Tag Archives: Toronto musicians

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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 singer DEENA performs live @ 70 DOWN in Yorkville, Toronto

The beautiful and talented DEENA entertained guests at Yorkville’s 70 DOWN resto-lounge this past Saturday evening, accompanied by JACK LENZ on keyboard and GRAHAM YOUNG on guitar.

Jack Lenz (with Deena, below) is a  multi-award winning composer who heads up Lenz Entertainment, a world-renowned film, television and music production company providing diversified creative services to the entertainment industry.  www.lenzent.com20160604_213430Graham Young (below) is a young musician currently exploring various genres including country, pop, jazz and rock. He sounds fabulous here with Jack and Deena.20160604_213443

Deena is a multi- talented recording artist who is also developing her acting and TV/film production chops. She can be seen in TV commercials and she frequently models for various advertising campaigns.  Based in Toronto, Deena has her sights set on a global music career that will allow her to promote arts & culture as well as share her philanthropic & humanitarian consciousness.  Deena has been performing since childhood and in 2015, honed her songwriting skills by collaborating on two original singles You’re Not Alone and Supernova with renowned industry professionals Derek Brin and Rupert Gayle.  http://projects.swiftweb.ca/deenatheartist.com/

One of my fave songs is Besame Mucho and I captured this quick video of Deena serenading us with her sexy rendition of the Latin classic.

Thank you, Deena, and BRAVO to you, Jack and Graham for a fabulous night of live entertainment.  We hope to see you back at 70 Down again real soon.

Check out all the live entertainment presented (Thurs-Sat) at 70 DOWN, 70 Yorkville Ave, Toronto  www.70down.ca20160524_184921(0)

70 DOWN RESTO-LOUNGE BRINGS AFGHANI-FUSION CUISINE TO YORKVILLE (TORONTO)

When I learned about the exciting, exotic and super-tasty menu on offer at the 70 Down restaurant/lounge in Yorkville, I couldn’t wait to go try for myself. Previously a late night lounge, the venue, located at 70 Yorkville Avenue, just W of Bay St, was recently transformed by owners (and brothers) Alex and Wali Seddiqi, who brought in two experienced chefs to completely renovate the kitchen and menu to showcase their family’s heritage dishes – Afghani classics with a twist of Greek and Mediterranean. www.70down.ca6_large[jPD6]Wanting to push beyond the conventional ethnic restaurants they encountered in Canada, the Seddiqi brothers created 70 Down as a hub for patrons of diverse cultures to feel comfortable and at home.

My brother and I had this great idea of one day opening a fine dining modernized Afghani cuisine restaurant, Alex recently told me. We were inspired by the great history of our country and noticed there was nothing like it in Toronto; the demand and opportunity was there as the city is known for its diverse and multicultural community.5_large[MLPr]This unique approach to food, ambiance and art/decor all contribute to creating a sense of modernism while retaining the essence of the Eastern/Afghani heritage the brothers brought with them to Canada. Appreciating the growing movement of healthy lifestyles and sustainability, 70 Down consciously integrates local and organic food into the menu.7_large[LAdc]

As Alex goes on to explain: We are totally blessed to have a fusion between two totally different types of chefs. Chef Hamayuun has been in the industry for more than 25 years and highly experienced in the culinary field specializing in traditional authentic Afghani food. Chef Sebouh is a highly skilled Armenian chef specializing in Greek cuisine. So we get to blend old school and modern style cuisine for our diners.

