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1. ASTER AWEKE: in Toronto May 13
The great Ethiopian singing star brings her magnificent voice to
the Kool Haus this Saturday! Her previous appearance in Toronto
was marred with insufficient band backing, and poor sound. This
show should have all the backing and setting she'll need... no
doubt with a large and enthusiastic crowd of her fans.
likes Ethiopian music, or great voices, or just a terrific,
energetic environment should not miss this show! Guest singer:
Kool Haus, 132 Queen's Quay East.
Doors open 8pm. Party starts around 10pm, and goes till
For info, call Coffee House: 416 953-5340
2. "RHYTHM & JEWS" FILM SERIES & a book recommendation
As mentioned in the previous newsletter (http://to-music.ca/newsletter_10.htm),
this part of the Toronto Jewish Film Festival focuses on the
long and important connections in the U.S. between Jews and
black music. An opening night documentary,
about the legendary record producer Jerry Wexler was a great
beginning to the festival (except for the sound quality!).
film of note:
Godfathers and Sons:
Thu. May 11, Bloor Cinema, 11:45pm
Taken from the festival program:
Records in Chicago was the home of such legendary blues
artists as Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf, Chuck
Berry, Bo Diddley and Otis Spann. Leonard and Phil Chess
were inspired to found the groundbreaking record company
after being captivated by a gospel service they overheard
outside a Black church on Maxwell Street. Director Marc
Levin (Protocols of Zion) follows Marshall Chess, heir to
the Chess Records legacy, and hip-hop artist Chuck D of
Public Enemy, as they unite veteran blues players with
contemporary musicians to explore the heyday of the Chicago
blues. Part of
Scorsese’s The Blues
Series, this film is stunning on the big screen! Includes
rare archival performances as well as knockout appearances
by Koko Taylor, Sam Lay, Ike Turner and others."
accompaniment to this series -- and the above film in particular
-- is the book The Record
Men by Rich Cohen. Although I only bought the book a
few days ago, and am just a few chapters into it, I'm finding it
one of the best books I've read about the post-WW II popular
music scene in the U.S. in which dozens of new, small
independent record companies helped to revolutionize American
public music, with the explosion of electric blues, R&B, rock &
roll, and other regional musics.
captures the grit, funk, energy, corruption and street life of
the business, the Jewish immigrant experience in Chicago, the
black/Jewish interaction, and the excitement of the times better
than any other book I've read. Wonderful use of language and
imagery -- and perfect timing for the film series, and this film
A couple of
other films coming up:
Paul Robeson, Here I Stand
(May 12 4pm); Blue Note: A
Story of Modern Jazz (May 13, 11:45 pm)
http://to-music.ca/Rhythm&Jews.pdf for the sea PDF list of
R&J films, or go to
www.tjff.com for more on the festival.
3. OTHER MAY EVENTS
www.to-music.ca/events.htm for more details on these and
Lula World (May
3-14) at the Lula Lounge (http://lula.ca/lulaworld_4.aspx)
and the Small World South
Asian Music Festival (May 3-26...
http://smallworldmusic.com/concerts.html) with a variety of
South Asian music and dance both continue this month.
b) Njacko Backo-
May 13 at the Gladstone
A free show, 5-8pm in the Melody bar, with the kalimba
player/drummer, originally from Cameroon. His show there last
March was packed. This will be a warm up for his CD release at
the Gladstone on June 16. Stay tuned. Following his trip to
Cuba, Njacko has added Cuban rhythms (and musicians) to his
c) Adam Solomon & Tikisa - May 16 rebroadcast
A rebroadcast of excerpts from Tikisa's wonderful May 4 CD
release (Mti Wa Maisha) at the Lula Lounge will be
broadcast on CIUT's "It's Alive" (http://itsalive.info/).
Tue. May 16, 9-10pm, 89.5. Rebroadcast Mon. May 22, 1-2pm
The Live Music Report for a review of the show, and
for my photos.
d) Chasaya Sichilima
- May 19 at
the NOW Lounge
a lot of opportunity to see or hear Zambian music in Toronto.
Here's a great chance: come out to the CD
release of Walasa by the Zambian-born Toronto singer -- a
wonderful singer and performer. Donne Roberts will make a guest
appearance. $10/$5 for Music Africa members. See
http://musicafrica.org/ches06.htm for more info.