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LuminaTO 2011 - The Music

The fifth anniversary edition of Luminato takes place from June 10-19, 2011. Tickets for all Luminato 2011 programs will be available for sale as of April 16, 2011.

If you sign up as an "insider", you can get tickets starting April 11.
• For details, please visit

Complete Luminato 2011 Music and Celebrations Programs:

The Kronos Quartet
With thousands of concerts and dozens of recordings to its credit, the Grammy-winning Kronos Quartet is one of the world’s most acclaimed and influential ensembles. Collaborating with a dizzyingly eclectic range of artists, from Dawn Upshaw to David  Bowie, Kronos enthralls audiences around the world with its stunning redefinitions of the string quartet’s role in music today. Resident artists at this year’s Festival are violinists David Harrington and John Sherba, violist Hank Dutt, and cellist Jeffrey Zeigler.

Friday, June 10, 8:00 PM: Kronos performs with Alim Qasimov Ensemble
• Saturday, June 11, 8:00 PM: Kronos performs with Homayun Sakhi - Koerner Hall - Ticket Prices range from $51.50-$91.50
• Sunday, June 12: Kronos performs in a FREE concert at Luminato’s Festival Hub - 9:00 PM - Metro Square - FREE
• Wednesday, June 15, 8:00 PM: Kronos performs with Wu Man Location TBD - Ticket Prices range from $51.50-$91.50

TSO Goes Late Night: Mahler 5
Stay up late with Mahler as Luminato and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra present TSO Goes Late Night: Mahler 5, conducted by TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian. The second annual late-night concert with the TSO invites you to bring your beverage into the performance and enjoy an audience-wide post-concert party with TSO musicians and live music.

Saturday, June 18
• 10:30 PM
• Roy Thomson Hall
• Ticket prices range from $22.50-$76.00


Friday, June 10
National Bank First Night

Luminato celebrates the opening of the 2011 Festival with a free outdoor concert featuring stellar performers from Canada’s indie-rock scene. Montreal-based electronica duo Beast, and Nova Scotian rockers The Joel Plaskett Emergency, launch Luminato’s Festival Stage concert series.

Comprising vocalist and lyricist Betty Bonifassi (soundtrack singer for the movie Les Triplettes de Belleville) and composer-producer Jean-Phi Goncalves, Beast specializes in what Bonifassi describes as ―trip rock.

• 8:00 PM
• Metro Square

The Joel Plaskett Emergency
Joel Plaskett has won several East Coast Music Awards, both for his solo work and as leader of his band, The Emergency, whose albums include Make a Little Noise and Ashtray Rock. A six-time Juno Award nominee, Plaskett won the 2010 Juno for Adult Alternative Album of the Year for his most recent solo album, Three.

• 9:20 PM
• Metro Square

Saturday, June 11
They Might Be Giants’ Family Show
These legendary Brooklyn alternative rockers’ best-selling albums for youngsters include Here Come the ABCs, the Grammy-winning Here Come the 123s, and the Grammy-nominated Here Comes Science. Grammy winners for ―Boss of Me, the theme song from Malcolm in the Middle, they also supply the themes for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Higgleytown Heroes. Throughout the free performance in Metro Square, dance-party specialists Bunch will be on hand to complement the concert with creative fun for the whole family.

2:00 PM Bunch Family Activities
• 3:00 PM Concert
• Metro Square

Celebrating 150 years of Italian unification, Luminato presents a tribute to the music of Italy, with Dominic Mancuso, Marco Calliari, and Bandabardò with Peppe Voltarelli.

Dominic Mancuso
Long-time resident attraction at Toronto’s famed Lula Lounge, Mancuso brings his distinctive vocal style to a richly emotional blend of Italian folk song, blues, soul, and jazz. Last year, his breakthrough album Comfortably Mine, a tribute to his Sicilian parentage, won him the Juno Award for World Music Album of the Year.

Marco Calliari
A founding member of the Francophone thrash metal band Anonymous, the Italian-born Calliari has more recently returned to his musical roots with the release of the best-selling folk-inspired albums Che la vita and Mia Dolce Vita.

Bandabardò with Peppe Voltarelli
Formed in 1993, this Florentine folk band is renowned both for its live performances and for such albums as Ottavio, Fuori Orario, Tre Passi Avanti, and Bondo! Bondo! Bandabardò is joined by special guest singer/songwriter Peppe Voltarelli. Hailing from Calabria, Voltarelli mixes rock with the folk music of Southern Italy.

• 8:00 PM
• Metro Square

Sunday, June 12
Alim Qasimov Ensemble
Qasimov is the world’s leading exponent of mugham, a sophisticated Azerbaijani art form that combines music with classical poetry.

Homayun Sakhi
Considered the finest rubâb player of his generation, Sakhi infuses his musical interpretations with rhythms and melodic ornamentation that reflect his Kabuli heritage.

• 2:00 PM
• Metro Square

Annex Quartet
This versatile and highly sought-after quartet delights audiences with repertoire ranging from classical, to world music, to modern jazz, and recently joined the Kronos Quartet in a residency at Carnegie Hall.

Kronos Quartet
With thousands of concerts and dozens of recordings to its credit, the Grammy-winning Kronos Quartet is one of the world’s most acclaimed and influential ensembles. Having collaborated with a dizzyingly eclectic range of artists from around the world, Kronos now presents a selection of their most popular works.

• 8:00 PM
• Metro Square

Monday, June 13
A Musical Monday
Some of Canada’s finest musical theatre performers showcase the biggest hit songs from current productions of three classic and contemporary shows—Billy Elliott (Mirvish Productions), Jesus Christ Superstar (Stratford Shakespeare Festival), and My Fair Lady (Shaw Festival)—along with a special medley from Dancap Productions. In addition, two-time Tony Award nominee Gavin Creel (Hair; Thoroughly Modern Millie), accompanied by musical director Lance Horne and his house band, presents his own selection of favourite show tunes. The festivities are hosted by Toronto-based cabaret performers Sharron Matthews and Shawn Hitchins.

