Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Music and Theatre Mesh in Collaborative SummerWorks Music Series August 8-18 2013 in Toronto

From a media release:

Music and Theatre Mesh in Collaborative SummerWorks Music Series
Featuring a travelling concert by The Wooden Sky, an interactive performance by Snowblink and three Musical Works in Concert
SummerWorks Performance Festival August 8 - 18, 2013

Tickets & Info for All Events Here

TORONTO, ON- 
SummerWorks Performance Festival presents this years Music Series, bringing collaborative indie concert experiences to its audience as well as Musical Works in Concert, presenting three new musicals that push the boundaries of traditional musical theatre. SummerWorks Performance Festival runs August 8th- 18th in multiple venues throughout the city.

“SummerWorks Music Series is all about creating unforgettable and unique experiences for the audience. It is a place where music and theatre collide,” says Michael Rubenfeld, SummerWorks Artistic Producer.
  
SummerWorks Music Series includes six original pieces featuring acclaimed experimental folk duo Snowblink in partnership with Toronto-based scenographer Trevor Schwellnus, and in an unprecedented experiment, country-folk indie-rock collective The Wooden Sky team with award-winning theatre director Jennifer Brewin to present a travelling concert. The performance includes a multiple stop tour of the Shaw and Ossington area ending at the Black Box Theatre (Queen and Dovercourt) for a memorable concert experience. Transforming The Great Hall into a summer dreamscape, Maylee Todd with the help of Steve McCarthy present Maylee Todd’s Musical Planetarium, a synthesized version of her hit LP Escapology with a kaleidoscope of visuals and live projection designs made by award-winning filmmaker Tess Girard. The Music Series also features collaborative shows by Justin Rutledge and director Andrew Shaver, The Bicycles with Maggie MacDonald and Stephanie Markowitz and Absolutely Free with Michael Rubenfeld.

Country-folk indie-rock collective The Wooden Sky teams with outdoor theatre director Jennifer Brewin to present a traveling concert during SummerWorks Music Series



SummerWorks Musical Works in Concert series presents three diverse examples of original musicals using traditional and non-traditional models. These include Adam Mathias and Jonathan Monro‘s  A History of Summer, exploring over a century of romance and heartbreak in America's earliest established gay communities, Miss Shakespeare, a saucy new musical by Tracey Power and directed by James MacDonald about the mad mind of Judith Shakespeare and her underground group of female players in the 1600’s,  and Paradises Lost, a modern opera based on the Ursula K. Le Guin science fiction novella, adapted by Marcia Johnson and composed by Stephen Andrew Taylor. More information and full line-up below.

MUSIC SERIES
ABSOLUTELY FREE

Co-created by Absolutely Free and Michael Rubenfeld
Opening Night Part- The Great Hall/ Black Box Theatre- 1087 Queen Street W.
Thursday, August 8th, Starting at 8:00PM and running every five minutes until 1:00AM
Experimental art-rock band, Absolutely Free work with Artistic Producer, Michael Rubenfeld, to create an all-night mini-concert experience for one audience member at a time.

OUT OF THE WOODS WITH JUSTIN RUTLEDGE

Co-created by Justin Rutledge and Andrew Shaver
Black Box Theatre- 1087 Queen Street W.
Sunday August 11th, 9:00pm doors, 10:00pm show
Out of the Woods tells the story of a couple's fierce final stand to save their doomed relationship. Watching it all, a guitar slinger serenades them further and further apart. Out of the Woods dives headfirst into the sentimental and tears apart the melodrama one overwrought emotion at a time until only laughter remains. As told by musician Justin Rutledge and actors Andrew Shaver and Amy Rutherford.



SNOWBLINK'S ORIGINAL TOUCH
Co-created by Snowblink and Trevor Schwellnus
Black Box Theatre- 1087 Queen Street W.
Wednesday August 14, 9:00pm doors, 10:00pm show
Acclaimed experimental folk duo Snowblink (below) teams up with scenographer Trevor Schwellnus to create an interactive atmospheric performance. The evening will conclude with a dimly and artfully- lit slow dance party.

YOUNG DRONES STARRING THE BICYCLES
Co-created by The Bicycles, Maggie MacDonald and Stephanie Markowitz
Black Box Theatre- 1087 Queen Street W.
Thursday August 15, 9:00pm doors, 10:00pm show
The Bicycles and John Southworth collaborate with writer Maggie MacDonald, director Stephanie Markowitz and multimedia artist Amy Siegel to present a top-secret presentation.

THE WOODEN SKY TRAVELLING ADVENTURE SHOW
Co-created by The Wooden Sky, Jennifer Brewin and Michael Rubenfeld
The Lower Ossington Theatre- 100 Ossington Avenue
Friday August 16, 7:00PM doors, 8:00pm show
Wooden Sky teams with large scale outdoor theatre director Jennifer Brewin to create a multiple stop tour of the Shaw and Ossington area ending at Black Box Theatre for a memorable concert experience.

MAYLEE TODD’S MUSICAL PLANETARIUM
Co-created by Maylee Todd and Steven McCarthy
The Great Hall- 1087 Queen Street W.
Saturday August 17, 9:00pm doors, 10:00pm show
With the help of Steven McCarthy and Tess Girard, Maylee Todd transforms the Great Hall into a summer dreamscape with a kaleidoscope of visuals, live projection design and a intimate version of her hit LP Escapology.



MUSIC SERIES TICKET PRICE: $15
MUSICAL WORKS IN CONCERT


A HISTORY OF SUMMER
Created by Adam Mathias & Jonathan Monro
Saturday 10th August at 7.30pm
The Great Hall- 1087 Queen Street W.

MISS SHAKESPEARE
Created by Tracy Power
Monday 12th August at 7.30pm
Black Box Theatre- 1087 Queen Street W.

PARADISES LOST
Created by Marcia Johnson, Composed by: Stephen Andrew Taylor
Tuesday 13th August at 7.30pm
Black Box Theatre- 1087 Queen Street W.

About SummerWorks Performance Festival
As the largest juried performance festival in Canada featuring predominantly new Canadian work, SummerWorks programs a festival that uniquely reflects Toronto and Canada’s cultural zeitgeist. Since 1991, SummerWorks has continued to explore and respond to the needs and wants of audiences and the performance community. The Festival has grown to become one of the country’s preeminent multi-disciplinary hubs featuring a Music Series, Live Art Series, a mentorship program (SummerWorks Leadership Intensive Program –S.L.I.P.); and the National Series, showcasing works from across Canada. The Festival adds new initiatives yearly, including performance-based programs such as the Performance Bar. The 2013 SummerWorks Festival runs August 8th to 18th in venues across Toronto.

Miss Shakespeare a saucy new musical by Tracey Power and directed by James MacDonald as part of SummerWorks Musical Works in Concert.


Tex-Mex Powerpop: The Krayolas CD Release & East Coast Live Dates August 2 - 8, 2013

From a media release:

Tex-Mex Twisters: The Krayolas Bust Out San Antonio-Style Powerpop on Tormenta
The Krayolas, Tormenta (Box Records)

On Tour:
August 2, 2013 Richmond, VA Virginia Museum of Fine Art
August 3, 2013 Washington, DC Tropicalia
August 7, 2013 Brooklyn, NY The Bell House
August 8, 2013 Asbury Park, NJ Langosta Lounge


In Texas, they like their legends. The Alamo, Sam Houston, even the Dallas Cowboys. And down in San Antonio they have another: the Krayolas, the band started in 1975 by the Saldana brothers, a pair of Mexican-American teenagers in love with powerpop. The great Augie Meyers, the Texas Tornado himself, calls them up to go in the studio with him, and Little Steven, Dave Marsh, and Ben Fong-Torres think they’re the coolest thing since an iced bottle of Lone Star.

