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Showing posts from July, 2016

#NovaScotia #TravelMaritimes: Cabot Cliffs golf course ranked best in Canada - Stunning resort in Inverness County Nova Scotia

From a media release:

#NovaScotia #TravelMaritimes
Cabot Cliffs golf course ranked best in Canada
First in history to debut as number one

Book at the link

Inverness, NS (July 28, 2016) – Cabot Links Golf Resort has officially been named the top golf course in the country following the release of SCOREGolf’s TOP 100 Ranking this past Friday.
In its first year of eligibility Cabot Cliffs stole the coveted number one position, becoming the fifth course in the history of the Ranking to hold this title and the first to debut in the top spot. Sister course Cabot Links also placed within the top five in the country, with a ranking of fourth in Canada. Both courses belong to the Cabot Links Golf Resort located on the west coast of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia.

The resort’s Managing Partner Ben Cowan-Dewar says his team is thrilled with the ranking and is not taking it for granted.

“It’s such an amazing honour and a celebration of all the people who have worked very hard to make this happen,…

Public Art: Katonah Museum of Art Co-Commissions Public Mural in Downtown Chappaqua with sherry b dessert studio from Artist Keiran Brennan H­inton

From a media release:

Katonah Museum of Art Co-Commissions 
Public Mural in Downtown Chappaqua with sherry b dessert studio
Mural Launch September 17, 2016

Katonah, NY, July 26, 2016 — The Katonah Museum of Art (KMA) in partnership with sherry b dessert studio of Chappaqua, NY, announces a public art commission by New York City-based artist, Keiran Brennan H­inton. The commission, a public mural, is a civically minded initiative organized by the KMA and sherry b dessert studio aimed at enriching communities beyond the Museum’s walls while empowering artists as agents of change. Situated on an outside wall of 65 King Street in Chappaqua, the mural will portray one of artist’s signature enigmatic interior spaces. Works by Brennan Hinton are currently on view at the Katonah Museum of Art as part of the exhibition, OnSite Katonah (through October 2).
Built in 1929 as a department store, 65 King Street fell into disrepair and was left vacant for several years before being acquired by sherry b …

#TravelAustralia: Dine Under the Stars at Uluru by Night - Ayers Rock Resort

From a release:

See the Stars at Uluru by Night
Ayers Rock Resort

Check out & book your experience
• Check out all the tour possibilities at Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia

Yes, it is possible to explore the Australian Outback while being respectful of the Aboriginal people and their sacred landmarks.

Ayers Rock - Uluru - is one such area. Tourists typically want to climb to the top of the stunning landmark, even though the Anangu, the people of Australia's Western Desert, request that outsiders respect their ancestral lands. By booking your tour through the Ayers Rock Resort, you can experience the magic of the desert landscape without committing the sins of the obnoxious, self-serving tourist who doesn't care about the people who call the place home.
Ayers Rock Resort
Ayers Rock Resort lies at the gateway to Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park, in Australia's Northern Territory. The Resort lies hidden from view to those visiting the National Park precinct. Everything …

Jazz Musician & Composer Ivan Mazuze: Straddling the globe with a saxophone

Jazz Musician & Composer Ivan Mazuze
Straddling the globe with a saxophone

Listen to his music on Spotify
Buy his music on iTunes

I had the opportunity to hear Ivan Mazuze play recently at the Hamilton World Music Festival and hang with him for a couple of days in the sun.

In performance, he was loose and fluid with only two short rehearsals with his backup band (the stellar Jay Danley Ethio Jazz Project of Toronto) and in spite of a couple of glitches with the sound system. In a panel discussion I was fortunate enough to be a part of, he was eloquent and articulate on the art of juggling African and Nordic jazz and his roles as a musician and ambassador for Norwegian music.
About Ivan
Ivan began his musical studies in Mozambique at the National Music School in 1987 with piano as first instrument. After 8 years of classical piano training Mazuze joined the woodwind section of the same school with a focus on improvisation. After finishing the basic elementary music school, Mazuze c…

Book Review: Kwame Stephens The Prophet's Room and Other Modern African Stories

Book Review:
Kwame Stephens
The Prophet's Room and Other Modern African Stories

Buy the book in digital or paperback on Amazon

Kwame Stephens is a Ghanaian/Canadian writer and this collection of ten stories set in his native Ghana. The first two stories were published in English Speaking Africa in the mid 1980's when Kwame began his writing career while the rest are more recent. Taken together, the collection covers a broad swath of contemporary African life from the crowded buses to a busy restaurant in Accra.

