Harbourfront’s “Classical IV” weekend featuring Masters of Mali with Sidi Touré

I’ve often found this themed weekend (in the past, appropriately titled “What is Classical”) one of Harbourfront’s most interesting each year, as it poses that musical question. One of my favourite Harbourfront concerts in recent years was Orchestra Piazza Vittorio performing their unique take on Mozart’s Magic Flute. This year’s “Classical IV: Strings” focuses on a wide variety of stringed instruments, and, Harbourfront suggests, asks questions such as: What is modern classical music? Why are some folk melodies and pop tunes called classics? And who gets to call them that? Can sonorous instruments from different cultures talk to each other? … Continue reading

Doctor Mulatu, I presume

Update (April 1) Watch “Mulatau Astatke and the African Jazz Village“, his project to foster jazz in Africa. In the “long overdue” category, news has come out that the “Father of Ethio Jazz”, Mulatu Astatke will receive an honourary Doctor of Music degree from Berklee College. Other recipients will be Allison Krauss and The Eagles (I will not try to picture The Eagles on a par with Mulatu. Perhaps they should get an honourary Bachelor’s degree). Congratulations to a true master. Two portraits of the Doctor from his 2008 appearance with the Either Orchestra at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre: my photo, … Continue reading

Summer (festivals) #2: other notables

Besides the Luminato announcement, there’s much more coming, including: Lulaworld, May 9-19 The Lula Lounge over 10 years has been indispensable  as a live music venue, and as a contributor to the music and wider community of this city. This year’s annual Lulaworld festival will celebrate a decade of… that Lula world. Their website describes the festival best: For a decade now, Lula Lounge distinguished itself as Toronto’s home for groundbreaking international latin, jazz, and world music. In celebration, Lula Music and Arts Centre has programmed a series of collaborative concerts that will bring together artists from around the globe. … Continue reading

“Summer kicks off”: Upcoming highlights

Event listings have been updated. Check out www.events.to-music.ca for information on numerous shows through the summer. July this year keeps up its tradition of great music. Some shows to check out in the next couple of weeks: Details on the event listings page.   Fri. Jun. 30: Kabakuwo at the Lula Mandingue music, featuring dual koras. Among the players: Sadio Sissoko whom many have seen recently wiith Okavango African Orchestra plus Dieli Mori Tounkara, nephew of the great Super Rail Band guitarist Djelimady Tounkara. Bela Fleck & the Flecktones at the Toronto Jazz Festival “Hispanic Extravaganza” at the Living Arts … Continue reading

Yemen Blues, and other event and musical notes

Event notes: (See www.events.to-music.ca for full details of these and other upcoming shows & events) Luminato Festival is now in full swing, with events all over the map (figuratively and literally), including free concerts nightly at Metro Square (now David Pecault Square) at King & John, including Art of Time Ensemble, Delhi 2 Dublin with Malkit Singh, kd lang, and closing with a double bill of Tasa & Nitin Sawhney. Two highlights for me: Yemen Blues: Tue. June 14. Free, 8pm By all accounts, the show might be one of the highlights of the year — at least for those of … Continue reading

Harboufront Centre summer music announced

One of the treats of summer: great music by the lake. Today, Harbourfront announced the lineups for the 2011 “Hot Spot Summer” music lineup. Lots of interesting and unique performers coming; details are in a press release posted here, and the main festival webpage is here. The theme weekends are: NXNE, Jun. 11-12 Franco-Fête, Jun 24-26 Canada Day, Jul. 1 Luke Doucet & The White Falcon On the Pulse, Jul. 2 Corazon de México, Jul. 8-10 Colombian Colours, Jul. 15-17 Tirgan Iranian Festival, Jul 21-24 Calypso Stars Showcase, Jul 27 Island Soul, Jul 29-Aug 1 What’s Classical, Aug 5-7 Fortune … Continue reading