8 years ago

Volume 13 - Issue 9 - June 2008

This festival of

This festival of festivals (alongwith others we'll cover in theJuly/ August issue) is obviouslyan exciting time for lovers ofthis music. For musicians, onthe one hand, it's great becausethere are definitely more gigs upfor grabs and virtually no possibilityof being cancelled due toweather (knock on wood). However,it does give the impressionthat jazz in this city is happy andhealthy. I'll be honest with youthough, reader: the jazz scenehere is going through a roughpatch.Even though Toronto is consideredthe jazz capital of Canada,there seems to be more talenthere than the city's jazz clubaudience can sustain. Tokyo has300 jazz clubs; we can barelyNathan Phillips Sqaure: HQfor the2008 TD Canada Trust Toronto]au. Festival, June 20-29keep a dozen running despite being known as a world-class jazzcapital. The recent closures of all-jazz-all-the-time establishments TheMontreal Bistro and The Top O' The Senator left the jazz communitystunned and saddened. Now we all cling to The Rex for dear lifeas it is the last standing musical landmark to promise jazz musicevery night.While veteran performers are still active on the scene, so is a newgeneration of accomplished players that has emerged in the past decade.Meanwhile young talent is constantly graduating from the fourjazz post-secondary institutions in southern Ontario: Humber College,Mohawk College, York University and the University of Toronto.The bottom line is, although the music is getting better all thetime, it's getting harder and harder to make a living as a jazz performerin this city. We need our audience to grow along with us.So, reader, on behalf of jazz musicians in this city, I implore youto check out the vibrant musical palette of sounds during this season'sfestival of jazz festivals.Just as important, if you like what you hear here, we hope you'llcheck us out again even when the fish ain't jumpin' and it's only thecotton-pickin' snow that's high.June 2 Bryce Kulak & Colin MaierPiano & multi-instrumentalistJune 9 Trio BravoTerry StorrClarinetKristen Theriault ViolaDr. John Selleck PianoJune 16 Glenda del Monte Escalante PianoJune 25 TriolettePat AgnewSopranoSheila McCoyMezzo-sopranoLaraine Herzog PianoJune 30* Anatoliy Kupriychuk, Allan Pulker &Elena TchernaiaBassoon, Flute and Piano*(Note: Location at the Marriott Hotel - room: TBA)July 7 Koichi Inoue Piano22For more information contact 598-4521 x222torontdartsbou nci IWorld Viewby Karen AgesWhat is classical?When I first started writing this column in April 2004, I was askedto define what I meant by "world music". I came up with a definitionwhich read, "traditional, classical, folk or contemporary music,the origins of which stem from outside Western "high art" or "popular"culture, with generous room for the blurring of boundaries."In light of what's been going on at CBC Radio 2 these days,questionable changes to programming which have been documentedrecently in print media and by the eloquent speakers at various "saveour CBC Radio 2" protest rallies, I am wondering if perhaps a redefinitionof what is meant by "classical music" is in order.First, let me add that as a long-time CBC listener (since about theage of 12), I am dismayed by the recent and proposed changes toRadio 2, which include the cancellation of "Two New Hours" theweekly program showcasing live performances of music by co~temporary,primarily Canadian composers; the cancellation of both theYoung Performers and Young Composers competitions, both ofwhich have served, in the past, as launching pads for the careers ofmany of this country's finest artists; the relegation of "classical"programming to the I O am to 3 pm time slot, when most youngpeople are in school-a personal note here: as a teenager I was anavid listener of the live concert show "Arts National", hosted at thetime by Ian Alexander; it aired weeknights at 8 pm and was a significantpart of my own musical education. The list of programmingchanges goes on and has been documented elsewhere.In its attempt to become less "elitist" and more reflective of thetastes of a broader segment of the Canadian public, I believe theCBC is off on the wrong tack, sacrificing quality programming inorder to attract a larger audience. In its attempt to be all things to allpeople, I fear the CBC will end up a shallow entity with no realidentity, pleasing no-one in the end. I hope I am proven wrong.Having said this, we are living in a changing, ie. more multi-culturalsociety, and even if this were not the case, we are more aware of thegifts that other cultures have to offer than we were say, 50 yearsago; perhaps instead of going in the direction it has, eliminatingmost of what we commonly refer to as "classical" music in its programming,the CBC should have taken a different approach bybroadening the definition of "classical" to include the art music ofnon-Western cultures. Still elitist? Perhaps. But wouldn't it be amazingto turn on the radio at a specified time and hear some JapaneseGagaku, or Indian Dhrupad, or Javanese Gamelan, or ChineseZheng, or, or, or .... . Let the CBC keep doing what it has done wellin the past, and expand upon it.So, this time around, instead of encompassing the broader definitionof "world music" outlined above, I'll highlight some classicalmusic on offer this month (and I hope you'll forgive my not attemptingto define exactly what I mean by classical').Toronto-based Arabic music scholar and musician Dr. GeorgeSawa has recently produced his first CD, The Art of the Early EgyptianQanun, featuring 17th century Ottoman court music, Egyptiansacred sufi dances, and other Egyptian music from the early 20thcentury. He'll be performing some of this repertoire and other classicalArabic music, June 11 at Mezzetta Cafe Restaurant, with his

wife, Suzanne Meyers Sawa. Instruments will include the qanun(psaltery), salamiyya (flute), darabukka (drum) and duff (tambourine).Come out and support these fine musicians. The food at Mezzetta's is good too!The Raag Maia Music Society presents a concert of Indian classicalmusic, June 21 at the Medical Sciences Auditorium, featuringRajashree Karandikar, vocals; Raye Bidaye, harmonium; MilindKarandikar, tabla; Neeraj Prem, sitar; Brandon Mcintosh, sarod; andRachna Mehra, tabla.Not strictly classical, but featuring some fine classical musicians,Maryem and Ernie Tollar's Cairo Toronto Collective performs atGlenn Gould Studio, June 22, as part of the TD Canada Trust TorontoJazz Festival. Canada's premiere Arabic singer Maryem Tollarand virtuoso wind player husband Ernie will be joined by oud andviolin master Alfred Gamil, and vocalist/violinist/ oud player MohamedAly, two stars of Cairo's art music scene, as well as Toronto'sBassam Bishara (oud, vocals), for a blend of jazz and MiddleEastern music.Harbourfront Centre has some interesting programming comingup this summer, including a series of concerts under it's WorldRoutes banner titled "What is Classical?" (much more about that inthe July/ August issue). June 13-15 they'll be hosting the finale tothis year's LuminaTO Festival; Luminat'eau will feature music,dance and film, including classical Indian vocalist Kiran Ahluwalia,and traditional Pakistani music from Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali withSashar Zarif Dance Theatre, both on June 13. June 27-29, Harbourfrontcelebrates the 75th anniversary of the Banff Centre with afestival of dance, theatre, music, film and literature inspired by thisworld-renowned arts centre and its mountain setting. Music featuredJune 27 and 28 includes "The Tehran Project", the latest compositionby Iranian classical musician/composer Amir Amiri. He'll befeatured on santur (Persian hammer dulcimer) along with Los Angelesviolinist Linling Hsu. And Harbourfront will again hold a seriesof outdoor concerts at the Music Garden, from the end of June tomid-August. The July 6 concert features the Samu!Nori CanadaKorean Drum Ensemble, with Han-Soo Jung on piri (bamboo doublereed flute) and So-Sun Suh on Hae-Geum (Korean fiddle).More world music (in the broader sense) in brief: Celtic musicianSarah Burnell (violin/voice) and her band launch their new CD,Return Ticket, at Hugh's Room, June 2; June 6, Roy Thomson Hallpresents Mohammad Reza Shajarian and the Ava Ensemble in aconcert of Persian classical song; the Jubilate Singers present aconcert of African and African-inspired music, with guests, theNorth 44° Chamber Choir, June 7; the 9th Annual Muhtadi InternationalDrumming Festival takes place at Queen's Park June 7and 8; David Buchbinder's Odessa/Havana performs at LulaLounge on June 11, and his Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band performsat Clinton's tavern on June 14; the eclectic Ensemble Polarispresents "Very Many Strings Attached" with a focus on harp, guitar,violin, hurdy gurdy and Swedish nyckelharpa, June 19 at theMusic Gallery. Please see the listings for details on these and otherevents.Karen Ages is an oboist who has also been a member of worldmusic ensembles. She can be reached atworldmusic@thewholenote.comGeo.11; D~ & Co. LimitedCONSERVATORS & PUR VEYORSO F Fine & Rare ViolinsQUALITY AND SERVICESINCE 1890EXCEPTIONAL HANDMADE GU ITARSSTONEBR IDGE:., H OFNER , G&L , ST R O M BE l< G ,1-31-,E:.l::.DLOVE:., ST l,UNAL, YAl, 1Specializing in fine jazz and folk instruments. Wealso carry a refined selection of top quality entrylevel, fine handmade acoustic and electric guitars.Custom orders as well as a wide variety of restorationand repair services are also available by expertlyskilled Luthiers.I ' I201 Church St .. Toronto, ON. M58 IY7 Email: ghcl@ idi rect.comTel, 416-363-0093 • Fax, 4 16·363-0053www.georgeheinl.comCanada·s foremost violin experts .Proud of our heri tage . Ex cited about the futun::.REM ENYI .COMSTRIN GS c' I A N OS BOOKSTOF,E G UI T/\F,S2 1 0 BLOOR ST. WEST, T O R O NTO• 4 1 6 .961.3 1 11JUNE 1-JULY72008 WWW. TH EWH OLENOTE. COM 23

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