Retiring T.O. Music Pix (for now)

Note: I can still be contacted by email: website  (at)  to-music.ca As is apparent to anyone who has visited the website, or subscribed to my newsletter or Twitter feed, this site is retired… at least for now. I originally set up the website in May of 2005, originally as a place to store the growing number of concert photos I’d been taking.  The first newsletter went out in January, 2006. By my count, there were 165 newsletters over that time, plus numerous blog posts, articles and tweets. But it just became too time-consuming, especially squeezing this in along with a … Continue reading

RIP King Achilla Orru Apaa-idomo

Written while listening to Achilla’s 2004 CD, Dho-Mach (Sacred Gift)… The Ugandan and Canadian world music communities received sad news this past week, that lukeme player Achilla Orru passed away at the age of 53. apparently as the  result of heart disease. Some information about his passing is on this page, written by Davies Bagambiire. This page contains some biographical & music information. Achilla’s wife, Rose, lives in Uganda, but had just recently been granted a visa to enter Canada. There are fundraising efforts beginning to help her and their three sons  (aged between 2 and 6) to get to Canada. … Continue reading

An update about this website

This is the first update of news or events I’ve posted here since last fall. For a time, the website had a technical glitch preventing me from updating it, but the main reason for the lack of activity has been other time demands. I admit, that much as I’ve enjoyed doing this, after 7 years of maintaining the website & newsletter, I’ve also very much appreciated the recent break. At this point, I’m not sure how or if I’ll keep the website/newsletter active, but at least for the immediate future, it will likely be much quieter than in the past. … Continue reading

Radio: It still matters… it’s still important. Step up!

Radio?? How…. 20th century! Well… maybe, but radio is not only important for providing [fill in: information, news, music, social connections, etc., etc. …], it’s now scientifically established that radio makes you feel better!  (Thanks to Mediazoic for the Twitter tip!) You’ll actually feel better than if you spend your time surfing the Net. And it’s also a great social experience. But, it is also, as always, an immediate source of that information/news/music mentioned above. And, if your interests, tastes, viewpoints on those areas, are not well-served (I hope not!) by “mainstream radio”, if Internet streams and radio stations provide little, if any, information about … Continue reading

Art exhibit by Jose Ortega (Lula Lounge)

José Ortega, the Artistic Director of one of Toronto’s musical gems, the Lula Lounge, has just opened his first solo art exhibit,”thinkin’ one thing and doin’ another” at IndexG Gallery, 50 Gladstone Ave. The exhibit runs opened Oct. 11-Nov. 18, 1-6pm Wed-Sun. The opening reception is Sat. Oct. 13, 3-6pm.   No doubt José is best known here for his great music contributions. Two years ago, he won the Roy Thomson Award of Recognition from the Toronto Arts Foundation. which recognized “creative, performing, administrative, volunteer or philanthropic contributions to Toronto’s musical life”. José is also an established and recognized visual … Continue reading

Cuban food — and music — where??

My neighbourhood of Bloor West Village is not known for particularly interesting restaurants, and certainly not for live music. But things have begun changing recently, at least in one case. Bloom — a restaurant until recently under the same ownership of the Bloor/Yonge Focaccia — after a somewhat promising start, had (in my opinion) regressed to the generally uninspiring, and comfortable niche that seems to work in this neighbourhood. But last year, Focaccia’s chef, Cuban-born Pedro Quintanilla moved to Bloom, and added a bit of Cuban cooking to the menu. More recently, the restaurant was purchased by Luis Mario Ochoa, the … Continue reading

Back online, Event updates & Concert for Wangari Maathai

After a lengthier-than-anticipated absence, I’ve begun updating event listings again. See www.events.to-music.ca for details on the shows noted below and others. More updates will be coming. Between my trips to north & south Africa this summer, preparing photo/video/journal reports, and then a PC and hard drive that died as soon as I returned, there hasn’t been any time for any significant updates here.  There are more listings now, including: Grammy winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, Sep. 26 at Hugh’s Room The last week of the Small World Music Festival, running through Sep. 30 A notable pairing of Brownman & Jason Wilson, in the … Continue reading

No updates for a while… back to Africa

Apologies again to those who use the website, especially the event listings. I’ve had to put things on hold for a while again, preparing for a South African/Zimbabwean holiday. (Earlier this summer, it was a week in Libya as an election observer, so travels to that continent have been eating up most of my spare time. On return in late August, I’ll begin updates again and will also have a journal/video account of our Libyan experiences. Enjoy the summer…  

Using (American) “world” musicians to sell America

Interesting article on CBC News website about an interesting new US advertising campaign using its diversity to sell America as a tourist destination. It’s an intriguing approach for what is the first national tourism ad  campaign since the days of Ronald Reagan. Read the article here.  Video featuring Roseanne Cash and a world of accompanying musicians below:  

Odds and Ends… July notes

Trying to catch up on things happening musically. A few items that caught my eye (or ear): Hugh’s Room Fall Sale This is the last week to save money on some of Hugh’s shows September through November by Jul 31, and get coupons for $10 (3 shows), $20 (4 shows), or $30 (5 shows). Some of these are close to selling out already. www.hughsroom.com Free online course: “Listening to World Music” Really.. from the University of Pennsylvania. A seven week course, involving 5-7 hours per week, it started July 23. Details and enrollment here:https://www.coursera.org/course/worldmusic African music, African food While much … Continue reading