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Fall for Dance North 2019 Celebrates Fifth Anniversary October 2–6, 2019 in Toronto
Fall for Dance North 2019 Celebrates Fifth Anniversarywith Electrifying Range of Leading and Emerging Artist October 2–6, 2019An interview with FFDN Artistic Director Ilter Ibrahimof • Tickets/Find Out More"FFDN programming is a tricky business," says festival Artistic Director Ilter Ibrahimof.Fall For Dance North is a premier international dance festival, celebrating its fifth season this October. Performances will take place at co-presenter TO Live’s MERIDIAN HALL (formerly the Sony Centre), Ryerson Theatre in partnership with the Ryerson School of Performance, and Union Station in three different series.The New Zealand Dance Company – Sigan by KIM Jae Duk. Photo by John McDermottThe Festival's lineup is diverse, with 12 works from 11 different companies across the globe, with a focus on international Indigenous artists at Ryerson Theatre.Putting together such a diverse lineup is a challenge. "We work with their own arts councils as well as with our own." He intentionally selects companies from a wide range of locations around the world, while juggling international touring schedules, and budgets. With the 5th anniversary season, he wanted an emphasis on new material - hence the slew of new works and premieres."Of course, there's that artistic journey we want to take audiences on," Ibrahimof adds. Last year, he mentions that the program presented at Ryerson was female-centric. This year, the focus is on global Indigenous artists."We've been building up to this moment. We just wanted it to be a special season."Along with marking a significant milestone for the international dance festival, FFDN is about raising the profile of dance in the city overall, and in Canada in general."It's the right time for this dance model in Canada, in Toronto," Ibrahimof says, pointing out that many international dance companies hit Montreal and then NYC, skipping Toronto entirely. He's hoping to change that. "I think the time is right."In addition to the performances, he's excited about the International Presenters Program, where he invites international presenters to come see Toronto artists in a showcase format. "We already have 20 presenters signed up," he says. Ibrahimof notes that Toronto artists have benefited from this programme over the last three years. "It's already designed to raise the profile of the dance community in Toronto - and Canada."There is no shortage of dance talent in Toronto, and it's only right that the city should take its place among the dance centres of the world. But, as Ibrahimof notes, it will take a community effort to get the Toronto dance scene a bigger place in the culture mix. There is reason for optimism, and he's excited, in particular, about the upcoming season of dance in Toronto."I feel like 2020 will be a dance season like no other."• Fall for Dance North offers all festival tickets for only $15. • Find tickets & the full lineup at the link.Grupo Corpo – Dança Sinfônica by Rodrigo Pederneiras. Photo by Jose Luiz Pederneiras.Fall for Dance North 2019 Festival:AT MERIDIAN HALL (FORMERLY THE SONY CENTRE)A signature mix of exceptional dance from Canada and around the worldPROGRAM 1October 2 at 7:30pm (official festival opening) + October 3 at 7:30pmToronto Dance Theatre (Toronto): GH 5.0 by Hanna Kielfeaturing live music by Greg HarrisonIndependent choreographer Hanna Kiel created GH 5.0 with Toronto Dance Theatre (TDT) at the invitation of Artistic Director Christopher House.The New Zealand Dance Company (New Zealand): Sigan by KIM Jae DukNorth American debut  I  North American premiereExploring qualities of meditation and attack, Sigan evokes the traditional Korean martial art of taekkyeon in its movement vocabulary, which integrates the whole body in a quicksilver style.Skånes Dansteater (Sweden): Dare to Wreck by Madeleine Månsson and Peder NilssonNorth American premiereIn this highly nuanced duet, choreographed and performed by Madeleine Månsson and Peder Nilsson of Sweden’s Skånes Dansteater, the artists access a range of expression through both subtle and intense physicality.Grupo Corpo (Brazil): Dança