adults and $15 for senior citizens/students. 
• For additional information please call 212-870-6721 or visit the website 



WHAT: ANNUAL SUMMER ORGAN SERIES
WHEN: TUESDAYS, JULY 3 – AUGUST 7 - 7:00 P.M.
WHERE: THE RIVERSIDE CHURCH, NAVE - 490 RIVERSIDE DRIVE (BET. 120TH & 122ND ST.) MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS

Directions: To get to The Riverside Church by subway take the 1 to 116th St. and walk to 490 Riverside Drive (bet. 120th & 122nd St.) two blocks west of Broadway.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

New York Asian Film Festival June 29 - July 12, 2012

From a media release:

New York Asian Film Festival
June 29 - July 12, 2012
at the Film Society of Lincoln Center


Create your own festival package! Buy a ticket to as many as 12 films and save. Minimum purchase of 3 films required. Packages start at $30 General Public / $24 Students & Seniors / $21 Film Society Members.

NEW YORK CITY - This year, the New York Asian Film Festival is bringing the crazy back! As ever, our two-fisted lineup is packed with the blockbusters, hit romances and wild comedies (and, yes, even a few art films) that are packing them in across Asia. And we’ll be delivering guests, wild ‘n’ wooly retrospective screenings, and the contemporary flicks that are scooping up awards and setting the box office on fire in Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and Taiwan.

In This Series:

Vulgaria
Pang Ho-cheung | 2012 | 90 mins
Opening Night! In person: director Pang Ho-cheung!
A hilariously offensive shock comedy about making movies, Pang Ho-cheung’s ode to filmmaking makes Borat look tame.
Friday, June 29, 2012 - 8:30 pm

Doomsday Book
KIm Ji-Woon |Yim Pil-Sung | 2012 | 115 mins
Centerpiece presentation! North American Premiere!
The much-anticipated three-part science fiction anthology from Kim Ji-Woon (I Saw The Devil) and Yim Pil-Sung (Hansel & Gretel). Robots! Meteors destroying the Earth! Viral outbreaks!
Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 8:15 pm; Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 1:00 pm



Guns and Roses
Ning Hao | 2012 | 90 mins
Centerpiece Presentation!
Ning Hao, China’s most adrenaline-charged director, delivers a bank heist black comedy that moves at 500 mph.
Saturday, July 07, 2012 - 9:00 pm; Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 1:30 pm

10+10
Various | 2012 | 115 mins
Directors from Hou Hsiao-hsien to Wei Te-Sheng (Seediq Bale), recruit an army of stars like Shu Qi for these 10 short films about Taiwan.
Thursday, July 05, 2012 - 6:30 pm

Ace Attorney
Takashi Miike | 2012 | 135 mins
Takashi Miike brings one of the world’s most popular Nintendo DS games to the big screen and it’s all about…lawyers? Prepare to have your mind blown by this mashup of The Practice and The Avengers!
Sunday, July 08, 2012 - 2:30 pm

All About My Wife
Min Kyu-dong | 2012 | 121 mins
North American Premiere!
In this all-star remake of an Argentinian romantic comedy, a husband is too timid to ask for a divorce, so he hires a “boyfriend” to woo his wife away.
Thursday, July 05, 2012 - 9:00 pm; Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 1:15 pm

Blood Letter
Victor Wu | 2012 | 100 mins
From out of left field comes this Vietnamese martial arts movie full of flying swordsmen, weapon-wielding woman warriors, and the kind of wu xia passion the world has just too little of.
Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 9:00 pm

Bloody Fight in Iron Rock Valley
Ji Ha-Jean | 2011 | 90 mins
North American Premiere!
A lone stranger rides into a town ruled by an out-of-control construction cartel, ready to settle scores in this award-winning, ultra-cool, modern day spaghetti western.
Sunday, July 08, 2012 - 12:30 pm; Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 3:30 pm

Boxer’s Omen
Kuei Chih-Hung | 1983 | 105 mins
Nothing can match the sheer lunacy of this Shaw Brothers martial arts classic about black magic. You are not prepared for the gut-churning special effects.
Friday, June 29, 2012 - 11:59 pm



Couples
Jeong Yong-Ki | 2011 | 110 mins
A remake of the NYAFF hit, A Stranger of Mine, this time-looping, multiple-POV Korean romance is about finding true love in the middle of the economic meltdown.
Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - 6:00 pm; Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - 1:00 pm