There’s a stunning patio fronting onto Yorkville Avenue providing great people-watching opps, but discreetly sunken slightly below street-level so that you’re not bombarded with traffic noise and exhaust from passing cars. It’s truly a perfect oasis of calm and serenity for sharing cocktails and nibblies with friends…or that special hot date!20160421_190627On Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, 70 Down presents live entertainment courtesy of some of the city’s most exciting jazz, soul/R&B and Latin singers and musicians. Starting at 7:30pm each  night, the shows run until approx. 10pm and there’s never a cover charge!  20160422_200223The servers and bar staff (below) are friendly and eager to please, and able to make recommendations for your appetizer and entree choices (I always recommend the hummus…the best I’ve had in years!)20160422_202742The late night club life returns to 70 Down Thurs. through Sat. nights when the venue turns into a hot dance cave and hangout where the millennials blow off steam from their heavy work week. 70 Down offers VIP table & bottle service with special packages available for groups – details can be found on the website. 4_large[60H4]70 Down is ideal for private functions, corporate events (they can host up to 160 for cocktail receptions) and celebratory soirees. Send your enquiries to info@70down.ca or call 416-323-369670DownYorkville_Logo-2

www.70down.ca

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LAURA ROCK SPREADS THE HO-HO-HO’S WITH HER ROCKIN’ CHRISTMAS SONG

Here’s a great stocking stuffer…or should I say festive playlist download for the music fans on your Christmas gift list. Check out Laura Rock‘s At Christmas Time song, now available for download from iTunes (for only 99c)

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/at-christmas-time-single/id1061505218

You can check out all of Laura’s music and information on her website: http://www.lrockmusic.com/

So whether you’ve been naughty, nice or downright outrageous, Laura’s At Christmas Time song will be a welcome addition to your own seasonal soundtrack.IMG_1383

Thank you for supporting Canadian artists!

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SINGER/SONGWRITER LAURA ROCK ROCKS DEAD DOG RECORDS, TORONTO

It may have been a dull overcast day in Toronto yesterday but inside Dead Dog Records, 1209 Bloor West, the lights were bright and the music was blasting out “Rock’s Not Dead” by local rock singer/songwriter LAURA ROCK (known as L’Rock to her friends and fans) who dropped in for an in-store promotional visit in support of her current CD, Rock’s Not Dead.    http://www.lrockmusic.com/20151114_135711Below, the Newfie-born now Toronto-based Laura was joined by bandmates Les (rhythm guitar) at left and Bleeding Betty (bass) far right with Dead Dog’s Stephen in grey DDR t-shirt.20151114_140618Between 2-4pm, a number of Laura’s friends and fans showed up (below) to support CD sales and buy the super cool Dead Dog Records t-shirts!20151114_150348Work with me people….make the duck face! I’ve been watching way to much America’s Next Top Model…LOL20151114_145228Even celebrities showed up @ Dead Dog Records…here’s my old friend Gemini and 3x Cdn Comedy Award winner George West below with Laura. George and I go waaaaay back to the late 80’s when he was part of a brilliant comedy duo, Al & George, and has since gone on to a successful solo music, writing and acting career. http://georgewesterholm.ca/ 20151114_142556In between meetin’ and greetin’ fans, Laura and the band browsed the bins, unearthing all sorts of musical treasures…20151114_143853…and I loved the t-shirt rack and lots of other pop-culture merch.20151114_135610

20151114_135456 20151114_135522But even tho the store was rockin’, work still had to get done….20151114_135557BIG THANKS to Stephen, Maesy and Kristie of Dead Dog Records for having us in their store. If you love music, esp. vinyl, they can find anything you want or desire. Drop in, spend an hour going thru the racks and bins and I guarantee you will find something you didn’t know you wanted but just had to have! Their website is launching soon but you can follow them here: https://www.facebook.com/deaddogrecordsto

And again, here’s Laura’s website: http://www.lrockmusic.com/  or you can follow her on Twtr @lrocknroll

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LAURA ROCK TALKS ROCK MUSIC WITH “WHAT SHE SAID” HOSTS CHRISTINE & SHARON

Earlier this morning, I took music client, Laura Rock (a.k.a. L’Rock) down to the SiriusXM radio studios in Liberty Village to chat with the fabulous Christine Bentley and Sharon Caddy, hosts of What She Said radio show. http://www.whatshesaidradio.com/20151104_102849Laura’s philosophy about the music industry is “all the web’s a stage and music is a way of life…not a destination”.  Her willingness to encourage other artists has been recognized throughout the industry and acknowledged on many social media platforms. She believes the “point of power is the present view. Whatever you’re willing to conceive and believe is what will come to you. It’s The Law of the Attraction”.

