Thursday, January 28, 2016

Alex Anwandter Writing/Directorial Debut Nunca Vas a Estar Solo at the Berlin Film Festival February 11 to 21 2016

Update:

Alex Anwandter Wins Special Jury Teddy Award At Berlin Film Festival

"A shattering debut from Chilean musician Alex Anwandter" - Boston Herald

"There perhaps hasn't been many films to blow your socks off at the Berlinale so far but Alex Anwandter's "You'll Never Be Alone" could well be the first." - Twitchfilm

Alex Anwandter
BERLIN - Alex Anwandter premiered his debut film "Nunca Vas A Estar Solo" at this year's Berlin Film Festival, where the film won a prestigious Teddy Award. Anwandter took home the 'Special Jury Prize' for his directorial/screenwriting debut.

This year, the Teddy Awards celebrate their 30th anniversary,making it the oldest award honoring LGBT cinema. The film focuses on the relationship between a father and his son. Juan, who works as a manager in a mannequin factory has been conveniently avoiding the truth - that his son Pablo is gay. This all changes when Pablo becomes the victim of a brutal hate crime, which forces his father to confront what he has been long avoiding in an attempt to seek justice for his son. The story is loosely inspired by hate crime victim Daniel Zamudio, a Chilean gay youth and fan of Alex Anwandter's music, whose death following a brutal beating made international headlines, causing the Chilean government to rethink discrimination laws.

The film is slated for an international release later this year. Anwandter will also release his latest album, "Amiga" which is due out April 8th via Nacional Records.


From a media release:

Alex Anwandter Writing/Directorial Debut
'Nunca Vas a Estar Solo' at the Berlin Film Festival
February 11 to 21, 2016

Alex Anwandter makes his writing/directorial debut at the Berlin International Film Festival with the premiere of "Nunca Vas a Estar Solo". The festival takes place February 11-21.

The film follows the story of Juan (Sergio Hernández - “No”, “Gloria”), a manager at a mannequin factory leading a rather regular life, while conveniently ignoring the fact that his son, Pablo, is gay (and secretly cross dressing) - until life forces him to confront reality. Pablo is hospitalized after being brutally beaten by a gang of thugs in his neighborhood. The incident leaves Juan in debt, angered by the failure of the justice system and ready to take matters into his own hands to save his son. The story is loosely inspired by hate crime victim Daniel Zamudio, a Chilean gay youth and fan of Alex Anwandter’s music, whose death following a brutal beating made international headlines.

The film's world premiere forms part of the Berlinale Panorama program, although "Nunca Vas A Estar Solo" has already won awards as a work in progress, including at the Guadalajara Film Festival and the Santiago International Film Festival.

Anwandter states, “This story is not a biopic and shifts its focus onto the father of the boy. This is my way of saying: it was not just one boy, it’s many boys and girls, women and men. And the life we should examine more carefully is not the boy’s, it’s the rest of us. We who allow this to repeat over and over.” (Image - Andrew Bargsted in Nunca Vas a Estar Solo)

Anwandter goes on to say "It is an honor to debut in such a prestigious festival. I want to share this story. Although it is universal, it is deeply rooted in Chilean idiosyncrasy. Personally, I think it's important that our fiction acts as a powerful mirror of our immediate problems."

This year is shaping up to be a big one for Anwandter, with the April 1st release of his latest album, “Amiga” on Nacional Records, as well as the film's international release.

Here's the first single - Siempre Es Viernes En Mi Corazon

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Trendy Valentine's 2016 in Toronto: Nugateau Patisserie Eclair Special


From a release:

Trendy Valentine's
Nugateau Patisserie 
717 Queen Street West Toronto 
Tel : 647-748-7001 nugateau.com

TORONTO - Chic, sleek Nugateau Patisseries is the first éclair-only patisserie in Toronto, owned by former Jelly Modern Doughnuts pastry chef Atul Palghadmal. They've put together a multi-cultural menu that showcases the cream-filled delight with international flair and have come up with the perfect solution to your Valentine's treat needs.

• The Queen West patisserie is offering up two special flavours as a duo ($12 for both) created specially for this love-filled holiday: Champagne (Choux pastry, Champagne and white chocolate cream) and Rose (Wild Strawberry cream with candied rose petals). 

They will also be offering up their other 12 seasonal flavours, including recently introduced savoury flavours Foie Gras and Smoked Salmon.

What could possibly be more romantic? Eat up!

Harlem Haberdashery Presents Third Annual Masquerade Benefit for Harlem Hospital Center March 5, 2016

From a media release:

Harlem Haberdashery Presents 
Third Annual Masquerade Benefit for Harlem Hospital Center
March 5, 2016

Tickets

(New York, NY-- January 27, 2016) Harlem Haberdashery, the award-winning, bespoke boutique, will present its Third Annual Masquerade Ball benefiting Harlem Hospital Center. The Benefit will be presented by media partners AVENUE Magazine and Culumus Media's Radio 103.9fm. The Masquerade Ball will take place on Saturday, March 5, 2016 from 8pm - 12am at Harlem Hospital Center’s Mural Pavilion.

The Mural Pavilion will be transformed into “Casino Royale” festive and fun environment hosted by Radio 103.9fm’s Roxie Digital to welcome up to 250 guests wearing their best Black-tie meets Las Vegas casino chic ensembles who will celebrate the best and brightest of Harlem past, present and future including:

Honorary Award Presentation:
*Man of the Year - “Harlem’s Distinguished Gentlemen”: Khary Lazarre-White, The Brotherhood-Sister Sol
*Woman of the Year - “Harlem’s Inspiring Lady”: Tamika Mallory, Mallory Consulting
*Trailblazer of the Year -“The Spearheader”: Elena Romero, Celebrated Educator and Journalist

In addition to honoring community leaders, the Masquerade Ball will include live deejay performance by Sundae Sermon founder Stormin’ Norman, sumptuous food stations featuring Harlem restaurants: Cheri, Farafina Cafe & Lounge, Harlem Besame, Harlem Shake, Lolo’s Seafood Shack, Make My Cake and Seasoned Vegan with multi-level cocktail bars with spirits by Harlem Brewing Co., Papi Wines and William Wolf Whiskey. Guests will dine, dance and drink as well make memories at Shaken + Stirred Media interactive photo booth. The evening’s festivities will be immortalized with visuals produce by online men’s lifestyle magazine Mr. Refined. Community partners in support of the Masquerade Ball Harlem Run, #TakeCareofHarlem, and The League: DGM.

