Tag Archives: Alexis Baro

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JOIN CIUT 89.5FM RADIO SPRING MEMBERSHIP CAMPAIGN WITH THE HOSTS OF “HOWL!”

Over the past three decades, I’ve had the privilege of working with the hosts of CIUT radio’s “Howl!” spoken word/music show (Tuesdays, live at 10-11pm) who have interviewed numerous clients of mine, supported events I’ve promoted and I’ve even appeared on-air myself chatting about life as an arts publicist.  Howl! is one of the few live media platforms available to local Toronto artists to promote their creations and performances, and as CIUT 89.5FM is holding it’s annual Spring membership drive May 8-14, I would like to encourage all my readers/followers to kindly support this amazing grassroots radio station.CIUT-30th-HelveticaNeueCondensed-WhiteOnBlackNancy Bullis and Valentino Assenza share hosting duties, alternating on-air duties each week. They have welcomed poets, authors, musicians, actors, theatre folk, songwriters – all sorts of entertainers who add to our city’s cultural landscape. Please join them Tues. May 9th between 10pm and 11pm and call-in or log on to the CIUT website to donate (details at end of this story)

Above - Valentino, Nancy & studio engineer Robert

Above L to R – Valentino, Nancy & studio engineer Robert

“It is an honour, a privilege and a sheer joy to prepare for and interview writers and artists in Canada of all genres to showcase their work on HOWL,” Nancy told me. “The radio is a great place for them to introduce new work and CIUT 89.5FM provides for this opportunity. A conduit is available here for, as you say, Glenda, “the grassroots promotions & media opps for emerging artists via HOWL!” Exactly! I think that society would be a dismal place without music, poetry, spoken word and the other arts to help us understand who we are and for artists of all kinds to express themselves. I’m a big believer in Kurt Vonnegut’s “canary in the coal mine theory of the arts.” It truly is my pleasure to be part of HOWL, CIUT 89.5FM since December 1999.” 

And Valentino added….  “For me, life is about words, and so I make HOWL! about words too.  Whether it’s a series of them that make up a novel or a cool poem, sound lyrics in a song, HOWL! is about words, and how powerful they are, and I like to expose the people that transcend words through their art.”

20150623_223457Above, Nancy interviews Grammy-nominated flutist and composer Ron Korb prior to his departure for LA and the Grammy red carpet. And below, she’s with Cuban jazz trumpeter and composer Alexis Baro whose CD launch was the following weekend.20160719_215957Before Nancy and Valentino took the helm at Howl!, the show was the sole domain of legendary poet, artist and musician Nik Beat (pictured below).  I remember working closely with Nik back when the CIUT studios were located in an old Edwardian house on St. George St…up 2 flights of rickety stairs, into the rafters.  Nik was one of the first people in the city to support poetry and spoken word performers and he and I just clicked when we first met at one of my Scribes & Muses! (or S&M for short…LOL) performances back in the late 80’s. I headed up an artists’ collective of writers, poets, musicians who performed live around the city – Nik was the only media host who gave us on-air time. Needless to say, I am indebted to Nik and Howl!/CIUT for the successes that came from those early days.NikSo to honour Nik and all those artists he helped over the years, and for Nancy & Valentino’s ongoing weekly showcase, please reach out and support the station which supports the artists. Thank you.

CIUT 89.5 FM SPRING 2017 MEMBERSHIP DRIVE
Presenting the Sound of Your City for 30 years
On Air Campaign Runs May 8-14
Your contributions and support have kept CIUT thriving for 30 years and we want to continue to be the sound of your city for another 30 + years!
Donations can be made right now by simply clicking on the Donation button on the website www.ciut.fm
Phone lines are open 6am-2am 416-946-7800 OR 1-888-204-8976
Show your support on this 30th anniversary because we can’t do it without you!
GOAL: $60,000 Total so far: $2,700

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ALEXIS BARO BURNS UP THE LULA LOUNGE STAGE FOR CD LAUNCH!