With the new iTunes album, Tormenta (Box Records; release: July 30, 2013; available now on iTunes), the Krayolas let the world in on the secret Texas has been keeping. The band will take the East Coast by storm in early August, with concerts in Richmond VA, Washington DC, New York, and Asbury Park NJ.

“Our moniker was the Tex-Mex Beatles for many years,” observes drummer David Saldana. They were inspired by the Fab Four, the Who, all the great 45s of the 1960s. They toured with Nick Lowe and Joan Jett and shared stages with local heroes like the Sir Douglas Quintet ,the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, and the West Side Horns. As guitarist/singer (and admired music journalist) Hector Saldana puts it, “Our heart and soul are in San Antonio. We have a Mexican influence and this is a Mexican town. There’s always been a vibrant music scene and we’ve been part of that.”

For the Krayolas, the whirl lasted until the 1980s, then the band went on hiatus until 2008. Since then they’ve been busier than they were before, releasing five critically acclaimed albums, being special guests at Austin’s SXSW and the State Fair of Texas, and hitting New York for gigs. The Krayolas are back and better than ever. Tormenta catches them on a new high, with 10 new songs and remastered highlights from earlier albums. It’s the perfect introduction to your new favorite powerpop band, with memorable melodies, harmonies to make your heart beat faster and, of course, choruses that will stick in your mind like Velcro.

“The songs are better than ever,” Hector says. “It’s a different message that reflects the world we look at.” And there’s a deeper knowledge of their roots and heritage, too. “Piedras Negras,” for instance, is a rewrite of a 1954 corrido by Santiago Jiménez and featuring his son, the great accordion player Flaco Jiménez. “We do it Krayolas style, but then, when the track fades out, you hear the original track.”

“Fruteria (The Fruit Cup Song)” “sounds like it tastes,” Hector explains with a smile. “There are Mexican fruit stands here that sell fruit cups for $2.50, they have wild Mexican music playing. We tried to capture that.”



There’s a deeper sense of the world on Tormenta – the cut “Tony Tormenta” is about “the cancer of the drug wars down here” – while “Americano,” “Dirty Mexican,” and “Home” “are all about us.” But even an unflinching look at the world is tempered with compassion (“Home”) and wrapped in taco pop joy.

“Many bands want to be themselves as young men when they re-form,” David reflects. “We decided to learn to be in the present moment. We’ve gone with the flow to make the music.”

But those young men do come out to play again on a cover of the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” (it’s also on the disc in Spanish – “Quiero Ser Tu Novio”) that’s been breaking out on radio.

“When we were young we played a festival here put on by a local radio station,” Hector recalls. “A DJ gave us a box of albums and the Ramones was in there. It blew me away. We tapped into the fun part of things and the song fit us to a tee. It’s so simple and catchy. And with the Spanish version, even people who don’t know a lick of the language hook into it.”

It’s full of energy, the sheer energy of classic pop. But the secret of the Krayolas is that they’ve never forgotten the power of song. Five years ago it all came back to them, when Augie Meyers called up. “He said he had a song he’d record and play on with us. You don’t say no to that, not to someone like Augie. This is the guy from the Texas Tornados. Dylan calls Augie’s organ his magic box. The session took us back to when we made our first record, everyone in the same room.”

That’s the spirit that propels the Krayolas today. Not so much re-formed as reborn. “We’re a rock ’n’ roll band. We’re energetic. You need songs that get over,” reflects Hector.

And as Tormenta shows all too clearly, the Krayolas have a very deep well of songs. The best-kept secret in Texas is ready for the world.

Album artwork: David Zamora Casas
Group picture: Al Rendon

Experimental Jazz CD: Saxophonist Jonathan Moritz' Secret Tempo on Hot Cup Records

From a media release:

Debut CD Release: Saxophonist Jonathan Moritz' Secret Tempo
Released on Hot Cup Records June 18, 2013
Moritz with Shayna Dulberger (acoustic bass), and Mike Pride (drums)


August 19, 2013 - Duende, Oakland, CA
September 8, 2013 - Highwire Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
September 17, 2013 - Barbes, Brooklyn, NY

Buy It Here


Hot Cup Records is proud to announce the release of the debut album by Jonathan Moritz' Secret Tempo.  This trio recording featuring the leader and composer on tenor and soprano saxophones, Shayna Dulberger on acoustic bass and Mike Pride on drums showcases this long-standing New York experimental jazz trio.  Consisting of a suite of pieces composed to explore space, counterpoint, and interaction, Secret Tempo introduces audiences to a compelling New York ensemble.

The penchant for performing in the context of a pianoless trio has long been common among more open-minded and forward thinking tenor saxophonists.  From Sonny Rollins to Hot Cup's own Jon Irabagon, this instrumentation has proved to be a versatile and inspiring vehicle for musicians who desire to explore the space it allows each individual musician.  Moritz cites Sonny Rollins and Branford Marsalis' Trio Jeepy as influential predecessors, but his compositions are an attempt to bring in the vocabulary of so-called "new music" composition: microtonality, serialism, minimalism, and the post-Cage aesthetic.

As Moritz intimates in his liner notes, the idea behind the music of "Secret Tempo" is to explore the sounds and interactions that are created when a group of improvising musicians manipulate musical time.  Rather than create music based on steady pulses and consistent densities, Moritz compositions expand and contract as each member of the trio enters and exits the piece from moment to moment.  Much jazz criticism of the last half century has emphasized the importance of space in jazz, and as fans of Miles Davis will attest, the absence of sound can be a powerful musical statement.  The fluctuating compositions and improvisations of "Secret Tempo" expose the fertile ground available to musicians if they allow for a wider range of possibilities when silence is considered.



Increasing the appeal of such a varied musical collection as the pieces on "Secret Tempo" is the sound quality of each member's contributions.  Moritz' tone is lush and robust and owes a great debt to the big sound tenor men that he cites as influences: Ben Webster, Gene Ammons and Coleman Hawkins.  The work of latter day proponents of improvised music on the big horn such as Ellery Eskelin, Tony Malaby, Mark Turner, and John Butcher can also be discerned in his blistering runs, facile use of the altissimo register and tendency to cover the instrument's entire range in a single phrase.

Shayna Dulberger proves to be the perfect foil for a saxophonist as multifaceted as Moritz.  Utilizing the full range of articulations and pitches of the double-bass, Dulberger is equally comfortable sparring with Moritz on TK, laying down bedrock-solid ostinatos (7779) and offsetting Moritz' flurries with measured use of the instrument's low register.  The contrast between pizzacato and arco playing as well as a wide dynamic range are meticulously recorded and showcase both Dulberger's virtuosity and restraint.

