Tag Archives: Canadian musicians

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ANGEL FORREST – THIS SATURDAY! AWARD-WINNING BLUES SINGER PERFORMS AT TORONTO’S OPERA HOUSE

Make sure you have your tickets for this Saturday’s special concert starring 4-time Maple Blues Award-winning singer ANGEL FORREST at The Opera House, 735 Queen St East in Toronto, with special guest roots/blues singer/songwriter Rob Lutes who will be joined by longtime accompanist, acclaimed Quebec guitarist Rob MacDonald.2015-08-07 14.46.01With a career spanning 3 decades and recipient of the Maple Blues Award for Female Vocalist of the Year four consecutive years (2013- 2016), the Quebec-based blues belter will perform songs from her 2016 album, Angel’s 11, and other original award-winning tunes.10653983_786074004790703_1594050487_nI’ve been singing all kinds of music – folk, rock, country – but the blues fits me well. I love the freedom of the blues, you know no rules – you feel it…you sing it… you share it.  – Angel Forrest

Combining masterful song writing with her partner and on-stage collaborator, Denis Coulombe, Angel has also proven her worth as a tunesmith with songs ranging from blues to rock to jazz.  There is no question that Angel Forrest is one of the most powerful singers on the contemporary blues scene today. The strength of her performances, her distinctive voice and fiery personality has allowed her to conquer the hearts of thousands of fans around the world.live
ANGEL FORREST – with special guest Rob Lutes
Saturday June 10 @ 9pm (doors open 8pm)
THE OPERA HOUSE, 735 Queen St. E., Toronto
Tkts: $27.00  Available at the door or in advance from www.TicketFly.com

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CANADIAN BLUES DIVA ANGEL FORREST TO PERFORM JUNE 10 @ TORONTO’S OPERA HOUSE

Four-time Maple Blues Award-winning singer ANGEL FORREST (below) is bringing her band to town next month, along with special guest roots/blues singer/songwriter Rob Lutes who will be joined by longtime accompanist, acclaimed Quebec guitarist Rob MacDonald.liveThe concert is scheduled for Saturday June 10th (9pm) at Toronto’s Opera House located at 735 Queen St. East with tickets available from www.TicketFly.com ($27).

With a career spanning 3 decades and recipient of the Maple Blues Award for Female Vocalist of the Year four consecutive years (2013- 2016), the Quebec blues belter will perform songs from her 2016 album, Angel’s 11, and other original award-winning tunes.FOR ROLL UP 5Well known in the Canadian blues scene, Angel has performed at major Canadian & int’l festivals including the Int’l Jazz Festival of Montreal, Tremblant Blues Festival, Blues sur Seine, and many others. She has also shared the stage with renowned artists such as Jarvis Church, Burton Cummings, Thornetta Davis, Larry McCray, and legendary Brit Blues singer & frontman of The Animals – Eric Burdon. 418538_312621102135998_46713693_nI’ve been singing all kinds of music – folk, rock, country – but the blues fits me well. I love the freedom of the blues, you know no rules – you feel it…you sing it… you share it. – Angel Forrest2015-08-07 14.46.01Combining masterful song writing with her partner and on-stage collaborator, Denis Coulombe, Angel has also proven her worth as a tunesmith with songs ranging from blues to rock to jazz.  There is no question that Angel Forrest is one of the most powerful singers on the contemporary blues scene today. The strength of her performances, her distinctive voice and fiery personality has allowed her to conquer the hearts of thousands of fans around the world.12525604_10201430403679985_6715752695770821177_oI recently chatted with Angel, asking her about her love of the blues, her inspirations and her upcoming projects:

Which artists have inspired you throughout your life, and why?  Robert Plant, Mavis Staples, Bonnie Raitt…and Janis Joplin, of course.  It’s all about emotion and honesty, and delivering the goods in a way that you and the audience walk away moved in one way or another.

