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Showing posts from April, 2016

Celebrated chefs Chuck Hughes and Anthony Rose added to stellar line-up for Taste of Toronto, June 23 – 26 2016

From a media release:

Celebrated chefs Chuck Hughes
and Anthony Rose added to stellar line-up
for Taste of Toronto, June 23 – 26, 2016

Buy Tickets

TORONTO, ON – Taste of Toronto today announced celebrity chef Chuck Hughes and Toronto restaurateur Anthony Rose are set to participate in the city’s hottest food festival, taking place in Garrison Common at Fort York, June 23 to 26.
Known for his television shows, cook books and Montreal restaurants Garde Manger and Le Bremner, Hughes joins the festivities on opening night, Thursday, June 23. Throughout the evening, festival-goers will have the opportunity to learn from the accomplished chef. Hughes will host a live demonstration on the Taste Theatre stage, sharing his best cooking tips and secrets with the audience, and leading an interactive Metro Master Class, where eager foodies will work their own cooking stations to master one of his flavourful dishes. Hughes will also help to choose the Best in Taste 2016 winner, sampling dishes from e…

Billie Holiday, Vocal Sampling and more; Hungarian Noir A Tribute to the Gloomy Sunday (Piranha Records - May 13 2016)

From a media release:

Billie Holiday, Vocal Sampling and more; 
Hungarian Noir A Tribute to the Gloomy Sunday
(Piranha Records - May 13, 2016)

Pre-order/Download or Play

1 Song : 12 Artists
It is the world’s deadliest song, a musical composition so lethal that merely to hear it hummed may induce suicidal tendencies. It is “Gloomy Sunday”, public menace of such potentially epidemic proportions the BBC was compelled to ban it for decades. Indeed, if contemporary news reports and eyewitness accounts are to be believed, no other song comes close to it for sheer morbidity.

“Helter Skelter”? The Manson murders were horrific, to be sure, but the role of the Beatles’ song in those tragic deaths was incidental at best, and in the end, seven lives were claimed; the number of fragile souls, meanwhile, to have succumbed to the unrelenting lugubriousness of “Gloomy Sunday” may number in the hundreds if not the thousands.

“Better By You, Better Than Me”? When played backwards, a US lawsuit alleged, thi…

Art & Environment: Gladstone Grow Op 2016 to April 24 in Toronto - Opening Party Tonight

GLADSTONE GROW OP 2016
CULTIVATING CURIOSITY
An Exhibition on Urbanism, Landscape & Contemporary Art
#GROWOP2016 | @gladstonehotel
April 21-24th, 2016
Opening Reception: April 22, 7-10pm - Tix $10

Check the Link for talks, events & parties

I'd hit the Gladstone Hotel this weekend to check out Grow Op 2016, an art exhibition that is currently inhabiting the second floor of the venerable arts institution.

The Gladstone hosts a number of arts shows and events through the year and I've always found them well worth attending - fun, interesting and highlighting the work of the city's best and brightest. This year's Grow Op is no exception, a show that invites you to touch, hear, and in one case at least, confess, along with offering a lot for your eyes to take in. Curators Christine Leu, Graham Teeple and Alan Webb have put together a cool collection of some 30 pieces that are bursting with life; here are some of my favourites.

Terrara by [R]ed[U]x Lab - three artfully sl…

Riad Sapphire Hotel and Spa Marrakech - 30% OFF Promotion to May 31 2016

From a release:

Riad Sapphire Hotel and Spa - Marrakech 
30% OFF Promotion

Here are a couple of great deals for a small boutique hotel in storied Marrakech. The details:

• Riad Sapphire and Spa - Marrakech 30% OFF Promotion to May 31st, 2016 - Book Now!
• From 91 euros per night  
• Includes freshly-prepared breakfast, all local taxes, VAT, in-room safe, WiFi. 
• Welcome Moroccan mint tea and pastries.


You can alsotake advantage of a fabulous discounted Spa Package, from 475.50 euros for 3 nights, includes accommodation, two three-course meals, two hammams and two one-hour massages.

