Cover Story

Eliades Ochoa-A Legend in his Lifetime

Cover Sept 21, 2012

Story: Lenny Stoute

God bless the child that finds it’s calling early in life, for it may grow up to be Eliades Ochoa. In the esteemed Cuban guitarist’s case, he was all of six when he plucked at the instrument for the first time in his rural home close by the old city of Santiago de Cuba. In that instant, the boy who would grow up to be called Cuba’s Johnny Cash, heard the siren call of music, calling him to his future.

Around the age of eight the family moved to Santiago de Cuba, in financially tight circumstances. With money scarce and all hands on the wheel, in addition to odd jobs such as selling lottery tickets and shoe-shining, young Eliades started playing his guitar in the streets, graduating to the cafes and brothels of Santiago’s inner city.

"I worked as a shoeshine boy by day, and in the night I would play in the ghetto, in the barrio, for tips. I know that in America, the barrio is thought of as a dangerous place, but I was always very happy in the barrio. In Cuba, barrios are just different parts of the city, and every one has its own feel, its own neighbourhood identity."

"When I pass those places today it all comes back to me vividly. That keeps me going, I get emotional about it still."

Danny Marks : A Friend in the Blues

Cover, Setp 14, 2012

Submitted by Don Graham

 Danny Marks, as his new CD says, has “a friend in the blues “ or more accurately perhaps, “the blues” has a friend in  Danny Marks.

Blues music is probably one of the most misunderstood and misinterpreted types of modern music. At least from where I listen. There’s the Delta blues, acoustic, bottle neck type, the rockin’ Chicago style electric blues type, the slick, orchestrated blues to name a few. Sometimes blues is thought of a twelve bar, 1,4, 5 progressions and repetitive guitar riffs of tales of love and misfortune with the opposite gender and financial worries.
Fortunately Danny Marks transcends all these stereotypes, giving the blues a fresh and colourful sound and texture.

A fixture on the Toronto blues scene, Danny’s musical career goes back to the hip Toronto sixties, where he was as a founding member of Capitol Record's group, Edward Bear.  “It really wasn’t my kind of music though. It was a lot more pop than I wanted to be. I was always drawn to the honesty of the blues. My dad always played music in the house growing up, Cab Calloway and such, but my older brother got me into the great Jimmy Reed.”

Mod Revival Sweeps Toronto – Modraphelia and The Passion For Fashion

Cover Sept 7, 2012

Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Modraphelia, Toronto’s official Mod shop in the heart of downtown, is holding a charity fashion show and music event on Sept.19, 2012, to introduce their new women’s line of clothing. Store owner, Sati Banger, has been supplying Torontonians with 60’s-era clothing and accessories since 2005, when the doors opened to her Queen West store. Celebrities, musicians and industry insiders have turned to Modraphelia time and again for the best of Mod attire. The exciting new line is inspired by the exotic era of Rajput India fused with 60’s style and silhouettes. This collection pays homage to the rich colours and embellishment, while maintaining the youthfulness of the 60’s.

Later this year, Banger will shut the doors at her Queen West store, and take Modraphelia online-only, to better accommodate her global clientele. "I’m really excited about this fashion show as we’re taking Modraphelia to a new dimension with the new fall line by Sarah Fayaz. We have predominantly supplied menswear in the past and we felt it was time for us to expand our womens-wear line. Our event will provide a sneak peak of Sarah’s designs before they hit our online store and all the proceeds will go to Because I Am a Girl Canada (BIAG), which supports the fundamental rights of women and girls around the world." Modraphelia opened its doors in 2005 and is currently the only Mod shop in Toronto which captures the sharp, custom, personalized style of Mod fashion with a number of British brands as well as Modraphelia's very own label.

From Summer Breeze to Autumn Leaves - See You in the September !

