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Showing posts from June, 2013

African Reggae Star Alpha Blondy Headlines Afrofest - July 6 & 7 2013 in Toronto

Update July 6:
Here's a post with bit of the shows that I caught - including Alpha Blondy

From a release:

Music Africa Presents
Afrofest Toronto 2013
July 6 & 7 2013
Woodbine Park - 1pm to 10pm daily
Free - rain or shine

See map

Toronto’s largest celebration of African music, heritage and culture is back for its 25th year! Afrofest 2013 will take place Saturday July 6 and Sunday July 7, at Woodbine Park, Lakeshore Boulevard East and Coxwell Avenue. Presented by Music Africa, the vibrant two-day festival is a chance to immerse yourself in the beauty and diversity of the African continent.

Michael Stohr, President of Music Africa, says Afrofest was formed from a vision to broaden and challenge the stereotypes of Africa. "Afrofest brings Africans together in celebration while educating all visitors about the vast diversity of the continent,” says Stohr. The colourful festival will feature performances by top international groups and local stars of African music, along with dancing…

Dance at Toronto Fringe: Dabda July 5- 14 2013

From a media release:

part of the Toronto Fringe Festival
July 5 - 14, 2013
(see schedule below)

“Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being.”
~ Albert Camus

Do you remember what it felt like to be a teenager, struggling to define yourself in the face of a world you can’t control? How much would you sacrifice to feel free? Alvinhayle presents DABDA, an original coming-of-age story of seven affluent teenagers in the 1940’s and their journey to find themselves through acts of rebellion, self-liberation and freedom of expression. Combining contemporary dance, fashion and indie music, DABDA is a heartfelt story you do not want to miss. Created by Alvin Collantes & Hayley Paone in collaboration with the ensemble, DABDA plays at Factory Theatre Mainspace as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival July 5-14, 2013.

• Tickets are available via, by telephone at 416-966-1062(ext.1), or at the door.

DABDA invites you to …

Turbo Balkan: Briga Takes 'Contes Turbo/Folk Stories' on Tour July - September 2013

With material from a media release:

Briga: Contes Turbo/ Folk Stories (2012)
Canadian and US Summer tour, July-September 2013

• See Tour Dates Below

Montreal based Briga is on tour this summer into the fall, bringing their Balkan-flavoured music to North America.

Briga's music is complex yet accessible, flavoured above all by firebrand fiddler Briga and her moody violin. Their latest album, Turbo Folk Stories (Turbos Contes) offers shifts in mood from exuberant to bittersweet and pensive along with a range of influences. Certainly, the Balkans are never far from the sonic mix but at times you can hear Indian and Afro-Cuban drumming on the tablas and other percussion instruments and at times it strays into straight up jazz and even emotive alt/prog rock.

Briga trained with Romany violinist Carmen Piculeatax and Bulgarian Georgi Yanev and her playing is drenched in the subtleties and expressionism of Eastern Europe and gypsy violin. She cut her performing teeth playing Romany weddings …

Visual Arts: No Dull Affairs @ ONsite at OCAD continues till September 2013 in Toronto

No Dull Affairs
ONsite at OCAD
featuring Jillian McDonald, Karen Lofgren & Vanessa Maltese
curated by Lisa Deanne Smith
230 Richmond Street West (Toronto)
Show continues to September 2013

This show features the work of three artists in the spare gallery that looks out on Richmond Street. The urban and minimalist environment seemed appropriate to the work in varying ways.

Jillian McDonald is the 2012 Glenfiddich Artist-in-Residence Prize recipient and she spent several months in Du making the video that's in the show. At the opening, (where I discovered an unfortunately expensive fondness for 15-year old single malt) she mentioned spending about two months shooting daily with another couple of months in post production working on animations and other effects. The film - The Valley of the Deer - was actually shot in the iconic valley and the effects are haunting and atmospheric. Based loosely on Scottish myths about the hunting of the stag, the film plays with those icons - the stag, …

Toronto Monologue Slam - June 23, 2013 (and Future Dates)

Toronto Monologue Slam
Drake Underground - Toronto
June 23, 2013

Check the link for future dates

Last night, I checked out the Toronto Monologue Slam at the Drake Underground. It's a semi-regular showcase for young Toronto acting talent and a hugely entertaining event.

It's the brain child of actor Oluniké Adeliyi (Flashpoint, Saw3D, French Immersion - pictured left), and showcases 11 or 12 actors in a kind of competition. After a first round of monologues, the judges - which include casting and other industry professionals - choose the finalists for the second round, for which the actors perform the same monologue on a theme chosen by the judges.

June's winner was Akosua Amo-Adem, a first time performer at the Slam who set the tone as the first one up with a powerful portrayal of a betrayed wife. With only a few minutes to make an impression, she was able to flesh out a believable portrait and has a nice sense of physical presence on the stage.

