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Showing posts from August, 2018

Dance Toronto: Esie Mensah Presents Shades September 27 to 30 2018

From a media release:

Dance Toronto:
Esie Mensah Presents Shades
September 27 to 30 2018
Tickets

Esie Mensah Announces World Premiere of Shades: An Explosive Exploration of Discrimination
Award-winning Choreographer and Dancer Confronts Pervasive Issue of Shadeism Within Communities of Colour

TORONTO, ON — In a searing world premiere, choreographer and dancer Esie Mensah presents Shades, a deeply personal dance theatre exploration into the discrimination between lighter-skinned and darker-skinned members of communities of colour known as shadeism, September 27 to 30, 2018 at Factory Theatre. A visceral and urgent work, Shades examines the deep generational trauma that shadeism has imprinted on Mensah, its six artists, and society at large.

“I’m interested in exploring the ugliness, the pain, and the truth of shadeism,” says Mensah. “In 2018, shadeism is still a reality, constantly dividing us. Shades is my unapologetic confrontation with this all-too-common actuality in communities of col…

Kudzai Kazai Mbira Manufacturer Maestro

Kudzai Kazai Mbira Manufacturer Maestro
@MbiraMasterMaker
Check Him Out On Facebook

Based in Harare, Zimbabwe, Kudzai Kazai is a master mbira maker - or the Mbira Maestro. He makes the instruments from scratch, including the sounds boards. He ships customized mbiras, tuned according to the client's specs, all over the world.


Kudzai Kazai speaks about making and playing mbira in an interview taped at his workshop in Harare, Zimbabwe, in 2015:



The mbira is an ancient instrument consisting of a soundboard made of hardwood with 22 to 28 staggered metal tines or keys that produce the sound. It is played holding it in your hand. It is sometimes called a thumb piano.

Kudzai Kazai- Rimuka
Rimuka means greener pastures


The instrument has been an important part of Shona culture in what is now Zimbabwe for a thousand years or so. The instrument is cited in their literature and mbira music is an integral part of their traditional religious practices and ceremonies. Today, it is still in use in …

TIFF2018 - Short Cuts: Filmmaker Ian Harnarine on 'Caroni' Part of the Short Cuts Programme 08

TIFF2018 - Short Cuts
Filmmaker Ian Harnarine on 'Caroni'
Part of the Short Cuts Programme 08
Toronto International Film Festival September 6 to 16 2018
Check For Screening Times

Award winning filmmaker Ian Harnarine comes back to TIFF 2018 with a new short film. Entitled Caroni, from the film's description, it's the story of "a West Indian nanny working in New York City tries new ways to connect with her young daughter at home in Trinidad."

Ian left his mark on TIFF the first time in 2011, when his short film Doubles with Slight Pepper, which won the award for Best Canadian Short Film, and then went on to garner the Genie Award for Best Live Action Short Drama at the 32nd Genie Awards in 2012.



Caroni gets its message across using a poetic mode of storytelling. A brief excerpt focuses on the striking image of a vivid scarlet ibis amid greenery. The bird is common to the Caroni swamp on the west coast of Trinidad, and is one of the national birds of Trinidad an…

Jazz/Rock: The Goldwyn Experiment - Avenue B (Stash/7 September 2018)

Jazz/Rock:
The Goldwyn Experiment - Avenue B
(Stash/7 September 2018)
Get The Album

Goldwyn Thandrayen is a Musician and Songwriter best known for his work in 2017 as the Lead Singer, Guitarist of Montreal's Rock N' Roll band Psychocide. He was born and raised on the Island of Mauritius, and has settled in Montreal after wandering the globe pursuing music.

The Goldwyn Experiment is a fluid band of collaborators, with the upcoming release a dazzling mix of genres and moods. The original compositions are often best explained via mood rather than musical technique. The Prologue shimmers with a flowing kind of beauty, anchored by the piano and a rhythm that ebbs and flows. It's a mesmerizing track that builds to a rising energy and then flows back down into reverie.

