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Showing posts from June, 2018

Jazz/Improv - Yuko Fujiyama: Night Wave (Innova Recordings - March 23, 2018)

Yuko Fujiyama: Night Wave
(Innova Recordings - March 23, 2018)
Buy the CD

“Recently, I’ve been trying to be free from a feeling of linear time. This album, Night Wave, is the result of my long search.” The words come from Yuko Fujiyama, jazz pianist and composer. She largely succeeds in her quest in a release that sparkles with an intense sense of creative freedom. The CD includes 15 tracks, the shortest a mere minute in lenghth.

Woven Colours, for solo piano, is kinetic and dynamic, with a dramatic sense of urgency that propels the music. Along with composing all the tracks on the release, Yuko Fujiyama is a talented pianist who brings a fluid sense of expression to all the pieces. Up Tempo adds Susie Ibarra on drums and percussion, Graham Haynes on cornet and flugelhorn, and Jennifer Choi on violin for an explosive piece driven by the clash of cymbals.

In to the liner notes, Fujiyama describes her pieces with a sense of story and emotion, and there is certainly a kind of…

Experimental Guitar - Matteo Liberatore: Solos (Innova Recordings - January 26, 2018)

Experimental Guitar
Matteo Liberatore: Solos
(Innova Recordings - January 26, 2018)
Buy the CD

The acoustic guitar jingles, clangs; the strings sing, squeak, shriek, and shimmer in this imaginative release that takes the instrument well beyond its usual borders.

It sounds like something that could easily degenerate into a self indulgent and/or purely intellectual exercise, but that's far from the case. Italian-American guitarist and composer Matteo Liberatore creates compelling soundscapes with the instrument you thought you knew.

Agnes, the first track, trembles with a sense of urgency and motion, like a thousand sonic raindrops in a shower of sound that ebbs and flows. It's a fanciful description, but about as accurate as you'll get in words. Liberatore mines his instrument for a range of unexpected sounds in avant garde structures that somehow retain a sense of familiarity and flow. In Untitled #9, the effect is minimalist, rising and falling in tension to an urgent rhyt…

Contemporary Art Song - Ah Young Hong: A Breath Upwards (Innova Recordings - March 23, 2018)

Contemporary Art Song
Ah Young Hong: A Breath Upwards
(Innova Recordings - March 23, 2018)
Buy the CD

Baltimore soprano Ah Young Hong explores vocal works by composers Milton Babbitt and Michael Hersch in this striking release on the Innova Recordings label. In the works of the two contemporary American composers, she conveys the feeling that drives the often complex modern music.

Babbitt’s Philomel debuted in 1964, groundbreaking at the time for its use of recorded vocals and analog synthesizer along with voice. The words, sometimes just syllables, come from poet John Hollander. The story, which comes from Greek mythology, lends itself to an operatice treatment. In a nutshell, Philomel is raped by her brother-in-law, the king of Thrace, who then has her tongue cut out so she cannot tell her sister. She then weaves a tapestry that tells the story. When her sister figures it out, she kills her own son to punish her husband the king. The two sisters flee into the woods - the same woods w…

Recently Released: Nocturnal Blonde - Smart Heart (Independent - June 11, 2018)

Recently Released:
Nocturnal Blonde - Smart Heart
(Independent - June 11, 2018)
Stream on SoundCloudSoundCloud

Nocturnal Blonde is a studio project based in Georgia, USA, a brainchild of singer/guitarist and studio veteran Ritchie Williams. It's an inventive EP release that delves into traditional Southern music as fuel for modern musical exploration.

The Nocturnal Blonde sound keeps Rachel Adams nuanced vocals at the forefront. She's a luminous talent as a singer, with impressive control and technical ability - but always in the service of expression.

The genre ranges through a contemporary fusion of country rock, blues, and vintage Americana. But, just when you think you're hearing something very familiar, they'll throw in an unexpected chord progression that takes the song into a different territory. It's appealing on both levels - expected and unexpected.

Blown Away is a highlight of the release, with jangly guitars and a sweet vocal line over a languid rhythm.…

Jazz CD Release: Amy Cervini - No One Ever Tells You (Anzic Records, June 15, 2018)

From a media releaes:

Jazz CD Release:
Amy Cervini - No One Ever Tells You
(Anzic Records, June 15, 2018)
Streaming Links

Hailed by Time Out New York for “tearing down boundaries between old and new jazz styles, rock, pop, country and more,” Toronto-born, New York-based vocalist Amy Cervini follows up her 2014 Anzic release Jazz Country with the gritty, blues-oriented No One Ever Tells You. Joined by her brilliant longtime cohorts Jesse Lewis (guitar), Michael Cabe (piano), Matt Aronoff (bass), Jared Schonig (drums) and special guest organist Gary Versace (on four cuts), Cervini puts her stamp on songs “that have resonated with me as a mother, as a partner, and as a woman,” she writes in her album notes. “They are songs about love, struggle, and empowerment.”

There’s a decisively biting, almost rock-inflected sensibility coursing through No One Ever Tells You. Cervini projects a fine, assertive voice, limber and free in her phrasing, ranging widely in her sources: the group interprets s…

Travel + Theatre - The Curious Voyage - From Barrie ON to London UK Oct 23 to Nov 10 2018

Travel + Theatre
Director Mitchell Cushman on
- The Curious Voyage -
Talk Is Free Theatre's Immersive Three-Day Intercontinental Theatrical Adventure
October 23 to November 10, 2018

More Info
Tickets On Sale Until June 27 2018 Only

Travel the world and participate in an immersive theatrical experience, beginning in Barrie, Ontario, and culminating in a musical theatre performance in a secret, intimate location in London, UK. It's the brainchild of Arkady Spivak, Artistic Producer of Talk Is Free Theatre (TIFT), and it's taking 36 people on the theatrical experience of their lives later this fall.

