5 years ago

Volume 24 Issue 2 - October 2018

  • Text
  • October
  • Toronto
  • Arts
  • Choir
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Concerts
  • Performing
  • Orchestra
  • Theatre
Presenters, start your engines! With TIFF and "back-to-work" out of the way, the regular concert season rumbles to life, and, if our Editor's Opener can be trusted, "Seeking Synergies" seems to be the name of the game. Denise Williams' constantly evolving "Walk Together Children" touching down at the Toronto Centre for the Arts; the second annual Festival of Arabic Music and Arts expanding its range; a lesson in Jazz Survival with Steve Wallace; the 150 presenter and performer profiles in our 19th annual Blue Pages directory... this is an issue that is definitely more than the sum of its parts.

Beat by Beat | Mainly

Beat by Beat | Mainly Clubs, Mostly Jazz! From Burdock to the Bistro Giving Thanks For October AKKU Quintet COLIN STORY For many, September marks a transitional period: we go back to school, back to work, back to a daily routine that can either feel welcome (structure! responsibility!) or unwelcome (structure! responsibility!), depending on the quality of our summer experiences. Whatever the case may be, the calamities of our collective re-entry into the real world usually resolve themselves by October, giving us all a bit more time to go out and enjoy live music, at venues both familiar and not. In addition to discussing exciting upcoming performances by the legendary jazz singer Sheila Jordan and the Afro-Cuban group OKAN, the focus of my column this month is on Burdock, a relatively new venue that may be a familiar name to some, but which, I suspect, may be unfamiliar to many readers. (In this month’s listings, you’ll find the full monthly schedule for Burdock.) In a short amount of time – it opened in April of 2015 – Burdock has emerged as one of Toronto’s most important live-music venues. Located on Bloor, just west of Dufferin, Burdock is divided into two parts connected by heavy, soundproof double doors. On one side is the Music Hall, an intimate space that can accommodate about a hundred people, complete with its own bar, seating (depending on the show), and an excellent sound system. (Burdock consistently sounds great, owing, in no small part, to the talents of their live audio engineers, Aleda Deroche, Matthew Bailey and Jess Forrest.) On the other side is the brewpub, with a rotating tap list of beers, brewed in-house, and a full menu of seasonal food, including both small and larger plates, such as their summer tartine, crispy ribs and wild mushroom taco, all on the menu at the time of the writing of this column. As a brewery, Burdock has found a niche in the busy Toronto beer market by focusing on saisons, sours and wine/beer blends, such as their ever-popular BUMO series, brewed in conjunction with the Niagarabased winery Pearl Morissette. This decision has proven fruitful: by avoiding entering into the high-ABV arms race, Burdock’s brewery has found success at their bottle shop, their own bar, and on the beer list at many of Toronto’s best restaurants. Through the double doors in the Music Hall, venue coordinator Charlotte Cornfield books acts from a variety of different genres. (Cornfield is an accomplished musician in her own right, touring and releasing music regularly under her own name.) While many of the musicians who play at Burdock come from Toronto’s creative indie scene, Burdock also regularly features jazz and blues, as well as the occasional classical performance, including, in October, an installment of Haus Musik, presented by the Torontobased Baroque orchestra Tafelmusik. (The concert will feature members of the orchestra and special guest percussionist Graham Hargrove performing