• 8:00 PM
• Metro Square

Tuesday, June 14
Yemen Blues
An original fusion of traditional Yemenite melodies with blues, jazz, and funk, Yemen Blues is a nine-member group whose West African roots and enhanced modern compositions blend to make a breathtaking experience of beautiful and complex grooves.

• 8:00 PM
• Metro Square

Wednesday, June 15
Art of Time Ensemble
Including many of Canada’s finest musicians, this award-winning group is renowned for bringing contemporary relevance and context to classical music. Band members include: Rob Piltch, guitarist and member of the band Blood, Sweat and Tears, pianist Jonathan Goldsmith, violinist Stephen Sitarski, violinist Steven Dann, cellist Thomas Weibe, and renowned composer, arranger and saxophonist Phil Dwyer. Collaborating with Art of Time as a special guest, one of Canada's most beautiful voices, Gregory Hoskins, sings original material and covers by Paul Simon, Nick Cave, Gordon LIghtfoot, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Jane Siberry, Cole Porter, Tom Waits, Radiohead, Leonard Cohen, and others, in innovative new arrangements.

Gravity Radio
In 2008, Mikel Rouse’s multimedia trilogy (Dennis Cleveland, Failing Kansas, The End of Cinematics) mesmerized Luminato audiences. Now, in this live acoustic performance of Rouse’s latest work – inspired by the theoretical physics of gravity waves – a cycle of 14 songs intersects with shortwave frequencies and reports of the day’s actual news to create a richly poetic soundscape unique to each performance. Commissioned by Luminato.

• 8:00 PM
• Metro Square

Thursday, June 16
Delhi 2 Dublin
A sexy fiddle player, two bouncing bhangra percussionists, and a vocalist straight out of a Bollywood music video present an exhilarating mash-up of Punjabi bhangra, Celtic, dub reggae, and electronica. (Tarun Nayar of Delhi 2 Dublin is pictured)

Malkit Singh
Punjabi singer/songwriter Malkit Singh has toured in 27 different countries throughout the world and is well known for his singing on the film soundtrack of Bend it Like Beckham. In 2000, Singh was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the biggest selling bhangra artist of all time.

• 8:00 PM
• Metro Square

Friday, June 17
The Belle Brigade
Inspired by the likes of Fleetwood Mac and Simon & Garfunkel, songwriter siblings Ethan and Barbara Gruska’s upcoming self-titled debut album brims with breezy, California melodies and bracing pop harmonies.

k.d. lang
Winner of four Grammys and eight Junos, k.d. lang is truly one of Canada’s all-time greats. From her early-career reinvention of country rock with a dash of punk to her stunning covers of standards by such other artists as Leonard Cohen and Roy Orbison, she has consistently defied conventional categorization. Over the years, elements of torch song, jazz and even bossa nova have found their way into a style she has made uniquely her own—a style as elegant and sophisticated as it is impassioned. k.d.lang kicks off the Canadian leg of her tour at the Luminato Festival Stage.

• 8:00 PM
• Metro Square

Saturday, June 18 & Sunday, June 19
President’s Choice® 1000 Tastes of Toronto™
The John Street corridor becomes the venue for a huge open-air smorgasbord as a select group of the city’s finest chefs present their gourmet variations on the theme of street food, with each delectable item designed to be enjoyed on the go, and each priced at only $5. This year, an extra dimension has been added to this perennially popular event. Throughout the weekend, participating chefs demonstrate how they prepare their delicacies on a food demonstration stage.

• Saturday, June 18, 12 PM to 9 PM; Sunday, June 19, 12 PM to 6 PM
• John Street (From Richmond to King)
• FREE access, each food item is $5

Saturday, June 18
Natacha Atlas
Viewed as one of the leading female voices in contemporary Arabic culture, this Anglo-Egyptian singer has spent more than a decade fusing electronic beats with North African and Arabic music alongside such renowned collaborators as Sinead O’Connor, Sarah Brightman and Nitin Sawhney.

• 2:00 PM
• Metro Square

George Sawa
An acknowledged expert in both medieval and modern Arabic music, Sawa is a master of the zither-like instrument known as the qanun. He has performed in Europe, North America and the Middle East, and has recorded with Maureen Forrester, Raffi, Bram Morrisson, and R. Murray Schafer, with whom he collaborated on the dusk-to-dawn spectacle Ra.

Hakim (The Lion of Egypt)
Hakim has won international recognition for his electronica-infused brand of sha’abi—a popular urban musical genre rooted in traditional Egyptian folk music. His powerful vocals mesh with rock and techno beats in songs that capture the vibrant, raucous, tumultuous essence of life.

• 8:00 PM
• Metro Square

Sunday, June 19
Created by tabla player and composer Ravi Naimpally, Tasa performs original repertoire inspired by the traditions of India as well as contemporary versions of traditional songs from the Indian diaspora.

Nitin Sawhney
Classical and jazz pianist, flamenco guitarist, songwriter, orchestral composer, producer, DJ—this internationally feted cultural pioneer is a one-man symphony of creative talent. As a free sequel to his appearance with Akram Khan in the North American premiere of their music and movement collaboration Confluence, Sawhney and his band bring Luminato’s closing weekend to its thrilling finale.

• 2:00 PM
• Metro Square

The fifth anniversary edition of Luminato takes place from June 10-19, 2011. Tickets for all Luminato 2011 programs will be available for sale as of April 16, 2011. For details, please visit


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