Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tix on Sale Now: Sony Centre For The Performing Arts presents the Return of Louise Lecavalier May 29 & 30 2015

From a media release:

Sony Centre For The Performing Arts presents
the Triumphant Return of
Louise Lecavalier in
After a sold-out run at last summer’s Luminato Festival
Tickets On Sale Now!
Two Performances Only May 29 & 30, 2015

“Lecavalier is arguably Canada’s foremost female contemporary dancer. Now she shows herself to be a formidable choreographer as well.”  Montreal Gazette

TORONTO - The Sony Centre For The Performing Arts is proud to present the return of SO BLUE, choreographed and performed by Louise Lecavalier, joined by Frédéric Tavernini after a highly acclaimed and sold-out run at the Fleck Dance Theatre last summer.

Physically, Louise Lecavalier is an arresting composite of David Bowie and Tilda Swinton, and in the world of contemporary dance, she is as iconic as both. The Montréal native began her career at 18 with Le Groupe Nouvelle Aire, where she met choreographer Édouard Lock. With Lecavalier as his main muse, Lock created La La La Human Steps. Many of the troupe’s seminal works— including Human Sex, New Demons and 2—were defined by her remarkable power and presence. Lecavalier also figured prominently in Lock’s collaborations with Frank Zappa and, fittingly, Bowie with whom she performed a duet at a benefit for the London Institute of Contemporary Art.

SO BLUE, first presented in Düsseldorf in late 2012, marks her volcanic emergence as a choreographer.

The first 30-minutes of SO BLUE features Lecavalier in a perilous solo with a vibrant, swirling soundtrack composed by Turkish-born Montrealer Mercan Dede. Joined by Frédéric Tavernini for the second half, their raw, shared energy reaches dizzying heights.

“An intoxicating marriage of performance brilliance, ritual and feverish musical push . . .  by the end of it we are all in a transcendent state together.  There are few performers who can take an audience on this kind of journey – Lecavalier has proved over and over again, and she does once more with So Blue, that she is one of them.” The Dance Current

Lecavalier joined La La La Human Steps in 1981 to perform in Oranges becoming and remaining the face of the company until 1999. In 1985, Lecavalier was the first Canadian artist to win a Bessie (Dance and Performance) Award in New York.  In 1999, Lecavalier was the first recipient of the Jean A. Chalmers Award, as well as the inaugural Prix de la danse in Montreal in 2011.

In March 2014 Lecavalier’s company, Fou Glorieux, was awarded the 29th Grand Prix du Conseil des arts de Montréal, recognizing the achievement of Lecavalier as an ambassadress for Montreal’s artistic vitality, as well as for her legendary contribution to contemporary dance.

Lecavalier was also awarded the highest distinction in the realm of performing arts in Canada as one of 2014’s winners of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards, and was praised as “one of this country’s most admired and respected contemporary dancers, who continues to dazzle the public and expand the boundaries of her art.”

Sony Centre For The Performing Arts presents

Choreography by Louise Lecavalier
Performed by Louise Lecavalier and Frédéric Tavernini
May 29 & 30, 2015 @ 8pm
St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front Street East
All Tickets $75 (Ticket prices do not include service and delivery fees)
Tickets can be can be purchased in person at the Sony Centre Box Office,
1 Front Street East, over the phone at 1-855-872-SONY (7669) or online at

Kaki King: New Record & Groundbreaking Multimedia Performance - January 9 2015 in New York City

From a media release:

Kaki King Presents Landmark New Work, "The Neck is a Bridge to the Body"


Everybody Glows: B-Sides & Rarities
Short Stuff Records - November 4, 2014

Highline Ballroom, New York City
January 9, 2015

Buy the album
Get concert tickets

Kaki King’s groundbreaking new work, The Neck Is A Bridge To The Body, sees the renowned guitarist/composer joining forces with visual performance pioneers Glowing Pictures to construct an innovative multi-media production in which The Guitar itself takes centerstage. The Neck Is A Bridge To The Body debuted at Brooklyn’s BRIC House Ballroom in March 2014, and will tour extensively in 2015. An album featuring the music from the show will also be released in 2015.

The Neck Is A Bridge To The Body lays bare The Guitar’s inner life and protean power, its incalculable possibility and perpetual presence in our deepest unconscious. The hour-long production places the focus directly on The Guitar itself, the Instrument serving as an ontological tabula rasa in a creation myth unlike any other ever presented.

King and Glowing Pictures – known for their work with such artists as Animal Collective, David Byrne & Brian Eno, Beastie Boys, and TV On The Radio – have reconceived The Guitar as a screen for a remarkable range of new digital projections. Luminous visions of genesis and death, unexpected textures and skins, are cast onto a Ovation Adamas 1581-KK Kaki King Signature 6-String Acoustic guitar customized specifically for this production. The Guitar gradually evolves, taking on a living, breathing existence of its own, complete with friends, family, and complex skeletal, muscular and nervous systems. Provocative and moving, surprising and beautiful, The Neck Is A Bridge To The Body is Kaki King at her visionary best, as ever deconstructing and redefining the role of solo instrumental artist though virtuoso technique, outsized imagination, and boundless humanity.

“The Guitar is a shapeshifter,” King says, “something that plays all types of music and really fills all kinds of roles. It’s not always the six-string guitar that we all know and love. I’ve been playing guitar for more than 30 years. It’s who I am and if anything, this project has made me even more familiar with it.”

In other news, Kaki recently released Everybody Glows: B-sides & Rarities, out November 4, featuring a collection of outtakes, demos, covers, live versions and never before heard recordings culled from scratched demo CDs, long forgotten hard drives, and the fuzzier corners of her memory. The collection reveals the evolution of her songwriting while offering a glimpse of a young guitarist doing daring things on her instrument before she grasped the significance of any of it. The album comes with a track-by-track explanation of each song, along with liner notes written by her biggest supporter and fan: her father.

Hailed by Rolling Stone as “a genre unto herself,” Kaki King is a true iconoclast, a musician/artist whose singular body of work stands tall amongst the easily formatted.  The past decade has seen the Brooklyn-based guitarist/composer record six extraordinarily diverse and distinctive LPs (the most recent being 2012’s Glow), perform with such icons as Foo Fighters, Timbaland, and The Mountain Goats, contribute to a variety of film and TV soundtracks (spanning Golden Globe-nominated work on Sean Penn’s Into The Wild to scoring – and appearing in as guitar-playing hand double – the acclaimed 2007 drama, August Rush), and play to an increasingly fervent fan following on innumerable world tours.

An astonishingly active artist, King has maintained a diverse and busy schedule lately. In addition to The Neck Is A Bridge To The Body, she has been performing nationally accompanied by NYC-based string quartet ETHEL, and performed a Carnegie Hall premiere of a classical piece commissioned by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang.

Latin Contemporary Dance: Vanguardia Dance Festival December 5-6 2014 in Toronto

From a media release:

Vanguardia Dance Projects
Vanguardia Dance Festival 2014
December 5-6, 2014
Harbourfront Centre, Toronto

Get your tickets

Vanguardia Dance Festival 2014, “A View on Latin America,” showcases 9 contemporary dance artists/companies representing different Latin American countries, living in Canada. Co-directed and Curated by Norma Araiza and Olga Barrios.

