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Triple Tragedy Puts Blog on Hiatus

Hello Fellow Arts Lovers,

2013 seems to be the year for things interfering with this blog and it's ending with a special dose of bad luck - I was robbed, my elderly but dearly missed cat passed away and then my laptop went on the fritz just to complete the trio of misfortune.

Blogging with one of those baby laptop-netbook thingies isn't fun, so I'll have to put blogging on hold until my workhorse is back from the shop in two or three weeks.

Have a wonderful and artsy end of 2013

- Anya Wassenberg

CD Release/Revival: Juaneco y su Combo, The Birth of Jungle Cumbia (Release December 10, 2013 - The Vital Record)

From a release:

CD Release/Revival
An Album Lost in the Amazon: Juaneco y su Combo’s Groundbreaking Early Jungle Psychedelia Recordings are Revived
Juaneco y su Combo, The Birth of Jungle Cumbia
(Release December 10, 2013 - The Vital Record)

Buy it Here


In the early 1970s, a small and largely unknown city called Pucallpa, nestled in the heart of the Amazon jungle on the far side of the Peruvian Andes, was the birthplace of a genre of music that would become a regional phenomenon and a white whale for Latin music collectors many years later. A mid-century oil boom brought workers to the region to toil daily in the oppressive equatorial heat. With hard living so often comes brilliant music, the kind that can only be created by people needing an exceptional release from the hard work and drudgery of the day. It’s these conditions that brought Juaneco y su Combo together in the 1960s, creating a new sound known as jungle cumbia, a genre that now holds near-mythical status for fans of South A…

DJ Skate Nights at Harbourfront Toronto December 14 2013 to March 1 2014

From a media release:

DJ Skate Nights
at Harbourfront Centre’s Natrel Rink

Feel the beat in your blades every Saturday Night from December 14, 2013 to March 1, 2014

TORONTO, ON –
Put the beat in your blades when Harbourfront Centre’s wildly popular DJ Skate Nights series returns for another season. Twelve consecutive Saturday nights from Dec. 14 to March 1 feature Toronto’s top DJs spinning a wide variety of music on the Natrel Rink.

This year, Harbourfront Centre explores emerging events that are forming Toronto’s underground party scene, as well as long-running events that have shaped Toronto’s nightlife over the years. Parties such as Shindig, Uma Nota, SLOWED, Pop!Goes the World and Yes Yes Y’all represent new school jams while 1 LOVE T.O., Footprints, Cherry Bomb, and premier DJs like Skratch Bastid, Dr. Jay de Soca Prince and Starting from Scratch represent the legends of Toronto’s DJ scene.

With themed nights ranging from rare groove to top 40 hits, there is truly something for e…

New Music Recently Released: Neil Rolnick's Gardening at Gropius House (Innova Records - October 29 2013)

With material from a media release:

New Music - CD Release:
Neil Rolnick's Gardening at Gropius House
(Innova Records - October 29, 2013)

Composer: Neil Rolnick
Performers: Alarm Will Sound, Todd Reynolds, Alan Pierson, Neil Rolnick, San Francisco Conservatory New Music Ensemble, Daniel Cilli, Nicole Paiement


Do not be afraid of New Music, electronic music or the fact that this CD contains only two long tracks. Neil Rolnick's latest work is a seamless marriage of musical styles, of organic melody and edgy live digital processing. The release includes two 30-minute pieces for big ensemble, soloist and computer.

From the composer himself:

Gardening At Gropius House is based on interactions I had with the famous modernist achitect Walter Gropius when I worked at his gardener in college. It explores the tension between 20th century modernism and music based on melodies and grooves. And the groove definitely emerges triumphant. The second piece, Anosmia, explores the experience of living…

Bedlam Theatre Brings Acclaimed Productions of Hamlet & Saint Joan Back to New York CIty on stage to February 2 2014

From a media release:

Bedlam Theatre presents
Hamlet & Saint Joan
On stage now - continues to February 2, 2014

Directed by Eric Tucker
Playwrights: George Bernard Shaw/ Shakespeare
Meredith Lucio & Sarah Hancock in association with Perry Street Theatricals at

The Lynn Redgrave Theater
at Culture Project
45 Bleecker St.
New York, NY

Tickets online
• Or by phone: 866-811-4111

Cast: Eric Tucker, Edmund Lewis, Andrus Nichols, Tom O’Keefe

NEW YORK CITY -
After celebrated engagements downtown and in Washington D.C., BEDLAM brings its critically-acclaimed productions of SAINT JOAN and HAMLET back to New York!

