Pioneering women of world music return to the spotlight with Turkwaz

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Turkwaz launches Nazar Sept. 24 at the Music Gallery

Doors at 7 p.m; Show at 8 p.m.

Tickets $25; $20 for members of the Music Gallery; $23 if purchased online.  A CD is included in the price of the ticket.

Tickets at musicgallery.org

More information:  416.204.1080

Four musical trailblazers of Canada’s global music scene will be in the spotlight this fall with a brand new project That’s already playing to sold out crowds in Toronto:  the breathtaking Mediterranean quartetTurkwaz.

Their debut album, Nazar, showcases the versatile vocals and boundless sense of musical adventure that has made Maryem Tollar, Brenna MacCrimmon, Sophia Grigoriadis and Jayne Brown leaders in cross-cultural collaboration.

Recorded with Jeremy Darby at Canterbury Music Company and mixed by Jono Grant at Victory Drive Music, Nazar is a stunningly diverse collection of songs from Greece, Turkey, the Middle East and the Balkans, woven into a cohesive whole by the quartet. It’s a nuanced collection that showcases the singers’ raw vocal power and the sense of restraint that comes with maturity. Read the rest of this entry »

Vancouver’s Farnaz Ohadi turns a turbulent journey from Iran to Canada into an album of empowerment for women

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October 1, 8PM, at the BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts

2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver

Tickets: $35/$45

Tickets available at:  https://tickets.capilanou.ca  / 604.990.7810

At 42, Vancouver based Persian Flamenco singer Farnaz Ohadi is releasing her debut album – a culmination of her turbulent life experience from Iran to North America and a riveting message of resilience and empowerment for women.

A central, respected figure in the Vancouver flamenco scene, she now translates her life story

through a blend of Flamenco rhythm and musicality and Persian poetry.

Her distinctive voice has been described as a blend between the tones of the late Cesaria Evora and the melodic power of La Paquera de Jerez.

With esteemed Flamenco guitarist Liron Man as her musical director/composer, Farnaz spent 2015 producing Bird Dance, a debut album that features an intoxicating blend of rhythms and world instrumentation from both Flamenco and Persian traditions, combined with deep, soul-drenched vocals and lyrics that recount Farnaz’s life story in song. Read the rest of this entry »

New C.R. Avery album breathes new life into musical story-telling traditions

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All the Angels Didn’t Scare Me features flawlessly detailed portraits of the anti-heroes of everyday life.

Album release date:  September 30, 2016

Sept. 29 – Harbour House Hotel, Salt Spring Island, BC
Sept . 30 – Victoria Event Center, Victoria, BC
Oct. 1 – Cobalt, Vancouver, BC

Oct. 5 – TBC, Vernon, BC
Oct. 6 – Dream Café, Penticton, BC
Oct. 7 – Spirit Bar, Nelson, BC
Oct. 8 – Ironwood Stage, Calgary, AB
Oct. 9 – Stagger Studio, Lethbridge, AB
Oct. 12 – The Almanac, Edmonton, AB
Oct . 13 – TBC, Moose Jaw, SK

Oct. 14 – Vangelis, Saskatoon, SK
Oct. 15 – Creative City Centre, Regina, SK
From Bobby Gentry’s “Ode to Billie Joe” and  John Prine’s “Sam Stone” to Springsteen’s “Highway Patrol Man” and  KRS ONE’s “Love’s Gonna Getcha,” the great songs of our time exemplify the number one rule of writing: show don’t tell.  Don’t just preach and point fingers; Paint people as they really are, and folks will relate to the story more than if they feel they’re being yelled at or subjected to a sermon.

It’s those tales and ballads told through music that have sustained us through the passage of time and the waxing and waning of Top 40 trends – music that tells the legends that were already there before the song-writer showed up to pen them down.

One artist who takes that story-telling tradition to heart on every record and every stage is C. R. Avery.

His new album, All the Angels Didn’t Scare Me, unfolds like an homage to the unsung heroines of the outskirts of contemporary society:  the everyday nine-to-fivers,  living and doing what they have to do to keep going – whether it’s fleeing their old neighbourhoods due to gentrification, or putting on the steel-toed boots in the early morning when it seems the rest of the world is still sleeping.

It’s part oral history and part social commentary without any propaganda to weigh the plot down – all  couched in literature for the forgotten faces of a reality TV picture frame.  Read the rest of this entry »

Canada’s premier electric jazz band reunites for new album and tour

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Two-time Juno winner Metalwood launches Twenty

Sept. 9-11 – Frankie’s Jazz Club, Vancouver
Sept. 13-14 – The Rex, Toronto
Sept. 15 – Village Guitar, Saskatoon
Sept. 16 – Calgary Jazz Society, Calgary
Sept. 17 – Yardbird Suite, Edmonton

 

Twenty years ago, a group of intrepid Canadian jazz musicians put together a band that quickly became the country’s foremost entry into the world of electric jazz.