Mike Pride's drums offer such a wide range of sounds that the inclusion of other pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments to his arsenal seems almost superfluous.  From the earthy lows of his bass drum to the expert manipulation of cymbals and their overtones, Pride's orchestral palate contributes a third melodic voice to each composition.  His inclusion of glockenspiel and other semi-pitched metal instruments is cogent and expressive, often evoking the sound of "new music" ensembles such as 8th Blackbird and the Bang on a Can All-Stars.



Saxophonist, composer and educator Jonathan Moritz was born in Teheran, Iran in 1977.  He moved at an early age to Southern California where he grew up surrounded by his Persian family and at 17 departed for Europe to study jazz saxophone at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.

Moritz returned to the US to complete a BFA at California Institute of the Arts ('98-2000) and release his first trio album, Xanadu.  In 2006, Moritz settled in Brooklyn becoming a frequent collaborator with like-minded improvising musicians such as Eugene Chadbourne, Micael Formanek, Mat Maneri, Nate Wooley, and many others.  As a teacher, Moritz has led master classes at the University of Michigan and ISIM conference in addition to teaching instrumental music at the Morris H. Weiss School in Gravesend, Brooklyn.  When he is not playing or teaching, he can be found surfing or running around with his son. Together with his French wife Elodie, he also curates the Prospect Series, an intimate and welcoming house concert series featuring innovative improvisers and Persian stew.



Shayna Dulberger is an upright bassist living and working in New York City. Dulberger has performed throughout the U.S., Canada, Israel, and Europe, and in many festivals and series such as XFest, Rhythm in the Kitchen, KMB Jazz Festival, CMJ, "Brooklyn Next" BAM Festival, the Vision Festival, ABC No Rio's C.O.M.A., and Neues Kabarett's events at the Brecht Forum.recorded. She has also performed with artists such as: Ras Moshe, William Parker, Bill Cole, Stars Like Fleas, and Walter Wright.  Born in 1983 and raised in Mahopac, NY, Dulberger attended Manhattan School of Music's preparatory division during high school and graduated with a BM in Jazz at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University.

Based in New York for the past decade, drummer Mike Pride currently leads the quartet, From Bacteria To Boys, who record for AUM Fidelity Records.  He has worked with everyone from improvised music icon Anthony Braxton to punk legends Millions Of Dead Cops, toured extensively on four continents and appeared on more than 75 recordings.  A short list of his collaborators includes Boredoms, Califone, Eugene Chadbourne, Chinese pop-star Priscilla Chan, Nels Cline, Trevor Dunn, Milford Graves, Mary Halvorson, Curtis Hasselbring, Jon Irabagon, Haino Keiji's Fushitsusha, George Lewis, Bill McHenry, Tony Malaby, Ikue Mori, Butch Morris, Joe Morris, Marc Ribot, Matana Roberts, Jamie Saft, Chris Speed, Jason Stein, Otomo Yoshihide and John Zorn.   Pride is also a busy educator and clinician, a soundtrack composer for TV, video games and independent films, and an experienced painter, cartoonist and photographer.

Island Soul and Calypso STARS at Harbourfront Centre Toronto August 2-5, 2013

From a media release:

Island Soul and Calypso STARS
at Harbourfront Centre August 2-5, 2013
Let the rhythm of the Caribbean move you!

Browse all events here


TORONTO, ON (July 8, 2013) – Let the rhythm of the Caribbean move you at Harbourfront Centre’s Island Soul Festival! The wildly popular four-day event returns to Toronto’s central waterfront Aug. 2-5, 2013 with one of the largest celebrations of Caribbean music, dance, film, art and games.

Revelers of all ages can enjoy the rich artistic and cultural offerings of the Caribbean islands including a special focus on creole nations. This year, Harbourfront Centre partnered with Festival Kompa-Zouk Ontario (FKZO) to highlight the commonalities amongst Caribbean islands, explore differences and pass along the soul of the Caribbean from generation to generation.

Also featured are top Canadian and international calypso and soca singers as part of the annual Calypso STARS Showcase. On Aug. 5, Calypso Monarchs from the U.K. perform their latest hits in a last-lap concert that also includes steelpan and traditional carnival mas’ characters.



Island Soul and Calypso STARS highlights include:

• Musical performances by Jamaican reggae artist, I-Wayne; the uncontested diva of calypso, Calypso Rose; and Toronto favourites Kobo Town;
• Festival Kompa-Zouk Ontario (FKZO) performances by Haitian superstars Tabou Combo, CaRiMi and more;
• A visual arts showcase featuring the works of Haitian painters and photographers whose subject is the island after the 2010 earthquake;
• A French Caribbean culinary showcase with Manje Kreyol’s Chef Magda Louis-Jean
• Family activities including Caribbean-themed crafts, face painting and a stilt-walking workshop designed for children;
• A two-hour Calypso STARS showcase featuring award-winning Calypsonians Sheldon Skeete, Macromere Fifi, Connector and Structure;
• And much more!



For additional information and complete event listings, the public may visit harbourfrontcentre.com 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. For information about getting here during the Queens Quay revitalization, visit harbourfrontcentre.com/gettinghere

ABOUT HARBOURFRONT CENTRE SUMMER SEASON
Harbourfront Centre is a Canadian charity operating the 10 prime acres of Toronto's central waterfront as a free and open public site. We celebrate the multiplicities of cultures that comprise Canada and enliven the city through the creative imaginations of artists from across the country and around the globe. Harbourfront Centre attracts more than 17 million visits to its site each year to experience 4,000 diverse public events and activities. Harbourfront Centre receives operational support from the Government of Canada and the City of Toronto and program funding from all levels of government, the private sector and individual donors.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Ticket Deal for the New York Premiere of Storyville on Stage to August 17 2013

From a release:

Ticket Deal for the New York Premiere of
Storyville
Book by ED BULLINS
Music and Lyrics by MILDRED KAYDEN
Orchestrations and Arrangements by DANNY HOLGATE
Musical Direction by WILLIAM FOSTER McDANIEL
Choreography by MERCEDES ELLINGTON
Directed by BILL CASTELLINO

Performances now through August 17, 2013
The York Theatre Company at St. Peter's
619 Lexington Avenue (enter on 54th Street)


• Tickets are just $40 when you use code WALK40.
• (Regular ticket price $69.50) - see details below


New Orleans, 1917: Something happened that helped change America’s music forever.

The time, Mardi Gras; the place, Storyville – the red light district, two blocks from the French Quarter. Saloons, gambling joints, brothels and pervasive political corruption set the scene for a new kind of music. People fell in love, a world disappeared and the music moved upriver. Directed by BILL CASTELLINO, with choreography by MERCEDES ELLINGTON and music direction by WILLIAM FOSTER McDANIEL, Storyville is written by playwright ED BULLINS (The Taking of Miss Janie – Obie Award) with music and lyrics by MILDRED KAYDEN (Ionescopade, Call the Children Home).

Featuring:
Two-time Tony Award® nominee Ernestine Jackson, D.C. Anderson, Cory Bretsch, Karen Burwright, Kyle Robert Carter, Dameka Hayes, Michael Leonard James, Leajato Robinson, Clifton Samuels, Christopher Spaulding, Carl Wallnau, Debra Walton, NaTasha Yvette Williams and Zakia Young

Performances now through August 17, 2013
The York Theatre Company at St. Peter's
619 Lexington Avenue (enter on 54th Street)


Tickets are just $40
when you use code WALK40.
(Regular ticket price $69.50)


There are three easy ways to purchase tickets:
• Visit www.yorktheatre.org and enter code WALK40.
• Call 212.935.5820 and mention code WALK40.
• In person: Bring a copy of this offer to The York Theatre Company Box Office, 619 Lexington Ave (enter at 54th Street), at The Theatre at Saint Peter's.