Crying Fist
Ryu Seung-Wan | 2005 | 135 mins
In person: star Choi Min-Sik!
The director of City of Violence and the star of Oldboy team up for a boxing movie about two deadbeats who desperately need a comeback. A neglected classic of new Korean cinema.
Monday, July 02, 2012 - 9:00 pm

Dead Bite
Apisit Opasaimlikit | 2011 | 94 mins
North American Premiere!
Like smoking a fat blunt on the beach, this hazy, crazy zombie flick is all enthusiastic gore and surreal humor. Directed by and starring Thailand’s one and only hip hop crew, Gancore Club.
Friday, July 06, 2012 - 11:10 pm; Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 3:50 pm

Din Tao: Leader of the Parade
Kai Feng | 2012 | 124 mins
North American Premiere!
The biggest Taiwanese hit of 2012, it’s the true story of a Din Tao (drumming ritual) team of losers and misfits.
Thursday, July 05, 2012 - 4:00 pm; Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 9:00 pm

Dragon
Peter Chan | 2011 | 114 mins
In person: star Donnie Yen!
The word-of-mouth hit at Cannes last year, what Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon did for swordplay, it does for kung fu.
Monday, July 09, 2012 - 7:45 pm

East Meets West 2011
Jeff Lau | 2011 | 99 mins
In person: director Jeff Lau! North American Premiere!
Wong Kar-wai’s longtime collaborator, Jeff Lau, delivers an exhilarating comedy about reincarnated superheroes (and failed pop stars) that includes musical numbers, animated sequences, giant battles, and genuine heartbreak.
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - 3:30 pm



Failan
Song Hae-Sung | 2001 | 115 mins
In person: star Choi Min-Sik!
Choi Min-Sik and Hong Kong superstar Cecilia Cheung are paired in this low key, heartfelt romance about missed opportunities.
Monday, July 02, 2012 - 3:30 pm

Five Fingers of Death
Chung Chang-Wha | 1972 | 97 mins
In person: director Chung Chang-Wha!
Quite simply the most influential martial arts movie of all time, it launched the kung fu craze, paved the way for Bruce Lee, and is still a hard-hitting action flick.
Saturday, June 30, 2012 - 5:30 pm

Goke, the Bodysnatcher from Hell
Hajime Sato | 1968 | 84 mins
Imagine a Mario Bava film, plus Lost, plus wild horror psychedelia from festival fave Hausu. Mind-bending retro madness.
Saturday, June 30, 2012 - 11:59 pm

Golden Slumbers
Davy Chou | 2011 | 96 mins
In person: director Davy Chou!
Obliterated by the Khmer Rouge in 1975, Cambodia's lost cinema lives on in the memories of the filmmakers and stars who survived the genocide in this moving oral history.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 6:00 pm

Honey Pupu
Chen Hung-i | 2011 | 103 mins
Taiwan’s elegiac tone poem for the internet age about all the lost and missing people who are sliding over to an alternate earth.
Thursday, July 05, 2012 - 1:30 pm; Sunday, July 08, 2012 - 10:30 pm



Infernal Affairs 1 & 2
Andrew Lau | 2002/2003 | 101/119 mins
10th Anniversary screening!
Martin Scorsese remade Infernal Affairs as The Departed, but taken together these two movies are Asia’s richest, most complex crime epic. Note: Infernal Affairs screens at 6:00pm. Infernal Affairs 2 screens at 8:40pm.
Friday, July 06, 2012 - 6:00 pm 8:40 pm

Kill Zone
Wilson Yip | 2005 | 93 mins
In person: star Donnie Yen!
This contemporary cop movie stars Sammo Hung, lightning fast Wu Jing and Simon Yam, and it turned Donnie Yen into a major star.
Sunday, July 08, 2012 - 5:15 pm

The King of Pigs
Yeun Sang-Ho | 2011 | 97 mins
In person: director Yeun Sang-Ho!
fresh outta Cannes, this animated drama is about two adults trying to remember what exactly happened to them as kids when they attended a nightmarish high school.
Saturday, July 07, 2012 - 3:45 pm; Sunday, July 08, 2012 - 8:00 pm

Korean Short Film Madness
Various | 2011 | 120 mins
Featuring a short film (Night Fishing) directed by Park Chan-Wook (Oldboy) and his brother, as well as new shorts from Korea’s MSFF Genre Film Festival.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 4:00 pm

