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Showing posts from April, 2012

The Space Between: A Panorama of Cinema in Turkey Continues to May 10 in New York City

From a media release:

The Space Between: A Panorama of Cinema in Turkey
at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York City
April 27 to May 10 , 2012

The Film Society together with the Moon and Stars Project of The American Turkish Society will present a 29-film survey of Turkish cinema, the largest such program ever mounted in the U.S. Just like the nation itself, Turkish cinema has always stood between traditions: richly informed about currents in European and American filmmaking while imbibing influences from Egyptian, Indian and--more recently--Iranian cinema, creating a fascinating mixture of styles and approaches. The 1960s saw the emergence of powerful, socially engaged filmmakers, perhaps best represented by Yilmaz Güney (a special focus of this series), as well as a highly commercial, extremely popular cinema, known as Yesilçam, to which a new generation of Turkish film scholars has begun to turn its attention. In recent years, popular Turkish cinema has largely …

CD Release: Jeff Beam's Be Your Own Mirror

With material from a media release:

CD Release: Jeff Beam's Be Your Own Mirror

Psych-rock sounds like too serious a label for this appealing CD by composer and musician Jeff Beam. The songs are piano driven and melodic with a sixties-era kind of innocence to the music that's neither forced nor ironic.

I heard Beatles influences and Electric Light Orchestra too, among others, in his soft vocal style and relatively high range. The tracks are danceable and catchy - dare I say - with a modern sense of irony and a surrealistic flair that shows up in the lyrics of songs like Successful People Who Never Existed. Electronic psychedelica with sixties pop flavour, slow and seductive or insistently swingy. There's a nod to French pop in the song Hospital Patience, and his sound turns jazzy and complex in the instrumental Part Two without abandoning the sense of melody all the tracks share.

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Cheikh Lô at The Great Hall Toronto April 25

Cheikh Lô at The Great Hall Opening act: Donné Roberts April 25, 2012
TORONTO - The two acts who played The Great Hall Wednesday night came from Madagascar and Senegal - not exactly neighbours in geography - but what they shared was a sophisticated and thoroughly modern approach to music that begins with their respective African roots and then ventures far beyond.
There was a sizable crowd who came out midweek to hear the music of these two unique artists who both happen to hail from the African continent. Opening act Donné Roberts treated the audience to a set of his own brand of music that features the singing melodic guitar of his native Madagascar and then weaves in a multitude of other influences from the Egyptian vocals of singer Maryem Tollar to Russian and Japanese lyrics, classic guitar blues and an overall veneer of jazzy modern rock sensibility. He’s a hometown artist and scored a hit with the crowd that was growing in anticipation of the main act.
Cheikh Lô is often described…

COC Double Bill: A Florentine Tragedy & Gianni Schicchi Apr 26 - May 25

From a media release:

April 26 to May 25, 2012
at the Four Seasons Centre for the Arts, Toronto

Toronto –
The Canadian Opera Company presents a double bill of witty one-act operas as part of its 2012 spring season with the Canadian premiere of Alexander Zemlinsky’s A Florentine Tragedy and the return of Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, last seen with the COC in 1996.  The two operas are presented in a new COC production by the legendary soprano-turned-director Catherine Malfitano and world-renowned conductor Sir Andrew Davis.  A Florentine Tragedy is sung in German and Gianni Schicchi is sung in Italian, both with English SURTITLES™. 

The double bill of A Florentine Tragedy/Gianni Schicchi runs for eight performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on April 26, May 2, 5, 12, 15, 18, 20 and 25, 2012.

The COC’s double bill is one of the rare times…

CD Release: Putomayo's African Blues April 24

From a media release:

African Blues (Putumayo - April 24, 2012) 
Blues Reunion: African, American and European Musicians Connect and Transform America’s Quintessential Music on Putumayo’s African Blues

This release will be available at Whole Foods, Best Buy, Barnes and Noble and on

The blues has long been about storytelling, about raising a voice from the margins and edges of American life. As it spread from the Deep South to Chicago and beyond, the blues incorporated a powerful musical groove which has influenced music around the world. Now, musicians are reaching across the Atlantic and finding that they have a common story to tell in shades of blue.