If you're traveling with a group of family or friends, why not rent the whole riad (8 suites) to yourself?
Riad Sapphire Hotel & Spa
The best way to experience Marrakech is to stay in a riad (a traditional Moroccan house with an interior courtyard) in the heart of the Medina, the old city of Marrakech. RIAD SAPPHIRE AND SPA aims to give guests a real Marrekech experience while they enjoy affordable luxury…

Ragajazz recently released - Arohi Ensemble: Ahimsa - Love is the weapon of the brave (Innova Recordings)

From a media release:

Ragajazz recently released:
Arohi Ensemble: Ahimsa - Love is the weapon of the brave
(Innova Recordings - January 29, 2016)

Buy the CD

Weaving the classical ragas & intricate rhythmic architectures of India with the counterpoint of chamber music and gamelan in a synthesis of global musical traditions, ‘Ahimsa, Love is the Weapon of the Brave’ is a new release featuring the music of Arohi Ensemble. A collaboration of leading creative artists from India, Venezuela & Los Angeles, Arohi includes three disciples of the legendary ‘godfather of world music,’ Pandit Ravi Shankar.

Ahimsa highlights the music of composer/sitarist/activist Paul Livingstone in a cohesive and compelling blend of and sitar, sarod, bansuri (bamboo flute), cello, tabla, ghatum (clay pot) and drums with a sprinkling of vocal chants. Featured on multiple Grammy winning records, these artists bring the classical forms of eastern and western traditions into s contemporary format of ragajazz cha…

CD Release: León Larregui - Voluma (Universal - March 24, 2016)

With material from a release:

CD Release:
León Larregui - Voluma
(Universal - March 24, 2016)

Buy the CD

Mexican singer and composer León Larregui released his second solo album, Voluma, recently and it's a great collection of polished and imaginative pop lit up by his unmistakeable voice. Voluma debuted in the #1 position of the U.S. Latin Alternative & Rock chart in  iTunes and as #2 on the general chart of Mexico.

León Larregui is best known as the lead singer and guitarist for Grammy Award-winning Mexican alternative rock veterans Zoé. The emphasis in Voluma is on his dreamy, expressive vocals, naturally, but there's a lot of energy in the music. Guitars work their way into the usual electronic dance mix on some of the tracks, adding to the sonic layers.


My quibble with pop/dance music is that it can be unimaginative, especially when it comes to the arrangements, but here León wrings a whole range of emotion out of the genre. Tiraste a Matar is an anthemic dance pop trac…

Graphic novel release: Existence for the Damned Issue #1 - Antecedent

Graphic novel release:
Existence for the Damned
A serial anthology of abysmal tales
Issue #1 - Antecedent
Story & Lettering by Daniel Nash
Images by Studio Athena

Buy it
• Like it on Facebook

Existence for the Damned is a mult-genre comic series on distinctly noirish themes intended for a mature reader.

The Story Arc
In an act of heartbroken desperation a man takes his own life. He is then condemned to wander throughout time and space destined to die again and again.

Story settings range from the 17th to 22nd centuries involving countries on every continent and occasionally venturing out into space.

Issue #1
You enter a beautifully rendered black and white world - appropriate for the noir theme - a world of characters trying to chase away their demons with drink.

Our hero starts the night in a bar that quickly spins out of control. Grieving his lost love, he is led astray by two women, one of whom bears an inordinate resemblance to his late wife. Such hook ups seldom end well, especially …

Travel South Africa for the Music: Standard Bank Jazz Festival Grahamstown part of the National Arts Festival June 30 to July 9 2016

From a media release:

Travel South Africa for the Music:
Standard Bank Jazz Festival Grahamstown
part of the National Arts Festival from June 30 to July 9, 2016

Jazz innovators from 12 different countries will share the stage with top South African artists including Caiphus Semenya, Simphiwe Dana, Afrika Mkhize and Ringo Madlingozi

[JOHANNESBURG] Some of the world’s most interesting jazz innovators from 12 different countries will be on the bill at this year’s Standard Bank Jazz Festival, which runs in Grahamstown as part of the National Arts Festival from June 30 to July 9, 2016.