The Lost Bladesman
Felix Chong |Alan Mak | 2012 | 109 mins
In person: star Donnie Yen!
The writers of the Infernal Affairs films wrote and directed this movie that tells the tale of China’s revered warrior, General Kwan.
Saturday, July 07, 2012 - 6:30 pm



Love in the Buff
Pang Ho-cheung | 2012 | 106 mins
In person: director Pang Ho-cheung!
Pang Ho-cheung’s razor-sharp romantic comedy is the urban romance of the year. No familiarity with predecessor, Love in a Puff, required.
Sunday, July 01, 2012 - 8:45 pm

Make Up
Yi-chi Lien | 2011 | 107 mins
North American Premiere!
A mortuary make-up artist finds that the latest body on her slab is the closeted gay high school teacher she had an affair with years before. So who killed her?
Monday, July 02, 2012 - 1:00 pm; Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 10:30 pm

The Miami Connection
Y.K. Kim |Park Woo-Sung | 1987 | 90 mins
In person: star Grandmaster Y.K. Kim!
Gonzo, 80’s exploitation madness on acid, it’s all about a rock band that does martial arts and the drug-smuggling ninjas they must defeat.
Saturday, July 07, 2012 - 11:15 pm

Nameless Gangster
Yun Jong-Bin |
In person: star Choi Min-Sik!
Time magazine compares this gangster epic favorably to Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas and they’re not wrong. Set in the 80’s, Choi Min-Sik is a corrupt customs inspector making his grab for the bloody, brass ring of gangsterdom.
Saturday, June 30, 2012 - 9:00 pm; Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - 1:00 pm

Nasi Lemak 2.0
Namewee | 2011 | 108 mins
North American Premiere! Namewee in person at July 12 screening!
A food movie, directed by a rapper who has been investigated for sedition, that feels like a delirious early Stephen Chow movie. How could we not show it?
Monday, July 09, 2012 - 2:50 pm; Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 6:15 pm



Oldboy
Park Chan-Wook | 2003 | 120 mins
In person: stars Choi Min-Sik and Yoon Jin-Seo!
It won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes, and Choi Min-Sik is iconic as the hammer-wielding Oh Dae-Su, trying to find who imprisoned him in a hotel room for 15 years.
Saturday, June 30, 2012 - 1:00 pm

Pang Ho-Cheung’s First Attempt
Pang Ho-Cheung | 2012 | 50 mins
In person: director Pang Ho-cheung! North American Premiere!
Hong Kong’s hottest director (Vulgaria, Love in the Buff) screens movies he made in high school, mocking himself live, Mystery Science Theater-style.
Saturday, June 30, 2012 - 4:00 pm

Red Vacance, Black Wedding
Park Cheol-Su |Kim Tae-Sik | 2011 | 90 mins
North American Premiere!
This two-part film about adultery is a sexy, funny, over-the-top exploration of why we cheat.
Monday, July 09, 2012 - 10:30 pm

Sacrifice
Chen Kaige | 2010 | 124 mins
Chen Kaige (Farewell My Concubine) employs an all-star cast in this searing drama about a doctor who must sacrifice his own son to protect the child of a disgraced court official.
Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - 8:30 pm

Scabbard Samurai
Hitoshi Matsumoto | 2011 | 103 mins
North American Premiere!
From the director and star of Symbol comes this deadpan comedy about a disgraced samurai who has 30 days to make a dejected boy prince laugh, or he has to kill himself.
Friday, July 06, 2012 - 3:30 pm



A Simple Life
Ann Hui | 2011 | 118 mins
Sweeping awards from Venice to Hong Kong, this film turns a compassionate, unblinking eye on aging and dying. If you don’t cry, you’re probably a robot.
Monday, July 09, 2012 - 5:00 pm

Starry Starry Night
Tom Lin | 2011 | 120 mins
North American Premiere!
This Taiwanese hit is a visually inventive heartbreaker about a 13-year-old girl who hides in an imaginary world to escape the reality of her parent’s divorce.
Tuesday, July 03 2012 - 3:30 pm

The Swift Knight
Chung Chang-Wa | 1971 | 81 mins
In person: director Chung Chang-Wha!
Lifetime Achievement Award-winner Chung Chang-Wha (Five Fingers of Death) counts this Shaw Brothers swordplay movie as his favorite of his own films.
Sunday, July 01, 2012 - 3:20 pm

The Sword Identity
Xu Haofeng | 2011 | 108 mins
A refreshing remix of the traditional martial arts film directed by the screenwriter of Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmasters.
Sunday, July 01 2012 - 1:00 pm; Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 6:00 pm



