Digging Roots is a Kama Sutra kind of band, one that can assume some very unique positions. There’s that genre defying sound in a class by itself, they’re a rock world rarity with dual frontpersons and while they can bang a gong for the sheer rawk’n’roll of it with the best of ‘em, they’re also capable of issue-inspired lyrics sharp as a steppin’ razor. Duality is in the marrow of this band as reflecting its nature as a collaboration between Shoshona Kish and Raven Kanatakta to cut holes in the far fences of roots music.
Reached at the couple’s woodsy central Ontario home on a mellow fall afternoon, Shoshona is pleased to talk about the collaborative process of creating Digging Roots music.
When you walk onstage to perform with a chamber ensemble, you're flying without a net. A musical net is any structure that provides the glue that holds everything together. In an orchestra or a jazz band, for example, rhythm is pumped along by a percussion section and the underlying harmony is represented in the orchestration or, at the very least, the piano. But when the Imani Winds took the stage at Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin, they didn't need drums or pianos or anything else. They created a dazzling landscape of color, and it came from the inside out.
The classical woodwind quintet is comprised of flute, oboe, clarinet, french horn, and bassoon. And what holds it together is an implicit, internalized pulse that passes through the members of the group like an invisible ball of energy they toss around in a circle. Hot potato. And it never gets dropped.
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.
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.
International music industry think-tank in BC
By Karen Bliss
Transmission 2009 is set to take place in Victoria, British Columbia, Sept. 22 to 26, bringing together industry heavyweights to debate and determine solutions facing the music business and opine about its future.
This year’s transmitTALKs, as the conference portion is called, presented by RIM, will be located in Crystal Gardens. There will be more than 60 roundtable discussions focusing on emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, India and China; the present and future role of copyright in music; and the required skills and qualifications of “next generation leaders.”
Featured speakers include music producer and media professor Sandy Pearlman; online book pioneer Hannes Brun, president and CEO of Abe Books; and David Hyman, Internet innovator and founder/CEO of music content site MOG.
By Rob Tomaro, Classical Music Editor of Cashbox Magazine
Fallout from the downturn has orchestra managers reeling. Even before the economy went south, the traditional management model was creaking with age and leaking at the seams. Something had to be done, and it took a perfect storm to put change into motion.
The elements of this storm collided at the outset of 2008: the graying of the audience, diminishing sponsorship, decreasing audience numbers, and increasing competition for consumer entertainment dollars. Then, in a coup de gras, the stock market tumbled and orchestra endowments from Maine to Oregon doubled over and yelled for mama. We're just beginning to dig ourselves out from under the rubble.
But good things have come out of it. Smart Boards realized they had an opportunity to tighten up an outmoded management model and bring it into this century.
Johnnie Lovesin, the Veteran rocker from Val D'Or, Quebec, got his start in the mid-1960's when he moved to Toronto to what would become the hub of the flower power scene in Toronto‘s Yorkville. Johnnie spent much of his time pan- handling, busking for change and playing with whoever would listen and most bands did.
By the mid 70’s Johnnie was known as 'Crazy John' Lovesin and he was planning to form a band called “Black Ballet”.With his charisma and smile, he gained the attention of the promoters of some of the biggest rock festivals around, becoming a popular figure backstage at arena events. Several bands later ,Johnnie went on to call himself the “Ace from Space” and formed his now legendary show,” Johnnie Lovesin And The Invisible Band” and caught the attention of cutting edge promoters “The Garys”.
Alan Gerber was born in the windy city of Chicago; both his mother and father were music lovers, his mother played the piano and his father enjoyed singing. Alan's older sister became quite talented as a pianist and there was always a baby grand piano in the house for Alan to experiment on.
Alan credits his two uncles for inspiring him to get into the music field as they both also played the piano and loved the jazz and blues, although they never played professionally. Alan enjoyed jamming with his uncles as a kid and also credits the Chicago scene for getting him hooked on playing.
The Western Canadian Music Alliance, made up of five industry associations Alberta Music, Manitoba Music, Music BC, Music Yukon and SaskMusic, is taking a more proactive, positive direction for the topics at the 2009 WCMA conference in Brandon, Manitoba, Sept. 17 to 20.
“A lot of the organizations, including ours, have talked a lot about ‘the sky is falling,’ and all this terrible stuff, and we decided this year that that’s over,” explains Rick Fenton, executive director of the WCMA.
“The way we start the conference guide is ‘Congratulations: you’ve survived the recession, illegal downloading, a massive downturn in CD sales, major label restructuring and the erosion of the concept of intellectual property and despite all this you are making a living in the music biz,’” recounts Fenton.
Dr. Robert Tomaro is an award-winning composer, musician, recording artist and symphonic conductor. He is in his tenth year as Music Director and Conductor for the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra and is executive producer on numerous CD's with the BJSO. Prior to the BJSO, he founded the Elysian Symphony Orchestra in New Jersey, where he served as Music Director.
Dr. Tomaro holds the Shogren Family Conducting Chair as Professor of Music at Beloit College in Wisconsin and is a member of Kappa Delta Pi and Pi Kappa Lambda, the national honor societies in education and music education, and a winner of the New Jersey Council on the Arts Fellowship Award for Symphonic Composition. In 1991, he was appointed as an Honorary Member of the Board of Directors of the Association Nationale de Musique de Chambre in Paris.