Music

Miracula: Jose Antonio Abreu and El Sistema

Jose Anton

By Rob Tomaro,  Classical Music Editor for Cashbox Magazine

Once upon a time, in 1975, far away in the impoverished land of Venezuela, there was a strange little man who had a crazy idea.  He thought if he could create a national network of student orchestras, it might prevent thousands of kids from falling into a desperate cycle of gangs and drugs.  Replace the needle with the flute.  Replace the spray painted gang signs with pages out of Mozart. Did he just fall out of the sky, this mooncalf?   Was he as loopy as Baron Von Munchausen, this naïf? Thing is, he did it.

His name is Jose Antonio Abreu (pictured right).  He is an economist and amateur musician.

His El Sistema now has 125 youth orchestras, 30 full symphony orchestras and 250,000 kids enrolled in its programs. Its wunderkind conductor Gustavo Dudamel has just been appointed Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Prior to this, he has appeared on the podiums of all the major symphonies of the world.

NAWTIKS

Nawtiks

Pronounced Gnaw-Ticks

By Bill Delingat

Nawtiks is the culmination of a lifelong collaboration between Nik Mutta and Randy Kahlon. Starting out as DJ/Producers and vocalists, the original concept for the group was to take Indian musical elements and mash them up with whatever styles would go along with it. The duo of Nawtiks has now grown into a trio, with a unique sound they bring onstage. Nawtiks' performances consist of: live vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, drum machines/synthesizers, and laptops. Refusing easy classifications, Nawtiks take on any genre of music and make it their own. They move freely between the musical spectrum: Hip hop, Drum n Bass, House, Techno, Alternative, Acoustic Rock, Acid Jazz, Breaks, and R’n’B, Bhangra, and Triphop... all mixed with their Indian flair.

D.J. Williams Authors Radio Marketing Book

Million dollar advergame baits potential reader

By Karen Bliss

In promoting his brand new radio marketing book, SoundBAIT – Creative Weapons of MASS Distraction, London, Ontario’s D.J. Williams is practicing what he preaches. Believing that creative ideas sell a lot easier than rates and ratings, he has launched an advergame contest on www.soundbait.com called Cash, Cars and Superstars with a prize of one million U.S. dollars.

“I wanted to do something fun and different; something exciting that would stand out and demonstrate another new way of advertising in electronic media,” explains Williams, whose company The Jetset Media Workshop has licensed these games from Chicago-based Tribune Interactive to sell in Canada and the U.S.

Advergames — using interactive games to advertise a product — are just one way that radio stations can attract more advertisers, says Williams.

Keepin’ It Real with the Divas and Bill King

By Bill MacDonald

Bill King is an easy interview - not because of his accomplishments (which are many) or his knowledge of music and the music industry (which is vast).  It’s his passion.  It flows through the conversation and takes over and is, quite simply, infectious.  Right now, the focus of his passion is his current project, the Real Divas. 

The Real Divas is comprised of four young female vocalists - Lauren Margison, Josephine Biundo, Kinga Victoria, and Sophie Berkal-Sarbit.

Tom Lodge and Radio Caroline

By Kathy Hahn "In the softness of now there's a vast presence. A place where sound caresses and colors, forms touch. To sink into this presence is to expand into the truth. The invitation is to melt into this Now.”   Umi Cashbox Magazine (U.S. and Canada) sits down with Radio Caroline icon and legendary broadcaster, Tom Lodge to talk about the past, present and future of music and radio broadcasting. Tom’s pursuit for freedom eventually led him to the Zen path of Enlightenment. He is now known by the name, Umi (meaning the sea) and lives at his own Stillpoint Zen Community Ashram in Santa Cruz, California. Tom has a new expanded book containing more stories about radio and music people, coming out in November, “The Ship That Rocked The World”, “How Radio Caroline Defied the Establishment, Launched the British Invasion and Made the Planet Safe for Rock and Roll.” For all of you who are not aware of Tom and his story, here is how he made history on the offshore pirate radio ship, rocking the world and forever changing the shape of pop culture as we know it today. Born in Surrey, England and growing up in the war years in Virginia, USA, Tom moved to Canada on his 18th birthday and became a cowboy in Alberta. He almost lost his life while ice fishing on Great Slave Lake, the subject of his first book, "Beyond the Great Slave Lake". Tom recalls  his early life was one big adventure. Growing up listening to radio while in the United States - including a lot of free form radio - helped shape his vision of what radio could  be, when he returned to England.

Canadian Musicians Busk For War Child

War Child

Liam Titcolm, Chantal Kreviazuk, Default and others take to the streets

By Karen Bliss

Musician Liam Titcomb raised a staggering $50,000 for War Child Canada on his recent 50-city, 99-show national busking tour, which ended Sept. 26,  and three days later more than 40 artists took to the Toronto streets for the same cause, Busking For Change.

War Child Canada CEO War Child Lisa Zbitnew called Titcomb’s accomplishment  “a remarkable journey by an extraordinary young man,” adding, “$50,000 is a tremendous achievement and a huge boost for the charity.”

War Child is an award-winning charity that provides opportunities and long-term solutions for war-affected children, focusing on education, strengthening children's rights, reducing poverty and fostering self reliance.

Forecast: "Snow" Storms - EXCLUSIVE - Darrin Kenneth O’Brien launches DKO Productions

Snow

By Bill Delingat

Born October 30th 1969, raised in a Toronto city projects of North York in an area known as Allenbury Gardens, Darrin Kenneth O’Brien and his gang of friends soon gained a reputation as gentlemen hoods and lived a life of crime to survive. Darrin lived in the projects with his single mum, sister and brother. His mother, Donna, loved R&B music and Darrin and his brother would often sing along to his mother’s collection on the back deck. Darrin became known as Snow to his Jamaican neighbours and a star was born. No one would have known that years later in 1993, this backyard ‘hood would become one of the world’s biggest reggae star with his debut album 12” of ‘Snow’, with more than eight million records sold of the charttopping hit “Informer”.

Digging Roots

Digging Roots

By Lenny Stoute

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.

Without a Net: The Imani Winds in Concert

Imani 1

By Rob Tomaro, Classical Music Editor

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.

Watching Paint Dry: Banging Through the Stigma of Classical Music

Tomaro

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.  

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