For more information visit www.yorktheatre.org

A chat with the Creatives:

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Free in Toronto: Dance Immersion Summer Showcase at TD Irie Music Festival Sunday August 4th 2012


From a release:

Dance Immersion Summer Showcase 
at TD Irie Music Festival
Sunday August 4th 2013
at Nathan Phillip's Square
Showtime 4:00pm

• FREE ADMISSION


You might see  me in the crowd at this dance showcase in downtown Toronto. The TD IRIE Music Festival is a free event that elebrates music, dance, art and culture, providing an opportunity to promote a greater understanding between the diverse cultures and traditions of our world-class city. The dance Immersion Summer Showcase returns to the TD IRIE Music Festival with a celebration of dance, presented by some of the nations foremost and up-and-coming performers.



Showcase line up includes:
Ijo Vudu, Gibson Muriva (Montreal), Mikhail Morris, Elite Dance Company, Jasmyn Fyffe & Natasha Powell- “Gimme One Riddim" - and Children & Youth Dance Theatre of Toronto!

Rotem Hecht - Film and game composer, Sound designer, arranger, producer...

I got an email introduction from Rotem Hecht, a young Israeli composer a while ago and slowly, bit by bit (not being proficient in Hebrew myself!) I've been piecing together something to post about him.

Rotem Hecht
Film and game composer
Sound designer, arranger, producer...

TEL AVIV - Rotem Hecht is a composer, arranger, music producer, sound editor (at Sound Post Frodkshin) and more - everything to do with creating music, sound design and recordings. He has worked as a Composer and Sound Editor on TV series, movies, video games, commercials, plays and shows and today owns  his own business under the names RH Studio and Theta Music .



Rotem was born in a kibbutz in the north near the Lebanese border, where the age of eight he started to play the piano and quickly fell into the world of music. He began arranging compositions for various musical instruments in the sixth grade and at age 13 he was playing jazz, Beatles, European classical music and had started to learn music theory. He also played in 3 different bands.

His stage career began at age 16, when he started to perform in Israel with singing groups as a pianist even as he was still learning music in high school. By age 18, he'd learned to play the piano and managed to learn the guitar, drums, saxophone, clarinet, accordion, working with synthesizers and Skoonsrim. "I'm not bragging," he says, "I just loved to play."

Music and sound design for Storm Of Magic game by Shamrock Games from Russia.
You can download the game for free for your Apple / Android  device from here



At 18 he moved to Tel Aviv, "the center of things." Once settled in, he continued to play with various artists and singers and began recording. "At 22 I had my eye on a new synthesizer out and hop!!! I found myself with a whole studio equipment. (It's addictive)," he says.

He began to compose his own music. "Here and there things went and I found myself working for a living at it mainly as a television composer and arranging songs artists. While working I also do mixing, editing, sound post Frodkshin and more and more and more ...." Diversity is the salvation of every creative freelancer.

His client list includes the Luli and Hop! Channels (Israel), Hasboro (USA), Microsoft (India), Juicylime Productions (Portugal) and KAL Airlines (Israel) among many others.

Music and sound design for the game Bravo – Escape from Pandora
You can download the game for free for your Android  device from here


Panchal Mansaram Retrospective & Others at the Art Gallery of Mississauga to September 7 2013

With material from a media release:

at the Art Gallery of Mississauga until September 7, 2013:

P Mansaram    Past | Present
Print, collage, photography and drawing from 1966 - 2013 explore the experience of reinvention and “being.”
011+91 | 011+92
Telephone calling codes of India and Pakistan initiate a critical discourse on Locational Identity and home.


Also on view:
XIT-RM | Alice Wang: The fallacy of misplaced concreteness
Tenses speak to each other in artist Alice Wang's video. An XIT-RM project by guest curator Erik Martinson.


The colour and movement of South Asia has become one of the threads of Canadian cultural life and the summer show at the Art Gallery of Mississauga showcases that spirit through the work of artists at various stages of their careers.

Past | Present is the first retrospective of artist Panchal Mansaram's work and includes pieces completed between 1978 and 2011.

Born in Mount Abu, in Rajasthan India, he studied at the Sir J.J. School of Art in Mumbai from 1954 – 1959, and from 1963-64, he attended the State Academy of Fine Arts, Amsterdam, Netherlands on a Dutch Government Fellowship where he met members of the famed avant garde Cobra Group.

Panchal first came into contact with the Toronto art world in the late 1970s. He met Marshall McLuhan around the same time and the two formd a life-long friendship built upon ideas, art and dialogue. (As a note peripheral to the show, he was also my high school art teacher at Glendale High during a brief stint at a teacher.)

The show includes photographs, letters and other archival material along with his bright and beautiful works in digital, painting, prints and mainly collage, an art form he uses as a wondrously flexible medium.

"The work of Mansaram presents a natural dialogue of the East and West." - from a descripton by Marshall McLuhan

His pieces suggest motion and fluctuation, using Indian imagery with flashes of Western culture - English words among the Hindi script - bits of newspaper articles, Trudeau and Gandhi on the same page. A print of the Ottawa Market includes rickshaws and a notice about meditation. He offers a layered obervation of cross cultural permeation rather than pat conclusions; a look at the vitality and movement.

There are many pieces to enjoy but some favourites: Rear View Mirror No. 80, including Batman and Indian mythological figures. I also loved On the Way to Udaipur (2009 - in acrylic accentuated Mansamedia gliclee on canvas) with its figures of women and a boy in perspective down a street. The image is mainly photographic but sketched in some areas; it hums with life and movement.

011+91 | 011+92 - based on the telephone calling codes of India and Pakistan - expands on the ideas of identity in the work of several younger artists. Avantika Bawa is fascinated with the modern architecture of Mississauga - those curvy Marilyn buildings and a bright yellow ball as an installation that shows up in the images.

I also liked Joshua Vettvelu's wood and dirt installation Unsuitable Vessel (Dad's Ghosts) 2013; it had both a poignant and monumental presence. Also striking was Sumaira Tazeen's All That Glitters IV - gold dots that swirl in a pattern on the wall.

Meera Sethi's Foreign Returned series 2013 (in acrylic) offers upbeat and amusing portraits of people in traditional South Asian garb with loafers or pink pumps, boom boxes and iPods; a Canadian passport peeks out one belt.

It's a very enjoyable show over all that looks at the South Asian identity in Canada; one that retains its unique character even in contemporary North America.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Adam Solomon debuts African Blues and Jazz Trio Saturday, July 27, 2013 in Toronto

From a media release:

Adam Solomon debuts African Blues and Jazz Trio
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Hirut Café - Toronto - 8:30PM


TORONTO - Juno award-winning guitar maestro Adam Solomon debuts his new African Blues and Jazz Trio on Saturday July 27, 2013 at Hirut Café located at 2050 Danforth Avenue, Toronto at 8:30 PM.

