Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fellow Arts Lovers - August Hiatus

Hello Fellow Arts Lovers!

It may seem like I've been slacking off this month but in reality it's the opposite. I've been insanely busy and haven't been able to devote much time to the blog this August.

But - never fear, I'll be up and running again shortly after Labour Day. Have a wonderful end of the summer.  (The pic is of me on holidays a few years ago.)

- Anya

Monday, August 19, 2013

CD Release: Brazil’s Mario Adnet Revels in Villa-Lobos’ Lush Legacy on Um Olhar Sobre Villa-Lobos (August 27 2013)

From a media release:

Drinking From the Fountain: Brazil’s Mario Adnet Revels in Villa-Lobos’ Lush Legacy on Um Olhar Sobre Villa-Lobos
Um Olhar Sobre Villa-Lobos (Borandá Music; US release: August 27th, 2013)

“I don't use folklore, I am the folklore,” Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos stated boldly while on one of many tours in Europe. Able to compose art songs and then go jam with street bands, Villa-Lobos gave birth to modern Brazilian music, both classical and popular.

Latin Grammy-winning composer, arranger, and performer Mario Adnet has traced this connection, highlighting Villa-Lobos’ wonderful songs, pieces that lie at the root of many of Brazil’s most important contemporary music figures. Adnet’s musical vision for some of Villa-Lobos’ neglected works bursts forth on Um Olhar Sobre Villa-Lobos (Borandá Music; US release: August 27th, 2013). Lush orchestral arrangements meet wonderful, warm popular voices including Edu Lobo, Milton Nascimento, Mônica Salmaso, Paula Santoro, Muiza Adnet. And naturally, no tribute to Villa-Lobos would be complete without striking guitar work, contributed by Yamandu Costa ("Mazurca Choro," originally for solo guitar).

“Villa-Lobos is the fountain, and everyone has drunk from it,” Adnet explains.

When not composing his own pieces, or arranging and performing with international jazz greats (including Wynton Marsalis), Adnet has had a lifelong, profound engagement with key Brazilian composers, most notably Moacir Santos and Antonio Carlos Jobim, whose jazz, orchestral, and other works Adnet has painstakingly yet passionately arranged and recorded over the course of several decades. Adnet’s work kept leading him back to Villa-Lobos, and soon Adnet took his interest beyond general awareness, and deeper into the early 20th-century composer’s work. Villa-Lobos was influenced by modernism—from Stravinsky to Schoenberg—but equally powerfully impacted by Northeastern Brazilian traditions.

“At the time Villa-Lobos composed many of this tunes, he couldn’t be both a popular and a classical musician,” Adnet explains. “He chose the classical path, but the music didn’t fit very well into that world. He had a lot of songs he called chamber songs, just for lyric voice and piano. Yet the vocals often end up too loud, compared to the piano, with too much vibrato.” Adnet could hear some of his close friends and collaborators doing real justice to the beautiful pieces, with poetry by some of Brazil’s best and motifs based on traditional melodies and tunes. Whether it’s Nascimento’s pure, nimble tenor (the rollicking “Estrela é Lua Nova”) or Salmaso’s velvety alto, Adnet chose well. He transformed pieces like “Canção de Cristal,” which finds a whole new beauty via the evocative voice of singer Paula Santoro.

To balance this new vocal approach, Adnet also crafted new arrangements for Villa-Lobos’s complex piano parts, lines written to accommodate the music, not the player. “I got the sheet music to have the piano parts, to understand what he wrote. I saw how rich they were,” Adnet explains. “I tried to listen and separate vocals from piano, to do a better job and understand the notes.” One he gained this understanding, he brought out the piano parts’ many aspects and intriguing details by thoughtfully assigning Villa-Lobos’s ideas to different sections of the orchestra.

The results are graceful, yet imbued with a pop charm, an accessible, welcoming quality that spans jazz cool, classical stateliness, and BMP flair. Familiar orchestral work—Villa-Lobos’s seminal Bachianas Brasileiras, for example—really swing with a lively mirth that keeps the composer’s skill and art, while adding an extra dimension of color and pulse.

Yet as Adnet worked, he tried first and foremost to remain true to Villa-Lobos’s spirit and ongoing legacy in Brazilian contemporary music. He wanted Edu Lobo, known for his role in the bossa nova movement and his strong ties to Jobim, involved. Lobo had found lyrics dedicated to Villa-Lobos that fit the composer’s “Trenzinho do Caipira” and recorded his setting in the late 70s. The veteran musician joined up with Adnet to re-record the piece, complete with its original, brassy arrangement.

“I always go very deep when I start something,” explains Adnet. “That’s what makes sense to me, to continue my music.”

Adnet’s partners in this release, Borandá, a young Brazilian label with an ear for diverse, historically important, artistically vital music, appreciates this great depth. “Borandá is all about the diversity of Brazilian music, that is based on several ‘matrixes,’ Villa Lobos being one of the most important,” explains Fernando Grecco, label founder and avid advocate of Brazilian contemporary music. “It was the synthesis of the Brazilian Identity: simple, yet sophisticated, rough sometimes yet sensitive and gentle.”

“Having this Mario Adnet recording, including important, established names like Milton Nascimento and Edu Lobo was a gift for Borandá, and, we hope, for the rest of the world,” enthuses Grecco. “It would be hard to think of a recording that could better represent the history of the Brazilian music in the last century, while including new musicians and singers who have drunk from the fountains of Villa-Lobos and are masters in their own right, artists like Yamandu Costa, Mônica Salmaso and Paula Santoro.”