Program A – December 5
Mateo Galindo (Colombia)
Arsenio Andrade (Cuba)
Mariana Mangevil Alvarez (Mexico)
John Henry Gerena (Colombia)
Alejandro Roncería (Colombia) – Guest Artist

Program B – December 6
Diana López (Mexico)
Victoria Mata (Venezuela)
José Carret(Cuba)
Sur Theatre (Argentina)
Alejandro Roncería (Colombia)- Guest Artist.

Arsenio Andrade / KasheDance
Congo Laye

An invocation and tribute to his ancestors and mother Africa. Congo Laye is a dance work in three parts, with music by Conjunto Folklorico Cutumba. Choreographed using contemporary Afro-Cuban dance techniques, it draws on the African-Cuban Yoruba heritage, drawing on the sensuality and raw primal power of both males and females.

John Henry Gerena

War and violence are present in the everyday world, but despite the desperation, suffering and hopelessness people are still dancing and enjoying life. Bermejo is an abstraction of that: the blood-drenched Earth, the colour of violence nuanced by the will of the people to be happy, and the continued fight for life.

Victoria Mata
Memory Lane

Memory Lane is based on a real-life interpretation of the dancer’s embodiment of cultural memory and migration from South America to Canada. The movement vocabulary is inspired by the lasting sensations of home and the negotiations we undergo to keep cultural memory alive in our day-to-day as culturally hyphenated Canadians.

Diana Lopez Soto
Esencia Humana (Human Essence)

An exploration of dance and performance as a means to connect with inner spirit. In the process, studying forces that complete our human essence. Entities such as desire, anger, loss, passion, envy and others that, although beautiful and necessary, can overcome our conscious and subconscious mind, making spirit blind to its life purpose. This piece focuses on Desire.

Sur Theatre

A commemoration of Argentina’s ‘disappeared.’ During the 1970s in Argentina, the military carried out brutal tortures and thousands of students and dissidents disappeared. To this day, mothers of the Disappeared walk the Plaza de Mayo carrying pictures of their dead in silent protest. This piece uses an empty picture frame as a symbol of those who were made to vanish, while the tango lyrics express the pain and solitude of exile for those who survived.

Mateo Galindo Flores
Vanishing Point

Vanishing Point is a meditation on the things that separate us from world events, and from participating in meaningful discussion. It contemplates the effect of perspective on the dissemination and representation of information, ultimately asking what intervenes or obscures as we try to frame an accurate understanding of what is happening in our world. It is an open invitation for the audience to shape their experience of the performance – to act not only as passive witnesses but creative partners whose perspectives play a vital role in the evolution of the work

Mariana Mangevil Alvarez
Cosmología Azteca

Inspired by the Aztec culture and religion found in the ancient stone codex. This piece represents four deities who are associated to the cardinal points and the seasonal changes. Retracing the footsteps and space formations from pre-Hispanic dances, this dance explores and combines these rhythms with neoclassical and contemporary styles for a touch of a modern perspective. The music and dancers will take us to the pre-Hispanic era and revive our ancestors.

Jose Carret
Evasion sin Limite (Escape without limits)

Relate the search for a way out. Human beings, searching throughout the space for new beginnings, for new hopes, for a better future.

Alejandro Ronceria
My Hundred Years of Solitude

My Hundred Years of Solitude explores history, identity, and the ties that bind land and people. What does it mean to be displaced and how do we interpret it? Is it a state of transition or a permanent space we inhabit? How does it shape a body, a culture? What does it mean to survive, to adapt and is there a process of transformation?

Performer: Mariana Mangevil Alvarez
Artistic Direction: Diana Lopez Soto
Costume: Diana Lopez Soto
Music: 'Waltz' from The Godfather; Nino Rota

Rosy from Diana Lopez Soto on Vimeo.

Off Broadway: Our Lady of Kibeho Now Extended Through December 14, 2014!

From a release:

Off Broadway:
Our Lady of Kibeho
Now Extended Through December 14, 2014!

by Katori Hall; directed by Michael Greif

Buy tickets


In 1981, a village girl in Rwanda claims to see the Virgin Mary. Ostracized by her schoolmates and labeled disturbed, everyone refuses to believe, until the impossible starts happening again and again. Skepticism gives way to fear, faith, and fate, causing upheaval in the school community and beyond. Based on real events, Our Lady of Kibeho is the second production of Olivier Award-winning playwright Katori Hall’s Residency at Signature. (Image: Nneka Okafor in Our Lady of Kibeho. Photo by Joan Marcus.)

Running Time: 2 hours 30 minutes, with one intermission
Our Lady of Kibeho contains use of a strobe light as well as smoke, fog, and haze effects
Tickets: 212-244-7529
Signature Theatre Company
The Pershing Square Signature Center
480 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036

OUR LADY OF KIBEHO Trailer from Signature Theatre on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Nile Project Collective: Aswan CD & U.S. Tour Through Spring 2015

From a media release:

Loving Listening, Subtle Flow: The Nile Project Meshes the River’s Many Sounds, Calls for New River-Based Conversation

• Tour begins January 15, 2015 in Gainesville, FLA, including
• March 19, 2015 New York, NY, Rubenstein Atrium - Lincoln Center,
• March 20, 2104 New York, NY, Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts - Pace University with LiveSounds
For additional dates, check their website

“Music is a language,” exclaims Ethiopian sax player and Nile Project musician Jorga Mesfin, “and in the Nile Project, the conversation is about love.” The love of craft, of place, of the river that connects eleven countries and millions of people.

The passion and affection spring forth via one of the tightest cross-cultural collaborations in history. Forged over weeks of carefully calibrated workshops and participatory composition, the Nile Project Collective members hail from all along the great river, from its sources beyond Lake Victoria to its delta in Egypt.

They have learned each others’ traditions well enough to create substantive music together, work that goes far deeper than mere meet-and-greet jam sessions. An ensemble of a dozen musicians will tour the US in January-May 2015.

To craft this music, Egyptian and Ethiopian artists have mastered each others’ wildly different modal systems. A Burundian bassist has become the foundation within head-spinning Ugandan rhythms. Instruments that parted ways millennia before are reunited and pushed into new tunings, new places. Love songs and lullabies have crossed geography and language barriers to forge new songs and new, close friendships.

Creating together, with the role of lead and soloist rotating among the players, the Collective has crafted emotionally stirring, musically complex pieces that weave together over the course of a concert into one long and shifting composition. This work serves as a rallying point to draw more and more people from more and more places into a meaningful conversation, where love and art intertwine with politics, history, ecology, and commerce.

Yet it all starts with sound, and with listening. “In the end, it is all about learning to listen,” reflects Egyptian singer and Nile Project musician Dina El Wedidi. “I think that is what we all took away from this, whether it is the participants or the audience. Listening is the basis for understanding.”

The Nile Project 2015 US Touring Ensemble

Mohamed Abo Zekry:
Despite his tender years, this oud player has a stunning command of his instrument, as well as an open ear for other forms, skills that got him a recent album deal with Harmonia Mundi.

Alsarah: Based in Brooklyn, this soulful Sudanese singer and ethnomusicologist’s songs have won high praise from roots-music tastemakers like Songlines Magazine.

Michael Bazibu: A member of Uganda’s leading traditional music and dance company, Ndere, for the past 17 years, Bazibu plays several traditional Ugandan stringed and percussion instruments with virtuosic grace.