Following the edict “the play’s the thing,” this innovative theater company distills two of the stage’s greatest classics down to their simplest form—placing the focus on the actors’ performance and the authors’ words—and breaks down the walls between the performers and the audience.

The result is a powerful and immersive piece of theater that allows the viewer to experience these masterpi…

Venus in Fur Returns to Canadian Stage (Toronto) December 13 to 29 2013

From a media release:

Canadian Stage’s hit production of Venus in Fur returns for the holiday season
Rick Miller and Carly Street star in ‘the other nutcracker’ in remount at the Berkeley Street Theatre from December 13 to 29, 2013

• Tickets from $29 to $59 are a perfect holiday gift, sure to top Christmas wish-lists across the city.
• Visit www.canadianstage.com/online/venus for performance dates and times.

Toronto, ON –
Canadian Stage’s Venus in Fur is back, just in time to heat things up for the holidays. The company is presenting a remount of the hit production from December 13 to 29 at the Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley St.). Directed by Jennifer Tarver with Rick Miller and Carly Street reprising their unforgettable roles as Thomas and Vanda, the production (initially staged at the Bluma Appel Theatre) will feature a reworked set design in the intimate 244-seat Berkeley Downstairs Theatre space. During a season dominated by sugar plum fairies and mice kings, the show called “se…

A Toronto Holiday Favourite: Wintersong December 13 & 14 2013

From a release:

Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre
WinterSong – dances for a sacred season
December 13-14, 2013
at Harbourfront Centre - Toronto

TORONTO - Now a 26-year tradition, WinterSong returns to warm the hearts of family audiences with its breathtaking tapestry of seasonal dance. Come celebrate the holidays with some of Canada’s most exciting choreographers, dancers and musicians inspired by the world’s rich solstice traditions.

Includes favourites by Santee Smith, Carol Anderson, Colin Connor, Kim Frank and Deborah Lundmark. Highlights include the return of the company’s 2012 hit, Sknaht, by Dora Award-winning street dance artist, Ofilio Portillo, and a gospel-inspired world premiere by New York’s acclaimed Kevin Wynn.

Wintersong is a family show with works that explore solstice traditions from around the world. It’s a joy to watch the young dancers tackle the complex choreography, which provides insight into how different cultures celebrate the holidays.

Lynanne Sparrow
Artistic Ass…

Afro-Latino Night at the African Diaspora International Film Festival in New York City December 13, 2013

From a media release:

AFRO-LATINO NIGHT: TANGO NEGRO & CANDOMBE
ADIFF Centerpiece Screening
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 8:30pm -
Cowin Center, Teachers College

• Q&A after the screening followed by catered reception
• Tickets: $25
TICKETS HERE


NEW YORK CITY  - The African Diaspora International Film Festival is in full swing in New York City and specially for music lovers, this Friday's Centerpiece Screening looks at the African roots of music we automatically associate with South America.

The African Diaspora International Film Festival NYC continues to December 15, 2013

TANGO NEGRO, AFRICAN ROOTS OF TANGO
US Premiere

Directed by Dom Pedro, 2013, 93 min., France, Documentary , French/Spanish/ English subt.
Tango Negro, African  Roots of Tango by Angolan filmmaker Dom Pedro explores the expression of Tango's Africanness and the contribution of African cultures in the creation of the tango. Tango was a reflection of the social life of the slaves that were taken to South America…

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at New York City Center Dec 4 2013 to Jan 5 2014

From a media release:

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
at New York City Center

featuring 39 different performances
Dec 4, 2013 - Jan 5, 2014
Tickets start at $25

Performances & Schedules
Tickets

NEW YORK CITY -
The world’s most popular modern dance company is “dancing better than ever” (The New Yorker) and Artistic Director Robert Battle “has injected the company with new life” (The New York Times). This holiday season, Ailey returns with an ambitious array of premieres and repertory favorites. New this year are Wayne McGregor’s sensory feast Chroma, Bill T. Jones’ exhilarating D-Man in the Waters (Part I), Ronald K. Brown’s powerful Four Corners, and LIFT, a world premiere by the audacious Aszure Barton. New productions of Pas de Duke and The River celebrate the extraordinary collaboration between Alvin Ailey and Duke Ellington, and most programs end with Mr. Ailey’s masterpiece, Revelations (performed with live music on select dates).