Vodka Tea plays with traditional Russian themes in a concoction that incorporates elements of jazz and even progressive rock. The mood turns bouncy and upbeat - perhaps ironically - in Bag Of Nails, where the lyrics…

Jazz Single: Gideon King & City Blog - Gun To My Head (Independent/21 September 2018)

Jazz Single:
Gideon King & City Blog - Gun To My Head
(Independent/21 September 2018)
from the album Upscale Madhouse
Stream/Buy

"This song is about L.A. and New York and how when the rubber meets the road, I'll take NYC. It's about writing music against the backdrop of both of these towns. This song also speaks to the idea that trying to make it alone in life is a fool's errand. Also, there was this weird serial killer in L.A. that frightened me. He is in the tune too. Hope you like the song!" (Gideon King)

Fluid musicianship and a relentless groove make this track a keeper. Gun To My Head, despite the violence of the title, begins softly with acoustic guitar, and a riff that comes straight outta the Baroque Era. After a jazzy segue, it settles into a jazzy groove. As always, Gideon has chosen a roster of talented musicians to flesh out the music. Here, it's a quartet made up of Marc Broussard, John Scofield, Nate Smith & Donny McCaslin.

While the beat…

Rock & Storytelling: Sam Fishman - End of Time (Independent/July 21, 2018)

Recently Released:
Sam Fishman - End of Time
(Independent/July 21, 2018)
Buy The Album
Stream It On Spotify

Every living creature has a guardian...

So begins the narration of drummer and composer Samuel Fishman's latest project, End of Time. It's storytelling and a rock musical journey woven together in 15 tracks.

Debbie Grattan provides the soft tones for the narration - the perfect tones for a bedtime story. Her voice rises and falls to emphasize the drama of the story, with sounds and music emerging when the voice drops. The tracks bleed into each other and the spoken portions are short and poignant, rather than self indulgent.

The notes call it "a progressive rock soundtrack in search of an animated feature film" and that's probably an apt description. The release alternates musical and narrative tracks. The story is about a spiritual journey, and the music is evocative and varied in approach.

There are elements of contemporary classical music in Sh'ma Sh…

Fall For Dance North (FFDN) Toronto's Premier International Dance Festival October 2 to 6 2018

From a media release:

Fall For Dance North (FFDN)
Toronto's Premier International Dance Festival
October 2 to 6 2018
Tickets in Hot Demand for Fourth Annual Festivities,
Showcasing 12 Works from 11 Companies Across Three Distinct Programs

Toronto, ON — Fall For Dance North (FFDN), Toronto’s Premier International Dance Festival, proudly presents an eclectic and acclaimed line-up of world-class companies and artists as part of its highly anticipated 2018 festival from Oct. 2 to 6, 2018 at festival co-presenter Sony Centre for the Performing Arts and, FFDN’s newest venue, Ryerson Theatre, in partnership with Ryerson School of Performance.
Each evening, kaleidoscopic programming will take audiences on a journey, showcasing works from four companies who represent diversity in geography, from Toronto’s own Red Sky Performance to the Netherlands’ Introdans; diversity in style, from the polished precision of The National Ballet of Canada to the uninhibited street dance of Soweto Skeleton Mover…

#TravelMorocco: Heure Bleue Palais - Essaouira, Morocco - A gracious riad at the edge of the Medina

From a media release:

#TravelMorocco
Heure Bleue Palais - Essaouira, Morocco
A gracious riad at the edge of the Medina
Book/Find Out More

“Essaouira, long known, as Mogador, is Morocco’s most distinctive city. Perhaps I’m biased, because it’s where my great-grandfather grew up…but there’s no doubt that Relais & Châteaux’s L’Heure Bleue Palais is the outstanding jewel in Essaouira’s crown.” - Geoffrey Weill, President

L’Heure Bleue Palais sits at the edge of the Medina of Essaouira. Known as Mogador well into the 1950s, Essaouira is a port and Atlantic beach resort two hours west of Marrakech. Essaouira’s white and blue houses are protected by the terracotta battlements built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Long a crossroads of trade connecting Africa, the Arab world and Europe, the town’s romantic souks, alleys and houses are reminiscent of the charming and intimate Marrakech of decades ago.

