September 2016

Barbra Lica Set to Release New Album!

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Barbra Lica is a fast-rising star in the Canadian Jazz scene and has been receiving accolades for a unique vocal ability that stresses subtlety and grace. Based in Toronto, Canada, Barbra’s live show captivates audiences all over North America with her genuine warmth and confident stage presence. She has announced her third album, I’m Still Learning” will be released through Justin Time Records on September 30, 2016.

A deep passion for jazz and the music of classic American vocalists like Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Nat King Cole, and Betty Hutton led Barbra to pursue a Bachelor of Music specializing in Jazz Voice Performance at the University of Toronto, where she simultaneously studied Human Biology. She laughingly recalls, "I'd be doing my jazz combo rehearsals in my lab coat then running down to the sciences building!" She honed her performance chops on historic Toronto stages such as The Rex Hotel and The Old Mill with the likes of the John MacLeod Big Band and the Dave Young Sextet. In 2013, Barbra was runner-up in the prestigious Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition in New York City.

Now a seasoned live act on the Canadian club and festival circuit, Barbra consistently performs at venues from intimate spaces to prestigious auditoriums, such as Toronto’s Jazz Bistro and Koerner Hall. Most recently, she has been billed as an opening act for such acts as Christian McBride, Pat Metheny, and Terence Blanchard.

Sunrise & Good People Live In Concert

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Canadian Music Week – Club 120 –Friday May 6 (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Canadian Blast at Morrisons MIDEM –Saturday, June 4 (Cannes, France)

The trio features Mastermind on vocals and guitar; Tsayffo on vocals, percussion, guitar and bass, and Mercury Brown on vocals and drums. Tsayffo and Mastermind have grown up playing music together since childhood. Onstage, they move with one mind. Playing to the audience – capacity and size won’t matter – within the first few bars of their first song THE LOVE, the band takes full control of the stage and everyone in the room.  You can hear a pin drop. There is a sense of something authentic happening here. I remind myself there are only three people on stage, though the sound completely surrounds and engulfs the senses. Mastermind is on vocals, a deep sultry bass voice. His guitar work takes me by surprise, not just because I have never heard anyone use a guitar like this before - more because it defies the norm and underlines a musical genius in his ability to link musical hooks together in a completely unexpected fashion. Tsayffo is on percussion – no, he actually is percussion. Every beat resonates in every movement he makes.

Billy Ray Cyrus Still Tugging at Our Heartstrings

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Billy Ray Cyrus has released a music video for his current single, “Thin Line,” through an exclusive worldwide co-premiere with Vevo and CMT.

“Thin Line” is now available on Vevo.com, on CMT every hour during morning music blocks (5-10 a.m.), and every other hour on CMT Music. Starting Sept. 23, the video will be released to a panel of national, syndicated, closed circuit, Internet and regional outlets.

“Thin Line” was shot entirely on Cyrus’ expansive property in Middle Tenn. by director Blake Judd (Black Stone Cherry, Shooter Jennings, Thomas Rhett) and exposes faith, passion, and the power of music through Cyrus’ perspective. The music video offers viewers a peek into Cyrus’ southern home as he wanders through the spaces that flood with memories and the prized possessions in which inspire him—including a handwritten note from Johnny Cash in 1992.

“Thirty-six years ago I was working with Elvis and saw him take the same kind of flak you’re taking now. Congratulations on the way you’re handling it all. In your case, as in Elvis’, the good outweighs the bad. Let ’em have it. I’m in your corner.” – Johnny Cash

Cyrus shares the creative process that crafted the title track to his 14th studio album, released earlier this month through Blue Cadillac Music, in behind-the-scenes footage here. Thin Line is now available at major digital retailers, includingiTunes and Amazon.

The Beach Celtic Festival 2016

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Submitted by Sandy Graham
Photo at right: Midland Pipes and Drums Photo Credit Johanna Carlo

As some of you know I am Canadian but my Mum was from Edinburgh, Scotland and my brother Don and my sister Donna and I were always brought up to be proud of our heritage. 

In 2001 when our Mum passed away, in keeping with her request, we did not mourn her but we held an outdoor ceilidh full of music, fun and memories of not just the Scots but the Irish and Welsh, a Celtic event.

Now 13 years later, The Beach Celtic Festival runs for two days every September, traditionally the weekend after Labour Day in the beautiful Brigadoon setting of Kew Gardens in the Toronto Beach.

I could not have done the event all these years without the help of the ‘backstage’ folks, first off our Registered Graphic Designer, Gillian FitzGibbon, who lovingly makes us look amazing on every piece of material from poster to banners onwards and takes my 'stickman' ideas and makes them glorious.

Pat Beaven who always leads the crowd in ceilidh dance lessons, and as she told us this year one boy who was about 7 years old said ‘it's really just like jumping and skipping around except you know where to go and you laugh a lot and try and keep up. and everyone can do it!"

Sylvia Tyson Happy Birthday at Hugh’s Room

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Submitted by Don Graham

Sylvia Tyson is an iconic name and talent in the fabric of Canadian music and  heritage and we  all get to see her do what she does, sing, play and entertain us with stories and songs. I can’t think of a better venue to see her in an intimate setting than Toronto’s number one listening room, Hugh’s Room. And it’s a birthday celebration as well. Sylvia wants you all to know, “I always look forward to playing Hugh's Room, one of the few true listening rooms in Toronto. It's also a pleasure to be doing so with Scarlet Rivera. We did a California tour a couple of years ago and built up a great rapport. Randall Kempf will be joining us on bass. It will be a great way to celebrate my 77th birthday.”

Sylvia  started performing professionally in 1959 as one-half of Ian and Sylvia, the groundbreaking folk duo that burst onto the scene during the great folk revival of the ‘60s. The first song she wrote 'You Were On My Mind' was in 1962. I remember a few years ago she told me “I wrote that song while looking out the window of my apartment in the Village. I never really thought it would be such a huge hit.”  'You Were on My Mind' was originally recorded by Ian & Sylvia in 1964. The song became a massive hit single in the mid-1960s for the San Francisco-based folk-rock band We Five and also for the British pop singer Crispian St. Peters. It has become a rock and roll standard which has been covered numerous times since then.