Features

Justin Hines’ Days has come

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Story:Lenny Stoute

Justin Hines has such heavy cred as an activist and role model it’s easy to forget he’s also a working musician. Which is why he’s on the line from Massachusetts and pretty pumped. Current album, Days To Recall, marks his debut release in the US market, courtesy of the iconic Decca label (yes retro heads, they’re back) and dude’s on a promo tour working the album to radio. In the US media positive comparisons with Jason Mraz are popping up and that’s a good thing.


“I feel very honoured because Decca are very choosy about their artists and have a very solid reputation. They went to the trouble of coming up here (Toronto) to see me perform and I guess they liked what they saw. It’s just so amazing.


“ The radio tour is going really well. Many people are hearing me for the first time so it’s fresh. The songs are all very relatable and if there's a theme, it’s one of music as healer and that too is very relatable”.

Relatable is something Justin Hines knows loads about. This is the dude who turned a song, Say What You Will, into the launching pad for a campaign to help build schools and to further youth education in South Africa.

At the core of it all, the song’s very relatable lyrics, which inspired South African producer Bronwyn Nel, who felt Say What You Will would resonate profoundly with her community, to remix the song with the Seta/Siyaya Learner Choir and the Keynote Acapella Group.

MARK NAKAMURA – MAKING ENTERTAINMENT FOOTPRINTS


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Story:Jaimie Vernon



Located near the intersection of Donlands Road and O’Connor Drive in East York stands an old movie theatre that, set against the charming bakeries, beauty shops and convenience stores, remains a silent, dark blue sentinel. Well, at least on the outside. If you walk through the faded Art-Deco lobby and climb the staircase to the top of the building you’ll find, hidden in a penthouse suite, a modern music recording facility called Studio 92.



I’m here to interview the new owner of the studio, Mark Nakamura, and I’ve brought along a musician friend to eyeball the facility as a potential customer. We’re greeted at the door by former co-op student, now full time employee Brent MacMillan who immediately ushers us into the ‘live room’ where one would expect musical magic to happen. The room has a vaulted, soundproofed ceiling and the 24-foot hardwood floor is more than suitable for ballroom dancing – or half an orchestra.

Canada’s Walk of Fame Celebrating 14 Years !

Cover, Sept 30, 2011

By Bill Delingat


Most people, no matter where they are from have heard of and may have been one of the 10 million annual visitors to “the Hollywood Walk of Fame”; the  famous 15 blocks of more than 2,400 five-pointed stars embedded along Hollywood Boulevard and 3 blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California. The emblems symbolize five categories within the entertainment industry: motion pictures, broadcast television, music and audio recordings, broadcast radio and theatre /live performances.

Matt Andersen-Big Man on the move

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Story:Lenny Stoute

As Mr. Young reminds us, rust never sleeps and it’s easy to think the same of Matt Andersen. The New Brunswick bluesman is a veteran road warrior who plays an average 200 dates a year during which he draws on a catalogue six albums deep. Among the 16 outdoor festivals Andersen played this year was the prestigious Glastonbury Festival, a huge deal in the UK and Europe, during which he played two spots.

Awards? He’s won a few; the Memphis International Blues Challenge, two Maple Blues Awards and another pair form the ECMA. As well, he’s a frequent performer at Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Café shows across Canada since 2009.

Still no bells ringing, right? No worries if you’ve never heard of the guy. He’s heard it all before. It’s all there in the opening track to Andersen’s new album, Coal Mining Blues. “ I Don’t Wanna Give In”, a steady rollin’ slice of southern fried boogie, with a side of the country grits needed to make things happen for you.

It’s also the reason why this current album spreads the net of audience appeal the widest of any previous Andersen collection. Known for a solid grasp of the blues and folk musics, despite its title Coal Mining Blues is Andersen’s most countrified effort to date. This speaks of the need to reach higher career ground and the Big Blues Man’s just fine with that.

A Summer of Struggle for the Japanese Community – Kano Remembered

Chris Kano

Submitted by: Bill Delingat

This past spring and summer will be remembered as good and bad memories for the people of Japan and their Canadian families. With the biggest earthquake and Tsunami, spawning a nuclear disaster larger then any on record, Japan and their community are on the road to recovery.

Here in Toronto, Canada (located at 6 Garamond court off of Wynford Drive and Eglington) is the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. For more than 40 years the JCCC (as it is known)  has served as the gathering point for the Japanese Canadian community and for those of non-Japanese ancestry who have an interest in things Japanese in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Open to everyone regardless of race, religion, sex or age, the JCCC provides a place - and more importantly, the impetus - for the exchange of ideas; a showcase for those with Japanese artistic and athletic talents; social and intellectual events. The JCCC is pleased to introduce the culture, history and legacy of the Japanese Canadians to all Canadians while creating a tribute to the history of the Nikkei community and their contributions to the building of our nation. The centre has been proactive in bringing the spirit and youth of the community together during these difficult times with public charity events, concerts and bazaars.

HAIR: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical Returns To Toronto

Cover, Sept 23, 2011

The 2009 Tony Award-winning revival HAIR: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, will play the The Royal Alexandra Theatre for a limited engagement December 13 to 31, 2011.  Tickets for HAIR will go on public sale, Monday, October 3, 2011.

With a score including such enduring musical numbers as “Let the Sun Shine In,” Aquarius,” “Hair” and “Good Morning Starshine,” HAIR depicts the birth of a cultural movement in the 60s and 70s that changed North America forever and resonated around the world. 

