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Showing posts from March, 2016

Art City: Medellín, Colombia - Rebirth of the City of Eternal Spring

Art City: Medellín, Colombia
Rebirth of the City of Eternal Spring

From "the Most Dangerous City in the World" to a transformed urban area with artistic ambitions, Medellín, Colombia well and truly lives up to its moniker as the City of Eternal Spring. The "Most Dangerous City" title came with a Time Magazine cover in March of 1988 - in 2013 Medellín was named the most innovative city in the world in the Wall Street Journal's City of the Year Contest. It's a remarkable transformation in only 25 years.
In the bad old days, between drug cartels and the violence generated by the left-wing FARC and opposing paramilitary forces, Medellín was definitely off the list of usual tourist stops. Nowadays, business is thriving and the arts are the city's latest growth area, attracting the attention of dealers and collectors from around the globe. The city has a cosmopolitan vibe and a hot night life scene, with a contemporary culture that blends its South American an…

Film: Alexander Sokurov’s FRANCOFONIA Opens in Toronto on April 8th 2016

From a media release:

From the master director of FAUST, RUSSIAN ARK,  MOLOCH and MOTHER AND SON

Alexander Sokurov’s
A Eulogy for Europe
Opens in Toronto on Friday, April 8th 2016 at TIFF Bell Lightbox

Ticket info

TORONTO - Films We Like is pleased to announce that Alexander Sokurov’s FRANCOFONIA will open in Toronto on Friday, April 8th at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Against the backdrop of the Louvre Museum’s history and artworks, Sokurov applies his unique personal vision onto staged re-enactments and archives for a fascinating portrait of real-life characters Jacques Jaujard and Count Franziskus Wolff-Metternich.  Enemies who became collaborators, Jaujard and Wolff-Metternich’s alliance would be the driving force behind the preservation of museum treasures during the Nazi occupation of France.

In its exploration of the Louvre Museum as a living example of civilization, FRANCOFONIA is a stunning and urgently relevant meditation on the essential relationship bet…

CD Release: Fantahun Shewankochew & Ethio-Zema April 2 2016 in Toronto

From a media release:

Fantahun Shewankochew & Ethio-Zema CD Release Concert 
Alliance Francaise de Toronto Theatre (AFT)
April 2, 2016

Tix Available online

TORONTO - Fantahun Shewankochew releases his new album titled Adera (An Undertaking), at the Alliance Francaise de Toronto Theatre, 24 Spadina Rd. on Saturday April 2nd, 2016 at 9:00 pm.

Fantahun Shewankochew has crafted an album that harkens back to the golden era of Ethiopian music. Adera is a rediscovery of Ethio-jazz, traditional and popular Ethiopian music with a modern twist.

Fantahun Shewankochew is an accomplished krar player, vocalist, composer and arranger, inspired by the late Tilahun Gessesse to pursue a musical career. From his early years working in the Ethiopian National Theatre until his arrival in Canada in 2011, Fantahun has performed in many countries around the world and released a number of recordings. He is well experienced in traditional and popular music genres from Ethiopia. Ethiopian music uses an essentia…

Film News: California Pictures Inks Deal for Rude Buay … the Unstoppable and Who Shot the Sheriff?

From a media release:

Hong Kong: California Pictures inks two picture deal 
for International rights to Rude Buay … the Unstoppable and Who Shot the Sheriff?

HONG KONG: California Pictures recently announced that they have acquired International sales and distribution rights to A L I Pictures’ John A. Andrews’ upcoming big screen projects: Rude Buay … the Unstoppable and Who Shot the Sheriff?

Rude Buay … the Unstoppable is a secret agent, fast paced, suspense thriller, described as the epitome of a Black James Bond, meeting Traffic, Jason Bourne and Charlie’s Angels – gone bad.

Set in Jamaica, Miami and Colombia: a greed driven fiasco baits this international agent who’s every man’s idol and every woman’s fantasy, back to his roots – Jamaica. There his past like a plague haunts him. Caught in the web of deception, deceit and inequities of all kinds, Rude Buay is forced to use his street style of justice in order to combat the tyranny of a vicious Drug Cartel.