What was the inspiration for your recent album, Angel’s 11?  The number 11 is very big in my life – I wanted to document the last 30 years by showcasing some of the amazing guitarists (my favorite instrument) with whom I’ve have worked and who have inspired me to become the singer I am today.wing logo good32WITH NAMES-What’s next for Angel Forrest? Another big tour, another album, any collaborations?  Touring all summer – I just got a new tour bus “Maggie” and will be riding in her most of the summer across the States and Canada. But I’m also going out west and then to France (by plane, not Maggie!). I’m also writing a new album with Denis my husband, this time a country duo record – amongst everything else he does, he also sings like an angel!poster maybe2

Get your tickets now as Angel’s show is sure to sell out fast.
ANGEL FORREST
with special guest Rob Lutes
June 10 @ 9pm
THE OPERA HOUSE
735 Queen St. E., Toronto
Tkts: $27.00
Available in advance from TicketFly.com16195031_997338157068244_7632607387835110087_n

WHAT THE MUSIC INDUSTRY & MEDIA SAYS ABOUT ANGEL FORREST

“A Canadian blues-belting national treasure….”  Midwest Record

“Forrest pulls the perfect vocal treatment out of the bag every time….”   100 Percent Rock Magazine

“…she has a fine set of pipes…”  ZeitgeistMagazine UK

“One of the more powerful singers on the Blues Rock scene today”  – John Vermilyea, Blues Underground Network

“Forrest has captivated audiences with her charismatic stage presence & powerful voice…” –  Montreal Jazz Festival

“Angel Forrest’s fiery red hair and whisky-smoked voice has made her instantly recognizable throughout her career. One of the most powerful singers on the contemporary blues scene…”  – Arts Commons

“Angel’s blues-drenched and soulful performances have made her a fan favourite at the Festival….”  –  Tremblant Blues Festival

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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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DEAD DOG RECORDS BREATHES NEW LIFE INTO TORONTO’S MUSIC RETAIL SCENE

Congratulations to Stephen, Maesy and Kristie on today’s grand opening of their DEAD DOG RECORDS store at 1209 Bloor St West (near Lansdowne subway stn)…what a great day it was for vinyl lovers and all things music! lgoFor years, I used to shop at a now-defunct big-name record store on Yonge just south of Bloor where all three worked, where Stephen would always manage to secure my hard-to-find requests for music and films – I was crestfallen when that store was closed down.  It was hinted that Maesy, Kristie and Stephen were planning to open their own store within a year and I was thrilled to learn last week that they had risen, phoenix-like, with this cool Dead Dog Records store in Bloordale.20150926_132639Jacquie, personal chef from www.chezJacquie.ca was out front (see above) offering homebaked cookies to all Dead Dog shoppers – now that’s how you launch a business: FREE FOOD!  And inside, the store was packed with keen vinyl fans as well as family and friends of the trio of owners. They even sell turntables…really good ones!20150926_133418

20150926_133625There’s something for every musical taste….20150926_133343 20150926_133354 20150926_133426 20150926_133443 20150926_133454…and I was thrilled to find some old friends from the late 70’s, early 80’s when I was a club kid. In fact, the late, great BB Gabor was a fixture at the various bars and clubs around town and I have cassettes recorded directly off the board from the recording sessions that resulted in this album. Who remembers…“nyet nyet Soviet…Soviet Jewellery..” ?20150926_133208And Vancouver’s Doug and the Slugs were awesome in the 80’s.  Remember the hit single “Too Bad”? I remember seeing the band live at the old Blue Note on Pears Ave.20150926_133317

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and a big favourite of all the store’s owners…Cash…Johnny Cash. Lots of great vintage albums here.20150926_133605Tons of great merchandise, too. I got a black Dead Dog Records t-shirt and a couple of pins so I’m looking fwd to being their walking billboard to promote this great new business that will benefit musicians and fans alike.20150926_132939 20150926_133502 20150926_133533Are you a movie fan? Well, you don’t have to rely on Netflix or your cable company to deliver your fave flicks…Dead Dog also sells great DVDs, many hard to find films that are never shown on digital or traditional TV channels. Come on down and browse…20150926_133619and if you’re a Sheldon or Wolowitz type of geek, well, Dead Dog has something for you, too!20150926_133756 20150926_133810I love discovering great new (or in this case, old) talent as I flip thru the bins and look what I found today…20150926_133839I think we should make Claude on a Cloud a hit all over again…let’s get on YouTube and find this guy. The world needs more Claude!!

