Exhibit: 50 years of the Mariposa Folk Festival

Toronto’s Market Gallery is hosting an exhibit, through Oct. 15 celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of Canada’s great music festivals.

From the press release:

“Mariposa: fifty years of making music” documents five decades of one of Canada’s oldest and best known music festivals through historical photographs, festival programs, and sound recordings. Materials featured in this exhibit are taken from the Mariposa Folk Foundation’s extensive archives, which were donated to York University’s Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections in 2007.

“Mariposa: fifty years of making music” will also document the origins of the festival in Orillia and the folk revival movement of the 1960s, as well as exploring the range of venue changes, culture clashes and the remarkable continuity that allows the festival to endure and to be relevant today.

Music is at the core of this exhibit but other facets of folk culture like traditional dance, craftwork, and storytelling will also be highlighted. The importance of the First Nations community and children’s programming in the history of the festival will also be emphasized, particularly as it relates to the successful MITS (Mariposa In The Schools) program.

The Mariposa Folk Festival has been described as “a state of mind somewhere between backwoods fiddling and B.B. King”. While the festival has hosted the likes of Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Gordon Lightfoot, Leonard Cohen, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Bob Dylan, it has also fostered the talents of many up-and-coming Canadian artists, and many vibrant North American folk and indigenous music performers.

 The gallery is located on the second floor of South St. Lawrence Market, 95 Front St. E. Admission is free. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Friday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Sunday, Monday and public holidays. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/culture/the_market_gallery.htm

Newport Folk Festival: live (& archived) webcasts, Jul 30-31

NPR (National Public Radio) is webscasting this weekend’s Newport Folk Festival, starting at noon on Saturday & Sunday.

A terrific lineup (see below). Details on the NPR website, along with links to archived webcasts from 2010


The Decemberists

Saturday, July 30

All Times ET

  • 6:00 pm: The Decemberists
  • 5:50 pm: Pokey LaFarge
  • 4:45 pm: Gillian Welch
  • 4:30 pm: Delta Spirit
  • 3:25 pm: Earl Scruggs
  • 3:00 pm: Freelance Whales
  • 2:00 pm: Gogol Bordello
  • 1:45 pm: Typhoon
  • 12:40 pm: The Felice Brothers
  • 12:00 pm: Wailin’ Jennys

  • More online later: The Devil Makes Three, Ramblin Jack Elliott, River City Extension and more.
  • EmmyLou Harris

    Sunday, July 31

    All Times ET

    • 6:00: Emmylou Harris
    • 5:50 pm: Chris Thile and Michael Daves
    • 4:45 pm: Elvis Costello
    • 4:30 pm: Mountain Man
    • 3:25 pm: Amos Lee
    • 3:00 pm: The Secret Sisters
    • 2:00 pm: Wanda Jackson
    • 1:45 pm: Mavis Stapes
    • 12:45 pm: Carolina Chocolate Drops
    • 12:30 pm: Tegan And Sara
    • 12:00 pm: David Wax Museum

  • More online later: The Civil Wars, M. Ward, The Cave Singers and more.
  • Note: Schedule and line-u

    Musical notes from here & there

    A few random musical notes

    • Khaira Arby: The singer from Mali made her first North American tour last fall. Here in Toronto, she sang at the Ashkenaz Festival over Labour Day weekend as a guest with the New York group Sway Machine (and also earlier that day live on air at CIUT FM).  I was impressed enough with her that I went to Montreal later that month to see her with her own band at the Club Balletou.


      A great performer (live and on her CD, Timbuktu Tarab), she’s now on her third trip to North America, but sadly, nobody has brought her with her band to Toronto. She would have been fabulous at Afrofest.

      Read a recent article about her here.  Her MySpace page (with audio) is here

      Photo taken at that Montreal show, Sep. 30, 2010


    • Bombino: Further to my recent post about his great July 12 show at the Lula, check out this story in the Los Angeles Times. (and my 2 videos from the Lula on www.videos.to-music.ca)
    • Toumani Diabaté interviewed by Riz Khan on Al Jazeera English posted on YouTube
    • Caribana: The story & pictures of the first Caribana in 1967 from The Torontoist

    • Koerner Hall: 12 new concerts went on sale last week including Richard Thompson (in September), Maple Blues Awards and a pairing of Susanna Baca and Lila Downs. Details here
    • Video (from NOW) of Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 at last week’s Hillside Festival

    Award to Waleed Abdulhamid

    This news is actually a couple of months old, but I just came across it today.

    Waleed, a native of Sudan, and one of the busiest musicans working in the Toronto African music community last may received the 2011 New Pioneers Award for the Arts.

    The award is organized by Skills for Change, a non-profit agency based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Our mission is to provide learning and training opportunities for immigrants and refugees to access and fully participate in the workplace and wider community.” The award “recognizes the accomplishments of remarkable immigrants”.

    Read more about Waleed here, and watch an interview with him below.

    NOTE: Waleed and the African Jazz Ensemble will be playing the Trane Studio, 964 Bathurst on Sat. Jul 30 at 8pm.

    High Def concert videos posted: videos.to-music.ca

    I’ve created a new site to post some recent (and not so recent) HD concert videos I’ve taken. See www.videos.to-music.ca  Posted so far:

    • Bombino @ Lula Lounge, Jul. 12
    • Thomas Mapfumo @ Lula Lounge, Jul. 11
    • Kabakuwo @ Lula Lounge, Jun. 30
    • Yemen Blues @ Luminato, Jun. 12
    • Freddie Gwala, Platform One & Tich Maredza, Great Hall, Apr. 16 (below)

    More to come. (Older, non-HD videos at www.youtube.to-music.ca)

    Documentary on Zimbabwean music in North America nears completion

    A couple of years ago, I was contacted by Doug & Laurel Epps in Colorado who asked permission to use a couple of my photos of Thomas Mapfumo in concert. They were making a documentary on the beginnings of Zimbabwean music in North America and its spread.

    Now after four years of work, it’s almost finished. Taj Mahal narrates. A preview is below. For more information, see sacredpathexplorations.com