New this Season:
World premieres from Ronald K…

Janak Khendry Dance Company Present: John Milton's Paradise Lost December 6 to 8 2013 in Toronto

From a media release:

JANAK KHENDRY DANCE COMPANY
Celebrates 35th Anniversary with World Premiere
dance presentation of one of the greatest works of poetry in the English Language:
John Milton's PARADISE LOST
Choreographed by Janak Khendry
December 6 - 8 2013 at Fleck Dance Theatre as part of Harbourfront Centre's NextSteps

TORONTO -
The Janak Khendry Dance Company (JKDC), presents the world premiere of Paradise Lost, transforming the mysteries of this great literary work by John Milton (1608-1674) into the first-ever full-length dance production.

A monumental artistic undertaking, Paradise Lost runs December 6-8 at Harbourfront Centre's Fleck Dance Theatre as part of NextSteps celebrating both John Milton's 413th birthday (Dec. 9, 1608) and JKDC's 35th Anniversary.

Deemed one of the greatest works in the English language, Milton's epic poem is the story of the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

Original mu…

YeYe Asa Festival: Celebrating African Women feat. Floxy Bee December 7 2013 in New York City

From a media release:

YeYe Asa Festival/NY
Celebrating African women succeeding, changing their culture for the better
Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 8:30pm 

at Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space 2537 Broadway at 95th St. New York, NY 10025

NEW YORK CITY -
Every year in early December, there is a cultural festival in Ile-Ife Iyanfoworogi, in the heart of Yorubaland. At 2012 festival, Nigerian singer and entertainer FLOXY BEE — a.k.a the Hikosso Queen — became a Chief: the YeYe Asa (Mother of Culture) of Ile-Ife Iyanfoworogi. As it is not possible for her to participate in this year’s festival in Nigeria, it was decided that she would hold a parallel event in New York City. And because the YeYe Asa is a woman, the NY festival would focus on the cultural contributions of African women.

The YeYe Asa Festival/NY will link with participants in Nigeria via video clips and will feature a performance by the YeYe Asa herself, FLOXY BEE, with her band.

It is not easy for a traditional culture to …

Glenfiddich Issues Call for Canadian Artists for the Coveted 2014 Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Prize (Jan 31 2014 Deadline)

From a media release:

Glenfiddich
Issues Call for Canadian Artists to Enter Competition for the Coveted
2014 Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Prize

• To apply and for more information, applicants are asked to visit  www.glenfiddich.com/ca/artistsinresidence

Toronto, November 28, 2013 –
Glenfiddich is issuing a Call to Artists currently living and creating art in Canada to enter the internationally renowned competition for the prestigious 2014 Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Prize. The Canadian “Call to Artists” opens today, Thursday November 28, 2013 and closes midnight eastern time, Friday January 31, 2014.

The Canadian winner will be one of only eight artists worldwide to be awarded the art community’s coveted prize to live and work at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland. It’s only fitting that the world’s most awarded single malt Scotch whisky honours distinction. The three-month residency valued at $20,000 per artist represents the Glenfiddich commitment to the pioneering…

Songs of My Mother: A Celebration of African Women December 7 2013 in Toronto.

From a media release:

Batuki Music Society Presents:
Songs of My Mother: A Celebration of African Women
Saturday December 7th at Daniels Spectrum in Toronto.

TORONTO -
Songs of My Mother concert will showcase a stellar diversity of voices featuring Tapa Diarra (Mali), Blandine Mbiya (Democratic Republic of Congo), Ruth Mathiang (South Sudan), Evelyn Mukwedeya (Zimbabwe), Memory Makuri (Zimbabwe) and dancer Mabinty Sylla (Guinea) with a supporting cast of musicians including Diely Mori Tounkara, Kofi Ackah, Adam Solomon, Ebenezer Agyekum, Tichaona Maredza, Ruben Esguerra and Amara Kante.

The first words or language that a child hears from its mother is a song.  This introduction to sound and words through song is a very common element in the bonding process between a mother and her newborn in most African cultures.  This is an intuitive process and it is done for each newborn and the songs are often an affirmation of a mother’s love for her child and also a celebration of motherhood.  Sing…

Royal Conservatory Toronto Presents Rokia Traoré: Beautiful Africa - November 27 2013

From a media release:

Royal Conservatory Toronto Presents: Rokia Traoré - Beautiful Africa
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
8:00 pm - Koerner Hall

Rokia Traoré, vocals & guitar, Fatim Koutayé, vocals, Ruth Goller, bass, Giovanni Ferrario, guitar, Mamah Diabaté, n’goni, Bintou Soumbounou, vocals, Dave de Rose, drums

• Get the album Beautiful Africa here

TORONTO - One of the most inventive female singer-songwriters in Africa today, Rokia Traoré is remarkable not just for the range of her powerful and emotional voice but also for the sheer variety of her work. Recently, she has written three very different sets of music: the acoustic Damou (Dream), the bluesy Donguili (Sing), and the rock-influenced Donke (Dance), in which she set out to show three different aspects of Malian culture and her own personality, and which were all performed at different London venues in one week.  

