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Avery Raquel Life Lessons Live

Avery Raquel Photo Credit Pat Blythe "A Girl With a Camera"

Submitted by Don Graham
Photo Credit Pat Blythe - "A Girl With a Camera" 

A few weeks ago Cashbox Canada did a review of a fine album recorded by 14 year old jazz singer Avery Raquel. Last night ace publicist Jane Harbury invited us to a CD launch and live performance of Life Lessons at the cozy Jazz Bistro in downtown Toronto.
The venue is well set up for an intimate experience and our table was front and center so there were no distractions and we had an up close look at this rising young star.

Toronto personality Rudy Blair introduced Avery to the enthusiastic crowd and she joined her three piece band consisting of Joel Haynes on drums, Mike Pelletier,on stand up bass and Rob Fekete, piano, on stage to begin the show.

The petite singer looked confident and totally comfortable as the band kicked off with a song from her album  Life Lessons, “Accentuate The Positive.”  This was followed by great versions of “ Don’t You Worry Bout A Thing” from Stevie Wonder’s catalogue and rendition of “Que Sera Sera”, “Blackbird” and a haunting version of “Over The Rainbow” which Avery credits as the song that kick started her singing career. “My Dad called me down to  the basement to listen to a version of “Over The Rainbow “ he had found by Ray Charles. He said to try singing along with it and when I said I didn’t know that version he suggested I just try it and see what happens. We both kind of lit up and thought ‘Okay, this is fun and it works.”

Award Winning One-Man Band Steve Hill To Perform In Toronto March 10

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

When it comes to one-man bands, guitarist and singer extraordinaire Steve Hill has no limits. The truest definition of a one-man band; Hill performs standing up while singing and playing guitar, his feet playing bass drum, snare drum, hi-hats and with a drum stick fused to the head of his trusty guitar, any other percussion within reach. An overnight sensation 20 years in the making, Steve Hill is an ambitious and raucous force to be reckoned with on the Canadian and international blues-rock scene.

Following the success of his JUNO nominated Solo Recordings Volume 1, which also won album of the year at the International Blues Challenge in 2013, and JUNO Award winner Solo Recordings Volume 2, Steve Hill is set to release Solo Recordings Volume 3 with a performance at Hugh's Room in Toronto on March 10th. 

Solo Recordings Volume 3 features originals that are outright rockers (Damned, Dangerous, Rhythm All Over, Smoking Hot Machine, Can't Take It With You, Walkin’ Grave) to more acoustic-based melodic tracks (Slowly Slipping Away, Troubled Times, Emily) and three reimagined and rearranged covers (Still A Fool & A Rollin Stone, Rollin & Tumblin/ Stop Breaking Down, Going Down That Road Feeling Bad).

Solo Recordings Volume 3 shows an artist at the top of his game and proves why the Montreal Gazette called him “the meanest guitar player in Canada”.

Seventh Annual Big Hearts for Big Kids Benefit Concert Breaks Million Dollar Milestone

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada 

Award-winning Canadian country music sensation, Tenille, hosted her seventh annual Big Hearts For Big Kids fundraiser at the Entrec Centre in her hometown of Grande Prairie, Alberta. Held on February 13, 2016, the event raised $225,000 and was hosted by country superstar Deric Ruttan. The evening included performances by Tenille as well as top Canadian country acts, including headliner Doc Walker, Jason Blaine, Michelle Wright, and The Bros Landreth.

This years event helped the charity break the million dollar milestone, with all proceeds going directly toSunrise House, a Grand Prairie-based, emergency youth shelter that serves a wide area of Northern Alberta. Canadian Tire is the sponsor to this year's event.

"It's incredible to watch this event continue to grow and make a huge impact on the youth in our community. The spirit in the room is my favourite thing to witness and I'm always blown away at the generosity. We really couldn't do this without the love and support of our amazing committee, volunteers, sponsors, artists, and everyone that comes and participates. And it is such an important cause- over 6,000 bed nights have been counted at the Sunrise House since Big Hearts For Big Kids started. They have a safe place to turn to because of the support from Grande Prairie and surrounding regions and that is pretty amazing, said Tenille"

Grammys 2016

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

There was so much backlash about the Grammys , Adele’s not quite so perfect performance, The Eagles looking like they would rather be anywhere else than without Glenn Frey, Taylor Swift having trouble hitting the notes, sound issues, sloppy intro and extros.  The bottom line is the music is what matters and the artists that make the music.

And they got the Awards right.

Record of the Year:
Uptown Funk
Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars

Album Of The Year:
1989
Taylor Swift

Song of the Year:
Thinking Out Loud
Ed Sheeran & Amy Wadge, songwriters (Ed Sheeran)
Best New Artist:
Meghan Trainor

Best Pop Solo Performance:
Thinking Out Loud
Ed Sheeran

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:
Uptown Funk
Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album:
The Silver Lining: The Songs Of Jerome Kern
Tony Bennett & Bill Charlap

Best Pop Vocal Album:
1989
Taylor Swift

Best Dance Record:
Where Are Ü Now
Skrillex And Diplo With Justin Bieber

Best Dance/Electronic Album
Skrillex And Diplo Present Jack Ü

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album:
Sylva
Snarky Puppy & Metropole Orkest

Best Rock Performance:
Don't Wanna Fight
Alabama Shakes

Maurice White of Earth Wind and Fire Gone at 74

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Submitted by Michael Williams

Maurice White (December 19, 1941 – February 4, 2016) was an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, arranger and bandleader. He was the founder of the band Earth, Wind & Fire. He was also the older brother of current Earth, Wind & Fire member Verdine White, and former member Fred White.

