7 months ago

Volume 28 Issue 6 | Summer 2023

  • Text
  • Festival
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Quartet
  • Musical
  • Orchestra
  • Theatre
  • Fallsview
  • Choir
  • August
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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

The WholeNote VOLUME

The WholeNote VOLUME 28 NO 6 JUNE, JULY & AUGUST 2023 IN THIS EDITION STORIES AND INTERVIEWS Wendalyn Bartley, Paul Ennis, Natalie Fasheh, Jennifer Parr, David Perlman, Andrew Timar, Colin Story, Matthew Whitfield CD Reviewers Stuart Broomer, Max Christie, Sam Dickinson, Daniel Foley, Raul da Gama, Janos Gardonyi, Richard Haskell, Fraser Jackson, Tiina Kiik, Kati Kiilaspea, Lesley Mitchell-Clarke, Cheryl Ockrant, David Olds, Ted Parkinson, Allan Pulker, Ivana Popovic, Cathay Riches, 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, Bruno Difilippo, Carl Finkle, Vito Gallucci, Josh Gershateer, James Harris, Bob Jerome, 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 29 No. 1 September 2023 Publication Dates Friday, August 25 (digital) Tuesday, August 29 (print) Print edition listings deadline 6pm Tuesday, August 15 Print advertising, reservation deadline 6pm Tuesday, August 15 Printed in Canada Couto Printing & Publishing Services Circulation Statement - March 28, 2023 8800 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. COPYRIGHT © 2023 WHOLENOTE MEDIA INC About Land The People, Yes (1936) is a sprawling, 107-section, book length poem by US poet Carl Sandburg (1873-1960). In it there’s a section that goes like this: “Get off this estate.” “What for?” “Because it’s mine.” “Where did you get it?” “From my father.” FOR OPENERS “Where did he get it?” “From his father.” “And where did he get it?” “He fought for it.” “Well, I’ll fight you for it.” In 1988 two beloved colleagues and I sat around the kitchen table of a 0 twobedroom apartment, above a cheese store on Kensington Ave in Toronto. We were working on a book of texts and related activities designed “to bring creative play drama into New Brunswick junior high regular classroom settings,” as the brief from our Toronto-based publisher described it. This poem was the opening text we chose for the book. It’s a poem that has stuck with me ever since. It’s the word “mine” in the poem that makes it tick like a bomb. “Ours” in the same spot would have opened the door a tiny crack to the question “So who’s we?” And “Who’s we?”, in turn could have led, down the line, to the far-fetched notion of forgiving our trespassers. Let me explain how the previous two paragraphs relate to The WholeNote’s more usual cheerful ruminations at this time of year on what awaits us musically in the bucolic summer ahead. Another fragment of text jumps to mind from Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock” – the last couple of verses in particular: arriving at Yasgur’s farm half a million strong, with song and celebration everywhere, and daring to dream of “bomber jets riding shotgun in the sky turning into butterflies above our nation.” This conjures the image of a profoundly hopeful metamorphosis: property owners at least temporarily taking down their “No trespassing” signs, in favour of greeting newcomers with the words “Welcome to this land” instead of “Get off this estate”. Who “owns the land” and what social responsibilities does land ownership bring along with it? These are questions that in my 48 years in Toronto have never felt more urgent. They were front-and-centre at a recent debate at Young People’s Theatre, organized by the Toronto Arts Council, for candidates in the upcoming June 26 Toronto mayoralty by-election. The lack of affordable housing was top of the list for all the participants in the debate. According to the fact sheet supplied by the organizers, half of the people in the city working in the arts earn less than ,000 a year. It’s a fact that puts artists in good company, namely all the low-paid workers no longer able to afford to live in the city they help to keep liveable. Do the math: with the average price of a one-bedroom apartment in the city now around ,000, the ,000 per annum “average” arts worker wage has 0 a month for everything else. A shortage of affordable work and performance space follows close behind as an issue for artists, and for the venues they work in. It puts them in the company of hundreds, if not thousands, of independent small businesses, crippled by almost three years of COVID and now facing sky-rocketing rent increases as their leases come due – if anything steeper than in the residential sector. Each candidate in the debate had things to say on the subject. Sadly, most were intent on explaining why their particular “magic bullet” solution was shinier than their rivals’, rather than talking about the full scope of the crisis. Make no mistake, whoever wins the race will inherit a near-to-intractable problem of land ownership that we are running out of time to solve: the City’s thousands of under-used properties; and developers and landlords with almost unrestricted power to charge whatever the market will bear. The fact that home owners and others secure in their tenancy have adjusted more easily to the idea of “digital community” over the course of the pandemic, has also eroded our collective sense of the importance for social cohesion of living in actual neighbourhoods. 8 | Summer 2023