Putumayo’s African Blues (Putumayo World Music; release: April 24, 2012) chronicles the return of the blues to its African motherland. It also demonstrates the burgeoning connections between West and East African musicians and performers from the blues’ traditional heartland in the U.S., as well as converts in Europe—and shows ho…

CD Release & Free Downloads: Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars' Radio Salone

From a media release:

CD Release: Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars' Radio Salone
April 24, 2012 - Cumbancha Records
Playing TD Toronto Jazz Festival July 1, 2012

Our third studio album -- RADIO SALONE -- will be released April 24, 2012!  RADIO SALONE --on CD and limited-edition 2LP vinyl via Cumbancha--  reflects the influence radio has long had on the band. In the pre-TV and Internet days, radio served as the musical connection to the rest of Africa and the world. Long before the war, members of the band were exposed to vintage reggae, Congolese soukouss, American soul, and much more. During the war, radio served as an essential escape from the harsh reality of the refugee camps, bringing news and music.

Produced by roots reggae, soul and Afrobeat guru Victor Axelrod, aka Ticklah, (Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings, Amy Winehouse, Easy Star All Stars, Antibalas) and recorded in Brooklyn’s Dunham Studios, Radio Salone marks the Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars' most musically soph…

Malian Blues Diva Khaira Arby April/May 2012 Tour

From a media release:

Malian Blues Diva Khaira Arby - 2012 Tour
• May 3 in New York City
• May 8 in Toronto

See the link for other tour dates April 26 to May 19, 2012

Despite a coup d'etat back home, critically-acclaimed Malian diva Khaira Arby prepares to tour North America carrying her message of peace.  While politics threaten to split her country, Arby's Saharan rock/desert blues champions peace and decries the hardships women face from political violence.  With electric guitars and irresistible percussion, Khaira's indie-rock/desert blues songs echo centuries-old musical traditions.

Returning to North America for a whirlwind April-May tour, Khaira Arby promises to mesmerize audiences with an intensity that flows from her home and from her unique spirit. Cities include Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York, San Diego, SF Bay Area, and Toronto, as well as the Festival International in Lafayette, LA and the Joshua Tree Festival in Joshua Tree, CA.

Born …

Classical Pianist Georgy Tchaidze Performs in Toronto April 21 & New York City April 27

From a media release:

Following his critically acclaimed Wigmore Hall debut,
2009 Honens Prize Laureate Georgy Tchaidze performs at Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio on April 21, 2012 & New York City's Carnegie Hall April 27, 2012

– Russian pianist Georgy Tchaidze, winner of the 2009 Honens International Piano Competition, makes his Toronto debut at Glenn Gould Studio on Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 8 p.m.  The all-Russian recital features Medtner’s rarely heard four Fairy Tales Op. 34, Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 4 in C minor Op. 29, and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.  Tchaidze is also joined by special guest soprano Dina Kuznetsova to perform Rachmaninov’s Six Romances Op. 38.

• Tickets to the April 21 recital, presented by Roy Thomson Hall, are $29.50 and available online or by calling (416) 872-4255
• Tchaidze’s upcoming engagements include debut recitals at Berlin’s Konzerthaus on April 3, and at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall on April 27.

Russian pianist Georgy…

Wazu: Neon Electro-Glam From the New York City Scene

From a media release:






- If you’ve been paying attention to the NYC music scene (and you should be!), you know that Brooklyn-based Australian transplants WAZU have been generating heaps of buzz as of late. “Murder 1,” the synth-heavy, post apocalyptic first single from their three song WAZU EP (Anti-Language Recordings) is getting rave reviews. The accompanying video premiered exclusively on Contact Music and was recently featured as Video of the Day on SPINNER.

The track is a glorious, vicious little tease of what’s to come from this male-female duo tha…

Staged Reading: Susanna Fournier's The Philosopher's Wife April 22 in Toronto

From a media release:

Nightwood Theatre presents a Write from the Hip reading
The Philosopher’s Wife
Written by Susanna Fournier
Directed by Kelly Thornton
Featuring Kelli Fox, Gord Rand and Chala Hunter

Sunday April 22, 2012 at 2:00pm - Nightwood Studio, Suite 315, The Cannery, 55 Mill St., PWYC

Nightwood Theatre is excited to present the first staged reading of Susanna Fournier’s new play The Philosopher’s Wife. The reading will take place on April 22, 2012 at the Nightwood Studio as part of our Writefrom the Hip emerging writers program. Nightwood Theatre is thrilled topresent this reading as an expression of our ongoing commitment to the development of artistic excellence among Canadian writers.