David MirvishDavid MirvishThe Toronto engagement of the North American Tour of HAIR is a homecoming of sorts.  HAIR had its Canadian Premiere at The Royal Alexandra Theatre in December 1969.  It was a homegrown production, featuring a cast of young Canadians who formed the Mississauga Tribe to perform the show.  The show was groundbreaking not just in subject matter but also because that it was the first theatrical production to play a record 53-week engagement in Toronto.

Explains David Mirvish: “When HAIR played the Royal Alex, nobody thought that a theatre show could attract a very large audience in Canada.  But HAIR filled the theatre for a year and launched the Canadian commercial theatre movement, offering a new avenue for young people who dreamed about working in the theatre.  The production told them it was indeed possible.  All of us in Canadian commercial theatre owe our careers to that production.”

HAMILTON ONT. HOSTS CCMA 2011 AWARDS

Cover Sept 16, 2011

Story: Courtesy Jason Keller 
Canadian Press

Perennial favourite Johnny Reid and rising star Dean Brody split the haul on Monday night at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards.

Each artist took home three trophies at the award show being held this year at Hamilton's Copps Coliseum.

Johnny ReidJohnny ReidReid nabbed the fans' choice award, male artist of the year and the CMT video of the year honour with "Today I'm Gonna Try and Change the World," a clip directed by Margaret Malandruccolo. The Scottish-born, Toronto-bred country crossover sensation came into the evening holding a leading six nominations, including album of the year, for his sixth studio album "A Place Called Love," which is certified double platinum in Canada.

But that honour went to Brody, a 36-year-old from Jaffray, B.C., for his heartfelt and autobiographical second album "Trail in Life."

"Every year I tell him 'one of these days, Dean, you're going to stand up there and take home not only a piece of glass but something much more than that,"' said Reid. "All the years and hard work ... to be recognized, it's wonderful."

Openhearts Society-No Spin, all Love In Time.

Open Hearts

Story:Lenny Stoute

[L:R: Eric Schenkman, Sarah McDermott, Chris Brown.]

From Lightfoot and Buffy Sainte-Marie, on through to Willie P, Stompin' Tom, Valdy and Sarah Harmer, Canadians really do care that This Land is Your Land, so take care of the blessed thing, fer crisssake, eh?

In that stubborn ass Canadian tradition of getting your oar in when the water gets deep, comes Wolfe Island’s Openhearts Society.

Chicago’s O’Hare airport is reckoned as the world’s busiest, making it a fitting location for an on-the-fly interview with guitarist extraordinaire Eric Schenkman, currently splitting his time between two touring bands and consequently, busy as a one-legged pole dancer.

Schenkman hit the big time as the Canuck component in Nineties stadium rockers Spin Doctors, currently on tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of their monster hit album, Pocketful of Kryptonite. He’s at O’Hare just coming off a leg of the Spin Doctors tour and waiting for a connecting flight to Toronto, to carry on with the Openhearts Society tour which brings them to Toronto’s The Piston for the next two Sundays (Sept. 18 & 25). and a clutch of Ontario dates in between.

Alyssa Rubino Splashes onto the Scene!

Alyssa Rubino

Most teenagers are wondering what they are going to do when they grow up however Alyssa Rubino had already made up her mind at the young age of ten.  Flash forward three years later with 2 hit singles, major media coverage, and a growing fan base Alyssa Rubino is well on her way to achieve her goal of becoming a recording artist and performer.

Supporting her on the way to stardom is her Producer/Songwriter/Dad Danny Rubino who has encouraged the teen starlet to pursue her dreams.  Together with Trust Chen Pow the trio can be found writing together in the studio.  Trust Chen Pow has been a major influence on Alyssa helping her prepare for performances and developing her musical talents.  Under the name of Producers  oNe this production team has created hit singles that has taken the Billboard Dance charts by storm.  

Another strong influence on Alyssa Rubino was the late Josey Santos from G1E Productionz based out of Orlando Florida.  As an inspiration and mentor to Danny & Alyssa Rubino, Josey was always overlooking Alyssa’s developing talent and was constantly providing a helping hand to the father/daughter duo. With Josey losing his battle with cancer last year Danny & Alyssa plan to take all he’s given them and take it to the next level.  As Alyssa says, “I’ve got my guardian angel in heaven watching…”

Taking the World BY Storm – One Beat At A Time

Alyssa Rubino


By Bill Delingat


Cashbox first met Alyssa Rubino on 9.9.9, the date that marked the launch of D.K.O the new project of renowned reggae artist, Darrin Kenneth O’Brien a.k.a. SNOW.


The event had a spectrum of talent from all genres of music, the evening ending with a surprise performance by SNOW himself. The start of the event was just as surprising as a young female backed by an acoustic guitar took the stage while the bustle of bar life filled the room. Suddenly the buzz quieted down when Alyssa Rubino started to sing. The song was “Beautiful to Know” written by Rubino, Danny Rubino and Trust. The crowd showed their respect as the 11 year old singer and her accompanist left the stage. That’s right, 11 years old. On November 6th of that year she was slated to open for Canadian teen star Justin Beiber at his Toronto debut at the Koolhouse, but due to a heavy flu she had to cancel. Beiber has gone on to be the top earning teen star of last year with a whopping $ 55 million to show for it and our Alyssa fondly known as “Girl Wonder” hasn’t stopped either. We caught up with her camp for an update on what the now 13 year old singer is doing today.


Singing, School and Stardom? It’s all in a day’s work for Alyssa Rubino. She's unique,talented and an atypical 13 year-old. While her schoolmates spend their summer break at camp or on family vacations, Rubino has diligently attended dance and voice rehearsals to prepare for the hottest event in New York's Time Square until the New Year's Eve ball-dropping festivities.

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