Scotiabank BuskerFest in Support of Epilepsy Toronto August 22-25 2013

From a media release:

Scotiabank BuskerFest in support of Epilepsy Toronto
August 22-25, 2013
throughout the Downtown Yonge Neighbourhood from Queen Street to College Street

Toronto -
Organizers of Scotiabank BuskerFest are pleased to announce even more outstanding new acts heading to the 14th annual Toronto international street performers' festival in support of Epilepsy Toronto, running Thursday, August 22 to Sunday, August 25 in the Downtown Yonge Neighbourhood. More than a million people are expected once again to attend the festival, which has been moved to its exciting new location along the Yonge Street corridor from Queen St. to College St. and surrounding areas - including Trinity Square Park and Yonge-Dundas Square. Yonge Street itself will be dedicated to pedestrians beginning at 6pm on Thursday, August 22 and running through to the end of the festival on Sunday, August 25.

More than 100 of the best street performers from Canada and around the world will excite and amaze Torontonians and tourists alike at the festival's new location. Among the terrific new acts coming for their first time ever to Scotiabank BuskerFest are:

Australia's Natural Wings, which use stunning aerial imagery and acrobatics to fly against the odds. Their show titled Elements is a non-stop aerial spectacle, as they journey through the elements - water, wind, earth and light - to leave audiences spellbound.

Duo ComicCasa, a super funny Swiss/Israeli couple delight audiences with their performance about love and the circus - for a show about their love for circus! Their unique style of physical theatre and top-notch circus skills underlines "NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!"

From the United Kingdom comes Rob Roy Collins, an impressive comedic escape artist and acrobat who literally finishes his show on a high as he escapes from 20 metres of steel chain and handcuffs on top of a 12-foot ladder!

Canada's Catwall Acrobats from Quebec City teeter on a teeterboard apparatus that propels them up to 9 metres high in the air, defying the laws of physics! They spin in all directions (over 3 times in one jump!) all the while entertaining with humour and jaw-dropping acrobatics!

Gabriel Angelo (aka MasterBlaster G - The San Francisco Trumpet Kid) is not your average 14-year-old! He is an impressive trumpet-playing, tap-dancing wunderkind who will knock your socks off! His charisma and talent have already landed him on television's The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

And some of the fabulous acts returning to Scotiabank BuskerFest include:

Rrrragggghhhh!!!! The Sauruses are back! All the way from the Cretaceous Period, by way of modern-day Holland, these beautiful, larger-than life sized dinosaurs are absolutely thrilling for audience members of all ages - just watch out for snapping dino jaws!

On the music front, Toronto's deVah Quartet, who performed at the 2015 PanAm Games launch, will rock the fest once again! This all-female, electric string quartet lays down heavy grooves as they perform original and cover rock music.

Previously announced new acts, both from Canada and around the world, include:

From Niagara Falls: Seb Whipits ("Sebastian Whipits") is a sexually ambiguous German Whip performer with a laid-back energy and some serious whip skills with an unbelievable duel fire whip finale on a 2.25m Unicycle! Verpassen Sie sie nicht!

From the Netherlands: Lisa Lottie is a world-class hula hoopist who "Bends it like Barbie" with super stunts of flexibility and a finale of the most dangerous hula hoop trick in the world! The Flying Dutchmen (one half of whom is Canadian) are The Rolling Stones of street performers, doing their last tour... again! Performing together since 1989, these old school comic geniuses are considered heroes in the world of international street performance and this is their monumental 'comeback tour.'

From Brazil: Diogo Alvares is a Master Manipulator who performs a silent show with a musical backdrop using incredible manipulation skills with cards, billiard balls and cigarettes to create a truly unique magic act.

From Australia: Twisted Designs creates Monsters! These giant balloon creations may look frightening, but they survive on love and give out bubbles and balloons in exchange for hugs and laughs, cuddling everyone from babies to grandparents.

From the United States: Chris Capehart is an accomplished veteran performer who started on the streets of New York City 40 years ago with his interactive comedy-magic show that entertains all ages from ages 3 to 99! Jonathan Burns is a hilarious and flexible comedian who impresses with his unusual talents (which include squeezing his entire body through a toilet seat!) and was recently featured on the Jay Leno Show and the Late Show with David Letterman. The Twin Tango is a combination of silent clown, dance, Chinese pole and a funny love story that charms the whole family!

From Germany: This year's festival features its first ever World Champion Living Statue! Germany's CANDYman dispenses a lot of - guess what? - CANDYs! This artificial salesman of sweets plays with the audience in sync to music with surprising tricks!

From Toronto: Alissa Vox Raw - think doo-wop band in a box - as Alissa Vox finds new and creative ways to express old a capella styles with just a loop station and her voice. An entire choir seems to emerge! Nathaniel Rankin, an international award-winning magician, mind-reader, juggler and circus artist, entertains with his show "Borderline Madness." Arashido Taiko is a traditional Japanese drumming (Taiko) group whose name means "The Way of the Storm." The most exciting acoustic band in town!

Returning acts previously announced include:

o The Festival's Metro People's Choice Award winners from 2012 - Dream State Circus! This Aussie/English couple perform acrobalance, juggling and dynamic high skill fire manipulations; a fiery act, with fiery chemistry!

o Sweden's Charlie Caper won Sweden's Got Talent since last appearing at the festival in 2008 as well as a silver medal at the 2009 World Championship of Magic. In a magic duel between Harry Potter and Charlie Caper, the winner would probably be Harry - but only just...

o The USA Break Dancers were the 2009 Street Performance World Champions in Dublin, Ireland and have won 7 People's Choice Awards at fests around the world. They return with a high-energy interactive new show - Flow Like H2O, an action-packed, break dance show like no other - featuring Cirque Du Soleil performer Julio "Klown" Santiago!