Adam Solomon sings in six languages, including Swahili, English, and Arabic. "The Professor", as he is known in musical circles, is highly respected as a lead guitarist and vocalist. He performs as a blues soloist as well as with his band Tikisa, creating a unique sound that combines traditional and modern coastal East African rhythms, fiesta, rumba, soukous, makossa and highlife music. He has released three of his own CDs, Safari, Mti Wa Maisha and Rocket Express II: African Renaissance Blues.  Adam Solomon is a member of the Juno award-winning African Guitar Summit and has recorded two albums with the group, titled African Guitar Summit I and II.



The African Blues and Jazz Trio features Adam Solomon on guitar and vocals, bassist Conrad Henderson and Phil Caffery on the drum kit.

Conrad Henderson is an electric and contrabassist and music educator from Melbourne Australia. He is adept in many styles including jazz, Latin, African, Caribbean, R&B and funk. He has performed in various parts of the world and for renowned events.

Phil Caffery is new to Toronto, moving from Providence, Rhode Island, where he taught drums and performed regularly in clubs throughout New England. He was trained in jazz and performed in concert bands and in pit orchestras for numerous theater productions.

Hirut Café specializes in Ethiopian cuisine, a friendly atmosphere and live music on the weekends.  The café is a cozy room that holds a maximum of 50 people. This is an opportunity for the audience to experience music in an intimate setting, as well as interact with the artists. You will not only enjoy the music and ambient atmosphere but also be able to eat healthy and tasty Ethiopian dishes. (Adam Solomon at the Tarig Abubakar Memorial concert, the Cottage)

Date: Saturday July 27, 2013
Event: Adam Solomon Trio
Location: Hirut Café, 2050 Danforth Avenue,https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hirut-Restaurant/188064831229749 Toronto (TTC: Just East of Woodbine subway station on the North side of Danforth)
Time:  Open for dinner from 7 PM  /  Show at 8:30 PM
Cost: Suggested donation $10 or PWYC (all proceeds to musicians)


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Dance in Toronto: Pop Up Porchview Dances in Seaton Village July 18 – 20, 2013


From a media release:

Dance in Toronto: Pop Up Porchview Dances
Kaeja d’Dance’s award-winning Porch View Dances lives on with a mini pop-up Porch View Dances festival in Seaton Village, July 18 – 20, 2013

• Pop up Porch View Dances premieres July 18 – 20, 2013 at 7 PM starting at 843 Palmerston Avenue and is a pay-what-you-can event

TORONTO…
Kaeja d’Dance is pleased to announce that “pop up Porch View Dances” will be taking place this summer from July 18 – 20, 2013. This miniature version of last year’s awardwinning Porch View Dances is adding new flavours and opportunities for direct audience participation in preparation for an expanded Porch View Dances concept to be launched in 2015. The festival will feature two new audience-inclusive inventions by choreographers Meagan O’Shea and Karen Kaeja, as well as showcase two favourite moments from last summer: Allen Kaeja’s choreography, Crutch, and Karen’s audience-inclusive Flock Landing.

Last year, Porch View Dances made the news when it was awarded the Globe and Mail’s Best Site Specific Work of 2012 and the Canadian Dance Assembly’s I love dance ‘Community’ award. Over 2,400 spectators came from across the city to wander through the downtown Seaton Village neighbourhood watching families perform dance works on the front porches and gardens of their own homes and participating in the audience inclusive Flock Landing. The nondancer families had been partnered with exciting mid-career and established choreographers from Toronto, creating the works together in the months leading up to the shows, and a broad range of community members had attended flock landing workshops.

This year, rather than touring the entire neighbourhood, pop up Porch View Dances promises to get the audience involved on a grander scale. Audiences will move in and around the area of Vermont Square Park and St. Alban’s Boys’ and Girls’ Club at Bathurst and Dupont, to watch and participate in a three-day dance festival that celebrates the everyday individual in direct interaction with the professional artist. In the spirit of Porch View Dances slogan: ‘real people, in real time, in real spaces’, Kaeja d’Dance’s interim year will give the audience new adventures to experience.

“There is community outreach, and then there is Porch View Dances. Outreach has long been a catch phrase in the arts. Many times, the impact is the proverbial square peg in the round hole, but Porch View Dances could be the poster child for how to do everything right,” says Paula Citron, Senior Dance Writer for the Globe and Mail about last summers’ event.

Porch View Dances was conceived by Karen Kaeja of Kaeja d'Dance and developed with Allen Kaeja. Kaeja d’Dance has created a multitude of audience-inclusive site-specific works with professional and non-professional performers across Canada and abroad. Established in 1991, Toronto's Kaeja d’Dance is renowned for creating exceptional award-winning contemporary dance performances, site works with extreme numbers of dancers, acclaimed screen dance and in-demand education & outreach programs. Living fully at the heart of Kaeja are Co-Artistic Directors Karen & Allen Kaeja. They break ground, take risks and bring together exquisite dancers and collaborators to infuse extraordinary experiences both on and off the stage in local and international communities.

Meagan O’Shea has a long history of making site-specific and participatory dance events. In 2009 she created a 2 km dance relay for 30 dancers that took place over 12 hours in Scotiabank’s Nuit Blanche. Her popular outdoor contemporary dance/public art project, dance like no one is watching, has included more than 200 dancers and engaged over 30,000 audience members since it’s inception in 2007.

Tirgan Festival of Iranian Arts & Culture at Harbourfront Toronto July 18 to 21 2013

From a media release:

Tirgan Festival
July 18 – 21, 2013
The world’s largest contemporary Iranian arts and culture festival at Harbourfront Centre – the heart of Toronto’s waterfront!

TORONTO, ON –
The world’s largest Iranian festival, Tirgan, returns to Harbourfront Centre from July 18-21. Artists from across the globe are set to converge at Harbourfront Centre to celebrate Iranian arts and to showcase the richness and diversity of Iranian culture.

This year, Tirgan explores the idea of “hope” and highlights humanity’s ability to persevere, overcome and survive. Tirgan also places a special focus on women and the important contributions women have made to Iran’s cultural mosaic. Iranian contemporary arts are shaped in part by members of society whose voice may not be heard, whose image was taboo and whose legal standing was half of their male counterparts. Throughout history, Iranians have had their share of natural and self-inflicted devastations, yet there is no more powerful indication to hope than artistic and cultural heritage.

Browse all the events

Festival highlights include:

• Tirgan Opening Ceremony: Arash the Archer - An Operatic Narration
Ticketed Event: $25
Friday, July 18, 2013 from 8-10 p.m. - WestJet Stage
Tirgan opening ceremony - Arash the Archer is an operatic narration of one of the most well known Iranian myths which has captivated many with its universal values such as redemption, hope and sacrifice. The Iranian-Canadian Composers of Toronto (ICOT) created a new version of the story directed by Siavash Shabanpour. Arash the Archer is a musical collage incorporating operatic singing, orchestral music, theatrical elements, video and stage design.

• Vancouver Pars National Ballet
Saturday, July 20 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. & Sunday July 21, 2013 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.
A performance by Vancouver Pars National Ballet with folk and traditional Iranian dances;

• A collection of short films by award-winning filmmaker, Shirin Neshat, along with a Q&A period
Friday, July 19, 2013 from 9:00 to 10:30 p.m. at the York Quay Studio Theatre
Shirin Neshat is among the best-known Iranian artists in the Western world. She has lived in the United States, in self-imposed exile from her native Iran, for most of her adult life. Canadian premiere.