So big congrats and thank-you to Dead Dog Records – we can’t wait to visit your in-store events, live music events & special promotions and hope that you become so successful that we have to call you Old Dog Records!

Maesy (left) & Kristie (right)

Maesy (left) & Kristie (right)

Stephen

Stephen

DEAD DOG RECORDS, 1209 Bloor St West, Toronto  T: 647-748-0748
www.Facebook.com/DeadDogRecordsTO
Instagram.deaddogrecords

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RON KORB DEBUTS “ASIA BEAUTY” CD WITH STANDING-ROOM-ONLY TORONTO CONCERT

Despite the heavy downpour, the Musideum in downtown Toronto held a packed audience as award-winning flautist and composer RON KORB unveiled his latest album, ASIA BEAUTY, accompanied by Lou Pomanti on piano and Linlin Wang on erhu.

Cover-2015(less green)With a stunning 36pg full-colour book of photographs attached, the 19 track (+ 2 bonus tracks) CD channels Ron’s experiences and inspirations from previous tours of China, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Taiwan. His beautiful wife, Jade, took the photos which accompany Ron’s story behind each tune.

Asia Beauty 2The enthusiastic crowd of fans and media jammed into the humid and steamy performance space seemed entranced by each note. Everyone seemed to be taping the performance (below) which was also webcast around the world. Many favourable comments from excited fans in the US and Japan were received the next day.

20150707_202638 20150707_201138 20150707_212411After the concert, fans wanted photos with Ron (below) including Singaporean actor and singer Laurance Tan, jazz flautist Bill McBirnie (middle pic) and of course, the obligatory “band photo” (bottom pic) featuring Linlin Wang and Lou Pomanti flanking Ron.

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20150707_215231….and members of Flute Street (Toronto’s Professional Flute Choir) filmmaker Patrick Jenkins and Hong Kong designer Rita Ip (below with Ron)

20150707_193748 Rita Ip_RonIf you missed the concert last night, check out Ron’s website for CD purchase info or downloads: http://ronkorb.com/

20150707_193412Ron composed and produced the entire album, ably assisted by Gary Honess of Kuhl Muzik studio where most of the tunes were recorded and mixed, plus Ron Searles (Glenn Gould Studio at CBC), Paul Intson, Jeremy Darby (The Canterbury Music Company) and Phil Demetro of Lacquer Channel Mastering. Album design by Carolyn Quan. Financial assistance from FACTOR Canada. Thank you to Roger (sound) and Donald (Musideum) for making the concert possible.

 

 

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AWARD-WINNING FLAUTIST & COMPOSER RON KORB RELEASES NEW ALBUM “ASIA BEAUTY” JULY 7th IN TORONTO

I’ve been aware of Toronto’s internationally acclaimed flautist and composer RON KORB and his music for many years, having attended one of his concerts back in the late 90’s – I remember being completely mesmerized by his flute playing; I never knew there were so many different types of flute or the vastly dissimilar sounds and tones each emits.

DSC00144g-1-sDSC07049Famous for playing a wide variety indigenous woodwinds from around the world, Ron’s critically praised music has been released in twenty countries around the world, and he’s toured extensively throughout Europe, North and Central America, Australia, South Asia, mainland China and Japan, performing for many heads of state and royalty. His compositions evoke imagery of the diverse cultural traditions and experiences he’s encountered on his travels.