Hani Bedair: When the biggest stars in the Middle East need daff (hand drum) or riq (traditional tambourine), they call Bedair, whose percussion skills have also earned him a teaching position at several respected Cairo institutions.

Nader El Shaer: Born in the culturally rich town of Port Said, Egypt, El Shaer taught himself accordion and ney, only to fall in love with the tones of the kawala (end-blown cane flute) and its role in Arabic classical music.

Dina El Wedidi: With experience that spans Arabic classical music, edgy theater, and street protest, this young singer has most recently worked with Brazilian heavyweight Gilbert Gil on her debut album.

Meklit Hadero (select appearances only): Co-founder of the Nile Project, this American-based Ethiopian singer frequently digs deep into soul and hip hop, but never loses sight of her roots.

Jorga Mesfin: This self-taught sax player meshes jazz with Ethiopia’s wealth of musical forms and ideas, both as a respected band leader and favorite sideman for greats like Mulatu Astatke.

Kasiva Mutua: Kenyan percussionist and singer Mutua may have learned drumming from her grandmother, but has developed her own knack for powerful Afropop beats. Her expressive playing can tell a story on its own, or keep a band perfectly in the pocket.

Sophie Nzayisenga: The first female master of the Rwandan traditional zither (inanga), Nzayisenga learned at her internationally acclaimed father’s knee before setting out to make the instrument her own.

Dawit Seyoum: Known for his flexibility, Seyoum rocks both the krar and the bass krar, the six-string powerhouse harps at the heart of much of Ethiopia’s music.

Steven Sogo: Burundi’s leading bassist, this multilingual multi-instrumentalist can play anything with strings, including the umiduri, Burundi’s answer to the birembau. Add to that Sogo’s wonderful voice, and it’s easy to see why he was named a World Bank musical ambassador.

Selamnesh Zemane: Hailing from a long line of unique culture bearers in Northern Ethiopia, this young singer has brought her traditions to collaborations with indie darlings like Debo Band and The Ex.

The ensemble flows from a larger collective of musicians—most of whom are young and work across genres—that in turn arose from a long, thoughtful recruitment and collaboration process. The Nile Project strived to include musicians from many different cultural communities along the Nile, while finding a compelling combination of instruments and voice to support and balance one another.

Over the course of two gatherings and a major, five-country African tour, the collective has gained an increasing sense of how to craft joint works, guided by their own interests and by the Collective’s leaders: Nile Project Musical Director Miles Jay, a contrabassist and composer who spent much of the last decade living and working with prominent artists across the Middle East and Africa; and Nile Project executive director Mina Girgis, an Egyptian ethnomusicologist and curator who specializes in creating innovative musical experiences. The exchange of know-how has had significant impact on the participants—bassist Steven Sogo enthuses about his newfound love for Ethiopian modes—and has molded a sound as broad and powerful as the Nile itself.

“The set is a continuous flow, like the river,” explains Jay. “We craft creative transitions from one piece to the next, inspired by the Nile’s soundscapes. So, we end a song and the percussionist continues the pulse, even through the applause. Or all the strings at the end of the song go into a drone, and then we introduce a melody to modulate to the next key.”

Evoking the Nile is not enough, however. Many trans-national music projects stop at the stage, when top performers break out their best for an audience. For The Nile Project, live performance is merely one stop on a long, compelling journey. “Music is the gateway that lets us envision the Nile Basin, its people, its challenges,” explains Girgis. “Yet the concert experience is just the beginning.”

The Nile Project uses music to spark cultural curiosity and engage audiences—particularly university and student audiences—encouraging them to feel connected to the river and to explore new approaches to its large-scale problems. In an evolving series of interlocking programs that spring from the musical experience, the project aims to inspire, educate and empower young people worldwide to become Nile Citizens. These growing circles of participants will contribute to Nile sustainability through their music, leadership, and innovative ideas.

For this reason, nearly every stop on the U.S. tour will be accompanied by a series of workshops and symposia involving the Nile Project participant musicians, complemented by the faculty resources and student interest of each campus. From water issues to women’s roles, from musical discovery to the image of the Nile through history, a wide range of topics tackle the river’s complexity and aim to draw students into active roles. These activities expand the circle of conversation begun by the musicians, to encompass entire academic communities.

The exchange on stage and the long interweaving of voices and ideas that preceded it, however, sets the tone for other interactions, dedicated to matters beyond music. “No matter what topic we’re addressing, the music shows something that we can aspire to,” notes Nile Project Musical Director Miles Jay. “It shows it in subtle terms.”

Select Nile Project Workshop Topics

The Nile Project will offer a variety of workshop themes during its 2015 US Tour, including those below. These programs will serve as catalysts for longer-term engagement with students and faculty beyond the tour ensemble’s musical performances.

1. Musical Collaboration & Water Cooperation
2. Imagining the Nile
3. The Nile & African Identity
4. Civic Engagement and Water Resource Management
5. School Matinee: K-12 student outreach
6. The Role of Musicians in Social Movements
7. Women of the Nile: An Untapped Resource
8. Finding Opportunities in Challenges: Crowdsourcing Solutions for an Environmentally Sustainable Nile Basin
9. Music Master Classes

Single Release: Alice Sungurov - "Broke My Heart" (HitPlay Records - Oct 1, 2014)

Single Release: Alice Sungurov - "Broke My Heart"
(HitPlay Records - Oct 1, 2014)

Check out all her music

The latest single from New York based singer/songwriter Alice Sungurov is called Broke My Heart, a pop song with a nice rhythmic complexity and some tasty melodic changes to complement her strong voice - strong and sweet at the same time. The chorus rocks out and the track lights up with an impressive drummer who switches convincingly from rock bombast to thoughtful intricacy on the bridges.

My beef with most contemporary pop - my most common beef - is that they take a great voice and add cheesy technology instead of real music to back it up. That's not the case here, and although Alice is just 16 and a sophomore at high school, hers is a voice she's come to honestly, as the saying goes. Alice was diagnosed at age four with Auditory Processing Disorder. Her mother founded a specialized arts school for children using creativity to enhance learning and life skills. Alice flourished and became involved in the arts and music from a very young age.

She garnered the interest of HitPlay Records and her work is being internationally released by them using Red Music, A Subsidiary of Sony Music. So Blind, the first single for the label released earlier this year, is an upbeat pop tune that takes full advantage of her agile voice .

The lyrics are clever - not designed to be deep but enough to pique the ear all the same. Musically, I'd say the same; it avoids predictability in an era of sameness. The track was produced by label owner and president Phil Garland.

Born in Jersey, now based in NYC (where else?) she's pursuing her career while serving as class president at her high school.


Glenfiddich Issues Call for Canadian Artists to Enter Competition for the Coveted 2015 Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Prize

From a media release:

Issues Call for Canadian Artists to Enter Competition for the Coveted
2015 Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Prize

• To apply and for more information, applicants are asked to visit

Toronto, November 26, 2014 –
Glenfiddich is issuing a “Call to Artists” currently living and creating art in Canada to enter the internationally renowned competition for the prestigious 2015 Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Prize. The Canadian “Call to Artists” opens today, Wednesday November 26, 2014 and closes midnight eastern time, Friday January 30, 2015.