War of the Arrows
Kim Han-Min | 2011 | 122 mins
Korea’s surprise blockbuster of 2011, this swashbuckling period action movie won 14 major film awards, and is a fist-pumping version of Robin Hood.
Friday, June 29, 2012 - 6:00 pm

Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale 1 & 2

Wei Te-Sheng | 2011 | 276 mins
A special Fourth of July screening of the uncut, two-part Taiwanese blockbuster that is that country’s Braveheart about its indigenous peoples fighting for their freedom.
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - 6:00 pm

You Are the Apple of My Eye
Giddens Ko | 2011 | 110 mins
In person: Director Giddens Ko and star Michelle Chen!
The biggest romantic hit of 2011, this bittersweet movie about the way nothing will ever top the first time you fall in love swept the box office across Asia.
Sunday, July 01, 2012 - 6:00 pm; Monday, July 02 - 6:30 pm; Monday, July 09 - 12:30 pm

Zero Man vs. The Half-Virgin
Sakichi Satô | 2011 | 105 mins
From the writer of Ichi the Killer and Gozu comes this touching tale of a cop with the superpower to see how many sexual partners you’ve had.
Friday, July 06, 2012 - 1:30 pm; Saturday, July 07, 2012 - 1:30 pm

Images: Blood Letter, Din Tao: Leader of the Parads, Doomsday Book, Five Fingers of Death

Drums from South Africa: Black Motion July 1 in Toronto


From a release:

BLACK MOTION  
Talking to the Drums from South Africa
 

Date: Sun. July 1st 2012
Tickets: $25 Adv
Time: Doors 7pm, Show 8pm
Venue: Revival Bar (783 College Street)
More Info: Moonraiser.ca or call 416-832-2205

TORONTO - Black Motion came into being in early 2010 - when Robert "DJ Murder" Mahosana and percussionist Thabo "Smol" Mabogwane decided to work together. They had already been producing music separately for years prior. From the onset this partnership led to string of respectable production that have been lighting up the dance floors in Southern Africa.

New Release - Borderlands: Wu Man and Master Musicians from the Silk Route

From a media release:

New Release on the Smithsonian Folkways' Label
Borderlands: Wu Man and Master Musicians from the Silk Route


Smithsonian Folkways' tenth and final volume in their cutting-edge Music of Central Asia series dropped May 29, 2012. Featuring unprecedented collaborations with Chinese pipa master Wu Man and Northern Chinese Uyghur and Tajik traditional artists, this album is a testament to the unifying power of music. Wu Man found unexpected common ground while playing with and learning from the many guest musicians on the album. There are many stories in this album, both from Wu Man, who's internationally known for her ground-breaking collaborations with classical music icons like Yo-Yo Ma, Philip Glass, Terry Riley, The Kronos Quartet, Tan Dun, and many more, and from the Northern Chinese and Tajik musicians with whom she's collaborating. True to the Music of Central Asia series, there's a very detailed booklet included with the album, as well as a DVD that features some short documentaries on the making of the album. It's quite the package!

Wu Man’s quest to understand the history of the pipa brought her to the Chinese borderlands of the Silk Route, a region of vast expanses of desert, mountains, and grasslands that for millennia have both linked and divided Chinese and Central Asian civilizations. At the heart of Borderlands are the musical traditions of the Uyghurs, whose homeland is the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the far northwest of China. Borderlands introduces three outstanding Uyghur musicians–Abdulla Majnun, Sanubar Tursun, and Hesenjan Tursun. Borderlands also features Hui singer Ma Ersa from China’s Northwest Gansu province, and Tajik musicians Abduvali Abdurashidov and Sirojiddin Juraev.

The new recording follows previous musical ventures by Wu Man that have seen her seek out little-known music tradition-bearers in far-flung regions of China and bring them to the attention of audiences in the west. She has also visited Central Asia and performed with Central Asian musicians in several earlier projects sponsored by the Aga Khan Music Initiative.

"These collaborations on Borderlands made my musical fantasy come true," says Wu Man. "I often imagined what it would be like if the pipa were mixed with instruments such as satar, tambur and dutar.  I was born in an urban city, Hong Zhou, in the east of China and the Islamic culture of the western part of China always fascinated me. As a little girl, I learned to sing many Uyghur songs that had been translated into Chinese, and to me they always sounded mysterious and very charming."