• Film Screening: Women Without Men by Shirin Neshat + Q&A
Saturday, July 20, 2013 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Against the tumultuous backdrop of Iran's 1953 CIA-backed coup d'état, the destinies of four women converge in a beautiful orchard garden, where they find independence, solace and companionship.



• Ajam
Friday July 19, at 9:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 20, at 9:30 p.m. – WestJet Stage
Ajam's live performance encapsulates a variety of performance styles inspired by music and rituals that are rooted in Iranian culture. The live soundscape is an amalgamation of traditional and tribal acoustic instruments with an undercurrent of modern electronic urban music elements.

• Love Stories of the Shahnameh
Ticketed event: $30-$40
Friday, July 19 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, July 20 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, July 21 at 4:30p.m. – Fleck Dance Theatre
Love Stories of the Shahnameh recounts the tales of Shirin & Khosrow, Bahram & Arezoo and Sohrab & Gordafarid. These love stories come to life through naqqali (ancient
Iranian storytelling), music and dance.

• Persian Cooking Demonstration with Najmieh Batmanglij
Saturday, July 20 at 12:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 21 at 12:30 p.m. –Lakeside Terrace
Najmieh demonstrates how to prepare traditional Persian dishes, such as green bites (doymaj); saffron-flavored Persian rice (tah-diq) served with an eggplant braise (khoresh-e bademjan). She also shares secrets of using saffron and rose water in Persian cooking.

Drake Hotel Properties (Toronto) Collaborates with Artist Jesse Harris at Drake One Fifty

From a media release:

Drake Hotel Properties collaborates with Artist Jesse Harris 
on site-specific piece at Drake One Fifty

Toronto, ON –
While many new restaurants post a conventional ‘Opening Soon’ message in their windows, Drake Hotel Properties was inspired to utilize its hundred-feet worth of construction hoarding as a creative canvas at the site of Drake One Fifty, Drake’s newest outpost on the northwest corner of Adelaide and York Streets. 

The stand-alone restaurant, Drake One Fifty, has been built out to seat 175 guests in a former commercial bank and includes a dining room, bar, micro-Drake General Store, curated art and performance space, as well as a 70-seat urban patio. The tenets of the Drake brand centre on the convergence of world-class hospitality, forward-thinking cultural offerings and sincere community engagement. Drake One Fifty has the joint mission of carrying forward these mandates while placing Drake’s exciting food and beverage program at the forefront of its core offerings.

Drake was thrilled to collaborate with Toronto-based artist, Jesse Harris, on the new site-specific piece: There Goes the Neighbourhood. Harris is known for his poignant use of text in gallery exhibitions and public installations. He’s perhaps best known for his mural You've Changed, adjacent to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health on Queen Street West.

Drake hopes the piece will spark curiosity and provoke people to consider how public urban spaces respond and evolve to meet changing conditions and lifestyles, as well as creating excitement about the cultural revolution taking place in Toronto’s Financial District. Harris’ piece signifies the possibilities of what a culturally-focused hospitality company can positively bring to a neighbourhood; beyond a place to enjoy food and drink, the culinary offerings from Drake are always accompanied by vibrant performance and visual art. Installation in progress of There Goes the Neighbourhood (above).

Drake is thrilled to offer up this hoarding project to its new neighbours, as a nod to the re-imagining of the public spaces we share. Drake hopes to inspire future development in the Financial District and to engage both with artists and the community from the beginning of their presence in their new neighbourhood.

There Goes The Neighbourhood is a site-specific piece located at the northwest corner of Adelaide and York streets. The work will be on display until the beginning of August. Stay tuned for more news about Drake One Fifty online.

Drake One Fifty is located at 150 York Street.

Visit www.thedrakehotel.ca or www.drakeonefifty.ca or www.drakegeneralstore.ca or call 416.531.5042 for more information.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

United Film Festival (New York, Los Angeles, London) Announces Free Submissions to December 31, 2013

From a media release:

United Film Festival - Submissions Now FREE!
to December 31, 2013

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS - UNITED FILM FESTIVAL:
United Film Festival is excited to announce that we now have zero submission fees! That's right, you can now submit to United Film Festival for free! 

• Check us out today and submit via Withoutabox!


LOS ANGELES, NEW YORK, & LONDON 2013 RECAP:
United Film Festival recently wrapped the first three cities of our 2013 season - and what a great three cities they were!

In Los Angeles, we had one of our best years ever and honored legendary-director John Landis with a Lifetime Achievement Award on our closing night.   The award presentation took place at the historic Vista Theatre where Mr. Landis also had his handprints enshrined in cement prior to a screening of Animal House.

New York featured a series of great screenings including the documentary Play Until Your Fingers Bleed, which reunited the band, Kleen Kut, for the first time in many years!

London had us across-the-pond once again and featured the captivating documentary The Promoter. The charismatic subject of the film, Robert Pereno, was even in attendance for this packed house screening!

UNITED FILMS LAUNCHES NEW DIGITAL CHANNEL:
United Films recently launched a brand-new digital channel where you can see your favorite films from us in one convenient, easy-to-use place. 

CHECK IT OUT NOW

BONUS MATERIALS & EXPERIENCES:

The best part about our new channel, via Chill.com, is that you have several unique ways to watch the films! We put together bundle packages that cater to the viewer. Options range from streaming AND downloading the movies for one sweet price, to special packages never before available. All of these options are fresh, new and exciting ways for you to engage this films and enhance your overall movie watching experience. You can even Skype with the filmmakers!

If you're on Twitter, you can follow our new Twitter at @UnitedFilms for all the up-to-date information on the festivals and United Films brand.

A taste of previous festivals:

Toronto Summer Music Festival: PWYC & Insider Events - July 16 to August 3, 2013

From a media release:

Toronto Summer Music announces line-up for SHUFFLE at 2013 Festival
July 16 to August 3, 2013

• Full Festival Line-up at this Link

TORONTO…
Toronto Summer Music announced details for its SHUFFLE concerts, a new offering co-curated by Douglas McNabney and Carol Gimbel, for this year’s Toronto Summer Music Festival (July 16-August 3, 2013). Inspired by the Shuffle function on an iPod, these informal, eclectic sampler performances are pay what you can and feature Festival Artists, special guests and next-generation emerging artists performing a wide range of musical offerings. 

• These short (45 to 60-minute) concerts are held at 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays at Heliconian Hall (35 Hazelton Avenue). 