Kwame's style is straightforward and focuses on action and character. Like his writing style, the characters are fairly straightforward and not given to indulging in a lot of introspection. Instead, Kwame focuses on the actions and details that flesh out their lives and the Ghanaian landscape of rural and city life. There are female characters but these are largely the stories of men and the male gaze.

Collectively, the stories bring the complex fabric of modern Africa…

LA-Based Conceptual Artist Justin Michael Williams Releases Music Video For Debut Single 'Here With Me' & Free Download

From a media release:

LA-Based Conceptual Artist
Justin Michael Williams 
Releases Visually Stunning Music Video For Debut Single
"Here With Me" 

A dedication to those we've lost too soon - we love you, we'll never forget you. 

Free download of the song at the link

Three years ago, Justin Michael Williams sat next to his grandmother on her death bed in her final days of battling cancer as she asked him a question that changed his life forever. "If you were in my shoes and knew you were going to die in two months, what would you do?" Williams immediately responded with, "I would drop everything I'm doing and finally record an album."

Today, LA-based conceptual artist Justin Michael Williams releases his first music video "Here With Me" after transitioning from an 8-year career as an international yoga and meditation teacher to recording artist. Directed by Thor Wixom (Chris Brown, The Chainsmokers, G-Easy), 'Here With Me' is a cap…

Love, Opera & Espionage: Mr Shi and His Lover August 4-14 as part of Summerworks 2016 Toronto

From a media release:

Love, Opera & Espionage:
Summerworks’ First Chinese ­language Production
Mr. Shi and His Lover
Presented as part of SummerWorks Performance Festival, August 4-14, 2016

TORONTO – The North American premiere of Mr. Shi and His Lover will touch down at the SummerWorks Performance Festival in August 2016. Featuring an international cast and performed entirely in Mandarin with English surtitles, this vivid contemporary Chinese music theatre piece created by artists from Toronto and Macau marks the first­ever Chinese­language production in the Festival’s 26­year history.

Inspired by the enigmatic real­life story of a Chinese opera performer and his French Diplomat lover who believed him to be a woman, this intimate two­hander re­imagines the characters’ innermost thoughts to illuminate their mysterious affair and the ensuing espionage scandal that rocked the political world in the 1980s. Stylistically varied and emotionally rich, the score draws inspiration from opera, …

RnB Release: Ravyn Lenae 'Moon Shoes' - Release: 29 July 2016

From a media release:

Ravyn Lenae
Moon Shoes
Release: 29 July 2016

Check out her website
Listen on Spotify

It’s hard to believe that someone so young could be bursting with so much talent; but listen to Ravyn Lenae and you’ll quickly realize that age is truly just a number.  At 17 years old, the classically trained singer/songwriter is taking the music world by storm with her inimitable style, which seamlessly melds elements of R&B, Electronic, Soul and Hip-Hop.  As Pitchfork declared, “She roars. She soars. She has the right.”

Born and raised on Chicago’s often turbulent south side, Lenae is part of “Zero Fatigue,” a local music collective that boasts artists like Smino and Jean Deaux, as well as producer, Monte Booker.  In early 2015, Lenae released her single, “Greetings,” which quickly became a household favorite in the Chicago area and beyond. Soon after, she signed with renowned Chicago-based record label, Three Twenty Three Music Group.

In August of 2015, Lenae soft released…

New Music Monday: New Singles from Nacional Records - Fyahbwoy, The Chamanas, Alex Anwandter

From a media release:

New Music Monday
Nacional Records is proud to share with you our new summer singles. 
Play them loud, play them often!

Nacional Records is coming out with three new singles today from three of their hottest artists.
Fyahbwoy -"Tanto Por Ti" - Buy the Single
The Madrid-based artist combines melodic vocals with urban reggae roots to create his irristitable signature sound. After finding fame in Spain with viral videos, Fyahbwoy drops his debut US album 'Tanto Por Ti' on July 29th. The title track has over nine million YouTube views. Join the fun on this sure-fire summer jam.