Once the palace-riad of the Pasha of Mogador, L’Heure Bleue Palais was built with a …

Afro-Colombian Grooves: Superfónicos Announce Debut Release - Suelta Is Out October 5 2018

From a media release:

Afro-Colombian Grooves:
Superfónicos Announce Debut Release - Suelta Is Out October 5, 2018
Austin City Limits Festival Set Confirmed for Weekend Two

Checkout/Download Rio Negro - the first single
Stay in touch on Facebook

Austin, TX based band Superfónicos is the musical meeting point between Colombia, Africa and the U.S. Their debut E.P. Suelta, which is set for release on October 5th, pays homage to all three locales with a foundation in Cumbia, sprinkled with healthy doses of Afrobeat and marinated in the school of funk. The fast rising eight piece act has also been confirmed to play the Austin City Limits Music Festival (Weekend Two) on Sunday, October 14th.

Superfónicos was formed when bassist Nico Sanchez and guitarist Erick Bohorquez began discussions about creating a group with a foundation in Afro-Colombian rhythms. They soon teamed up with guitarist Andres Villegas and percussionist Daniel Sanchez, and started rehearsing together during time away from t…

Toronto Undergraduate Jazz Festival - September 4th to 8th 2018

From a media release:

Toronto Undergraduate Jazz Festival
September 4th to 8th 2018
at the Jazz Bistro, The Frog and Firkin Pub, and Mel Lastman Square
Find Out More


The Toronto Undergraduate Jazz Festival (TUJF) is hosting its fourth annual jazz festival, T.U. Jazz Fest 2018 this September in downtown Toronto and North York regions.
The goal and focus of T.U. Jazz Fest 2018 is to bring attention to the younger generation of musicians by providing a platform/outlet for which they can express themselves. Through lack of opportunity, many young musicians don’t gain the experience or exposure they need to establish themselves properly. Being the only young musician oriented jazz festival in Canada, T.U. Jazz Fest 2018 serves as a launching off point for many musician’s careers.

Throughout September 4-8, musicians will play through a variety of venues through downtown Toronto and North York regions. The two days leading up to opening night will see bands play at local venue, The Frog in No…

Percussion Centre Stage: Baljinder Sekhon's places & times (April 27, 2018 - Innova Recordings)

Baljinder Sekhon - places & times
(April 27, 2018 - Innova Recordings)
Performers: Dave Gerhart,Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, Dieter Hennings, McCormick Percussion Group, Robert McCormick, Eunmi Ko, Line Upon Line Percussion

Buy the CD

In places & times, composer Baljinder Sekhon explores the possibilities of the modern percussion ensemble with surprising - even melodic - results. Sekhon currently teaches at the University of South Florida. With its subtitle of "Mapping the interior terrain", the music is intriguing, surprising, even entertaining, and not the essentially cerebral music you might expect.

Passageways, performed by the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet with Dave Gerhart on steel pan, covers a variety of moods, tempos, and tones, a piece with a vital sense of kinetic energy.

Música Casera is performed by guitarist Dieter Hennings along with the McCormick Percussion Group. It's an atmospheric piece with a spooky sense of drama that veers from the delica…

Anya M Wassenberg Sings the Blues

The Sunday Blues Jam & Me
Singing with Hamilton's Finest
August 19, 2018

I wouldn't typically post a video of a jam, but I got to sing with a supergroup at The Masque Bluz and Rock Bar jam last Sunday - Gary White on guitar, Nick Michas on harp, Jason Colavecchia on bass & George Kaloxilos on drums - video courtesy of Vesna Trkulja. Some of the finest musical talent in #HamOnt.

#blues #HamOnt

Alt Rock Release: F-105 (Independent - July 27, 2018)

Alt Rock Release: F-105
(Independent - July 27, 2018)
Listen/Buy PWYC

Lyrics that turn both rebellious and reflective, and an idiosyncratic world view meet catchy retro pop rock in this debut release by F-105, a new alt-rock project from veteran Toronto musician Din. It's a new musical outlet for Din after completing his 15 year journey with his band The Soles. Din writes all the songs on the album.

Rebel Girl is the first single, a bouncy rock ballad with a retro groove. Octave harmonies and the strong rhythmic pulse reveal the indigenous heart of the music on songs like Desert Planet, where the desert becomes a metaphor for emptiness and ultimately the clarity that can come from it.

