6 months ago

Volume 28 Issue 5 | April & May 2023

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April and May is Canary Time in the world of WholeNote -- the time when choirs in larger than usual numbers refresh the info in our online "Who's Who" to inform prospective choristers and audiences what they have to offer. Also inside: There's a new New Wave to catch at Esprit; Toronto Bach Festival no 6 includes a Kafeehaus; another new small venue on the "Soft Seat Beat" (we assume the seats are soft!); an ever-so Musically Theatrical spring. And more.

The WholeNote VOLUME

The WholeNote VOLUME 28 NO 5 APRIL & MAY 2023 IN THIS EDITION STORIES AND INTERVIEWS Wendalyn Bartley, MJ Buell, Paul Ennis, Jennifer Parr, David Perlman, Lydia Perović, Andrew Scott, Colin Story CD Reviewers Stuart Broomer, Max Christie, Sam Dickinson, Raul da Gama, Janos Gardonyi, Richard Haskell, Tiina Kiik, Kati Kiilaspea, Lesley Mitchell- Clarke, Cheryl Ockrant, David Olds, Ted Parkinson, Allan Pulker, Ivana Popovic, Terry Robbins, Michael Schulman, Andrew Scott, Melissa Scott, Sharna Searle, Bruce Surtees, Andrew Timar, Yoshi Maclear Wall, Ken Waxman, Matthew Whitfield Proofreading Paul Ennis, John Sharpe Listings Team John Sharpe, Gary Heard, Colin Story Design Team Kevin King, Susan Sinclair Circulation Team Jack Buell, Carl Finkle, Vito Gallucci, Josh Gershateer, James Harris, Bob Jerome, Anita Lal, Marianela Lopez, Chris Malcolm, Sheila McCoy, Lorna Nevison, Janet O’Brien, Tom Sepp, and Dave Taylor . UPCOMING DATES AND DEADLINES Weekly Online Listings Updates 6pm every Tuesday for weekend posting for Volume 28 No. 6 Summer 2023 (June | July | August) Publication Dates Friday, May 26 (digital) Tuesday, May 30, (print) Print edition listings deadline 6pm Tuesday, March 14 Print advertising, reservation deadline 6pm Tuesday, May 16 Printed in Canada Couto Printing & Publishing Services Circulation Statement - Feb 7, 2023 9,000 printed & distributed Canadian Publication Product Sales Agreement 1263846 ISSN 14888-8785 WHOLENOTE Publications Mail Agreement #40026682 WholeNote Media Inc. accepts no responsibility or liability for claims made for any product or service reported on or advertised in this issue. FOR OPENERS Neighbourhood doesn’t mean the same thing as community The WholeNote is on the move. Well, sort of. We are taking our editorial operations back to the neighbourhood where The WholeNote saw its beginnings in the summer of 1995. It had rapidly outgrown its niche as a column titled “Musical Pulse” in the Kensington Market Drum, our local newspaper founded in 1989 in an effort to give the neighbourhood some control of the media narrative when it came to issues we saw as an imminent threat to “the Market’s” survival. The biggest such threat, back then, was a light rail transit line that Metro and the TTC were going to ram down the middle of Spadina Avenue – a Scarborough LRT-style train, in a protected right-of way, which would have turned Spadina’s complex street life, from Bloor to Front, into a drive-through corridor.It would have had half the number of transit stops, crippled restrictions on turns, in and out of adjacent neighbourhoods, and eliminated most of the on-street parking along the Avenue’s middle stretch.This would have threatened the viability of the street’s hodge-podge of small scale business, and the rich mix of residents in the low-rise apartments above – residents who provided what urban visionary Jane Jacobs called “eyes on the street.” Ears too – tuned to the Avenue’s ever-shifting soundscape: cries for help, shouts of laughter or rancor, all the blare of urban life … and, everywhere, music. “Wait a minute, cars bad, transit good,” I hear some of you say. Indeed…ish. Because the plan also called for drastic sidewalk cuts so the extra space needed to protect the transit line could be accommodated without reducing the four-tosix lane highway width that Metro Transportation wanted, to serve the commuter needs of the massive redevelopments planned south of Front Street – including the SkyDome and, if things went as planned, the athletes village for the 1996 Olympics – the Games, thank you Coca-Cola, that were awarded to Atlanta. Issues like these have the power to galvanize all the interest groups within range, instantly turning talk about “the neighbourhood” into talk about “the community” – but its a use of the word usually ends with a whimper, once “the community” has to decide in whose neighbourhood the agreed solution should go. So, neighbourhood is not the same as community, but it is the soil in which community either grows and thrives, or withers. So, off we go back to a new office in the Market, to re-root what we do, within earshot and direct line of sight of where we all started. Meanwhile, back here at the Centre for Social Innovation at 720 Bathurst St., our home for the past 20 years, Wholenote Media Inc. will keep a foothold for the other (and in some ways more useful) core thing we do: seeking out, harvesting, and freely sharing information about live music in all its forms everywhere we can reach – wherever there are people on the ground willing to assist in the task. Because it takes ears tuned to each particular neighbourhood (or community’s) soundscape to paint a full picture of all the musical art that is there. There are no “arts deserts” someone reminded me after last issue’s editorial, just places where outsiders do not have ears tuned to community life. David Perlman can be reached at COPYRIGHT © 2023 WHOLENOTE MEDIA INC 8 | April & May, 2023

