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Volume 10 Issue 8 - May 2005

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  • Toronto
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· JAzz Notes that

· JAzz Notes that relatively short period of time that Parker was with him. Jay has earned his own place by Jim Galloway in the history books and his big EVENTS THIS MONTH include a Closer to home, the third Dis-· band of that early period capcouple of fundraisers that put the tillery Jazz Festival, May 20 to 30 tured the spirit of the era perspotl ight on homegrown talent. will again include a variety of jazz fectly. Overshadowed by the Jazz Lives, May 12 at Convoca- from leading Canadian musicians Basie band which went on to tion Hall, U of T, is a star-stud- as well as visiting artists on five world-wide fame, Jay's band ded fundraiser for JAZZFM.91 stages with pretty well continuous had a spirit and drive as well The line-up is a who's who of jazz music. I! is an attractive environ- as a 'looseness' that captured in Canada and there will be more ment to enjoy.dining, galleries and the wide open feel of Kansas talent on stage than you can shake good music. Artists include John City during the Prendergast a baton at. If you already have a Kameel Farah, Eve Egoyan, Nick days. For those of you who ticket you are one of the lucky ones Ali with Gruvasylum and Grupo may not know, Thomas J. because the concert is sold out. Monstruoso, Rita Di Ghent, Dee Prendergast. was a crooked Who knows, maybe some of the Kaye and Adrean Farrugia. politieian who became exscalpers who used to be at Toron- An understanding of the origins tremely rich in the beer business to Maple Leafs games will have and history of jazz really does add and made even more money sellsomething to do that night! to the enjoyment of it and if you ing suds at skyrocket prices dur- Then, on May 16, the 7th An- are interested in learning about the ing Prohil)ition, all the time masnual Fundraising Gala for the Ken history of the music, George querading as a fine Catholic bene­ Page Memorial Trust will be held Brown College starts a course this factor of the city. He virtually at the Montreal Bistro, home of the month on Jazz: History and Cul- owned K. C. and ruled over an asevent since its inception.The mu- ture. It examines the roots and sortment of crooked magistrates, sic will be provided by the TriB- evolution of)azz from early Blues attorneys, police and businessmen. ute To Moe Koffman Band led by and Traditional jazz to modern day By 1929, Kansas City was widelong-time member qf Moe's Quin- Fusion and Free Jazz. Students open twenty-four hours a day. tet, Bernie Se.nensky, arid prom is- also examine the lives of some of There were clubs galore - the Cues to be another standing room the jazz giants as well as connec- ban Gardens, the Reno Club, the only celebration. tions between jazz and other forms Yellow Front Saloon, the Spinning Joe Lovano has a rriini tour in such as dance, theatre and film and the area this month with dates in London May 12 at Wolf Performance Hall, May 13 at Hamilton, Place Studio Theatre, and May 14 at Toronto's Jane Mallett Theatre. On May 21 the Classic Jazz Society will present Sonny Monk Society Jazz Band from England at Estonian House.The band is a visually striking professional group of British trad musicians who present the old favourites with Sonny on trumpet, Avo Avison on trombone, Geoff Patterison on clarinet, Bob Evans on bass, Terry Illingworth on banjo and Tony Cowlishaw on drums and vocals. Time was when being a jazz vocalist was a really tough way to get a gig, but times change and jazz is seeing a huge resurgence in the vocal art. May 28 Sophie Milman will be in concert at the Glenn Gould Studio accompanied by Cameron Wallis, saxophone; Paul Shrofel, piano; Rob Fahie, bass and Robbie Kuster, drums. Don't look now, but the festival season is almost upon us. First out of the block is the Thousand Islands Jazz Festival which runs May 4 to 14 with mainstage concerts at the Brockville Arts Centre. Headliners include Peter Appleyard, Susie Arioli, Richard Whiteman and Denzal Sinclaire, Jake Langley Trio featuring Joey DeFrancesco and the Mike Murley/David Occhipinti Duo. its cultural influences of jaz. On a personal note, last month I had the great good fortune to play three nights with Jay McShann who has been, since I first m!!t him almost 35 years ago, one of my favourite people. I had, of course known about him and his contribution to jazz - the much touted 'discovery' of Charlie Parker, who made his first recordings as a member of McShann's big band in the late 30s is probably the most quoted event in his long career; but that is to do a disservice to Jay, for his influence and worth as a musician are so much more important than CD Release BOB BROUGH QUARTET & Vocalist Carol M'Cartney "LIKE A SPAING DAY" May12-1s perfonnances of 12 origin.al jazz songs plus jazz standards ,\! \iobb rougll.c'" ' SENATQb °\·.)p ()I 'ffl.E Phone: 416-364-7517 Thurs-Sat 9:30 & I l :30 Sun 8:30 &10:30 Thurs $10.00 - Fri-Sun Sl4.00 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM Jay McShann Wheel - and every club needed musicians who helped keep up a steady flow of customers. Prendergast was eventually convicted for tax fraud in 1938, but he had founded what was in effect the forerunner to Las Vegas and had also unintentionally helped to create the Kansas City sound in jazz. Jay McShann was one of those musicians and he still lives in Kansas City. I am privileged to know him as a friend. IN THE JAZZ LISTINGS ••• The week of May 17, Grossman's Tavern is celebrating 30 years of blues in Toronto. Not all of the acts have, at time of press, been announced, but they'll be posted, as soon as they are confirmed, at www .grossmanstavern.com. Jazz cellist Kye Marshall releases her new CD at the Montreal Bistro with Don Thompson, Daniel Ionescu and Joel Haynes on May 4th. At the Rex, versatile vocalist Yeno Choi performs with her sextet May 23. And Mezzetta has a great lineup this month for their "Wednesday Concerts in a Cafe" series - including · David Virelles, Don Thompson, Michael Occhipinti and Richard Whiteman (to name only a very few!). In the concert halls this month, the Toronto All Star Big Band continues its Legends in our Times series with vocalist Jackie In the jazz Listings continues on page 54 Featuring some of Toronto's best jazz musicians with a brief reflection by Jazz Vespers Clergy Sunday, May Bth - 4:30 p.m. DAVE YOUNG TRIO Sunday, June 12th - 4:30 p.m. BRUCE HARVEY TRIO Christ Church Deer Park, 1570 Yonge Street (north of St. Clair at Heath St.) 416·920-5211 Adm1ss1on 1s free. An offering is received to support the work of the church. including Jazz Vespers. MAY 1 - )UNE 7 2005

