Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Polaris Prize Winner Tanya Tagaq November 15, 2014 at Molson Canadian Studio at Hamilton Place


From a media release:

Hamilton World Music Series #2

Polaris Prize Winner Tanya Tagaq
November 15, 2014
at Molson Canadian Studio at Hamilton Place

• Tickets: $30 regular / $25 seniors & students / $20 members
Buy them online
• In person at Bryan Prince Booksellers (1060 King Street West)
• Email info@matapa.ca


“… [Tagaq] made it (Inuit throat singing) sound fiercely contemporary, futuristic even. Recalling animal noises and various other nature sounds, she was a dynamo, delivering a sort of gothic sound art while she stalked the small basement stage with feral energy.” —Jon Caramanica, The New York Times

Check out her electrifying performance at the Polaris Prize Gala:



What do free improvisation, Inuit throat singing, and hair-raising passion have in common? Add descriptors like mesmerizing, intimate and ‘pushing the edge’ and you begin to understand the endlessly inventive quality of Tanya Tagaq’s sonic equation.

Born and raised in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut in Canada’s high arctic, Tanya grew up surrounded by Inuit and western culture. It wasn’t until her teenage years that she began experimenting with Inuit throat singing, developing her signature solo style. Her first professional gig at a festival in Inuvik won the admiration of friends of Bjork, eventually leading to an appearance on the Icelandic artist’s 2004 CD, Medulla and a chance to accompany her on tour.

Tanya has released four critically-acclaimed albums, Sinaa (2005), Auk/Blood (2008), anuraaqutuq, a live recording (2010) and 2014's Animism, the stunning release which recently garnered her the Polaris Prize.

In his introduction of Tanya during the Polaris Prize ceremony, presenter Geoff Berner had this to say about her latest release,

"Animism is a masterpiece because it transcends opposites. Dizzyingly complex and sophisticated in structure, it also completely hits you in your guts, in your soul.

"It takes traditions that are tens of thousands of years old, and makes truly innovative music, music that could not have existed without Tagaq and her brilliant collaborators, violinist Jesse Zubot, drummer Jean Martin and DJ Michael Red."


Join us on November 15 as we bring this unique and innovative musician to Hamilton. Here's the trailer for Animism:

GRAMMY-WINNING COMPOSER MARIA SCHNEIDER AND HER ORCHESTRA NOVEMBER 25 - 30 2014 in 10th ANNUAL THANKSGIVING WEEK PERFORMANCES AT THE JAZZ STANDARD NEW YORK CITY

From a media release:

GRAMMY-WINNING COMPOSER MARIA SCHNEIDER AND HER ORCHESTRA
NOVEMBER 25 - 30 2014 in 10th ANNUAL THANKSGIVING WEEK PERFORMANCES
AT THE JAZZ STANDARD NEW YORK CITY


Maria Schneider's Collaboration with David Bowie
Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime) - To Be Released November 17, 2014

The Thompson Fields, the First CD in Seven Years from the Maria Schneider Orchestra, to be released April 21, 2015


You can participate here


The Grammy-winning composer Maria Schneider and her Orchestra perform Tuesday, November 25 to Sunday, November 30, 2014 at The Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th Street, NYC. Sets nightly at 7:30 and 10 p.m. with an 11:45 p.m. set on Friday and Saturday. 

• Tickets are $35. 
• Call 212-576-2232 or log on to http://jazzstandard.net/


In addition to composing for and recording The Thompson Fields, the first CD in seven years from the Maria Schneider Orchestra (to be released April 21, 2015 via ArtistShare), Schneider has been involved in a myriad of activities. In the spring, she was approached by David Bowie to collaborate on a new work. The resulting song, “Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime),” will be released on a 10-inch Bowie record on November 17, as well as on his new greatest hits 3-CD and 2-CD compilations as the only new song.  As Maria says: “I am thrilled with the results.”

In addition, she testified before Congress about music creators' rights and the need for change in copyright laws. 'It's now or never time for music creators to make our voices heard,' says Schneider. 'Free music is a relatively new concept, and it's just so ridiculous, almost as ridiculous as everyone being convinced they should pay for water in plastic bottles. I say, let's pay for music as we always did, and drink water for free from the tap, just like we used to.'

Maria Schneider's music has been hailed by critics as 'evocative, majestic, magical, heart-stoppingly gorgeous, and beyond categorization.' She and her orchestra became widely known starting in 1994 when they released their first recording, 'Evanescence.' With that recording, Schneider began to develop her personal way of writing for her 17-member collective, made up of many of the finest musicians in jazz today, tailoring her compositions to distinctly highlight the uniquely creative voices of the group. Subsequently, the Maria Schneider Orchestra has performed at festivals and concert halls worldwide. She herself has received numerous commissions and guest conducting invites, working with over 85 groups from over 30 countries spanning Europe, South America, Australia, Asia and North America.



Schneider’s music blurs the lines between genres and she is on a very short list of those who have received GRAMMY Awards in both "jazz" and "classical.” Her long list of commissioners are quite varied and range from the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra, to Peter Sellars' New Crowned Hope Festival (Vienna’s Mozart Festival), Jazz at Lincoln Center, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, The American Dance Festival, Kronos Quartet, The Metropole Orchestra, the Danish Radio Orchestra, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and most recently, the Ojai Festival, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Cal Performances ('Winter Morning Walks'), featuring soprano, Dawn Upshaw, and three musicians long associated with Schneider: pianist, Frank Kimbrough, bassist, Jay Anderson, and multi-instrumentalist, Scott Robinson.

Schneider's latest fan-funded recording with Dawn Upshaw ('Winter Morning Walks') earned three 2014 GRAMMY Awards: Best Contemporary Classical Composition ('Winter Morning Walks'), Best Classical Vocal Performance (Dawn Upshaw), and Best Engineered Recording/Classical (David Frost, Brian Losch, Tim Martyn).

Schneider and her orchestra have a distinguished recording career bringing her a total of ten GRAMMY nominations and three GRAMMY awards. Unique funding of projects has become a hallmark for Schneider through the trend-setting company, ArtistShare®. For these projects, she documents her creative process for participating fans, who "fan-fund" her recordings through pre-orders. She's now composed four works for her own orchestra with the participation of commissioners coming directly from her ArtistShare® website fan base. Her album, 'Concert in the Garden'  (2004) became historic as the first recording to win a GRAMMY with Internet-only sales. Even more significantly, it blazed the "fan-funding" trail as ArtistShare's® first release. In 2012, her alma mater, the University of Minnesota, awarded Schneider an honorary doctorate.

