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Showing posts from October, 2011

2011 Toronto International Art Fair Oct 28 to 31

2011 Toronto International Art Fair O ctober 28 to 31, 2011 Metro Toronto Convention Centre I had a chance to preview the 12th Annual Toronto International Art Fair this morning, doing my best to check out the mind boggling array of fine art on display. It was of course impossible to get a firm grasp on what ends up being their biggest year ever, with 109 galleries exhibiting work from 13 different countries. You can also check out work by the winner of the 2011 RBC Painting Competition for emerging artists. The international representation includes of course a good percentage of Canadian galleries, along with American and particularly from New York City's edgy art scene. I really liked the large scale Inuit work at Feheley Fine Art s, (pictured,)  and I also noticed a number of very cool exhibits by Québec artists and Montréal galleries, including Galérie Bellefeuille , who've got the work of Damien Hirst and Jim Dine . The fair includes some solos shows, notably Ch

Trumpeter/Composer Wadada Leo Smith's Ten Freedom Summers Multimedia Project Premieres in LA Oct 28-30

From a media release:   Trumpeter/Composer Wadada Leo Smith Presents World Premiere of Civil Rights Opus "Ten Freedom Summers" with Golden Quartet and Southwest Chamber Music Multi-Media Event October 28 - 30 at the REDCAT Theater in the Walt Disney Concert Hall Complex, Los Angeles Pre-concert discussion to include Smith, Southwest Chamber Music & Facing History and Ourselves LOS ANGELES - A child of the South who was raised in the red-hot crucible of the civil rights movement, Wadada Leo Smith has long contemplated creating an epic-scale opus exploring the struggle for African- American freedom and equality. With the three-night world premiere of "Ten Freedom Summers" at the REDCAT Theater in the Walt Disney Concert Hall Complex, Los Angeles on October 28-30, the visionary trumpeter and composer delivers his masterwork, a vivid, spiritually charged musical tapestry that celebrates the movement's heroes and the turbulent era's milestones, while

CD Release: Sultans of String & Move + North American Tour

From a media release: Sultans of String MOVE CD Release! featuring special guests Ernie Tollar, Jordan Klapman, Pabloski Rosales, The Cuban Trumpet Ensemble, and more! Saturday, October 29, 8pm (doors: 7pm) Trinity St Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St West, Toronto Direct link to buy tix [Toronto ON]   Raucous roots, genre bending string super-group, Sultans of String, kick off their Canadian & US CD release tour in Toronto with a spicy performance at Trinity St. Paul’s Centre on Saturday, October 29th! (selected tour schedule below, including NY's Birdland and Boston's Scullers!). The release of MOVE, the band’s third album, can only be thought of as a perfect hat-trick. These multiple award winning and JUNO-nominated string wizards present – once again – an exhilarating celebration of world music styles and influences that embrace Gypsy Jazz, Cuban rhythms, Arabic folk, Spanish Flamenco and classical music in an incomparable and blinding flurry of musicianship. It’s as if Chri

Un-Chamber Music: Real Vocal String Quartet in NYC Oct 27 & 28

From a media release: From Sahara Trance Bluegrass to Re-Imagined Brazilian Choros: The Un-Chamber Music of Real Vocal String Quartet on Tour The classically-trained players of the Real Vocal String Quartet have lost it. As can be witnessed on their most recent debut eponymous recording and in concert, they bang on their violins, stomp their feet, and allow African trance music to influence their take on old timey standards. It's not their sanity that's missing; what RVSQ has lost is the ability to abide the constraints of either the old school classical world, where musicians must frequently forsake their creativity for the overall sound of the orchestra, or the often unapproachable reaches of the contemporary classical world. “There is a perception that ‘new music’ for classically trained musicians needs to be difficult or inaccessible,” says Dina Maccabee, a violist in the group. “We are all totally into challenging ideas but we also like pop music. And we feel like j

Opera Atelier's Don Giovanni - Oct 29 to Nov 5 in Toronto

From a media release: Don Giovanni Opens Opera Atelier ’s 2011-2012 Season The world’s most incorrigible lover returns to the stage in this new period production of Mozart’s comedic masterpiece October 29 to November 5, 2011 Toronto, ON - Opera Atelier’s 2011-12 Season opens with a glittering new period production of Don  Giovanni designed by OA’s acclaimed design team of Gerard Gauci and Martha Mann. Rising star Italian conductor Stefano Montanari makes his Opera Atelier debut. The new production runs October 29, 30, November 1, 2, 4, and 5, 2011, at the Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge Street. All performances begin at 7:30 pm, with the exception of the Sunday, October 30 3:00 pm matinee. As previously announced, Don Giovanni is also part of Opera Columbus’s 11-12 season, and will be performed by the Toronto company in Columbus, Ohio on November 25 and 27, 2011. Mozart’s outrageous comedy tells the tale of an incorrigible young playboy who blazes a path to his own destruction in a singl