Wednesday, July 17 "Mark Fewer and Friends”: Mark Fewer (violin), Lucas Harris (theorbo), Chris Bezant (guitar) and Chris Kettlewell (bass)
Thursday, July 18 Jake Charkey, cello fusion/ Amir Amiri, Indian Santoorist                
Friday, July 19    “Alexandru Sura and friends” virtuoso Romanian cimbalom
Wednesday, July 24 Assemblage Duo (NY) Charles Waters and Ryan Ingebritsen
Thursday, July 25 Los Angeles Guitar Quartet / Alexander Fiterstein, klezmer clarinet
Friday, July 26    Pemi Paull, viola / Cellophone – Chelsea Shanoff (saxophone), Nadia Klein (cello)
Wednesday, July 31 Tango Café led by Soohyun Nam
Thursday, August 1 John Kameel Farah, electric keyboards/ Lori Freedman, bass clarinet
Friday,  August 2 Spectrolite Piano trio led by Carol Gimbel and Vernon Regehr/ Music in the Barns Ensemble

Now in its eighth year of bringing outstanding classical music experiences to the city in the summer, Toronto Summer Music Festival (July 16-August 3) features renowned Canadian and international artists performing in 12 mainstage concerts at Koerner Hall and Walter Hall, plus masterclasses, lectures, interviews, workshops, and free outreach concerts.  The theme of the 2013 Festival, Paris La Belle Époque, celebrates the unrivalled cultural phenomenon that swept turn of the century Paris and showcases great musical works by French composers performed by renowned artists including France’s distinguished Trio Pennetier Pasquier Pidoux, pianist Cédric Tiberghien, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Brentano String Quartet, Juno award-winning Gryphon Trio, and bass-baritone Philippe Sly.  For information on all 2013 Festival activities call 416-408-0208 or visit www.torontosummermusic.com .



-Toronto Summer Music announces INSIDER EVENTS at 2013 Festival
TORONTO…New at this year’s Toronto Summer Music Festival are behind-the-scenes Festival Insider Events, including film screenings, Musicians Up-Close interviews, guest lectures, masterclasses and open rehearsals.  Beginning July 16, Festival Insiders Events run Tuesdays to Fridays starting at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door for $20 per day ($15 for 65+,  $10 for under 35) or in advance purchase a Festival Insiders Pass for $75 ($55 for 65+, $35 for under 35) at www.torontosummermusic.com .  Festival Insider Events take place at various downtown locations including Innis Town Hall, Rotman School of Management, Koerner Hall, Walter Hall, and the Geiger-Torel Room in the Edward Johnson Building (80 Queen’s Park). 

TUESDAY, JULY 16
1:30 p.m. – Festival Welcome by Artistic Director Douglas McNabney & Festival Insider co-host Rick Phillips (Walter Hall)
2:00 p.m. – Masterclass: Elly Ameling (Walter Hall)

WEDNESDAY, JULY 17
1:30 p.m. – Free Film Screening: A Late Quartet featuring the Bretano Quartet on the soundtrack
(Desautels Hall, 2nd Floor, South Building, Rotman School of Management, 105 St. George Street)
4:00 p.m. – Musicians-Up-Close: Brentano String Quartet hosted by Douglas McNabney (Walter Hall)

THURSDAY, JULY 18
1:30 p.m. – Musicians-Up-Close: Elly Ameling hosted by Rick Phillips (Geiger-Torel Room)                
2:30 p.m. – Masterclass: Pedja Muzijevic (Geiger-Torel Room)                

FRIDAY, JULY 19
1:30 p.m. – Musicians-Up-Close: Paul Coletti hosted by Douglas McNabney (Geiger-Torel Room)                
2:30 p.m. – Lecture: “The Rite of Spring's 100th Anniversary” by Rick Phillips & Michael Crabb, Dance Critic, Toronto Star (Geiger-Torel Room)                
4:00 p.m. – Open Rehearsal: The Rite of Spring, Anagnoson & Kinton (Walter Hall)

TUESDAY, JULY 23
1:30 p.m. – Lecture: “The Ravel & Debussy String Quartets” by Rick Phillips (Geiger-Torel Room)
2:30 p.m. – Masterclass: Julius Drake (Walter Hall)

WEDNESDAY, JULY 24
1:30 p.m. – Musicians-Up-Close: Pacifica String Quartet hosted by Douglas McNabney (Geiger-Torel Room)
2:30 p.m. – Film Screening:  Un Coeur en Hiver (Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Avenue)



THURSDAY, JULY 25
1:30 p.m. – Lecture: “What is Impressionism?” by Rick Phillips (Geiger-Torel Room)
2:30 p.m. – Masterclass:  André Laplante (Walter Hall)

FRIDAY, JULY 26
1:30 p.m. – Lecture: “La Belle et la Bête: Wagner and Wagnerism in La Belle Époque” by Robin Elliot (Geiger-Torel Room)
2:30 p.m. – Lecture and Demonstration: “French melodies of La Belle Époque” with Rick Phillips and Michael McMahon (Geiger-Torel Room)
4:00 p.m. – Open Rehearsal: Mozart Clarinet Quintet, Pacifica Quartet and Alexander Fiterstein (Walter Hall)

TUESDAY, JULY 30
1:30 p.m. – Musicians-Up-Close: Cédric Tiberghien (pictured above) hosted by Douglas McNabney (Geiger-Torel Room)
2:30 p.m. – Lecture: “Minimalism in Music: From Satie to Radiohead” by Douglas McNabney (Geiger-Torel Room)
4:00 p.m. – Open Rehearsal: Hahn Piano Quintet, Jonathan Crow, Martin Beaver, Steven Dann, Marc Coppey, and Ian Brown (Walter Hall)

WEDNESDAY, JULY 31

1:30 p.m. – Musicians-Up-Close: Steven Dann hosted by Douglas McNabney (Geiger-Torel Room)
2:30PM - Film Screening: Tous les matins du monde (Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Avenue)

THURSDAY, AUGUST 1
1:30 p.m. – Musicians-Up-Close: Jonathan Crow hosted by Rick Phillips (Geiger-Torel Room)
2:30 p.m. – Masterclass: Ian Brown (Walter Hall)

FRIDAY, AUGUST 2
1:30 p.m. – Festival Wrap-Up with Douglas McNabney & Rick Phillips (Geiger-Torel Room)
2:30 p.m. – An Insider’s Tour of Koerner Hall hosted by Douglas McNabney (Koerner Hall)
4:00 p.m. – Open Rehearsal: Brahms Piano Quartet (Walter Hall)

Merengue Master Accordionist Joaquin Diaz on Tour Summer 2013

From a release:

Merengue Master Accordionist Joaquin Diaz on Tour Summer 2013
including Vancouver Folk Fest & Lowell MASS Folk Festival


Last year was a banner year for the merengue master accordionist JOAQUIN DIAZ and his band: following shows in the Yukon, Borneo, Estonia and many other places including a 2-week US tour (Chicago World Music Festival, Lotus World Music Festival, Latin Music Festival, and more).

This world-tour followed a super-successful showcase at WOMEX (Spotlight Quebec) in Oct. 2012, where the greatest world music bands on the planet go to strut their stuff: needless to say they reaped the benefits, and more international touring ensued.            

In recent months Joaquin Diaz and his band have performed at the Montreal Mundial conference, at Montreal's Francofolies and at the prestigious Babel Med festival a the Dock des Suds, Marseille He has also taken part in a residency in Montpelier France with Colombian/French accordionist Antonia Rivas; their work together will be showcased this summer at several festivals in France: Festival de Thau, Convivencia and Detours du Monde, in July. Immediately following, he continues on to North America, for dates in Vancouver, Victori, Boston, and more. (See itinerary below)

It’s a long way from his roots in San Pedro de Marcoris, in the Dominican Republic, known for two things: baseball and accordions! Diaz’s musical career began on the streets of Santo Domingo when he was nine years old. At the age of twelve, this Dominican king of accordion was playing in the most prestigious Regencies of the capital.