2805_AprMay_cover.indd 1 2023-03-24 9:56 AM ON OUR COVER The Brass Are Bringing It MJ BUELL Trash Panda Brass Band VOLUME 28 NO 5 APRIL - MAY 2023 MUSIC! LISTINGS live and livestreamed STORIES profiles, previews and interviews RECORD REVIEWS and Listening Room We were all really chill that day, and I remember thinking to myself that everything was really coming together. That section of Spadina just north of College where the street splits is an iconic spot, hidden in plain sight. We all know it but how many of us know what it is? I learned that day that it’s U of T’s Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, and I think it’s one of the most spectacular landscapes in the city. — Conrad Gluch, photographer “Trash Panda” is a made-up name for raccoons - those resiliently liminal creatures who have fun playing with anything they think might be tasty. Some performers have musical appetites like that. Ever since the jazzy, New Orleans-inspired Heavyweights Brass Band burst on the Toronto scene around 2009, there’s been a delightful emergence of scaled-down, really fun small brass bands who can perform unamplified almost anywhere: retooling the art of busking into a kind of amazing musical outdoor ambush, or heading indoors at the drop of a microphone! These bands include the likes of Big Smoke Brass Band, Juicebox Brass Band, the Eighth Street Orchestra and Bangerz Brass to name just a few. Typically these are ensembles of 5-8 versatile musicians, with a magic combination of serious playing chops and huge appetites for fun. Enter Trash Panda Brass In their own words: “We’re here and we’re Queer! Only having hit the streets in June 2022, Trash Panda Brass is a new and exciting voice in the Toronto brass band scene. Comprised of six queer U of T graduates, Trash Panda Brass is on a mission to diversify the brass scene, promote inclusivity and bring welcoming energy to all. In an effort to bring music and joy to as wide an audience as possible, Trash Panda has primarily focused on busking at various locations in and around downtown Toronto, but are also frequently seen playing at various festivals and private events …” Their members include gay, bi, lesbian and transgender performers, who work brilliantly as a unit the way close friends do. Formed during the pandemic, and now working on a debut recording, they make a splash whenever and wherever they play outdoors - often on Queen West or across the street from the ROM. Several of their members also work, or have worked, together at Drom Taberna in Toronto where the Queen West and Kensington neighbourhoods intersect. Like several of these bands currently on the scene their repertoire includes (but is not exclusive to) reinventing songs of their generation like Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” and “Firework”, Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” and Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5”. In addition to performing in the College Street Jazz Festival’s Grand FInale Concert on Sunday, April 23 at Revival Event Venue (see Colin Story’s Mainly Clubs on page 32), The Trash Panda Brass Band also has Toronto performances (one at the aforementioned Drom Taberna and one at Supermarket on Augusta Avenue) on April 1 and April 7 (details at puccini tosca MAY 5 – 27 ALSO PLAYING VERDI’S macbeth APRIL 28 – MAY 20 TICKETS ON SALE NOW Production Sponsor Puccini’s Tosca Production Sponsor Verdi’s Macbeth The COC Orchestra is generously supported, in part, by W. Bruce C. Bailey and The Schulich Foundation April & May, 2023 | 9 Date: Mar 16, 2023 Approvals: Date: Signature: Filename_ Version# Studio: COC230037_STC_WN_Tosca_Mar28_FNL_300INK_r2

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