If you're an actor, the M…

Vieux Farka Touré: New CD (Mon Pays - Six Degrees Records) and North American Tour June/July/August 2013

Update July 1, 2013

A little taste of Vieux last night at Toronto's Harbourfront in concert:

From a media release:

Recently Released:
Vieux Farka Touré
Mon Pays – May 28 2013 on Six Degrees Records

His homeland in crisis, Touré responds with music

‘I wanted to pay homage to our musical heritage,’ says a reflective Vieux Farka Touré. Being that his native Mali has been splintered by territorial fighting between Tuareg and Islamic rebels since January 2012, his new album, Mon Pays (Six Degrees Records), is devoted to reminding the world about the beauty and culture of his homeland.

‘For me it is a statement for the world that this land is for the sons and daughters of Mali, not for Al Qaeda or any militants. This land is for peace and beauty, rich culture and tolerance.This is our heritage, what we must always fight to protect in any way that we can. For me, that means making music that reminds the world of who we are.’

Translating as ‘My C…

African Guitar Summit June 27 2013 at Lula Lounge Toronto

From a media release:

Batuki Music Society presents an AfriCanada Day Special
featuring the AFRICAN GUITAR SUMMIT on Thursday June 27th 2013
at the Lula Lounge.

Indulge in the sounds of the finest Canadian guitarists of African origin! This star-studded collective unites the talents of 9 musicians, each an expert in their individual style and together creating musical magic with African Guitar Summit. Experience live this superb and unique achievement for African music; the mix of musicians who are distinct in cultural backgrounds and languages yet sharing stories and singing each other’s praises, the inspiration of these skilled hands and voices joined in common to reach the summit… A truly incredible experience!

Almost ten years ago, when the members of African Guitar Summit were recruited by CBC Radio for first a concert at Toronto's Glenn Gould Studio, and subsequently a recording, the idea of musicians from different backgrounds playing together was less prevalent. Not…

TD Toronto Jazz Festival FREE-FOR-ALL-FRIDAY June 21 2013

From a media release:

Including FREE-FOR-ALL FRIDAY, free concerts and the complete lineup
June 21, 2013

The complete schedule of events for FREE-FOR-ALL-FRIDAY

Toronto - On Friday, June 21, the TD Toronto Jazz Festival will present its first-ever FREE-FOR-ALL FRIDAY where admission to the entire Festival is on us! Visit any participating club, venue or restaurant that day and enjoy the music free of charge.

Motown's legendary Smokey Robinson brings his classic hits to the TD Toronto Jazz Festival with a FREE concert! Feel the Motown sound move through the tent as it powers up the downtown core on Friday, June 21, at 8:00 p.m., at Nathan Phillips Square. Renowned for such hits as "Shop Around," "You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me," and "Baby That's Backatcha" and for his work as founder and frontman of the popular Motown vocal group, The Miracles, Robinson is not to be missed. The Rock & Rol…

TD Toronto Jazz Festival June 20 - 29, 2013 - Highlights

From a media release:

Featuring Willie Nelson, Steve Martin, Sharon Jones, Trombone Shorty, David Sanborn
June 20 - 29, 2013

Check the website for a complete listing

Toronto –
Turn up the jazz and explore the TD Toronto Jazz Festival as it plays nonstop for 10 days, from June 20 – June 29, 2013. Uniting half a million fans at more than 60 locations across the city, the Festival is the ultimate destination for music lovers. Make the Festival your meeting place this summer and take in a breath of fresh jazz.

More than 1,500 musicians will entertain in over 350 concerts this summer. Some of the highlights the 27th edition include:

WILLIE NELSON & FAMILY - Thursday, June 20, 2013
Massey Hall – Purchase tickets online or call 416.872.4255
Tickets go on sale Thursday, February 14, 2013

NIKKI YANOFSKY – Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Tickets on sale now at Koerner Hall – online or call 416.408.0208


Festival International de Jazz de Montréal June 28 - July 7, 2013

From a media release:

10 stages, 300 concerts, 3000 artists…and it’s all free!
The free outdoor program of the 34th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal
June 28 - July 7, 2013

Find out more
Jazz Fest website

Montreal —
It’s finally time to unveil the free outdoor program of the 34th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, presented by TD in collaboration with Rio Tinto Alcan! In keeping with its formula, now an artistic and entertainment signature unique to Montreal, the world’s biggest jazz festival offers over 2/3 of its program free of charge!

From June 28 to July 7, this unique event sets up shop in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles, on a site perfectly conceived to offer an unparalleled entertainment experience, drawing 2 million visits to its 10 stages and hundreds of concerts and entertainment activities in a convivial and safe atmosphere.