They include Grammy Award winners Trio Corrente from Brazil and Norwegian saxophonist Petter Wettre; Austrian singer, composer and trumpeter Michaela Rabitsch and her partner, guitarist Robert Pawlick; Dutch saxophonist Toon Roos; Sweden’s David Kontra Trio and the powerhouse tenor sax duo of Dave O’Higgins (UK) and Per Thornberg (Sweden).

They will join a bill that includes powerhouse South African musicians suc…

Backstage in Biscuit Land North American Premiere May 25 - 28 2016 in Toronto

From a media release:

Harbourfront Centre presents
World Stage 2016
Backstage in Biscuit Land
North American Premiere
May 25 - 28, 2016 at Harbourfront Centre Theatre

Tickets

TORONTO - World Stage 2016 continues its stellar season with the North American premiere of Backstage in Biscuit Land from British writer, artist and activist Jess Thom. Celebrating the creativity and humour of Tourette Syndrome, four ‘Relaxed’ Performances of Backstage in Biscuit Land will be presented from May 25 to 28 at the Harbourfront Centre Theatre.


Combining storytelling, comedy and puppetry, Backstage in Biscuit Land presents an intimate glimpse into Thom’s unique perspective as a performer and woman with Tourette Syndrome. As a result of her tics, Thom says the word “biscuit” 16,000 times a day. She loved the theatre as a child, but the intensity of her tics made it increasingly difficult to attend. After being asked to sit in isolation while attending a theatre performance, Thom discovered the only place in…

Singular Bodies Ten solos created for TDT by Toronto Visual Artists April 14-17 & 20-23 2016

From a media release:

Singular Bodies
Ten solos created for TDT by some of the most dynamic visual artists in Toronto
April 14-17 & 20-23, 2016

• BOX OFFICE: 461.967.1365 | tdt.org/singular-bodies

Toronto, ON –  Toronto  Dance  Theatre  (TDT)  welcomes some of Toronto’s most dynamic visual artists to create 10 solos for the TDT company in a fresh and exciting approach to the body across disciplines. Singular Bodies is on stage April 14-17 & 20-23 at the Winchester Street Theatre.

Singular Bodies guest artists include Stephen Andrews, Nadia Belerique, Diane Borsato, Chris Curreri, Marisa Hoicka, Johanna Householder, Jean-Paul Kelly, Bridget Moser, Jon Sasaki, Walter Scott and Jim Verburg. Each guest will collaborate with a TDT dancer, drawing upon his or her distinctive artistic style to create a 5-7 minute solo work.

Conceived by TDT Artistic Director Christopher House, Singular Bodies is a product of the fascinating creative fluidity that has emerged within the arts; a showcase of…

Baluchi, Pashto, and Klezmer: Sandaraa CD Release May 8 2016 & East Coast Tour

From a media release:

A Hybrid in Common: How a Pakistani Pop Star and Brooklyn Clarinet Whiz Got Baluchi, Pashto, and Klezmer Sounds to Dance Together as Sandaraa

• CD Release May 8, 2016 THE OUTER SPACE, Hamden, CT
• May 11 - Rockwood Music Hall, New York City
Check for other East Coast dates in May

“There are shared languages between people and cultures you wouldn’t think have much in common,” reflects clarinetist Michael Winograd, half of the duo driving Sandaraa (“song” in Pashto). “We’re going for whatever helps us understand the music and songs,” adds popular Pakistani singer and composer Zeb Bangash. “We want everyone to share that experience.”

