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Showing posts from 2020

Shine Your Eyes (Cidade Pássaro) On Netflix July 29 2020

From a media release:
SHINE YOUR EYESA Nigerian Musician Searches for His Missing 
Brother in the Vibrant Streets of São Paulo
A highlight of the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival, where it received its world premiere, SHINE YOUR EYES (Cidade Pássaro), the richly textured feature fiction debut of Brazilian filmmaker Matias Mariani, will launch worldwide on Netflix on Wednesday, July 29. 
SHINE YOUR EYES tells the story of Amadi (OC Ukeje), a musician from Lagos who travels to São Paulo to track down his missing older brother Ikenna (Chukwudi Iwuji) and bring him back home to Nigeria. 
Following the faint traces of Ikenna’s footsteps, he discovers that his brother was not the distinguished math professor he was supposed to be, but actually had contrived an intricate and nearly delusional series of schemes to accumulate wealth in Brazil. 
As the mysteries deepen, so too does Amadi’s attraction to this vibrant newfound culture—and to his brother’s Braz…

Film Festivals Unite In Support Of Film Culture

From a media release:
New York Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival & Venice Film Festival
United in support of film culture
TORONTO ─  The Toronto International Film Festival released today an official letter of solidarity with three other international film festivals, with each organization committing to cooperation, information sharing, and support of one another’s global events.
The New York Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and Venice Film Festival have all endured financial challenges amid the health pandemic. As a result, it has been essential for each organization to reimagine the delivery of its film festival to its audiences.
Here is the statement in full:This year, we saw the COVID-19 pandemic devastate communities all over the world, and bring life as we knew it to a halt. As supporters of global cinema, we watched as the work of film artists stopped in its tracks, and the culture of film itse…

Kizomba Live: Awgwshto Pires Live Stream July 25 2020

Kizomba Live:
Awgwshto Pires
Live Stream July 25 2020
6pm ESTStream it Live on YouTubeBuy his songs on iTunesStream on Spotify
Toronto's Massemba Productions presents a live streaming concert by Awgwshto Pires on July 25. He's based in the states, and records out of Miami.

Kizomba is both a style of music and a dance that comes from Angola, and originated about 35 years ago. If you're a fan of zouk or bachata, you already get the idea.
If you've never danced it before, you can check out a video to prepare for July 25.  Let Kizomba light up your summer evening. FacebookInstagram Here's a taste of what you can expect from this talented artist.

#TravelTomorrow Summertime Spirits (With a Czech Twist!)

From a media release:
Summertime Spirits (With a Czech Twist!)
If you were hoping to visit the Czech Republic this summer, there's good news and bad news, depending on where you are to start with. 
Let’s get the restrictions out of the way first.
For the moment (but not forever!) Czech borders remain closed for countries with a high risk of Covid-19 infection. However, we've begun to see hopeful signs of safely welcoming international guests. Local businesses, pubs, hotels, and monuments have slowly opened in stages to residents and some European travelers without significant surges. 
This careful approach will help ensure a safe and smooth experience once all tourists return to our cobblestoned streets. In the meantime, you can always enjoy a cocktail with a Czech twist.  Czech Cocktail Hour
Let’s be real: after months of stressful work environments and being cooped up indoors, we all need a drink. We’ve got an idea for a crisp cocktail that can give you a taste of Czech life.  

Art Gallery Of Ontario To Reopen July 2 2020

From a media release:
Art Gallery of Ontario to reopen July 2, 2020
Explore a world of great art, reconnect and recharge once again; special exhibitions Diane Arbus, Photographs: 1956-1971 and Illusions: The Art of Magic extended until November
TORONTO – We’ve missed you! Today the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is excited to announce its plans to safely reopen, following public health and government of Ontario guidelines. We can’t wait to open our doors and welcome you back. We will be welcoming our community back in stages: On July 2, the AGO will open to Members and Annual Pass Holders who book timed-entry tickets in advance. Members can book tickets starting June 25 and Annual Pass holders can book starting June 26. Not a Member or an Annual Pass Holder? Not a problem. Purchase one online, or if you are aged 25 and under, sign up for free, before booking your time to visit the Gallery. On July 16, the public can purchase timed-entry single tickets in advance, and start coming on July 23…