Event Information:
Harlem Haberdashery’s 2016 Masquerade Ball Benefiting Harlem Hospital Center
Saturday, March 5, 2016:  8pm - 12am
Harlem Hospital Center’s Mural Pavilion, 506 Lenox Avenue (at 136 St.), NYC 10037
Tickets $150 per person; A generous donation from ticket sales will be donated to Harlem Hospital Center.
Ticket link: www.2016hhball.eventbrite.com

Monday, January 25, 2016

Contemporary Art: 8th Annual India Art Fair January 28 to 31, 2016 in New Delhi


From a media release:

8th Annual India Art Fair
January 28 to 31, 2016
in New Delhi

NEW DELHI - The eighth edition of India Art Fair takes place January 28-31, 2016 in New Delhi and welcomes visitors to the largest contemporary art event in South Asia. Offering a unique opportunity to discover the best galleries in the region and beyond, India Art Fair's programme includes lectures, projects and events across the capital with an emphasis on cultural experience and education.

It is the fifth most attended art fair in the world, with the last edition attracting around 80,000 visitors. India Art Fair is South Asia’s leading platform for modern and contemporary art and portal to the region’s cultural landscape. Founded in 2008, India Art Fair has become the bedrock of a now booming cultural community with connections to every level of the market.

Building on these foundations, India Art Fair is expanding its programming to reflect South Asia’s immense diversity in the visual arts and to provide a platform for innovation across disciplines and exchange, throughout the region and the world.

The India Art Fair is as much about the business of art as it is about the art lover's - and especially art collector's - experience and there are a number of events and activities that work towards that goal. The speakers series look at topics that arnage from a look at the new generation of South Asian collectors to the great Indian graphic novel. A film programme rounds out the offerings.

The galleries represent a cross section of contemporary South Asian art from India, Nepal and Sri Lanka with a sprinkling of galleries from Spain, the U.K. and the United States.

This year there'll be high-level representation from Guggenheim and Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, Carnegie Museum of Art, Palais de Tokyo, London's Victoria and Albert Museum, art auction powerhouse Christie's, the Colombo Art Biennale and Lahore Biennale Foundation, to name a few.

Zain Masun is the IAF's new international director and has overseen new initiatives and directions. To this end, IAF offers a much more tightly-curated fare this year, stamped clearly with the global clout of Masud, who worked previously for five years as assistant fair director of Art Dubai.

The 2016 edition is the most inward-looking one held so far, and engages with India’s folk and traditional arts. Foremost is Kalam Patua : From The Interstices Of The City-II, a solo show on Kalighat painter Kalam Patua curated by art historian Jyotindra Jain. A postmaster in West Bengal’s Chandpara sub-post office by day and artist by night, Patua’s works have featured in international museums such as V&A. Patua is a contemporary exponent of the 19th century style that originated outside Kolkata’s Kalighat temple. “Kalighat artists represent the syncretism unique to the subcontinent—Muslim artists paint scrolls with accompanying folk songs on Hindu gods and goddesses. Kalam, however, is a contemporary artist, choosing subjects such as communalism, dowry, urban life, eroticism in his works, using the language of Kalighat art,” says Jain.

THE DETAILS
VENUE
NSIC grounds, Okhla Industrial Area, New Delhi

VISITORS HOURS
29th - 30th January, 2016 (Friday and Saturday) - Public Hours: 2 PM - 8 PM
31st January, 2016 (Sunday) - Public Hours: 11 AM - 7 PM

Accommodations
There's a good choice of hotels and other accommodations available not far from the industrial area where the India Art Fair is being held. Here are a couple of suggestions:

Jasmine Boutique Hotel
50, Pocket-I, Jasola Vihar,
New Delhi- 110025, INDIA
Email : sales@jasmineboutiquehotel.com
Tel (24x7): +91 11 41641601/2/3/7

About 2km from the Art Fair site, you'll find comfort and contemporary luxury at the Jasmine Boutique Hotel. The mid-priced hotel offers value and personalized service in a small boutique hotel.

Eros Hotel
Nehru Place, American Plaza,
New Delhi, 110019, India
TEL: 91-11-41223344 / FAX: 91-11-26224288

About 4km from the Fair, the splendid Eros Hotel overlooks the Lotus Temple in Nehru Place with a palatial sense of style. You'll find five star contemporary grandeur throughout with a distinctly Indian flair, with all the usual amenities, including a spectacular outdoor pool.

Electro-Africa: Baaba Maal's new album The Traveller out now! (Palm Recordings - Jan 15, 2016)


From a release:

Baaba Maal's new album The Traveller out now!
(Palm Recordings - Jan 15, 2016)

Order via iTunes

Baaba Maal, the Senegalese master-musician and cultural warrior, has an electrifying new sound and exhilarating live presentation.

The Traveller, his latest album, Baaba’s eleventh, released January 15, 2016, is a mixture of roots African sounds and cutting-edge western electro elements.

Complementing the record Baaba has a tight new road-band, a six piece, a departure from his previous larger line-ups, that will express the fresh sound, soulful truth and pulsating excitement of his latest innovative music.

A number of keynote headline concerts were scheduled. These included a performance in December 2015 at the Blues du Fleuve, the festival Baaba Maal has established in his home town of Podor, on the river Senegal.



The Traveller was recorded in London and Senegal; in making the record Baaba Maal has collaborated with Johan Hugo Karlberg from The Very Best. The Very Best’s two albums were genre-shattering, bright meshes of Afropop and electro; Karlberg has also worked with M.I.A, Coldplay, and Amadou and Marian, among many others.

‘Baaba is an amazing guy: he’s seen it all and done it all,’ says Karlberg. ‘He’s heavily involved in amazing projects all over the world that help people, so he’s a very inspiring person to be around and work with. It was just an honor to be able to have so much fun together and make music.’

‘I am so inspired by The Traveller,’ says Baaba Maal. ‘Working with Johan I feel we have achieved a perfect blend of sensibilities drawn not only from Africa and Europe but from all over the globe: I feel The Traveller defines how the planet looks at this time from the point-of-view of Senegal, Africa’s most westerly country. And despite many problems in many places, that view is extremely positive and inspiring.’

Friday, January 22, 2016

Contemporary Art: Come Up To My Room 2016 #CUTMR2016 January 21 to 24 at the Gladstone Hotel Toronto


Contemporary Art:
Come Up To My Room 2016 #CUTMR2016
January 21 to 24, 2016
at the Gladstone Hotel, Toronto

Check the link for Exhibition hours, parties & other events and tickets

You don't really need an excuse to visit the hip grandeur that is the Gladstone Hotel or any of its fine drinking and dining establishments but you might want to make a special point of visiting Parkdale's grande old dame this weekend for Come Up To My Room, an immersive art and design experience.