The Canadian winner will be one of a small and distinguished group around the world to be awarded the art community’s coveted prize to live and work at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland. It’s only fitting that the world’s most awarded single malt Scotch whisky honours distinction. The three-month residency valued at $20,000 per artist represents the Glenfiddich commitment to the pioneering spirit of the arts and the communities it serves. While living in crofts (traditional small Scottish farm houses), artists are encouraged to find inspiration from the unique setting in the Scottish Highlands. The experience provides an opportunity unlike any other for artists to work in an international community, share in a dialogue with other artists and foster cross-disciplinary ideas.

Now in its 14th year internationally and 10th in Canada, the Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Prize attracts close to 200 submissions across Canada from the visual arts. The prize covers the cost of travel, living expenses and materials throughout the residency. From the submissions, five jury members choose eight finalists and ultimately one winner. To apply and for more information, applicants are asked to visit

The distinguished jury for the selection of the Canadian Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Prize includes, Dr. Sara Diamond, president of OCAD University, Gaetane Verna, director of The Power Plant, Adelina Vlas, associate curator of contemporary art at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Julian Sleath, programming manager of special events, economic development & culture at the City of Toronto, and the Canadian 2008 Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Prize recipient, Dave Dyment.

Andy Fairgrieve, curator, Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Prize underscores that, “The program’s ethos is about encouraging people to take inspiration from their experience living at the distillery, whether that be the pioneering heritage of Glenfiddich, the surrounding environment, or the daily life of the distillery and local community, and to be as pioneering as possible – a mission our artists live and breathe during their three-month residency.”

The Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Prize has sponsored over 100 artists globally since its inception in 2002. The artistic team of Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky, were awarded the 2014 Canadian Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Prize for their collaborative work that takes an innovative sculptural approach to still life. During the three-month residency the collaborative team ran a community sculpting and casting workshop based around coinage, while producing photography, video, and a range of sculptures made from copper, foil and custom oak veneer.

The past Canadian Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Prize winners include: Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky (2014), Daniel Barrow (2013), Jillian McDonald (2012), Helen Cho (2011), Damian Moppett (2010), Arabella Campbell (2009), Dave Dyment (2008), Jonathon Kaiser (2007), Annie Pootoogook (2006) and Myfanwy Macleod (2005).

2014 Global Artists in Residence Prize recipients from left to right: Rhonda Weppler, Canada; Tania Candaini, Mexico; Hugh Hayden, United States; Hu Zi, China; Chetnaa Verma, India; Trevor Mahovsky, Canada; Han Wonsuk, Korea; Isadora Correa, Chile; Suso 33, Spain; Joyce Ho, Taiwan

Listen & Shop: New Single from 1700 Monkey Ninjas & Ed Purchla Online Shop

Listen & Shop:
New Single from 1700 Monkey Ninjas &
Ed Purchla Online Shop

Check out the single
Check out the clothes

If you'd like some eye popping designs to go with your techno, then we've got you covered in this one post.

The song is amarrikuh (flaccid penises & assault rifles) a not-so-subtle attack on America's gun culture. It cleverly mixes spoken word snippets with an array of noise effects. It's quite effective at getting the message across with superlative editing especially at the end to reinforce the idea.

He manages to mix a little political satire into a heavy message... and you can dance to it too.

On the sartorial side, you can now get your basic leggings and skirts with Ed Purchla's (aka 1700MN alter ego) arresting graphic designs at his online store. He's also a digital abstract artist and you will certainly never go unnoticed in one of his pieces - perfect for clubbing or just making your mark in the everyday world.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Highlights from the African Diaspora International Film Festival New York City November 28 to December 14 2014

From a media release:

Highlights from the African Diaspora International Film Festival New York City
November 28 to December 14, 2014

Check out all the films
Get Tickets

Various locations in Manhattan, NYC including  The Thalia Cinema at Symphony Space, Quad Cinema, The Cowin Center and Chapel at Teachers College, Columbia University and the Riverside Theater.

NEW YORK CITY - The African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) is proud of its 22-year history of firsts in presenting, interpreting and educating about films from throughout the world that depict the lives of people from Africa and the African Diaspora. The festival features world and US premieres, recent popular titles, classic movies, foreign and independent releases. Post-screening question-and-answer sessions and panel discussions that include filmmakers, critics, academics, and audiences present the most current discourse on filmmaking in Africa and the African Diaspora.

The festival begins every year on the last Friday of the month of November during the Thanksgiving weekend and runs for eighteen days. ADIFF 22nd anniversary will be celebrated from Friday, November 28 through Sunday, December 14, 2014.


ADIFF NY 2014 presents: Gloria Rolando - An Afro-Cuban Filmmaker

Gloria Rolando was born in Cuba  where she developed a career in making films about the Afro-Cuban experience. Her films span across 35 years at the ICAIC, the Cuban national film institute.

Gloria Rolando is currently on a national tour in the USA and is getting great acclaim for her work everywhere. Gloria will be in NY for ADIFF from NOV. 28 to NOV. 30 to present 5 of her films films as part of ADIFF's special program BLACKS IN LATIN AMERICA sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture.

Come join us Nov. 28 to Nov. 30 and meet this exceptional filmmaker!
Films to screen in New York are:
Her classic Oggun: An Eternal Presence (Oggun: Presencia Eternal)
Her trilogy: 1912, Breaking the Silence: Part 1, 2 & 3  (1912: Voces para un Silencio)
Her most recent work: Reshipment (Re-embarque)

1912, Breaking the Silence: Part 1, 2 & 3 (1912: Voces para un Siliencio)
NY Premiere
Part 1: Chap 1 & 2: Sat, Nov. 29 @ 6PM - The Chapel
Part 2: Chap 3 + Q&A: Sat, Nov 29 @ 8PM - The Chapel

1912, Breaking the Silence is a project dedicated to the history of the Party of the Independents of Color (PIC), a political party established in Cuba in 1908 to represents the interest of  Afro-Cubans.

This three parts documentary seeks to cover some antecedents in the history of Afro-Cubans' struggle for self-determination, a necessary recapitulation which goes step by step down the path of resistance taken by the Black movement in Cuba since colonial times, the struggle for independence and the situation of Black Cubans once the island of Cuba achieved its independence in 1902. References are made to significant, Black leaders in Cuba from the nineteenth century, such as Juan Gualberto Gomez and Martin Morua Delgado, Antonio Maceo and Quintin Banderas.

Through the voices, opinions, and commentaries of historians and Cuban cultural icons accompanied by images of documents, photos, and clippings from the press of that era, two main issues are explored : 1) what did the Afro-Cubans do before the founding of the PIC? 2) Was the creation of a political party to represents Afro-Cubans necessary?

Directed by Gloria V. Rolando Casamayor, 45, 58, 56 minutes, Cuba, documentary, Spanish with English subt.
1912: Breaking the Silence, Chapter 1

Oggun: An Eternal Presence  (Oggun: Presencia Eterna) + Q&A
Fri, Nov. 28 @ 4PM - The Chapel

Gloria Rolando relates the patakin or mythical story of Oggun, the tireless warrior who, enamored of his mother, decided as punishment to imprison himself in the mountains. Only Ochun, goddess of love, succeeded in captivating him when she let fall a few drops of honey on the lips of the god of metal, war, progress, and civilization. Oggun is the first effort of the team later to be known as Images of the Caribbean, now chartered as an independent video group. Directed by Gloria Rolando, 1992, Cuba, Documentary, Spanish, 52 min, Spanish, English subtitles

Reshipment (Re-embarque) + Q&A and cocktail after the screening
NY Premiere
Sun, Nov. 30 @ 6M - The Chapel

This is a documentary on Haitians immigrants in Cuba who were sent back in the beginning of the last century when the sugar market crashed and they became unwanted. Directed by Gloria Rolando, 2014, Cuba/Haiti, Documentary, 58 min, Spanish, English subt.

