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T.O. Music Pix Newsletter #125: January 27, 2011
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In this issue:

1. Website notes
2. Events: Aster Aweke in town this Saturday; other upcoming shows
3. Other
   - Full Afrocubism concert video available
   - History for Music Lovers
   - Music Planet: new BBC radio show from around the world
   - Kiran Ahluwalia & Tinariwen.

1. T.O. Music Pix update

Although less active on the website, I am still adding some event listings (not as frequently or with as much detail as before), and will provide occasional newsletters.


2.  Event notes:
A few shows of some interest. Check recent updates on the Events page for details on these and other shows.

Aster Aweke: Sat. Jan. 29

One of the superstars of Ethiopian music, she'll be making her first appearance in town since her Ethiopian New Year's concert in 2008. She's just released a new CD, Checheho.

Sure to be a large -- and enthusiastic -- crowd, and definitely worth staying up for! The show is advertised as 9pm, but somewhere between 11 and 12 is much more likely. The venue is at 1573 Bloor St. W., just west of the Dundas West subway station.

The photo at right (with the Feb. 4 date) is advertising her show next week in New York City at SOB's. I took it from their site, because... well, someone took those photos of her from my website. The shots are from her 2008 Toronto concert. The page on SOB's to buy tickets for the show features another of my photos from her 2006 Toronto show. But we know it's always OK to take anything from the Internet without permission or credit...

For those who don't know her, some background on this site; a video taste here.

A few other upcoming shows

Tich Maredza Band
The group's Zimbabwean sounds are getting a lot of play around town lately. Many of the musicians are known from their work with other bands, including Masaisai. They play The Ossington on the third Thursday of each month; they're at the Tranzac this Saturday (Jan 29), and at the Imperial Pub Feb. 18. They opened for Oliver Mtukudzi on his last Toronto gig.

Music Africa: Black History Month
Free shows every Friday in February, 7pm in the Melody Bar at the Gladstone Hotel. This year featuring Blandine (Feb 4, Congo); The Resolutionaries Marimba Band (Feb. 11, Zimbabwe); Waleed Abdulhamid Kush (Feb. 18, Sudan); Kae Sun (Feb. 25, Ghana).  Details on shows and performers

Okavango: An African Orchestra: Feb. 25 at the Glenn Gould Studio
A new musical project, assembled by Nadine McNulty of Batuki Music Society, made up of seven Canadian-based African musicians: Daniel Nebiat, (Eritrean krar), Pasipamire Gunguwo (Zimbabwean marimba/mbira), Donne Roberts (Malagasy guitarist), Nuudi Kooshin (Somali kaban), Waleed Abdulhamid (bass), Sadio Sissokho (Senegalese kora) and Walter Maclean (percussion).  More info here.

Acoustic Africa: Mar 6 at Koerner Hall
Hope everyone knows of this show, featuring acoustic sounds by Oliver Mtukudzi, Habib Koité and Afel Bocoum. All are much better known for their electric band sound; it should be a real treat to hear them with a different take, especially in this gem of a hall. Last weekend at Kiran Ahluwalia's concert there, I was surprised to see the show of hands of people who were at their first ever concert at what many consider the best concert theatre in Toronto.

Ethio T.O: Mar. 25
While on the subject of Ethiopian music, watch for this show in a couple of months at the Music Gallery featuring local Ethio sax great Girma Wolde Michael.

Girma plays with just about every local and touring Ethiopian artist who comes to town, from Aster Aweke to Mahmoud Ahmed. This show features him with his Ethio Fidel band. Opening is Canaille, a jazz quintet whose music is influenced by Ethiopian horn sounds. (They opened for Ethiopian sax legend Getachew Mekuria & The Ex a couple of years ago).



  • Afrocubism concert on video
    I've written about this project frequently enough that they don't need another introduction. Their concert last November in New York City was my highlight of the year. Superb music & musicians. They performed very few concerts last year (only three in North America), and at this point, I'm only aware of one in 2011: at London's Royal Albert Hall in June.

    But you can watch their full 1 hour, 40 minute Paris concert from earlier this month on the great Arte Live Web website. Watch here. And browse the site for other concert videos.


  • History for Music Lovers
    Very different history lessons, from a teacher in Hawaii. Check some of them out. The video on the right: Copernicus via "Across the Universe". And did you ever wonder how Hannibal crossed the Alps with Sixteen Tons of elephants?


  • Music Planet: BBC Radio
    A new radio show available online is hosted by veteran world music broadcasters Andy Kershaw and Lucy Duran. It's designed as an accompaniment to a new BBC TV series, Human Planet. The hosts & crew have been travelling the world, and have recorded music & stories "from the jungles of Papua New Guinea to the deserts of Mali; from the heart of the Amazon to the islands of the Pacific; from the dark winter days of Greenland to the long summer nights of Arctic Norway; from the dried-up rivers of Kenya to the grasslands of Mongolia.

    The first three shows are still available online: check link above. Most definitely worth a listen.


  • Kiran Ahluwalia, Tinariwen & Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
    Kiran's recording with Touareg musicians Tinariwen of "Mustt, Mustt", a song made famous by the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, has been getting a lot of radio play. At her Toronto concert last Saturday, she performed it with two singers from her opening act, Rhythms of Rajasthan. Like Tinariwen, they were also desert musicians, although the overall sound was different than on the Tinariwen collaboration.

    Watch her music video of the recording with Tinariwen. The original is on her new CD, Aam Zmeen: Common Ground, on which she also collaborates with another Touareg band, Tarakaft.


Aster is playing New York on Feb. 4th, but Toronto this Saturday... and those photos are of her in Toronto

Toronto-based Ethiopian sax player, Girma Wolde Michael. He'll be heading the Ethio T.O. show in March, but you might catch him backing Aster this weekend


History via music: Copernicus, "Across the Universe"


John Leeson