Come Up To My Room takes over parts of four floors of the hotel, featuring the work of both emerging and established artists, designers and collectives for a show that is fun and interactive.

Ambient by Mario Sabljak
Some of the highlights:

Virginiga Melnyk's fabulous tetrahedral sculptures in some of the open spaces of the hotel. They use reflective fabrics and nest along the ceilings.

Philaphobia, where you can explore nooks and crannies and you are invited to add to a modular sculpture.

The bright, beautiful reimagined objects of Carl&Rose, the brainchild of Suzanne Carlsen and Noah Rosen, award-winning artists who add texture, colour and fun to fans, vases, lamps and other household objects.

Equivalents, a lovely mixed media installation by Susan Dobson that immerses you in the slow movement of the clouds and sky.

Shelter Bay, a collection of stylish pendant lights by Rob Southcott and Sarah Cooper.

Style & Profile by Chinedu Ukabam
Style & Profile, artist Chinedu Ukabam's takeover of the bathroom. Inspired by his Nigerian roots, he highlights the crucial role of the African barber in shaping identity with playful touches like glasses that let you see "correctly" and looping African movies.

The Save Ferris Room - a loving recreation of Ferris Bueller's bedroom.

CUTMR 2016 Featured Artists
Bruno Billio, Carl&Rose Chiho Tokita; Chinedu Ukabam; F_RMlab; Galerie Youn; Iaboni Priftaj Design Associates; ialc; Interactive Arts; Invention Squad; Jessica Bromley Bartram; Lamers Bramm Design / LBD; Mario Sabljak; Matt MacDonald; Michael Neville; Nicole Beno; Plus Farm Collective; [R]ed[U]x Lab; Shelter Bay; Ryerson Artspace presents Archestra; Sara Nickelson & Studio WOOLF; Susan Dobson & Simone Ferkul; TAXA WORK; KLAUS presents Tom Dixon; The Racket Club; University of Waterloo School of Architecture / Prof. Elizabeth English and 3rd-year Architecture Students; Uufie; and Virginia Melnyk.

Exhibition Admission:
$10 | General admission (per day)
$25 | School groups book tours with lukus@gladstonehotel.com.
$5 | Student day on Jan 22  (with student id)

Paper City by IALC
The Save Ferris Room
Dodecahedrons by Christine Kim

Saturday, January 16, 2016

New Opera: TAPESTRY OPERA presents SONGBOOK VI February 5 & 6 2016 in Toronto


From a media release:

TAPESTRY OPERA presents
SONGBOOK VI
Featuring Wallis Giunta and Jordan de Souza
February 5 & 6, 2016 in Toronto

Buy Tickets

TORONTO - Tapestry Opera presents SONGBOOK VI, a vocal recital featuring the best of the company’s 36-year collection of absurd, tragic, and beautiful Canadian opera. Featuring star mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta and Tapestry Opera’s Conductor-in-Residence Jordan de Souza on piano, SONGBOOK VI is a limited engagement, with only two performances on Friday, February 5 and Saturday, February 6, 2016 at the Ernest Balmer Studio in the Distillery Historic District.

The repertoire showcases highlights from celebrated and award-winning past works including: Nigredo Hotel (1992) composed by Nic Gotham with libretto by Anne-Marie MacDonald; Rosa (2004), composed by James Rolfe with a libretto by Camyar Chai; Sanctuary Song (2008) composed by Abigail Richardson with libretto by Marjorie Chan; and The Laurels (2007) composed by Jeffrey Ryan with libretto by Michael Lewis MacLennan.

Internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta, last seen in the COC’s Cosi fan tutte and the Metropolitan Opera’s The Merry Widow; and pianist Jordan de Souza, last seen in Tapestry’s Metallurgy and also conducting the Canadian Opera Company’s The Marriage of Figaro this February, will headline a concert including emerging singers and pianists from Tapestry Opera’s New Opera 101 program.

Tapestry Opera continues to drive the evolution of opera with an innovative 36th season which includes two world premieres: THE DEVIL INSIDE, March 10-13, 2016 at Harbourfront Centre Theatre and ROCKING HORSE WINNER, May 27 – June 4, 2016 at the Berkeley Street Theatre.

TAPESTRY OPERA presents
SONGBOOK VI
Limited Run! 2 Performances only February 5 & 6, 2016 @ 8pm
Ernest Balmer Studio, 9 Trinity Street, Studio 315 Distillery Historic District, Toronto
Performers: Wallis Giunta, Jordan de Souza and 15 of Canada’s brightest emerging artists
Tickets: $25, available online at https://tapestryopera.com/ or by calling 416.537.6066 X243
Season Subscriptions are available and can be purchased online at
www.tapestryopera.com/subscriptions or by calling 416.537.6066 X243

For more information:
www.tapestryopera.com • @TapestryOpera • #SONGBOOKVI • facebook.com/TapestryOpera

from Tapestry Opera's 'The Blind Woman'

From Nacional Records: El Guincho New Album "Hiperasia" First Single "Comix (w/ Mala Rodriguez)"

From a media release:

From Nacional Records:
El Guincho New Album "Hiperasia"
First Single "Comix (w/ Mala Rodriguez)" Debuts via Pitchfork

Buy the single

Barcelona based production wizard El Guincho announces the release of his new album "Hiperasia" featuring the single "Comix (w/ Mala Rodriguez)". His highly anticipated third album, "Hiperasia" is due out February 12 via Nacional Records. The single is available now via iTunes.

El Guincho - Hiperasia
A visit to a chain of Chinese bazaars in Madrid called Hiperasia inspired Pablo Diaz-Reixa, who performs under the moniker El Guincho. He explains, "Hiperasia is Madrid in macro. It means me adapting to a new and exotic way of life. Experiencing more the city, spending more time in its streets, its an experience much less private than Barcelona."

Born Pablo Díaz-Reixa in the Canary Islands, the Spanish-owned archipelago off the coast of Northwestern Africa, El Guincho found indie blog fame in early 2008, shortly after the release of his album Alegranza (which came out in December of the previous year), which coincided nicely with his North American debut performance in Austin, TX, at the SXSW festival. At age 14, Díaz-Reixa left his home for Continental Europe to focus on a career in sports, but when that didn't work out, he moved to Barcelona, where he played drums in various bands, including Coconut with his guitar-playing cousin.



