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Showing posts from October, 2015

OMNI Television Brings Canadians its First Original,Chinese Crime Drama Blood and Water Beginning November 8 2015

From a media release:

OMNI Television Brings Canadians its First Original, Chinese
Crime Drama Blood and Water, Beginning November 8, 2015

TORONTO - Canada’s first trilingual (English, Cantonese, Mandarin) crime drama will be premiering on November 8 on OMNI. It’s called Blood and Water and is about Charles, the son of a prominent real estate developer being found ritualistically buried and the cop assigned to the case who will be forced to tear his family apart and reveal long held secrets in order to solve the murder of their troubled middle son.

This half-hour, eight-part crime drama premieres with two back-to-back episodes Nov. 8 at 10 p.m. ET/PT and 10:30 p.m. ET/PT, and will air regularly Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on OMNI Television (check local listings) with episodes airing next day on

While race relations is a subject that the public and media often dance around, Blood and Water is the show to change this, and delve into a discussion that has only had the surface …

New York City Premiere: Dead and Breathing at the National Black Theater October 28 to November 23 2015

From a media release:

Dead and Breathing
a new play by Chisa Hutchinson
directed by Jonathan McCrory

October 28 to November 23, 2015
National Black Theater - New York City

Previews: Wednesday - Saturday: 7:30pm / Saturday 2:00 & Sunday: 4:00pm
OPENING NIGHT GALA Monday, November 2, 2015
Thursday - Saturday & Monday: 7:30pm; Saturday: 2:00pm & Sunday: 4:00pm

Get Tickets

NEW YORK CITY- Cranky old broad, Carolyn Whitlock, has been in hospice for far too long and just wants to die already.  When she tries to convince a loud, oversharing, and very Christian nurse to assist her suicide, she has to work harder than she ever has in her privileged life to end it. Through surprising humor and persistent questioning, Dead and Breathing investigates morality, mortality and the intense tug-of-war between the right to die with dignity and the idea of life as a gift. The play stars Lizan Mitchell and Nikki Walker.

Art Toronto: Canada's international contemporary art fair October 23 to 26, 2015 in Toronto

With material from a release:

Art Toronto
Canada's international fair for contemporary art
October 23 to 26, 2015 - opening reception October 22
Metro Convention Centre - Toronto

Art Toronto is back downtown, representing over 70 galleries at what has become one of the most important access points to the Canadian art market. Founded in 2000, the fair is now in its 16th year. Art Toronto presents important artwork from leading Canadian and international galleries combined with PLATFORM, an engaging series of lectures and panel discussions from prominent art world figures, curated projects, an extensive VIP Program, and top-tier cultural offerings throughout the city.

What I love about it is that it gives you a kind of snapshot of contemporary art and art practices, with a great representation of Canadian galleries from coast to coast along with a sprinkling of galleries from Europe, New York City, L.A., Tel Aviv and Tokyo.

The best news is for collectors, who can sample from a truly di…

New Release: Nyimpa: A collection of poems by Kwame Stephens

New Release:
Nyimpa: A collection of poems
by Kwame Stephens

Buy the paperback
Buy the Kindle version

"Nyimpa" which means "human" in Kwame's mother tongue of Fanti as spoken in Ghana - is a collection of over forty poems. These poems present a holistic view of life and the complexity of perspective as modern African/North American man. The poems span over twenty years of his work, some written as recently as this year (2015).

The are five chapters in Nyimpad:
• Nyame - The Fanti people of Ghana say you don't teach a child about Nyame (God).
• Abofra - The birth of a child (abofra) is a time of joy.
• Nyonko - A true friend (nyonko) - is always a blessing in our lives.
• Mbesiafo (women) -  mothers, sisters, friends and more are the salt of the earth.​​
• ​Mbanyinfo (men) - brother, friends and lovers -  teachers us lessons of the soul.​​

Much of Kwame's work has a musical quality about it, as if the poems should be sung. They examine and celebrate the fi…

Michael Tilson Thomas & the San Francisco Symphony Release New Recording of Beethoven featuring Emmanuel Ax (SFS Media - November 13 2015)

From a media release:


Pre-order now on
Find out more

SAN FRANCISCO, October 13, 2015 – Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) and the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) will release a live recording of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 featuring Emanuel Ax and Mass in C major on the Orchestra’s Grammy Award-winning SFS Media Label on Friday, November 13, 2015. This is the fifth all-Beethoven album released by MTT and the SFS. Of this journey through Beethoven’s music, MTT states, “In our performances we have been exploring a lyrical, transparent approach to the music. This gives us an opportunity to hear the remarkable qualities of the players of the San Francisco Symphony.” The recording will be available as a hybrid SACD compatible with conventional CD players, and as a digital download — includi…

A Love Letter to Downtown Toronto #Toronto

A Love Letter to
Downtown Toronto

Toronto, I do love you. Here are some pics taken over the last year or so, usually taken while I've been walking to or from Union Station, to or from various events and work assignments in the city - including three views from the rooftop lounge of the Thompson Hotel.

