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T.O. Music Pix Newsletter #51: Jan. 19/08
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In this issue:
1. Andy Palacio dies
2. Kenyan fundraiser, Jan. 20
3. Best of 2007
4. Miscellaneous Notes
5. Event notes



Some very tragic news. The Garifuna musician from Belize, whose album Wátina was on more world music "best of 2007" lists (including mine) than any other passed away today, following a severe heart attack. On Friday, he was flown by air ambulance from Belize to Chicago, but stoped enroute in Mobile Alabama where he was hospitalized.

Palacio was a national icon in Belize, not just for his music, but for his tireless championing of the Garifuna culture, music and language. Charlie Gillett wrote today that "Andy is an even-tempered man who has interpreted any personal acclaim as being recognition for the Garifuna people of Belize, whose music and culture he has done so much to champion"

His Habourfront concert last July was one of my very favourites of the year. I have a number of web and video links of him on my "Best of 2007" page (link above). 

More information on his death (and life) are posted at World Music Central.


2. KENYAN FUNDRAISER: Sunday Jan. 20

The following note comes from Ben Ondoro, the President of the Kenyan Community in Ontario. Note that Adam Solomon (of Tikisa and the African Guitar Summit) will entertain.

As we already know, the on-going violence across Kenya in recent days has left thousands of people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and it is reported that over 100,000 people have been affected or displaced, over 450 killed and over 1,000 injured.

In response to this humanitarian emergency, the Kenyan Community in Ontario (KCO) is planning a fund raising event in collaboration with the Canadian Red Cross so that all the funds raised can be immediately transferred to the Kenyan Red Cross Team assisting on the ground.

It is therefore my pleasure to invite you on behalf of the Kenyan Community in Ontario to come out in support of this emergency fund raising initiative scheduled for Sunday January 20.

North York Civic Centre
5100 Yonge St. (5 blocks north of Sheppard Subway station at the location). 2:30-5pm.

More info: (519) 826-3789, or email: or


3. BEST OF 2007

As mentioned in the Andy Palacio note, I've posted my picks for 2007: live shows, CD's and more. As well, I have links to numerous other critics' and organizations' picks. Click the link above.



Mahmoud Ahmed:
As predicted, the Ethiopian star's concert late Christmas night was a real treat. He kept a full house entertained until 3am. My photos are here, and YouTube has a few short clips from the show. More about him on my "Best of 2007" page.

Handsome Ned
One of my "best of 2007" shows was the "Night of the Living Ned" tribute show to the late Queen St. rockabilly and country singer who died in January, 1986. He's certainly not forgotten: The January 10 issue of NOW magazine had a huge cover story on him. ("He's Ned, he's dead and he's making a comeback!"). The online story has audio and video links and a podcast. The double CD Anthology, The Name is Ned is now being released in the U.S., and a documentary film about him is planned for release at June's NXNE Festival.  My photos of his tribute show are here, and I have more links on the Best Of 2007 page.

Video updates
Some new video clips on my video page, including Iris Dement (a lovely song, "Our Town", plus a blistering commentary on the U.S, "Wasteland of the Free", written in the mid 90's); Elvis ("I can't stand still. I tried it, I just can't do it" he tells Milton Berle); the late Townes Van Zandt (with Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle & Willie Nelson; blistering "Sacred Steel" gospel guitars from the Campbell Brothers, and some pretty wild Indonesian rock& roll from 1960.



A few notable events (and one non-event). Click the link above for details of these and many more shows.

  • Cancelled: Master Musicians of Jajouka: The highly anticipated ancient Moroccan group (ancient in their history... not their ages!), scheduled by Small World Music for Feb. 1 unfortunately has been cancelled. However, they do have a North American tour planned for this summer, so hopefully they will be coming to town then.
  • Feb. 15: Hugh Masekela: Small World (together with Karibuni Radio) made a nice recovery from that cancellation when they booked the legendary South African trumpeter into the Phoenix.
  • Jan. 18-20: Gordon Lightfoot Tribute at Hugh's Room
  • Jan. 20: Shoghaken Ensemble (Armenia) at the Markham Theatre for the Performing Arts (Small World Music)
  • Jan. 21: Maple Blues Awards at the Mod Club
  • Jan. 22: Peru Negro at Massey Hall
  • Jan. 25: Madagascar Slim & Fado Blues at the Silver Dollar
  • Jan. 25: Havana Norte with Roberto Linares Brown at the Lula
  • Jan. 27: Maza Mezé at the Music Gallery
  • Jan. 30: Adam Solomon & Tikisa at the "Hearts for Smarts" Fundraiser at the Distillery District
    Sponsored by the Canada Mathare Education Trust, to raise funds to create secondary school scholarships for students in the Mathare slum in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Feb. 1: Njacko Backo DVD Release at the Gladstone. Also playing: Donné Roberts & Jacques Yams
  • Feb. 7-9: African Footprint at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts
    "The  longest-running show in South Africa tells the history of that country through a blend music and dance"
  • Feb. 7: Adam Solomon & Tikisa at the Lula Lounge
  • Feb. 8: "Salsa Africa" at the Lula Lounge
    A unique project, bringing together some of Toronto's finest African and Latin musicians, with roots in Madagascar, Peru, Kenya, Germany, Nigeria, Cuba, Ecuador, Jamaica, Italy and Venezuela, and more. Among the performers: Donné Roberts, Adam Solomon, Lady Son, Richard Underhill, Roberto Linares Brown and many more.
  • Feb. 8-9: John Hammond at Hugh's Room
  • Also upcoming: Lyle Lovett & John Hiatt (Feb. 13 at Massey Hall); Benefit for Oliver Schroer (Feb. 18-19 at Hugh's Room); Buckwheat Zydeco (Feb. 21 at the Horseshoe)


John Leeson