El Guincho aka Pablo Díaz-Reixa
It was while touring with Coconut in 2006 that the idea for El Guincho — blending samples of his favorite tropicalia and calypso along with percussion and his own vocals — came about. Alegranza was almost instantly compared to Panda Bear's Person Pitch and won El Guincho prized spots at both SXSW and the Pitchfork Music Festival, along with many favorable reviews. His second album, Pop Negro, recorded in Berlin’s Planet Roc studio and various locations around Spain, was released in September of 2010.

"Hiperasia" is best described as a sonically animated adventure with an abrupt, almost violent, enhanced, futuristic sound. Lead single "Comix" featuring vocals from Mala Rodriguez is a perfect example of this.

Hiperasia Collection:
To coincide with the album's release, El Guincho and creative duo Wellness have collaborated to create the Hiperasia Collection, an initial launch of wristbands and sweatshirts that connects its users to a secret universe with exclusive content hosted especially for fans.

"Hiperasia" Tracklisting:
01. Rotu Seco; 02. Cómix feat. Mala Rodríguez; 03. Pizza; 04. Sega; 05. De Bugas; 06. Parte Virtual; 07. Stena Drillmax; 08. Abdi; 09. Muchos Boys; 10. Hiperasia; 11. Pelo Rapado; 12. Mis Hits; 13. Zona Wi-Fi

Thursday, January 14, 2016

New Opera: The Astronaut’s Tale Presented by Encompass New Opera Theatre at BAM (Brooklyn) Jan 28—Jan 31 2016


From a release:

The Astronaut’s Tale
Presented by Encompass New Opera Theatre
at BAM (Brooklyn)
Jan 28—Jan 31, 2016

“…The Astronaut’s Tale should remind people both of the majesty of space exploration and the amazing story of how our universe was born.” —Matthew Roberts, string theorist at NYU

Buy Tickets


BROOKLYN, NYC - Breathtaking images of the galaxies and outer space ignite this modern tale of a young man who dreams of space travel and flying to Mars. Guided by a mysterious stranger who challenges his views on creation and fuels his desire to become an astronaut, the young man discovers romance and a drive to succeed, which catapults his blast off into space, transforming his life.

With stunning projections, an exciting percussive score for chamber orchestra, and gorgeous vocal music, The Astronaut's Tale is a luminous glimpse at a multidimensional universe and the majesty of outer space.

Music by Charles Fussell / Libretto by Jack Larson / Directed by Nancy Rhodes / Conducted by Nicholas DeMaison
Sets by Stephen H. Carmody / Projections by Lianne Arnold / Costumes by Angela Huff / Lighting by Sarah Johnston

Post-show Talk with Performers and Astronomers from Columbia University
With Eapen Leubner, Lianne Gennaco, Frank Basile, and Christopher Vettel and guest astronomers
Fri, Jan 29 at 9:15pm
Sat, Jan 30 at 4:15 & 9:15pm
Sun, Jan 31 at 4:15pm

Performances: LOCATION: BAM Fisher
RUN TIME: 75min
FULL PRICE TICKETS START AT  $20*

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Royal Winnipeg Ballet National Tour of Going Home Star - Truth and Reconciliation Hits Toronto February 5 & 6 2016


From a media release:

Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet
Embarks on National Tour with Critically Acclaimed
GOING HOME STAR
TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION
Choreography by Mark Gooden • Story by Joseph Boyden
February 5 & 6, 2016 • Sony Centre For The Performing Arts, Toronto

Get tickets

Going Home Star - Truth and Reconciliation, cited as quite possibly “the most important work produced by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in its 75-year history” (Holly Harris, Winnipeg Free Press), embarks on a national tour with performances across the country (January – April) including a stop in Toronto for two performances on February 5 and 6, 2016.

Going Home Star - Truth and Reconciliation, produced with the support of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), is a choreographic representation of the many stories, both told and still unraveling, by Indian Residential School Survivors and their families. The creative team that brought this story to life includes renowned choreographer Mark Godden, Canadian novelist and TRC Honourary Witness Joseph Boyden, Cree actor, former Member of Parliament, and TRC Honourary Witness Tina Keeper, Juno Award-winning composer Christos Hatzis, and Polaris Prize-winning Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq.

Boyden, who was recently appointed to the prestigious Order of Canada, understands the power of the arts as a healing tool. "Art is the way to allow Canadians to begin to understand something of such huge pain. I think stories, I think novels, I think film, I think dance, I think painting, all of this allows Canadians to absorb not just the pain and the anger but the beauty as well."



Annie is a young, urban First Nations woman adrift in a contemporary life of youthful excess. She feels strangely disconnected. Gordon is a homeless First Nations man who escaped the Residential School system.  He possesses the magic and power of the trickster.  Gordon becomes Annie’s guide and begins to show her his devastating story of the Residential Schools. Propelled into the past, Annie realizes she shares Gordon’s burden, and those of her people, and prepares for her new destiny as healer. Gordon feels deeply the damage that has been done and the anger he carries inside.  But the “going home star” is clear in the sky and Annie and Gordon both learn that without truth, even the most hateful truth, there is no reconciliation.

Commissioned by Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB) and Artistic Director André Lewis, Going Home Star - Truth and Reconciliation triumphantly opened RWB’s 75th season in October 2014. “Creating this ballet transformed the Royal Winnipeg Ballet as an organization,” shares Lewis. “Our experience went beyond the creation of a new ballet. It ultimately became our artistic expression of reconciliation which we would like to be able to share with everyone.” Going Home Star - Truth and Reconciliation is presented in memory of the late Elder Mary Richard (Ah Kha Ko cheesh) who inspired the RWB.

Going Home Star - Truth and Reconciliation, the full length production, will embark on a cross-Canada tour in with stops in Ottawa (January 28-30), Kingston (Feb 2), London (Feb 3), Burlington (Feb 4), Toronto (Feb 5-6), Brandon (March 21), Regina (March 22), Saskatoon (March 23), Banff (March 26), Kelowna (March 29-30), Victoria (April 1-2), Nanaimo (April 4-5) and Vancouver (April 7-9). For tour and ticket information, please visit rwb.org

About the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) was established in 2008 to tell Canadians about the history of Indian Residential Schools and the impacts it has had on Aboriginal children who were sent to the school by the Canadian government and to guide a process of reconciliation between and within Aboriginal families, communities, churches, governments and Canadians. The TRC has a five-year mandate under the direction of the Chair, The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair and Commissioners Chief Wilton Littlechild and Dr Marie Wilson.

About Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet
Founded in 1939, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet holds the double distinction of being Canada’s premiere ballet company and one of the oldest ballet companies in North America. Versatility, technical excellence and a captivating style are the trademarks of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, qualities that have garnered both critical and audience acclaim. RWB’s superlative standards keep the Company in demand around the globe as it presents more than 150 performances every season across Canada and in the United States, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Russia, Japan, Asia and Mexico. Under the artistic direction of André Lewis for 18 years, the Company is said to have never looked more resplendent, more assured, and more ravishing.

Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet presents
GOING HOME STAR
TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION
Choreography by Mark Godden • Based on a story by Joseph Boyden
Music Composed by Christos Hatzis. Performed by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and featuring the music of Tanya Tagaq and Steve Wood and the Northern Cree Singers
Costume Design by Paul Daigle • Set Design by KC Adams
Lighting Design by Pierre Lavoie • Projection Design by Sean Nieuwenhuis

Sony Centre For the Performing Arts, 1 Front Street East
Friday, February 5, 2016 @ 7:30pm and Saturday, February 6, 2016 @ 8pm
Ticket prices range from $54.24-$115.26 (plus service fees) and can be purchased at ticketmaster.ca, by calling 1.855.872.SONY (7669) or in person at the theatre box office

For more information www.rwb.org
@RWBallet #RWBallet •  FB/RWBallet

Friday, January 8, 2016

Dannis Winston Helps Kick Off Sunday Brunch Series at The Cecil Harlem Sunday January 17 2016


From a media release:

Dannis Winston Helps Kick Off
Sunday Brunch Series at The Cecil Harlem
Sunday, January 17, 2016 | 12:00 - 3:00pm

Make a reservation

HARLEM, NEW YORK CITY - Alexander Smalls and The Cecil Harlem present Dannis Winston. Mr. Winston was hand-selected by Mr. Smalls and his Harlem Jazz Enterprises team to perform at his award-winning restaurant The Cecil Harlem for their Sunday Brunch Series co-created by award-winning chef JJ Johnson. The performance on MLK weekend will be in celebration of the release of Winston's debut single "Let Me Go" which drops on iTunes and all major digital platforms on January 15, 2016.

Performances at the Cecil Harlem's Sunday Brunch Series are curated by Grammy Award winning jazz drummer Ulysses Owens Jr. who currently serves as the artistic curator for The Cecil/ Minton's.

• The Cecil Harlem's prix-fixe brunch includes one snack, one brunch entree and one brunch cocktail for $32, per person. No cover charge for performance. Reservations are highly recommended.

Dannis Winston is an international bandleader, musician and founder of one of New York Magazine’s Top 100 Wedding Bands - Winston’s Crew Collective.  Mr. Winston has received press coverage for his entrepreneurship, music prowess and philanthropy from Black Enterprise, Brides.com, DNAInfo.com, PopSugar and other media outlets.

The Cecil Harlem was created by New York businessman Richard Parsons and noted restaurateur Alexander Smalls. The restaurant sits on the former site of legendary Minton's Playhouse, where Thelonius Monk invented bebop back in the 1940's. Today, The Cecil is a one-of-a-kind dining experience. Bringing together global flavors through an African lens, Chef Joseph "JJ" Johnson's cuisine is part of Harlem's exciting new food scene, making The Cecil a hidden gem in New York City.

WHERE?
The Cecil Harlem
210 W. 118th Street (at St. Nicholas Avenue)
New York, NY 10026
212.866.1262
www.thececilharlem.com

WHEN?
Sunday, January 17, 2016 | 12:00 - 3:00pm

A taste of Mr. Winston live...

Off Broadway: Culture Project, Robert Dragotta, and Rosie O'Donnell present MOTHERSTRUCK! Now thru January 29 2016


From a release:

Culture Project, Robert Dragotta, and Rosie O'Donnell present
MOTHERSTRUCK!
Written and Performed by STACEYANN CHIN
Directed by CYNTHIA NIXON
Now thru January 29, 2016

Lynn Redgrave Theater
45 Bleecker Street @ Lafayette Street
F, B, D subway trains to Broadway-Lafayette
6 subway train to Bleecker Street

Save 20% off regular ticket prices with code MSMP20! 
(Regular ticket prices $22.50-$82.50; Restrictions apply)

There are two easy ways to purchase tickets:
• Visit www.cultureproject.org and enter code MSMP20.
• Call Ovation Tix at 866.811.4111 and mention code MSMP20.

“Ms. Chin has such a magnetic presence… that you might almost believe that she was unspooling her story for you alone.” – Charles Isherwood, The New York Times

Directed by Emmy, Tony, and Grammy Award winner Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City) and produced by Rosie O'Donnell, Robert Dragotta and Culture Project, MotherStruck! sets forth Staceyann Chin’s (Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam on Broadway) personal journey to motherhood as a single woman, lesbian and activist who does not have health insurance or a “serious, stable financial set up,” but wants to have a child. Told through Chin’s uniquely personal and poetic lens, this solo show explores how the process changed her life and how she makes peace with what she learns from this profound experience. Ultimately, MotherStruck! is about family -- who is family and what makes a family. That being said, you will not want to miss this critically-acclaimed performance.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION!
Instagram and Twitter @Motherstruck
#IAmMotherStruck

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Desert Alchemy: XIXA’s Psychedelic Rock & Cumbia Feedback Loop on Debut EP, Shift and Shadow - New York City Live Dates - January 16 & 17 2016

From a media release:

Desert Alchemy: XIXA’s Psychedelic Rock & Cumbia Feedback Loop on Debut EP, Shift and Shadow
New York City Live Dates - January 16 & 17 2016

Buy Shift and Shadow
• See them at the Secret Planet Showcase at DROM on January 16
• See them at Union Hall, Brooklyn on January 17

“Every time we’d play a chicha song, it would steal the show,” exclaims Gabriel Sullivan of Tucson’s XIXA. He and fellow XIXA member Brian Lopez were touring Europe with Giant Sand, Howe Gelb’s pioneering Americana group. On the road, they started experimenting with chicha, the guitar driven, psychedelic cumbias born in the Peruvian Amazon, after obsessing over cult compilation The Roots of Chicha, released by Barbès  Records ten years ago.

“People would mob us after the show, wanting to know the name of that one song. It was always the chicha cover,” “Cariñito,” an emblematic chicha song that Gelb ended up recording for one of his albums. They took the hint and started their own chicha cover band, pounding hours-long sets. Before they knew it, they were writing originals in the same vein, finding where north and south, rock and Afro-Latin rhythms ran together.