CD Release: Federico Parra - CD: Descending (Independent - Nov 1, 2014)

CD Release:
Federico Parra - CD: Descending
(Independent - Nov 1, 2014)

Pre-order/buy the CD


From the first spacey, spiritual, celestial notes of One Taste, the first track on Descending, the new release by Federico Parra, you can tell this is no lightweight pop album. The music is challenging at times - not really meant for light listening, yet not inaccessible.

The track is also cinematic and symphonic in its effect. Federico achieves a great deal of expression with his unique method of singing and he uses the bells and smashing cymbals we'd associate with Buddhist music and tradion combined with a Western harmonic sensibility and symphonic passages - the Western melodic idioms of rising and falling phrases ends with a children's chorus and a kind of joyous abandon.

And that's just the first track.

Federico is a composer and multi-instrumentist who practices what is called contemplative music and harmonic singing expert. Originally from Argentina, in 2014 Federico received Green Card based on his “extraordinary talents and achievements” as a musician and music teacher.

It's no surpise as well to find that in addition to his musical pursues Federico is a Masters student in Clinical Psychology in Paris 8 University. He dedicated 12 years to the study and practice of Buddhist contemplative traditions of meditation and now divides his time between Paris, France an Boston, in the US.

It doesn't mean, however, that this is a one-note record. The second track, The Other, is more like avant garde jazz/artsy singer/songwriter pop - erudite but also appealing and accessible despite its esoteric subject matter. It features piano and acoustic guitar in a recognizable song structure.

We ask you to feel with the heart of the Other...

Federico has a pleasant voice that's perfect for the singer/songwriter shtick. Into the forest is another meditative track, featuring Buddhist-style vocals and musings on the nature of nature. It's all all emotion - no words.

He does a cover of Peter Gabriel's San Jacinto with an electronic beat and his breathy vocals slightly out of step with the contemporary medium. It comes as an injection of timeless spirituality amid the samples of various sounds including aboriginal chants.



Dancing Voices is fairly descriptive, sonic poetry without words with a female voice in a spartan arrangement. The two vocalists do dance around each other. Descending is another philosophical art-pop jazzy quasi-love song to humanity, featuring interesting instrumentation with a global flavour.

The album ends with Stellar Waves, another descriptive title for a piece that could be just that - the music of the spheres in swelling and ebbing waves of electronica.

The overall effect soothes the mind while still providing enough to pique sonic interest.

Tracklisting:
One Taste
The Other (featuring Andres Beeuwsaert, pianist from Argentina)
Into the Forest (featuring Beatritz Lalanne , singer from France)
San Jacinto
Dancing Voices (featuring Alisa Apreleva, singer from Russia)
Descending (featuring Gagik Gasparyan, Duduk player from Armenia, and
Mariano “Tiki” Cantero, percussionist/drummer from Argentina)
Stellar Waves

Get social:
Www.Facebook.com/federicoparramusic
https://twitter.com/federicomusic

IndieGoGo Crowdfunding Federico Parra's new album! from Samadhi Integral on Vimeo.

Sex. Death. Bananas. CIRCLE JERK November 6 to 23, 2014 - Toronto

From a media release:

Soup Can Theatre, safeword, and Aim for the Tangent Theatre proudly present

CIRCLE JERK
Sex. Death. Bananas.
November 6 to 23, 2014
lemontree studio - Toronto

Buy tickets


Concept by Justin Haigh.  Written by Justin Haigh, Scott Dermody, Brandon Crone, and Wesley J. Colford. 

TORONTO - Soup Can Theatre, safeword, and Aim for the Tangent Theatre are proud to present Circle Jerk; one production, four new and provocative short plays written under unique constraints. This past summer, members of the public were invited to submit original snippets of dialogue that the participating playwrights would have to use as the opening and closing lines of their new creations. After receiving almost 300 submissions, four intriguing lines were selected and assigned to the writers:

“Subtlety is not your specialty.”
“What’s Bulgarian for slut?”
“I think it’s time we talked about your filthy rituals.”
“I fucking hate potatoes.”

As an added twist, each of the lines of dialogue were assigned to two playwrights in order to serve as both the closing line of one play and the opening line of the following play. This loosely interconnected and ultimately cyclical structure (with the first play starting and the last play ending with the same line) puts the “circle” in Circle Jerk. After an intense writing and production period, the end results are four diverse yet cohesive works backed by an impressive roster of talent:

Dust Peddling: Part II by Scott Dermody; A bold and confrontational movement-based piece exploring themes of sexuality and bodily interactions. Directed by Joanne Williams (Wild Dogs On The Moscow Trains - NOW Magazine Critics Pick: Outstanding Production) and starring Scott Dermody (Love is a Poverty You Can Sell 2, Soup Can Theatre - NOW Magazine Critics Pick: Best Ensemble) and Lisa Hamalainen (As You Like It, Humber River Shakespeare).

Sex and This by Wesley J. Colford (The Wakowski Bros., Aim for the Tangent ““ Best of Fringe - NOW Magazine Critics Pick: Outstanding Production); A touching and distinctly modern comedy-drama about death, self-destruction, and the new rules of mourning in the age of Facebook. Directed by two time Dora Award nominee Jakob Ehman (Cockfight, Theatre Brouhaha; Minotaur, Young People’s Theatre; Donors, safeword) and starring Tiffany Deobald (Much Ado About Nothing, Single Thread Theatre) and Carys Lewis (The Corpse Bride, Theatre Panik).

Maypole Rose by Brandon Crone (Donors, safeword - My Theatre Awards Winner: Best New Production); A quirky and salacious window into the imperfect life of a gay couple with an affinity for junk food, weed, and monkey sex. Starring Alexander Plouffe (As You Like It; Canadian Stage) and G. Kyle Shields (Sucker; Theatre Brouhaha).

The Session by Justin Haigh (Love is a Poverty You Can Sell, Soup Can Theatre - Best of Fringe); A dark comedy about a workplace therapist determined to crack open an antagonistic nuclear safety expert with more than just safety on his mind. Directed by Justin Haigh and starring Allan Michael Brunet (Marat/Sade, Soup Can Theatre; Wintuk, Cirque du Soleil) and Matt Pilipiak (Three Men in a Boat, Pea Green Theatre - Best of Fringe - NOW Magazine Critics Pick: Best Ensemble).