10 days and nights of discoveries, delights and surprises arrayed for aficionados of jazz, but a…

Theatre Double Bill: The Way of All Fish & Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet June 19 - 23 2013 in Toronto

From a media release:

Kourage Theatre, Cric Crac Collective & Crazy Folk Productions Present
A Double Bill Featuring Three Seasoned Actors
Previews June 19; Runs June 20-23, 2013 at Tarragon Theatre Extra Space

The Way of All Fish
By Elaine May

Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet
By Alan Bennett


TORONTO - Kourage Theatre, Cric Crac Collective and Crazy Folk Productions (an Equity approved cooperative) present two plays for five days:  The Way of All Fish by Elaine May, and Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet by Alan Bennett.

This entertaining double bill previews Wednesday, June 19.  It opens Thursday, June 20 and runs to Sunday, June 23, 2013 at Tarragon Theatre’s Extra Space, 30 Bridgman Avenue, Toronto.  Evening performances are 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $20 - $25, including HST; with a Pay-What-You-Can matinee Sunday, June 23, and are available from the box office at (416) 531-1827 or by visiting  Preview tickets are $15. More info on the double bill is…

New Jazz Releases: Coming June 18th 2013 from Capri Records - Mike Wofford's It's Personal & Chip Stephens Trio's Relevancy

From a release:

New Releases: Two fine new discs coming June 18th from Capri Records

* Pianist Mike Wofford's solo piano masterpiece, It's Personal

On this terrific CD, the acclaimed pianist and composer interprets originals, Ellington, Gillespie, Bricusse, Talking Heads and more.

Having appeared on over two hundred recordings as a sideman, pianist Mike Wofford now continues to record and perform primarily as a leader.  He has received critical acclaim for his “Live at Maybeck” volume 18 in the Concord Records solo piano series, and his 2004 CD “Live at Athenaeum Jazz” on Capri Records features bassist Peter Washington and drummer Victor Lewis. In 2007, Capri released “Live at Athenaeum Jazz, Vol. 2”, a duo CD with flutist Holly Hofmann.

In 1989, he became pianist and music director for Ella Fitzgerald until her retirement in 1992. He was also house pianist during this time at San Diego’s two national jazz clubs, Elario’s and the Horton Grand Hotel. At these venues he performed…

Music, Dance and Bacon: Canada Day Weekend 2013 at Harbourfront Toronto

From a media release:

Canada Day Weekend Celebrations
June 28 to July 1, 2013

This Canada Day weekend, celebrate a new chapter in our history as we officially open the brand new Canada Square with music, dance (lots of dance!), food and spectacular 'Canada Eve Fireworks' presented by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, on Sunday, June 30.

Check the link for a full listing of events

· Urban All-Styles Dance Battle

Saturday, June 29 from 2-3:30 p.m. – WestJet Stage
Be apart of the largest outdoor dance competition by the water this summer that features a multitude of urban styles showcased by the best of Canada's dance community. Hosted by Benzo of Bag of Trix
·Spectrum - Raagini Dance Company and Jasmyn Fyffe Company
Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 30 from 3-5 p.m. – Redpath Stage
Spectrum is a programming initiative by Pratibha Arts that highlights common themes amongst different cultural dance and music styles. Sacred Dances highlights the spiritual…

Toronto Dance Premiere: Cloud 9 / 7e Ciel June 27 to 29 2013

From a media release:

Cloud 9 / 7e Ciel announces Inaugural Performance
An Evening of Exceptional Dance Featuring Two World Premieres
by Award-Winning Choreographers Susie Burpee and Tedd Robinson

Performed by Seasoned Canadian Dance Artists
Sylvie Bouchard, Karen Kaeja, Claudia Moore
and guest artists Michael Sean Marye and Ron Stewart
in partnership with Young Centre for the Performing Arts
June 27 - 29, 2013

(Toronto) Cloud 9/7e Ciel is a new endeavor that promotes and incubates a new kind of future for seasoned Canadian dance artists. In partnership with the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Cloud 9/7e Ciel presents its inaugural performance evening featuring two world premieres by acclaimed choreographer Susie Burpee and Tedd Robinson. These stunning works will be performed by Cloud 9/7e Ciel founders/co-artistic directors Sylvie Bouchard, Karen Kaeja and Claudia Moore with guest artists Michael Sean Marye and Ron Stewart on June 27-29, 2013 in the Young Centre's Tank House Theatr…

Musicians on Film: Indiecan Entertainment Presents The Sheepdogs Have At It - Opening June 21, 2013 in Toronto

From a media release:

Indiecan Entertainment presents
Directed by John Barnard

Opens in Toronto – June 21, 2013
Cineplex Yonge + Dundas

Also opens in:
Saskatoon – June 19 (Special Premiere Screening) Then June 21st – The Roxy Theatre
Regina – June 21st – Rainbow Cinema Regina
Waterloo – June 21, 22, 23 – Princess Theatre
Winnipeg, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary Dates TBC

(Toronto)  – Indiecan Entertainment presents the debut of John Barnard’s feature film THE SHEEPDOGS HAVE AT IT, which was the Closing Gala of the Whistler Film Festival last year.

