7 years ago

Volume 11 Issue 4 - December 2005

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • December
  • Theatre
  • January
  • Jazz
  • Choir
  • Symphony
  • Musical
  • Orchestra
  • Ensemble

News Roundup: Coalition

News Roundup: Coalition of New Music Presenters by Keith Denning Harry Freedman tribute The new music community in Toronto, across the country, and around the world, was saddened by the recent passing of Canadian composer Harry Freedman at the age of 83. Freedman played English horn with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for 24 years, leaving in 1970 to devote himself fully to composing. Freedman is one of our most frequently performed composers, having composed for solo voice, choir, orchestra, and many other ensembles. He has also composed for theatre, dance, film, television, and composed a number of jazz charts. He was a founding member of the Canadian League of Composers, and was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 1984. The Toronto music community has stepped up and planned an evening entitled Celebrating Harry -A Tribute to Harry Freedman. The celebration will take place on January 20th at 7:30 at the Glenn Gould Studio, and involves the CMC, CBC, Elmer Iseler Singers, A T 8 T • C & 0 R G & . ,.-, A tribute to Harry Freedman Toronto Children's Chorus, New Music Concerts, Esprit Orchestra, Soundstreams, Phil Nimmons and the Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra, and a number of prominent soloists. A reception will follow a concert of Freedman's classical, choral, and jazz music. A limited number of tickets are available at . There is not a great deal of new music in December, as everyone T H & MARTYR madawaska string quartet: under the influence residency dee 12-17 CONCERT SAT DEC 17@ 8PM // WORKS BY C. IVES , W. LUTOSLAWSKI , K. VOLANS, C. NANCARROW + PRE-CONCERT WORKSHOP FRI DEC 16, 1-4PM PWYC + WORKSHOP FOR EMERGING COMPOSERS FEAT. M. KANE, S. SUBRA­ M/\Nl/,N, D. PETERS , D. OCC HIPINTI MON DEC 12, 10AM-5PM PWYC sun dee 18 music gallery fundraiser feat. glass orchestra + singing saw shadow show WINE & CHEESE 6PM, CONCERT 7:30PM // sat jan 14 numus presents MoEns NEIN MUSIC FROM THE CZECH REPUBLIC 8PM $TBA music gallery 197 jofrn st. 416-204-1080 WE ACKNOWLEDGE THE ONG OIN G SU PPORT OF: CANADA COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS, CANA DIAN HERITAGE, ONTARIO ARTS COUNCIL, THE SOCAN FOUNDATION . TORONTO ARTS COUNCIL, WELLINGTON BREWERY. seems to be making way for the annual crush of Messiah performances and other Christmas concerts. However, there are a few: On December 1, Esprit Orchestra presents a concert entitled Mystery and Illusion at the Metropolitan United Church. This concert includes works by John Rea, Henry Brant, and Charles Ives' seminal work The Unanswered Question. Neither/Nor is a composers collective headed up by Eldritch Priest and John Mark Sherlock. The collective is presenting an intriguing three-day "festivette" which they have titled "obscurity." The program includes works by Priest, Sherlock, Josh Thorpe, Colin Clark, Marc Couroux, and Doug Tielli, among others. The festivette runs from December 9th through the 11th at 8 :00, in suite 506 of the Darling Building, 96 Spadina Avenue. Immediately after this, the Music Gallery presents the Madawaska String Quartet, their ensemblein-residence. On December 12th from 10 until 5, there is an open workshop for emerging composers. Feel free to drop in and participate in group discussions about musical creation. Then there is an open rehearsal on Friday December 16th from 1 till 4, followed by their concert on December 17th at 8:00, where they will perform works by Ives, Lutoslawski and Nancarrow . Finally, on Sunday December 18th at 7:00, the Glass Orchestra and the Singing Saw Shadow Show will perform at the Music Gallery's Fundraiser. Please come out and give your support to the Music Gallery! That's about it for December, but after the requisite holiday cheer and so on, you can clear your head in January with Grettir: An Icelandic Saga . New Music Concerts presents this ambitious chamber opera by Icelandic composer Thorkell Sigurbjornsson at the Betty Oliphant Theatre on Jarvis St. The opera is presented twice on Sunday January 8th, at 2:30 and 8:00. On January 14th, NUMUS presents a concert of contemporary Czech music at the Music Gallery. The show starts at 8:00. On Tuesday, January 17th, Soundstreams presents music for a big space, which features works for a double chamber orchestra comprisng the BIT20 Ensemble and the Ensemble Contemporain de Montreal. Programmed works include premieres by Frehner and Ness. The concert takes place at the Metropolitan United Church and starts at 8:00. I am really pleased that the University of Toronto has its annual New Music Festival. This year, the festival runs from January 18th to the 21st, and includes a number of free concerts featuring new works by undergraduates, graduate composers, new opera. Check the listings for more detailed information. 30 WWW. TH EWHOLENOTE,COM D ECEM BER 1 2005 - FEBR UA RY 7 2006