Several months ago, I reconnected with Ron during a taping of the Rogers Daytime Toronto tv show and we started chatting in the green room about the release of his upcoming new CD, Asia Beauty. On Tuesday July 7th, Ron will be performing at Musideum, 401 Richmond St West (at Spadina) accompanied by renowned pianist Lou Pomanti with Linlin Wang on the Chinese Erhu, as he introduces Asia Beauty to world, classical and new age music fans. Tickets are $20 and available on Ron’s website: http://ronkorb.com/asia-beauty-tickets

Cover-2015(less green)His past albums have run the gamut of Celtic themes, a salute to the European masters, Native American, Japanese, mystical and even a Christmas album, all original works using a multitude of wind instruments accompanied by indigenous and traditional musical instruments. I asked Ron about his latest album and he shared his inspirations and the story behind the new album:
This album is the result of my travels through China over the past 13 years.  The music is inspired by the dramatic landscapes, ancient history, the people and their stories, the arts and culture and their dynamic present-time where, in cities like Shanghai, entire communities are changing rapidly. More specifically, as you flip through the album booklet you can see the background inspiration for each song. All the pieces have a unique story that reflects something about Asian culture.

????????????????????????????? KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAAsia Beauty also features a beautiful 36 page picture book containing full colour photos of both rural and urban China. I asked Ron about these gorgeous photos:
I am proud that there are no stock photos in the picture book. Most of the original photography is by my wife, Jade, with a few shots taken by myself and others, notably Dan Shao. The exotic locations in China include: Guilin, Yangshou, Suzhou, Shanghai, and the Forbidden City in Beijing. Other locations include Hanoi, Vietnam and the gorgeous bamboo forest at Xitou in Taiwan.

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KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

DSC08816-1Ron continued by telling the story behind his original songs on the album:
Seven of the songs from Asia Beauty are the musical setting of an original story called “Dragon Flute and the House of the Five Beauties” which I wrote in my hotel in Shanghai (where Ron is pictured below) after a week-long rehearsal schedule and concert performance. I spent an extra week travelling around and each night I would add a few more pages. I was inspired to write a supernatural story set in ancient China based on historical legend and some of my own experiences. There was even interest in turning the story into a feature length animated film, however, I’m happy that it’s finally available in the liner notes of the album.

SONY DSCOriginally I was going to call the whole album “The House of the Five Beauties” but as other songs included were not part of that story, I thought of calling the album simply “Asia”. I liked adding the word “Beauty” because the essence of the music is celebrating the beauty of Asian nature and also refers to “The Beautiful Sadness” aesthetic and the characters in “House of the Five Beauties”.

IMG_3304 ?????????????????????????????I noticed on his website that Ron has performed for many international heads of state and royalty over the years so I asked him how it feels to play in front of such prestigious audiences:
Aside from the diplomatic etiquette, the performing process is really the same. Music is about relating to each other as human beings. Personally, it is just as much a privilege to play for a King or Queen as it is for all audiences.

SONY DSC And I also asked him how Chinese audiences differ from Canadian audiences:
They come from a completely different perspective when it comes to appreciating the arts. I explain some of the cultural difference in the album with the song The Beautiful Sadness. I think the Chinese audiences are brutally honest and they won’t sit through something that they find boring. However, if your music touches them they will really show it enthusiastically.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA DSC04836g 147簽名會 SONY DSCWhich brought me to another question – does Ron see opportunities for other Canadian artists to explore the HUGE Chinese/South Asian music markets?
I think there are opportunities for Canadian artists but it is not as straightforward as expanding into the USA or Europe where we share a similar media culture and musical taste. I know some musicians who have tried to make it in China and been underwhelmed by the results and reaction from audiences.  There was one North American superstar who was performing there and after a few songs the audience began to leave en masse. There was another case where the audience was talking so loudly that the group stopped playing and lectured the audience on how to pay attention.

DSC04509g-1 With such a level of expertise, knowledge and personal experience, I asked Ron how long he has studied and played the flute, and which instruments are his favourites:
I started on recorder in elementary school and began playing flute in high school. I like each type of flute for different reasons. The classical flute has good intonation and pure tone but the mechanical key system lacks some intimacy, similar to the difference between an automatic transmission and a standard car. With the wooden flute your fingers touch the wood and you feel every curve and bump of the instrument. I also love the wonderful organic tone of the Chinese bamboo flute or wooden Irish flute.

20150623_174736With all this training and years of touring, Ron must have advice he could share with music students and aspiring performers so he offered the following:
Seek out the best teachers and learn the craft as best you can. Attend as many concerts of as many different genres as possible. As you develop, discover who you are as a person and learn how to express that through the flute. Resist copying other artists’ styles and develop your own special voice.