In addition to the four new theatrical works, four new short musical compositions ““ each inspired by one of the four lines of dialogue ““ will be performed by a live five-piece ensemble and serve as interludes between the short plays; Subtlety is not Your Specialty by Marla Kishimoto, What’s Bulgarian for Slut by Soup Can Theatre’s Music Director, Pratik Gandhi, and I Think it’s Time We Talked About Your Filthy Rituals by Peter Cavell.

Audience Warning: Mature Content, Nudity, Explicit Sexuality, Depictions of Drug Use

Performance Details:
Where: lemonTree studio - 196 Spadina Ave. (just north of Queen)
When: November 6 & 7 at 8pm, November 8 & 9 at 2pm and 8pm, November 14, 15, 16 at 8pm, November 21, 22, 23 at 8pm

About Soup Can Theatre: Soup Can Theatre is a Toronto-based company that strives to explore and comment on contemporary issues and societal challenges, and to offer audiences a theatrical experience that is both entertaining and enriching. Previous productions include Love is a Poverty You Can Sell (1 & 2), Marat/Sade, Antigone, and an opera/theatre double bill presentation of A Hand of Bridge & No Exit.

About safeword: safeword is an independent theatre company focused on producing original Canadian plays that embrace controversy, rawness, and realism. Previous productions include Turtleneck and Donors.

About Aim for the Tangent Theatre: Aim for the Tangent Theatre is a Toronto based theatre company with an interest in providing creative opportunities and mentorship for emerging artists, and finding innovative ways to tell old stories through the development of new work. Previous productions include Mature Young Adults, The Wakowski Bros., and Genesis and Other Stories.

Recently Released: The Great Escape (Independent - Oct 17, 2014)

Recently Released:
The Great Escape
(Independent - Oct 17, 2014)

Amie Miriello - Vocals
Malte Hagemeister - Guitar
Kristian Nord - Drums

Buy the CD


Art rock? Eclectic pop? Venice, CA trio The Great Escape defy categorization on their eponymous debut release. After honing their sound - anchored by strong vocals from Amie Miriello and a deft musical versatility from Malte Hagemeister (guitar) and Kristian Nord (drums).

Amie's got a voice that can be sweet or strident and she wields with a playful sense of inventiveness. The musicians are equally as tight.

Having first met while songwriting for other artists, the three L.A. transplants quickly realized they had a shared vision: Together, they wanted to create an update to that 60s, 70s sound when rock and pop music was still raw and unpolished.

The album kicks off with an inventive arrangement including a horn section on I'm a Rebel.

I wash my hair with champagne
I don't care - I'm a rebel

The world won't change
If you stay the same


It's typical lyrically of the rest of the album - rock rebellion with a little feel-good philosophy (they are from Cali after all) and romance thrown in here and there.

While they self-produced the release, they enlisted the help of some of the best studio hands in the business. Album guests include old studio hands such as Stanley Behrens on blues harp (Jimmy Smith, Canned Heat, War, Willie Dixon), Kevin Dorsey on vocals (Michael Jackson’s vocal director, Ray Charles, Santana, Aretha Franklin), Zac Rae on B3, piano and keys (Lana Del Rey, Norah Jones, Santana), as well as a shape shifting horns section comprised of Katja Riekermann (Rod Stewart, Al Green) and Marco Palos (Los Lobos, Louis Prima Jr).

There's a range of styles. The Secret Song is a country/pop song and Amie's voice turns sweet and girlish. On I Want It All, she delves into a vintage jazzy feel with keyboards, horns and backup vocals. There's a sense of theatricality about much of it that works well for the most part.

Don't Wake Me Up is a pop song in a slow, swingy folk mood with a rising chord progression - a personal favourite with its harmonies in a minor key. The track plays on her strength - the pure voice. Versatility is great but here she's really at her best - sweet and strong.

That track is contrasted by It's Getting Better, which veers from a little girl whine to a full-bodied tone, but the song actually only comes alive after the lyrics are over and the band rocks out. There's a cute ending where the refrain ends with her laugh - it's a bit too much of an in joke.

The one critique I'd level is that their versatility seems to be an end unto itself. They attempt much and venture into areas just because they can, as in Put It On Ice, clearly "The Funk Song". The notes are there but it's a bit of groove by the numbers rather than real, organic funkified feel.

The lyrics have a personal and often philosophical bent, as in Let's Go, a call to arms of sorts in a bright pop mode.

This will be our battlefield
This is where it's getting real
Together we cannot go wrong


It's not exactly revolutionary poetry, but it's catchy as she sings it. It's in tracks like I Just Can't Help Myself that she sounds entirely at home; a kind of quirky folk/pop mode where her voice is at its best.

It's an interesting listen from start to end and a voice that I'll look forward to hearing more of.

Tracklisting:
1. All I think about
2. Rebel
3. The secret song
4. I want it all
5. Don’t wake me up
6. It’s getting better
7. Let’s go
8. Put it on ice
9. I just can’t help myself

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https://www.facebook.com/Wearethegreatescape

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

National Dance Theatre of Jamaica (NDTC) in Toronto - November 4 2014

From a release:

National Dance Theatre of Jamaica (NDTC)
at the Sony Centre For The Performing Arts, Toronto
 – one performance only – November 4, 2014, 7:30PM

Buy tickets


The National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC) of Jamaica proves that emancipation is the genesis of creativity. This creative force, birthed in 1962-the year Jamaica gained independence from Great Britain-will grace Toronto with one performance only on November 4th at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

NDTC's "Tribute to Rex" is an ode to its co-founder, Ralston Milton "Rex" Nettleford, Rhodes Scholar, OM, FIJ, OCC, who died in 2010. Nettleford was a Jamaican scholar, activist, dance aficionado, Professor and Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies. NDTC has been lauded for its ability to fuse "The lore, music and dance traditions of Jamaica, Africa and the American South, with both modern and classical ballet."

Under the legendary and seasoned leadership of artistic director Barry Moncrieffe, NDTC has taken its belief that "dance, music and song," are of themselves tools to deepen and stretch the cultural imagination to new levels. With a well-honed international reputation, the company has moved audiences from Sydney to Kiev, New York to London and is poised to do the same for its long-awaited return to Toronto's diverse audiences.

The company's legendary co-founder Nettleford said, "The power to ­create and innovate remains the greatest guarantee of respect and recognition." Nettleford's vision carried NDTC to the vanguard, and the November 4 soiree is a fitting end to its 52nd season that will summon the greatness of Nettleford's signature, seminal choreography with works like "Dialogue for Three" and Kumina.

Supported by the NDTC singers and a group of musicians the company will deliver a show stopping performance on November 4th.

