3 years ago

Volume 25 Issue 9 - July / August 2020

  • Text
  • Composer
  • Orchestra
  • Concerts
  • Symphony
  • Musicians
  • Artists
  • Musical
  • Toronto
  • August
  • Jazz
July/August issue is now available in flipthrough HERE, bringing to a close 25 seasons of doing what we do (and plan to continue doing), and on stands early in the week of July 5. Not the usual bucolic parade of music in the summer sun, but lots, we hope, to pass the time: links to online and virtual music; a full slate of record reviews; plenty new in the Listening Room; and a full slate of stories – the future of opera, the plight of small venues, the challenge facing orchestras, the barriers to resumption of choral life, the challenges of isolation for real-time music; the steps some festivals are taking to keep the spirit and substance of what they do alive. And intersecting with all of it, responses to the urgent call for anti-racist action and systemic change.

TT (The Rex): We’ve

TT (The Rex): We’ve taken the opportunity (a terrible word, I apologize, but a realistic fact here) to perform much-needed renovations to help both modernize The Rex and bring us into compliance into what we think will be the new, post-COVID world. While we’ve been completely “dark” on stage (the same stage which we rebuilt completely with new soundproofing and a beautiful wood finish), we’ve tasked our social media directors to build “Rex Performers Story Sessions” so that we can hopefully keep the music alive in the interim. Everyone we reached out to through our platforms (website, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) has been extremely gracious with [their] time and talent, and the feedback from customers has been most appreciated. On pursuing change and addressing BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) representation RH (Burdock): In early 2020 I had the opportunity to book two music festivals. There were 46 performances, and more than 80 percent of the performers were white. Obviously this isn’t even close to reflecting the talent in Toronto. Burdock has managed to gain a bit of a reputation for presenting diverse programming but a critical look at the stats shows that we can do a lot better. Burdock is a white-owned business, and I am a white booker. I personally am looking at my position as the booker and trying to figure out how/when is the best time to step aside and leave space for BIPOC bookers. The short-term plan is to develop a ticketing system for livestreaming concerts and work with as many BIPOC presenters as possible. We also hope to take more wedding, book launch, and private event livestream bookings soon. I see my role as a facilitator of this building phase, and passing the booking to others that can better amplify BIPOC voices. On gratitude, and the precariousness of the gig economy: TT (The Rex): We feel very strongly that it be mentioned that our wonderful staff and musicians are really surviving this pandemic with a level of grace, professionalism and fortitude that is commendable. This crisis really magnifies how tenuous their employment is in our gig economy (for the servers and bartenders the loss of their tips, for the musicians the loss of their steady performances) and without fail when I speak to almost any of them they are staying hopeful and excited about coming out with us here at the club on the other side of this mess. The future, in the short and long term: reopening strategies and livestreaming RH (Burdock): Livestreaming from Burdock has been amazing so far — we are working with Varey Sound who switches between multiple cameras. We have also done a lot of acoustic treatment to dampen the stage sound, making it ideal for live sound capture. We want to offer the best quality and most engaging livestream concert experience for Toronto artists. Indoor gatherings feel like a distant possibility at this time, so we are putting our focus on livestreaming. AK (The Emmett Ray): I think it is possible that the relationship between venue and artists might be over as we know it. Restaurants might hire jazz groups as a value-added experience, but I am not sure the jazz group as a focal point will be the case. I hate to leave on a negative [note], but finding positives for a live music venue is very hard right now, with so many closing. The Emmet Ray will fight to continue to be a live music venue, but without support we might have to pivot away. TT (The Rex): I can say without hesitation that I don’t see a reopening process for us here unless we can do it on all fronts: rehiring our full amazing staff, a decent percentage of bar service available both inside and on the patio, full kitchen service, all hotel services and amenities, and some form of live jazz performances. We just don’t feel it’s worthwhile (or safe for that matter) to open up until we can offer what makes us The Rex Hotel in our entirety. We are encouraged by the phased reopening plans of the city/province and are eager to follow whatever directions come our way from health experts. We are in this for the long haul and want to make sure we are reopening for the right reasons… not just throwing some patio tables out there at half speed and hoping for the best. These interviews have been condensed and edited. Colin Story is a jazz guitarist, writer and teacher based in Toronto. He can be reached at, on Instagram and on Twitter. In the Clubs (Mostly Jazz) ● Alleycatz 2409 Yonge St. 416-481-6865 All shows: Call for cover charge info. ● The Blue Goose Tavern 1 Blue Goose St. 416-255-2442 (full schedule) ● Bloom 2315 Bloor St. W. 416-767-1315 (full schedule) All shows 7pm 19+. Call for reservations. ● Burdock 1184 Bloor St. W. 416-546-4033 Ticket prices vary by show, but typically - ; check website for individual show prices. ● Cameron House 408 Queen St. W. 416-703-0811 ● 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. ● 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). ● Hirut Cafe and Restaurant 2050 Danforth Ave. 416-551-7560 ● Home Smith Bar – See Old Mill, The ● Jazz Bistro, The 251 Victoria St. 416-363-5299 (full schedule) ● Jazz Room, The Located in the Huether Hotel, 59 King St. N., Waterloo. 226-476-1565 (full schedule) Attendees must be 19+. Cover charge varies (generally -$25) ● Lula Lounge 1585 Dundas St. W. 416-588-0307 (full schedule) ● Manhattans Pizza Bistro & Music Club 951 Gordon St., Guelph 519-767-2440 (full schedule) ● Mezzetta Restaurant 681 St. Clair Ave. W. 416-658-5687 (full schedule) ● Monarch Tavern 12 Clinton St. 416-531-5833 (full schedule) ● N’awlins Jazz Bar & Dining 299 King St. W. 416-595-1958 All shows: No cover/PWYC. ● Nice Bistro, The 117 Brock St. N., Whitby. 905-668-8839 (full schedule) Live jazz and dinner, .00 per person. Dinner from 6pm and music from 7pm to 9pm. ● Old Mill, The 21 Old Mill Rd. 416-236-2641 (full schedule) The Home Smith Bar: No reservations. No cover. food/drink minimum. All shows: 7:30-10:30pm unless otherwise listed. ● Only Café, The 972 Danforth Ave. 416-463-7843 (full schedule) ● Pilot Tavern, The 22 Cumberland Ave. 416-923-5716 All shows: 2:30pm. No cover. ● Poetry Jazz Café 224 Augusta Ave. 416-599-5299 (full schedule) ● Reposado Bar & Lounge 136 Ossington Ave. 416-532-6474 (full schedule) ● Reservoir Lounge, The 52 Wellington St. E. 416-955-0887 (full schedule). ● Revolucion, La 2848 Dundas St. W. (416) 766-0746 (full schedule) ● Rex Hotel Jazz & Blues Bar, The 194 Queen St. W. 416-598-2475 (full schedule) Call for cover charge info. ● Salty Dog Bar & Grill, The 1980 Queen St. E. 416-849-5064 (full schedule) ● Sauce on Danforth 1376 Danforth Ave. 647-748-1376 All shows: No cover. ● The Senator Winebar 249 Victoria St 416 364-7517 (full schedule) ● Tranzac 292 Brunswick Ave. 416-923-8137 (full schedule) 3-4 shows daily, various styles, in three different performance spaces. Mostly PWYC. 36 | July and August 2020