Still in his teens he performed at the Pan-American Games in Puerto Rico accompanying the Dominican Republic’s Ballets Folkloricos. In 1990 Joaquin brought Dominican magic and his accordion wizardry with him to Montreal, Canada, where he now resides. Latino and non-Latino alike have taken to his devilish and envigorating rhythms, and he’s travelled the world as an ambassador of merengue music.

Joaquin Diaz’s enthusiasm on stage is totally irresistible. His light-fingered accordion playing and his infectious vocals drenched in Latin soul make this Caribbean maestro the best of the new generation of traditional folk merengue artists. His repertoire is a mixture of traditional and original tunes characterized by exhilarating rhythms.

Joaquin Diaz on Tour

Vancouver Folk Fest July 20-21
Butchart Gardens Victoria BC July 22
Kicking Horse Cultural Centre Golden BC July 23
Festival Place, Sherwood Park, Alberta July 24
The Blue Chair, Edmonton, Alberta July 25
Lowell MASS Folk Festival USA July 26-28

*All Canadian dates  supported by the Canada Council for the Arts


Manhattan Theatre Club's 'Choir Boy' - Last Week for Special Price - On Stage to August 4 2013

From a release:

Last Week at Discounted Price
Manhattan Theatre Club
Choir Boy
MTC Stage II at City Center, New York City

• To July 21, 2013
Tickets start at $30

• July 23 - August 4, 2013
Tickets start at $60

A play with music by Tarell Alvin McCraney
Directed by Trip Cullman
With Nicholas L. Ashe, Kyle Beltran, Grantham Coleman, Chuck Cooper, Austin Pendleton, Jeremy Pope and Wallace Smith


CHOIR BOY was commissioned by MTC with support from Time Warner Inc.

NEW YORK CITY - The Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys is dedicated to the creation of strong, ethical black men. Pharus wants nothing more than to take his rightful place as leader of the school's legendary gospel choir. Can he find his way inside the hallowed halls of this institution if he sings in his own key?

Tarell Alvin McCraney is author of The Brother/Sister Trilogy: The Brothers Size, In the Red and Brown Water, & Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet. His other works include Wig Out! set in New York's drag clubs and The Breach which deals with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He was the first recipient of The New York Times' Outstanding Playwright Award, the 2009 Steinberg Playwrights Award, and the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award. Trip Cullman (Murder Ballad) directs.

Visit ManhattanTheatreClub.com


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Classical V: Brass July 26-28, 2013 at Harbourfront Toronto

From a media release:

Classical V: Brass
July 26-28, 2013
at Harbourfront Toronto


• Check out the full line-up here

A global twist on classical brass music – from French horns and trumpet voluntaries to Indian wedding bands, brass bands and boat blasts!

Some of the Highlights

· Flute Allsorts with Alison Melville

Saturday, July 27 from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. – Redpath Stage
Alison Melville, long recognized as one of North America’s leading performers on recorder and historical flutes (including the Norwegian seljefløyte), offers a selection of musical repertoire from the 12th to 21st centuries, composed, arranged and improvised on 'all sorts' of flutes.



· Genghis Barbie
Saturday, July 27 from 8 -9 p.m. – WestJet Stage
Genghis Barbie, the leading post-feminist all-female horn experience, is the most innovative and energizing chamber ensemble of its generation and beyond. Performing arrangements of pop music from the 70s to Lady Gaga, they are the most versatile and expansive group on NYC’s classical/pop/rock/jazz/indie/alternative/punk/electro-acoustic scene.

· Hannaford Street Silver Band

Sunday, July 28 from 4:45 - 5:45 p.m. – WestJet Stage
Celebrating their 30th Anniversary at Harbourfront Centre, The Hannaford Street Silver Band (HSSB) is Toronto’s award-winning professional brass band and Resident Company of Toronto’s St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. In 1983, The Hannaford Street Silver Band was formed by a group of professional musicians with a love of the brass band repertoire and ensemble playing. Since then, the HSSB has been reinvigorating the brass band tradition, with classic and contemporary compositions, to critical and popular acclaim.



· BIG BOAT BLAST
Sunday, July 28 from 5:55 – 6 p.m. – WestJet Stage and Lake Ontario
Big Boat Blast is a massed fanfare led Hannaford Street Silver Band and the Toronto Fire Services ship (the Sir William Mackenzie). Together, they will signal all on-site brass players and multifarious boats in the marina to sound their horns– creating the Big Boat Blast! So bring your trumpet to town, or make one on site and join the Big Blast.

· JAIPUR KAWA BRASS BAND

Friday, July 26 from 9:30-11 p.m. – WestJet Stage and Saturday, July 27 at noon – Site March
This spectacular showcase of North Indian gypsy heritage hails from Indian state of Rajasthan. It features seven musicians playing virtuoso solos and dazzling improvisations on the trumpets, trombones, clarinets, bass drums, snare drums and cymbals of a traditional brass band, transformed with North Indian classical music, Bollywood tunes and traditional melodies.

Riverside Church New York City Summer Organ Series Tuesdays to August 6, 2013

From a media release - sorry I missed the first two concerts:

THE RIVERSIDE CHURCH HOSTS ACCOMPLISHED GROUP OF ORGANISTS FOR ITS
ANNUAL SUMMER ORGAN SERIES


• Tuesdays to August 6, 2013 from 7 to 9pm
• Tickets are available at the door and are $20 for adults and $15 for senior citizens/students.  
• For additional information the public can call 212-870-6722 or email music@theriversidechurchny.org

Concert Series Highlight to Include Live Organ Improvisation Accompaniment to Classic 1929 Feature Film The Phantom of the Opera on July 23

NEW YORK CITY - Spotlighting one of the largest and most acclaimed organs in the world and continuing a decades old tradition of summer concerts featuring outstanding organists, The Riverside Church is presenting its Annual Summer Organ Series—featuring six concerts throughout the summer—every Tuesday, July 2 to August 6 from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. in the Church’s majestic Nave, 490 Riverside Drive (bet. 120th & 122nd Sts.), Morningside Heights.

Pulling out all the stops, the concert series will feature performances by talented organists playing a mixed repertoire ranging from traditional music to orchestral transcriptions on the Church’s 206-rank Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ, the second largest instrument in New York City, with over 12,000 pipes.  A highlight of the series will be a live organ improvisation accompaniment to the classic 1929 film The Phantom of the Opera, starring Lon Chaney.  The full series schedule follows:

· July 16 – Christopher Creaghan, Assoc. Organist, The Riverside Church, NYC.  Works by Bach, Robinson, Hilse and Widor.
· July 23 – Dorothy Papdakos, Concert Organist, NC.  Previously of Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NYC. A special concert of live organ improvisation accompanying a screening of the 1929 feature film Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney.
· July 30 – Craig S. Williams, Organist and Choirmaster, Cadet Chapel, USMA, West Point, NY.  Works by Dupré, Lemmens, Faxon and Liszt
· August 6 – Matthew Lewis, Director of Music and Organist, Church of the Incarnation, NYC. Works by Franck, Vierne, Saint-Saëns and Duruflé.



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.

ANNUAL SUMMER ORGAN SERIES
TUESDAYS, JULY 2 – AUGUST 6
7:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M.
THE RIVERSIDE CHURCH, NAVE
490 RIVERSIDE DRIVE (BET. 120TH & 122ND STS.)
MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS
$20 FOR ADULTS; $15 FOR SENIORS/STUDENTS


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.