Metalwood scored consecutive Juno Awards for its first two numbered releases and earned excited praise from critics and fans alike for its groovy, improvisation-heavy tunes that drew inspiration from Miles Davis and Weather Report.

Roger Levesque of the Edmonton Journal called them “a band with one of the most capable adventurous sounds in groove jazz this side of the 49th parallel.”

This fall, the quartet of Chris Tarry, Mike Murley, Brad Turner and Ian Froman reunites as a veritable supergroup under the banner of Canada’s venerated indie jazz imprint, Cellar Live.

The new album is aptly titled Twenty. Read the rest of this entry »

The Bombadils’ new album, New Shoes, shows what all the buzz is about

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New Shoes releases Sept. 9
Album launch dates:
Sept. 8 – Elmira Theatre Company, Woolwich, ON
Oct. 6 – The Hive Centre, Clarington, ON
Oct. 7 – The Cameron House, Toronto, ON
Oct. 9 – Midland Cultural Centre, Midland, ON
Oct 13 – Edmonton, AB – Cafe Blackbird
Oct. 14 – Calgary Folk Club, Calgary, AB
Oct 15 – Duchess, AB – Red Roof Studio
Oct. 20 – Folk Music Ontario Conference, Ottawa, ON

Founded by an adventurous duo of Montreal music students who love the raw, organic authenticity of old folk and bluegrass, the Bombadils have over the past two or three years become one of those acts everyone seems to be taking about.
“This was the band that came out of nowhere and slayed the audience,” said Liz Scott of the Eaglewood Folk Festival.

“All the elements of a great band,” declared Canadian Folk Music Magazine.

“A breath of fresh air,” said Penguin Eggs.

On their new album, New Shoes (Borealis), Luke Fraser and Sarah Frank – partners in music and in life – demonstrate what all the fuss is about.

It’s a glorious album featuring haunting harmonies; fabulous fretwork on banjo, guitar, mandolin and fiddle; all kinds of innovative embellishments from jazzy flute and clarinet lines to pulsating cello and subtle bagpipes; and two vocalists whose distinctive styles light up the recording. Read the rest of this entry »

Juno-winning jazz guitarist Mike Rud shows off riveting solo wizardry on Miniatures

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At the Victoria International Jazz Festival
Friday Jun 24, 2016, 9:30 pm at the Pacific Restaurant at Hotel Grand Pacific
Saturday Jun 25, 2016, 12:00 pm at Centennial Square
Saturday Jun 25, 2016, 9:30 pm at the Pacific Restaurant at Hotel Grand Pacific

At the Vancouver International Jazz Festival
Wednesday, June 29, 7:30 pm at Frankie’s Jazz
Tickets: $15

We spend so much time listening to great jazz musicians trade licks within larger ensembles that we almost never get to appreciate what they can do when placed alone at centre stage.

With Miniatures, Juno-winning guitar sensation Mike Rud reminds us in such riveting fashion that you might not want to see a full-band show ever again.

Already named one of the Ten Outstanding Jazz Albums of 2015 by CBC Music, Miniatures sees Mike singing in understated, emotion-rich tones reminiscent of French chanson while playing separate melodies on guitar – resulting in captivating, intimate vignettes.

As a musical feat alone, it’s pure wizardry.   But not only does the one-time Vancouverite effortlessly play multiple lines with no multi-tracking; he executes it with such emotional depth and flawless attention to detail that your average non-musician will be far too caught up in the feeling of the pieces to realize just how genius they are. Read the rest of this entry »

Ten Strings And A Goat Skin celebrates the spirit of musical community on Auprès du Poêle

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Auprès du Poêle launches June 10

Canadian album launch concerts :
June 30 – The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse – The Pourhouse, Charlottetown, PEI
July 2 – The Trailside Café, Mount Stuart, PEI
July 3 – The Souris Show Hall, Souris, PEI
July 7 – Hugh’s Room, Toronto, ON
July 8 – Almonte Celtfest, Almonte, ON
July 9-10 – Mariposa Folk Festival, Orillia, ON
July 13 – Butchart Gardens, Victoria, BC
July 15-17 – Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Vancouver, BC
July 22 – Summerside Lobster Festival, Summerside, PEI
Aug. 6 – Tide & Boar, Moncton, NB
Aug. 7 – Festival Acadien de Clare, Clare, NS
Aug. 13 – Cloggeroo Festival, Georgetown, PEI
Aug. 14 – Festival Acadie de Caraquet, Caraquet, NB
Aug. 15 – Conseil communautaire Beausoleil, Miramichi, NB
Aug. 15 – Centre communautaire Sainte-Anne, Fredericton, NB
Sept. 22 – Deep Roots Festival, Wolfville, NS

It was late fall and early winter in Joliette, Quebec – the epicentre of traditional Quebecois music in Canada.
PEI’s emerging young traditional music stars Ten Strings And A Goat Skin are in the studio recording their new album with Leonard Podolak of the Grammy-nominated Duhks.
A veritable who’s who of traditional music is streaming in and out of the studio – some to play a few bars, some just to say hello and spread some cheer: the legendary Yves Lambert and his La Bottine Souriante co-founder André Marchand; pianist and accordionist Josianne Hébert; members of Les Poules à Colin – the band featuring the daughter of iconic Quebecois musician Claude Methé – and members of the Duhks.