The Chamanas - "Neblina (Feat. Angeles Negros)" - Buy the Single
El Paso/Juarez based electro desert pop band The Chamanas have had a busy year. They have received critical praise from NPR, Apple, Spotify, Pandora, Carla Morrison, and even a tour with Beach House. This deluxe version of the bands track "Neblina" features the legendary Angeles Negros. The band dr…

Travel Japan: Noto Kiriko Festivals Summer to Autumn 2016

With material from a release:

Travel Japan: Noto Kiriko Festivals
Summer to Autumn 2016

Giant lantern floats, decorated portable shrines and cheering crowds lit up by free flowing sake.. Noto Kiriko festivals have been held since the Edo period. From summer to autumn, Kiriko Festivals take place all over parts of the Noto region in the northern part of Ishikawa. The Kiriko lantern floats are paraded through the streets with portable shrines for the deities to ride on. At dusk, the Kiriko are lit up creating a magical ambiance as they come and go.

Each area of Noto holds its own version of the festival. At the Abare Festival in Noto Town, aka "the Fire & Violence Festival," the giant kiroko are set on fire on the pier at the end of the parade to the beat of taiko drums, gongs and flutes. In Anamizu, the the Kiriko are carried out to sea.

The Noto Peninsula
The Noto Peninsula extends into the Japan Sea from the Okunoto Coast in central Honshū, the main island of Japan, and is…

Habari Africa Festival August 12 to 14 2016 at Harbourfront Toronto

From a media release:

Experience the cultural diversity of global Africa at Habari Africa, August 12–14, 2016
at Harbourfront Toronto
co-presented by Batuki Music

TORONTO, ON (July 13, 2016) – Harbourfront Centre is proud to present Habari Africa, co-produced by Batuki Music Society, August 12–14. Returning for its third edition, this three-day festival celebrates African music from traditional West African griot music to rumba and other contemporary sounds representing the African continent.

Throughout the weekend, African music will be at the forefront with artists from Senegal, Mali, Ethiopia and more. Internationally renowned Senegalese singer Mamy Kanouté, descended from a long line of griots, presents a charming performance that marries traditional and western instruments on the Concert Stage on August 13. Joined by Blandine Mbiya, veteran Congolese group Cour des Grands will give a special tribute performance paying homage to two giants of African music, Tabu Ley Rochereau and Papa…

Dancing in the Park: DUSK DANCES 2016 - July 28-30 in Hamilton & August 1-7 in Toronto

From a media release:

Dancing in the park:
July 28-30, 2016 in Hamilton at Bayfront Park
August 1 – August 7, 2016 @ Withrow Park

Dusk Dances Hamilton
We are thrilled to have the incredible visual and sound artist Dave Gould kick off the festivities at Dusk Dances Hamilton July 28-30, 7pm nightly at Bayfront Park! Dave's sound can be described as Experimental mixed with Urban Folk...check out his music at the link.

Join us before the show at 6 pm for free dance workshops. The festival kicks off nightly at 7:00pm with a musical performance by Dave Gould, who will be joined Hammer City Samba and Michel De Quevedo to delight audiences with a fusion of Afro-Brazilian Beat and Latin influenced folk music. From there, our incomparable host, Nina Gilmour will lead you through the park on an unforgettable dance journey .

Dusk Dances Toronto
Hosted by Allegra Charleston (Susie Burpee)
Opening Musical Act DoubleTooth
Free Nia Movement Class with Master Teacher Martha Randall


Review: Waiting for Sunday - The Windsor Effect (Independent - Nov 17, 2015)

Waiting for Sunday - The Windsor Effect
(Independent - Nov 17, 2015)

Buy the Music

It's been out for several months, but I just found The Windsor Effect, the latest release from Vancouver rockers Waiting for Sunday in my inbox recently. Better late than never applies in the case of this full length album of polished material.

Waiting for Sunday is producer and drummer Colin Everall, singer Dan Hudson, bassist Mircea Tracke and lead guitarist Matt Gauld. The 12 tracks on the CD offer a variety of styles and themes, as befits these veteran rockers. It's the follow to their 2011 debut, "The Courage, The Strength, The Wisdom & Doubt".

Last Call for Safety is a hook laden track of energetic straight ahead rock that is tight and accomplished. Dan's vocals are distinctive and expressive with a subtle kind of raspy edge. They are put to good use on tracks like The Love is Gone, a slow, bluesy song and a stand out track on the album.

The songs range goes throug…