Wow, what a night! Mother Nature threw down her mic and a ton of rain on the city, but inside Lula Lounge, Afro-Cuban trumpeter ALEXIS BARO and his Pueblo Nuevo Project band tore up the stage with two sets of hot hot hot Latin jazz.20160907_201439Launching his brand new CD, SUGAR RUSH, Alexis entertained a near-capacity house with new tunes as well as many of his previous hits. In fact, to celebrate the recent release of the official video for “Eres” from his Guilty Pleasure album, Alexis was joined on stage by Cuban hip-hop artist TELMARY (below) for the first ever live performance of their song. The crowd went crazy!20160907_220330Alexis and Telmary were interviewed by AfroGlobal Television (below) …..20160907_212110….and even Snap’d newspaper (below) came out to shoot the crowd enjoying the show20160907_203500A truly memorable concert…the fans left with smiles on their faces and copies of the Sugar Rush CD in their hands! You can get your own copy or download via Alexis’ website: www.alexisbaro.comAlexis_Baro_CD_FRONT cd insideYou can also catch Alexis performing tomorrow at The Rex (9:45pm) and Saturday at The Pilot (3pm), two of Toronto’s finest live jazz venues.

Big THANK YOU to the fabulous folks at Lula Lounge – one of the best teams to work with for live music presentation and promotion. www.lula.ca/  Just look how beautiful this venue looks even without people

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Cuban rapper TELMARY to join ALEXIS BARO on stage @ Lula Lounge Sept. 7th

As he launches his brand new album, Sugar Rush, next Wednesday night Afro-Cuban jazz trumpeter ALEXIS BARO is thrilled to present renowned Cuban rapper TELMARY who will join him on stage at Toronto’s Lula Lounge to perform his hit Eres (from his previous Guilty Pleasure CD). This will mark the first time Alexis has performed song live with Telmary. Check out their sultry video here:

Telmary rose to prominence in 1999 with seminal Cuban rappers Free Hole Negro. Then she joined Interactivo in 2002 and spent five years touring with the likes of Yusa, Vivanco and Del Rio and Carcassés. It was with Interactivo that Telmary developed her distinctive rapping-crooning delivery, and this collaboration helped the 26-member supergroup score an historic double win (Best Debut Album and Best Fusion Album) at the 2005 Cubadisco awards. Telmary has also played and toured with fellow Cubans Gema & Pavel, Pío Leyva, X Alfonso and Kelvis Ochoa.telmary-5_2In addition to recording and touring Telmary has started appearing in films. She played herself in both German Kral’s Musica Cubana (2004) produced by Wim Wenders’ and Benito Zambrano’s Habana Blues (2005) – just to confirm that her kind of larger-than-life talent and personality need no embellishment for the big screen.telmary-4_2

Sugar Rush was partly inspired by my last few trips back home visiting old friends and having the opportunity to perform again with some of my old schoolmates who are now touring around the world with some of the biggest names in Cuban music. It made me realize that the musical spirit is still alive in my home city of Centro Habana, and that my neighbourhood, Pueblo Nuevo, is still an inspiration to many writers and home to many musicians. By going back to my roots with this album, I’m able to pay tribute to the music I grew up listening to every afternoon, and salute those who spread the Cuban sound all around the world. Alexis Baro   

www.alexisbaro.com

ALEXIS BARO & Pueblo Nuevo Project /Sugar Rush CD release

Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St West, Toronto

Wed. Sept. 7th Doors open @ 7pm, Show @ 8:00pm

Tickets: $15 ea.  Available from: www.lula.ca/events

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TORONTO’S AFRO-CUBAN JAZZ TRUMPETER/COMPOSER ALEXIS BARO TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM SEPT.7

The week after Labour Day is always a very busy period – it marks the opening of the annual Toronto International Film Festival and this year, Wednesday September 7th it also marks the date for the release of “Sugar Rush”, the new album from Toronto-based composer & trumpeter ALEXIS BARO, who celebrates the occasion with a concert at Lula Lounge (1585 Dundas St West, Toronto).  Released on the G-THREE label,“Sugar Rush” showcases Baro’s vibrant Cuban roots in every original track. “The entire idea…” Baro explains, “is to pay tribute to my ‘hood and the music around me that I grew up with, influenced by my environment and perspective.”posterThe award-winning Afro-Cuban artist has performed and recorded with a variety of artists David Foster, Paquito d’Rivera, Paul Shaffer, Andrea Bocelli, Omara Portuondo, Joey DeFrancesco, Gino Vannelli, Wayne Newton and Tom Jones.  He has been the opening act for Herbie Hancock and has led his own groups on tour across Canada, Europe and the West Indies._MG_1130“Sugar Rush was partly inspired by my last few trips back home visiting old friends and having the opportunity to perform again with some of my old schoolmates who are now touring around the world with some of the biggest names in Cuban music. It made me realize that the musical spirit is still alive in my home city of Centro Habana, and that my neighbourhood, Pueblo Nuevo, is still an inspiration to many writers and home to many musicians. By going back to my roots with this album, I’m able to pay tribute to the music I grew up listening to every afternoon, and salute those who spread the Cuban sound all around the world.  