Rokia Traoré was criticized for not being a griot (from a family of traditional musicians), but a daughter of a dipl…

Kaleidoscope Theatre Montreal Presents: None of the Above - November 26 to 30 2013

From a media release:

Kaleidoscope Theatre MONTREAL presents
NONE OF THE ABOVE
Written by Jenny Lyn Bader
Directed by Trevor Barrette & Michelle Lewis

• Tuesday, November 26 – Saturday, November 30, 2013
Tickets online


Montreal, November 2013 –
Kaleidoscope Theatre Montreal is proud to present their third production, the Canadian premiere of Jenny Lyn Bader’s None of the Above, directed by Trevor Barrette and Michelle Lewis. The company’s two successful past productions of the classic plays, Sophocles’ Antigone and William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, were presented at the Casgrain Studio Theatre in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. They are very excited to be making their work more accessible by bringing None of the Above to Montreal’s MainLine Theatre from November 26th to the 30th. The show features a soundtrack created by Montreal musicians.

Set in present day New York City, Jenny Lyn Bader’s almost romantic comedy is a two-hander battle of the wits that deals with the stresses of student lif…

Optic Heart Theatre Toronto Presents Hugh Baugh's The Girl in the Picture Tries to Hang Up the Phone Nov 27 to Dec 8 2013

From a media release:

Optic Heart Theatre presents
Hume Baugh’s searingly honest, and celebratory one-person show
THE GIRL IN THE PICTURE TRIES TO HANG UP THE PHONE
at Videofag (Toronto)
Nov 27 – Dec 8, 2013

Tickets

TORONTO -
Optic Heart Theatre presents Hume Baugh’s searingly honest, and celebratory one-person show THE GIRL IN THE PICTURE TRIES TO HANG UP THE PHONE - an intimate account of his mother’s remarkable life and the complexity of his relationship to the woman who bore and raised him. THE GIRL IN THE PICTURE TRIES TO HANG UP THE PHONE plays in the studio at Videofag in Kensington Market for 10 performances only from Nov 27 – Dec 8, 2013. Tickets are available online via EventBrite at thegirlinthepicture.eventbrite.ca or by cash sale only at the door. Seating is very limited.

Long before she died, my mother disappeared.
Inside herself. Into a fog of alcohol…

What is it like to grow up as the son of a dynamic, successful, charismatic alcoholic? And after her death, to try to find he…

NFB Documentary Bad Coyote Screens at Planet in Focus Film Festival - November 24 2013 in Toronto

From a media release:

NFB DOCUMENTARY BAD COYOTE SCREENS AT PLANET IN FOCUS
Directed by Jason Young

Toronto ―
The National Film Board of Canada selection at the 14th Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival in Toronto (November 21–24) will include Jason Young’s documentary Bad Coyote, on the controversy surrounding a new hybrid species of wolf and coyote. The film is an incisive look at the politics—and the price—of living and playing close to nature.

Bad Coyote
Written and directed by Jason Young and produced by Paul McNeill for NFB Atlantic Centre in Halifax, Bad Coyote looks at a hybrid type of coyote, thought to be part wolf, which has migrated to Eastern Canada. After a deadly mauling in Cape Breton, said to be the first such fatal attack against an adult human, alarm spreads across Nova Scotia. Trappers, scientists, sheep farmers and the mother of the 19-year-old victim, Taylor Mitchell, weigh in. Increasing media coverage and reports of coyote attacks and sightings prompt the pr…

Opening in Toronto: Breakthrough Entertainment Presents Looking is the Original Sin - Starring Katie Boland, Maria del Mar

From a media release:

Breakthrough Entertainment presents
LOOKING IS THE ORIGINAL SIN
a film by Gail Harvey

Opens in Toronto
Carlton Cinema – 20 Carlton St.
Begins November 22, 2013


During this run, a rare exhibit of Gail Harvey’s photos will be on display at the Carlton Cinema.
CAST
Maria del Mar, Katie Boland, Linda Hamilton, Kent Staines, Jayne Eastwood, Dewshane Williams, Kris Holden-Reid

(Toronto) Fresh off the heels of its world premiere at the Montreal World Film Festival, comes the Toronto theatrical premiere of director Gail Harvey’s now award-winning film Looking Is The Original Sin, having most recently picked up a Best International Feature Film award from the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival.

