April treats

A gloomy start to the month of “April showers”, but the musical forecast is anything but. Check the full event listings at www.to-music.ca/events A few goodies picked out from there below. (Details and links for all these shows are in the events calendar) April 5: Brazilian/Mexican grooves at the Lula: Aline Morales and Quique Escamilla. April 6, Batuki Music continues its new “Africa Up Close” series at the intimate NOW Lounge, with Malian griot Sountougoumba “Tapa” Diarra. Only $10 April 11: Jane Bunnett’s “Spirit of Music” benefit for Cuban musicians with a raft of guests including Molly Johnson, Njacko Backo and … 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 (festivals): just around the corner: #1: Luminato

That early summer we had seems to have disappeared suddenly this week, but all the news of summer (and other) music festivals should keep you warm. Most notably, for this website is the news of the free music concerts at what may now be the  premiere annual arts event in Toronto: Luminato. Its free concerts, organized by Derek Andrews are often among the best of the year, and this year promises to be the best yet. (Enjoy the riches while you can… the recent provincial budget called for cutting Ontario’s contributions to Luminato over the next 2 years by 40%!) … Continue reading

Wazimbo: music from Mozambique – tonight at the Lula

A rare chance to hear some music from Mozambique tonight at the Lula Lounge. Wazimbo (Humberto Carlos Benfica)’s musical career in Mozambique goes back almost 50 years, and he’s now one of the most famous singers of the marrabenta style. This is his first trip to Canada. Tonight, he’ll be backed by some top local musicians (Tich Maredza, Larry Lewis, Ruben Esguerra — all from the Tich Maredza Band — plus Gordin Mapika and Sam Petit). Wazimbo was interviewed last Sunday by Nadine McNulty on Karibuni (CIUT). That program is still online for a few more days. (Link is below). … Continue reading

Random recent musical notes

A few odds and ends from the musical world recently… A new double CD out on Stern’s of the late Guinean great Sory Kandia Kouyaté. Info, and some music here. Feel free to crank up the volume. Baaba Maal on the food crisis in Mauritania Reports from Senegal recently are that Youssou n’Dour was injured in the leg by a tear gas canister in the unrest over the election situation (and the court decision to not allow him to run for president). See also earlier post on this site And taking another musical perspective on serious political struggles, while the … Continue reading

Some event notes

See the newly updated event listings (www.events.to-music.ca), for details of these and many other shows. A few items of note: The Lula Lounge has a number of interesting shows coming up: “world jazz” on Friday nights (early show before the salsa takes over) including& Haitian roots (Feb. 24) & Mexican jazz (Mar 2) in the next couple of weeks Benefit for the Peruvian migrant workers killed recently in that traffic accident. Mar. 1 Akwaba Dance Company, Feb 26   Batuki Music Society with a couple of shows to watch for: The first of an “Africa Up Close” series in the … Continue reading

Jan. 26: Fundraiser for Andy Frank

  Andy Frank has been a tireless contributor to Toronto’s broadcast & music scene. Several years ago he hosted various CIUT radio shows, and created and hosted its morning show, Take 5. More recently he created Frankcasting, an independent company producing webTV and videography, much dedicated to promoting Toronto-area roots music. He also co-created and runs the excellent Roots Music Canada website: www.rootsmusic.ca   He  was recently diagnosed with colon cancer, and as he now needs to dedicates his time and energy to treatment and his health, he will not be able to work as much, and the music community … Continue reading

CIUT FM: 25th Anniversary Open House and party: Jan. 15

Given the precarious state of community and other non-commercial radio, this Sunday marks a remarkable event: 25 years since CIUT began broadcasting on the FM dial. So the station is inviting all listeners & supporters to a 25 anniversary celebration: Sunday, Jan 15, 1-6pm Music Room, Hart House, University of Toronto (Map) CIUT hosts, staff, alumni and others will be there, along with live performances by Donné Roberts Los Caballers del Son Memoryhouse Barry Livingston & Darren Moore Canadian Space Opera Company See this page for more goodies & details. The station’s history actually goes back much further, to the … Continue reading

Benefit concert for John Collins with Afrafranto: Dec. 11: Updated Dec 10

One of the greatest archivists and collectors of West African music, Professor John Collins of Ghana last month experienced a severe flood and mudslide, which damaaged and destroyed much of the material he has been assembling since the 1970’s. His home is in the same premises, and his family narrowly escapted drowning. The Bokoor African Popular Music Archives Foundation (BAPMAF) is a Ghanaian NGO established in 1990. BAPMAF’s function is to preserve African popular & traditional performance and provide a resource centre for arts projects in Ghana and the international community. BAPMAF archival holdings include 700 photographs, 700 publications, as … Continue reading

Bassekou… and other upcoming events

A few upcoming shows of note. Details of these, and many more (going into the new year) are posted at www.events.to-music.ca   Nov. 27: Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba West African music fans around Toronto have been looking forward to this Sunday’s concert for some time: Bassekou Kouyaté and Ngoni Ba make their second Toronto appearance at the Great Hall (Queen W & Dovercourt). Anyone who saw this band — the only all-ngoni band in the world! — last year at Luminato will definitely be back for more. For my tastes, the group is one of the top live performances … Continue reading