Cover Aug 31, 2012

Submitted by Cashbox Canada Staff

We could ask the rhetorical question  ‘Is it just us or does it seem like summer flew by at record speed this year?’ but we know the answer. Of course it did; always does. June, July and August travel at twice the speed of January, February and March. Before you start writing or emailing we know, we know , we know!!! Not true! But we’re making a point.

We here at Cashbox Canada hope your summer was filled with fun, food, family and frivolity and that you are all as set to embrace the fall season as we are. We realize that a lot folks don’t have as much time to read and keep up in the summer months, what with cottages, lakes, cookouts and weekends away. So we want to thank our loyal readership, who kept our numbers up, higher than normal, for showing their appreciation for what we do. Thank you!!!

Music is our business but more correctly, music is truly the soundtrack of our lives. And how could you not be in a good mood and feel energized listening to “Hot Fun in the Summertime” by Sly & the Family Stone or “ In the Summertime” by Mungo Jerry and feel the wind in your hair when you listen to “Summer Breeze”. It does “make you feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in your mind.”

Diamonds in the Rough with Angie Morris at the CCMAS

Cover Aug 24, 2012

Submitted by Don Graham

The Canadian Country Music Association’s annual awards extravaganza is here again, this year in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. From September 6th through the 9th, 2012 the cream of the crop in Canadian country music will gather for four days of networking, catching up and seeing some of the finest talent in this country in one place. One of the highlights is the CCMA talent showcase, available to the undiscovered talent, giving them a chance to strut their stuff in front of an audience comprised of industry professionals who can help them reach their goals.

But there are only so many spots available and a lot of very talented people would, ordinarily, have sit on the sidelines, in a room full in influential career making folks.

This dilemma didn’t go unnoticed by one Angie Morris of Sirroma. A company she owns and operates. Morris decided to take matters into her  own capable hands, and went about creating an avenue to solve this problem. Morris described her venture to Cashbox, “ We were looking for a way to help emerging artists make the most of the gathering of industry folks at the CCMA’s. Together, with Sherman by Designs (Tracy Lee Sherman), who will be displaying various paintings of Canadian artists in the lobby. We created a much needed opportunity for these artists. This is not a sanctioned event, however we have the blessing to host this event during this week.We hope everyone will take some time out of this hectic week and stop by to support our Canadian artists.”

The Beach Celtic Festival Toronto’s Only Outdoor Ceilidh

Cover Aug 17, 2012

Submitted by Graham Sutherland

The Beach Celtic Festival is Toronto’s only outdoor, live ceilidh, pronounced kay-lee.

In modern usage, a ceilidh is a traditional Gaelic social gathering, which usually involves playing Gaelic folk music and dancing. It originated in Ireland and Scotland, but is now common throughout the Irish and Scottish diasporas.

For over eight years, long time Beach resident and entertainment entrepreneur Sandy Graham has organized and promoted The Beach Celtic Festival. “Before our mum passed away she said ‘when I pass on don’t mourn me, celebrate my life.” And I thought what better way than a Scottish gathering with music and dancing.”  And so in 2004 Graham decided to have a little ceilidh in the park in her area and 1500 people showed up!

Kew Gardens is a beautiful setting in the laid back Beach area in the east end of Toronto, backing on to the lake and the famous boardwalk. Every summer the world famous Beaches International Jazz Festival turns the pastoral park into an outdoor haven of live music and vendors of food and cool things. One month later, The Beach Celtic Festival picks up where the Jazz Fest leaves off.

The Awe of Linda Dawe

Cover Aug 10, 2012

Submitted by Sandy Graham

The first thing that strikes you when speaking with Linda Dawe is her enthusiasm about music and life. The next thing is how humble this music icon is about all the accomplishments in both her personal and professional life. She is truly in awe of her career and the experiences she has garnered to date.

Dawe is what we consider one of ‘the old school’, an music business maven who has survived over three decades and still enjoys making a living in this very unpredictable industry. At a time when females were mostly secretaries or receptionists, this trailblazer set out to change that in the music business.