Other returning acts from around the world include Pete Sweet whose show "Meet Pete" is a hilarious display of danger, charm and technical virtuosity incorporating slack-rope acrobatics, juggling, singing and dancing (U.S.A.); Pyromancer, a must-see fire-breather from the Netherlands; Hungary's Bence Sarkadi's Theatre of Marionettes; and Montreal-Australian duo The Giant Seagulls who rummage in bags and pockets, steal food and generally incite chaos and shrieks of laughter wherever they go!

And returning local area favourites previously announced include Heather Chappell and Vince Peets, an engaging Toronto folk/roots duo (with a plethora of pretty penny whistles, a romping red guitar and a purple accordion named Violet) and Motion Device (from Bolton, ON) who make it a family affair as they rock out led by an 11-year-old girl singer, Sara Menoudakis, along with her 13 -year-old brother David, 15-year-old sister Andrea, 18-year-old cousin Josh and 19-year-old family friend Alex to make up one of the most unique rock bands on the planet!

More returning local area favourites previously announced include Toronto's own Scott Jackson, 2012 Canadian Beatbox Champion and finalist on Canada's Got Talent; Fireguy with his sophisticated fire-breathing and world-class devil sticks; the Funny Waiter who spins plates, pulls out the tablecloth from under a pitcher of water, and juggles rubber chickens; internationally acclaimed living statue Kate Mior captivates audiences through beautifully controlled narrative movement, or by simply standing still; Max T. Oz, with his humorous sleight of hand show; vaudevillian duo Mental Floss Slide Show bring acts and exhibits from the five corners of the globe - all with a little dash of snake oil; and of course, who can forget veteran busker Silver Elvis, Toronto's Memphis mechanical metal man who moves for money, honey - "thank you, thank you very much."

Admission to Scotiabank BuskerFest is by voluntary donation to Epilepsy Toronto, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping more than 40,000 Torontonians with epilepsy, and their families, through counselling, employment support, advocacy and education.

"Here in Toronto, 40,000 people live with epilepsy, and with the gate donations from Scotiabank BuskerFest, Epilepsy Toronto is able to provide the support our clients rely on," says Geoff Bobb, Executive Director of Epilepsy Toronto. "We're incredibly excited to be partnering with the Downtown Yonge BIA, to be bring the Scotiabank BuskerFest to their neighborhood and we're certain that the generosity of the spectators at our new location will only increase our ability to help the 1 in 100 people in our city living with epilepsy."

Buskers retain proceeds from "the hat" passed after their performances except for two special group benefit shows where proceeds go to Epilepsy Toronto: the 8th Annual Fire Show showcases the 'hottest' fire performers at the fest (Sat, Aug 24 at 9:30pm) and the Grande Finale (Sun, Aug 25 at 6:30pm) where the winner of this year's Metro's People's Choice Award will be announced. Both of these will take place on the Scotiabank Stage in Yonge-Dundas Square.

Images:- BUSKER 13 Dream State Circus - Australia's Dream State Circus,  a fiery act with fiery chemistry and Metro People's Choice Award winner at Scotiabank BuskerFet in 2009 & 2012, delight and entertain with dynamic performances of hand balancing, juggling, and incredible fire manipulations. A brilliant balance between comedy and danger.
- BUSKER 13 Duo ComicCasa - Duo ComicCasa, a super funny Swiss/Israeli couple delight audiences with their performance about love and the circus - for a show about their love for circus!
- BUSKER 13 Sauruses 1 - The Sauruses are back! All the way from the Cretaceous Period, by way of modern-day Holland, these beautiful, larger-than life sized dinosaurs are absolutely thrilling for audience members of all ages - just watch out for snapping dino jaws! 
- BUSKER 13 Lisa Lottie1 - The Netherlands Lisa Lottie, a world-class hula-hoopist, will "Bend it like Barbie" with super stunts of flexibility and a finale of the most dangerous hula hoop trick in the world!
- BUSKER 13  Flying Dutchmen - The Flying Dutchmen (one half of whom is Canadian)  are The Rolling Stones of street performers, are doing their last tour... again! Performing together since 1989, these old school comic geniuses are on their monumental comeback tour....again! Winners of ten first prizes around the world!

- BUSKER 13 Rob Roy Collins - From the United Kingdom comes Rob Roy Collins, an impressive comedic escape artist and acrobat who literally finishes his show on a high as he escapes from 20 metres of steel chain and handcuffs on top of a 12-foot ladder!

Festival Preview with performances in Yonge-Dundas Square, Trinity Square Park and on Gould at Victoria St.: Thursday, Aug 22: Noon-  6pm

Festival in Full Swing (Full road closures in effect from Thursday at 6pm onwards):
Thursday, Aug 22: 6pm - 11pm, Friday, Aug 23: Noon - 11pm,
Saturday, Aug 24: 11am - 11pm; Sunday, Aug 25: 11am - 8pm

Admission is by voluntary donation to Epilepsy Toronto

For information, visit:
Facebook:, Twitter: buskerfestto  hashtag: #SBBF

About Scotiabank BuskerFest - Since its inception in 2000, Scotiabank BuskerFest has featured hundreds of the best street performers from around the world, hosted millions of amazed spectators and helped raise much-needed funds for Epilepsy Toronto. Scotiabank BuskerFest is the largest street performers' festival in North America and is the largest Epilepsy awareness-raising event in the world.

VSC presents PRINCE AVALANCHE Opens in Toronto – August 23, 2013

From a media release:

VSC presents
a film by David Gordon Green
Based on the film EITHER WAY by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson

Opens in Toronto – August 23, 2013  |  Cineplex – Yonge + Dundas

Main Cast:

Written and Directed by – David Gordon Green
Director of Photography – Tim Orr
Edited by – Colin Patton

Official Selection:
2013 Sundance Film Festival
2013 SXSW Film Festival
2013 Berlin International Film Festival – Best Director

Driven by striking performances from Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch, PRINCE AVALANCHE is an offbeat comedy about two men painting traffic lines on a desolate country highway that’s been ravaged by wildfire. Against this dramatic setting, beautifully shot by Tim Orr, the men bicker and joke with each other, eventually developing an unlikely friendship.

