Newport Folk Festival: live (& archived) webcasts, Jul 30-31

NPR (National Public Radio) is webscasting this weekend’s Newport Folk Festival, starting at noon on Saturday & Sunday. A terrific lineup (see below). Details on the NPR website, along with links to archived webcasts from 2010   Saturday, July 30 All Times ET 6:00 pm: The Decemberists 5:50 pm: Pokey LaFarge 4:45 pm: Gillian Welch 4:30 pm: Delta Spirit 3:25 pm: Earl Scruggs 3:00 pm: Freelance Whales 2:00 pm: Gogol Bordello 1:45 pm: Typhoon 12:40 pm: The Felice Brothers 12:00 pm: Wailin’ Jennys More online later: The Devil Makes Three, Ramblin Jack Elliott, River City Extension and more. Sunday, July … Continue reading

Musical notes from here & there

A few random musical notes Khaira Arby: The singer from Mali made her first North American tour last fall. Here in Toronto, she sang at the Ashkenaz Festival over Labour Day weekend as a guest with the New York group Sway Machine (and also earlier that day live on air at CIUT FM).  I was impressed enough with her that I went to Montreal later that month to see her with her own band at the Club Balletou. A great performer (live and on her CD, Timbuktu Tarab), she’s now on her third trip to North America, but sadly, nobody … Continue reading

Award to Waleed Abdulhamid

This news is actually a couple of months old, but I just came across it today. Waleed, a native of Sudan, and one of the busiest musicans working in the Toronto African music community last may received the 2011 New Pioneers Award for the Arts. The award is organized by Skills for Change, a non-profit agency based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Our mission is to provide learning and training opportunities for immigrants and refugees to access and fully participate in the workplace and wider community.” The award “recognizes the accomplishments of remarkable immigrants”. Read more about Waleed here, and watch … Continue reading

High Def concert videos posted: videos.to-music.ca

I’ve created a new site to post some recent (and not so recent) HD concert videos I’ve taken. See www.videos.to-music.ca  Posted so far: Bombino @ Lula Lounge, Jul. 12 Thomas Mapfumo @ Lula Lounge, Jul. 11 Kabakuwo @ Lula Lounge, Jun. 30 Yemen Blues @ Luminato, Jun. 12 Freddie Gwala, Platform One & Tich Maredza, Great Hall, Apr. 16 (below) More to come. (Older, non-HD videos at www.youtube.to-music.ca)

Documentary on Zimbabwean music in North America nears completion

A couple of years ago, I was contacted by Doug & Laurel Epps in Colorado who asked permission to use a couple of my photos of Thomas Mapfumo in concert. They were making a documentary on the beginnings of Zimbabwean music in North America and its spread. Now after four years of work, it’s almost finished. Taj Mahal narrates. A preview is below. For more information, see sacredpathexplorations.com

Notes: Mapfumo, Bombino, Ragovoy, Congotronics &…

Shows at the Lula last week As noted in another post, Thomas Mapfumo closed out Afrofest, but because some of his band members didn’t get visas for Canada, filled in with some local musicians (including guitarist Larry Lewis & Tich Maredza on bass).  Mapfumo wasn’t happy with the struggles to get the tightness he wanted, but those who were at both shows agreed that the whole band was much better with another day under their belts on the Monday night at the Lula, and the dance floor was busy. The next night, Bombino (Omara Moctar), the Tuareg guitarist/singer and his … Continue reading

Event notes for this weekend

Some events to consider this weekend:  See alsowww.events.to-music.cafor more Jul. 22: Sexteto Tabala at the Lula Last weekend, Harbourfront held the Colombian Diaspora Festival (see Harbourfront blog for some video & photos) Friday night, the Lula hosts the Toronto debut of Sexteto Tabala, from San Basilio de Palenque (“the first free town in America”). The Lula describes their music as “a unique mixture of Cuban son with Afro-Colombian rhythms such as bullerengue, porros, cumbia and funeral rituals.” A chance to catch some unique music (I plan to). Details, links & video on the Lula website Note: NVOZ, a Columbian acapella … Continue reading