Tickets are available at Ticketmaster and the Sony Centre Box Office. For more information, please call Jones & Jones Productions at 905.452.1911.

imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival October 22 - 26, 2014 in Toronto

From a media release:

imagineNATIVE
Film + Media Arts Festival
Presenting Sponsor: Bell Media
October 22 - 26, 2014

TORONTO
- The 15th Annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival begins in days, running October 22-26, 2014 with the most compelling and distinctive Indigenous works from around the globe. Festival highlights include: 130 films and videos; nine Radio Works; seven multi-platform New Media works; four art exhibitions featuring 19 media artists; 11 industry panels and public workshops; and 17 commissions. This year, imagineNATIVE will feature 175 artists representing more than 70 distinct Indigenous nations from 12 countries, including a special International Spotlight.

Kicking off the 15th anniversary Festival, on Wednesday, October 22, will be the Opening Night Gala film, What We Do In The Shadows presented by NBC Universal at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. Immediately following the Opening Night Gala will be the Opening Night Party at the Everleigh, presented by RBC Royal Bank.

This year’s International Spotlight, supported by the Canada Media Fund, shines the light on the diverse, inspiring and remarkable work of Indigenous artists from across Australia. imagineNATIVE is absolutely delighted to work with three highly esteemed guest programmers–Rachel Perkins, Pauline Clague and Jenny Fraser–who will each will present a selection of short works representative of different sectors of the Indigenous Australian media arts industry.

As imagineNATIVE celebrates 15 years, they will also honour the 10th anniversary of Wapikoni with the special program, Wapikoni 10 Ans/Years, curated by Caroline Monnet, presented entirely in French on Thursday, October 23. Wapikoni is the world’s largest producer of short films made by francophone Indigenous artists, most of whom are youth. imagineNATIVE has a long history with Wapikoni who has contributed a significant body of work to international Indigenous cinema.

On Friday, October 24, imagineNATIVE and its co-founder, Vtape, will present indigiTALKS: Following that Moment, a critical discussion and presentation of a series of short works from the 1990s by curator Lisa Myers. indigiTALKS began in 2013 as an opportunity for imagineNATIVE to present curatorial theses on Indigenous media arts from members of the community. Later that day, imagineNATIVE’s annual Art Crawl of exhibitions and co-presentations, taking place throughout the 401 Richmond building, will feature contemporary Indigenous new media art, commissions, retrospectives and talks by leading curators and artists.

imagineNATIVE is proud to present the premiere of Storytellers Screening, presented by RBC Royal Bank, a cinema-meets-storytelling experience, on Saturday, October 25 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Storytellers Screening combines a new screen-based video work and a live reading. For this inaugural year, CanLit star Joseph Boyden will present a new work with master of animation Terril Calder. Together artists–each from a Métis or mixed culture–combine their craft, transcend traditional media and explore new territory to tell a story unlike any other. Saturday night is jam-packed with the 2014 Awards Show, presented by APTN, followed by an evening of entertainment at imagineNATIVE’s 15th Birthday Party, supported by Super Channel.

Commissioned in celebration of imagineNATIVE’s 15th anniversary, the Festival’s Closing Night Gala, presented by Global Toronto, is the world premiere of The Embargo Collective II, five short films created by five distinguished artists, presented by Global Toronto on Sunday, October 26. Executive produced by former Artistic Director of imagineNATIVE, Danis Goulet, these shorts push the creative boundaries of the participant filmmakers and invite viewers into new Indigenous cinematic landscapes.

The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is the world’s largest Indigenous festival showcasing innovation in film, video, radio and new media. The Festival presents the most compelling and distinctive works from Canada and around the globe, reflecting the diversity of the world’s Indigenous nations and illustrating the vitality and excellence of Native art and culture in contemporary media.

Download the 2014 imagineNATIVE brochure for complete listings: www.imaginenative.org/home/sites/default/files/catalogs/2014_catalog_pages.pdf

The 14th Annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival
October 22 – 26, 2014

Single Tickets and Festival Packages On Sale Now
Tickets can be purchased by phone or in person at the TIFF Bell Lightbox
In-person: 10am to 10pm daily • 350 King Street West
By Phone: 10am – 7pm daily • 416.599.TIFF (8433)
Online: www.imagineNATIVE.org

For more information please call 416.585.2333 or visit www.imagineNATIVE.org
facebook/imagineNATIVE / @imagineNATIVE / #iN15th


Out Today: CD Release - Tomás Doncker Band - Big Apple Blues (True Groove Records - Oct 21, 2014)

CD Release: Tomás Doncker Band - Big Apple Blues
(True Groove Records - Oct 21, 2014)
Songs by Yusef Komunyakaa & Tomás Doncker


Tomás Doncker-Lead Vocals,Guitars; David Barnes-Harmonica, vocals; Nick Rolfe-Keyboards,Vocals; Josh David-Bass,vocals; James Dellatacoma-Guitar; Mike Faulkner-Drums; Mac Gollehon-Horns; Alan Grubner-Strings

Websites:
Official: TomasDoncker.net
Twitter: @tomasdoncker  @truegroove1
FB: https://www.facebook.com/TomasDonckerMusic
https://www.facebook.com/TrueGrooveGlobalSoulMusic

Buy the CD


Hot on the heels of Moanin' at Midnight, his acclaimed Howlin' Wolf tribute just released in July of this year, Big Apple Blues is a collaborative effort between blues stalwart Tomás Doncker and Pulitzer Prize winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa. The pair will officially introduce Big Apple Blues during the Dodge Poetry Festival (October 23-26), the largest poetry event in North America, sponsored by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

Along with the accolades, Moanin' at Midnight: The Howlin’ Wolf Project album was recognized by Howlin' Wolf's own official website, who posted the album. Developed during a critically acclaimed run at NYC SummerStage during the summer of 2013 (and directed by award winning director Alfred Preisser), the project is now being shaped into a multimedia performance concert.

That this latest album was put together in the two and a half months or so since Moanin' is remarkable enough. The release shows no signs of that speed, either in the songs themselves or the production. That's what you get when you put a couple of legends together. This is their second collaboration and the synergies of their art flow together naturally.

I got those Big Apple blues
With Basquiat for company
We're off to LaMama
Slipping into infamy
So many choices
At least a thousand ups and downs...

Tomás' voice is deep and rasps its way through several layers of meaning in this album that is a meditation on New York City as it is and was - the real metropolis and not the glamourous version of films and other media. The mood gets down and dirty on Can't Say No, part of a realistic look at big city life with all its warts.

