Covering African, world & roots music

NOTE: New pages are now located at

Old web pages:  Newsletter   Photos   Articles   Videos   Best of   Links

Web This website


T.O. Music Pix Newsletter #22: Dec. 1/06
Click here for information on subscribing and an index of past newsletters


This newsletter is sent only to those who requested it. Information on subscribing and unsubscribing is at the end of this email. Please forward to
anyone you think may be interested.

Time, and another project have limited updates to the website, photo galleries and this newsletter. However, here are a few end-of-November items:

In this issue:

1. Upcoming Events: A big month for African Guitar Summit fans
2. BBC World Music Award Nominations
3. K'Naan: a different message?
4. Top 100 Albums of all time?? (Well, this comes from TIME magazine...)


Lots of "African Guitar Summit" (solo and group) and other African music opportunities this month. Details of all these shows (and more) are posted at

Fri. Dec. 1 (TONIGHT) & Sat. Dec. 16: Adam Solomon & Tikisa

The AGS guitarist helps open a new East African restaurant, Safari Village. 1690 Danforth at Coxwell. $12 adv/$15 door, $24/$29 with buffet dinner. Call ahead: space is limited. 416 406-0534

Sat. Dec. 2: Donné Roberts
A fellow AGS member performs in a night in honour of The Live Music Report. The LMR is a great local music website featuring live music (and other performance) reviews, photographs, event listings and more. At a new jazz club, The Trane Studio, Bathurst & Bloor. See event page for details.

Thu. Dec. 7: Adam Solomon
Adam plays a solo, acoustic performance in a fund-raiser for a community-based radio station in Kenya. Sponsored by CKLN & Ryerson Journalists for Human Rights. Featuring Adam in a solo, acoustic performance. 6:30pm, 63 Gould St., 2nd floor. $10.

Fri. Dec. 22: African Guitar Summit
In their first Toronto club gig in two years at the Lula Lounge. Only $15 at the door. No advance tickets, but you can reserve a dinner table through the club. Pick up a copy of the new AGS II CD -- and get it autographed.

Other shows include:

Sat. Dec. 2: Mr. Something Something at The Gypsy Co-op. Local Afropop group in their last show of the year.

Sat. Dec. 9: Los Van Van
These guys are real Cuban heavyweights. Years of history, big band (16 piece). Fans will be coming from around North America to catch this show! At the Kool Haus. The place will be jumping. See $40 adv/$50 door.

Fri. Dec. 8: Digging Roots at The Trane

Fri. Dec. 29: Josh White Jr. at The Trane

Sun. Dec. 31 (radio): Three hours of solid Afro pop, soul and funk on Ken Stowar's Global Rhythms show. CIUT-FM 89.5, 3-6pm.



The BBC Radio 3 awards are the most prominent in the world music field. The 2007 nominees have now been announced: At this time, the website does not yet list the Album of the Year nominees, but they are:

Bellowhead: Burlesque
Toumani Diabate's Symmetric Orchestra: Boulevard D' Independence
Lila Downs: La Cantina
Ali Farka Touré: Savane

Toronto's K'Naan has been nominated in the Newcomer category. I would be surprised if he didn't win.


And, more about K'Naan:

I’ve often mentioned K’naan in this newsletter and website; he's a really impressive singer and songwriter who looks is headed for some major worldwide attention. (In the UK discussion forum on Charlie Gillett’s website, regular Howard Male listed K’Naan’s WOMAD performance as his top gig of the year. (“It moved me to tears.”) You can hear some of K’Naan on Gillett’s radio show: both his WOMAD performance and his guest spot on Charlie's former radio show are archived on Mondomix. Scroll through the Charlie Gillett section for the "K'Naan" and "Womad 2006" links.)

However, I was struck somewhat negatively by K’Naan’s latest video, which he made concerning an incident that happened to him in Sweden. One of the aspects of K’Naan’s songs that have impressed many of us is his strong, visceral reaction against violence, as a result of witnessing the true horror of violence in his native Somalia. (“How can they go to war, when it’s war that’s terrorizing?” he sings in “Hoobale”). See this news article for example.

At a show in Sweden, he and his band were blocked by, and roughed up by security staff. Police came, and ended up putting K’Naan’s manager in jail for the night. K’Naan’s reaction is understandably angry and emotional. His video tells the story from his perspective, and includes actual footage from the incident.

However, despite what happened, I found it pretty disturbing to hear him sing:

"I wish I had a knife. I'd stab him..."

"I wished I was travelling with a gun. I'd a put 2 in each asshole"

The Swedish incident no doubt was pretty messy, but surely he has seen much worse. That's what gives his words such power. So when I heard him singing words like the above, it sounded like a totally different K'Naan, a totally different message.

See his video here:  (requires Quick Time). There will also be an item about this incident on this week's Global Village. Saturday, 6:30pm, Radio Two.


Last note:
4. Top 100 Albums of all time?

Well, this is TIME magazine's take. Some nice photos of many of the artists here. The article includes notes about each album, and podcasts on how they were chosen.


John Leeson

This email should only be sent to those who have asked to receive it.
To unsubscribe, go to and
click the "unsubscribe" button, or reply to this email.

If someone forwarded this to you, and you'd like to subscribe, visit the link above, and click "Subscribe"