Funny, meditative and at times surreal, PRINCE AVALANCHE features a moving score by Explosions in the Sky, and David Wingo, and was loosely adapted from an Icelandic film called Either Way.

What helped draw Green to write PRINCE AVALANCHE was the theory that  there are two sides to a lot of people.  “I’m still 11 years old,” he says. “Every now and then, I try to pretend I’m 38, but it doesn’t really work.”

David Gordon Green, an American filmmaker, was born April 9, 1975. He has directed dramas such as George Washington, All the Real Girls and Snow Angels, as well as the thriller Undertow, all of which he  wrote or co-wrote. Since 2008, he has also transitioned into comedy, directing the films Pineapple Express, and Your Highness, as well as episodes of the HBO Comedy – Eastbound & Down.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ticket Deal for the New York City Premiere of Breakfast With Mugabe - Performances Thru October 6, 2013

From a media release:

Two Planks and a Passion Productions Present
the New York City Premiere of London's acclaimed drama
Breakfast With Mugabe
An Award-Winning Thriller
by Fraser Grace
Directed by David Shookhoff
with Che Ayende, Ezra Barnes, Rosalyn Coleman and Michael Rogers

Previews now thru August 16, 2013
Opening Night Saturday, August 17, 2013
Performances thru October 6, 2013

The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre
at The Pershing Square Signature Center
480 West 42nd Street, NYC
(between 9th &10th Avenues)

$32 previews*
$40 post opening*
with code BWMM130
($95 premium; $59 regular)

There are three easy ways to purchase tickets:
• Visit and enter code BWMM130.
• Call 212.279.4200 and mention code BWMM130.
• Take this offer to the Ticket Central Box Office located at 416 W. 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenues.

NEW YORK CITY - Breakfast With Mugabe is inspired by accounts that Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, severely depressed, sought treatment from a white psychiatrist. It is a suspenseful play that highlights issues of our time: the tension between modern ideas and ancient beliefs, the question of whether those who were colonized can live with their former subjugators, and how a man who was oppressed becomes an oppressor. As we watch citizens of countries around the world struggle under dictatorships, this play resonates strongly.

Breakfast With Mugabe was originally produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2005. Directed by Sir Anthony Sher, the production transferred to the West End in 2006 and won the highly prestigious John Whiting Award that year. It has gripped audiences in subsequent productions. Now New York theatergoers will be able to experience a play that the Times of London called “riveting!”

*Offer is based on availability and can be withdrawn at anytime. The offer cannot be used in combination with other discounts.
*Alternating performances with Power and Psyche at the same venue

Monday, August 5, 2013

Musical Theatre: Africa Umoja August 7-18, 2013 at the Elgin Theatre, Toronto

Update August 9:

Extended to August 18, 2013
7 Additional shows:

August 14 - 8pm
August 15 - 8pm
August 16 - 8pm
August 17 - 2pm & 8pm
Auguts 18 - 2pm & 8pm

Get Tickets Here

From a media release:

Africa Umoja
August 7-11, 2013
at the Elgin Theatre, Toronto

Get Tickets Here

Umoja, the Spirit of Togetherness, is a pulsating musical celebration of South African song and dance. From the potent rhythms of tribal musical to the intricate steps of gumboot dancing, journey through the jazz of Sophiatown to the inspirational joy of Gospel and the powerful pounding energy of Kwaito and is a joyous celebration of dynamic talent, with a large cast of South Africa’s young versatile performers, singers, dancers, drummers and marimba players.

Travelling on the beats of drums, from the dusty streets of Soweto to all the corners of the world’s best and biggest stages, AFRICA UMOJA tells the moving tale of indigenous South African music - from the earliest rhythms to kwaito.

Marvel in the beautiful costumes & award winning, internationally acclaimed choreography. AFRICA UMOJA is a loud, colourful and jubilant celebration of life that audiences from all backgrounds have found infectiously delightful and uplifting.

Twenty-six countries have embraced the traditional love songs, lullabies and other musical expressions of rural life. They have also cried along in the city streets listening to music reflecting the pain of the migrant laborers and their families.

Relive the energy of Sophiatown, infused with passionate voices as they tell their story. The heart is saddened by cold stories of forced removals yet the feet continue to stomp along with the explosions of gumboot dancing.

There are also the reminiscent sounds of the vibrant jazz that forced its way free from the constraints of the times and a thread of gospel music running through the tale recalls the huge helpings of faith and courage. This saw black South Africans through some of the country’s stormiest historical passages. Experience the remarkable journey traveled to the current sounds of Kwaito!

Despite its occasional moments of reflection and pathos, AFRICA UMOJA is a loud, colourful, and jubilant celebration of life that audiences – whatever their cultural backgrounds – have found infectiously delightful and uplifting. The 40-piece cast made up from a myriad of South African cultures has its own touching story to tell…

Tickets: $90, $80, $75.50, $35.50
Seven performances only:

August 7 at 8 p.m.
August 8 at 8 p.m.
August 9 at 8 p.m.
August 10 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
August 11 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

For more information, call Ticketmaster at 1-855-622-ARTS (2787) or visit

Elgin Theatre
189 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Recently released: Elastic Bond - Real (Nacional Records - June 25, 2013)

From a media release:

Recently released:
Elastic Bond - Real
(Nacional Records - June 25, 2013)

Buy it here

The Miami-based crew recently wowed critics and fans at the Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) in NYC with their new album “Real.”  NPR World Café recently chose Elastic Bond as their ‘Next’ featured artist for the week (in the coming weeks, NPR will also air an Elastic Bond live performance on World Café).  With the success of “Find A Way” at AAA radio, Elastic Bond has emerged as Nacional Records’ most successful radio act in years.