Naturally the lyrics add a poetic vision, insight and delicacy of language and to the relentless musical drive of the blues, brought to you in a classic blues instrumentation the includes a thick organ sound and harmonica. But, while Doncker is a veteran bluesman, the sound is contemporary and the production clean and modern/

On The New Day the lyrics and musical mood turn contemplative in an ode to those who work with their hands.



Yusef Komunyakaa was born in Louisiana in 1947 and raised during the nascent Civil Right movement. Currently the Distinguished Senior Poet in New York University’s graduate creative writing program, his poems have long been noted for their jazzy rhythms. The collaboration with a musician like Doncker is a natural.

A war veteran himself, he delves into history on the track Hellfighters of Harlem, a song about the notorious WWI company made up of African Americans.

Going to fight for someone else's freedom
Fighting Jim Crow over here
To fight a war over there
Times like these
Thinking about my brothers fighting over seas


It includes a spoken word section that tells their story. The album strikes the right balance between musical integrity and lyrical interest - neither detracts from the other.

Coney Island is an upbeat, swingy track that evokes the carefree childhood pleasures of summer. The pair aren't afraid to take on the darker politics of even recent history, however, as on the strident Ground Zero with its singing guitar line and pounding refrain,

There's no hero
At Ground Zero


The album ends with Fun City - once the moniker of NYC in the broke but heady days of the 1960s and 1970s. The song has a funky groove reminiscent of the time and lyrics that lament the bad old Times Square lost to its current gloss. The city itself emerges as a mercurial muse.

As collaborations go, they don't get much more seamless than this one; Doncker's expressive voice and tight-loose band are the perfect vehicle for Yusef Komunyakaa's insightful poetry.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

CD Release: Michael Cullen - True Believer (Independent - 1st October 2014)

CD Release:
Michael Cullen - True Believer
(Independent - 1st October 2014)
Features: Michael Cullen plus timEbandit Powles (Tim Powles
of The Church)

Website: www.michalecullen.info
Facebook Page

Buy the album & download Cha Cha Cha D'Amour Free


I asked Leonard Cohen, how lonely does it get?

Now that's lonely... With his distinctive baritone and dark indie rock sound, Michael Cullen is often compared to Nick Cave and Tom Waits but it's Leonard Cohen he evokes on the first track of his new release, True Believer. The song is called Black Dog and features his typically literate take on life and love.

In my own way, stylish in the face of my disruption...

he sings while a girl chorus sweetly contrasts his gravelly baritone. It's romance in a gothy mode - Michael's mood of choice.

True Believer is the second solo release from Australia's Michael Cullen with his favourite collaborator Tim Powles (the Divinyls, the Venetians, The Church) and comes as a highly anticipated follow up to his first solo album, Love Transmitter. First released in 2002, the album got little promotion and Michael's career was sidelined by health issues. However, the release established his languid, melancholic sound, anchored by his expressive baritone and its reputation grew by word of mouth. In 2011, Tomatrax (an Aussie music blog) named it in the top twenty Australian albums of all time and a re-mastered version of Love Transmitter was re-issued in 2012 to critical accolades.



Michael has a long history in Australia's indie rock scene starting in the post-punk 1980's, including The Hardheads, a band he formed with his brother Jon. He met Tim Powles along the way and they've been collaborating for two decades now. They worked together on Love Transmitter as a new direction in indie pop, characterized by feedback drenched guitar, Michael's resonant baritone and analogue keyboards with Tim on the drums.

You can hear a retro rock tone to Michael's songs, much of them featuring the rhythmic simplicity reminiscent of groovy 1960/70's pop/surfer rock. Nothing Special invokes the Doors at times with a churchy organ in the mix while the tempo slows down to a crawl for Damaged, a moody, synthy meditation on being in love with a wrecked psyche.

Your love was a fairytale, because you're bitter...

It's a kind of ultra slow rhyming rap. There's a dark side to his work even on tracks like Cha Cha Cha D'Amour with its upbeat invitation to love - albeit with a Halloween kind of flair. Every song has something different to offer, including I Never Knew, with his vocals deliverd in a spoken word mode. The album ends with a bit of a surprise in Broken Horses. Here the vocals are smoother, more pop-ish, delivered with a layer of harmony.

All in all, a raspy, sexy ode to the gloomier side of life.

Tracklisting:
1. Black Dog
2. Believer
3. Nothing Special
4. Black Coffee and Cigarettes
5. Damaged
6. Cha Cha Cha d'Amour
7. I Walk Alone
8. I Never Knew
9. Broken Horses


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Documentary Film: The NFB Returns to IDFA November 19 to 30 2014

From a media release:

Documentary film: 
NFB returns to IDFA with international premiere of Patricio Henríquez’s new film, acclaimed interactive productions in official selection

October 10, 2014 - Toronto, Ontario National Film Board Canada -
A world leader in film and interactive documentary, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is back at the prestigious International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), taking place from November 19 to 30, with four major new projects in the official selection.

Acclaimed Chilean-born filmmaker Patricio Henríquez debuts his Macumba Media/NFB documentary Uyghurs: Prisoners of the Absurd. Making its international premiere in the feature-length competition at IDFA, the film exposes the human drama of a group of men from China’s persecuted Uyghur minority of Turkic-speaking Muslims, sold to the United States, then detained in Guantánamo as terrorists.

IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Documentary Storytelling hosts the launch of In Limbo (NFB/ARTE/Providences). This philosophical and poetic essay questions what becomes of our individual and collective memory in the digital era, from the point-of-view of the data that will outlive us all. Launching online in January 2015, In Limbo immerses us in a world without forgetting, fed by all the machines, data centres and connected individuals that gather all our memories.

Primal (NFB/Encuentro) is a collaborative web experience that looks at how we express our strongest feelings. It challenges participants to let go by screaming, channelling their most intense emotions to create a participatory work of art: a collective online scream. Launching on the web on October 29, Primal is the first collaboration between the NFB’s Digital Studio and Encuentro, the Ministry of Education of Argentina’s television channel.

Also featured in the DocLab Competition is the hit interactive documentary Seven Digital Deadly Sins (NFB/The Guardian), which invites us to take a momentary break from our endless stream of tweets, shares, views and comments to examine who we are as moral creatures in the 21st century. Seven Digital Deadly Sins launched this past June at NFB.ca and theguardian.com, quickly becoming the NFB’s most popular interactive work of 2014―and one of the NFB’s top webdocs of all time.