Shift and Shadow, the band’s debut EP (Barbès Records; release: November 13, 2015) shows this easy alchemy, blurring rock, punk, synth-pop, Afro-Latin rhythms, and Amazonian riffs in a north-south feedback loop. “It’s weird. It’s effortless,” states Brian. “I don’t know if it’s our backgrounds, with just enough Latin, just enough rock. Alchemy makes it meld. We never sat down in a room and said, ‘We need to sound like this.’ It’s not contrived. When we started playing chicha covers, we learned songs inside and out, and at some point that filters into your original music.”

Brian was in spitting distance of indie stardom with his band Mostly Bears. Gabriel hit the road with metal and punk bands in his mid-teens, but over the years he found himself fascinated with everything from Howling Wolf and Townes Van Zandt—“They made the most punk music imaginable”—to Prado Perez Perez Prado and Balkan brass music(Gabriel founded his own Balkanesque band, Taraf de Tucson). They both worked with Giant Sand and Calexico, when not pursuing their own solo songwriting. And they both moonlighted with Sergio Mendoza y la Orkesta, falling hard for cumbia and mambo. Then they discovered chicha, and when they saw how fans clicked with the covers, they decided to launch a band that did nothing but.



It felt like a peculiar homecoming. Both Gabriel and Brian, like many young artists in Tucson, are second- or third-generation Latino. Though they never went in search of this identity, it found them in chicha. They felt how that music, those rhythms had always been there.

“All these beats and rhythms are in your brain your whole life, so they make a lot of sense when you start playing them,” reflects Brian. “Latin music is part of Tucson’s sonic landscape.” Only forty miles from the border, the city’s laidback vibe and Mexican communities nurture everything from strong singer-songwriter and hardcore scenes to great cumbia bands playing at out-of-the-way Mexican steak houses on the south side of town. Latin music is everywhere.

“Until you dive into Latin music, you don’t know if you have a strong sensibility for it,” Brian continues. “I grew up speaking English, but went to bilingual dances, was part of a folkloric group, your typical second or third-generation Latino family. My grandparents didn’t want my parents to speak Spanish, or to be Latino. Now, for our generation, it’s almost imperative to speak Spanish, even if you have to go to Barcelona or elsewhere to really learn it.”

They learned to speak chicha fluently, gathering musicians from the Tucson scene to form Chicha Dust, eventually growing to a sextet. “Winston played for Alice Cooper in the 90s. Efren ONLY knows Latin music, and didn’t know Led Zeppelin,” notes Brian. “You put them together,” that core combination of hard rock drums and Efren’s timbales, “and it’s XIXA.”

Without trying too hard, they began to write originals, somehow getting six players on the same creative page with remarkably little stress. “We’ve never had moments when we weren’t sure what to do with our sound,” Gabriel explains.

The effort comes in the studio, a recording space the band members built themselves. They will play with a track until it sounds right. “We come from that indie rock DIY mentality. You sleep in your van. You steal food from big box stores because you’re broke. You scrape together the money to record in a couple of hours,” says Brian. “We’ve come so far, and we realized we could build a studio, record our own songs, and not be satisfied with just anything. We could rearrange our songs until it’s right.”

The cumbia beat sneaks in everywhere, even covers like The Meat Puppets’ “Plateau.” “I was listening to Nirvana’s Unplugged set, and that song came on,” Brian remembers. “The song was perfect for us. The Meat Puppets are from Phoenix, very Southwestern, with that desert mystic feel. I kept hearing this classic cumbia beat behind it, and I suggested we record it and see what happened. The band thought I was crazy, but we just did it.”

“It’s so natural; it’s very strange to me that we haven’t been doing this longer,” muses Brian. “We don’t have to try to make something more rock or to incorporate cumbia into it. It’s just I think what each person brings to the table comes out in this blend of rock, cumbia, chicha. There’s no effort involved.”

The band, local favorites, will be playing New York in January 2016 and at SXSW in March 2016, following the release of their first full-length album as XIXA.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

ジェイポップ / J-POP - New Single from Sekai No Owari - Mr. Heartache

From a media release:

ジェイポップ / J-POP:
VISIONARY CONCEPTUALISTS & MULTI - INSTRUMENTALISTS SEKAI NO OWARI
RELEASE NEW TRACK & VIDEO AS PART OF INSTAGRAM'S GLOBAL MUSIC CAMPAIGN IN CELEBRATION OF THE NEW YEAR
"MR. HEARTACHE" - FROM THE FORTHCOMING GLOBALLY RELEASED ALBUM

A country much celebrated for its innovation, Japan has frequently been at the forefront of modern entertainment, a humming cultural hotbed where art and technology seem to collide in truly compelling ways.  And, in this regard, the members of SEKAI NO OWARI might just be Japan’s finest representatives.

As one of the hottest and most inventive musical acts in Japan, SEKAI NO OWARI is poised for worldwide superstardom, as they prepare to bring their imaginative live shows to music fans across the globe. SEKAI NO OWARI’s latest album, is currently in production and set for global release in 2016. The band has shared four infectious electro pop rock concoctions to date. The latest "Mr. Heartache," was released on New Years Day as part of Instagram's Global Music Campaign. After a few short days, the video surpassed well over 295,000 views. The track and video for "Mr. Heartache" is a pop-filled and over-the-top cinematic and musical expression of modern day romance.

“We’ve spent quite a long time ‘raising’ our English songs,” says Fukase (lead vocal, group conceptualist). “I think it’s about time they leave their parents.”

"MR. HEARTACHE" FOLLOWS "SOS," "DRAGON NIGHT" AND BUZZ SINGLE "ANTI-HERO"



Comprised of four impeccably skilled childhood friends, Nakajin (leader of the group, lead guitar, sound production); Fukase (lead vocal, group conceptualist), Saori (stage production, piano), and the masked clown DJ LOVE (sonic palette, comedic stage banter), SEKAI NO OWARI, which translates to “End of the World,” is far more than a group of musicians. They’re visionaries and conceptualists, who have managed to seamlessly meld music and art, and transcend the barriers of a typical live show.

SEKAI NO OWARI’s original creation, known as “Tokyo Fantasy,” incorporates a massive stage setup, with a high-concept, mind-bending magic tree house – a testament to the band’s unparalleled fearlessness in creative design and entertainment. Giving fans a live experience nothing short of sublime, SEKAI NO OWARI has performed all across Japan, selling out concerts at a variety of venues, including the legendary Budokan. Their much-lauded show, “Twilight City,” featured Austin Mahone as a supporting guest and filled Japan’s largest venue, Nissan Stadium.  The band’s music has been featured in numerous commercials, television shows and movies, proving their remarkable ability to reach a vast array of listeners. Watch the official video for ANTI-HERO, (produced by Dan The Automater).