The new album “REAL” is based on well-crafted pop songs and catchy melodies, with a unique style of urban tropical funk sung in both English and Spanish. There are nods to both classic soul and traditional cumbia, while always staying true to the modern sounds of their diverse hometown of Miami.

With influences from all across the musical map, some classic and some contemporary, Elastic Bond brings an urban edge with a tropical twist to the alternative music scene. With a name that gives reference to an atomic physics concept, Elastic Bond’s groove includes diverse elements, Imagine a colourful, funky and tropical vibe reminiscent of Los Amigos Invisibles, A Tribe Called Quest, Julieta Venegas and The Black Keys.

Elastic Bond is part of new generation of multicultural Latinos who incorporate music from the past in order to make music for the future.  With sultry female vocals reminiscent of Amy Winehouse or Little Dragon, Elastic Bond brings together a retro-futuristic combination of folkloric rhythms and electronic beats.

Listen & Free Download Here:

What started out as a project for Venezuelan producer Andres Ponce to experiment and create a unique sonic cocktail, was swiftly transformed after his harmonic textures were combined with the vibrant voice of Honduran singer/songwriter Sofy Encanto. Andres and Sofy  met through a mutual friend in 2004 while sharing some music, the minute they heard each-others demo tracks, they both wanted to collaborate and make music together, so they started working on random tracks which later led to the creation of Elastic Bond. The name of the band suggests the idea of eclectic sounds and musical genres held together by a common vibe; it was loosely inspired in a molecular chemistry term. In 2006 they released an underground independent album called “Madrugada” a lounge electronica sound showcasing some of Ponce’s instrumentals, some tunes with Encanto’s vocals and also featuring a few guest musicians from the Miami music scene.

Soon Elastic Bond started performing gigs all around town incorporating the guitar sounds of Buffalo Brown and David Burgos on trumpet. While occasionally jamming out new tunes at live shows along with special guests which include “Orion” and Livan Hernandez on vocals they released a second independent album in 2007 called “Excursion”.

Their upcoming New release “REAL” is based on well-crafted pop songs and catchy melodies, with a unique style of urban tropical funk sung in both English and Spanish.  There are nods to both classic soul and traditional cumbia, while always staying true to the modern sounds of their diverse hometown of Miami.

CD Release: Jayme Stone & The Other Side of the Air August 11 2013 at Joe's Pub New York City

From a media release:

Jayme Stone & The Other Side of the Air
August 11, 2013 at Joe's Pub, New York City

Two-time Juno Award winning banjoist, composer and instigator Jayme Stone makes music inspired by sounds from around the world. 

Jayme Stone's new album The Other Side of The Air was just released worldwide on July 30th. The Other Side of the Air is a travelogue of imaginary landscapes and faraway lands. The album traces the Cinnamon Route through Persia and India, revisits and reinvents melodies Jayme collected in West Africa and includes a Concerto for Banjo and Chamber Symphony written for Jayme by Canadian composer Andrew Downing. You might also catch them playing a Bach fugue, a Trinidadian Calypso and a Bulgarian mountain dance.

The big North American CD release tour that starts this month and Jayme is hitting all the good spots, including New York, Boston & DC.

Jayme Stone (banjo)
Rob Mosher (woodwinds)
Bobby Hawk (fiddle)
Andrew Small (bass)
with special guest Margaret Glaspy (voice)

August 11, 2013
New York, NY
Joe's Pub, 425 Lafayette St
Tix: $15, Show: 7:30 pm

Jayme Stone - Wassoulou from Approach Media on Vimeo.

VSC presents BAD MILO! Canadian Premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival August 7 2013

From a media release:

VSC presents BAD MILO!
directed by Jacob Vaughan
Canadian Premiere |Fantasia International Film Festival
August 7, 2013 | 6:30pm
Imperial Theatre – 1432 Rue de Bleury

Director Jacob Vaughan will intro the film, followed by a Q+A
Opens theatrically in Canada in October

(Toronto) Straight from where the ‘sun don’t shine’ comes moviedom’s latest ‘shit disturber’ –  Milo, the benign but hardly crusty creation of director Jacob Vaughan.

Darkly comic indeed  Bad Milo! stars Ken Marino as Duncan, a stressed out exec whose high pressure life, including his manipulative, crooked boss (Seinfeld’s Patrick Warburton), his controlling mother (Mary Kay Place), her much-younger boyfriend, his wastrel New Age dad (Stephen Root) and the expectations of his sweet wife metastasize to create a gremlin-like creature that emerges from his poop chute to wreak bloody vengeance on everything that plagues Duncan.

It is Duncan’s dark ID run amok. Diagnosed and identified by a hypnotherapist (Peter Stormare), Milo is a problematic product of expectations. His wife Sarah (Community’s Gillian Jacobs) is gently communicating that she expects more of her office drone husband. His boss Phil secretly looking for a stooge to cover his own dirty dealings – offers a “promotion” that involves being a corporate hatchet-man.

And the malevolent Milo makes no distinction between the guilty and the innocent when it comes to dealing with Duncan’s plagues of conscience.

Though it also has grace notes of another satirical cult favourite, How To Get Ahead In Advertising, Vaughan says his actual inspiration for Bad Milo! was David Cronenberg’s early horror film The Brood (about a woman whose anger causes angry, murderous children to be born from her skin).  He was describing that movie to Bad Milo! co-writer Benjamin Hayes when inspiration hit.

