Tag Archives: jazz

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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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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

 

 

 

 

 

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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

Iggy!!!!!!!20150926_133246

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

Micah barnes concert

MICAH BARNES intro’s “NEW YORK STORIES” CD WITH CONCERT MAY 3RD

Am always thrilled when old friends do exciting new things and my friend, the extraordinary singer/musician MICAH BARNES is launching his latest CD, New York Stories, with a special concert this coming Sunday May 3rd at 7:30pm at the Glenn Gould Studio250 Front St. West in Toronto. Micah will be joined by musicians Daniel Barnes, Russ Boswell and Michael Shand, and his very special guest artist, Jackie Richardson.

Micah barnes concert 1Influenced by the musical sights and sounds of The Big Apple, the title track has already hit #1 on the iTunes Jazz chart and earned Micah the 2014 Indie award for best Jazz Artist in Toronto. New York Stories is being hailed as Micah’s finest work to date and an instant classic. The new CD will be available for purchase at the concert and Micah will be holding a meet and greet afterwards to sign copies.

micahbarnes_album coverConcert tickets are available here: http://bit.ly/1OwgBHA but be quick, they’re selling like NYC hotcakes!

And follow Micah on his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/micahbarnesmusic  or his website: www.micahbarnes.com