LISTINGS Event listings in The WholeNote are free to all eligible music presenters. Under ordinary circumstances the listings in the magazine are arranged in five sections: GTA and BEYOND GTA (concerts); MUSIC THEATRE; CLUBS; and what we call our ETCETERAS, (all kinds of date-related musical events that don’t fit the other 4 sections). But these are not ordinary circumstances. So right now ETCETERAS are all you will find here, mostly in the area of online and livestreamed concerts, fundraisers, masterclasses, etcetera. These are being updated online on a weekly basis, so our web listings are the place to be to keep up with online events as well as live listings as they start to come back, and new seasons as an when they are announced. Most of our online listings can be searched in various ways – by date ranges, types of music and geographic zones (see map to the right). These expanded ETCETERAS are still a work in progress! Visit for performance listings, and for online activity. All further inquiries should be addressed to our listings editor John Sharpe at or 416-323-2232 x27. (Please note we do not take listings information over the phone.) Lake Huron 6 Georgian Bay 7 HOW TO LIST: 2 1 5 Lake Erie 3 4 8 City of Toronto Lake Ontario Send event information a) by using the convenient online form at b) by email to our listings editor, John Sharpe at DEADLINES: Listings for an upcoming print issue need to be submitted by the listings deadline stated in the Dates and Deadlines at the foot of page 7 of every issue. For the coming issue (covering September 1 to October 7), the deadline is August 15. Listings received after deadline will be posted to the online listings as soon as feasible. Listings may also be submitted in advance for an entire concert season. Inquire to Livestreaming, Zooming, Facebook Live? Online concerts, fundraisers, workshops, masterclasses? Share your details so we can publish them! July and August 2020 | 37

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