Linda Dawe's career began in 1970 as a journalist for Canada's first music magazine, Beetle Publications. “I was always interesting in writing; in school I did very well and English was one of my stronger subjects. It was certainly an eye opener for a kid from Northern Ontario to suddenly be thrown into the world sex, drugs & rock ‘n’ roll; all the things that went along with the reputations of  the ‘bad boys’ of the British Invasion which was at its height of popularity at the time. ”

Backbeat The Birth of the Beatles

Cashbox Cover August 3.jpg

Submitted by Don Graham

Sometimes you know a show is going to rock from it’s opening seconds and that’s what happens with 'Backbeat - The Birth of the Beatles' at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto this week. Superbly directed by David Leveaux, the pounding of the bass drum and tom toms of the opening set the tone for the sounds of the show. This ain’t gonna be your grandma’s tea party!

This is the story of how a bunch of lads from Liverpool, then a five piece group, would become the Beatles, the most influential musical group in history. The Quarrymen / Silver Beatles of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pete Best and Stuart Sutcliffe are at the heart of this tale of the hardscrabble days in Hamburg. This is where the lads turned their rough and ready skiffle sound into the highly polished rock ‘n’ roll band that rocked the world.

The play starts with John giving Stuart a bass guitar that he’d picked up for 50 quid, so Stuart could join The Quarrymen. Stuart explains that he can’t play it but John convinces him "he can learn.”

"It only has four strings, not six like a guitar!” Sutcliffe agrees and the journey begins as the quintet head out for Hamburg, Germany.

Beaches International Jazz Festival Taking It To The Streets


Submitted Don Graham

“Down on the corner, out in the street, (insert band name here) are playin’ bring a nickel, tap your feet.” (Down On the Corner CCR 1969)

Every summer The Beaches International Jazz Festival Street Fest brings life to this famous John C. Fogarty stanza with live bands on nearly every corner of Queen Street East, from Woodbine to Beech Avenue. And you don’t even have to bring a nickel! It’s free!

For three nights Queen Street resembles New Orleans’ Bourbon Street and a little bit of lower Broadway in Nashville, Tennessee. “Early in the evening, just about suppertime” from 7 P.M. to 11 P.M. on Thursday through Saturday bands of all musical genres co-exist on the crowded street. This part of the “Jazz” festival grown to be more than jazz and now includes the sounds of Samba, Big Bands, Dixieland, Rock, Soul, Rhythm and Blues and Funk. Incredible acts like God Made Me Funky, Dr. Draw, The All Star Big Band, Neil Chapman, Jeanine Mackie, Puente del  Diablo, Shrimp Daddy, David Rotundo, Terry Gillespie, Sultans of String, Mae Cromwell and many more. Over 50 bands are actually there to entertain you.



By Don Graham

For a kid from the Great White North in the sixties, California was just a name on the map, a place where the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Lords of Flatbush had deserted New York for. And “Surf ‘was the name of a popular laundry detergent.

Then along came the Wilson brothers, Brian, Carl and Dennis with their cousin Mike Love and good friend Al Jardine, all from Hawthorne, California, singing songs about waves, surfing and California sun. Suddenly my bedroom with my stereophonic, hi-fidelity  record player blasting out these hot new sounds, was sunny, hot and filled with beach sounds, even in the middle of February at 15 below zero (F), and snow up to the second story window.

The Beach Boys quickly became known as “America’s Band” and Brian Wilson’s songwriting style and love of harmony soon became the signature of the California sound of surfing,cars and high school romance. Brian was a big fan of the Four Freshman and at 16 was teaching his brothers the intricate harmonies that would help define The Beach Boys sound. What the Everly Brothers did for two part harmony, the brothers and Al and Mike did for five part harmonies. They are the watermark for harmony parts for all vocal groups today. As the Everlys influenced the Beatles so did the Beach Boys influence a generation of it’s own.

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