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T.O. Music Pix Newsletter #76: March 2/09
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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 here. 10pm. $15 adv at Play de Record, Slinky Music, Soundscapes, Rotate This, Shanti Baba &

 It's part of the NuFunk Festival 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 Roncesvalles (

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 here


3. Mandékalou video

Mandékalou was the ultimate West African "supergroup", put together by the legendary 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
Photo: Masaisai

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. Great show.

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 Ellington's, 805 St. Clair W. Time & details TBA. Watch my events page or call the club: 416 652-9111.

Some photos from their Gladstone gig here.


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 for more events & updates.


John Leeson