7 years ago

Volume 21 Issue 9 - Summer 2016

  • Text
  • Festival
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Quartet
  • August
  • Orchestra
  • September
  • Musical
  • Theatre
  • Concerts
It's combined June/July/August summer issue time with, we hope, enough between the covers to keep you dipping into it all through the coming lazy, hazy days. From Jazz Vans racing round "The Island" delivering pop-up brass breakouts at the roadside, to Bach flute ambushes strolling "The Grove, " to dozens of reasons to stay in the city. May yours be a summer where you find undiscovered musical treasures, and, better still, when, unexpectedly, the music finds you.

On Our Cover LEMON

On Our Cover LEMON BUCKET ORKESTRA These boys of summer are members of Toronto’s Lemon Bucket Orkestra. They have lots of exciting reasons to blow their own horns, and no difficulty getting audiences to dance to their beat. LBO began in 2010 as a four-person street busking band consisting of Mark Marczyk, violin and vocals, Oskar Lambarri, drum and vocals, Tangi Ropars, button accordion, and Alex Nahirny, guitar. In 2016, it’s now a band of 16-plus, rolling merrily into its sixth summer and gathering members as it goes, the way a rolling ball of burdock gathers more burdock: vocals, strings, winds, brass, percussion, including a range of world/folk instruments. The music is every bit as vigorous as “Balkan-klezmer-gypsyparty-punk-super band” suggests, and so is their schedule. Counting Sheep: A Guerrilla Folk Opera is LBO’s current Playing trombone on the left is Leli Camilo; trombone on the right – Nate Dell-Vandenberg; on the sousaphone – Ian Tulloch. Mark Marczyk – violin & vocals, who is a founding member of the band, has his back to the camera. Photographed at the Ananas Hostel in Pécs, Hungary, by a member of the hostel staff, during Lemon Bucket’s 2015 Moorka release tour. performance project. It’s an interactive video-music-dinner-theatre play about the Maidan Revolution, which will be performed August 5 to 29 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival following its May 26 to June 5 Toronto run at Broadview Place. The Ukrainian polyphonic choral music, exuberant performances and powerful visuals offer a visceral experience of living with present-day revolution. Based on the 2014 Kyiv experiences of band-members Mark Marczyk and Marichka Kudriavtseva, the show includes the audience alongside the ensemble members in stylized white sheep masks – there is food and music and dancing for everyone, blurring the line between what is theatre and real life. But before Lemon Bucket Orkestra takes off for Edinburgh they’ll be shaking things up here in Canada. They have Toronto concerts at Roy Thomson Hall (“Live on the Patio” series, June 23) and at the Opera House, with Romanian band Fanfare Ciocarlia (TD Toronto Jazz Festival, June 29) followed by appearances at eight Canadian festivals including the Hillside Festival (July 24, in Guelph), Ottawa Chamberfest (July 28), and then another concert at Toronto’s Mel Lastman Square (July 29). Lemon Bucket’s newest recording Moorka, nominated for a 2016 JUNO Award, has just won a Canadian Folk Music Award – “World Group of the Year.” It includes folk songs the band learned on their last European tour from local musicians in Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, and Macedonia, but these are spiked and shaken up into the stirring musical mix LBO audiences now hunger for in Canada and around the world. By all accounts, no matter where the band is playing, people find themselves irresistibly drawn in – weirdly at home with and involved in music that is simultaneously exotic and familiar. This includes the passengers on a delayed Air Canada flight from Toronto to Frankfurt in 2012 who were treated to an impromptu concert while Lemon Bucket waited to take off for their “Balkan Station Romania Tour.” mj Buell How I’ll Spend My Summer Vocation SARA CONSTANT It’s no secret that summer, as far as the classical music scene goes, is Toronto’s off-season. As Lydia Perovic points out in her take on this year’s summer opera scene, though (see page 12), Toronto’s musical off-season tends to be a lot longer than most. If they haven’t already, most of our local music presenters are now wrapping up the last of their 2015/16 shows—which leaves a good three months of limbo until the beginning of 2016/17 in the fall. Of course, that implies that the city falls silent for most of June, July and August—which is far from the case. Summer music festivals abound, including local giants like Luminato, TD Toronto Jazz Festival and Toronto Summer Music. International artists often schedule Toronto into their summer tours and festival circuits, and local musicmakers, who jump from gig to gig all year long, finally have the gift of much-needed time—to relax, or to plan projects of their own. And while the length of Toronto’s musical break might attest to the relative youth of our music scene, it makes these long summer months the perfect moment to look beyond business as usual, towards something new. TCML: “Something new” pretty much sums up the motivation behind at least one of the musical projects in town this month. New this year, the Toronto Creative Music Lab (TCML) is a one-week workshop for early-career musicmakers (June 19 to 24), where performers and composers are formed into small groups to collaborate on new works. Designed with the spirit of peer-topeer collaboration in mind, the workshop focuses on building a community for early-career artists that is rich in opportunities for professional development. Jason Doell Full disclosure: I’m one of the participants this year. But – biased though I may be – during a time when the usual music scene is taking a breather, this program is just the thing .to fill in some of the gaps, and build potentially fruitful musical relationships. Composer Jason Doell and saxophonist Olivia Shortt, who alongside William Callaghan of Musica Reflecta, form the organizing team for the workshop, are hopeful about what this project will do for emerging artists. “For me, peer-mentoring is essential for earlycareer artists and there is an opportunity in the Toronto contemporary music scene to facilitate these relationships,” says Doell. “While technical development in any discipline may be aided by the guidance of recognized experts, most professional relationships and opportunities arise within a peer group. Also…who knows more about being an early-career artist than those directly involved in being early-career artists? Peer-mentoring is a fantastic way to access the knowledge of people who are facing similar issues and obstacles to the ones you are facing today.” “Toronto is abundant in programs for composers and performers 8 | June 1, 2016 - September 7, 2016