Who Shot the Sheriff? set in …

Travel South Korea: Dokdo & Ulleung-do - Korea's Easternmost Islands

From a media release:

Travel South Korea
Dokdo & Ulleung-do, Korea's Easternmost Islands
A National Geopark

Find airlines & flights

Land and cuisine are inextricably entwined and a hand's on exploration of both is highly recommended when you visit Dokdo and Ulleung-do, the easternmost islands in Korea. Be sure to arrive dressed for an active visit since the best vistas are to be found by walking and climbing the islands' many peaks. You'll come across remnants of the region's past along the way.

Located in the East Sea, Ulleung-do Island and Dokdo are known for an impressive natural environment that combines mountains, forest and sea. Created by volcanic eruptions with a unique geographical landscape, the islands offer an abundance of picturesque spots to explore. In the center of Ulleung-do Island stands the majestic mountain known as the Seonginbong Peak, where its highest point offers a bird’s eye view of the entire island. Visitors may also choose to …

David Occhipinti Debuts Art Song Project April 23 2016 in Toronto

From a media release:

David Occhipinti Debuts Art Song Project
As Part Of The TD Discovery Series Special Projects
April 23 2016

TORONTO - Multiple JUNO nominee, composer and guitarist David Occhipinti debuts his long-awaited project, Art Song on Sunday, April 24 at Alliance Francaise, as part of the TD Discovery Series Special Projects.

Developed over the past three years, Art Song features vocalists from the jazz and classical worlds performing songs in a chamber music setting. This unique celebration of art song will incorporate added elements of improvisation with instrumentation that includes guitar, violin, viola, bass, clarinet, bassoon, marimba, vibraphone and harp.

"This Art Song project has allowed me to take some wonderful text by T.S. Eliot, Dylan Thomas and Emily Carr and compose some new music for voice," states Occhipinti. "It is also my first time composing for harp. I'm hoping it will be an elegant musical experience for audiences and a rare chance to he…

Jazz: Nonesuch Releases Two New Recordings from Pat Metheny on May 6, 2016

From a release:

Nonesuch Releases Two New Recordings from Pat Metheny on May 6, 2016:
The Unity Sessions and Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny

The Unity Sessions features Grammy Award-winning Unity Group-Metheny with saxophonist Chris Potter, drummer Antonio Sanchez, bassist Ben Williams, and multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi
Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny joins longtime Pat Metheny Group trumpeter's trio with his mentor

• Pre-order both albums from the Pat Metheny Store
Check out tour dates in the US, Asia & Europe through July 2016

Nonesuch Records releases a pair of new albums from guitarist, composer, and bandleader Pat Metheny on May 6, 2016. Metheny is well-known as a musical collaborator, and both records feature friends and colleagues with whom he has worked for years. The Unity Sessions is taken from a filmed performance with Pat Metheny Unity Group that was recently released on DVD; the set comprises 13 songs by Metheny, one he co-wrote with Ornette Coleman, and one we…

EstroGenius Spring 2016 Short Play Program March 26 & 27

From a media release:

Manhattan Theatre Source:
EstroGenius Spring 2016
Short Play Program
Saturday March 26th @ 3pm & 8pm
Sunday March 27th @ 2pm & 8pm

• Discount code ESTRO2016 

NEW YORK CITY - Manhattan Theatre Source’s EstroGenius Festival, an annual celebration of female voices, is one of New York City’s largest women’s arts festivals. Estrogenius Spring 2016 has been taking place this month and there's still time to catch the final weekend of short plays.

The longest running series in the EstroGenius Festival, the showcase of Short Plays is second to none, featuring a wide variety of performances from a collection of established and some of the newest up-and-coming talent in New York City.

This year the Short Plays are specific requests to playwrights by our trusted and talented producer Deb Long. If you've attended before, you may recognize some of your favorite playwrights from years’ past and find some new favorites for the future!

Talented and trusted produc…

Improvisational Jazz: Free Concerts at Harvard U April 7 & 8 2016 feat. Wadada Leo Smith & Others

From a media release:

Creative Music Convergences:
Improvisation, Creativity Highlight Fromm Players Concerts
April 7 & 8, 2016 at Harvard University

Two evenings of concerts by composer/performers including Wadada Leo Smith, Vijay Iyer, Steve Lehman Octet, Tyshawn Sorey Double Trio, more

Buy the CD A cosmic rhythm with every stroke on Amazon

CAMBRIDGE, MA: On Thursday, April 7 and Friday, April 8, the Fromm Concerts at Harvard assemble some of the finest musicians in creative music for a series of free concerts, "Creative Music Convergences," in John Knowles Paine Concert Hall on the Harvard University campus.