Wu Man says the collaboration also meant connecting with and acknowledging the roots of her instrument:  "What is known in China as the pipa is one of the Central Asian instruments introduced to China through the Silk Route of the Uyghur region.  As a musician from China, I would be embarrassed if I did not make the effort to know Uyghur music and to work closely with master musicians from Xinjing."

Stratford Festival 2012: A Word or Two & Cymbeline

From a release:

A couple of quick picks from this year's Stratford Festival:
A Word or Two &
Cymbeline


Click the date you’d like to book in the calendar

Academy Award winner
Christopher Plummer in
A Word or Two
Directed by Des McAnuff


Avon Theatre
July 25 to August 26, 2012
Opens August 2
Special 60th Season Presentation 

About A Word or Two
One of our greatest classical actors takes us on an autobiographical journey through the literature that has stirred his imagination since youth. From the sacred to the profane, from Stephen Leacock and A.A. Milne to Ben Jonson and the Bible, these selections of poetry and prose reflect a life-long love affair with the written word.

Cymbeline
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Antoni Cimolino


Tom Patterson Theatre
May 10 to September 30, 2012
Opens May 31 

About the Play
Imogen, daughter of King Cymbeline, has married against her father’s wishes – and his anger is only the beginning of her woes. When her husband is tricked into believing her unfaithful, Imogen must embark on a daring adventure to win back the man she loves.

Cast: Graham Abbey (Posthumus), Tom McCamus (Iachimo), Cara Ricketts (Imogen), Geraint Wyn Davies (Cymbeline)

Ready to order?
Click the date you’d like to book in the calendar.
If you require assistance with your order, just call our box office at 1.800.567.1600.

Detroit Meets Berlin: Cool New Track Pairs Tunde Olaniran with Phon.o


This is a very cool song:

Detroit Meets Berlin in Techno

Tunde Olaniran chimes in on Phon.o's latest single, "Leave a Light On" from the new album “Black Boulder”.

The track is equal parts Tunde-soul paired with Phon.o-UK-dub-Berlin-techno, and is featured on the new Phon.o record.

Sunset Salsa Thursday Evenings to August 30 in New York City

From a release - I'm thinking of making sure I'm in Chelsea some Thursday night this summer so I can get in on this:

June Debuts Sunset Salsa
Thursdays 6:30 to 9pm at the Chelsea Triangle (14th street at 9th Ave)
until August 30, 2012
 
 
NEW YORK CITY - Chelsea Improvement Company is happy to announce the return of Sunset Salsa to Chelsea Triangle.

Sunset Salsa: One of Chelsea's most popular summer programs, Sunset Salsa is back tonight! Join Talia Castro-Pozo and the rest of the Sunset Salsa crew in Chelsea Triangle at 6:30pm for a free class, and 7:30pm-9:00pm for open dance. Many thanks to After Work Salsa Mondays at Taj Lounge for their years of support of this outdoor dance event.

Enjoy an evening of salsa dancing and music as the sun sets on Southwest Chelsea. The best instructors from NYC lead a free lesson from 6:30pm-7:30pm, followed by open dancing from 7:30pm-9:00pm.

Presented in partnership with Talia Castro-Pozo, and After Work Salsa Mondays at TAJ.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Toronto: Contribute to Concerto for Composer and City

From a media release:

A Toronto Symphony: Concerto for Composer and City officially invites Torontonians to share their sounds of the city

Toronto, ON
– The Toronto Symphony Orchestra and composer Tod Machover (MIT Media Lab) today announced the official launch of submissions to A Toronto Symphony: Concerto for Composer and City.

Public contributions, which can include everything from streetcar sounds to steel drums to soulful melodies, will be accepted via YouTube, Facebook and SoundCloud, as well as by using special composing tools created by Machover's MIT team. (Details at the link)



About Tod Machover:
Tod Machover is recognized as one of the world's most imaginative and influential composers, and is also known for his music technology inventions, from a "hypercello" for Yo-Yo Ma to the innovations behind Guitar Hero. In addition to composing boundary-breaking works for instruments and electronics, Machover seeks ways to actively involve the public in music-making, through projects like his interactive Brain Opera or the Hyperscore composing software system. He is also celebrated for his innovative operas, including the "robotic" Death and the Powers, which was a Finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize.

About the TSO:
Founded in 1922, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is one of Canada’s major cultural institutions and is internationally recognized as a leading orchestra. Under the leadership of Music Director Peter Oundjian, the TSO is committed to innovative programming and showcases a roster of distinguished guest artists and conductors. In addition to performances, the TSO serves the community with one of the largest music education outreach programmes in Canada, connecting students throughout Ontario with acclaimed curriculum-based programming.