Olivia Shortt seeking out more traditional styles of music and art practices but there isn’t as much for those seeking workshops that offer an approach to more current music,” adds Shortt. “Especially as a saxophonist, Toronto doesn’t offer much in the way of workshops and opportunities to network as a classical/new music performer. I’ve often had to seek these opportunities in other cities.” A project like TCML couldn’t come at a better time of year for people like me. Taking place at the end of June means that TCML can create these opportunities in Toronto, for participants, who at any other time would be busy at work, schools or conservatories all over the world. And for both organizers, June offers a moment to reflect on the rest of the year, and put their observations into action. “[TCML] fits in well with my day-to-day life,” explains Doell. “I’m a full-time composer and I also create music educator programs, so a lot of what we are trying to accomplish at TCML is in the front of my mind regularly.” And for Shortt, an incoming masters student at the University of Toronto, being on the giving rather than the receiving end of a summer workshop has so far been a valuable experience. “This is one of the first projects for me that hasn’t been something I’m organizing for myself, like a recital or a tour,” she says. “And there’s a lot that school couldn’t teach me, so this has been the most practical educational opportunity that I’ve been a part of.” For my part, the workshop will be a refreshing break from my restof-the-year schoolwork, and a welcome challenge after some time away from my instrument. It will be, in other words, the perfect summer vocation. The final concert of TCML, featuring all of the premieres workshopped during the week’s rehearsals, takes place on June 24 at the 918 Bathurst Centre; details at Of course, Shortt and Doell aren’t the only ones with exciting musical plans in the works for the next three months. After speaking with them, we were inspired to get in touch with other local musicians to ask them this one thing: How do you make use of Toronto’s long musical summer to recharge your musical batteries for the season ahead? Here are some of their responses. Name: Gordon Mansell Instrument: Organ Summer Vocations continues on page 89 June 1, 2016 - September 7, 2016 | 9

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