The neighbourhood of Pueblo Nuevo is in the centre of Havana and home to many of the most popular and accomplished Cuban musicians. “It’s surrounded by some of the most dangerous ‘hoods in the city and it’s this mix of social characteristics that makes Pueblo Nuevo a very interesting place to grew up and appreciate music from many perspectives.”  Alexis Baro   www.alexisbaro.comcd insideAll tracks on Sugar Rush were written by Alexis Baro (Sigueme was written with Yoser Rodroguez) and the album was recorded at Phase One & GMP Studios, Toronto and engineered by John “Beetle” Bailey & Josh Bowman. Alexis surrounded himself with some of Toronto’s finest jazz musicians who made up the Pueblo Nuevo Project including Jeremy Ledbetter (Keys), Roberto Riveron (Bass), Ahmed Mitchel (Drums) Jorge Luis Torres “Papiosco” (Bata Drums), Jeff King (Tenor Sax), Adrean Farrugia, Yoser Rodriguez (Bass)…and others.20160812_202816Baro’s passion for his home and music makes for some very exciting listening – the music transports you to the streets of Havana, filled with hot Afro-Cuban jazz riffs and melodies.  14040029_10157485285130651_8990524417047283623_nTickets are $15 per person, available in advance from Lula Lounge: www.lula.ca/events/2016/sep/alexisbaro.html
Guarantee your seat and table with dinner reservations, too.lula-lounge-logo lmac logo crop 2014

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AFRO-CUBAN TRUMPETER ALEXIS BARO PACKED THE HOUSE @ POETRY JAZZ CAFE

Last night, I was thrilled to be part of the capacity audience at Kensington Market’s Poetry Jazz Cafe (224 Augusta Ave) as Toronto-based Afro-Cuban trumpeter ALEXIS BARO and his band killed it on stage as part of this year’s TD Toronto Jazz Festival.

Performing music from his recent album, Guilty Pleasure, Alexis was joined by drummer extraordinaire Amhed MitchelJeremy Ledbetter on keys and Yoser Rodrigues on bass.  He also teased us with several new compositions from his upcoming Alexis Baro & Pueblo Nuevo Jazz Project that pays tribute to his Cuban musical roots – his new CD, Sugar Rush, due for release this coming September.

Alexis has performed and recorded with many celebrated artists including David Foster, Pacquito D’Riviera, Paul Shaffer, Andreas Bocelli, Omara Portunda, Joey DeFrancisco, Gino Vanelli, Wayne Newton and Tom Jones.  He has been the opening act for Herbie Hancock and has led his own groups on tour across Canada, Europe and the West Indies.

His Guilty Pleasure album is a collection of laid back, soulful original compositions touching on a variety of genres including Latin, Afro-Cuban and Contemporary Jazz, and features Cuban female rapper Telmary and Dwayne Morgan. Congratulations to Alexis – Guilty Pleasure was recently named the Gold Medal Award winner at the Global Music Awards.  You can purchase the album via iTune dowload or via www.alexisbaro.com

The venue, Poetry Jazz Cafe, located in the heart of Toronto’s Kensington Market, is a cosy showroom entered via an enclosed front foyer filled with comfy chairs and couches. Out back is an open-air patio with candlelit tables surrounded by shrubery that offers a discreet area for conversation or a romantic date night. Run by the charming Sean Pascalle and his welcoming staff, it’s a great new find for Toronto’s live music fans and I recommend you check it out in person. www.poetryjazzcafe.com  (you can find lots of photos and news on their Facebook page, linked via the website). 20160702_221644I sat at the bar with Alexis’ wife, Tracey (below) who kept me informed on the story of each tune and joined me in cheering along with the rest of the enthusiastic crowd as the band took their bows.20160702_230841The bar itself is decorated by some pretty cool posters and giant photos of legendary jazz figures such as Miles Davis (‘natch), Nina Simone, Stachmo…and over the bar, Sean has installed a giant tv screen – last night it was showing a famous Cuban animated feature to complimented the live music.20160702_225041I was really moved when Alexis picked up his flugelhorn and performed this gorgeous smooth jazz number….

Watch for the release of Alexis’ new album in September – I’ll post an event page on Facebook to promote the concert in Toronto. In the meantime, visit his website www.alexisbaro.com for more music and videos.20160702_220944 20160702_21592120160702_221626