2015-02-13 20.34.59I mentioned to Ron that his upcoming CD release concert is being held in a unique venue, Musideum (pictured below), where I believe he had previously played, even collaborating with the owner, Donald Quan on musical projects:
Yes, I‘ve played there before and I even played at Musideum’s inaugural opening concert. I have known Donald since I was 17 and in many ways, our love of World Music has developed simultaneously. Musideum was the realization of a dream that took many years to create and it has become a wonderful Aladdin’s cave of exotic instruments from around the world. It has personal significance to me and that is why it’s so appropriate to launch my Asia Beauty there.

20150507_194347 20150507_194422 20150507_220351So we’re just a week away from the official release of Asia Beauty and as space is limited, I encourage fans of World, Classical or New Age-style music in the Toronto area to get your tickets now!

Asia Beauty CD Release

Tuesday July 7 @ 8pm (doors open 7:30pm)

Musideum, 401 Richmond St. West (at Spadina)

Tickets $20 available from: http://ronkorb.com/asia-beauty-tickets

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Thank you for supporting Canadian artists.

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IN PERFORMANCE WITH INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED CANADIAN FLUTIST RON KORB

Last night, St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Newmarket presented a wonderful evening of musical entertainment performed by internationally renowned flutist RON KORB [ www.ronkorb.comaccompanied by cellist WENDY SOLOMON and pianist LOU POMANTI.

DSC00427gg-1-sOn this warm spring Friday afternoon, I accompanied Ron and his charming wife, Jade (who kindly shot some of these photos), up to Newmarket, a town just North of Toronto, where Ron was performing for the St. Paul’s audience.

20150508_161423 20150508_162305The 19th century church (above) was charming and welcoming, surrounded by trees in full blossom and chirping birds…what a nice respite from the downtown hub-bub of Toronto. Ron was joined by Gemini Award winning composer, producer and pianist Lou Pomanti  [ www.loupomanti.com ] and Wendy Solomon [ lushcellos.com ], a classical recitalist who tours the world with her beautiful cello. While they set up and rehearsed with local sound man Phil Claxton, I wandered around the church capturing some the stunning stained glass windows and iconography (below)

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20150508_201653The kind happy band of church volunteers prepared refreshments for the audience as well as a lovely light dinner for the musicians (and me, too). Thank you to Dorothy Bugden, chef extraordinaire, for the fine soup and salad. We gratefully devoured everything !

20150508_181559The crowd poured into the church around 7pm, ready for an evening of music from around the world….

20150508_185929Ron, Wendy and Lou took to the stage and for over 2 hours the audience was mesmerized by the soulful, spiritually evocative tunes Ron has composed to reflect his travels around the world and his love of all music.

20150508_193349 20150508_202405 20150508_203603Some of his tunes were very danceable and I caught soundman Phil at the back of the church sharing a quick salsa with wife Dawn during one of Ron’s Latin inspired pieces. They were a whirlwind of exuberance….

20150508_205849Jade took lots of wonderful action shots of the stage (below)

DSC00372ggcrop-1 DSC00335gg-1-s DSC00338gg-1-s DSC00427gg-1-s After the concert, the crowd retired to the reception where Ron signed copies of his CDs – I’m glad he brought lots with him as they were selling like hotcakes!!

20150508_211300 20150508_211429 20150508_211641Even Wendy met a fan and obliged with an autographed CD. (above). Lou seemed very pleased with the response (below) as he, too, met with fans after the show.

20150508_212805Ron and Wendy posed with The Rev. Gordon Sheppard (below) who, along with the church events committee, had  graciously invited Ron to perform.

20150508_213408 20150508_213414A big THANK YOU to all the volunteers and church officials who made this event possible, and thank you to the very appreciative Newmarket audience – Ron hopes to return for another concert soon.  Do visit St. Paul’s new website and Facebook page to support their upcoming events and concerts [ www.stpaulsnewmarket.org ]…and here are some more photos you may enjoy:

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