The Pakistani-Brooklyn collaboration sprang from a mutual love of vintage tapes packed with Dari, Pashto and Baluchi music, of obscure online videos rich in evocative melodies, celebratory moments, and powerful sentiment. Giving a broader audience access to these feelings, the group finds innovative settings for traditional songs, explorin…

Cirque du Soleil and Nortec Collective’s Bostich + Fussible - the LUZIA Album

From a media release:

Cirque du Soleil and Nortec Collective’s
Bostich + Fussible Collaborate to Present
the LUZIA Album Inspired by the Music of the Show
Release: April 22, 2016

• Free Download of Album Single Available Now Exclusively on iTunes
Preorder/Buy the CD
• For more information about Cirque du Soleil and LUZIA, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/luzia - opens April 21, 2016 in Montreal

Inspired by the cultural richness of Mexico, Cirque du Soleil’s upcoming Big Top production LUZIA features original music written by Canadian composer Simon Carpentier. The LUZIA album takes Carpentier’s original music written for a live acoustic setting and passes it through the filter of the electro-pop of Nortec Collective’s Bostich + Fussible, infused with brassy Mexican and Latin American sounds.
iTunes users in North America (U.S./Canada/Mexico) can enjoy an exclusive sneak peek of the LUZIA album with a free download of the song “Así Es La Vida.”  With every pre-order of the album on iTunes, custo…

Global Roots Pop: Karikatura New EP 'Speak Now' (Ropeadope Records April 15, 2016)

From a release:

Global Roots Pop:
Karikatura New EP 'Speak Now'
(Ropeadope Records April 15, 2016)

• Check out Live Dates incl CD Release Show April 14 at Bowery Electric NYC
Pre-order/Buy the EP on iTunes

NEW YORK CITY - Brooklyn-based roots pop group Karikatura will release their new EP Speak Now on Ropeadope Records April 15th 2016. Building on their acclaimed full length Eyes Wide (Ropeadope 2014) Speak Now features four songs that address the ghosts in our society: racism and white supremacy, gun violence, war and identity. The music on Speak Now is stylistically diverse, yet unified by Karikatura’s characteristic sound: blazing horns, reggae guitars and Afro-Latin rhythms delivered with punk-rock energy.

Karikatura just wrapped up the US leg of their #GlobalBarrio tour, playing across 12 states in a month. While on the road, they launched their new Suitcase Series, recording unique videos of their favorite covers in the van, on a ski-lift and beyond. Check those out and stay…

Ticket Deal for Danai Gurira's Highly Acclaimed 'Familiar' in New York City - Must Close April 10

From a release:

#FamiliarPH: Ticket Deal for Highly Acclaimed Familiar 
at Playwrights Horizons New York City
Must Close April 10 2016

Buy Tickets
• Use code DANAI for $35 tickets

It’s winter in Minnesota, and a Zimbabwean family is preparing for the wedding of their eldest daughter, a first-generation American. But when the bride insists on observing a traditional African custom, it opens a deep rift in the household. Rowdy and affectionate, Familiar pitches tradition against assimilation, drawing a loving portrait of a family: the customs they keep, and the secrets they bury.

Danai Gurira is an award-winning playwright and actress. Danai’s play Familiar received its world premiere at Yale Repertory Theatre directed by Rebecca Taichman.  As an actress, Danai currently stars as Michonne, one of the most popular characters in AMC’s critically-acclaimed original series The Walking Dead.” 

FEATURING
Ito Aghayere - Nyasha
Joby Earle - Chris
Melanie Nicholls-King - Margaret
Roslyn Ruff - Tendi

CD Release: Haiti's Lakou Mizik - Wa Di Yo (April 1, 2016 - Cumbancha)

From a media release:

CD Release:
Haiti's Lakou Mizik - Wa Di Yo is here!
(April 1, 2016 - Cumbancha) 

Buy the CD
• Check out their tour dates including May 6 in Brooklyn, NY

Lakou Mizik is a multigenerational collective of Haitian musicians formed in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake. The group includes elder legends and rising young talents, united in a mission to honor the healing spirit of their collective culture and communicate a message of pride, strength and hope to their countrymen and the world.

Music is at the core of Haiti’s sense of identity, and musicians have always played an important role in society, both in documenting the country’s history and helping to shape its path forward. Today, a young generation of artists is keeping this tradition alive, narrating the world they live in through music that is made in their neighborhoods, villages and post-earthquake camps. Lakou Mizik brings together these musical generations in celebration of the cultural con…