Videocabaret's The Life and Times of Mackenzie King - November 2 in Toronto

Update December 1, 2011: VideoCabaret announces December 11 closing for its acclaimed THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MACKENZIE KING Toronto - After playing to sold-out crowds and receiving unanimous critical and popular acclaim, VideoCabaret is announcing that The Life and Times of Mackenzie King , the latest re-imagining of playwright Michael Hollingsworth 's acclaimed The History of the Village of the Small Huts cycle, is set to close December 11, 2011. As shows are selling out quickly, VideoCabaret urges the public to book early! Call the box office at 416-703-1725 and visit for more information. From a media release: VideoCabaret presents The Life and Times of Mackenzie King The History of the Village of the Small Huts, 1918-1939 Previews November 2 - opens November 10, 2011 Toronto - VideoCabaret proudly presents Michael Hollingsworth's The Life and Times of Mackenzie King, The History of the Village of the Small Huts, 1918-39, at

Salsa CD: Bio Ritmo's La Verdad & NYC Concert Dates

From a media release: BIO RITMO ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM & CONCERT DATES LA VERDAD IS OUT ON ELECTRIC COWBELL Richmond, VA may not be the typical place that comes to mind when you think of an internationally acclaimed Salsa band, but Bio Ritmo is far from typical.  The 10-member band was formed 20 years ago this September originally as a percussion ensemble brought together by two misplaced Puerto Ricans who met at art school combined with a local punk rock drummer. They have evolved over the years and become known as one of the most groundbreaking salsa bands of the last decade. Their sound is dubbed “post-salsa” and their style considered “old-school” or “alt-Latin,” but essentially Bio Ritmo is known for being themselves, writing and producing all original music with the mind set of a rock-n-roll band who happens to play “in clave” (the basic rhythmic pattern of salsa music). “With a roster that includes former rastas, punks, rockers and jazzistas, Bio Ritmo can’t help but bring a

Amnesty International Dance for Justice October 27 in Toronto

From a media release: Amnesty Dance for Justice October 27, 2011 EnWave Theatre, Harbourfront, Toronto   TORONTO - On Thursday, October 27, 2011, a dynamic mix of African, Belly-dancing, Tap, Modern, Hip Hop, French Can-Can, and Period Ballet performers will join together for a unique benefit performance at the Harbourfront Centre. The various dance styles reflect the multicultural nature of Amnesty’s human rights work as it campaigns in countries all over the world. In many corners of our world, artists are still persecuted for expressing their beliefs and thoughts.  That’s why articles 19 and 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights calls on governments to respect the right to freedom of expression, and the right to enjoy the arts. Come and see Toronto’s most dynamic dance professionals as they dance their hearts out to benefit Amnesty International’s movement to bring justice and human rights for all. Performers include: • Arabesque Dance Company & Orchestra is

CD Release: Sibiti Samaké’s Dambe Foli - Traditional Mande Music

From a media release: Hungry For A New Kind of Prey, Hunter & Donso Ba Sibiri Samaké’s Newest Album Set For Release Fall 2011 Dambe Foli, A New Take on Traditional Mande Music. Scheduled Release Date: October 25, 2011 Independent record label Kanaga System Krush (K.S.K.) set to release this fall 2011 Dambe Foli. Sibiri Samaké’s second and long-awaited album featuring traditional Mande/Bamana Hunters' music.  A masterful showcase of a rare genre, the granddaddy and ancient precursor to modern day blues. “If the blues’ origin can be traced to West Africa then this album puts listeners squarely at the doorstep of one of modern music's cornerstones ,” said Aja Salvatore, founder of K.S.K. on introducing the grassroots label’s latest foray to share and champion the music and talented musicians of West Africa. One of a handful of hunters, or donso to have been heard beyond the African continent, Sibiri Samaké's stirring vocals and talented instrumentals transports

Bebe Neuwirth Hosts the Bessies - Oct 24 at the Apollo Theater New York

From a media release: THE BESSIES: THE NEW YORK DANCE AND PERFORMANCE AWARDS Hosted by Bebe Neuwirth Monday, October 24, 2011 at 8 p.m. at the Apollo Theater, Harlem • GET TICKETS New York 's most renowned dance awards come to Harlem's world famous Apollo Theater for the first time! On October 24, the Bessies, which have saluted dance in the city since 1984, will honor outstanding work in dance performed during the 2010-11 season. Host for the evening will be Bebe Neuwirth . The evening will include a dance performance by some of today's most exciting young dancers, videos of all of the nominated work, and award presentations by a stellar lineup of internationally acclaimed dance artists. The Bessies seek to recognize work from all corners of the city's wide ranging dance world, granting awards for choreography, design, composition, and performing to innovative artists from many dance disciplines. The awards also honor those who have helped shape the dynamic