Abayomi Interviews AfroCubana Filmmaker Gloria Rolando

Bound: Africans vs. African-AmericansNY PREMIERE
Fri, Dec. 12 @ 7PM - The Chapel

African vs African Americans is a hard-hitting documentary that addresses the little known tension that exists between Africans and African Americans. The film opens with personal testimonials that expose this rift then walks us through the corridors of African colonialism and African American enslavement, laying bare their effects and how these have divided and bound Africans and African Americans.

Directed by Peres Owino, 2014, 90 min., United States, documentary, English.
Conversation with director Peres Owino & Catered Reception

Between Friends
NY Premiere

Launching of the SOUTH AFRICA: 20 YEARS OF DEMOCRACY program presented in collaboration with the South African Department of Arts and Culture, the NFVF and the Kwazulu-Natal Film Commission.

VIP RECEPTION: Tue, Dec. 2  @ 6PM - Riverside Theater
CENTERPIECE SCREENING: Tue, Dec. 2  @ 7:30PM - Riverside Theater

Keynote speaker: Dr. Molefi Kete Asante
Professor in the Department of African American Studies at Temple University, founder of the PhD program in African-American Studies, and President of the Molefi Kete Asante Institute for Afrocentric Studies.

Between Friends
After 7 years, college friends reunite at an up-market game lodge in South Africa. Long buried secrets shared by old friends are eventually exposed, causing tensions to arise in current relationships. A stylish, funny tale of the new South Africa. Stars Thapelo Mokoena, Lihle Dhlomo, Mandisa Nduna, Dunisani Mbebe, Amanda Du Pont, Siyabonga Twala and Morne Du toit.

Directed by Zuko Nodada, 2014, 93 min, South Africa, Romantic comedy, English, Zulu with English subt.
Q&A after the screening.

Friday, November 28, 2014
7:30PM @ Symphony Space

Joe Anderson (Across the Universe) and Danny Glover star in Supremacy, a racially charged psychological thriller. Supremacy follows a high-ranking white supremacist (Anderson) who murders a cop and hides out with his accomplice by taking a black family hostage. Glover plays the patriarch of the house, an ex-con who must rely on his wits and understanding of the supremacist’s racist mind to keep his family safe.

Supremacy, which made its world premiere in June 2014 at the LA Film Festival, also stars Dawn Olivieri, Derek Luke, Evan Ross, Lela Rochon, Robin Bobeau, and Anson Mount. Based on real events, Supremacy is a shocking, complex, real-life horror story.

( (USA, 2014, 97 min, Deon Taylor, dir., Drama)

Choral Evensong with the Riverside Choir feat.Laudes Organi by Zoltán Kodály November 23, 2014 in New York City

From a media release:

with The Riverside Choir
Featured music: Laudes Organi by Zoltán Kodály
November 23, 2014 at 5pm
In the Nave of the Riverside Church
Harlem, New York City

• The concert is free to attend, however free-will offerings benefitting the Riverside Food Pantry will be collected.
• For more information, call 212-870-6722 or email

Sacred music and text will fill the soaring halls of The Riverside Church during its Choral Evensong celebration, an evening service of music and song.  Laudes Organi by Zoltán Kodály will be featured by The Riverside Choir on Sunday, November 23, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in the Church’s Nave, 490 Riverside Drive (bet. 120th & 122nd Sts.), Morningside Heights.

In honor of the great traditions of the Riverside Church music program, an evening service of music and word — once a weekly occurrence in the life of the Church’s diverse community of faith — will be shared. The Evensong celebration will have a decidedly “Riverside” flavor, with canticles and spirituals sung by The Riverside Choir and soloists, and evening hymns for all to sing.

Laudes Organi (subtitled Fantasia on a XIIth Century Sequence for Mixed Chorus and Organ) by Zoltán Kodály was commissioned by the Atlanta Chapter for the 1966 National Convention of the American Guild of Organists.  Kodály’s last published work, this piece is a celebration of the organ (its title translates from Latin to “In praise of the organ”) and is based on a fragment of text found in a 12th century manuscript at Switzerland’s Engelberg Abbey.  The programmatic setting of the text references both medieval musical styles and Hungarian chromaticism. The work also pays homage to Guido d’Arezzo, the 11th-century Italian monk credited with the invention of modern musical notation.

Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967)

Like his countryman and lifelong friend Béla Bartók, Kodály became interested in the folk music of his Hungarian homeland at an early age and traveled to remote villages of Hungary to record songs on phonograph cylinders in his teens and twenties.  Kodály began his university education in modern languages at the University of Sciences in Budapest, but later enrolled at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music to pursue studies in composition.  After earning his PhD in 1906 with a thesis entitled “The Strophic Structure of Hungarian Folk Songs”, Kodály continued his musical education in Paris under famed composer and organist Charles Widor.  Shortly thereafter, Kodály was appointed a professor at the Liszt Academy of Music, a post he kept for most of his life.  In addition to his compositional output and contributions to the budding field of ethnomusicology, Kodály authored a set of principles for musical instruction that became known as the “Kodály Method,” much of which is still practiced today.  The composer died in Budapest in 1967 and has remained one of the most significant and influential Hungarian artistic figures of the 20th century.

The Riverside Choir is a semi-professional ensemble of fifty singers, a number of whom volunteer their talent and time. Like the church, The Riverside Choir is inter-denominational, interracial, and international. Many choristers are church members and active in other programs. As the Church’s principal choral group, The Riverside Choir is in session from September through June and participates in all Sunday morning and special worship events, as well as in several concert appearances throughout the season.


5:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.

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

Check out the video for Rocky Dawuni's African Thriller

Check out the video for Rocky Dawuni's African Thriller
Find out more about Rocky

Cumbancha and Entertainment Weekly have partnered to bring Rocky Dawuni's "African Thriller" video to life. The timing of the video launch occurred just a few days after the 40th anniversary of the legendary "Rumble in the Jungle" boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, and the video draws inspiration from that momentous event. At a time when news about Africa is dominated by the Ebola crisis, "African Thriller" offers a positive message celebrating African strength, unity and indomitable spirit. Follow this link to view the video on Entertainment Weekly.

CD Release: Guitarist Alex Skolnick Rallies a Planetary Coalition (ArtistShare - November 11, 2014)

From a media release:

One Small Step, One Global Journey: Guitarist Alex Skolnick Rallies a Planetary Coalition to a Fleet and Nimble Guitar
Planetary Coalition (ArtistShare - November 11, 2014)

Check out the website
Buy the album

For Alex Skolnick, the step from metal and jazz guitar guru to world music instigator has proven remarkably small.

Skolnick had toured the world, connecting with fans and fellow musicians from Argentina to Turkey and beyond. Though he had cut his teeth in rock, he had a restless, passionate ear for other guitar settings, from the globally informed virtuosity of John McLaughlin and Shakti, to Django Reinhardt’s jazz manouche. Skolnick loved the sounds of the world’s buzzing, trembling strings, the sounds of the oud and the kanun, the kora and the pipa.