The Newfie-born, Toronto-based singer/songwriter shared her views on the current state of the music industry, in particular rock music, with What She Said’s listeners, resulting in an animated, fun and thoughtful 15 minutes of insider expertise and opinions. She also brought in t-shirts and CDs for the hosts (Kate Wheeler is the 3rd host) who showed their enthusiasm for free clothes…especially Christine (below)20151104_101634If you want to hear what L’Rock’s music is all about, visit her website http://www.lrockmusic.com/ or better still, if you’re in Toronto, come down to Dead Dog Records, 1209 Bloor West (at Lansdown) on Saturday Nov. 14th 2-4pm to meet Laura in person, pick up her CD Rock’s Not Dead and some t-shirts, and hang out with her band and the big loud promo truck parked outside the store playing all her tunes.deaddoglogofbookYou can also listen to Laura’s interview via the What She Said website http://www.whatshesaidradio.com/

 

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TALKIN’ MUSIC WITH LAURA ROCK

Move over all you insipid little girls with guitars…here’s the real deal: hard rockin’ singer/songwriter LAURA ROCK is heading back into the studio to record her 3rd album in as many years.1011097_570786989681039_626053128_nI met this talented lady a few years ago when she was launching her first solo album of pedal-to-the-metal, hard-driving contemporary rock music and she won me over completely upon first listening…I got hooked on her ballsy songs. But this lady is not just your typical “rock chick”; Laura is all heart and can frequently be found mentoring and encouraging young emerging artists, sharing her stories of performing live in clubs of varying sizes, recording studio protocols to dealing with dodgy club owners. This lady has been there, done that, written the songs…and she’s happy to impart her knowledge and expertise with those just coming up through the ranks.

Earlier this summer, Laura performed to a packed house at Toronto’s Hard Rock Cafe, proving once again that Rock’s Not Dead…. which just so happens to be the name of her current album and lead single! As she heads back into the studio, I sat down with her and asked a few questions…..

IMG_2559Where were you raised and has that influenced your music or performance style?
I originate from Newfoundland..let me count the ways that my home town of St. John’s has influenced me both musically & performance style!  Musically, growing up I was blessed with some great folk-rockers along with many other genres.  Newfoundlanders are know for being friendly and outgoing. Our storytelling abilities and sense of humor shines through – in the way we speak and in my case, write lyrics and sing.  The term “front person” comes to mind.  People say that my Newfie hospitality and genuine love for what I do translates well to stage.

Who were your musical influences?
Hmm, that’s a hard one. Don’t make me choose!! I mean it’s massive, there are MANY. Areosmith! Areosmith!! Areosmith!!! Did I say Steven Tyler? LOL!! Can’t forget AC/DC & OMG! Can you say Sammy Hager? Also Tom Cochrane,Kim Mitchell, Colin James, The Guess Who, Nikki Sixx, Eddie Veder, Dave Matthews, Matthew Good, Jane’s Addiction, MatchBox Twenty/Rob Thomas, Heart, Lita Ford, Holly Woods, Sass Jordan, Melissa Etheridge, Biff Naked , Allanah Myles, Holly McNarland, Mae Moore. And I can’t not mention my fellow Newfs Kim Stockwood, Ron Hynes, Great Big Sea, plus Hey Rosetta, Belinda Metz, Buffy Ste Marie, Joni Mitchell, Ricki Lee Jones, Joan Osborne, Pink, Chantal Kreviazuk, Van Halen, But seriously I could go on and on and on and….1907491_851190768307325_4821469725654246649_nDo you play any instruments and how do you compose?
My instrument is my voice.  Regarding composing, well I can hack a guitar but I’m not all that great.  For the most part, I am a lyricist. It all comes to me in waves…it feels like it’s channeled from somewhere else, I swear! I often hear guitar riffs or drum beats in my head but I am absolutely blessed to work with a fantastic producer, Brian Gagnon, who helps interrupt my ideas.  Sometimes I go in with the lyrics and he creates the music – sometime I add some musical ideas or sometimes he has the music and my lyrics are created afterwards. Sometimes it’s a simultaneous process.