On OPERA by Chrisropher Hoile "Anne of Green Gables" THE OPERATIC HIGHLIGHT this May is the remount of "Nigredo philosopher's stone he tries to create, passes through parallel stages in 1989. Even more successful was its 1994 production of Jim Betts's genre-breaking musical "Colours in the Storm" Hotel" by Tapestry New Opera of nigredo (blackening and depress about painter Tom Works. It runs May 5-15 in the Fermenting Cellar in the Distillery District. Not only it is rare for a Canadian ion) to albedo (whitening and growth) to rubedo (reddening and turning to the outside world). Thomson that toured for seven weeks to 30 communities throughout Onduction, opera to have a S!!COnd pro­ Tapestry has reassembled the tario. but this work marked a creative team from 1992. The piece With the arrival in Banura Rubess and Ann-Marie MacDonald breakthrough for Tapestry, now will star Patricia O'Callaghan as the 1991 of Hopkinson. who had concern then became to establish a celebrating its 25th anniversary. "Nigredo Hotel" by composer Nie Gotham to libretto by the young Ann-Marie MacDonald had its world premiere in 1992, unusually enough, as part of the Tarragon Theatre's subscription and went on to runs in Vancouver, Victoria, Glasgow and Brighton plus a second run in Toronto. The "operatic thriller" concerns a stressed-out neurosurgeon who checks into a seedy hotel whose innkeeper leads him on a path of enlightenment. The Jungian view of alchemy as psychological journey found in MacDonald's popular play "Goodnight, Desdemona (Good Morning, Juliet)" becomes the central metaphor of the libretto. In general terms, the alchemist's soul, like the innkeeper and Alexander Dobson as the surgeon. Wayne Strongman will conduct and Banuta Rubess will direct. Tapestry's return to "Nigredo Hotel" presented a fitting time to speak to Founder and Artistic Director Wayne Strongman and Producer and General Manager Claire Hopkinson .to reflect on the company's own meta!llorphosis over the past 25 years. Starting as the Tapestry Singers, the company began as an ensemble of soloists with an emphasis on music theatre in the most general sense. When the singers disbanded and re-formed, Strongman realized the future lay in newly commission work with strong dramatic appeal. Its first large production was the musical worked with Comus Music Theatre in the 1980s, the objective became, as she says, "to create a repertoire of Canadian music theatre and opera" and "a company about the artists that starts with the artist, as well as to develop an audience for the art form". "Nigredo Hotel". the first work that Hopkinson produced for Tapestry broke the mold of what constitutes "opera" and helped bring experimental opera into the mainstream. After "Nigredo Hotel" a crisis arose as money for touring began to dry up. The success of "No No Miya" (1995) by John Kormorous turned the tide and the Canada Council after seeing it decided to include contemporary opera in its ''opera funding envelope". The presence in Toronto and partnerships with local theatre companies. Thus, "Still the Night" (1996) by Theresa Tova played at Theatre Passe Muraille, Stephen Sondheim's "Passion" (1997) was produced in association with the Canadian Stage Company, and Rodney Sharman/Atom· Egoyan's "Elsewhereless" (I 998) and Linda Catlin Smith's "Facing South" (2003) premiered as part of the du Maurier World Stage Festival. Tapestry's largest-scale work to date was "Iron Road" (2001) by Chan Ka Nin and Mark Brownell that played to 8, 110 people over nine performances at the Elgin. In the future the long-term goal is to have a regular season of pro- CONTINUES An Evening of Musical Theatre AUDITIONS Featuring the premiere of "The Best Years" by Leslie Arden, commissioned by VIVA! Youth Singers of Toronto with Preparatory Chorus: Ages 4-7 Main Chorus I: Ages 7-11 Main Chorus II: Ages 11-19 support from the Laidlaw Foundation. ·Carol Woodward Ratzlaff. Artistic Director Saturday, May 14th, 2005 at 7:00pm Trinity-St. Paul's United Church 427 Bloor St. West 1 Call Laura Menard at 416.788.8482 for more information. t: 416.788.8482 f: 416.788.0138 e: vivayouth@vivayouthsingers.com 16 Chilton Rd. Toronto, Ont. M4J 3C8 www.vivayouthsingers.com .. • •

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