In 2013, SEKAI NO OWARI worked with Dutch DJ/Producer, Nicky Romero, on their single, “Dragon Night,” and released “RPG,” which currently has more than 87 million views on YouTube.  Check it out here.   In 2014, the creative group hosted a major live music event, which featured OWL CITY as a special guest.  OWL CITY featured SEKAI NO OWARI on their massive hit song, “Tokyo.” Check out the official visualizer for “Tokyo” here.

In 2015, SEKAI NO OWARI released their second studio album, Tree, which debuted at #1 on Japan’s music charts.  Now, after years of preparation, the band is ready to take their originality to music fans all around the world.

Jazz singer-songwriter Ori Dagan New single and video - "Clap on the 2 and the 4" (January 5, 2016)


From a media release:

Jazz singer-songwriter Ori Dagan
New single and video - "Clap on the 2 and the 4"
January 5, 2016

Available on iTunes

TORONTO – TUESDAY, JANUARY 5TH, 2016 – Award-winning, jazz singer-songwriter Ori Dagan announces the release of his original song "Clap on the 2 and the 4" on iTunes today, with an accompanying music video on YouTube. The single, already sitting at #2 on the iTunes jazz chart in Canada, precludes Dagan’s forthcoming and third album (a Tribute to the music of Nat King Cole), which is due to be released in the fall this year.

Written by Ori Dagan, the catchy, rhythmic tune "Clap on the 2 and the 4" is about finding one’s rhythm and it was inspired by the artist’s greatest inspiration in jazz, Ella Fitzgerald. Dagan comments, "She had a magical way of bringing joy to listeners, and her incomparable sense of swing was infectious in the best sense of the word. At one point when I was writing the tune, I could hear her singing it in my head, so I dedicate it to her for endless inspiration."

"Clap on the 2 and the 4" features a blazing saxophone solo from rising star Alison Young, backed by a rhythm section of Scott Metcalfe on piano, Jordan O’Connor on bass and Lowell Whitty on drums. The single was produced by Eric St-Laurent and recorded at Euphonic Sound in Toronto.

The music video for "Clap on the 2 and the 4" was directed by award-winning filmmaker Leonardo Dell’Anno, and includes listeners of all ages, as well as two cats, two birds, two dogs and a horse. There are also cameo appearances by Jeanne Beker, the multi-media fashion entrepreneur and host of Fashion Television for 27 years, as well as stellar jazz vocalist Alex Pangman, known affectionately as "Canada’s Sweetheart of Swing."




Sunday, January 3, 2016

Spoleto Festival USA Announces 2016 Program May 27 – June 12 in Charleston, South Carolina

From a media release:

Spoleto Festival USA Announces 2016 Program
40th Season of America’s Premier Performing Arts Festival Takes Place 
May 27 – June 12 in Charleston, South Carolina

• Check out the festival website
Browse hotel and ticket packages

January 3, 2016 (CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA)—Festival General Director Nigel Redden announces the program for the 40th annual Spoleto Festival USA, taking place May 27 through June 12, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina. The 2016 Festival features over 150 performances and events held in 13 venues, including the Festival’s return to the Charleston Gaillard Center that re-opened in October after an extensive three-year renovation.

“For Spoleto Festival USA’s 40th year, we wanted to make the program extraordinary,” says Redden. “Producing our first Porgy and Bess—a work based on Charleston-born DuBose Heyward’s novel, set in Charleston, and about Charleston’s people—was a celebratory choice. It is especially appropriate that this opera will be our first performance in the spectacular new Charleston Gaillard Center. A 1970 production of Porgy and Bess staged in the then-new Gaillard Auditorium is a long-remembered civic event representing unity, pride, and artistic achievement that we hope to emulate. Beyond Porgy and Bess, we celebrate the Festival’s anniversary with programming that features the signature Spoleto Festival USA blend of new works and young artists alongside established international visionaries encompassing opera, music, dance, and theater. I hope people will find many reasons to be part of this landmark 40th year.”

June 2016 will be a time of celebration for the Festival, and it will also be a time of reflection and remembrance for the city of Charleston. June 17—five days after the Festival ends—will mark the first anniversary of the murder of nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Calhoun Street. Several performances will acknowledge the event and commemorate the victims. This includes the world premiere of a multi-media project conceived and directed by acclaimed visual artist Carrie Mae Weems called Grace Notes: Reflections for Now curated by Harvard professor Sarah Lewis. Originally conceived as a gift for President Obama, Grace Notes will be a provocative performance of music, song, text, spoken word, and video projection. The project poses the question “what is the role of grace in the pursuit of democracy?” and was inspired, in part, by President Obama singing “Amazing Grace” during his eulogy for Reverend Clementa Pinckney. Weems’s project gathers a stellar group of artists including ccomposers and musicians James Newton, Geri Allen, and Craig Harris, along with poet Aja Monet, writer Carl Hancock Rux, and singers Alicia Hall Moran, Imani Uzuri, and Esai Davis. Grace Notes will be performed Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5 in the College of Charleston Sottile Theatre. A concert by jazz singer René Marie in the Charleston Gaillard Center on Sunday, May 29 will also acknowledge the tragedy featuring a Spoleto Festival USA-commissioned song “Be the Change” inspired by the community’s response and show of unity.

“Spoleto Festival USA ends just days before the first anniversary of the Emanuel AME Church murders and several artists felt compelled to reflect upon the event and on the times we live in,” says Redden. “As a Festival that has proudly called Charleston home for 40 years, we wanted to provide an outlet for these reactions to demonstrate how art can help people to heal as well as provide an important voice in times when it can be difficult to find words.”

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, January 14 at 10:00am by phone 843.579.3100 and online at spoletousa.org. A donor pre-sale begins January 5; details can be found online at the link.