Jazz: Streaming Live at The Village Vanguard

From a media release:
Streaming Live at The Village Vanguard Continues this weekend with the Joe Martin Quartet featuring Mark Turner, Kevin Hays and Nasheet Waits Saturday nights at 7 p.m. EDT and Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. EDT
Streaming Live at the Village Vanguard continues its series on Saturday, June 27 at 7 p.m. EDT and Sunday, June 28 at 2 p.m. EDT with the Joe Martin Quartet featuring Mark Turner, Kevin Hays and Nasheet Waits.  Tickets are $7 and available at  Each week there will be two shows approximately 75 minutes in length on Saturday @ 7 p.m. EDT and a Sunday Matinee @ 2 p.m. EDT. Streaming Live at The Village Vanguard Schedule:
• June 27th & 28th – Joe Martin Quartet featuring Mark Turner, Kevin Hays and Nasheet Waits • Friday, July 3th & Sunday, July 5th – Joe Lovano Trio Fascination featuring Ben Street and Andrew Cyrille • July 11 & 12 – Eric Reed Quartet featuring Stacy Dillard, Dezron Douglas and Jeremy Bean Clemons Please continue to

Jazz release: Deerhoof Announce New Live Album Ft. Wadada Leo Smith

From a media release:
Jazz release:
Deerhoof Announce New Live Album
To Be Surrounded By Beautiful, Curious, Breathing, Laughing Flesh Is Enough
Ft. Wadada Leo SmithBandcamp exclusive available July 3, 2020All proceeds to Black Lives Matter Legendary composer and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith is featured on Deerhoof’s new live album To Be Surrounded By Beautiful, Curious, Breathing, Laughing Flesh Is Enough, available as a Bandcamp exclusive on July 3rd, 2020 via Joyful Noise Recordings.  The digital pre-order is now available to purchase HERE alongside a stream of the first preview track featuring Smith, “Breakup Songs.”
Deerhoof today announced that their new live album To Be Surrounded By Beautiful, Curious, Breathing, Laughing Flesh Is Enough will be released as a Bandcamp exclusive on July 3rd, 2020, via Joyful Noise Recordings. Sharing its name with a line from Walt Whitman’s “I Sing The Body Electric” and comprising 11 beloved tracks not found on Deerhoof’s last live album (Fever 12161…

#TravelTomorrow - Eat Today: Emilia-Romagna Italy

#TravelTomorrow - Eat Today
Emilia-Romagna, Italy
A culinary region like no other - find out more
Stretching east-west from the Adriatic Sea across northern Italy, with the River Po to the north and the Apennine Mountains to the south, Emilia-Romagna is one of 20 administrative regions of Italy. It is a thriving region with a rich agricultural heritage that has resulted in a cuisine that is renowned the world over.
Even if travel plans are scuttled by the pandemic in 2020, we can enjoy the region's gifts to the world's palate. 
Prosciutti di Parma Parma is the second largest city in the region, after Bologna. The succulent prosciutti di Parma is made with pigs raised locally, salted and cured, and then aged in underground caves. 
Parmigiano Reggano Authentic Parmigiano Reggano can only be produced in the Emilia-Romagna. This is where it gets it delicious nutty flavour. Eight quarts of milk go into one pound of this cheese, created with a traditional recipe and aged between 12 and …

Virtual Cinema Release: My Darling Vivian

From a media release:
Virtual Cinema Release:
My Darling Vivian
TORONTO – Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema (Available June 25, 2020) VANCOUVER – Vancity Theatre / Vancouver International Film Festival (Available June 26, 2020)
Now playing at dozens of theatres in the U.S. Find your theatre at the link Rewriting Hollywood's fictionalized version of events, My Darling Vivian tells the true story of Vivian Liberto, Johnny Cash's first wife and the mother of his four daughters. The acclaimed new documentary feature had its world premiere at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival and played other top festivals
A story that was lost or misinterpreted to serve a myth comes to life in this revealing new film that is painful but compassionate, wrenching but true.
Featuring exclusive footage and interviews. Take a first look at a teaser for the film here. Rosanne Cash opens up about her mother in this first look at My Darling Vivian. In 1951, Catholic schoolgirl Vivian Liberto meets handsome Air Force cadet Johnny…

