3 years ago

Volume 25 Issue 9 - July / August 2020

  • Text
  • Composer
  • Orchestra
  • Concerts
  • Symphony
  • Musicians
  • Artists
  • Musical
  • Toronto
  • August
  • Jazz
July/August issue is now available in flipthrough HERE, bringing to a close 25 seasons of doing what we do (and plan to continue doing), and on stands early in the week of July 5. Not the usual bucolic parade of music in the summer sun, but lots, we hope, to pass the time: links to online and virtual music; a full slate of record reviews; plenty new in the Listening Room; and a full slate of stories – the future of opera, the plight of small venues, the challenge facing orchestras, the barriers to resumption of choral life, the challenges of isolation for real-time music; the steps some festivals are taking to keep the spirit and substance of what they do alive. And intersecting with all of it, responses to the urgent call for anti-racist action and systemic change.


GREEN PAGES TD NIAGARA JAZZ FESTIVAL The TD Niagara Jazz Festival is a cutting edge celebration of all types of jazz, performed in intimate indoor and outdoor venues in the heart of Niagara’s stunning wine country. The TD Niagara Jazz Festival presents the finest Canadian and internationally-acclaimed jazz musicians by way of spectacular concerts, wine, craft beer, and culinary packages, and free performances throughout Niagaraon-the-Lake and selected locations throughout Niagara. 1-844-548-5299 SweetWater Music Festival Owen Sound and Meaford, ON this summer and regularly check for updates at 519-477-1403 channel/UCqmZ4nAlKZzmHQky-B7o0Lw TD MARKHAM JAZZ FESTIVAL ➤ September 2020 - March 2021 (postponed from August 14 to 16) Markham, ON The TD Markham Jazz Festival regrets that in keeping with COVID-19 guidelines, and to be careful that our audiences and artists stay safe, we have had to cancel this year’s festival, which was to take place August 14 to 16, 2020. However, we recognize that jazz in all its genres brings joy to listeners – and never was this more important than now, during this pandemic environment, where we cannot gather in mass to celebrate all that music has to offer. And so, TDMJF is pleased to announce that we will be bringing jazz to all of our patrons in the form of a combined live (ticketed) and virtual (live-streamed) concert series that will take place from the end of September 2020 to the end of March 2021. Schedule, locations and dates to be announced by the end of July. 905-471-5299 TORONTO SUMMER MUSIC ➤ July 16 to August 1 2020 Toronto Summer Music is delighted to announce its first-ever online festival! Save the dates: July 16 to August 1, 2020. Since the announcement that we had to cancel our in-person Beethoven Unleashed Festival, we have been working diligently to create a new digital Festival during this unique summer. Thanks to our generous supporters, we have a fabulous lineup of artists and concerts to present, all in high-quality audio and video – from emerging artists to international stars, kids concerts to multidisciplinary productions – there will be something for everyone! We will be announcing full details in early July. Stay tuned! 647-430-5699 WESTBEN CONCERTS AT THE BARN ➤ May 30 to August 2, 2020 Campbellford, ON Sunshine Ahead! Bringing people together through music – reimagined Westben is genuinely sorry that Concerts at The Barn 2020 will not take place as originally planned. We do remain however fully committed to “bringing people together through music”. To reimagine this mandate, we have launched the new digital “Sunshine Ahead!” program including Musical Moments to soothe, Music for a While podcasts to inspire, interactive activities for kids and the new “Digital Concerts at The Barn” series. In keeping with improvisation and innovation, Westben’s Performer-Composer Residency has shifted online where all 80 applicants from around the world have the opportunity to participate, create and share new works. Westben is focusing on sunshine now and ahead and hoping to stay connected with you. 705-653-7369 @westbentheatre 34 | Summer 2020