The Thursday lineup features 7:30 pm performances by Wadada Leo Smith and Vijay Iyer (whose album A cosmic rhythm with every stroke releases March 25) and Nicole Mitchell with Tomeka Reid and Mike Reed. At 9:00pm Okkyung Lee and the Steve Lehman Octet take the stage.

On Friday at 7:30 pm, hear Craig Taborn and Wadada Leo Smith with Ikue Mori. The 9:00 show features Co…

12th Vienna Blues Spring Festival March 20 - April 30 2016

From a media release:

12th Vienna Blues Spring Festival
March 20 - April 30, 2016

Check out the program

Going to be in or around Vienna over the next six weeks or so? You're probably thinking "opera" - but Vienna has the blues too, with the world’s longest-running blues festival coming up. Hundreds of musicians fill various venues across Vienna with all variations of the genre during Vienna Blues Spring from 20 March to 30 April.

There’s classic Delta and Chicago blues, rock and soul blues, as well as boogie, interpreted by international stars and the best of the Viennese scene.

The opening gala will be held on 20 March at the Theater Akzent, with the Mojo Blues Band taking over the reins for “A Soulful Journey from New Orleans to Chicago”.

Most of the concerts are held at the Reigen. They include Louisiana Bluesman Larry Garner (pictured; Mar 22), the Rob Togoni Trio (Mar 25), Natascha Flamisch (April 1) and local blues giant Norbert Schneider (April 8) who is honoring Vie…

Toronto City Council Limits Afrofest to One Day - UPDATE: Decision Reversed

Power to the People!
Afrofest Update:
Two Day Festival Back for July 9-10 2016

TORONTO (March 24, 2016) After an online campaign gained steam (see the original story below) and created a huge buzz in favour of the 27-year old festival, Toronto City Hall has reversed its decision and given Afrofest a two-day permit for Woodbine Park after all.

As reported in the CBC, the festival's fans took to the web en masse to protest the unfair treatment of the festival. Here's my take on this:
Afrofest uses the same sound company that the other big festivals at Woodbine use - same techs, same equipment. It's hard to see how they could be so out of line with everyone else.I'd like to know how many complaints were lodged against the other festivals at Woodbine. Were they all entirely complaint-free? Why is this the only festival that seems to have this issue with the city? I'll also note that, just after City Hall moved to limit Afrofest to one day, there was a big splashy announceme…

Alt-Rock: The Soles New Release: Sand In The Sun Release Party April 8 2016 in Toronto

From a media release:

The Soles
New Release: Sand In The Sun
Release Party April 8 2016 
The Cadillac Lounge - Toronto

Buy the Album Sand In The Sun

TORONTO - Local Toronto rockers The Soles release their much anticipated new record titled ‘Sand In The Sun’ Friday April 8th at the Cadillac Lounge, 1296 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario.

‘Sand In The Sun’ has been in the works for the last 2 years. Band members Din, Adam Gomori, Austin Gembora & Trevor Friday wanted to get the songs & sound right. Working alongside longtime collaborators Ron Skinner & Marc Merilainen (Nadjiwan) the efforts from this talented combo has finally been realized. The Soles have worked tirelessly making this project a reality. The band defies pigeonholing with their eclectic sound & vision.

The Soles perform at the Cadillac Lounge Friday April 8th along with opening acts The Train Electric and Thunderfunk. Documentary filmmaker Sheldon Norton will be debuting the video ‘RFR’ featuring The Soles. …

Nollywood & More: News from Composer Rotem Hecht March 2016

Nollywood & More:
News from Composer Rotem Hecht
March 2016

MIAMI - Rotem Hecht is a composer, arranger, music producer, sound editor and more - he's involved with anything to do with creating music, sound design composition and recording. You can find out more about his background in an earlier post.

He's got an extensive portfolio of work in TV, film and the video gaming industry you can check out here and he's got a couple of new projects he's told me about.

