By Rob Tomaro, Classical Music Editor of Cashbox Magazine
"You want me to do what? Do you realize the Canucks are in the playoffs tonight? But, instead, you want me to put on a tie and go see your cousin's kid play the violin? Are you nuts?"
This vituperous outburst, or something quite like it, occurs regularly around exasperated moms, wives, nieces and the like as they try to drag recalcitrant hubbies, brothers and significant others to symphony concert halls all across North America. Most guys would rather be yanked down into the caves by Morlocks than sit through Brahms.
The question of how and why this seemingly impenetrable wall went up around the classical music performance experience in our culture has long frustrated pundits and duffers, alike.
Blurred Vision provided the ideal alternative for Toronto International Film Festival crowds who were looking to shake things up outside the regular film fare. The second day of the festival here was also Quds Day in Persian culture - a time to show support for the oppressed and an ideal time for gathering as the sun dimmed over the glistening parabola of the amphitheatre at Mel Lastman Square in Toronto, Ontario.
This concert was aligned with other events occurring in the free world meant to draw attention to the impending arrival of Iran's dictator for a meeting at the United Nations in New York on September 24. The same United Nations that published the first charter on human rights which was drafted by the Persian king Cyrus the Great in 539 B.C. The same building where the entrance to the Hall of Nations is graced by a poem on human rights penned by the Persian Sufi and poet, Sa'adi.
BRANDON, MB – “Here’s to the music and here’s to the muse,” said Loreena McKennitt upon accepting her induction into the Western Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Sunday night (Sept. 20), at Centennial Auditorium as part of the 2009 Western Canadian Music Awards in Brandon, MB.
The world music singer-harpist-pianist, whose recordings have sold more than 14 million albums worldwide, said she attributed her success to a “collective effort.” The native of Morden, MB, long based in Stratford, ON., was also the keynote interview the day before at the WCMA Industry Awards brunch with noted publicist Richard Flohil.
Canadian world renowned bassist Alain Caron, is best known for his work with the 1980's jazz fusion group UZEB. In his career, Alain has teamed up and toured internationally with the Mike Stern Trio, the Leni Stern Band, as well as the CARON-ECAY-LOCKWOOD trio. Since then, Alain has released numerous solo albums such as "Rhythm and Jazz", "Call me Al”, "Play", and most recently in 2006, "Conversations". After two tours of Europe and playing at several major jazz festivals in Canada earlier this year, Caron is back on his game with the release of a new solo album early this fall.
Cashbox had the opportunity to speak with Alain about his past and what is next to come.
The Alex Cuba story is a uniquely Canadian one. Just ask the Cuban born musician, who lives in the British Columbia town of Smithers B.C amid giant trees and a mountainous backdrop. Better than 1,000 kilometers from Vancouver, it's home to Alexis Puentes (Cuba’s real name), his Canadian-born wife, their three children and a pair of Junos.