Quick FactsOfficial Selection – Competition for Feature-Length Documentary – International premiere
Uyghurs: Prisoners of the Absurd (99 min.)

- The incredible odyssey of a group of men from China’s persecuted Uyghur minority, detained in Guantánamo as terrorists. Exposing the cold logic of post-September 11 geopolitics, this documentary is part human drama, part political thriller, and equally thought-provoking and moving.
- Produced by Macumba Media (Patricio Henríquez and Michelle Shephard), in co-production with the NFB (Colette Loumède).
- Uyghurs: Prisoners of the Absurd has its world premiere in Montreal on October 10, at the Festival du nouveau cinéma.
- Henríquez is a past winner of a Special Jury Award at IDFA, for his 2010 film You Don’t Like the Truth: 4 Days Inside Guantánamo, co-directed with Luc Côté.

Official Selection – DocLab Competition for Digital Documentary Storytelling
In Limbo

- At the beginning of In Limbo, users are invited to connect all the accounts linked to their digital identity, integrating their own data (texts, pictures, sounds, locations) into the global data stream in the film. At several points, the user can pause the story and explore this world on his or her own, sifting through the memories of this vast global brain.
- The project features insights from such key figures as pioneering computer engineer Gordon Bell, and author, computer scientist, futurist and Google director of engineering Ray Kurzweil, along with a wide range of everyday users, who together explore the limbo that is this gigantic pyramid of memory.
- Directed by Antoine Viviani and produced by Marianne Levy-Leblond and Alexander Knetig (ARTE); Antoine Viviani and Emilie Arlet (Providences); and Hugues Sweeney and Louis-Richard Tremblay (NFB).

Primal
- Beginning in our childhood years, we express some of our most powerful emotions through screaming. This primal form of expression transcends language, expressing joy, anger, fear or astonishment. We scream with passion and hatred, to let off steam, to call for help. Screaming is a raw, primitive means of venting our most intense feelings, allowing us to channel our energy in extraordinary ways.
- The project also allows users to explore the realities of young Argentinean and Canadian participants in depth, through video portraits.
- Created by Montreal-based digital studio Folklore, Caroline Hayeur, Manuel Archain and Bruno Stagnaro.

Seven Digital Deadly Sins
-  Pride, lust, greed, gluttony, envy, wrath and sloth: human behaviour has been seen in the context of the seven deadly sins for many hundreds of years. Today’s digital world brings with it a whole new set of moral dilemmas.
-  This project explores the shifting grey area of morality in the digital age through a series of seven candid short films featuring well-known artists and media figures, as well as 21 first-person stories from a wide range of contributors, including a secret Twitter star, a hacker and a couple whose wedding invite went viral. Users also have the chance to absolve and condemn the behaviour of others.
- The project features artists Bill Bailey, Billy Bragg, Ophira Eisenberg, Josie Long, Gary Shteyngart, Jon Ronson and Mary Walsh.
- Produced by Alicia Smith (NFB). Executive producers are Loc Dao (NFB), Francesca Panetta and Lindsay Poulton (The Guardian). Co-created by Jeremy Mendes (NFB), with Pablo Vio (Jam3) as creative director. 

Ben Vereen Directs Singer Nita Whitaker October 20 2014 at Joe's Pub New York City

From a media release:

Nita is today’s Lena Horne. Our classy songstress. And it is wonderful working with her. I am honored to be working with her." Ben Vereen, Tony Award Winner

Please join me in welcoming NITA WHITAKER
To Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater
in New York City on Monday, October 20, 2014 at 7:30 pm

I invite you to witness the presence, power, and vocal prowess of Nita. directed by BEN VEREEN.

Tickets
$25 General Admission
$20 Students with code "Nita"

To purchase tickets:
Online: Click here
By Phone: Call 212.967.7555
In Person: Visit The Public Theater Box Office, 425 Lafayette Street, NYC

NEW YORK CITY - Talent the thing. If that were all there was, then Nita Whitaker would be singing for the kings and queens because her talent defies description. Richly trained with essences of soul, sprinkled with pop, jazz and gospel flavoring it is difficult to put Nita into one category. Having performed on stage as well as big and small screen, her expansive talent and humor continues to find new avenues to be expressed. Adding producer to her list of credits, Nita recently produced a short run of the play Dog sees God along with having co produced three independent CD's.

This former Miss Louisiana and Hall of Fame Star Search Grand Champion Winner is comfortable singing in any setting from an intimate club, to the arena stages as well as stage, television, and movies. She has been the guest performer at The Freedom Awards honoring Oprah Winfrey, President Bill Clinton and actress Ruby Dee, sang duets with Andrea Bocelli and Michael Bolton. Additionally, she has sung with Patti Austin, Broadway legend Ben Vereen, and has performed with Josh Groban, Michael Bublé and Chris Botti.

Having David Foster as one of her mentors, she has shared the stage with countless celebrities including Barbara Streisand, Faith Hill, Celine Dion, Richard Marx, Stevie Wonder and Yolanda Adams. A work still unwritten, Nita continues to hone her skills as well as other creative ventures. She recently penned her first award winning memoir titled, "Finding My Voice: My Journey through Grief to Grace." She has found hers. The best is yet to come.

Free Concert: The New American Quartet October 19 2014 at the Riverside Church New York City

From a release:

FREE CONCERT
CHRIST CHAPEL CHAMBER SERIES
The New American Quartet
Featured music: works by composer-pianist Mitchell Schechter

Free - October 19, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. in Christ Chapel at the Church, 91 Claremont Ave. (bet. 120th & 122nd Sts.), Morningside Heights.

• For more information, the public can call 212-870-6722 or email music@theriversidechurchny.org.


NEW YORK CITY - As part of its popular Christ Chapel Chamber Series, The Riverside Church will feature The New American Quartet for “Mystic Autumn,” a program of jazz inspired by the Kabbalah, Judaism’s book of mysticism on Sunday, October 19, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. in Christ Chapel at the Church, 91 Claremont Ave. (bet. 120th & 122nd Sts.), Morningside Heights.

The concert is free to attend and features the contemplative music of composer-pianist Mitchell Schechter.  Borrowing familiar tunes from Jewish liturgical music, the quartet offers a fresh take on the sounds of an ancient tradition. 

ABOUT THE NEW AMERICAN QUARTET
Formed in 2006 by composer-pianist Mitchell Schechter, saxophonist Greg Wall, bassist Takashi Otsuka, and drummer Jonathon Peretz, The New American Quartet has cultivated a hybrid musical language all their own, by blending Jewish devotional music with modern jazz. The quartet has appeared at Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, and on WNYC Radio, as well as at several other distinguished venues domestically and abroad.