Jazz Notes by Jim Galloway Toronto a bargain for jazz The year is drawing to a close, a year in which I became even more aware of the astonishing number of great musicians who live in this city - and just how difficult it is for them to earn a comfortable living making music; never mind a comfortable living - just getting by is a challenge. The standard of musicianship has never been higher, but more than ever income from playing has to be supplemented by other means. A goodly number turn to teaching, turning out a yearly batch of new aspirants looking for work in a saturated and diminishing market. It is not only a localised problem. In the course of the year I have travelled widely and hear the same story everywhere I go. Except for a fortunate few, the road is indeed a rocky one. It is harder to get people off the couch and into a club or concert hall than it used to be. There is more leisure time but more ways of filling it, whether it be watching tv or surfing the net or any number of other pastimes. I would like to be optimistic, but it isn't easy. On a more positive note, one of the things I learn from my travels in the States and abroad is just what a bargain Toronto is when it comes to hearing live jazz. With the demise of The Top O' The Senator, The Montreal Bistro is the only club in town at the moment which presents out of town "name" players on a fairly regular basis. There is a cover charge, but it is always reasonable and, unlike New York for example, it is not a per-set charge and no two-drink minimum. The sight lines are favourable, the atmosphere pleasant, the food is reasonably priced and good and the music consistently superior. Folks, it is a good value for your hard earned dollar. Last month I spent an evening there listening to music that was stimulating and uplifting, performed by Archie Alleyne on drums and Don Thompson on bass, accompanying one Julian Clifford Mance, Jr., better known as simply "Junior" Mance. He is a native of Chicago, but now living in New York, and hearing him play is an object lesson on how to play jazz piano. His early experiences included playing with Gene Ammons, (now there's a great tenor player who is largely overlooked), and Lester Young. He toured and recorded with Dinah Washington, recorded with Aretha Franklin and he has especially fond memories of working with Dizzy Gillespie' s band. His Windy City background steeped him in the blues tradition, elements of which permeate through everything he plays and, sitting at the Bistro bar I marvelled at how well Archie and Don merged with his music, picking up on phrases and nuances so that the three became one. An object lesson on what jazz is all about. He' ll be back next year and I'll be there. Another spot in town that is great value for a modest outlay is the Rex Jazz and Blues Bar. Mostly local groups - 16 bands a week! It is very much a musicians' hang with an easygoing pub atmosphere making it a friendly , inexpensive and casual spot for listening to jazz. l . ~~,,., ,J . i.:l~ ~~-r .. ~ - ~~ ~ f ~ "'-~ ' 1· 1 , " "'I' . I J! --~....../;_-)t.r, ~~s~ ~ J\'.2!1,...-1 .... ' "-;..;-- 1 i • ·• ·_ r:- .,if 11 "' 1, ·~ --::."-., '·""'' - .,.,,/, --- -.. .,, . I - 7 . ....... f;?'"::..., .~ t - - :d·,~·- .,...,., -~ - > The first great j azz guitarist was Eddie Lang. Before the electrical recording process was invented, in the days of acoustic recording the banjo was king because its percussive sound could cut through and be heard . In those days the musicians played in a studio with a large horn sticking out of the wall to pick up the sounds with the loudest instruments placed farthest from the horn. Electrical recording changed all of that and opened the door fo r the guitar. Enter Eddie Lang, creating a new role for the guitar and chang ing the sound of popular music. (Eddie Lang, by the way, also recorded under the pseudonym of Blind Willie Dunn). Then, in the 1930s Eddie Durham invented the amplified guitar, paving the way for everyone else who followed. Well, getting back to that huge pool of talent in Toronto, you have the opportunity to hear four superlative guitarists at The Mod Club Theatre on January 9th when Jake Langley, Lorne Lofsky, Reg Schwager and Ted Quinlan let their fingers do the walking through a tribute to the guitar. It is either too soon or too late, depending on when you read this column, to wish you all the compliments of the season. But it is never too early to wish you happy listening. May the coming year be full of the sounds of music and may much of it be enjoyed listening to live jazz. Inside the Jazz Listings by Sophia Perlman If you want to see some fantastic jazz to ring in the New Year, there are lots of great opportunities in Toronto this month. Some of the bands playing as the clock strikes 12 will include Sum of 5ive (Gate 403), Cafe Cubano (Lula Lounge), The Bob Brough Quartet (Pilot Tavern), Corry Sobol (The Red Guitar), Grooveyard (The Rex), and WholeNote's own Jim Galloway with his Trio (Montreal Bistro). Many clubs sell tickets Carlos Del Junco headlines a to their New Year events, or jazzier Hugh's room this month. offer special packages including dinner and champagne, but many of these sell out well in advance, so be sure to check websites, or call ahead. Another celebration this month to include is the Happy Pals Annual X-Mas Bash. This fixture of the Toronto Jazz scene celebrates the holidays at Grossman's Tavern, December 11. Hugh's Room is offering a great range of jazz this month including blues harmonica player Carlos Del Junco, pianist Michael Kaeshammer and vocalist Sophie Milman. Ticket prices vary and are listed on their website. And finally, a note to musicians and venues! We understand it's sometimes difficult to get listings to us one month in advance, let alone two! So we will be updating the jazz listings on our website to include shows in January that we didn't receive in time for this special combined Dec/Jan issue. Send your events to before December 18th, for listing at Have a great holiday season! Featuring some of Toronto's best jazz musicians with a brief reflection by Jazz Vespers Clergy Sunday, December 4th - 4:30 pm JOE SEALY & PAUL NOVOTNY Sunday, December 18th - 4:30 pm BARLOW BRASS & DRUMS Sunday, January 8th - 4:30 pm THE LAURIE BOWER TRIO Sunday, January 22nd - 4:30 pm GEORGE KOLLER & MARILYN LERNER Sunday, February 5th - 4:30 pm THE RUSS LITTLE QUARTET Christ Church Deer Park, 1570 Yonge Street (north of St. Clair at Heath St.) 416-920-5211 Admission is free. An offering is received to support the work of the church, including Jazz Vespers. D ECEMBE R 1 2005 - FEB RUARY 7 2006 WWW. TH EWHO LENOTE,CO M 31

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