“I was telling Ben, ‘Now, that (The Brood) is something great.  It’s psychological.  There’s a metaphor there.  Wouldn't it be funny if we made a horror film about a creature that killed people?  And it should come out of the guy’s ass.’

“The whole idea made me laugh, so I knew, if I did this, it would have to be funny.  No way you can make a movie like this serious.”

Executive produced by the Duplass brothers (Cyrus), Bad Milo! opened to acclaim (and genuine surprise over its emotional sweetness), at the 2013 South by Southwest Festival.

Bad Milo! is directed by Jacob Vaughan.  Written by Benjamin Hayes and Jacob Vaughan.  Produced by Adele Romanski, Gabriel Cowan and John Suits.  Executive producers are Mark Duplass, Jay Duplass, John Norris, Kerry Johnson, Clay Floren, Aimee Shieh, Dallas Sonnier and Jack Heller.  Director of Photography is James Laxton.  Edited by David Nordstrom.  Score by Ted Masur. Distributed in Canada by Video Services Corp.

Aimia | AGO $50K Photography Prize Long List

From a media release:

Fourteen outstanding photographers selected through international nomination process

Toronto, ON —
The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize, Canada’s leading contemporary photography award, recently announced the highly anticipated long list of 14 finalists from around the world, submitted by a group of international nominators. Formerly known as The Grange Prize, the $50,000 purse is awarded by public vote and honours living artists whose work in photography and video over the past five years has displayed extraordinary potential. The nominators are leading Canadian and international experts in photography (curators, academics and artists) who have each nominated two artists for the Prize — one from their home countries or regions of expertise and one internationally.

The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize long list includes candidates from nine countries:

"The 14 nominated artists have diverse practices, but they have made an extraordinary impact in their respective communities,” says Matthew Teitelbaum, Director and CEO of the AGO. "As we enter an exciting new phase for the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize we hold onto our foundation by supporting artists with residency and exhibition programs at home and abroad. I extend sincere congratulations to all nominees; I know that they will all make a valuable contribution to the continuing innovation and growth of photography across the world.”

“On behalf of Aimia, I would like to congratulate all of the artists who were nominated for the prize this year. The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize not only recognizes their immense talent, but also provides those ultimately short-listed with an invaluable opportunity to learn and develop new projects while exploring their talents,” says Vince Timpano, President and CEO of Aimia in Canada. “We’re proud to partner with the AGO for the sixth year to continue to foster artistic development at home and around the world.”

The prestigious group of nominators for the 2013 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize includes:

Yael Bartana, Internationally Acclaimed Artist
Jennifer Blessing, Senior Curator, Photography, Guggenheim Museum, New York
Karen Irvine, Curator and Associate Director, Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College, Chicago
Michiko Kasahara, Chief Curator, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
Mark Lanctôt, Curator, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
Helga Pakasaar, Curator, Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver
José Roca, Adjunct Curator, Latin American Art, Tate
Bisi Silva, Director, Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos, Nigeria

From the list of 14 artists, a jury of three experts headed by Lead Juror Elizabeth Smith, AGO Executive Director of Curatorial Affairs, will select a short list of four artists, including at least one Canadian artist - . These artists will receive a fully funded six-week residency in Canada and their work will be exhibited at the AGO beginning September 11, 2013.

• The winner will be selected by public vote inside the exhibition and online (with online voting beginning August 27, 2013).
• The winner, who will be announced on November 7, 2013, receives $50,000.

• Please watch for the short list announcement later in August 2013. For updates on the prize and additional information please visit the website and follow @AimiaAGOPrize on Twitter.

The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize is Canada’s leading photography prize and one of the largest arts and culture prize programs in the world. The prize awards more than $85,000 directly to artists working in photography each year, and is comprised of an annual exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), an online exhibition at, international artist residencies, public programming, as well as an extensive national scholarship program.

The AGO acknowledges the generous support of Aimia, Signature Partner of the Photography Collection Program.

About the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize from AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize on Vimeo.

I Wayne at Harbourfront Toronto August 3, 2013

With material from a media release:

I Wayne at Harbourfront Toronto
August 3, 2013

TORONTO - I checked out I-Wayne at Harbourfront last night - along with a packed crowd that seemed to know most of the words to his songs.

From his official bio:

In the summer of 2004 a new and powerfully distinct voice emerged on the reggae music scene. With a fresh timbre, substantive lyrics, and a passionate performance, this singer almost single handedly led a new wave of roots and culture reggae music that swept the island of Jamaica.

I Wayne, born Cliffroy Taylor in the working class Kingston suburb of Portmore, Jamaica, officially hit the international scene with his #1 hit “Can’t Satisfy Her,” the first track by a cultural reggae artist to be added to Hot 97 in New York, a station noted for its hip hop preference. The tune then caught on in several markets and spent over 22 weeks on the Billboard Hip Hop/R&B Hot 100 chart. I Wayne followed up that fiery description of a desperate Jamaican reality comprised of prostitution, poverty, and sexually transmitted diseases with “Living in Love” on the Stephen Gibbs and Errol Thompson-produced Hard Times riddim.

It may seem as if I Wayne suddenly burst onto the scene, but the 28 year old has been refining his craft since age 7. Coming from a musical family, it’s not surprising that I Wayne’s first performance venture with local group Vibes Machine took place when he was a student at Greater Portmore High School.

His distinctively fluid yet controlled vocals won him a record deal with VP Records in 2004, and his debut album, “Lava Ground,” hit stores in the summer of 2005. It yielded two hit singles, “Can’t Satisfy Her” and “Living in Love,” as well as the critically praised title track. I Wayne’s meteroic rise and his lyrical gift for piercing the veils that cloak Babylonian hypocrisies sparked a new wave of enthusiasm among the industry for this young generation of roots and culture singers and songwriters and eager anticipation for his second set, The Book of Life (releasing November 6).