Indie Rock: Sundogs - The Code (Independent / 28 May 2020)

Indie Rock:
Sundogs - The Code
(Independent / 28 May 2020)
• Stream it on Spotify or Bandcamp • Buy it on iTunes or Amazon
Melodic, guitar driven hard rock is the flavour for the Sundogs' release, The Code. The Seattle rockers look to the classic era for inspiration, but clever lyrics and top notch chops give it a compelling modern polish.
The core of the group is made up of Stan Snow and Jed Moffitt. Natives of Fremont, California, they're now based in Seattle. They've enlisted a long line-up of stellar musicians who add depth and a nicely lush instrumentation to the project, including a horn section of sax and trumpet. Celebrity drummers Alan White (YES, John Lennon) and Ben Smith (Heart) play on a few of the tracks (credits below).
The band offers a nice range that you could loosely group into a classic rock net. Some tracks, like Mystery Car, incorporate jazzy shades of Steely Dan-ish melody and chord changes, while others, like Comin' Back Home or Hard Life, are straight…

Thinking About Travel Summer 2020?

Thinking About Travel Summer 2020?
Will you travel in summer 2020? Can you travel in summer 2020? Can anyone?

As of June 2020, various regions of the world are in various stages of reopening their economies and societies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Quite rightly, most jurisdictions are proceeding cautiously, and a lot is still unknown. 

The most optimistic projections for summer 2020 say a limited way...if you don't travel too far.

• The key phrase is: know before you go. Spontaneous trips are out, and travelers will have to do some planning before hitting the road to anywhere.  North America Most areas in North America are expecting to reopen gradually through June and July. In the US, the travel industry, which has lost billions in cancelled trips since the pandemic hit in earnest in March, is hoping for a bit of a bounce in July. They're expecting in-country travel since many foreign destinations are still closed to travelers. 
According to The NY Times, th…

9to5 The Story of a Movement: World Premiere June 19 2020

From a media release:
The Story of a Movement 
Directed and Produced by Academy Award-Winners Julia Reichert & Steven Bognar (AMERICAN FACTORY)   WORLD PREMIERE, JUNE 19, 2020 AT AFI DOCS 2020 
 • Check out AFI Docs 2020 June 17 to 21
In the early 1970s, a group of secretaries in Boston decided that they had suffered in silence long enough. Inspired by the Women's Liberation Movement, they started fighting back, banding together to force changes in their workplaces. 
Their goals were simple: better pay, job descriptions, respect, advancement opportunities, and an end to sexual harassment - then a freshly coined concept. They employed outrageous humor to attract the press and shame their bosses into change. 
This movement, taking the name 9to5, became national, and inspired Dolly Parton's iconic song and Jane Fonda's hit film of the same name.
Later becoming a formal union, 9to5 encapsulated a unique intersection of the women's and labor movements. The awareness thes…

Singer/Songwriter Annamay - New Singles

Annamay - new singles
From the album Out Of Reach
(Independent / 29 May 2020)
Out Of Reach Om Hon Hade Vetat
If you're a fan of pure pop and finely crafted songs, you'll enjoy the work of Annamay. From a solo/studio act, the singles see her branching out with a new band. Annamay's vocals range from a lower/mid-range that sounds a bit like Marianne Faithful without the rasp, to an effortless high end with a girlish lustre.
Out of Reach ranges from lush piano ballad to pop with a groove. Annamay talks about the song in a media release.
A song about lost opportunities that may arise again (if you really want them to..) <3 Living, loving, in solitude, longing for that special person.
Om Hon Hade Vetat is upbeat, with a busy drum line. It's bright and catchy - whether or not you understand the Swedish lyrics - and reminiscent of effervescent 1960s/70s pop. 
A native of the mountains of Åre, Sweden, she began studying music at the age of 10. Alongside her music…

