7 months ago

Volume 28 Issue 6 | Summer 2023

  • Text
  • Festival
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Quartet
  • Musical
  • Orchestra
  • Theatre
  • Fallsview
  • Choir
  • August
  • Thewholenotecom
Fast start to the summer and it just keeps going: Luminato walks with Little Amal; the Historical Organ Society comes to town; composer Carmen Braden is keeping busy; Phil Nimmons turns 100; TSM's metamorphosis; and check out live links in ads, listings and our easy surfing directory of summer festivals. See you August 30 for Volume 29 no.1


FESTIVAL ROUNDUP Tania Gill's quartet will perform at the Something Else! Festival on June 24. Those looking for the biggest names in international jazz can catch a double bill with the Brad Mehldau trio and the Avishai Cohen trio, on June 26, singer and guitar virtuoso George Benson, on June 27, and jazz’s leading elder statesman, Herbie Hancock, on June 29. (Though, one hopes, in each of these cases, that aspiring concertgoers have already purchased tickets; these shows sell out fast.) Fans of R&B and hip-hop vocals can catch Canadian rapper Haviah Mighty - winner of the 2019 Polaris Music Prize and 2022 JUNO Award for Rap Album of the Year - perform on June 25 at 7:30pm, right before the American vocalist Ashanti, who will be on the same stage at 9pm. At the other end of the TJF spectrum, for those who enjoy unexpected collaborations, who don’t mind staying up late, and who enjoy the look of abject terror in an undergraduate jazz student’s eyes when the tune they call is counted in at a much brisker tempo than they’d anticipated. The Pilot, on Cumberland St., is hosting a jam session that starts at 10pm every night throughout the festival’s run. The jam begins with a set from the host band, which will be led by a different local bandleader each evening – including Jane Bunnett, on June 24; Ernesto Cervini with special guest Joel Frahm, on June 27; and Allison Au, on June 29. Beaches Jazz: Though it may be the biggest, TJF is certainly not the only festival in town. The 35th annual Beaches Jazz Fest (BJF), long a fan favourite, comprises a number of different events throughout the month of July, including Sounds of Leslieville and Riverside, from July 6 to 9, the TD Mainstage at Woodbine Park, from July 20 to 23, and StreetFest, the quintessential BJF experience, in which Queen Street East transforms into a music festival, taking place from July 27 to 29. All of the BJF’s events feature fantastic musicians, and tend to be programmed to appeal to a wide range of listeners. Something Else! There are many other excellent festivals happening this summer throughout Ontario. The Something Else! Festival, presented by Zula Arts and Music, takes place at St. Cuthbert’s Presbyterian Church in Hamilton from June 23 to 25, focused on open improvised music, with performances from the likes of guitarist Jessica Ackerley, trumpeter Ralph Alessi, and pianist Tania Gill. Brantford’s South Coast Jazz Music Festival celebrates its tenth anniversary with a slate of shows happening from August 11-13, with crowd pleasers Alex Pangman, Mark Keslo & the Jazz Exiles and Platinum Blonde’s Mark Holmes. Though not strictly a jazz festival, those who make the trek to Campbellford to the Westben Centre for Connection & Creativity Through Music can be sure to enjoy the organization’s picturesque setting and its summer programming. Fans of easy-listening vocal jazz have plenty to choose from, including Emilie-Claire Barlow, on Friday, July 21; Jill Barber, on Saturday August 5; and Laila Biali and the Brian Barlow Big Band performing the music of Joni Mitchell on Sunday, August 2. Colin Story is a jazz guitarist, writer and teacher based in Toronto. He can be reached at, on Instagram and on Twitter. FESTIVAL ROUNDUP Three of Note Only in Collingwood (July 8 to 15) Jeremy Dutcher Collingwood Music Festival’s artistic director Daniel Vnukowski has programmed a jam-packed week of intriguing concerts. It begins July 8 when special guest tenor Jeremy Dutcher performs songs inspired by his Wolastoq First Nation roots. Dutcher’s performance follows the National Academy Orchestra of Canada conducted by Alain Trudel playing a movement from Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony and Vivaldi’s Spring from The Four Seasons and precedes a movement from Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique and the third movement from Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique” Symphony, putting his songs at the centre of the concert. His music transcends boundaries: unapologetically playful in its incorporation of classical influences, full of reverence for the traditional songs of his New Brunswick home and teeming with the urgency of modern-day struggles of resistance. This festival is like few others in its diversity. July 9, Stories of the Underground Railroad, with the Juno Award-winning Toronto Mass Choir, uses cutting-edge gospel music with Caribbean musical influences to tell those stories. The Dévah String Quartet follows on July 10 presenting a concert that begins with pieces of a Haydn quartet on acoustic instruments, jumps to jazz, and then on to amplified arrangements of artists and bands, including Guns N’ Roses, Coldplay, U2, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and more. July 11, pianist Vnukowski joins Peter Stoll, one of Canada’s most innovative and versatile clarinetists, for a program of classical and jazz masterworks ranging from the 18th century (Tartini and Mozart) to the 20th (Milhaud, Gershwin and Benny Goodman). FACEBOOK 32 | Summer 2023

THATCANADIANMAGAZINE MARK RASH Beny Esguerra James Campbell July 13, fusing spoken word and hip-hop’s cultural expressions with Colombian Afro-Indigenous música de gaita, two-time Junonominated multi-instrumentalist and lyricist Beny Esguerra and New Tradition Music perform, followed on July 13 by Montreal’s visionary collectif9. July 14 the ever-popular Gryphon Trio joins Vnukowski and clarinetist James Campbell, artistic director of neighbouring Festival of the Sound, in a program featuring Olivier Messiaen’s seminal, mysterious work Quartet for the End of Time. July 15, jazz chanteuse Adi Braun and her trio bring an eclectic week to a witty close with “Mad about the Boys”, a salute to Cole Porter, Kurt Weill and Noel Coward. Paul Ennis Festival of the Sound (July 19 to August 5) Proudly billing themselves as Canada’s longest-running classical chamber music festival, Festival of the Sound came into being in 1979 at the initiative of international superstar pianist (and at the time local cottager) Anton Kuerti, and has flowered, since 1985 under the guidance of James Campell who, remarkably remains at the helm 37 years later. “The Sound” is a festival where guest artists return year after year because of the opportunity the festival offers for cross-fertilization, among artists who rarely cross paths in the course of their “normal” professional lives. Final repertoire for these ad hoc collaborations comes together at a relatively leisurely pace, so check back on their website over the course of June for details. continues on next page Summer Festival July 2 to August 6, 2023 Measha Brueggergosman-Lee Brian Finley Mozart in the Meadow Ben Heppner & Elmer Iseler Singers Janina Fialkowska 26 concerts featuring over 70 artists of classical, broadway, jazz, folk, pop, rock, opera, country and artists from Alderville First Nation Campbellford, ON For information & tickets visit Summer 2023 | 33

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