“A seriously cross-cultural acoustic album has long been on my bucket list,” states Skolnick, who forged a new sound for metal as the lead guitarist in Testament, went on to study jazz at the New School, and is often tapped as one of the world’s best players. “I wanted to pay tribute to the many diverse sounds from around the world that I loved.”

Finally, he knew he had to leap in and do it. The result, Planetary Coalition (Artist Share; release: November 11, 2014), honors the world’s music with original pieces and masterful performances. Skolnick gathered a stunning array of performers—from Rodrigo y Gabriela to Kiran Ahluwalia, from Adnan Joubran to Pablo Aslan, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez and more—exploring the elegance and expressive potential of the culture-hopping guitar.

“Covering so much territory was irresistible,” Skolnick muses about his 14-track labor of love, “and the tunes came together very organically,” each a small window into some of the world’s most compelling musical styles and their respective regions

Though it may be a surprise to some, stealth influences abound among certain rock guitar virtuosos. Eddie Van Halen loved the work of flamenco pioneer Carlos Montoya, and you can hear it in his playing and a few of his tracks (“Spanish fly”). The late Randy Rhoads’ tribute to Cuban classical guitarist Leo Brouwer became an acoustic intro for Ozzy Osbourne (“Diary of a Madman”).

Yet Skolnick, inspired by the above examples, the acoustic work of Al Di Meola and others, took to these tendencies and ran with them. He even went so far as to leave a wildly successful career with one of thrash metal’s seminal bands to change coasts—and study jazz improv (The New School). As he dedicated years to perfecting a whole new set of chops—a whole new way of creating music—he slowly discovered his own fluid place where a technique forged in hard rock met the world’s many other sonic currents.

After graduation, Skolnick honed his sound over the course of several serendipitous runs as a touring sideman including a few global pop acts, such as Jewish folk singer Debbie Friedman, whose international band would also feature, when available, South African bassist Bakhiti Kumalo (of Paul Simon). Then there was Paris-based singer Ishtar, whose music required Skolnick to perform flamenco-influenced acoustic playing in front of large audiences. “For some reason, it just came naturally,” says Skolnick. “We had a few gypsy musicians in the band, and they would say, ‘Man, you can really play that stuff!’ The more I did it, the more comfortable I got.”

This kind of connection haunted him over the years, whether touring with the Alex Skolnick Trio (acclaimed for their jazzy arrangements of rock standards and quirky originals), with the reunited Testament, or as a hired player for various other acts. “Travelling as a musician, I’d hear great international artists in cafes and public squares. Often I’ve been affected by this music and wanted to jump in and play, too. I heard all sorts of ideas. Yet I’ve never had the right vehicle for it.” The commitment and nimbleness of Skolnick’s diverse playing slowly gave these ideas form, as the graceful sway of “Sleeping Gypsy” and the smoldering yet upbeat “Django Tango” (featuring the bass work of Pablo Aslan) demonstrate.

In 2009, Rodrigo Y Gabriela tapped Skolnick for a guest appearance on their release 11:11 (coincidentally this album’s release date) and a concert tour. Soon after, he was inspired to finally create that elusive vehicle of his own, a collective of musicians from around the world.

First, the guitarist gathered a core group of A-List musicians in New York, top players who run in the eclectic Brooklyn global music scene. These included the intriguing choice of santoor (hammered dulcimer) played by Max ZT, who’d spent years in India as the star pupil of Shivkumar Sharma (santoor maestro and sometime Shakti member); tabla wizard Nitin Mitta - a collaborator of award-winning pianist Vijay Iyer - who’d relocated from India to New York (introduced to Alex by architect Maddy Samaddar, the project’s graphic artist and consultant); and Rachel Golub, a unique violin virtuoso trained in both Western classical and Indian classical styles (also a member of the Orchestra of St. Lukes and frequently seen backing pop stars on SNL and other shows). Next, additional artists were rounded up, many based in the NY Tri-State area, a few halfway across the world.

With the New York team in place, a studio was chosen and plans were made with a few of the musicians outside of the US to record remotely, beginning with Israeli percussionist Gadi Seri (of Noa) on “Negev Desert Sunset.”

Yet the journey toward the album was marked by distinct challenges, beyond the logistical complexities of getting busy, popular musicians in the studio at the right times. Skolnick often had his expectations expanded in unforeseen directions. Rather than the urban tango Skolnick had in mind, the Argentinean folk-rockers Raza Trunka suggested their collaboration should be in a folkloric rhythm (chacarera) reflective of their rural region, with indigenous percussion instruments (the intro for “Salto”). Adnan Joubran of Palestinian oud ensemble Le Trio Joubran gently nudged Skolnick to take out his electric guitar and distortion for the hard-driving “Rock of Ramalah.”

One of the most instructive moments: When Cuban pianist Jennifer Hernandez schooled Skolnick in the rhythmic feel required to play just right on “Mojito.” Without a clave or click track, “I had to guess where the one was. I was off by one subdivision,” Skolnick laughs, until Jennifer and her legendary drummer father, “El Negro” Hernandez, got the beat in his ear.

Though major figures in world music (Kiran Ahluwalia, “Passage to Pranayama,” or the New York Gypsy All-Stars) and guitar playing (Rodrigo y Gabriela, “Playa la ropa”) shine on several tracks, the moments when Skolnick engages with players of the kanun (Turkish zither, “Taksim Square”), the pipa (Chinese lute, “Return of the Yi People”), and kora (West African lyre; “Back to the Land”) reveal how deeply the guitarist has chosen to listen and learn from the world’s music.

And it’s not simply about virtuosic playing. It’s also about increasing awareness of people and places, their interlocking social, environmental, and musical worlds. Highlighting moments of connection and interaction in the music, Skolnick and his fellow coalition members speak to the message inherent in substantive cross-cultural collaboration. By coming together from diverse regional backgrounds over shared passions, musicians show what it means to work together for the common goal of making something meaningful and harmonious.

“That’s something that–in these times of such strife, violence and cultural dissonance–we could all use a lot more of,” believes Skolnick.

Group photo:
Row 1: Alex Skolnick, Kiran Ahluwalia, Rodrigo Sanchez, Yacouba Sissoko, Yihan Chen, Pablo Aslan, Tamer Pinarbasi
Row 2: Raif Hyseni, Gabriela Quintero, Adnan Joubran, Dario Boente, Gadi Seri, Jose Luis Terzaghi
Row 3: Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Moto Fukushima, Nitin Mitta, Rachel Golub, Jose Armando Gola, Vasko Dukovski, Juan Casanovas
Row 4: Jennifer Hernandez, Max ZT, Shane Shanahan, Luke Notary, Panagiotis Andreou,Engin Kaan Gunaydin, Fausto Nascimbene.

CD Review Paul Maged - Diamonds & Demons (Independent - September 23, 2014)

CD Review
Paul Maged - Diamonds & Demons
Independent - September 23, 2014

Buy the CD

If you're looking for intelligent alt rock with a tough edge, then Diamonds & Demons, the sophomore release by New York City based Paul Maged is probably your cup of tea.