The album’s lead single ‘Rebel Girl/Desert Planet’ got a big boost in popularity with a Star Wars connection in the video. The track received wide coverage and critical acclaim in with the group’s growing global Star Wars / geekdom fanbase, including extensive play and interviews on a wide variety of…

Pop Single Review: Angela Predhomme - Hidden Wings (Independent, 29 June 2018)

Review:
Angela Predhomme - Hidden Wings
(Independent, 29 June 2018)
Stream or Download

"This is an important song to me because it's about breaking free from the things that keep us from living the life we really want to, and taking that leap of faith. It's about believing in ourselves and finding that courage." - Angela Predhomme

Indie recording artist Angela Predhomme released the single Hidden Wings earlier this summer. It's an uplifting pop song with a soulful heart that Angela both wrote and produced. Stylistically, the song falls somewhere between adult contemporary and jazzy pop. Its strength is Angela's nimble soprano - clear and soft, yet powerful when she needs it. She floats above the compelling rhythm of the song with vocals that sound effortless.

Members of the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club provide the rich harmonies on the song. Hidden Wings was the first single to preview from an upcoming release, Love, expected in fall 2018. Hey Mr…

Piano Pop Review: Randal Branham - Simple (Vadia Vinyl, September 18 2018

Review:
Randal Branham - Simple
(Vadia Vinyl, September 18 2018
Available for pre-order from Sept 4

Randal Branham offers an album of accomplished radio-friendly pop rock on Simple. Randall has a pleasant tenor that is melodic, with a raspy edge that comes in grittier passages. It's an album with a romantic heart that looks at love in many different permutations.

Simple to Extreme is a high energy mixture of pop and rock, with soul in its complex, compelling rhythms and a dash of jazz in its interesting chord changes. It features Tom Goss, and it's a highlight of the release.

Simple is a keyboard driven power ballad, with a cool sax solo and fat, church choir harmonies on the chorus. Man to Man takes it down to voice and piano for a plain spoken story of love with a difference.

There's no photo of you in a frame on my desk
Cause th\e customers don't understand
At a dinner, or movie, no matter how late
I'm never seen touching your hand

It's kind've amazing that, …

Free Music in New York City: Bryant Park Picnics Emerging Music Festival August 17 & 18 2018

From a media release:

Free Music in New York City:
Bryant Park Picnics
Emerging Music Festival
August 17 & 18 2018
The event is rain or shine and free to the public.

Returning for its fourth year, Emerging Music Festival (EMF) features ten on-the-rise indie rock, pop, blues, and soul bands performing for thousands on the Bryant Park lawn. Almost all artists hail from the greater New York area, making EMF one of the city's largest celebrations of young local bands. Between sets, attendees can purchase beer and wine, eat food from local vendors curated by Hester Street Fair, borrow a free picnic blanket, learn to juggle, and play giant lawn games.
This year's EMF takes place over two days, on August 17 and 18. Artists slated to perform on August 17 include high-level pop-rockers EZTV, neo-afrobeat from Underground System, psych and soul band Palmas, Chicago post-rock from Ohmee, and and New York City mainstays Evolfo. The August 18 lineup will spotlight spellbinding a capella fr…

Travel to CUBA's HAVANA JAZZ FESTIVAL with Blue Note's Exclusive VIP Experience January 15-20 2019

From a media release:

Travel to CUBA's
HAVANA JAZZ FESTIVAL
with Blue Note's
Exclusive VIP Experience
January 15-20, 2019
Find out more at the link
• Call 917-909-6661 to Book Now

Enjoy the old world charm of Havana and the scenic areas of Pinar Del Rio, all while experiencing the 34th Annual Havana Jazz Festival.

Has Cuba captured your imagination? Do you want to see a country that is in every way set apart from all of the others?  Travel with us to this enchanting island full of friendly faces and discover why even our most seasoned travelers call Cuba their favorite country. Fall in love with an island of people who put the arts first. Meet Cuba’s finest musicians, artists, and dancers. Visit inspiring community project leaders and entrepreneurs. The treasure of Cuba is it’s people and you will meet the spirited people that make Cuba unforgettable.

The Details:
6 days / 5 nights - January 15 to 20 2019
Havana, with a day tour of Pinar Del Rio
2019 Havana Jazz Festival

On this 6 …