8 years ago

Volume 20 Issue 1 - September 2014

  • Text
  • September
  • October
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Theatre
  • Festival
  • Concerts
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  • Arts


MIGUEL-DIETRICHBeat by Beat | World ViewVicarious GučaANDREW TIMARIt’s a warm sunny weekend day inlate August and here I am sequesteredin my office. I’m imaginingperverse things like concerts in chillyOctober, when I’d rather be gonefishing, metaphorically speakingthat is. The lyrics of a famous20th-century standard come to mindreminding me that it’s supposed to bethe season when “the livin’ is easy.”Except it’s been a busy, busy workingsummer around here. But enoughof my moaning. This morning I rosethinking of singing and world musicfestivals soon to come.Ashkenaz: By the time you readthis the always fabulous biennialAshkenaz Festival, billed as “NorthAmerica’s largest festival of global Jewish music and culture,” willbe wrapping up at the Harbourfront Centre, along with almost allof the hot, long days. (We can but hope for a handful more.) This isAshkenaz’s tenth celebration, with over 200 artists from more than12 countries participating in dozens of events from August 29 toSeptember 1. As usual tradition (i.e. “Havdallah”) rubs elbows withmusical cross-cultural fusion (i.e. “Aaron Kula – Black Sabbath: Blues& Jews,” and “David Buchbinder’s Odessa/Havana”), along with thedownright friendly-weird (i.e. “Deep-Fried Gypsy Cumbia”). You can’tsay the festival doesn’t have a sense of humour.Small World Music: The fall season starts properly with theSmall World Music Festival, this year running from September 25to October 5. The series sets out to “capture the world in a ten-dayfestival,” bringing the music of India, Germany, Trinidad, Serbia, Iranand Pakistan to Toronto venues.Instead of my usual practice of chronologically going down the listingsand issuing “picks” from on high, in this column I’m changing itup and sharing a more in-depth commentary on one of the concerts. Ithink it’s in keeping with “the livin’ is easy” attitude, don’t you?September 26 Small World Music Festival in association withAE presents the Boban & Marko Markovic Orkestar at the PhoenixConcert Theatre. Superlatives from The New York Times and theBoston Herald precede the Orkestar’s appearance. Rather thanrepeating those, I propose a little vicarious field trip to Eastern Europe,to an unlikely, remarkable festival that launched the rkestar’s success,Boban & Marko Markovic Orkestartaking this multigenerational Romani band from Serbian villageweddings to large urban concert halls around the world. Consider thisa page in your pocket guidebook.What takes place in the central Serbian village of Guča is undeniablya global musical phenomenon. Since 1961 this tiny sleepy villageis transformed each year into the raucous hub of the closely contestedand widely popular annual Guča Trumpet Festival. It’s also the world’slargest trumpet competition – and for thousands, licence to show off,get rowdy and imbibe large quantities oftheir beverage of choice. A remarkable300,000 to more than 500,000 peoplehave swelled the village site each year,most to hear top Serbian and Balkanstylebrass bands play in highly contestedcompetitions. Some have claimed it’s thelargest music event anywhere. During thefestival, bands from Serbia and all over theworld play on the competition stage andalso wander, performing in the village’sstreets night and day. This wild scene isillustrated in the 2013 U.S. feature documentaryBrasslands.The Boban Markovic Orkestar has longbeen among Guča’s leading contenders.It took the Best Orchestra award in 2000,as well as the coveted Best Trumpet prizefor its maestro no fewer than five times. Asfor Boban, dubbed the “king of Balkan Brass music,” ever the graciouswinner, he has retired from the competition and set his sights furtherafield. In the last decade he has aimed to reach international audiencesthrough his contributions to movies, as well as by taking hisfunky and frenetic arrangements of dance-worthy brass music –sometimes described as “Balkan and/or Gypsy roots music” – on tourto global stages.Following Serbian Romani tradition, in 2006 Boban Markovicformally handed over his orchestra to his son and successor, Marko,on his 18th birthday. Global Rhythm magazine opined, “With nodsto klezmer, jazz, Latin and deep-fried funk injected into the mix, the… Orkestar knows where their music’s been but they’re hell-bent onslinging it straight into the future.” This multigenerational musicalpowerhouse has harnessed brass virtuosity, macho lyrics, lightningtempi, pop kit drumming, Romani vocals and the occasional rap, alldelivered with infectious energy. The Orkestar then morphed it all intoa populist style that has allowed it to segue from Serbian village celebrationsto the floors of trendy Central European dance clubs.You can join me on the evening of September 26 at the Phoenix. I’llbe the guy at the back soaking up the Orkestar’s vibrations, with asmall glass of šljivovica if they stock it, toasting the end of summer.Andrew Timar is a Toronto musician and music writer. Hecan be contacted at Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at noon or 5:30 p.m.“The quality of performers for these free concertsalways amazes me.”MICHAEL VINCENT, MUSICAL TORONTO, 416-363-8231MEDIA SPONSORSEliana Cuevas. Photo: Karen Reeves. Creative: BT/A18 | September 1, 2014 – October 7, 2014

SEASON PRESENTING SPONSORUPCOMING CONCERTSThe glorious 2014/2015 season begins!JONATHANCROWJOSHUA BELLDANIIL TRIFONOVOpening Night:Joshua BellTHU, SEP 18 AT 7pm*Peter Oundjian, conductorJoshua Bell, violinBerlioz: Roman Carnival OvertureLalo: Symphonie espagnoleRimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio espagnol* For those interested in a full gala package,which includes premium tickets and apost-concert dinner for 00, please callTSO Special Events at 416.593.7769 X 261Arabian NightsSAT, SEP 20 AT 8pmSUN, SEP 21 AT 3pm*Peter Oundjian, conductorJonathan Crow, violinRavel: BoléroStravinsky: Suite from The Firebird (1919)Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade* At George Weston Recital Hall,Toronto Centre for the ArtsBeethoven Symphony 9THU, SEP 25 AT 8pmFRI, SEP 26 AT 7:30pmSAT, SEP 27 AT 8pmPeter Oundjian, conductorDaniil Trifonov, pianoJessica Rivera, sopranoAndrea Ludwig, mezzo-sopranoDavid Pomeroy, tenorTyler Duncan, baritoneToronto Mendelssohn ChoirRachmaninoff: Rhapsody on aTheme of PaganiniBeethoven: Symphony No. 9 “Choral”TICKETS FROM | ROY THOMSON HALL | 416.593.4828 | TSO.CASEP 18 GALA RECEPTION SPONSOROFFICIAL AIRLINE

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