Bard of Rapture: Arieb Azhar in New York City June 26 & July 3

From a media release:

A Bard of Rapture:
Arieb Azhar Channels Pakistan’s Mystic Poetic Traditions With Bluesy Eastern European Ease

• 2012 Center Stage Concerts in New York City area June 26 & July 3 2012 - details below


Singer-songwriter Arieb Azhar learned music playing guitar as a Karachi teenager and found his voice, drifting disillusioned from crumbling Soviet Minsk to the streets of war-torn Zagreb, where he discovered the deep currents of Sufi poetry and songs of Irish resistance and Roma delight. It’s a voice poised to start a meaningful conversation between Americans and Pakistanis.

“Traditional, popular music in Pakistan is very, very profound,” Azhar explains. “It’s not folkloric music; it’s alive and part of the culture. The content these folk musicians used to sing about—and that I try to sing about—draws on our collective cultural wisdom. It’s based on very human values that transcend religion and race.”

Azhar, after returning to Islamabad, crafted a sonic world of his own, transforming the strikingly philosophical 19th-century poetry of Sufi devotees with worldly arrangements that range from rootsy guitar lines to soaring sweeps of vocal ecstasy. With the driving power of both rock and qawwali (Pakistan’s globally-savored Muslim devotional music), Azhar’s songs have a delicacy and atmospheric texture that flow from his long stint as a busker and pub player in Eastern Europe.

”I have realized that God/Nature has created all human beings the same. With their hopes, fears, and aspirations,” says Azhar. “The differences of language, culture, politics, and mainstream religion came afterwards and become irrelevant wherever they begin to divide humanity instead of connecting it. Genuine music can always act as the healing force to reconnect us on a human level.”

Azhar’s resonant, rich voice will intertwine with guitars, folk flutes, and tablas, for an acoustic, uplifting evening of globally informed music and a very personal kind of diplomacy in June and July 2012 as part of Center StageSM (www.centerstageUS.org).

An initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Center Stage brings compelling contemporary artists from Haiti, Indonesia, and Pakistan to the United States to engage the American people in cultural diplomacy as a way to create opportunities for greater understanding. Administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts, with funding from the Asian Cultural Council, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, this public-private partnership is the largest public diplomacy effort to bring foreign artists to American stages in recent history.

First image by Shahzad Ali Mirza

June 26, 2012
River to River Festival

A lunch time performance and talk at LentSpace

June 26, 2012
Sara Victorian Hall Auditorium @ Silvermine Arts Center

New York, NY
Tix: $15 members/$20 non-members, Show: 5:00 pm
Ph: 203.966.9700 ext. 22

July 3, 2012
River to River Festival @ Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, Pace

New York, NY
Show: 7:30 pm
Free Admission.

Free Family Arts Festival Continues to July 1 2012 in Harlem NYC


From a release:

The 12th Annual Family Arts Festival
Continues to July 1, 2012 at the Riverside Theater, Harlem (New YOrk City)
• All events free of charge - some require an RSVP


NEW YORK CITY - The 12th annual Family Arts Festival is already underway - here's the line up for the remaining events:

Tuesday, June 26th at 7:30 PM
Shades of Truth presents Trilogy of Truth
Relevant, provocative, and innovative new plays written by and about people of color and the Black experience
RSVP

Wednesday, June 27th at 7:30 PM
Mooney/Cooley Dance in Why Dance
MCD explores the "Why?" and "How?" of dance
RSVP

Thursday, June 28th at 7:30 PM
Tyrone Birkett/Emancipation presents Postmodern Spirituals: New Freedom Songs
Re-imagining and reviving the Negro spiritual by incorporating jazz, gospel, and soul music
RSVP

Friday, June 29th at 7:30 PM
TRT and HAA present Artz, Rootz, Rhythm
Performances by Harlem Arts Alliance Members including Uptown Dance Academy, Millennium Dance Company, and Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts' GESTURES Dance Ensemble
RSVP

Saturday, June 30th from 12 to 6 PM
Polish Cultural Village at Riverside Park
An outdoor festival of Polish food, music, art, and dance
No reservation required

Sunday, July 1st at 3 PM
The Pop Ups in Radio Jungle
An educational romp through time and space populated with mermaids, on-location-extreme-cooking shows, treasure maps, a sky full of glowing constellations, dancing bats, and more
RSVP