Arkady approached director Mitchell Cushman and other collaborators with the idea about two years ago. "To be honest, I though it was a really interesting idea, but I wasn't really sure it would ever happen," Mitchell admits. Certainly, the logistical challenges and many partnerships that had to be made were formididable. "It took all manner of creative logistica…

Blyth Festival Artistic Director Gil Garratt on The Pigeon King - On Stage Till June 15 2018

Blyth Festival Artistic Director Gil Garratt on
The Pigeon King
On Stage Till June 15 2018
Heading to Ottawa at the National Arts Centre April 24 to May 5 2019
Written by Rebecca Auerbach, Jason Chesworth, Gil Garratt, George Meanwell, J.D. Nicholsen, Gemma James Smith, Birgitte Solem and Severn Thompson
Director: Severn Thompson

Buy Tickets To The Show

"Incredibly enough, I've been living and working out here for about 20 years, but I'd never heard about this story until it was in The New York Times."
It was a newspaper clipping that a friend sent to him that set Blyth Festival Artistic Director Gil Garratt on the road to creating The Pigeon King, the hit country musical/comedy/courtroom drama that sold out shows last summer and returns for a remount until June 15.

It's a tale that illustrates the old axiom, truth is stranger than fiction. Blyth Festival's The Pigeon King is a true story of outrageous fraud, outsized personalities, and sheer absurdity - one tha…

New York City Opera Presents Madama Butterfly in Bryant Park June 13 2018

From a media release:

Bryant Park Picnics
New York City Opera Presents Madama Butterfly
Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - 6pm
NEW YORK CITY - The second of four extraordinary hour-long performances produced by New York City Opera in Bryant Park this summer, watch Puccini's tragic story about an abandoned geisha bride.

The New York City Opera series at Bryant Park Picnics continues with this hour-long presentation of highlights from Giacomo Puccini's classic opera, Madama Butterfly. Offered to the New York public free-of-charge, this presentation is a perfect introduction to opera for newcomers of any age.

Tenor Alex Richardson made his Metropolitan Opera and HD as the Shepherd in Tristan und Isolde and returned as the 2nd Jew (Salome). This season at the Met he participated in The Exterminating Angel and Parsifal; was Flaminio at NYCO's L'amore dei tre re; recitalist in Florida and was Alfredo (Traviata) with the Philharmonia Orchestra of New York. Active roles include: the role…

Japan, Canada & Me Photo Contest - Open for Entries till June 30 2018

From a media release:

Open for entries to June 30, 2018
Toronto and GTA residents are invited to celebrate 90 years of diplomatic relations between Japan and Canada with the JAPAN, CANADA & ME PHOTO CONTEST.
Share a photo of what friendship between Japan and Canada means to you for a chance to win round-trip air tickets to Japan from Air Canada or one of several prizes from Canon Canada, Muji, and the Japan Restaurant Association Canada.

• To enter, share your entry on Instagram with the hashtag #JapanCanada90 before June 30th, 2018.

The Photo Contest is open to all residents of the GTA (including City of Toronto, Halton Region, Peel Region, York Region, and Durham Region). Those residents of the GTA that have spent no more than 90 days in Japan on leisure in 2018 are also considered eligible.

• Please refer to the Japan Photo Contest Rules for further details.

The contest is open for entries from May 12 to June 30. You will need to follow the I…

Latin Alternative: Nacional Records Celebrates World Cup 2018 with "Golazo!"

From a media release:

Nacional Records Celebrates
World Cup 2018 with "Golazo!"
Listen to the Playlist on Spotify

The countdown has begun, and it's almost time for World Cup 2018! In celebration of the tournament this summer, Nacional Records presents a collection of songs to power your viewing parties - a mix of songs from artists from Spain and Latin American countries playing in the tournament to set the mood for your screams of GOOOOOOOOL!

Nacional Records brings you the finest contemporary Latin artists, from global superstars to new and up and coming acts from their offices in Burbank, CA.

1. Tijuana Sound Machine - Nortec Collective Presents: Bostich + Fussible
2. Comencemos (Let's Start) - Jungle Fire
3. Che Revolution (feat. La Dame Blanche) - El Hijo de la Cumbia
4. Yo Voy Ganao - Systema Solar
5. Somos Sur - Ana Tijoux
6. Brasil - Sante Les Amis
7. Un Sueño (feat. Aloe Blacc) - Ceci Bastida
8. Fumar, Beber y Romper - Los Nastys
9. La Magia - Little…

Father's Day Sunday Brunch at the Historic Omni King Edward Hotel Toronto

From a media release:

Father's Day Sunday Brunch
at the Historic Omni King Edward Hotel Toronto
Check it out/Make your reservation

TORONTO - Experience the city's legendary King Eddie Sunday Brunch Buffet set in the Sovereign Ballroom, with a menu just for Dad. The Father’s Day Brunch will include favorite menu items, as well as a complimentary scotch tasting, courtesy of Glenmorangie Distillery. Cost is $67 for adults, $33 for Children (6-12) and complimentary for children 5 and under.
Recently this historical and exquisite ballroom underwent a complete restoration; with its original molding and floor to ceiling windows, the ballroom is now graced with the addition of four teardrop chandeliers. Enjoy a plentitude of menu options including our classic Beef Wellington with Foie Gras, market inspired creations from land and sea, and don’t overlook our sweet finale with decadent cakes and pastries.

About The King Eddie
Originally built in 1903 by Mr. George Gooderham – a developer …