Get Animated! with the NFB Across Canada Oct 22 to Nov 6

From a media release: Get Animated! October 22 to November 6, 2011 NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA CELEBRATES ANIMATION WITH MORE ACTIVITIES, SCREENINGS AND MASTER CLASSES THAN EVER Toronto, October, 2011 – The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is launching the fifth edition of Get Animated! from October 22 to November 6, 2011, and offering an expanded array of FREE animation screenings and activities in over 20 cities across Canada. Get Animated! is being presented by the NFB in partnership with local organizations, showcasing great animation on the big screen in YOUR community, in celebration of International Animation Day, October 28. Get Animated! features the finest—and some of the funniest—new releases from the NFB’s Oscar-winning animation studios, a family program for all ages, master classes by renowned NFB animators, workshops on how to make your own animated films and meet-the-director sessions. Get Animated! is coming to a location near you: Abbotsford (November 1); Calga

Dub Theatre: d'bi.young's Sankofa Trilogy in Toronto to December 4

From a media release: the sankofa trilogy written and performed by d'bi.young anitafrika October 22 to December 4, 2011 at the Tarragon Theatre, Toronto featuring word!sound!powah! in repertory with blood.claat, and benu Trilogy Premiere word! sound! powah! (part three of the trilogy) yuh tink you can stop the people? my granny told me about you. she prepared me for you. A storyteller emerges from the darkness. She sings the story of her people, beginning with their hope-filled birth to their decline into destruction and despair. She implores them to wake from their slumber, remember themselves, and return to the land they love. As she finishes her song, we suddenly find ourselves in a police interrogation room in 1980s Kingston, Jamaica. The brutal Constable Brown relentlessly interrogates a young woman named Benu. He suspects that she is an accomplice in a heinous politically-motivated crime - but he has no proof. All he knows is that Jamaica is in the midst of a tense and

Live at the Apollo Theater New York - LEDISI Tonight (October 23)

From a release - still time to pick up tickets for tonight: Mary Flowers Entertainment Presents LEDISI at the Apollo Theater Sunday, October 23 at 7 p.m.   • Get Tickets Harlem, New York - With the release of her latest CD entitled Pieces of Me , R&B recording sensation Ledisi comes to the Apollo Theater live in concert.   The Grammy-nominated singer performs tracks from her albums Lost and Found, Turn Me Loose, Soul Singer and more.  The concert opens with a performance by singer/songwriter Timothy Bloom whose latest release is The Budding Rose. • Tickets: $45, $55, $65, & $75 • In person at the Apollo Theater Box Office • By phone call Ticketmaster 1-800-745-3000 • Online at

Reviews: imagineNATIVE 2011 - Two Features & a Short

imagineNATIVE 2011 - Two Features & A Short Continues to October 23, 2011 See below for the closing gala film Mesnak 2011, Canada, 96 min, DCP, 18A French and Innu with English subtitles Director: Yves Sioui Durand World Premiere Mesnak is a strong and even brilliant film that takes Hamlet, the timeless Shakespearian tragedy, and seamlessly weaves it into the story of an Innu village in northern Quebec. Montreal actor David was adopted when he was three years old, and now in his twenties, gets a cryptic note that calls him back to the First Nations community where he was born, and where his mother - a former alcoholic - is about to be married. From the beginning, he encounters the dark undercurrents and corrosive secrets that run through his family history and the town at large. The family drama is tied to the town's future under a potential deal with a white-owned forestry company. That and other details make this an organic telling of the tale - this never has the feel o

imagineNATIVE 2011: Three Short Films

imagineNATIVE 2011: Three Short Films the Festival continues to October 23, 2011 Dead Creek 2009, New Zealand, 11 min, HDCAM, PG Director: Benjimin Southwell Ontario Premiere New Zealand's lush forest plays a seminal role in this eerie and atmospheric story about what happens when the modern world crosses paths with ancient magic at a sacred pond. The pond or waterhole sits among the rocks in a sylvan landscape, haunted by spirits whose intentions are malevolent towards human beings, including a young Aboriginal soccer player (or 'footy' player as he says) and his uncle. Without giving anything away, I'll say that the old magic of forest and trees wins the day. The visuals are spectacular and quite affecting; my favourite were gorgeous shots of sunlight filtering through the forest canopy. Benjimin Southwell (Torres Straits) is an emerging Australian filmmaker and questions the absence of the action genre in Aboriginal Australian film. Search for the World's Bes

Preview Review: imagineNATIVE 2011 Opening Night Oct 19

Preview Review: ImagineNATIVE 2011 Opening Night Amaqqut Nunaat (The Country of Wolves) & On the Ice October 19, 2011 TORONTO - imagineNATIVE 2011 kicks off with a pair of films and a party - here's a look at the films. Amaqqut Nunaat (The Country of Wolves) celebrates the Inuit tradition of storytelling with an animated story that tells the legend of two brothers who go out hunting and get lost in a storm. They endure the darkness, wind and weather to emerge in a strange land - the Country of Wolves. The story is told in a voiceover and features an interesting combination of flat and layered three dimensional animated effects, aided by the urgent sound of throat singing by Tanya Tagaq Gillis. The effect is eery and atmospheric and suits the dark legend and its theme about the tenuous nature of survival in the harsh landscape. On the Ice is the feature debut of Alaska native Andrew Okpeaha MacLean (Writer/Director), an Iñupiaq filmmaker. As it begins, two teenagers in a