Mainly Clubs, Mostly Jazz! Small Venues Surviving Suspension, and Moving Forward COLIN STORY In the wake of ongoing worldwide protests in support of anti-racist social reform, major Canadian arts institutions have expressed statements of commitment to look inward and address their own programming selections, hiring practices and artistic choices. Amidst promises to do better, major institutions have the benefit of time and major financial resources to stay afloat; meanwhile, Toronto’s clubs face an uncertain future. Though it is imperative that venues of all sizes think critically about their own internal biases, it is small venues, rather than large, that have the greater capacity to provide space to diverse programming, having a mandate to develop and serve their communities, rather than their donor base. So, with the advent of summer, and a recent move into Stage 2 of the province’s reopening framework, I connected with representatives of three Toronto venues – The Rex, The Emmet Ray and Burdock Music Hall – to discuss the suspension of live performances, surviving the financial hurdles of quarantine, and moving forward. On the initial experience of postponing/cancelling shows: Andrew Kaiser, Owner/Operator, The Emmet Ray: The first thing we did was empty all stock and money offsite. We then called all local suppliers and got them to stop sending any standard orders. As for bookings, we had nearly 14 shows per week; most groups were cancelling before the official lockdown, but [we] got in touch with the remainder of the [acts] that were left and cancelled them. We laid off staff right away, [as] we knew getting E.I. would be something of a challenge and wanted the staff to have the best chance to get it. I also got on the phone with banks and spent a lot of time trying to secure loans or credit lines to get us through. We had no idea what support if any would come. Tom Tytel, General Manager, The Rex: Unfortunately (or fortunately, not sure) [the process of cancelling shows] proved easier than I would’ve originally assumed. Due to the fact that it was a health-related issue I think most of the people we had to contact were already under the assumption that everything was “on hold” until further notice anyway, so it made the cancellation process more amenable. Laying off the staff proved to be a necessary evil (so they could more quickly go through the EI and then CERB process) and was a very personal and painful ordeal for the ownership and myself. As for the rest of the operation… we are ordinarily open in some capacity 24/7/365, so it was very unusual to have to scale everything down. Richard Haubrich, Music Hall director, Burdock Brewery: The cancellation emails started rolling in around March 10. We had our last show on Friday March 13 and subsequently closed the Music Hall. The restaurant side of Burdock closed Sunday March 15. Many bookings were outright cancelled, but whenever possible I tried to postpone shows that were already announced and up for sale. Most of our wedding bookings were simply pushed back one year. We struggled with how to handle cancelling all upcoming work for our Music Hall staff. We were obviously very relieved when CERB was announced. On pivoting, surviving, and building under quarantine: RH (Burdock): We closed the restaurant on Sunday March 15. On Monday we launched a free local beer delivery service, and by Tuesday morning I switched from Music Hall Director to beer delivery driver and was out on the road with our first batch of 26 orders using a trial version of the top Google result for delivery routing software. Since then we iterated and grew the delivery operation substantially. We also do third party deliveries for various Toronto wine agencies. We converted the restaurant area into a packing and staging area for orders. We have up to five vans delivering and picking up agency orders daily. AK (The Emmett Ray): The Emmet Ray started Dinner and Show, [for which] we created heat-and-eat meals: roast chicken, vindaloo, lasagna, fried chicken and more. Each dinner came with a couple sides or sauces as well as cookies or some kind of [dessert]. They cost .99 each, free delivery and no hidden fees and went to the artist we booked, who performed live online, streaming mostly through Facebook. At first it was a great success: people supported and everyone talked about how great the idea is. However, even with good reviews of the food, it seemed like everyone loved the idea but it took too much planning for people, or they didn’t like the idea of having to heat it up. Whatever the case, we have stopped the program because no one was ordering anymore. However, the online streams and artists seemed to be doing well through direct online tips during the shows. I am in the process of coming up with another idea, but right now we will just advertise the shows booked through or associated with The Emmet Ray and try to get the artists a wider audience and more tips. However, The Emmet Ray won’t see any money from the shows. The Rex July and August 2020 | 35

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