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Showing posts from December, 2013

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 …