Produced by multi-platinum producer Sean Gill, this release follows in the tradition of straight ahead rock from NYC and features high level musicianship in a variety of styles from punk, grunge, classic rock, indie pop to ballads. Maged studied music at the Boston Conservatory and then attended the American Musical & Dramatic Academy in New York. He has appeared in several independent films including festival award winner “Bobby G. Can’t Swim,” and has performed stand-up comedy throughout the Tri-state.  One of the songs from his debut record, "In My Time" appeared multiple times on MTV's long running show “Think Again Sex Myths Revealed.”

His second release offers a combination of radio friendly tracks and more idiosyncratic, oddball songs like Images, a meditation on society with a nice rhythmic complexity. His lyrics that talk about peace, haters, politicians and negative energy, freedom - a clearly contemporary sensibility, complete with nimble rock guitar licks and crashing cymbals.

Diamonds & Demons starts with a roar on Look At Me with tight harmonies and a catchy chorus. Paul has a voice that growls more easily than it croons but he does manage a nice, wavering soulful tone when it's required and also a strident tone for the politics and philosophy.

The title song is a favourite of mine with its kinetic energy and his voice at its raspy best. In the opening of Blind Faith he takes a piano-driven detour into a ballad that suits his plaintive tenor. Annastasia is a pretty acoustic guitar ballad, more standard singer/songwriter territory than most of the other tracks. Here his voice is expressive, backed up by string sounds in a slow country/folk vibe. From there the album goes straight into Human Warfare, a hard metalesque track with a nice harmony in the chorus that contrasts the snarly vocals.

Though he lists his influences primarily from the grunge/indie scene - Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Green Day - you can hear the Billy Joel in his vocals on occasion (notably Love & Loss in the Western World) and even flashes of prog rock here and there in the harmonic changes

He veers towards upbeat country rock on My Dear Love, a song that begins with an acoustic verse. Paradise Island is another stand out track with its upbeat energy. The appropriately titled Somber Song is a pretty piano ballad, an ode to loss. Paul goes through many moods and a range of styles through the tracks, from the definitely Billy Joel inspired piano track 64th and 1st to the stripped back punk attitude of Not Complicated. He can pull off the relentless energy of punk on other tracks like I'm Gone.

Along the great lawn in Central Park
What a beautiful day to forget who you are
Look into the sun for a fast resolve
That'll clear the spirit of its hazy thought

But it's the sound of punk without the nihilism - a more contemporary approach that's philosophical more than destructive. What is Peace is a choir-like exit refrain that seems a fitting closure to the New Age flavoured smorgasbord.

The first single released from the album called “Look At Me” has quickly found success, earning non-exclusive licensing on a UK television show that debuts in Winter 2014. Look At Me is a sarcastic view of ego and elitism in today’s ME society, encased in a punk rock/grunge skeleton.

Words & Music By Paul Maged
Electric, Acoustic, Bass Guitar: Ari Friedman; Drums: Marc Hoffman; Piano, Keyboard, Vocals: Paul Maged; Accordion (Annastasia): Sean Gill; Trumpet (Paradise Island): Ari Friedman

CD Review: Cold Blue Water (Independent - September 27, 2014)

CD Review:
Cold Blue Water
Independent - September 27, 2014

• Check it out/download here and here

If you like your rock bluesy and authentic, old school, vintage or all of the above, then Cold Blue Water's eponymous release will be a real treat. This is vintage rock blues at its best- with a genuine groove and performed by vets who - you can tell - live the music. They're the kind of musicians who make those endless solos worth listening to.

Cold Blue Water is the brainchild of guitarist/singer/songwriter Andy BS and based in Eureka, Cali. They first performed at Mateel Summer Arts and Music Festival in Benbow, CA in 2013 and it turned into an ongoing collaboration with Doors drummer Ty Dennis and Bassist Steve Carvalho, opening for Everyone Orchestra featuring Steve Kimock, Dan Lebowitz, Sunshine Garcia.

When it came time to record in late 2013, the line-up featured Drummer TY Dennis, bassist Brad Cummings, and Hammond B3 legend Mike Finnigan (Hendrix, CSN, Bonnie Raitt). Other special guests include Duane Betts and Pedro Arevalo (Dickey Betts and Great southern) as well as some of Northern California's best rock and blues musicians.

Blue Rain is an instrumental track that builds and builds, only to veer off into another direction.

Naturally the music will appeal to fans of old school 1970's blues rock - not surprisingly, since many of the musicians seem to have been around that long. Andy BS even plays vintage guitars for that genuine sound. Fans of good musicianship might just agree with the assessment. In just five tracks, they manage to run a gamut from straight up blues to rock to modern jazz.

In So High...

My baby left me , early this morn'
she walked out that door, left me all alone
I been drinking all day, and smokin' every night
Now i'm So high , So High that im Low

The gist of the words and the 12-bar blues patterns are familiar but when they're done this well it all sounds fresh - especially uncredited vocals that really smoke on this track and Brian Swislow who makes that B3 bend the notes.

Catfish Blooz is a great track - all sexy B3 and slowed down groove with the perfect blues vocals, growling and strident by turns. Led Boots rocks out with a horn section - another instrumental track that navigates through an interesting chord progression.

Da Doodle has a real groove to it - more jazzy than strictly blues. It's a contemporary jazz track with a flying trumpet line that trades the lead with the Hammond.

All in all, good for a party or just for a good listen.

Members: Andy Bs - Guitar, vocals  Ty Dennis - drums, Brad Cummings - Bass, Brian Swislow Keyboards and Hammond organ, Don Hammerstedt - trumpet, Russ Thallheimer - Sax

Track Listing:
01- Catfish Blooz
02 - Da Doodle
03 - So High
04 - Led Boots
05 - Blue Rain

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Contemporary Shakespeare: The Tragedy of Macbeth December 6 to 20 2014 in Toronto

From a release:
The Tragedy of  Macbeth
December 6 - December 20 - 8:00pm
The Theatre Machine
376 Dufferin Street, Toronto

• A limited number of audience members will be part of the show by selecting the $15 INTERACTIVE SEATS

A limited amount of interactive seats are up for grabs. What does this entail? You will need to arrive at the theatre no later than 7.45pm, you will be given something to wear over your clothes and will be ushered in before everyone else. These tickets gets you right in on the action; be prepared to drink, eat and interact with certain characters.

TORONTO - Sterling Theatre Company proudly presents their first show of the 2014/­15 season, now housed at The Theatre Machine: 376 Dufferin St (formerly Unit 102), William Shakespeare’s MACBETH from December 6 – 20, 2014.

When THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH meets Stanley Kubrick's EYES WIDE SHUT you get the inaugural show of the season directed by Sterling’s Founding Artistic Director Sophie Ann Rooney Burn This, The Glory of Living, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea. This ‘new world where secret societies reign’ production of MACBETH, stage managed by Tamara Vuckovic, is sure to be atmospheric, contemporary and daring, with renowned Canadian Talents;

TV/Film/Stage veteran William MacDonald - Zadie’s Shoes ­Factory Theatre, Taming of the Shrew ­ Jessie Nomination and most recently in Atom Egoyan’s The Captive, Rookie Blue, Bomb Girls, X­Files, Cold Squad - will be MACBETH

TV sensation Oluniké Adeliyi currently recurring as Tammy Jenkins on Saving Hope, notably known for her portrayal of Leah Kerns in Flashpoint and Hayley Denief in Republic of Doyle will be LADY MACBETH

Theatre darling Tim Walker most recently voted Best of Fringe PUNCH UP by Theatre Brouhaha’s Kat Sandler will be MACDUFF

State of Syn’s Jimi Shlag will be BANQUO, Jesse Nerenberg fresh off the Banff Citadel Professional Program will be MALCOLM, indie theatre guru Scott McCulloch Time Stands Still will be DUNCAN, Artistic Director Danka Scepanovic Red Bill, Anton in Showbusiness will be ROSS, in her sterling debut Suzannah Moore will be LENNOX, Sailor’s Song siren Jessica Kennedy will be ANGUS, Chris Hapke Reign will be DONALBAIN, in her Toronto debut Leia Warren will be FLEANCE and Sterling’s Melissa Robertson Natalie in Where’s My Money? will be LADY MACDUFF.