Who has been your guiding light in the industry?
Wow, good question.  I think I have always followed my own heart, but one “guiding light” in particular was the late great Nik Beat of CIUT’s Howl! radio show.  Nik’s incredible belief in me and my music lead me to L.A. and many other places. He introduced me to so many talented people in Toronto that I otherwise would never have known.

Remind me of your previous albums and the hit singles off each…and haven’t you won some pretty awesome awards, too?
My first album was called Law of Attraction, which was released in late 2011 and my current album, Rock’s Not Dead was released towards the end of 2014.LoA_front_cover_450x385I’m happy to say that my music is played on many internet stations across Canada, the US and the UK – as I say: “all the web’s a stage”.  Regarding awards, well, I’m proud to mention that I was nominated for 6 HMMA awards in L.A.  (Hollywood In Media Awards) which has resulted in some amazing opportunities and business introductions for me. I was nominated for the following songs:
November 2014 Lightning
July 2013 Law of Attraction
Mar 2013 98.5
Jan 2013 Get Your Rock On
July 2012 Blindsided
June 2012 Light My Fuse

You’ve played some pretty great venues over the past few years….
I’ve played many venues in Toronto as both a cover band artist and as a original project.  Sadly, a lot of clubs have shut down in this city but more recently I played the legendary El Mocambo before it was sold and closed, and in June we did our official CD Launch for Rocks Not Dead at the Hard Rock Cafe.IMG_2608Can you tease us with a little news about your next album?
I’m heading back into the studio to work on my third album but I’m still promoting Rock’s Not Dead which I sadly had to put on hold due to the death of my mother, father & best fiend all in a very short span of time last year. But you know what they say….what doesn’t kill you makes you write more music!   So this next album is about love, loss, and the key phrase…Bait & Switch! 11412264_1594586234156065_8810531013978382576_oYou spend a lot of time mentoring emerging young artists, sharing knowledge about the business of making music. For you, what is the most rewarding aspect of that?
The most rewarding aspect of that is simply watching them grow as an artist.  After speaking with them about several subjects, particularly “critical opinions” – as you know, we live in a society that always has something to say about whatever we do. I always like to let young artists know that there will always be a critical opinion and I offer ways on how to deal with it, how to protect your creative ego.  Once they overcome this, they soar….that’s the fun part to watch.

In a city the size of Toronto where there are a lot of performance stages, why aren’t we seeing more accessible multi-genre music stars rising from the ranks? In other words, how easy/hard is it for young performers to play on a main stage AND make money?
The music landscape has changed drastically – it’s not just localized to the city you live in.  With access to the web, you are your own record company, your own manager, and this is the concept I try to instill in to younger artists. You can make money in the music industry if you’re motivated enough to put in time and effort into your art.  The simple fact is, if you love what you do, there are going to be hurdles in the way and you will have to compromise, especially when it comes to the financial part of the business.  Having said that, I think no one should play for free…know you’re worth and stick to it.10457525_10152983333693098_7303762277621657028_nAny ideas how we, the fans, can help improve the music scene and support the artists?
You can do this simply by buying their music online or showing up at live venues. At the end of the day, the music business is a business and everyone needs to make a living.

So what’s in the future for Laura Rock?
Music is a way of life for me, it’s not a destination…I try to live in the moment for the most part, because I feel so good making music…it’s like heaven on earth.  But having said that, I do aspire to write for other artists or help/mentor those who need a little guidance.  I love films so having one of my songs in a movie soundtrack would be the biggest dream come true!bg_lrock_splash

You can learn more about Laura Rock, buy her music and keep up with news on her new album and upcoming shows by visiting: http://lrockmusic.com/

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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