WHAT:  THE NEW AMERICAN QUARTET, “MYSTIC AUTUMN”
MITCHELL SCHECHTER, PIANO; GREG WALL, SAXOPHONES; TAKASHI OTSUKA, ACOUSTIC BASS; JONATHON PERETZ, DRUMS 
WHEN: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2014 - 3:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.
WHERE: THE RIVERSIDE CHURCH, CHRIST CHAPEL
91 CLAREMONT AVE. (BET. 120TH & 122ND STS.) MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS
COST: FREE
INFORMATION: RIVERSIDE MUSIC DEPARTMENT AT 212-870-6722; OR EMAIL MUSIC@THERIVERSIDECHURCHNY.ORG

Directions: To get to The Riverside Church by subway take the 1 to 116th St. and walk to 91 Claremont Ave. (bet. 120th & 122nd Sts.) one block west of Broadway.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Canadian Stage brings the cutting edge production Helen Lawrence to Toronto October 12 to November 2, 2014

From a media release:

Canadian Stage brings the cutting edge production Helen Lawrence to Toronto
October 12 to November 2, 2014

Buy Tickets


After opening in Vancouver and traveling to Munich and Edinburgh, international tour of new Canadian production comes home

Toronto, ON – After opening in Vancouver in March 2014, and setting off on an international tour with stops in Germany and Scotland, Helen Lawrence lands at Canadian Stage with performances at the Bluma Appel Theatre (27 Front St. E), Oct. 12 to Nov. 2. The theatrical debut for world-renowned visual artist Stan Douglas and award-winning screenwriter Chris Haddock, Helen Lawrence is produced by Canadian Stage with co-producers Arts Club Theatre Company (Vancouver) and The Banff Centre (Alberta). Set in 1948 Vancouver, this ground-breaking work intertwines theatre, visual art and film and mixed-media, to create a production at the frontier of new media use in performance.

“It is exhilarating to be involved of such a special, large-scale Canadian creation,” said Matthew Jocelyn artistic & general director of Canadian Stage. “This project has been developed over a three-year period, bringing together exceptionally talented Canadian artists to create both a technology and a type of theatre never before seen. Canadian Stage is committed to putting Canadian talent on the international stage, and after hugely successful runs in Vancouver, Munich and at the Edinburgh International Festival, we are delighted to present this unique work to our audiences in Toronto.”

Inspired by post-war film noir, Helen Lawrence sets the scene in a bustling metropolis struggling to reorganize itself after World War II. An intriguing, hard-boiled tale of loyalty and power, the story reflects Vancouver’s political landscape in 1948, during a time of historic upheaval.

Featured prominently in Helen Lawrence is a blue-screen enclosed stage on which the play itself is performed. This allows for the actor’s images to be shown alongside computer generated 3-D buildings that are recreations of Vancouver’s skyline from 1948. Filmed and live images of the actors are projected into detailed and fully furnished virtual spaces with the story unfolding simultaneously as both a film and a play.

“In Helen Lawrence, there are typically two ideas in play at the same time—one derived from the literal reality on stage, and the other from the images projected on screen,” said Douglas. “The images are fundamentally unstable and depict relationships that could change at any moment. As such, these visuals are much like the futures the characters are trying to forge for themselves in the story.”

Based on a concept developed by Douglas and Haddock, Helen Lawrence is written by Haddock. Douglas and associate director Sarah Garton Stanley direct a stellar cast: Crystal Balint, Greg Ellwand, Ryan Hollyman, Sterling Jarvis, Nicholas Lea, Allan Louis, Ava Jane Markus, Hrothgar Mathews, Haley McGee, Emily Piggford, Lisa Ryder, and Adam Kenneth Wilson.

Stan Douglas is an internationally acclaimed Vancouver-based visual artist. Douglas’ work has been included at some of the art world’s premier exhibitions and is held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Gallery, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Vancouver Art Gallery, among many others. Chris Haddock is an award-winning Canadian screenwriter, director, and producer. His television projects include Da Vinci’s Inquest, Da Vinci’s City Hall, and, most recently, Intelligence. In addition to his own series, Haddock has contributed writing to various shows, including HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. He is the recipient of 35 Gemini nominations, and has won 15.

On Oct. 6 from 7 to 9 p.m., Canadian Stage debuts a new curated series called Face to Face with Canadian Stage at the Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley St.). The first installment of three planned events, dubbed CREATE, invites guests to join the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) Media Lab for a hands-on exploration of new media and creative processes, inspired by new technologies used in stage works like Helen Lawrence. Hosted by Jocelyn, the event will include a panel with Ana Serrano, director of CFC Media Lab, and Tom Barker, chair of the Digital Futures Initiative at OCADU. A $75 pass admits two guests for the full series, and each event includes a panel discussion, mingling, and refreshments. Future Face to Face events will explore ideas in Canadian Stage productions The Other Place and Spotlight South Africa.

Helen Lawrence will be on stage at Canadian Stage’s Bluma Appel Theatre (27 Front St. E). Performances run Tuesday through Thursday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with a 7 p.m. performance on Friday and matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. The performance runs approximately 90 minutes with no intermission. Tickets from $30 to $99 are available online, by phone at 416.368.3110 or in person at the box office. For details visit www.canadianstage.com.

Facebook:Canadian Stage
Twitter:@CanadianStage
Twitter Hashtag:#csHelenLawrence


From the Edinburgh run:

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Celebrate Mexico Now Festival - October 28 to November 1 2014 in New York City

From a media release

New York, NY: October 28-November 1 2014:
Celebrate Mexico Now Festival


Schedule:

10/28/14, 7:00 PM - LA TACOPEDIA, Book signing
10/29/14, 7:30 PM - DEL SALÓN AL DANZÓN!, Concert
10/30/14, 6:00 PM - XIMENA PEREZ GROBET, Artist Books (Art Exhibit)
10/31/14,  7:00 PM - 11th MORELIA INT'L FILM FESTIVAL WINNERS
11/01/14,  8:00 PM - ALONDRA DE LA PARRA, Concert

• More at http://mexiconowfestival.org/

The young female conductor who brought some of the America’s forgotten orchestral gems to the world. A historian who knows all the ins and outs of the humble taco. A book artist, who turned the act of printing and creating into a powerful visual and conceptual statement.

