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T.O. Music Pix Newsletter #115: August 6, 2010
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Weekend alert:  For details on these and many more shows), see the Events page.

In this newsletter:

1. Friday: "Island Grooves & California Country"
2. Two African music festivals this weekend
3. Harbourfront: "What is Classical?" highlights
4. Upcoming
5. Khaila Arby: First North American Tour - Harbourfront show?

Friday night: Island Grooves & California Country

Two of Toronto's top bands playing island-inspired music are on tonight; you can easily catch both:

Kobo Town - some excellent,Trinidadian-based music play a free show at the Gladstone (Melody Bar) at 7pm. (Gladstone World & Batuki Music).

Jason Wilson: gaining recognition as possibly Canada's most innovative reggae musician. See the article in the new edition of Word magazine: Jason Wilson: The Man Who Defines Modern Canadian Reggae".  Orbit Room, 10:30

Also, one of the key figures in the southern California country-rock sound of the 80's, J.D. Souther is at Hugh's Room tonight.

Complicating things: Dominic Mancuso, winner of the 2010 World Music JUNO is back in at the Lula for an 8pm show.

African music festivals Aug 6-8
Two two-night events from two different Toronto-based griots:

Katenen "Cheka" Dioubat & her annual Mamaya Festival:

Last Saturday, the Guinean-born singer hosted a great CD launch with guests Sekouba Bambino and Alpha Yaya Diallo. This weekend she is hosting two nights:

Friday: Mamaya Concert with an excellent lineup including Amadou Sodia (singer and bolon player), Doussou Koulibaly (a rare female kamale ngoni player). Also featuring Tapa Diarra and Mohammed Diaby. At the Matonge nightclub, Parliament & Shuter ($25)

Sunday: Free Mamaya Festival, 1-9pm at Metro Hall. Check the Mamaya page for more info


Tamsir Seck's Senegalese Xawaré

Senegalese griot, drummer and dancer Tamsir Seck holds his third annual "Xawaré"  a Senegalese traditional event organized by the royal elite of Senegalese Kingdoms centuries ago, as a way to entertain their guests and invitees. There are two nights to this event this year:

Friday: Sabar drumming and dance workshops at 25 Cecil St. (Steelworkers Hall, near Spadina & College):

Saturday: Gala International Afro Canadian night at 237 Sackville. Performers (besides Tamsir) include Thiokh Diagne, Papa Ndiaye, Elage Mbaye, El hadj Diouf, and more. Tickets $20adv, $25 door. For info, call Marc 647 686-3549 or Orkaia 647 834-2191. (Show is advertised as 9pm, but likely won't start until at least 10...)

Those who have seen Tamsir perform on his own or with other bands know the energy and passion he brings to the stage.


Harbourfront: "What is Classical?" (Aug 6-8)

This annual theme weekend is becoming one of Harbourfront's most interesting. Check the link above for full details of music and other events. A few musical performances to watch for:

Friday : Three performances on the main (Sirius) stage: Vidushi Sumitra Guha  (Indian classical singer) at 8, "Tabla Guy" (Gurpreet Chana) & Mason Bach (violin) at 9, followed by Harry Manx, Canadian blues guitarist who also studied with VM Bhatt for five years learning Bhatt's Mohan Veena, a 20-string guitar/sitar hybrid. All the performers will be part of the 9:30 closing concert.

Saturday: Orchestra Piazza Vittorio, a large orchestra, based in Italy, composed of immigrants to Italy from 11 countries, who speak 8 languages. They come highly recommended by Ken Stowar of CIUT's Global Rhythms. You can catch them three times and four ways:

  • Open rehearsal, 3:30pm
  • Film: The Orchestra of Piazza Vittorio: documentary about the birth of this orchestra (Studio Theatre).
  • Concert: An adaption of Mozart's opera, The Magic Flute. 8pm. . NOTE: The concert will be broadcast live on CIUT-FM, 89.5
  • There is much more on at Harbourfront during the weekend.


    Upcoming - a brief list
    • Monday night: Blues from the Delta & from Kenya:

      David "Honeyboy" Edwards, one of the last of the original Delta bluesmen, is now 95, but will be playing at Hugh's Room
      Adam Solomon, plays a solo, "African Blues" show at Highway 61 (1620 Bayview, south of Eglinton)

    • Ramblin' Jack Elliott: Wed & Thur at Hugh's Room
    • Harbourfront's "Hot & Spicy Food Festival", Aug 13-15

      A capella greats the Persuasions perform, and are featured in a documentary

      "Square Dancing to an African beat" with Stan Dueck and Madagascar Slim. 6:30. Who needs to say more? But more info is here

      Delhi 2 Dublin: Saturday night.

    • African Dance Festival, Aug. 15: Nathan Phillips Square
    • Eliades Ochoa: Aug. 20 at the Lula

      An extremely rare chance to catch the great Cuban guitarist in a club setting


    Khaira Arby: First time in North America

    One very notable act that seems to be scheduled at Harbourfront (but not yet announced) is Malian singer Khaira Arby, who is making her first North American tour, supporting her new CD, Timbuktu Tarab. She is a cousin of the late Ali Farka Touré, and her music reflects both her Songhai and Berber roots. You can read much more about her here. Press info lists her as playing Harbourfront Monday, Sep. 6.

    I'll be updating information on this event.


    John Leeson