MACBETH runs from Saturday, December 6 – Saturday, December 20, 2014 (Sundays and Mondays dark) - 8pm shows
$20 evening performance -
$15 interactive ticket  
$15 student fee (with student ID) on Tuesday, December 16, 2014­10­14
MACBETH William MacDonald
LADY MACBETH Oluniké Adeliyi
MACDUFF Tim Fitzgerald Walker
BANQUO Jimi Shlag
FLEANCE Leia Warren, MALCOLM Jesse Nerenberg, DUNCAN Scott McCulloch, DONALBAIN Chris Hapke, ROSS Danka Scepanovic, LENNOX Suzannah Moore, ANGUS Jessica Kennedy, LADY MACDUFF Melissa Robertson

Directed by Sophie Ann Rooney
Stage Managed by Tamara Vuckovic, Hecate song by Oliver Pigott, Photos by Joe Marques, Media by Ashleigh Rains, Art by Alana Pancyr, Apparitions by Phoebe & Regan RooneyMatthews

Sterling Artistic Directors Sophie Ann Rooney, Kyle Labine, Danka Scepanovic
Photos by Joe Marques Insta @thejoeiknow

Soundstreams presents VESPERS November 25, 2014 at 8:00 pm, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre Toronto

From a media release:

Soundstreams presents
November 25, 2014 at 8:00 pm, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre

Monteverdi’s Vespers is paired with Gilles Tremblay’s version in this transcendent evening of choral music featuring soprano Shannon Mercer

Toronto, ON – Soundstreams continues its 2014/2015 season withVespers at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre on November 25 at 8:00 pm. Ancient meets modern in this glorious back-to-back celebration of universal spirituality juxtaposing selections from Claudio Monteverdi’s Renaissance masterpiece Vespro della Beata Vergine with Canadian composer Gilles Tremblay’s recent Les Vêpres de la Vierge. Soprano Shannon Mercer joins Choir 21 and two chamber orchestras (one made up of period instruments, the other contemporary) conducted by the Toronto Consort’s David Fallis.

Nearly four centuries separate Monteverdi’s monumental Vespro della Beata Vergine from Tremblay’s Les Vêpres de la Vierge, commissioned to celebrate the 850th anniversary of France’s Notre Dame de Sylvanès Abbey in 1986. Yet despite the striking differences in period and instrumentation, these two magnificent choral works—both taking their titles and texts from Vespers, the Catholic Church’s sunset prayer service—express the same profound spirituality and reimagine ancient styles in their own ground-breaking ways.

Famed as one of the most significant collections of sacred music ever written, Claudio Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine is known for its thrilling rhythms, grand choruses and beautiful solo movements. Recognized as a musical innovator, Monteverdi embraced revolutionary techniques and brought new developments in secular music to church forms. Similarly, Montreal-based composer Gilles Tremblay was exhilarated by the affinities he noticed between ancient and modern styles, declaring his intent with his Vespers to “quote and refresh, uncovering striking common features each nourishing the other.” Both pieces are performed by Toronto’s Choir 21, with Shannon Mercer joining for the conclusion of Tremblay’s work.

Two chamber orchestras put together for the occasion (one made up of period instruments, the other contemporary) are conducted by frequent Soundstreams collaborator, David Fallis (Artistic Director, Toronto Consort; Music Director, Opera Atelier), one of Canada’s leading interpreters of operatic, choral and orchestral repertoire from the Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods.

Soundstreams’ free Salon 21 at the Gardiner Museum on November 21 at 7:00 pm features members of The Toronto Consort performing on ancient instruments in contemporary and experimental ways. Get Tickets

VespersTuesday, November 25, 2014 at 8:00 pm
Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor Street W.
Pre-concert chat at 7:00 pm

David Fallis, conductor
Shannon Mercer, soprano
Choir 21
Period Chamber Orchestra
Contemporary Chamber Orchestra

Gilles Tremblay: Les Vêpres de la Vierge / Claudio Monteverdi: selections from Vespro della Beata Vergine

Tickets range from $20-$67.50 and are available through The Royal Conservatory Box Office at 416-408-0208 or online at
Thanks to the generosity of BMO Financial Group, nearly 100 tickets to all 2014/2015 Soundstreams concerts are available for just $20.
This concert will also be streamed live at

Led by Artistic Director Lawrence Cherney and Executive Director Susan Worthington, Soundstreams is a Toronto-based music presenter that commissions, develops, and showcases the work of contemporary Canadian composers and their international counterparts. These innovative collaborations are performed by the finest artists from Canada and around the world, and are presented in an annual concert series, our monthly Salon 21 series at The Gardiner Museum, in national and international tours, and through a variety of education and outreach activities. / / Join our online communities on Facebook and on Twitter @soundstreams

A taste of Shannon Mercer singing Francesca Caccini's O chiome belle

Dimestore Prophets: Be Yourself (Indie - April 5th 2014)

Dimestore Prophets
Be Yourself
(Indie - April 5th 2014)

Ray Glover: Vocals, Guitar; John Wilson: Drums; Eric Groff: Bass

Buy the EP

With their melodic, catchy pop songs and clever lyrics, it's hard not to like Dimestore Prophets and their avowedly positive take on pop. Their six song EP Be Yourself came out last spring but only recently crossed my inbox.

Based in central Washington. DSP has been bringing "Feel Good Music" to the Pacific Northwest since the end of 2009 playing over 200 shows since then.The band in is made up of guitar player and vocalist Ray Glover, drummer John Wilson, and bassist Eric Groff. Dimestore Prophets came together as band in 2009 after studio collaboration together.

Ray Glover has a flexible, expressive voice with a variety of moods that keeps it interesting. Hey Darlin' has a reggae beat with the energy of the genre, albeit indiefied.

You look pretty in those shoes
But you don't seem so pleased

There's nothing earthshaking here, but the tracks are genuinely upbeat with lots of energy put into well crafted songs - accomplished pop in other words. The tracks feature instrumentation that keeps it interesting - guitar rounded out by keyboards in a a variety of modes from fat organ to thin, reedy synth.

Good Lovin is a fast paced, danceable tune and my own favourite is Our Story with its irresistible beat. In Draw for Love, the mood turns more dramatic. The vocals are less pop friendly, stronger in a guitar-heavy rock rhythm. Sunny Day is another Caribbean flavoured pop confection - they do it, as with all the tracks, with a nice energy and swing to the songs. Positive pop will either work or be cloying and out of touch; Dimestore Prophets manage it with a convincingly upbeat vibe.

Tracks: Be Yourself, Hey Darlin’, Our Story, Good Lovin’, Draw For Love, Sunny Day / Website: