7 years ago

Volume 18 Issue 5 - February 2013

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  • February
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
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  • Symphony
  • Musical
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(marimba) player;

(marimba) player; hopefully some of his tasty playing will be on theMusideum menu. All that the slim but enticing online notes say is thatthe seprewa, a Ghanaian guitar-harp, is featured. Clearly, venturinginto the unknown is at the heart of the enterprise, reminding me ofthe apt subtitle of an 1980s world music cassette: “no risk no fun.”Elsewhere on the cultural map: The Sony Centre for the PerformingArts re-stakes its claim as the go-to house for national and transnationalculturally themed extravaganzas for yet another year.February 9 and 10 “Bharati: The Wonder That Is India” returns for itsannual visit filling the hall with spectacle armed with its large cast ofacrobats, dancers, musicians and singers, all in glittering costumes.The show has been touring since 2006 doing for the subcontinentwhat “Riverdance” did for Ireland (and several other shows didfor their own nations), managing to reduce a richly varied and perhapsunwieldy cultural landscape down to a manageable masala feastfor the ears and eyes. Affirming the mega concept, “Celtic Woman:2013 North American Tour” graces the Sony Centre stage again onFebruary 23 and 24. This year’s headliners are Chloe Agnew, LisaLambe, Susan McFadden and Máiréad Nesbitt. It’s an all-femaleIrish musical ensemble show conceived and assembled by SharonBrowne and David Downes, a former musical director of the successfulRiverdance franchise. “Celtic Woman” has proven very successfulitself since 2004 spinning off 13 themed CDs and seven DVDs as wellas continuous international touring. Their PBS HD television specialconcert taped in 2009 included a 27-member orchestra, the DiscoveryGospel choir, 12-member Aontas Choir, ten-member Extreme RhythmDrummers plus an 11-piece bagpipe ensemble, intimating that sometimesbigger may just be better.On a much more modest scale Jorge Miguel Flamenco presents“Una Vez, Cada Mes” on February 20 at the Lula Arts Centre. Torontobased,Spanish Canadian guitarist and composer Jorge Miguel starsin a program of traditional and contemporary flamenco instrumentaland vocal music plus dance. Continuing the Latin theme, February 23the Jubilate Singers choir collaborates with Proyecto Altiplano in aconcert called “Vida, Amor y Muerte” at the Grace Church on-the-Hill.The repertoire from Latin America features Violeta Parra’s and LuisAdvis’ “Canto Para Una Semilla” made famous via the 1972 album ofthat name by the renowned Chilean folk band Inti-Illimani, and othersongs. Isabel Bernaus and Claudio Saldivia conduct.February 28 the York University Department of Music presents aKorean program in their World at Noon series, with Jeng Yi, Koreanpercussion and dance, and Joo Jyumg Kim on kayagum, at the MartinFamily Lounge, Accolade East Bldg.Saturday March 2, the Music Gallery co-presents with the AshkenazFoundation a concert by Joel Rubin and Uri Caine dubbed an explorationof “Klezmer’s outer limits and inner space.” American clarinetistJoel Rubin has long been recognized as a leader among NorthAmerican Jewish klezmorim, his playing hailed by klezmer greatDave Tarras, avant garde composer John Zorn and Nobel Laureatepoet Roald Hoffmann. Pianist and composer Uri Caine has played jazzwith the older generation masters, as well as gigging with a youngergeneration (Don Byron, John Zorn, Dave Douglas and Arto Lindsay),recording 22 CDs as a leader along the way. Their joint album “AzoyTsu Tsveyt” (2011) evokes the sort of exciting fusion spirit that’s foundin the best of jazz, as they journey through a repertoire of Old andNew World sacred cantorial songs, nigunim and secular klezmer tunes.Combining Jewish musical eclecticism, sheer instrumental virtuosityand elements of improvised music, this concert is sure to appeal toseveral audiences.Finally, on February 24, London, Ontario world music producerSunfest presents Ladysmith Black Mambazo at the Aeolian Hall,London. The group has recorded 40 albums and sold over six millionrecords since being internationally launched on Paul Simon’sGraceland recording in the mid 80s. Mambazo’s album Shaka Zulu(1987) won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album. Theycontinue to inspire international audiences with their core message ofpeace and reconciliation through the power of song.Beat by Beat | Jazz NotesLife After Death?Jim GallowaYIknow i’ve written on a number of occasions about the falling offof the jazz scene in Toronto and I still feel that the glory days havecome and gone — but not all is lost.Jazz has, of course, died several times over the course of its history,but one way or another seems to survive. Writing this brought to mindan occasion when I was in high school: we were in the change roomof the gymnasium and the teacher came to the door and announced“The King is dead. Long live the King.” In this case the new “king” wasQueen Elizabeth, but the phrase means that the heir immediately succeedsto the throne upon the death of the preceding monarch.Similarly one might have pronounced on sundry occasions “Jazz isdead, long live jazz.”Since, with the exception of The Rex, jazz clubs operating six nightsper week are, it would seem, a thing of the past, the focus has movedto concert halls and clubs presenting jazz one to three nights a week,and to special “one-off” or annual events.JPEC: One such event is coming up this month. Jazz Performanceand Education Centre (JPEC) will have their fourth annual Jazz Galaon Saturday February 23 at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040Yonge St. Joe Sealy will present “Africville Stories” — from his JUNOaward-winning Africville Suite which was composed in memoryof his father and is a homage to the history, people and activities ofAfricville in Nova Scotia. Canadian treasure Jackie Richardson willbe featured along with bassist Paul Novotny, Mark Kelso, drums, andNova Scotian born Mike Murley on saxophone. The second part ofthe concert will be “A Salute to Motown” with Roberto Occhipinti asmusical director.Ellington Society: It may seem a little early to mention an eventwhich doesn’t take place until late April, but this is an annual concertpresented by the Toronto Duke Ellington Society and it consistentlysells out, so I figured it wasn’t too soon to bring it to your attention.The date is April 27 at Walter Hall in the Edward Johnson Building at Uof T and this year the music will be performed by JUNO winner JohnMacLeod and The Rex Hotel Orchestra.These concerts began on October 24, 1991, at Holy Trinity Churchand audiences have been entertained over the years by a cross-sectionof Toronto’s leading jazz talents including Mark Eisenman, BarryElmes, Al Henderson, Mike Murley, Kevin Turcotte, Ron Collier, DonThompson, Jeff Healey’s Jazz Wizards, Brian Barlow’s Orchestra,Martin Loomer’s Orange Devils and my own Wee Big Band.Proceeds will go to the Society’s Scholarship Fund and ticket pricesare if you purchase before March 1 after which they are .Paintbox: One of the successes of downtown development, andLord knows, there aren’t many of them in condominium-dominatedToronto, is the Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre, a multi-tenantarts hub located on Dundas St. E. between Sumach and Sackvillestreets. Situated in this complex, but a separate entity, is the PaintboxBistro, the brain child of owner Chris Klugman. Trained as a chef, hehas recruited his kitchen staff from George Brown College where heAndrew Timar is a Toronto musician and music writer.He can be contacted at February 1 – March 7, 2013

teaches. A regular at the restaurant is Mitchell Cohen, president of theDaniels Corporation, builders of this Regent Park complex. He andbassist Henry Heillig are old friends and out of that friendship camethe idea of a jazz series at the Paintbox. Result? A series of six concertsin a people-friendly space which can comfortably accommodate anaudience of 150 and deliver good food, good wine and good jazz.The series begins on February 1 with the Heillig Manoeuvre CDlaunch followed at intervals by the Elizabeth Shepherd Trio, PhilDwyer with Don Thompson, Thompson Egbo-Egbo Trio, JaneBunnett with Hilario Duran and the Joe SealyTrio with Paul Novotnyand Daniel Barnes.Tickets are .For more detailedinformationplease call 647-748-0555 or go rising:The legendary phoenixbird obtainsnew life by risingfrom the ashes of itspredecessor. Sevenyears ago the Torontojazz venue Top o’ TheSenator closed itsdoors but this year inphoenix-like fashion itwill reopen with a newDel Dako at C’est What? withowner — and a new name.Norman Marshall Villeneuve on drums.The new owner is ColinHunter, founder and chairman of Sunwing Airlines. Passionately fondof music and in the business himself as a crooner, his efforts and aconsiderable input of financial support mean that 251 Victoria St. willonce more be home to live music with the opening of the Jazz Bistro.The general manager is Sybil Walker, carrying on the role she had atTop o’ The Senator, booking artists and managing the operation.The club will feature live performances Tuesday through Sundaywith Thursday through Saturday being jazz, Wednesday for Latin,and “Take the Stage Tuesday” which will be a community outreachprogram with members of the jazz community, touring artistsand students programming their own evenings in conjunction withSybil’s input.The jazz programming will be a mix of top local musicians and visitingstars. In the works are an Oscar Peterson tribute and welcomereturn bookings of Kenny Barron and Lew Tabackin.I can’t resist saying it — “The Senator is dead. Long live theJazz Bistro.”Final note: With deep regret I have to make mentionof the untimely death of Del Dako. He hadimpressive playing credentials as a jazz saxophonist,accomplished on both baritone and alto saxes,before a serious accident while riding his mountainbike in the autumn of 2001 rendered him unable toplay the saxophone. Undaunted, he set about learningto play vibraphone on which instrument he wasable to continue expressing himself through music.As a saxophone player he played with several nameplayers including Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, BigNick Nicholas, Nick Brignola and Slim Gaillard,and held the baritone sax chair in my Wee BigBand for the years preceding his accident. He wasdogged by ill health after the biking accident andmore recently he was diagnosed with cancer. Hewas with fellow musicians on Friday January 18and found at his home by a friend the next day,having taken his own life. But for those of uswho knew him, he too will live on in our memories.As usual I ask you to keep listening to jazz and do your best to makesome of your listening live.Jim Galloway is a saxophonist, band leaderand former artistic director of Toronto Downtown Jazz.He can be contacted at Philip’s Anglican Church● Sunday, February 10, 4pm | DixielandBob DeAngelis Band● Sunday, February 24, 4pm | JazzCarol McCartney Quartet● Sunday, March 10, 4pm | JazzGeorge Koller QuartetSt. Philip’s Anglican Church | Etobicoke25 St. Phillips Road (near Royal York + Dixon)416-247-5181 • www.stphilips.netFebruary 1 – March 7, 2013 25

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