This time around, a set of spare, light-as-air roots instrumentals, produced by the finest of Jamaica’s young mixing board talents, provides an elegant showcase for I Wayne’s even more dazzling singing/chanting, richer melodies, and more penetrating lyrics. Says Neil Edwards, the project’s executive producer, “For the past year, a lot of artists have been glorifying death and destruction, so I Wayne flipped that and focused on life.”

Where many are didactic and full of condemnation, this time around, I Wayne simply wants to remind listeners of an essential truth—that life is a gift for which we can be grateful. “I just praise life, just deal with it naturally,” says I Wayne. “There’s nothing wrong with praising the sun, moon and stars and the wind, and all that create balance. Life is love and love is life.”

Thursday, August 1, 2013

made in canada/fait au canada Dance Festival August 14 – 17 2013 in Toronto

From a media release:

made in canada/fait au canada Festival
August 14 – 17, 2013
at Betty Oliphant Theatre, 404 Jarvis St., Toronto

• For info and tickets: Call 416 533 8577 or visit online

Toronto -
Artistic Director Yvonne Ng, with guest curators Serge Bennathan and Cylla von Tiedemann, are pleased to present princess productions' biennial dance: made in canada / fait au canada (d:mic/fac) festival, which runs August 14-17 at the Betty Oliphant Theatre in Toronto.

The exciting programming of the 2013 d:mic/fac features some of Canada's most inventive dance creators in three different MainStage Series - Benjamin Kamino (Montreal), William Yong (Toronto), Femmes du Feu (Toronto), Louis Laberge-Côté (Toronto), Gearshifting Performance Works (Winnipeg), Mocean Dance (Halifax), Blue Ceiling Dance (Toronto) - as well as a Late-Night 'What You See is What You Get' Series (with Jamee Valin of Vancouver and Toronto-based artists Amy Hampton, Shannon Litzenberger, skindivers dance company and Throwdown Collective). Arts Encounters, a visual art exhibit, community line dance, live video dance installation and other happenings round out the festival.

The d:mic/fac MainStage Series showcases a national spectrum of  seven cutting-edge contemporary dance works from Halifax, Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg, performed by 16 artists. Three world premieres and three Toronto premieres (and one remount) bounce between pure dance and interpreting conceptual ideas as varied artists explore their relationship to the world around them.

Wednesday, August 14, 7pm | Thursday, August 15, 9pm | Saturday, August 17, 7pm

Serge Bennathan, choreographer and Artistic Director of Vancouver's Les Productions Figlio, chose to juxtapose two distinct styles - one primal and unrestrained, the other controlled and technology-driven - but each tied to a personal belief/philosophy.

o TORONTO PREMIERE.  The dynamic Benjamin Kamino / do what you can (Montreal, Quebec) performs an excerpt from Nudity. Desire. His solo embodies the theological framework of the "first nude" or "fall" as a potential origin of language and birthplace of desire as explored by contemporary philosophers Giorgio Agamben, Slavoj _i_ek and Erik Peterson.
o WORLD PREMIERE. Acclaimed choreographer/dancer William Yong (Toronto, Ontario) takes us to imaginary inner worlds through a fusion of biology and technology in his solo that utilizes real time technologies to create interactive visuals and sounds initiated by movement from the human body.

This promotional video has excerpts from William Yong, Mocean Dance, Gearshifting Performance Works, Blue Ceiling dance, Benjamin Kamino, Louis Laberge-Côté, Femmes du Feu.

Wednesday, August 14, 9pm | Friday, August 16, 7pm | Saturday, August 17, 2pm

Named after the late, great lighting designer David Morrison, this series is curated by princess productions' Artistic Director Yvonne Ng who selected her artists for their unique approaches to understanding how we find reflections of ourselves in the outside world.

o WORLD PREMIERE. Holly Treddenick and Sabrina Pringle / Femmes du Feu (Toronto, Ontario) premiere The Water's Edge, an aerial dance work about a wise and all-knowing woman who lives on the moon and a mermaid just discovering how the moon and its mistress shape her world - a piece about how everything in the universe is connected.
o TORONTO PREMIERE. Jolene Bailie / Gearshifting Performance Works (Winnipeg, Manitoba) performs Hybrid Human. Based on sketches by Wanda Koop from the early 1990s, this ensemble work for five dancers explores a constructed notion of robots and ideas of disembodied experience, consciousness, creativity, alien intelligence and artificial life. Created in conjunction with Winnipeg Art Gallery's exhibition Wanda KoopŠ on the edge of experience, it has also been performed at the National Gallery of Canada and Ottawa's National Arts Centre.

Thursday, August 15, 7pm | Friday, August 16, 9pm | Saturday, August 17, 9pm

Renowned performing arts photographer Cylla von Tiedemann was drawn to the way each of these works highlights the artistry of the performers as well as their deeply woven individual relationships with their choreographers.

o WORLD PREMIERE. Louis Laberge-Côte_ (Toronto, Ontario) choreographs and performs in ... et même après with life partner Michael Caldwell. An intimate duet that questions the opposition between distance and intimacy, it is based on a short study Laberge-Côte originally created for the Kevin O_Day Ballett Nationaltheater Mannheim in Germany while the two dancers lived in different countries for two years.
o TORONTO PREMIERE. Mocean Dance (Halifax, Nova Scotia) performs Canvas 5 x 5, a new work from lauded Tedd Robinson that intertwines a traditional maritime soundscape with striking contemporary imagery.  Four dancers manipulate an over-sized canvas into whimsical and profound designs featuring Robinson's signature elegance and beauty.
o Lucy Rupert / Blue Ceiling Dance (Toronto, Ontario) performs The Speed of Our Vertigoes ¬- a poignant, wild and soaring reflection by a lone figure inside the brain of Albert Einstein, exposing the human vulnerability inside scientific discovery, fearlessly facing the theories and passions flickering between the synapses.

d:mic/fac also features a Late-Night Series of 10-minute works titled What You See Is What You Get. The choreographers, drawn by lottery, are Jamee Valin of Vancouver and Toronto-based artists Amy Hampton, Shannon Litzenberger, skindivers dance company and Throwdown Collective. The Late-Night Series runs Thursday August 15 and Friday August 16 at 11pm.