From last year's festival:



Highlights of the 2016 Festival:

First Spoleto Festival USA production of opera Porgy and Bess, directed by David Herskovits with visual design by artist Jonathan Green, featuring Alyson Cambridge and Lester Lynch in the title roles, conducted by Stefan Asbury
City-wide activities planned around Porgy and Bess to celebrate the production’s origins and history in Charleston including daily walking tours throughout the Festival
World premiere of Grace Notes: Reflections for Now directed by visual artist Carrie Mae Weems featuring music, spoken word, and video projections reflecting on grace and democracy
World premiere of “African romance” Afram ou La Belle Swita by Charleston-born composer Edmund Thornton Jenkins with stage direction by David Herskovits and performed by cast members from Porgy and Bess
US premiere of opera The Little Match Girl by contemporary German composer Helmut Lachenmann, co-directed by Mark Down and Phelim McDermott, featuring sopranos Heather Buck and Yuko Kakuta, and conducted by John Kennedy
US premiere of comic baroque opera La Double Coquette by Antoine Dauvergne with revisions by contemporary composer Gérard Pesson performed by early music specialists Ensemble Amarillis
US premiere of a new production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest by Dublin’s Gate Theatre, directed by Patrick Mason
US premiere of Golem, the latest work combining animation and live performance created by innovative theater company 1927
40th-Season Celebration Concert featuring the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, Westminster Choir, artists from the Bank of America Chamber Music series and Wells Fargo Jazz series, and special guests to be held in the newly renovated Charleston Gaillard Center conducted by former Festival Music Director Steven Sloane
• Bank of America Chamber Music series led by Geoff Nuttall to feature the St. Lawrence String Quartet in residence for the duration of the Festival and works by 2016 composer-in-residence Osvaldo Golijov
• The Westminster Choir, Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, and members of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus to perform Beethoven’s Mass in C Major and Choral Fantasy in the new Charleston Gaillard Center conducted by Joe Miller
• Members of the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra to perform a 40th-anniversary performance of Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians, a chamber orchestra program, and Music in Time concerts in addition to performing in Porgy and Bess, The Little Match Girl, and two Charleston Gaillard Center concerts
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company returns to the Festival, and the Aakash Odedra Company (UK), L.A. Dance Project, Sadler’s Wells’s Havana Rakatan, and choreographer Amy O’Neal’s hip hop work Opposing Forces make their Spoleto Festival USA debuts in the 2016 dance series
Randy Weston African Rhythms Sextet and René Marie to perform Wells Fargo Jazz series concerts in the Charleston Gaillard Center; jazz series also features singer Cécile McLorin Salvant, pianist Jason Moran and his Fats Waller Dance Party, and The Freddy Cole Quartet
• Cuban culture celebrated with performances of Havana Rakatan showcasing Cuban dance, and Wells Fargo jazz series concerts by Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra and the Bohemian Trio featuring saxophonist Yosvany Terry
• Special Festival-eve and opening-night concerts by bluegrass luminaries Old Crow Medicine Show in the College of Charleston Cistern Yard on May 26 and 27
• Three critically acclaimed theater productions: Ada/Ava by Manual Cinema, The Gambler’s Guide to Dying with Gary McNair and Every Brilliant Thing starring Jonny Donahoe to be performed in Charleston following international festival appearances
• Wells Fargo Festival Finale held at Middleton Place to feature eight-piece soul band Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats on June 12

Winter Woollen Blues: An original song for all of us Northern people

Winter Woollen Blues
An original song for all of us Northern people

I use this blog to review and post material to help promote so many other artists - now it's my turn.

I started to sing seriously - and by that I mean, actually learn how to sing - about four years ago, the spark ignited by my involvement with the Toronto Complaints Choir; I'm the blonde in pink btw. After being convinced my entire life that I couldn't sing... all of a sudden I could hear myself amidst the other voices and I realized that I could.

Anya Wassenberg by Colin S Carlton 2015©
I had studied guitar - briefly - as a preteen and young teenager and even written songs. I have tiny, crooked fingers however and I found guitar excruciating - and of course, I couldn't sing, so I dropped it, only to take up the flute in high school (back when they still had instrumental music in high school...) I got as far as the Royal Conservatory grade 10 but ultimately was dissuaded from pursuing music in any way, shape or form. I have to say, I was easily dissuaded in those days. An unsupportive environment and rent to pay were enough to silence all that. But, it turns out, that kind of thing doesn't go away. It just hibernates. Sometimes for 35 years.

Flash forward: Nowadays I sing in a small band. We've played at a few local gigs with a view to expand bit by bit, and I have started to write songs again.

I do understand - from a historical and geographical point of view - why the Blues is so closely associated with the South. But surely, we northerners have a lot to be bluesy about, and many long, dark, cold months in which to ruminate, brood and stew over our blues,

I wrote this song on March 10, 2015 in a vintage blues/roots style - a significant day in my part of the world. It's that day anyone who has ever lived in or stayed in a northern climate during a too-late spring will understand. March 10, 2015 was the first day that winter broke its cruel, sub-zero stranglehold on our weather and you could go outside in a t-shirt and a blazer without freezing to death. With many thanks to Rob Leonard (sitting off stage playing guitar in the vid) for helping to put this arrangement together.

Here's a casual version of Winter Woollen Blues - an original song by Anya M Wassenberg 2015© - arrangement by Rob Leonard - performed by A.R.T. (Anya Wassenberg - vocals, Rob Leonard - guitar, Tom Finochio - guitar) with Keith Richards helping out on percussion. Performed during the Sunday jam at Rebels Rock Irish Pub (Hamilton, Ontario) on December 27, 2015

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Cuban Piano Legend Hilario Duran - Solo Concert 21 January 2016 at Lula Lounge - Toronto


From a release:

Hilario Duran - Solo Piano Concert
Thursday, 21 January 2016 
at Lula Lounge - Toronto

Tickets

TORONTO - Chucho Valdés has declared Hilario Durán to be one of the greatest Cuban pianists of the 20th century, calling the Grammy-nominated and JUNO-award winner “an unparalleled pianist and a composer and arranger of the first order.”

Musician of the Year by the Toronto Musicians Association; Vision Award Winner “Premio a la Trayectoria” - Hilario’s formal music training, combined with a deep understanding of traditional Cuban music, as well as a love for jazz, allowed him to play a key role in the integration of Afro-Cuban music and jazz.

Hilario Durán’s original compositions reflect a wide range of influences from jazz (Stan Kenton, Quincy Jones), Latin jazz (Perez Prado, Dizzy Gillespie, Mario Bauzá, Tito Puente, Chico O’Farrill, Chucho Valdés), traditional and modern Cuban melodies and rhythms, Afro-Cuban prayers influenced by gospel harmonies, Latin-American standards, Spanish styles, Flamenco-influenced melodies and Argentinean traditions. In 2005, Hilario formed his explosive Big Band Orchestra with top Canadian and Cuban musicians in Toronto. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear this living legend of Latin jazz performing solo in an intimate setting.

Event Details
Doors Open: 7:00PM / Show Starts: 8:00PM
Admission: $15 advance $20 at the door
Presented By: Lula Music and Arts Centre