Toronto Dance Theatre Echo November 3-7, 2015 Fleck Dance Theatre

From a media release:

Toronto Dance Theatre
November 3-7, 2015
Fleck Dance Theatre

Buy Tickets
• Join us on Wednesday, November 4 for a post-performance Q&A.

Christopher House’s Echo is a captivating hybrid creation, a new production and a remix of his provocative dance-theatre work Echo’s Object (2005). An incisive look at narcissism and the manufacture of the self, the 2005 work was described by The Globe and Mail as “… asking personal questions that we have always privately asked ourselves.” Echo (2015) delves deeper into this world, using movement, music and design in an unsettling landscape of dreams, impulses and surprising juxtapositions.

Christopher House builds on images from his “fresh and original” (The Globe and Mail) Echo’s Object (2005) to create a dynamic new production called Echo in which ten dancers inhabit a world of beautiful creatures, dark angels and lost souls. With costumes by Jeremy Laing, lighting by Steve Lucas, décor by Cheryl Lalonde, and sound track b…

Natalia Clavier, the live voice of Thievery Coporation, Releases Career-Spanning Album 'Live In Buenos Aires,' (October 30, 2015 - Nacional Records)

From a media release:

Natalia Clavier, the live voice of Thievery Coporation,
Releases Career-Spanning Album 'Live In Buenos Aires,'
Recorded at Teatro Del Viejo Mercado
(October 30, 2015 - Nacional Records)

Pre-order/buy the CD

Natalia Clavier's most recent solo album "Lumen" has received praise from NPR, MTV Iggy, AV Club, KEXP, KCRW And Many More

Natalia Clavier, the sultry-voiced singer we’ve heard fronting Thievery Corporation concerts around the world and on her own albums, brings us to her home town on her new album ‘Live in Buenos Aires,’ to be released on October 30. The album was recorded at a show in Buenos Aires at Teatro Del Viaje Mercado.

The show, as Natalia says, was a family affair. She had previously played in Buenos Aires with Thievery Corporation, but this would be her first time playing solo for her hometown audience. And, of course, no homecoming is complete without a family reunion—sitting at the keys during the show was none other than her brot…

CD Release: Holy Forest (Mighty Fine Music - October 15, 2015) & NYC Live Dates

From a media release:

CD Release:
Holy Forest - Holy Forest
(Mighty Fine Music - October 15, 2015)

Pre-order/buy the CD

Live dates in NYC:
Oct 23The Shrine - New York, NY
Oct 25C'moneverybody - Brooklyn, NY

In a digital diaspora there are no borders. Playing with sound of the diaspora, Holy Forest blends the ingredients of an evermore connected world into its debut album.  Imagined as a series of songs from the holy forest, a place where we once travelled, where we once fell in love, where we are no longer… but where we long to return. Recorded in The Gambia, NYC, Woodstock and San Francisco, “Holy Forest” is a body of work spanning a number of years, produced and arranged by musician and documentary filmmaker Jon Fine (Herbie Hancock’s “Possibilities”/ Bill Wither’s “Still Bill”).

Producer, instrumentalist and songwriter, Jon Fine enlisted friends and collaborators to play on the genre blending project including Ed “Preachermann” Holley, Gambian griot Tata Din Din Jobarteh (aka the Jim…

Kent Monkman’s New Exhibition -The Rise and Fall of Civilization at the Gardiner Museum from October 15 2015 – January 10 2016

From a media release:

Kent Monkman’s New Exhibition at the Gardiner Museum Reveals a Dark Period in First Nations History
The Rise and Fall of Civilization at the Gardiner from October 15, 2015 – January 10, 2016

Friday, October 16
Free with half-price admission, 4 – 9 pm
In collaboration with imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and Soundstreams Canada, the Gardiner hosts a special opening party for Kent Monkman's The Rise and Fall of Civilization.