To say Maurice White and Earth, Wind and Fire ruled the soundtrack of my life is nothing compared to Maurice White’s musical influence on the world!

Maurice and I met on the EWF “Touch the World Tour” in Buffalo, NY, the performance was amazing, the interview was like going to heaven, church and school all at the same time.

I have always been a fan from the beginning, so my words fail me to write a eulogy for a man who changed the way we heard, thought about and celebrated with and made music.

Maurice gave us music as medicine, uplifting the spirit and soul in the process.

I never knew Maurice White,but I knew his friends, songwriters and Canadian Collaborators, William D. Smith of Motherload who composed “I need you” for his solo record and David Foster “After the love is gone”, In the Stone and basically joined the band.

I defer to David Foster who says it so much better than I, please watch this clip, as he describes Maurice White and what he meant to him…and all of us.

Remember Maurice White as one of the greatest American musicians ever!

Andrea England Four Chords and the Truth

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Submitted by Don Graham

Andrea England is an accomplished singer/songwriter with critically accalaimed abums and songs featured in television productions and has had songs covered by other artists. But Andrea wanted to give back a little to the songwriting community.

“I have been part of songwriter rounds and guitar pulls in places like Nashville and my home on the East Coast and wanted to create something like that here in Toronto where I live. Most of these things are genre specific so I wanted to create one that would allow songwriters from all types of music to show how the song was created. After all most songs, pop, rock, blues, folk or country start with one instrument, guitar or piano or whatever you play. “So Andrea decided to create a vehicle to see her vision become a reality and Four Chords and The Truth was born. “I wanted to have something like the famous Bluebird in the round in Nashville, but with a few modifications. The Bluebird is an actual round where all the writers sit in a circle and go around two or three times. I decided to make ours a semicircle so nobody has their back to the audience. And I wanted something to feature all different genres.”

The location she picked in Toronto was the iconic Dakota Tavern and the first installment was presented in June of 2015. “I wanted to pick a venue that suited my idea and the Dakota was perfect. And I wanted to make sure the performers got compensated for their time and talent and thanks to the good folks at Jack Daniels, that’s possible.”

Juno Nominations 2016 Announced

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

The nominees for the 2016 JUNO Awards were announced by The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) at a press conference at The Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto this morning, as Canada’s top artists get ready for a trip to JUNO Week in Calgary ,March 28 – April 3, 2016.

The Weeknd garnered six nominations including JUNO Fan Choice*, Single of the Year, Album of the Year*, Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year* and R&B/Soul Recording of the Year.
 

Close behind with five nods each were Drake and Justin Bieber, both running for JUNO Fan Choice*, Single of the Year, Album of the Year*, Artist of the Year. Drake also received a nomination for Rap Recording of the Year, while Justin Bieber was nominated for Pop Album of the Year*.
 

Vying for four categories each, Alessia Cara was nominated for JUNO Fan Choice*, Single of the Year, Breakthrough Artist of the Year* and R&B/Soul Recording of the Year; while Shawn Mendes was nominated for JUNO Fan Choice*, Album of the Year*, Artist for the Year and Pop Album of the Year*.
 

Rosalie Trombley To Be Honoured With Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) today announced Rosalie Trombley as the recipient of the 2016 Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award, which recognizes individuals who have made an impact on the Canadian music industry. Known as “the girl with the golden ear” due to her keen ability to choose hit songs and create music programming that appealed to broad audiences, Trombley was a true forerunner for women in radio between 1967 and 1993. She will be honoured at the 2016 JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards on Saturday, April 2 in Calgary, Alberta as part of JUNO Week festivities.

Trombley’s tenure as a music director and one of the few female executives in radio at the time stretched over twenty years. Her decision to give records exposure led to the rise in popularity of countless talented artists, while also solidifying her position as one of the most powerful forces in the industry. Trombley is particularly credited for the breakthroughs of Canadian artists into the United States, including Gordon Lightfoot’s, “If You Could Read My Mind”, The Guess Who’s “These Eyes”, Paul Anka’s “You’re Having My Baby”, Bachman Turner Overdrive’s “Taking Care of Business”, and Burton Cummings’ “Stand Tall” amongst many others.

Jeff Healey Estate To Release Lost Album Heal My Soul

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Announcements have just been made for a lost album to celebrate Healey's 50th Birthday.

The Jeff Healey Estate, in conjunction with Convexe Entertainment / Universal Music, have announced the release of Heal My Soul. Never before heard by the public, this extraordinary lost album will be on sale March 24, 2016, a day before what would have been Healey's 50th birthday.

The music on Heal My Soul captures Healey in full flight, displaying the virtuosity that made the Toronto native one of the most revered musicians in the world during his all-too-brief lifetime. Key tracks include the blistering "Daze Of The Night," the soaring acoustic ballad "Baby Blue," and Healey's soulful take on Richard Thompson's "I Misunderstood."

Glenn Frey Heartache Tonight

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Submitted by Don Graham

Singer/songwriter and guitarist Glenn Frey, a founding member of the legendary classic rock band the Eagles, died on January 18, 2016 of complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia. The colitis and pneumonia were a result of the reaction to the meds he took for the rheumatoid arthritis for 15 years. He was 67 years old.

The band posted on their official website “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our comrade, Eagles founder Glenn Frey, in New York City.The Frey family would like to thank everyone who joined Glenn to fight this fight and hoped and prayed for his recovery. Words can neither describe our sorrow, nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community & millions of fans worldwide.

Frey had been ill and in December of 2015 the Eagles postponed their appearance at the Kennedy Center Honors due to Frey’s illness. At the time the statement from the band said Frey “has had a recurrence of previous intestinal issues, which will require major surgery and a lengthy recovery period.”  The Eagles will be honored in the 2016 ceremony.

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