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In this issue: A couple of events that were missed
in the last newsletter, and a few random notes
1. Jason Wilson & Jackie Mittoo Tribute: Mar. 5
2. Cadillac Records at the Revue
3. Mandékalou video online
4. Last weekend & next: hot show at the Gladstone & a Zimbabwean
group to watch
5. Emmanuel Jal in the Globe
6. Habib Koité confirmed at the Revival
1. Jason Wilson & Jackie Mittoo Tribute/nuFunk Festival
The second annual tribute to
the the legendary Jamaican born musician, one of the founders of
reggae, and a huge figure in Canadian music. The night will be
led by Jason Wilson,
whose great 2008 CD The Peacemaker's Chauffeur has earned
him his second Juno nomination. With House of David Gang &
DJ David Dacks. See poster
10pm. $15 adv at Play de
Record, Slinky Music,
Rotate This, Shanti Baba &
It's part of the
which launched last Saturday, and continues this weekend.
2. Cadillac Records at the Revue
This film --a story about the great Chess Records
label of Chicago (Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Chuck Berry, Etta James, Bo
Diddley, and many, many more) -- has been given short shrift in Toronto,
having just finished up a one-week stint at the Bloor Cinema. It's playing
three more days this week (Tuesday through Thursday) at the Revue Cinema on
I haven't seen it yet (but will be). It's been receiving
generally very good reviews; A.O. Scott of the New York Times picked
it as one of his top 5 of the year, and selected Jeffrey Wright who plays
Muddy Waters as his best actor of the year. Wright pulled off an impressive
and varied feat of acting last year: portraying both Waters and Colin Powell
in Oliver Stone's W. The film also features Beyoncé as Etta James and
Mos' Def as Chuck Berry.
Ironically, it was one of two films made last year
covering the Chess story. However, the other: Who Do You Love, which
debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival, I found to be rather
weak, and very much an old-style Hollywood biopic. By all indications,
Cadillac promises to be better -- and a don't miss film for fans of
Chicago blues and rock & roll.
The film's trailer is
3. Mandékalou video
Mandékalou was the ultimate West African "supergroup", put
Ivory Coast/Senegalese producer Ibrahim Sylla, featuring, among
others, Kassé Mady Diabaté, Sekouba Bambino, Kandia
Kouyaté, Mamadou Diabaté and Mama Sissoko.
You can catch -- for a couple more weeks -- the full video
of a recent concert many of those musicians put on in Paris. Watch the
Paris concert, and Part 1 of a
documentary about the group.
4. Notes from last weekend & next
The last weekend of the Music Africa/Gladstone Hotel Black
History Month series was a gem of a night. The "main" event was the "African
Divas Tribute to Miriam Makeba" in the ballroom, featuring five great acts (Cheka
Dioubaté, Ruth Mathiang, Jabulani, Lizzy Maheshe and Zaki Ibrahim), with
three bands -- all for $10! It wasn't long before the place was sold out.
Before that, the opening for the night was a local
Zimbabwean group, Masaisai who did a free gig in the Melody Bar. When I
walked in halfway through their show, the room was already full, the crowd
on its feet, dancing and cheering on the high-energy, hard-working group. It
was the first time I'd caught them, but it won't be the last. I recommend
catching them when you can...
... And you can this coming Saturday night, at
805 St. Clair W. Time & details TBA. Watch my events page or call the
club: 416 652-9111.
Some photos from their Gladstone gig
5. Emmanuel Jal in the Globe & Mail
The Sudanese hip-hop singer & former child soldier
recently spoke in Toronto as noted in a recent newsletter, and was the
subject of an
extended article and interview with Sarah Hampson in the March 2
Globe & Mail.
6. Habib Koité confirmed Mar. 26
The Malian guitarist's long-awaited Toronto gig has been
confirmed at the Revival, March 26, together with Salaam, a Moroccan group
from Montreal. Watch Small World Music's
website for more info. Tickets
are $20 in advance from Small World & Soundscapes at 572 College.
And, keep an eye on
more events & updates.