Check the link for other programming, including the artist in conversation, film screenings and more

Toronto, ON — Atop a cliff flanked by two life-sized bison, Miss Chief stands with her arms outstretched and her hair blowing in the wind. Sculptures of cubist-style bison plunge headlong into the gallery, violently shattering at the base of the cliff in a pile of broken ceramics.

Kent Monkman’s new large-scale intervention at the Gardiner Museum, entitled The Rise and Fall of Civilization, alludes to the near extinction of…

Visual Arts: Greater New York on view October 11 2015–March 7 2016 at MoMA PS1

From a release:

Greater New York
October 11, 2015 to March 7, 2016
at MoMA PS1

Check the website for Performance Program Schedule & participating artists

NEW YORK CITY - Greater New York is the fourth iteration of the renowned series, begun in 2000 as a collaboration between MoMA PS1 (then P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center) and The Museum of Modern Art, that showcases emerging artists living and working in the New York metropolitan area.

This Greater New York arrives, however, in a city and art community that has changed dramatically since the first version of the survey. Against this backdrop, Greater New York will depart from the show’s primary focus on youth, instead examining key points of connection and intersection between emerging and more established artists across New York, while also exploring aspects of earlier histories of the city itself, and its changing political, social, and architectural fabric. (Image is the Painted Chair by Collier Schorr)

The exhibition occupies MoMA …

Food, Music & Film: Taste of Iceland fifth anniversary in Toronto from November 12 to 15 2015

From a media release:

Taste of Iceland celebrates its fifth anniversary in Toronto from November 12 to 15 2015
Annual event showcases the best in Icelandic food, music and film

TORONTO, ON – Celebrating its fifth anniversary in Toronto, Taste of Iceland touches down in the city from Thursday, Nov. 12 to Sunday, Nov. 15. Presented by Iceland Naturally, the event highlights the country’s renowned cuisine, music and film, including a free concert with Icelandic bands, a tasting menu featuring Icelandic ingredients and film screenings by Icelandic directors.

“Toronto is always so enthusiastic about Taste of Iceland, and welcomes Icelandic culture to the city with open arms,” said Kristjana Rós Guðjohnsen, project manager for the festival. “We’re excited to celebrate the festival’s fifth year here, with a great lineup that we can’t wait for everyone to experience.”

This year, Taste of Iceland brings noted chef Ylfa Helgadóttir to Toronto. Owner and chef de cuisine of the newly opened b…

Traditional Jazz: Old Harlem Lives at Bill's Place

Old Harlem Lives at Bill's Place
148 West 133rd Street (btw 7th and Lenox Avenues)
Open Friday's and Saturday's
Doors Open:7:30 PM - shows start 8:00 PM and 10:00 PM
Price: $20.00 per person

Remember : We are a dry establishment. No Alcohol is allowed.

At one time, speakeasys lined both sides of 133rd Street between 7th and Lenox Avenues, sending the jazz vibes onto the street from the unassuming brownstones. Nowadays, the speakeasys are gone but Bill's Place Harlem remains as a stalwart ode to the music.

During Prohibition Days, speakeasys sprang up in private houses to avoid official scrutiny and in Bill's you get to experience the feel of the genuine article. You're inside one of the old brownstones, down a staircase to the basement. Frontage was taxed in the city at the time, forging the iconic streetscapes of narrow, taller buildings that still makes up the vast majority of Harlem. The basement stage is set against one wall while the seats are strewn along the o…

True Cool: CHILL Ice House - Toronto's Ice Lounge

True Cool:
CHILL Ice House
82 Bathurst Street - Toronto

There are ice hotels and ice castles but the CHILL Ice House is - according to the billing - 'Canada's first and the world's largest permanent ice lounge'. Twelve months a year, if offers a taste of frozen Toronto to tourists and locals, doubling as a family friendly attraction by day and a cool (couldn't resist!) cocktail lounge by night.

CHILL is the brainchild of Gresham Bayley, who worked for the innovative family business Iceculture for years before opening the lounge. Iceculture is a Canadian success, having become one of the world's leading purveyers of specialty ice and ice sculptures and creators of innovative ice designs over the last three decades or so. I guess it should come as no surprise that Canadians can ace the ice. They've often led the world in innovations like the beaded ice curtain and chandelier and export their expertise to clients worldwide. Iceculture has even worked for NASA, pr…