“Beyond Blood" - A new feature movie from the Nollywood machine (aka the Nigerian movie industry). The movie was produced and direct by  Greg Odutayo and has been playing in Nigerian theatres for about two months. Rotem wrote the original score for the movie and trailer.

“Live for the moment and discover the world with Trafalgar" - Rotem composed the original music for this short promotional video for Trafalgar Travel.

See kids? You really can get a job writing music.

Small World Music Presents: The 14th Annual Asian Music Series April 2 to May 29 2016 in Toronto

From a media release:

Small World Music Presents:

– Embracing The Scope of Music From Across The Asian Cultural Landscape
 + ANNOUNCING The Small World Music EXPLORERS Program
– New Initiative is Adventurous Concertgoers’ Dream Ticket

TORONTO – FRIDAY, MARCH 4TH, 2016 – From April 2nd - May 29th 2016, Small World Music proudly presents The 14th Annual Asian Music Series, which celebrates Asian and South Asian Heritage Month.

Supported by TD Bank, the series engages communities around the GTA to celebrate their heritage. Partnering with the finest presenters across the region, from Koerner Hall to the Aga Khan Museum, Roy Thomson Hall to the Markham Theatre, the program will showcase the finest sounds on the best stages.

Highlights this year include a strong female presence, with two of the most significant artists in South Asian music – Deutsche Grammophon recording artist Anoushka Shankar and Abida Parveen – performing, as well …

Travel Industry News: The MTS Globe Group expands into Mexico, Croatia and United Arab Emirates

From a media release:

Travel Industry News:
The MTS Globe Group expands into Mexico, Croatia and United Arab Emirates

Mallorca (España) March 4 2016 - The MTS Globe Group, a leading Destination Management and Hotel Trading company in Europe, announces the opening of 3 new offices in Mexico, Croatia and United Arab Emirates (UAE). The MTS Globe Group currently operates out of 65 destination offices in 15 countries.

According to Rembert Euling, CEO of the MTS Globe Group, the opening of offices in these 3 new destinations fits perfectly into the group's growth and expansion plan which is based on creating sustainable and innovative relationships with its partners, clients and suppliers.

Bernd Kienle, General Manager for Mexico & Caribbean and responsible for the office in Cancun, points out that the main focus is on Cancun and the Riviera Maya. “This is a perfect sun and beach destination to integrate into our business model, using our full range of products and services: transfers…

Free MP3 Download: Tokira (Single) by Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate

From a media release:

Free MP3 Download:
Tokira (Single)
by Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate

Here's the Link

Joe Driscoll has gained fame over the last decade for his unique blend of folk, funk and hip-hop. Sekou Kouyate, from Guinea, is one of the most innovative and virtuosic players of the kora, the 21-stringed West African harp. When these two seemingly disparate artistic forces are combined, an incendiary musical reaction takes place. They first first met in 2010 at a festival in Marseille, France and their explosive combustibility was evident in their jaw-dropping live shows and energizing debut album, Faya, which was released by Cumbancha Discovery in 2014. Performing as a quartet, backed by drums and bass, Joe & Sekou have performed at hundreds of festivals and venues across Europe, North America and Africa, earning ecstatic reviews whenever they set foot on stage.

Set for release by Cumbancha on May 13, 2016, Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate’s electrifying second album, M…

World Jazz: Avataar Releases Debut CD 'Petals' - Party March 30 2016 in Toronto

From a media release:

CD Release Party March 30 2016
Lula Lounge - Toronto

Buy the CD

TORONTO - Led by JUNO-nominated saxophonist, vocalist and composer Sundar Viswanathan, AVATAAR will celebrate the release of their long-awaited debut CD, Petal, with an exciting performance at Lula Lounge on Wednesday, March 30, as part of the TD Discovery Series Special Projects.

AVATAAR incorporates hard bop, jazz, Indian classical music, Brazilian lyricism, electronica, Javanese gamelan and contemporary improvisation, revealing a more meditative and philosophical side of Viswanathan's work. An adventurous departure after 20 years of performing and composing Indo-jazz, Viswanathan's new sound combines ancient and modern musical sounds, cleverly layered and cinematic in scope, with an underlying and driving jazz sensibility.

"My explorations of spiritual philosophies including Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, mystic Christianity, Kabbal…