Indie Film: Wakaliwood's CRAZY WORLD - See It Free For One Week Starting May 29 2020

From a media release:
Wakaliwood's CRAZY WORLD Premieres Friday, May 29, 2020 at 2pm (EST) Available for One Week for FREE!
Crazy World, by Uganda's renowned zero budget filmmaker Nabwana IGG, is back. After a sold-out world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2019, it's back for free viewing as part of YouTube's online film festival. Here's a message from Wakaliwood.
Supa Fans! Our new child Kung Fu action film CRAZY WORLD will have its International Premiere as part of YouTube's We Are One: A Global Film Festival alongside Bong Joon Ho, Francis Ford Coppola, Guillermo del Toro, Jane Campion and Jackie Chan! You can see the international premiere HERE.
The film has been screened only once before, the World Premiere at TIFF 2019. This special version features an introduction from Uganda with your fave filmmaker Nabwana IGG and a Special Scene produced under lockdown with Supa Fans around the World.
We chose to share Crazy World with We Are One as a …

LAMC2020: Latin Alternative Music Conference June 9-13 2020 Online

From a media release:

Panel Topics
Livestream Partner Announced
The Latin Alternative Music Conference is going digital in 2020 for obvious reasons. This year, you can stay on top of industry trends from the comfort of your own home.

• When is LAMC2020? June 9-13th, 2020 • How much does it cost to register? $0 = Free = Gratis = Cero dinero! • Where do I register for LAMC2020? • Where do I tune in to watch?
Our LAMC livestream partner is Twitch. 
Panel discussions at the LAMC are a key part of the conference as they provide a forum for discussion on a wide-range of topics that help create important conversation about the current state and future of the industry.

Check out this year's panel topics below and stay tuned for future announcements of our panellist lineup and conference schedule.

This year we are asking you to send your panel questions in advance.  Email your questions to
LAMC Panel Topics

• Mental…

I Am Samuel - World Premiere 2020 Hot Docs Online Festival May 28-June 7 2020

From a media release:

Documentary Film:
I Am Samuel - World Premiere
2020 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Online Festival
World Showcase Section
Screening from May 28 through June 7, 2020

Check out the Hot Docs Festival Online

Filmed in a vérité style over five years, I am Samuel is an intimate portrait of a Kenyan man torn between balancing duty to his family with his dreams for his future. U.S. Premiere to follow at 2020 Human Rights Watch Film Festival New York

Hot Docs Festival Online starts May 28! Ontario audiences will be able to watch doc premieres, enjoy pre-recorded filmmaker Q&As, and partake in virtual live events—all on Starting May 21, ticket package holders, premium pass holders and Doc Soup subscribers can book their films, and Hot Docs Members can purchase single tickets. Single tickets will be on sale to the public starting May 26. Tickets: $9 per film ($8 for Hot Docs Members) Synopsis Samuel grew up in the Kenyan countryside, where traditio…

Jazz Release: Bartosz Hadala Group - Three Short Stories (Independent / 2020)

Jazz Release:
Bartosz Hadala Group - Three Short Stories
(Independent / 2020)
Buy the CD

Each track is a new adventure on this album of new jazz from Toronto's Bartosz Hadala Group. Hadala wrote all the compositions on the album, and he makes good use of jazz idioms from a broad swath of eras from classic swing to avant-garde and even flashes of atonality, without losing the thread or leaving listeners behind in a self-indulgent exploration.

The first track, Prologue: Slow to Anger, is expressive and moody, a fitting introduction to this series of short stories. In True North X, Hadala swings into a contemporary jazz mode, full of changes in direction and tempo. He's assembled an impressive group of musicians who can take the spotlight with their virtuosity but play beautifully off each other as well.