music written by Italian composer Luigi Boccherini.) Beyond its regularly scheduled programming – which has recently jumped from one to two shows per day, due to increasing demand – Burdock also hosts a number of special events throughout the year. Their annual Piano Fest, which celebrated its third birthday this past January, is built around the simple premise of temporarily installing a high-quality grand piano on stage and booking pianocentric acts in complementary double bills; this year’s festival featured artists such as Joanna Majoko, Chelsea Bennett, Tim Baker and Jeremy Dutcher, the latter of whom would go on to win the Polaris Prize in September of this year for his debut album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa. In addition to Tafelmusik’s show, there are a number of notable performances that will be taking place in October. These include a modern jazz double bill, with AKKU Quintet and Living Fossil, on October 2 (Living Fossil’s debut album NEVER DIE! was reviewed in our March 2018 issue.); a live recording of radio personality Laurie Brown’s Pondercast podcast, with music provided by Joshua Van Tassel, on October 9; jazz bassist Robert Lee’s Big Band, celebrating the release of the EP Blink, on October 14; and francophone singer/ songwriter Safia Nolin, fresh off the release of her third album, performing on October 25. Oct 12 North of 7 Band. Oct 13 Vision Blue (matinee), Lady Kane (eve). Oct 18 Mel Dube. Oct 19 Red Velvet. Oct 20 Danny’s Eleven (matinee), Von (eve). Oct 25 Alexandra Willett. Oct 26 Lady Kane. Oct 27 York Jazz Ensemble (matinee), Halloween Party w/ Escapade (eve). Artword Artbar 15 Colbourne St., Hamilton. 905-543-8512 (full schedule) All shows at 8pm unless otherwise noted. The Blue Goose Tavern 1 Blue Goose St. 416-255-2442 (full schedule) Bloom 2315 Bloor St. W. 416-767-1315 All shows 7pm 19+. Call for reservations. Guaracha Y Son. Burdock 1184 Bloor St. W. 416-546-4033 Ticket prices vary by show, but typically - ; check website for individual show prices. Oct 1 9:30pm Janowskii Album Release w/ Cherry Blaster & Spoils. Oct 2 6:30pm AKKU Quintet & Living Fossil, 9:30 pm Above Ground Pool. Oct 3 7:30pm Confabulation presents: Cringeworthy, 9:30pm Jerusalem In My Heart, Sara Pagé & Moth Ash. Oct 4 7pm Tafelmusik presents Haus Musik: Boccherini, 10pm Laura Swankey EP Release w/ ZOË, b mcc-b & nxmie. Oct 5 6:30pm Date D. In the Clubs (Mostly Jazz) Night Comedy, 9:30pm Owen Meany’s Batting Stance & Megan Nash. Oct 6 6:30pm Trish MacAulay & Kim Craig, 9:30pm Geoff Berner & Orkestar Kriminal. Oct 7 6:30pm & 9:30pm Rae Spoon & respectfulchild. Oct 8 9:30pm TiKA. Oct 9 6:30pm & 9:30pm Pondercast w/ Laurie Brown. Oct 10 9:30pm John Young. Oct 11 6:30pm The Jellyman’s Daughter, Sheila Carabine, 9:30pm Rob Elder. Oct 12 6:30pm Westaway, 9:30pm Thus Owls. Oct 13 6:30pm Tragedy Ann, 9:30pm Graven, The Beachmen. Oct 14 6:30pm Van Larkins, 9:30pm Robert Lee Big Band. Oct 15 6:30pm Don Stevenson, 9:30pm Ford Pier. Oct 16 6:30pm Probably Theatre Cabaret, 9:30pm Madeleine Roger. Oct 17 6:30pm Eliza Bronte, 9:30pm Slow Leaves. Oct 18 6pm Leanne Hoffman, 9:30pm Steve D’Angelo. Oct 19 6:30pm Simon and Wes, 9:30pm Michael Feuerstack. Oct 20 6:30pm & 9:30pm Daniel Champagne. Oct 21 6:30pm David Ward, 9:30pm Debi Botos. Oct 22 8pm Concrete Cabaret. Oct 24 6:30pm Mike Edel, 9:30pm Creature Speak. Oct 25 6:30pm Mary- Kate Edwards, 9:30pm Safia Nolin. Oct 26 6:30pm Nick Price Toyne, 9:30pm El Coyote, Campbell Woods. Oct 27 6:30pm Rob Moir, 9:30pm Softside, Nigel Nigel. Oct 28 9:30pm The World Provider, Canadian Romantic, Marker Starling. Oct 29 9:30 pm Tiptoes. Oct 30 6:30pm Naman Cale, 9:30pm Mike McCormick. Cameron House 408 Queen St. W. 416-703-0811 58 | October 1 - November 7, 2018