The film will screen at the Carlton Cinema, beginning November 22, and with this theatrical run comes a very rare photo exhibit of director Harvey’s  works. The exhibit will consist of approximately 50 photos, half of which were in the film, and others that include H…

The Black Book Affair - November 22 & 23 2013 in Toronto

From a media release:

THE BLACK BOOK AFFAIR 2013
November 22 & 23, 2013
At A Different Booklist
918 Bathurst Street - Toronto


IDEAL FOR FAMILIES, EDUCATORS AND BOOK LOVERS

Authors: Althea Prince, Itah Sadu,  Gayle Gonsalves, Pooran Bridgelall, Jody Nyasha Warner, Natasha Henry, Yvonne Browne, Garfield Ellis, Richard Gaskin, Njacko Backo, Dirk McLean, Adwoa Badoe, Tammy Sutton-Brown, Whitney French, Salah Wilson, George Elliott Clarke, Austin Yearwood, Dr. George Sefa Dei, Jywze, Christene  Browne, Robert Vernon, Keith Ellis, Jennylynd James, Panman Pat

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Friday November 22, 2013 - 7:00 - 9:00 PM
THE BIG BOOK LAUNCH & RECEPTION

FEATURED AUTHORS
Althea Prince, (Beyond the Journey Women's Stories of Settlement and Community, Insomniac Press), Gayle Gonsalves (Painting Pictures, Insomniac Press), Christene Browne (Two Women, Second Story Press), and Special Guest Barbadian Writer Austin Yearwood

Saturday November 23, 10:30am – 7:00pm
ALL DAY BOOK DISPLAYS, FOR FAMILIES,…

new music: thin edge new music collective presents unusual spectrum III Thursday, November 21, 2013 in Toronto

From a media release:

thin edge new music collective presents:
unusual spectrum III
Thursday, November 21, 2013
array space (155 walnut ave - toronto)

Toronto, ON –
Thin Edge New Music Collective is excited to announce the second concert of our 2013/2014 season.  Unusual Spectrum III will take place on November 21, at the Array Space in Toronto and will showcase special guest artist bass clarinetist Kathryn Ladano performing a solo set comprised of her own compositions and improvisations, including the world premiere of Avoiding the Answers (2013) for bass clarinet.

Join us for an evening of eclectic auditory/visual experiences featuring works by Canadian composers Gary Kulesha, Colin Labadie, Kathryn Ladano and American master George Crumb. Unusual Spectrum III includes a myriad of contemporary idioms ranging from solo and chamber music to electronics, improvisation and even elements of the theatrical. Guaranteed to thoroughly satiate the listeners' palate!

Performers
Kathryn Ladano …

NuDance 2013 November 22 & 23 at the Riverside Theatre, Harlem (New York City)

From a media release:

NuDance 2013
November 22 & 23, 2013
Riverside Theatre, Harlem (New York City)


NEW YORK CITY - Six of the most exciting, talented, gifted and innovative choreographers of their generation will present new-works at the NuDance Festival 2013. Each evening's performance will be followed by a conversation with the five presenting choreographers.

November 22 & 23, 2013 - 7:30-9:00pm
Featuring:

DASH Ensemble

The DASH Ensemble is a New York City based contemporary dance group
founded and directed by Gregory Dolbashian. Combining elements of modern, hip hop, floor work and physical theater Dolbashian has created his own unique style of contemporary dance with an urban flair. will be presenting the first installment of our new evening length work to be premiered in March 2014.



Dance Iquail
Dance Iquail uses the art of dance as a conduit for combating issues of social injustice primarily experienced by the disadvantaged. Working in the universal language of movement, D…

16th Annual African American Women In Cinema Film Festival November 20 to 23, 2013 in New York City

From a release:

16th Annual African American Women In Cinema Film Festival
November 20 to 23, 2013 in New York City


Full Details at the link


NEW YORK CITY - African American Women in Cinema is proud to present the 16th Annual African American Women In Cinema Film Festival in New York City. Event details and ticket information below.

Festival Schedule:

Wednesday, November 20th

6:00pm VIP Red Carpet Reception
8:00pm Salute to the 16th AAWIC Trailblazer Honoree: Zola Mashariki—Senior Vice President of Productions
Special Screening of “Black Nativity” Directed by: Kasi Lemmons---Starring; Jennifer Hudson, Angela Bassett, Mary J. Blige and Forrest Whitaker
Question & Answer Segment with Film Director & Audience
Location: Clearview / Bowtie Cinemas ---260 W. 23rd Street, New York City

Benefactor Sponsor: Fox Audience Strategy
Sponsored by: Greater New York Chamber of Commerce


Tickets must be purchased prior to attending the event.  There will be no ticket sales at door with the exception…