MainStage Single Tickets: $25; Artsworker/Student/Senior: $20
BENNATHAN SERIES: Wednesday, August 14, 7pm | Thursday, August 15, 9pm | Saturday, August 17, 7pm
MORRISON / NG SERIES: Wednesday, August 14, 9pm | Friday, August 16, 7pm | Saturday, August 17, 2pm
VON TIEDEMANN SERIES: Thursday, August 15, 7pm | Friday, August 16, 9pm | Saturday, August 17, 9pm
What You See is What You Get Tickets: August 15 & 16 at 11pm - $15; Artsworker/Student/Senior: $10
Free Arts Encounters on site throughout the festival.

For info and tickets: Call 416 533 8577 or visit online at

- princess productions presents dance: made in canada / fait au canada,
- William Yong - Photo credit: Ken Ewen
- Sabrina Pringle, Holly Treddenick - From Morrison/Ng Series

Trailer #2 (1.5 min)
This promotional video has excerpts from William Yong, Mocean Dance, Gearshifting Performance Works, Blue Ceiling dance, Benjamin Kamino, Louis Laberge-Côté, Femmes du Feu.

Harbourfront Toronto: Celebrate Pan-Asian Flavours & Entertainment August 9 - 11 2013

From a media release:

Fortune Cooking Food Festival
An exciting assortment of Pan-Asian flavours & entertainment Aug. 9-11, 2013

Explore the array of Pan-Asian cuisine, culture and artistic expression that Fortune Cooking has to offer at Harbourfront Centre. From August 9 through 11, this festival delves into the progression of trends and flavours originating in Asia.

In keeping with Harbourfront Centre’s curatorial theme, “terrain,” Fortune Cooking taps into the uniqueness of foods grown in specific soils and climates, and on a broader term, the geographical impact terrain has on food culture. Explorations of tea pairings from various cities, the process of fermentation to highlight flavours and development of chopsticks from different regions are some of the areas that are examined. Fortune Cooking also explores the impact that the urban setting of Toronto and its cross-pollination of cultures has on Asian cuisine and how it changes over time.

Complete festival event listings

Fortune Cooking highlights include:

• Ramen Runoff
Friday, August 9 from 7 – 9:30 p.m. – Zone 5

Who’s the best ramen chef in town? Ramen has conquered Toronto this past year with new ramen and noodle shops opening around the city. Ramen began as Chinese wheat
noodles with a Japanese twist. What’s Toronto’s twist? Taste all the offerings and vote for Toronto’s best! Sampler plate $5.
• Autorickshaw
Friday, August 9, 2013 - 8:00PM – -9:00PM - WestJet Stage

Autorickshaw is a critically acclaimed, cutting-edge Canadian world music ensemble. Formed in 2003, Autorickshaw has toured the world, with stops in Canada, the US, the UK, Europe and India. Led by the stellar vocals of Suba Sankaran, the reboot of Autorickshaw features a heavier, layered sonic landscape, with a full drumkit, electric guitar, strings, percussion as well as signature tabla and electric bass.

• White Jade
August 9 – 11, 2013
Friday, August 9 - 8:00pm to 9:00pm - Westjet Stage
Sunday, August 11, 2013 - 5:30pm to 6:00pm - Westjet Stage
White Jade is a fashionable electronic pop band from China that mixes traditional Chinese music, high-tech visual elements and electronic rhythms into their explosive live show. Presented in partnership with the Consulate General of China in Toronto.
• The Skylines: Baila and Tea
Saturday, August 10 from 7 - 8 p.m. – Redpath Stage

The Skylines have been entertaining crowds since 2005 with their unique mix of Sri Lankan baila music and pop. Formed by childhood friends from different musical
backgrounds, their musical arsenal includes Motown, funk, rock, reggae, soca, Latin and baila. Their music is a perfect accompaniment to a tasting of teas from Sri Lanka, part of Tea!Chai!Thé. Sri Lanka is famed for producing the finest teas in the world and is home to the Ceylon Tea Museum.
• Tea!Chai!Thé!, a celebration of the ancient drink and all its incarnations including talks by world-renowned author James Norwood Pratt, tea pairings, workshops on tea-blending and tea-dyeing, discussions and tastings with members of the Tea Guild of Canada and more;
• All You Can Laugh Buffet
Saturday, August 10 from 9:30 - 11 p.m. – WestJet Stage

Sabrina Jalees (MuchMusic, YTV, CBC) headlines a comedy showcase starring Canada's finest Pan-Asian comics, hosted by Ben Mathai from Just For Laughs and featuring
YouTube star Lilly Singh a.k.a Superwoman and local funnyman Ernie Vincente ("ERNtourage").
• Nagata Shachu
Sunday, August 11 from 3 - 4 p.m. – WestJet Stage

Based in Toronto, Nagata Shachu (formerly Kiyoshi Nagata Ensemble), has enthralled audiences with its mesmerizing and heart-pounding performances of the Japanese drum
(taiko) since its formation in 1998. The ensemble has toured widely throughout Canada, the US and Italy performing in theatres, concert halls and major music festivals.