It started to feel like … well darn it, like home! A tight-knit circle of neighbours who get each other through the frigid winters by filling their nights with music and good cheer.

So was born Auprès du Poêle (English: “Around the woodstove”), a sizzling album that celebrates community and survival, both lyrically and in the circumstances of its creation. Read the rest of this entry »

West My Friend ponders the role of art and artists on Quiet Hum

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Summer tour
June 11 – Sweetwater905 Festival, Rolla
July 5 – Beacon Hill Park, Victoria
July 9 – Evergreen Cultural Centre, Coquitlam
July 22 – North Quarter, Victoria
July 29 – Filberg Festival, Comox
July 31 – ArtsWells, Wells
Aug. 2 – Golden Ears Farm, Chase
Aug. 3 – Grist Mill and Gardens, Keremeos
Aug. 4 – Harmony Arts Festival, North Vancouver
Sept. 9 – Wildwood Artist Retreat, Pender Island
Sept. 10 – Mayne Island Concert Series, Mayne Island
Sept. 21 – Kingfisher Farm, Surrey

Inspired by artists such as Owen Pallett, Joanna Newsom and the Punch Brothers, and forged from the same adventurous acoustic music scene on Vancouver Island that brought forth acts like Jenny Ritter, Outlaw Social, and Oliver Swain’s Big Machine, West My Friend delivers an immensely clever album of indie roots and chamber folk that contemplates the role of music and musicians in 2016.
It features pure and thrillingly elastic vocals from Eden Oliver; catchy arrangements of bass, mandolin and accordion that draw from jazz, classical, folk and pop influences; and highly original lyrics that offer unique takes on art and life. Read the rest of this entry »

Veda Hille returns to solo recording career with Love Waves

Veda Hille photo

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2013.

Berlin.

An artist’s retreat of sorts.

Veda Hille starts plunking away at David Bowie’s “Teenage Wildlife” and thinking how devastated she’s going to feel when it comes time for Bowie to leave the earthly plane.

She’s so moved she creates her own, slightly-rewritten cover of the song – framing it as a conversation between her, Bowie and her younger self – and records it for her forthcoming album.

Yet again, Veda Hille is ahead of her time.

It’s been some 25 years since she first turned East Van’s underground art scene on its head with her furious, jagged, piano-playing, found fragments of lyrics, dissonant jazz passages and contrasting beautiful, heart-rending melodies, ultimately fashioning one of the most wildly original and profitably obscure music careers in Canadian history.

Now, she is releasing her first new original studio album since the birth of her son seven years ago, Love Waves, and it’s the sort of complex, fearless reflection on maturation and motherhood that only an artist like Veda could create. Read the rest of this entry »

Christa Couture’s Long Time Leaving is a celebration of “ordinary” heartache

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“Criminally under-rated” – The Georgia Straight

April 7 – Duncan Showroom, Duncan, BC
April 8 – Solstice Café, Victoria, BC
April 9 – CBC Studio 700, Vancouver, BC
April 10 – The Schoolhouse, Ymir, BC
April 11 – The Ironwood, Calgary, AB
April 14 – Times Change(d), Winnipeg, MB
April 20 – The Bassment, Saskatoon, SK
April 23 – The Blue Chair, Edmonton AB
April 24 – R ‘Ouse, Sherwood Park, AB
April 28 – The Burdock, Toronto, ON
April 29 – Le Cagibi, Montreal, QC,
May 1 – Live on Elgin, Ottawa, ON
May 5 – Rose & Kettle, Cole Harbour, NS
May 6 – Homeport Homestages, St. John, NB
May 7 – Grimross Taproom, Fredericton, NB

For most musicians, the break-up album is the quintessential songwriter cliché – bringing with it the burden to eek out originality from an oversubscribed muse.

But for award-winning indie artist Christa Couture — whose first three albums reflected on her teenage battle with cancer, the loss of her left leg to the disease, and the deaths of both of her young children under separate circumstances — the opportunity to write songs about such ordinary heartache seemed like a welcome reprieve.

On the Steve Dawson-produced Long Time Leaving, Christa offers a truly unique take on the topic thanks in part to a long and complex relationship with grief that’s given her rare insight into its nuances.

It’s a mostly upbeat album filled with sweet soaring hooks, whimsical melodies, clever word-play and Christa’s trademark sweet, quirky vocals.

It is at times an album to sing along to, even an album to do housework too (!!) – something Christa was striving for – and an album about continuing to move forward in the aftermath of tragedy. Read the rest of this entry »