It also seems important to note, for those who have not yet visited, that the Burdock Music Hall is an uncommonly comfortable venue that shifts its seating structure around to accommodate the needs of specific acts and their audiences, even when those audiences comprise a variety of different demographic representatives. In a recent show I attended at Burdock, the open area in front of the stage was flanked by a few narrow rows of chairs. While enthusiastic attendees danced, those audience members who desired a bit more comfort – some of whom, let it be said, were quite possibly related to the musicians on stage – sat and enjoyed an unobstructed view of the performance. At no point did this mixed setup feel divisive or contrived; as is typically the case at Burdock, the vibe was relaxed, inclusive, and fun. Sheila Jordan at the Jazz Bistro There are a number of excellent shows happening in other venues this month, not the least of which will be Sheila Jordan’s threenight engagement at Jazz Bistro, on October 4, 5 and 6. Jordan, now 89, has a storied history within the jazz community, studying with Lennie Tristano and Charles Mingus in the early 1950s, performing and recording with Herbie Nichols, George Russell and Lee Konitz in the 60s and 70s, and teaching, as artist-in-residence, at City College of New York, from 1978 through to the mid-2000s. Jordan – who was referred to as “the singer with the million dollar ears” by Charlie Parker – will be joined by pianist Adrean Farrugia and bassist Neil Swainson in an intimate trio format, whose instrumentation should prove well-suited to Jazz Bistro’s ecclesiastical acoustics. OKAN at Lula At Lula Lounge, OKAN celebrate the release of their debut EP recording on October 21. Co-led by Cuban-born, Toronto-based multi-instrumentalists Elizabeth Rodriguez and Magdelys Savigne – both of whom are veterans of saxophonist/flutist Jane Bunnett’s Maqueque group – OKAN fuses traditional Afro-Cuban music with jazz, pop and soul. In their live show, Rodriguez and Savigne find success both in the complementary chemistry they share as performers (Rodriguez typically stands and plays violin, while Savigne sits behind her congas; both sing.) and in their talent for deftly borrowing from various musical sources. At times OKAN’s music sounds distinctly Afro-Cuban; at other times, like popinflected R&B. Anchored by Rodriguez and Savigne, this month’s show should prove to be a worthwhile reason to visit Lula Lounge. MAINLY CLUBS, MOSTLY JAZZ QUICK PICKS !! OCT 4 TO 5, 9PM: Sheila Jordan, Jazz Sheila Jordan Bistro. Accompanied by local mainstays Adrean Farrugia (piano) and Neil Swainson (bass), legendary jazz singer Sheila Jordan performs in this three-night run at Jazz Bistro. !! OCT 14, 9:30PM: Robert Lee, Burdock. Upright bassist Robert Lee leads his big band in celebration of the release of his EP Blink, a collection of modern jazz pieces inspired by pop, folk and classical music. !! OCT 25, 9:30PM: Safia Nolin, Burdock. Francophone singer/songwriter Safia Nolin – 2017 Félix Award winner for Female Artist of the Year – performs in support of her new album, releasing October 5. !! OCT 21, 6:30PM: OKAN, Lula Lounge. Co-led by Cuban-born multi-instrumentalists Elizabeth Rodriguez and Magdelys Savigne, OKAN celebrates the release of their debut EP. Colin Story is a jazz guitarist, writer and teacher based in Toronto. He can be reached, on Instagram and on Twitter. D. In the Clubs (Mostly Jazz) Castro’s Lounge 2116 Queen St. E. 416-699-8272 (full schedule) All shows: No cover/PWYC C’est What 67 Front St. E. (416) 867-9499 (full schedule) All concerts are PWYC unless otherwise noted. Oct 5 9pm Love Canal. Oct 6 3pm Bossa Tres, 9pm Mponda Kalunga and The Matata 6. Oct 7 7pm Jacques Russell Trio. Oct 11 9pm Kevin Zarnett & The Blue Nights. Oct 12 9pm The Tailbreakers. Oct 13 3pm The Hot Five Jazzmakers. Oct 14 7pm The Fairest and Best. Oct 19 9pm Surefire Sweat. Oct 20 3pm Thelonious Hank, 9pm Eric Frisch. Oct 21 7pm Women in Music: A Singer/Songwriter Showcase Vol. 7. Oct 26 9pm Felix’s Belt. Oct 27 3pm The Hot Five Jazzmakers. Emmet Ray, The 924 College St. 416-792-4497 (full schedule) All shows: No cover/PWYC Grossman’s Tavern 379 Spadina Ave. 416-977-7000 (full schedule) All shows: No cover (unless otherwise noted). Every Sat 4:30pm The Happy Pals Dixieland Jazz Jam. Every Sun 4:30pm New Orleans Connection All Star Band; 10pm Sunday Jam with Bill Hedefine. Every Wed 10pm Action Sound Band w/ Leo Valvassori. Hirut Cafe and Restaurant 2050 Danforth Ave. 416-551-7560 (for full schedule) Every Sun 3pm Hirut Sundays Open Mic. 2 nd Friday Each Month 8:30pm and 10pm Don Naduriak and Jazz of The Americas Home Smith Bar – See Old Mill, The Hugh’s Room 2261 Dundas St. W 416 533 5483 All shows at 8:30pm unless otherwise noted. See website for individual show prices. Oct 1 Miss Emily. Oct 2 Fundraiser. Oct 3 Mike Plume. Oct 5 The Small Glories. Oct 6 Pee Wee Ellis & Jason Wilson. Oct 7 Tom Wilson Presents Beautiful Scars: A Literary Recital. Oct 9 Songwriter Sessions I. Oct 10 Fraser Anderson w/Special Guest Arlene Bishop. Oct 11 Mad Dogs and Englishmen – The Music of Joe Cocker & Leon Russell. Oct 12 Jack de Keyzer. Oct 13 Tom Paxton and The Don Juans. Oct 14-15 Strawbs. Oct 17 Holly Near. Oct 18 The Young’uns. Oct 19 Monkey Junk. Oct 20 The Tiki Collective. Oct 21 Rum Ragged. Oct 23 April Verch + Annie Lou. Oct 24 Ramblin’ Jack Elliot. Oct 25 Maria Dunn & Joe Jencks. Oct 26 Oysters 3. Oct 27 The Songs of Nick Drake. Oct 28 Georgian Bay CD Release + The O’Pears. The Ken Page Memorial Trust and WholeNote Media Inc. are delighted to invite you to the next performance by JIM GALLOWAY’S WEE BIG BAND UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF MARTIN LOOMER Thursday 18 th October 2018 from 7:30 to 10:30 pm The Garage, ground floor of the CSI Building at 720 Bathurst St. Licensed Premises • Quick service menu • Street parking featuring special guest Pat LaBarbera on soprano saxophone with tributes to the music of Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington plus a few surprises, this fabulous swing band will keep you smiling, toe-tapping and dancing your way through the night! Doors 7:00 pm for Open Seating Tickets each, cash only please Questions: Anne Page at: 416 515 0200 or email: The appearance of Pat LaBarbera is made possible through the generosity of David Stimpson This concert is dedicated to the memory of saxophone master, Jim Galloway, the band’s founder and leader for 35 years – and to members passed October 1 - November 7, 2018 | 59

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