“Everywhere there was song and celebration” is not sustainable as a purely digital thing. Outside of ourselves: Let’s hear it for the curators, musicians and volunteers behind the “second season” now upon us – urban and rural, cheerfully bucolic and forward-looking alike, bringing a summer’s worth of music and art through real air: all over the place for those who can travel, and close to home for those who cannot. Let’s hear it for the opportunities they are creating: opportunities to get outside of our routine selves and usual comfort zones, both musically and in terms of rethinking our mindsets in regard to the land all this activity happens on. The building where this issue of The Wholenote has been produced was until recently a single-story tear-down – long past its best-before date, for almost all of the 45 years I have known it. It has been home, in three or four storefronts, to a postcard shop, various small restaurants, a side by side husband-and-wife hairdresser and barbershop, and to the Toronto Portuguese book store (in front of which, on Sundays, spilling out onto the street, crowds of workers, mostly men, would congregate to listen to radio broadcasts of football from Portugal’s Primeira Liga.) After the bookstore left, the largest storefront became an internet cafe, mostly catering to a Haitian and African Francophone diaspora, then a home for This Ain’t the Rosedale Library, a proudly independent Toronto book and magazine store for almost 30 years, then a knitting store (Yarns Untangled.) During the pandemic a second floor was added – and that is where I am writing this from. Our second floor neighbours, so far, are the Kensington Market Jazz Festival, a local musician and community activist, and one space still to be occupied. Before the street existed, this patch of land was in the middle of the Denison Estate – carved out of one of 32 100-acre Park Lots between the Humber and Don, awarded in 1793 by then Upper Canada Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe, to the gentry he hoped would help turn Muddy York into a fit place for European settlement. PART OF THE TORONTO SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL Jonathan Crow, Artistic Director JULY 6 – 29 Jon Kimura Parker, Illia Ovcharenko, and friends July 6 Koerner Hall We acknowledge that long before that time, T’karonto (The Meeting Place) was the traditional territory of many nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit River, the Anishinaabe, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and Wendat peoples, and remains so to this day. It is also home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples. We acknowledge further that Toronto is within the territory governed by the Sewatokwa’tshera’t (Dish with One Spoon) treaty between the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas and Haudenosaunee, which bound them to share the territory and protect the land, and that subsequent Indigenous Nations and Peoples, Europeans, and all newcomers have been invited into this treaty in the spirit of peace, friendship, and respect. In the spirit of reconciliation, we are grateful to work, sharing the healing power of art, on this land. David Perlman can be reached at PUBLICATION DATES The WholeNote Volume 29 Angela Hewitt July 25 Koerner Hall Sondra Radvanovsky July 27 Koerner Hall 2901 | August 29, for September 2023 2902 | September 26, for October & November 2023 2903 | November 28, for December/January 2023-24 2904 | January 30, for February/March 2024 2905 | March 26, April & May 2024 2906 | May 28, for Summer (June, July & August) 2024 Buy your tickets now! For full Festival line up visit 416.408.0208 Summer 2023 | 9

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