There are all Mexican artists, and their contemporary visions honor roots while leaping into the world conversation in their creative fields.

Now in its second decade, Celebrate Mexico Now brings together the performers and creators, the makers and chroniclers to show how vibrant and thrilling the country’s arts scene is. From October 28 to November 1, 2014, Mexico’s many regional and cultural identities will shine at events around the city, that stimulate all the senses.

“As a festival, we focus on iconic sounds, sights, and tastes,” explains Festival Director Claudia Norman, “while highlighting how fluid these roots are, and how tuned in to international conversations and scenes Mexican artists are.”

This year’s edition showcases Mexican musicians’ current fascination with the wealth of 20th century orchestral works and pop songwriting, by the composers who often drew heavily on traditional musical forms. Pianist Cesar Reyes had dedicated years to finding and performing long-lost piano arrangements of Latin American composers. He presents an evening of favorites at Del Salón al Danzón! (October 29).



For the festival’s grand finale Day of the Dead (November 1) concert at Town Hall, Alondra de la Parra and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas will return to the festival that gave the dynamic young conductor her start. The program will pay tribute to Mexican composers unknown to U.S. audiences, including songwriting legend Agustín Lara, with help from Latin pop darling Natalia Lafourcade.

A retrospective that pays tribute to a Mexican artist of a very different kind, Ximena Perez Grobet, will open October 30. Grobet’s artist books—the distillation of her interventions and installations in book form—engage viewers with the nuances of book as object, in ways both playful and thought provoking.

In an ongoing tradition, the festival will present winning shorts from the Morelia International Film Festival (October 31), including a documentary about rural Atoyac women in Guerrero State coping with the loss of their husbands and sons to the suppression of revolutionary Lucio Cabañas’ guerillas in the 1970s. (Director Anaïs Pareto Onghena will be available at the screening for a Q&A)

Sometimes humble forms gain international acclaim and are then elevated to high art. Such is the tale of the taco, as told in La Tacopedia (October 28), a new work of social history and culinary savor by writer and visual artist Alejandro Escalante (pictured left). Festival goers will get a chance to savor this history--as well as other culinary pleasures from Mexico’s varied cuisine--thanks to Taste of Mexico Now, a special initiative uniting Mexican chefs around New York. Taco aficionados can download a map to taco bliss at the festival website, which will lead them to festival-themed specials at Bar Bruno, Café Frida, Hecho en Dumbo, La Palapa, El Mitote, Papatzul, Sembrado en NY, Toloache, Tacuba, Los Tacos No. 1 and Taquería Nixtamalito.

Drink with Death A Morbid Cabaret October 23 to 30, 2014 in Toronto

From a media release:

Romana Soutus and Christopher Weatherstone present
Drink with Death
A Morbid Cabaret
October 23 to 30, 2014
The Cameron House - Toronto

• For tickets, visit drinkwithdeath.com

Toronto, October 2, 2014 -
Following a wildly successful run at the renowned La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in New York City in February, director Romana Soutus is teaming up with Juno-nominated musician Christopher Weatherstone to present Drink With Death, a morbid cabaret where the dead rise again to tell the stories of their untimely ends through song. Featuring the best and brightest of Toronto's vibrant indie folk scene, this unexpectedly humorous and beautiful show runs October 23-30 (Wednesdays-Saturdays at 8pm) at the legendary downtown Toronto venue, The Cameron House.

In Drink with Death, see how the other side lives as the Back Room of The Cameron House becomes a portal into the afterlife, a speakeasy in purgatory. There will be no boundary between performers and patrons as the cast recount their tragic tales throughout eternity amidst the audience to explore the mysterious "other side." Who knows who might be sitting beside you? Seize the opportunity to share a drink with the dearly departed. Break down the walls between ourselves and our mortality. Experience the humour, tragedy, pain and beauty behind humanity's greatest fear.

Far from your usual cabaret performance, Drink with Death features countless unexpected twists and turns throughout the evening with original music written by the performers themselves. The cast is filled with luminaries of Toronto's urban folk scene, including three members of the explosive Lemon Bucket Orkestra:Christopher Weatherstone (nominated for a Juno award, four Canadian Folk Music awards, and a SiriusXM Indie award), Michael Louis Johnson (legendary as the singing barkeep at The Communist's Daughter and NOW's Best Bartender in 2013) and Jaash Singh (darbouka player specializing in Middle-Eastern, Eastern European, Spanish and Roma traditional folk music styles). Joining them areAda Dahli (former mortician turned musician and front person of Ada Dahli & The Pallbearers), Freeman Dre (voted NOW's best songwriter of 2010 and nominated in 2012), Darren Eedens (banjo/guitar picker who has opened for comedian Louis CK and Rural Alberta Advantage) and different special guests nightly.

Romana Soutus is a New York based actress, director and producer. Her engagement in the Toronto theatre scene began in 2013 when she helped to produce Midwinter Night with Yara Arts Group, a resident theatre company at La MaMa ETC in New York, at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre. Her work has been produced at the experimental theatre institution La MaMa ETC in New York City. In the summer of 2014, she traveled with La MaMa to Spoleto, Italy for La MaMa's International Director's Symposium where she worked with Belarus Free Theatre, Theatre MOTUS, Dijana Milo_evi_ of DAH Theatre and playwright Catherine Filloux. Soutus's next project, Hyena- a solo performance written and performed by Soutus herself - premiere in the fall of 2015 at La MaMa in New York.

Christopher Weatherstone is one of Toronto's hottest up-and-coming musicians, active in no less than six musical projects and a constant fixture in the city's music scene, performing with acts including The Lemon Bucket Orkestra, indie weirdoes The Holy Gasp, the sea shantymen Pressgang Mutiny and the soon-to-be-legendary Jazz Money. He has been nominated for a Juno award, four Canadian Folk Music awards, and a SiriusXM Indie award. He attended the renowned Humber College Jazz program and has studied with Roma musicians in Eastern Europe.

Romana Soutus and Christopher Weatherstone present
Drink With Death
A Morbid Cabaret

Directed by Romana Soutus
Musical Director Christopher Weatherstone
Starring Ada Dahli, Freeman Dre, Darren Eedens,
Michael Louis Johnson, Jaash Singh, Christopher Weatherstone. - Featuring Special Guests nightly.

October 23-30, 2014
Wednesday-Saturday at 8pm

The Back Room of The Cameron House, 408 Queen Street West, Toronto
Tickets: $18 regular, $10 students (Children under 13 will not be admitted due to mature content.)

For tickets, visit drinkwithdeath.com