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T.O. Music Pix Newsletter #49: Dec. 4/07
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In this issue:

1. Events: Tough choices on Wednesday (Métis fiddling, Zimbabwean mbira, Eliana CD & Indian jazz/funk - bluegrass fighting global warming)
2. Other events:
       a) Alpha Yaya Diallo
       b) Jamaica to Toronto (including new release)
3. 2007 Music Awards: updates
4. Recent show follow-up: Tinariwen, Desandann, Tikisa


EVENTS: Check for updates and details to these and other shows

1. WED. DEC 5: Tough choices
Apologies for the late reminders, but there are some terrific musical events all happening on the same night. Tough choices:

a) Anne Lederman and Métis Artists Collective Benefit

Anne ( is one of Toronto's premiere fiddle players (performing in solo, duo events, "Dare the Devil" events, Njacko Backo's Kalimba Kalimba, Loka, and other groups). This night, together with the Métis Artists Collective will benefit the Elder Youth Legacy Project.

Here are Anne's comments about the show:

"This project will bring together a few of the remaining elder aboriginal fiddle players in Canada with several extremely talented young aboriginal players, so that they can learn more of the old style of playing and help inspire and teach others to play it. The elders come from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, James Bay and Pangnirtung, and the kids from Toronto, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Michigan, and therein lies our problem. We have a Canada Council grant to cover the costs of bringing the elders, but must raise money for the youth. We are planning a week-long workshop in Toronto in May, as well as some performances by the youth and elders together in July and August. This project could make the difference between a wonderful unique old style of music surviving into future generations or not, as the third phase of the project, which we will mount next year, involves sending the kids into Native communities to teach."

7:30pm, 340 Gerard St. E, 2nd floor. $20  Only 75 tickets, by reservation (There were still a few remaining this afternoon) : Krista Delbaere: 647-223-4535, or


b) Stella Chiweshe at the NOW Lounge

Toronto is very lucky to have the Zimbabwean mbira master living here briefly. She has given a few performances and workshops, and this night will no doubt be a wonderful, intimate performance of her highly moving and spiritual mbira playing.

Click here  for photos of her terrific concert (with band) last summer. Show: 9pm, $15. 189 Church St. Info: 416 826-1252 or email:

NOTE: She will also be conducting 2 traditional spiritual circles (English and Shona) this Saturday afternoon (Dec. 8) at Earthsong. See the events page or


c)  Eliana Cuevas CD Release at Glenn Gould Studio

Venezuelan-born, Toronto-based Latin/jazz singer releases her CD, Vidas. 250 Front St. W. Doors 7:30. Tickets $17.50/$20, or $15 students/seniors. 416 205-5555 or


Dec. 5: Autorickshaw & The Foggy Hogtown Boys at the Lula Lounge

"Climate Crisis WTF, the Weather Task Force concert series, brings together artists, audiences and environmentalists in an alternative political space to build a community of purpose around stopping global warming."  Autorickshaw mixes jazz and funk with classical and popular Indian music, and The Foggy Hogtown Boys are one of Canada's top bluegrass bands.

Doors 7, show 8pm. $15/$10 students. Details here.


2. OTHER EVENTS: A couple of other shows to note in the next week:

a) Dec. 9: Alpha Yaya Diallo at the Lula.

A show not to miss for African music fans, as the African Guitar Summit member doesn't tour often here, outside of some AGS concerts. I believe fellow AGS member, Naby Camarra (balofon) is playing in his band on this tour. At these prices ($10 adv, $15 at the door), tickets may go quickly!

Photo at right: Alpha (centre), Naby (right), and Mamadou Diabaté playing a workshop at Afrofest 2006.


b) Dec. 13: Jamaica to Toronto, with Elizabeth Shepherd at the Mod Club

"Jamaica to Toronto: Soul, Funk and Reggae, 1967-1974" was one my picks for CD and concert of  2006. The CD was a collection of many of the great songs from Toronto's early R&B stars like the Cougars, Jackie Mittoo, Mighty Pope, Wayne McGhie and others. The 2006 Harbourfront show brought back many of these performers for a great reunion. Harbourfront was packed that night.

The Mod Club show features Jay Douglas (Cougars), The Mighty Pope, Jason Wilson and Tabarruk and more.  Opening: Elizabeth Shepherd, named Toronto's Best Female Singer for 2007 by NOW Weekly, "Toronto's best-kept jazz secret is about to blow up globally".

$20. Tickets at Ticketmaster, Rotate This, Play De Record & Soundscapes. Doors 7, show 8pm. 722 College St. Details here.

Details of this show here; my photos of the 2006 concert are here, and info on the CD is here.

Light in the Attic, the label for this CD, is just releasing their latest CD in their "Jamaica to Toronto" series; this one featuring many unreleased reggae tracks from Willi Williams, Johnny Osbourne and others. It includes a video documentary. You can watch an excerpt on YouTube: )


c) Other upcoming shows:

Dec. 7: Samba Squad's DVD Release at the Lula

Dec. 11: Michelle Shocked at Hugh's Room

Dec. 13: DK Ibomeka at the Trane Studio

Dec. 14: Havana Norte at the Lula, featuring Roberto Linares Brown, Cuban rapper Telmary, DJ Billy Bryans and more

Dec. 15: Dr. Draw at the Music Hall

Dec. 16: Honeyboy Edwards at Hugh's Room

Dec. 21: Zale Seck (Senegal) at the Lula Lounge


3. 2007 PICKS

a) BBC: Album of the Year

In the last newsletter, I mentioned the BBC Radio 3 World Music Award nominations. Since then, the Album of the Year winner has been announced: Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba for Segu Blue. An excellent pick; the group's music, all built around multiple ngoni's is simply superb. I'm hoping someone will bring the group to Toronto in 2008. You can hear their full 2007 WOMAD (U.K.) concert here.


b) Mighty Popo

Congratulations to Mighty Popo on his win in the Canadian Folk Music Awards last weekend ("Best Group - World) for his Muhazi CD.  (Photo at right from his Toronto CD Release show the past June at the Lula).


4. RECENT SHOWS: Follow-up

A couple of follow-up notes to some recent, recommended concerts:

Nov. 20: Tinariwen

Read Carl Wilson's comments on the Mod Club show here, along with some feedback. (My photos of the show are posted here).


Nov. 27: Grupo Vocal Desandann

I was sorry to see only about 100 people at the Church of the Holy Trinity concert for this superb Cuban acapella group, but the audience made enough enthusiastic noise to match one 2 or 3 times larger. As well, we received news that they will be back in town in early June... I assume promoting the CD they just finished recording. Thanks to Jane Bunnett for recording, promoting and supporting this wonderful group.

A few YouTube clips of the concert are posted here. (The sound quality doesn't do them justice; check their CD Baby page instead to really appreciate their voices). My photos from the show are here.


Nov. 29: Adam Solomon and Tikisa

Clips here from their Trane Studio gig.


John Leeson

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