Producer Kyle Bornais (We’re The Weakerthans, We’re From Winnipeg) and Barnard's Farpoint Films documentary features the successful rise of the super popular rock band - The Sheepdogs - and their efforts in winning the coveted spot on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine.

THE SHEEPDOGS HAVE AT IT is a rock and roll documentary about the incredible story of a Canadian  band’s rapid rise from obscurity to the cover of Rol…

Pan-American Sonic Sympathies: Matuto's New Release 'The Devil and the Diamond' and NYC Show June 20 2013

From a media release:

Fun as Hell: Matuto’s Seductive Philosophical Trip through Brazilian Beats and Southern Roots on The Devil and The Diamond
Recently released:  The Devil and the Diamond (Motema Music, May 14)
Live at the Lincoln Center Atrium, New York City
June 20, 2013 - 7pm

• They're touring all year long - check the link for a show near you

It’s Carnival in Recife. It’s Mardi Gras in New Orleans. And watch out: That just may be the Devil spinning through the drunken, dancing crowd, trying to get friendly with the saint in disguise, with the diamond in the rough. The rolling drums and quicksilver accordion licks, the earthy vibe and thoughtful reflections mingle on Matuto’s latest refinement of their Appalachia-gone-Afro-Brazilian sound, The Devil and The Diamond (Motema Music; release: May 14, 2013).

Matuto’s songs can sway hips just as easily as spark insights. Drawing on Northeastern Brazil’s folkloric rhythms like forró, maracatu, or coco, and on deep Americana—from bluegra…

NXNE Showcase: Grammy Award WInning Soca Soul Man Anselm Douglas June 15 2013 in Toronto

From a media release:


• TICKETS: For full info please visit the NXNE Website

TORONTO – Grammy Award-winning artist for the internationally acclaimed hit, “Who Let The Dogs Out” is unleashing his latest musical gems from his CD Project A.D. Trinidadian/Canadian singer-songwriter ANSLEM DOUGLAS will showcase his more soulful and funky soca self at this year’s NXNE on Saturday, June 15, with an 11:00 pm set at Crawford Bar on College St. For more information please visit    

Who hasn’t heard of the 2000 massive internationally acclaimed hit and Grammy Award-winning single “Who Let The Dogs Out”? Sure it was made famous by the Baha Men, (an English band that utilized a popular style of Bahamian music called Junkanoo), but did you know it was written and recorded t…

Shakespeare Meets Dance Meets Neuroscience in Anikai Dance Theatre's The Knocking Within June 15-23 2013 in Montreal

From a media release:

ANIKAI Dance Theatre
The Knocking Within
Performed and co-directed by Wendy Jehlen and Pradhuman Nayak
At the 2013 St. Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival, venue: MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels)
June 15-23, 2013 (see details below)

MONTREAL May, 2013 - ANIKAI Dance Company comes to Montréal for the first time to present The Knocking Within.  Just coming off a tour in India, where the show played to standing-room only audiences and received rave reviews, The Knocking Within will be at the MAI, as part of the Montreal Fringe Festival, before returning to Boston for a an extended return engagement. The Knocking Within is created by performers Wendy Jehlen and Pradhuman Nayak with lighting design by Stephen Petrilli.

Inspired by research into the neuroscience of sleep and the anthropology of dreams, The Knocking Within weaves a portrait of two lovers and the nightmares that plague them, unveiling the violence that lies just beneath the surface.  With influences f…

Three Picks from the Festival St-Ambroise Fringe de Montréal (Continues to June 23 2013)

From a media release:

Picks from Festival St-Ambroise Fringe de Montréal 2013
June 13 - 23, 2013

• Uncanny Theatre Company presents Crossdressers and Criminals: 3 Ways to Lose Yourself
• Scotty’s Boys Productions presents Elvis is Water
• Jess for Laughs Presents OBSESSION

• Tickets: 514 849-FEST (3378), online at, at the Central Box Office located at FRINGE Park (corner Rachel and St-Laurent) or at the show venue as of one hour before show time.

Uncanny Theatre Company presents
Crossdressers and Criminals: 3 Ways to Lose Yourself
Written by Jonathan Fournier and Marie Markovic  Directed by Marie Markovic
At the 2013 St. Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival, venue: Freestanding Room

Crossdressers and Criminals: 3 Ways to Lose Yourself is an intertwined collection of solo pieces featuring three original characters: A beard-wearing biker chick on a quest to fill an unexpected void; a modern day mermaid facing her creator on dry land; and a vigilante in women’s clothing on …