8 years ago

Volume 20 Issue 6 - March 2015

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England, raised in

England, raised in Vancouver Canadaand currently based in New York City.“Seamus Blake is one of the mostcomplete musicians out there inmy opinion. He is perfect for mywriting, which has many differentinfluences.”Consisting of ten original tunesand two standards, the album Movin’Forward will be available for sale instores and online on March 24. I mustsay that one of the perks of the writer’sjob is hearing music before it isreleased, and quite honestly it is themost exciting jazz recording I haveheard in a very long time.“Some of the music you’ll hear onthis album is more recent, fresh, andsome of them I wrote a long timeago,” says Botos. The two standardsI chose are Softly as in a MorningSunrise and Close to You which is more of a pop tune rearranged in agroovy, funky way. I specifically chose the tunes for the group of musicians.I focused on what would feel good.”Just how is this album different from his first effort, Place to Place?“This album represents a lot of my musical sides. From HungarianRomani (Gypsy) music to straight ahead jazz to funk. It’s also myfirst recording with American musicians as a leader. I really considerthis as my debut album. Also, it is a childhood dream to collaboratewith these amazing musicians. I’m very excited to share it and I hopepeople will like it!”The event at Jazz Bistro is expected to sell out; reserve your seats assoon as you possibly can at 416-363-5299. Good luck!Robi BotosMonarch Fundraiser: On SundayMarch 22 from 2 to 6pm a beautifulsinger-songwriter, Christine Gaidies,will be raising funds for her new CDat the Monarch Tavern on ClintonStreet, sharing the stage with alineup of friends rallying to hercause. I was going to say it’s a listtoo long to print. But what the heck:Sandi Marie, Diane Baker Mason,Nicole Coward, Andrew M. Smith,Dan McLean Jr, Michelle Lecce,Orit Shimoni, Chris Hess, ErinChristine GaidiesFord, Maia Waern, Debbie Fleming,Linda Maruta, Henry Cifersons, Kevin Kennedy, Valerey Lavergne,Eunji Kim, Michelle Denis MacDougall, Kristin Mueller-Heaslip, AlanMcKinlay, Niki Andre, Lesley Roylance, Harpin Norm Lucien andothers to be announced!) Show some love to Christine Gaidies whocould use your support at a particularly challenging time – her cancerhas returned and any funding beyond completion of the CD will gotowards her treatments – book your reservations through the Monarchfor March 22 from 2 to 6pm and check out the GoFundMe campaignfor other ways you can help.Speaking of me! Finally, I hardly ever do this but I thought I’d letyou, dear readers, know about two of my own gigs this month, especiallysince they are both the beginning of monthly residencies, thelast weekend of every month.Friday March 27 from 6 to 8pm I will be performing a Pay-What-You-Can dinner show with two of my favourite musicians at the 120Diner located at 120 Church Street. The menu is very good and reasonablypriced, the owners are kind to the musicians, and the acousticsare excellent – as a wise poet once wrote, “Who could ask foranything more?”Saturday March 28 from 9:30 pm to 12:30 am I will be back at theintimate Poetry Jazz Café, a hidden gem neatly nestled in the heart ofKensington Market at 224 Augusta Avenue. Like a few other venues intown, this one does not take reservations, except for parties of ten andover, so arrive on time to get good seats. Each month I’m joined by theelectric Patrick Hewan on keys, with rhythm section featuring twospecial guests announced mid-month on my website at you for your support, genuinely. In an age when there is anabundance of entertainment available at the touch of a button, I thinkI speak for all jazz musicians and music venues when I say, “We hopeto see you in the clubs!”Check out Bob Ben’s Mostly Clubs, Mainly Jazz on page 49 for allthe details.Ori Dagan is a Toronto-based jazz musician, writer andeducator who can be reached at oridagan.com22 | March 1 - April 7, 2015

Beat by Beat | Early MusicMining Venice’sMusical WealthDAVID PODGORSKIWe don’t often connect the city of Venice with world domination,given that today it’s associated in the popular imaginationwithbeing a well-known(and increasinglysoggy) tourist destinationand not muchelse. Journeying back intime through its music,we learn that Venice thepolitical entity was oneof the major players inEurope for nearly 700years, from the earlyMiddle Ages to the 18th century. The Most Serene Republic of Venicecomprised not only the city itself, but the rest of Northeastern Italy,the islands of Crete and Cyprus, ports north of Athens and an archipelagoof various Greek islands as well as ports in Albania and Croatia.Just as Rome was an empire based on one city, so too was Venice – butthe latter remained the envy of the other European powers long afterthe Romans had quit. Venice came to be one of the richest cities in theworld over time, the envy of The Ottomans and the Papal States. Fora power no one bothered to teach us about in school, the Venetiansdidn’t do too badly at the game of empire.The rich history of the Venetians, fuelled as it was by a voraciousappetite for wealth and power, was, unsurprisingly, also somethingof a golden age for culture, and Venice’s rulers and patriciansfunded a galaxy of talented musicians, composers, artists and architectsthroughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Titian, GiovanniCanaletto, Francesco Guardi and the entire Bassano family remaininfluential artists from the period of Venice’s glory, artists who stillhold significance in the art world today. Similarly, Venetian musicianswere some of the greatest composers in Renaissance Europe: Dirutaand Zarlino, Claudio Merulo, Cipriano de Rore, Andrea and GiovanniGabrieli, and the father of opera himself, Claudio Monteverdi are allItalian composers who spent most of their lives in the city of Venice.For concert programmers, especially of early Baroque and vocalmusic, the city of Veniceis a veritable gold minegold mine, and theCantemus Singers, a localchoral group dedicated toRenaissance and Baroquemusic, have tapped thisVenetian vein for theirupcoming concert at theChurch of the Holy TrinityCantemus Singerson March 21 and 22, In aconcert titled, appropriatelyenough, “The Glories of Venice” the 14-voice a cappella groupwill be delving into a fascinating chapter in the city’s musical historyby performing selections from the madrigals and motets of AdrianWillaert, de Rore, the two Gabrielis and Monteverdi. They’ll also befeaturing Giovanni Gabrieli’s glorious Easter motet for double choirAngelus Domini Descendit and Monteverdi’s remarkable Missa dacappella, a tour de force of sacred music writing from the earlyBaroque. They’ll be joined by new members Amy Dodington andRachel Krehm as well as lutenist Ben Stein. As choir concerts go, thisprogram seems remarkably focused in both its scope and style, so March 1 - April 7, 2015 | 23

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