A philosopher caught in the bloody battle between Reason and Faith hires a dog trainer in a final attempt to cure hiswife’s aggressive, violent, and animalistic behaviour. The dog trainer turns out to be a woman working illegally to support her opium addicted brother. A power struggle…

Jazz CD Release: Tova Kardonne's The Thing Is April 22 in Toronto

From a media release:

TDJ Special Projects Introduces
Tova Kardonne’s The Thing Is Debut CD Release

Toronto – In the second installment of year-round presentations as part of the TDJ Special Projects, The Thing Is marks its debut full-length release with an art exhibit and performance on April 22 at 918 Bathurst Centre for the Arts.

The Thing Is, led by vocalist and composer, Tova Kardonne, is an eight-piece ensemble that fuses jazz, Balkan, funk and Afro-Cuban music. With off-kilter rhythms and heavy basslines, backed by a horn section, their debut release will showcase Kardonne’s 4-octave vocal range and feature guest appearances by Ted Quinlan and electric bassist, Rich Brown. This will be the group’s first full-length recording since they started performing regularly around Toronto in 2006

With roots in both the Sephardi and Ashkenazi musical traditions, Tova Kardonne has a track record of creating world-inspired jazz composition, reaching back to her days studying Jazz at Humber Col…

Flamenco: Esmeralda Enrique 30th Anniversary April 19 - 22

From a media release:

30th Anniversary Celebration Performance of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
April 19-22, 2012 at Fleck Dance Theatre Toronto
as part of Harbourfront Centre's NextSteps series.

Choreographer/dancer and Artistic Director Esmeralda Enrique of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company celebrates 30 years in Canada with the world premiere Aguas / Waters featuring Juan Ogalla of Spain who received the 2011 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Performance for his stellar performance in last season's Espejo de Oro / Mirror of Gold. Runs April 19 to April 22 at Fleck Dance Theatre as part of Harbourfront Centre's NextSteps series.

Flamenco is a living, ever-evolving art, inspired and influenced by the world around us. Dance, song and music express the full range of human emotion from sorrow to joy. Through flamenco we share our life experiences which always come from the heart. The company is joined by guest dancer Juan Ogalla and singers from Sp…

At Tribeca: Storyline Ent's The World Before Her April 19 to 25


Storyline Entertainment's
The World Before Her
Wins Tribeca Award

(Toronto – April 27, 2012)  The 11th annual Tribeca Film Festival, co-founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, announced last night, the winners of its competition categories at a ceremony hosted at the Conrad New York in New York City.

For the first time, Tribeca’s documentary competition section designated an opening night film and selected Storyline Entertainment’s The World Before Her with the honour. There were a total of 12 films as part of the Documentary Competition.

Director Nisha Pahuja was in New York City at the ceremony to collect her award which also came with cash amount of $25,000.

Jury Comments: "With unprecedented access, great compassion, and a keen eye for the universal, this year's winner takes a hard and clear-eyed look at the trials of growing up female in today's fast-changing world. Following young women who have taken diametrically opposed decisions on h…

Grammy Award Winner Mark S Doss Returns to Opera Tampa April 20 & 22

From a media release:

Grammy Award winner Mark S. Doss returns to Opera Tampa in Aida

Tampa, Florida – April, 2012 – Global opera star and Grammy Award winner Mark S. Doss returns to Opera Tampa as Amonasro in Aida on April 20 and 22, 2012 at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. Mr. Doss most recently performed with Opera Tampa as a guest artist at A Night of Stars, held in February 2011 to honor Placido Domingo, and as Mephistopheles in Faust in April 2009.

Composed by Giuseppe Verdi, the opera tells the tale of Ethiopian Princess Aida, who is captured and brought into slavery in Egypt. Radames, the Egyptian military commander, is torn by his love for Aida and his duty to the Pharaoh, with tragic consequences for both.

“I am delighted to be returning to Opera Tampa,” states Mr. Doss. “I have performed under the baton of Maestro Coppola many times, and I recall with great pleasure that it has been 21 years since we first collaborated together on The Barber of Seville. …