4 months ago

Volume 28 Issue 4 | February - March 2023

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Volume 28 no.4, covering Feb, March and into early April '23! David Olds remembers composer John Beckwith; Andrew Timar reflects on the life and times of artistic polymath Michael Snow; Mezzo Emily Fons, in town for Figaro, on trouser roles, the life of a mezzo-soprano on the road and more; Colin Story on the Soft-Seat beat; tracks from 22 new recordings added to our Listening Room. All this and more.


MOSTLY JAZZ February 14 - it’s Clubs and Hearts COLIN STORY HIGH NOTES GALA FOR MENTAL HEALTH Monday March 27th, 2023 8:00 pm Flato Markham Theatre Join HIGH NOTES AVANTE as we showcase some exquisite artists who will dazzle you with their music and dance performances while touching your heart with their stories. Be a part of our safe community for those touched by mental illness. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. WE ALL HAVE A STORY. REGULAR TICKETS STUDENTS VIP TICKETS VIP tickets include a backstage meet & greet with artists, including Pelee Island bubbly and nibbles at 7:00 pm. Tickets at: 905.305.7469 Proceeds support High Notes Avante’s efforts to raise the image of mental illness, give hope and inspire. Proceeds will also support our FREE music lessons, choir and other activities. #WEALLHAVEASTORY This month, a rosy cherub will emerge from the snow, cock its heart-shaped bow and let loose its velvet arrows somewhere in our general direction. Not everyone enjoys Valentine’s Day, of course. For those not in relationships, it can be a grim reminder – at such a cold time of the year – of the bleak overwhelm of enduring solitude (this writer’s advice: the Internet is vast). For those whose love boat is floundering on stormy seas, February 14 can be a tricky obstacle to navigate. (Helpful hint: it is probably not, as one might assume, a propitious time to send one’s partner that article about trying an open relationship.) For the lucky number of you, however, who are looking to hit the town and celebrate your love by listening to some live music, possibilities abound. 30 | February & March, 2023

At Jazz Bistro, impress your date with all of the conventional trappings of date-night romance (chandeliers! champagne! a red piano!) while being serenaded by vocalist Michael Dunston. Performing songs from the R&B/Motown songbook, Dunston is joined by the enviable rhythm section of Matt Horner on piano, Roberto Occhipinti on bass and Mark Kelso on drums (cost, including prix fixe menu: ). At the venerable El Mocambo, vocalists Ori Dagan and John Alcorn take the stage with guitarist Nathan Hiltz, bassist Lauren Falls, saxophonist Jesse Ryan and special guest vocalist Joanne Morra. This particular evening, like that at Jazz Bistro, is a prix fixe event; 0 gets you the music, wine from Niagara on the Lake’s Two Sisters Vineyards, dinner from Mark McEwan and the knowledge that you – just like Mick Jagger – have gotten romantic at the El Mocambo. Michael Dunston Brian Dickinson Ori Dagan and John Alcorn DAN BROWN TRANZAC: the most musical event of the night may well be Thom Gill’s Eat The Wind album release, taking place at the Tranzac. Though he is the sole performer credited on the album, Gill – singer, songwriter, guitarist, pianist, and firstcall collaborator for some of North America’s most interesting and talented musicians – has assembled an incredible band to bring the project to life, with Todd Pentney, Edwin de Goeij, Phil Melanson, Bram Gielen, Robin Dann, Luka Kuplowksy, and Alex Samaras, as well as an opening set by the Ryan Driver Trio. The show starts at 8pm, with limited-edition tapes for sale (at , it is also surely Valentine’s Day’s most accessible outing). Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne The Rex: Romance aside, the coming weeks still have a lot to offer. Notably, a new group takes the stage in February: BaruBaru, saxophonist Allison Au’s latest venture, with her longtime collaborator and partner Todd Pentney on synths, Chris Pruden (also on synths), and Ian Wright on drums. With Au’s athletic, expressive saxophone playing, two times the keyboards, and Wright’s propulsive, rhythmically sophisticated drumming, check out the group’s exciting, exploratory, fusion-tinged jazz every Friday at 5:30pm in February. Also at The Rex: “The Rhythm Method,” a project conceived by pianist Brian Dickinson in 2015. With saxophonists Kelly Jefferson and Luis Deniz, Neil Swainson on bass and Ted Warren on drums, expect topnotch straightahead modern jazz played with lusty abandon. At Lula Lounge on February 23: The Lula Reggae & Blues Revue presented by Lula Music and Arts Centre and the Toronto Blues Society. Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne plays on a bill with Jay Douglas and Quincy Bullen during an evening of classic blues and reggae celebrating Black History Month, the evening is sure to be memorable. Born in Spokane, Washington in 1944, before eventually moving to California, where he was based in the 1960s and 70s, Wayne moved to Vancouver in the 1980s, and has been a stalwart of the Canadian music scene ever since. (In 2006, Wayne won a Juno Award for Blues Album of the Year.) Like Wayne, Douglas has also enjoyed a storied career; equally comfortable with reggae, blues, soul and funk, he has been the recipient of three Juno nominations, has had major performances with international reggae stars such as Beres Hammond, Ziggy Marley and Ernest Ranglin and released many albums as both performer and producer. The youngest on the bill, Quincy Bullen is a name that will be familiar to many in Toronto – a multi-instrumentalist, singer and producer, Bullen performs regularly in Canada and abroad, and is at home in a wide range of styles, playing funk, rock, R&B, and soul with equal aplomb. LONG & McQUADE FREE CLINICS DURING MARCH MARCH 1-31 Quincy Bullen A series of free career-enhancing clinics specifically tailored to the needs of musicians, songwriters, producers and home studio enthusiasts. Visit for all the information! Colin Story is a jazz guitarist, writer and teacher based in Toronto. He can be reached at, on Instagram and on Twitter. February & March, 2023 | 31

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)