As a pianist/keyboard player, he's inventive and melodic, with a solid rhythm section in drummer Marito Marques and bassist Brad Cheeseman. Guitarist Eric St-Laurent adds som…

Mediterranean Jazz: Erodoto Project - Mythos: Metamorphosis (Cultural Bridge / May 1, 2020)

Jazz release:
Erodoto Project - Mythos: Metamorphosis
(Cultural Bridge / May 1, 2020)
Buy/Download from your favourite service
Stay in touch

Cool grooves meet hot chops in this latest release from Italy's Erodata Project. Despite the emphasis on themes and stories from classical Roman mythology and literature, listeners can expect a thoroughly modern approach to jazz - one that blends various elements into the music as needed.

The Mirò String Trio (Fabiola Gaudio, violin; Lorenzo Rundo, viola; Marco Simonacci, violoncello) adds a moody orchestral touch to Bob Salmieri and his jazz quintet, featuring Salmieri on tenor and soprano sax, ney (a Persian flute) and  ney, sax tenore e soprano, friscalettu (a wooden flute), Alessandro de Angelis on keyboards, Maurizio Perrone on contrabass, Giampaolo Scatozza on drums and Carlo Colombo on percussion.

The rhythm section creates the basis for their signature sound, with shimmering cymbals and a nicely delicate sense of rhythmic patterns an…

Kate Amrine: This Is My Letter to the World (Innova Recordings - January 24, 2020)

Kate Amrine
This Is My Letter to the World
(Innova Recordings - January 24, 2020)
Buy/Download the CD

Kate Amrine's trumpet moans, pulses, and soars in rich tones and melody in this very interesting release of new music.

Her trumpet is the thread that leads us through the noise and cacophony of Gemma Peacocke's Skin, the first track on the album. It plays against the electronic sounds and Roberta Michel's alto flute beautifully.

Amrine composed What We Are Doing To Ourselves, a compelling track that incorporates string playing/noise, voice/spoken word, and flute - elements that at times sound as if they were all arguing with each other in a whirl of music. The words talk about the environment and our relationship to it, the music swirling in and around the libretto.

In Kevin Joest's Thoughts and Prayers, the trumpet and other instruments play off snippets of spoken word - speeches from Obama and others, and arguing voices, all talking about incidents of gun violence. I…

Heare Ensemble: VOX (Innova Recordings - January 24, 2020)

Heare Ensemble: VOX
(Innova Recordings - January 24, 2020)
Buy/Download the CD

The Heare Ensemble is Jennie Oh Brown on flutes, Jennifer Blyth on piano, and Kurt Fowler on cello, and this is their debut recording - a surprise given the effortless sounding musicianship.

The recording commemorates the 90th birthday of American composer George Crumb. The first piece on the album is Crumb's Vox Balaenae - Voice of the Whale (1971). Written for "three masked players (electric flute, electric cello, and electric piano,) it  begins with the lovely and atmospheric Vocalise, a combination of voice and flute (and voice forced through flute) that sets the tone for the ominously rumbling piano that follows - like approaching thunder. The piece is evocative and flows through mood changes from majestic to playful to foreboding.

Crumb was responding to recordings of whale sounds he'd heard, and the piece is considered revolutionary. In addition to whale sounds, he alludes to the openin…

Fandom Online - HOMECON: 2nd Edition May 16-17 2020

From a media release:

HOMECON: 2nd Edition
May 16-17, 2020 
HOMECON, the Virtual Fan Experience that Became a Six-Continent Unprecedented Success, Returns.
PANELS: Orphan Black, Vikings, The 100, Heroes, and Wynonna Earp

Toronto. Thursday, April 30, 2020. Following in the footsteps of a wildly successful inaugural launch, HOMECON: 2nd Edition takes place on Saturday, May 16 - Sunday, May 17 with more panels, more 1-on-1 Zoom chats, more HOMECON merch, and the new innovation for bashful fans, the group-on-1 interviews for $40 (holds up to 10 people chatting with one actor). HOMECON deconstructs the fan experience at conventions and transcends that design, adding the ease of accessibility that is the difference between just attending and really participating.

Headlining HOMECON: 2nd Edition will be these exhilarating panels. Check out for new guests as they are added.

*Orphan Black Panel: Featuring Emmy-winning and Golden Globe nominee, Tatiana Maslany (Stronger).