Sinfônica by Rodrigo PederneirasCanadian premiereIn an act of turning back that is reflected in the movement motifs themselves, Grupo Corpo’s choreographer Rodrigo Pederneiras wove Dança Sinfônica from elements of previous works he created over the Brazilian company’s history, to celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2015.PROGRAM 2October 4 at 7:30pm + October 5 at 2pmShantala Shivalingappa (India/France): Shiva Tarangam by Shantala Shivalingappafeaturing live musicCanadian premiereMadras-born and Paris-based, acclaimed dancer Shantala Shivalingappa has trained in kuchipudi from a young age, with her mother, Savitry Nair, and then with Master Vempati Chinna Satyam.Conversation by Caroline ‘Lady C’ Fraser (Toronto) – FFDN COMMISSIONfeaturing live music by re.verseWorld premiereCaroline ‘Lady C’ Fraser is widely known on the global street dance scene for her versatility. Live music, by the Toronto-based group re.verse, layers six-string electric base, electric guitar, keys and drums with blended beats, grooves and vocal tracks in an integrated set that builds and shifts with the dancers.The National Ballet of Canada – The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude by William Forsythe. Photo by Karolina KurasThe National Ballet of Canada (Toronto): The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude by William Forsythefeaturing live music by The National Ballet of Canada OrchestraIn this signature work from 1996, William Forsythe takes the vocabulary of classical ballet — its verticality, balance and symmetry — and places it under immense pressure, generating high-speed twisting and torqueing along oblique angles and skewed lines.FIDDLE EMBRACE by Anne Plamondon (Montreal) – FFDN COMMISSIONwith dancers from the Ryerson School of Performance (Toronto)featuring live musicAnne Plamondon’s process is driven by a quest for meaning, for revelation of her own truth and that of others. With FIDDLE EMBRACE, eighteen dancers from Toronto’s Ryerson School of Performance fully commit to embodying Plamondon’s movement world with resonance and sensitivity. The festival premiere of FIDDLE EMBRACE concludes Plamondon’s two-year residency with FFDN, in partnership with Ryerson School of Performance.AT RYERSON THEATREAn international selection of current Indigenous dance expressionsPROGRAM 3October 4 at 7:30pm + October 5 at 7:30pm + October 6 at 2pmThe New Zealand Dance Company (New Zealand): In Transit by Louise Potiki BryantNorth American debut  I  North American premiereIn this work, Maori choreographer, dancer and video artist Louise Potiki Bryant evokes a textured weave of earth and beings, of time now and time eternal.Mani.Deux by Northfoot Movement / Cody Berry (Toronto) – FFDN COMMISSIONfeaturing live musicWorld premiereIn honour of two-spirited people, Mani.Deux offers an abstract acknowledgment of the history and revived acceptance of this ultimately non-translatable, non-binary Indigenous identity.Jasmin Sheppard (Australia): Choice Cut by Jasmin SheppardNorth American debut  / North American premiereJasmin Sheppard is a contemporary dancer and choreographer, a Tagalak and Kurtjar Aboriginal woman with Irish, Chinese and Hungarian ancestry. Choice Cut explores parallels between her experience as a First Nations woman and the colonization of the land known as Australia.Bulareyaung Dance Company (Taiwan): LUNA by Bulareyaung Pagarlavafeaturing live a cappellaNorth American premiereBulareyaung Dance Company embraces Indigenous practices of the Taiwanese tribes, under the leadership of choreographer Bulareyaung Pagarlava.FREE Programming at Union StationUnexpected dance encounters beyond the theatreSeptember 23–October 5Open Studio – September 23–25Our signature ‘dance studio without walls’, returns to Union Station’s West Wing from September 23-25, for three (3)  full days of rehearsals and classes from select artists and companies from our Mainstage programs.  Catch a behind-the-scenes peek at the creative working processes of our festival artists within the uniquely beautiful context of Canada’s busiest transit hub.THE BIG SOCIAL – October 5A full day of social dance awaits… THE BIG SOCIAL offers an opportunity for the general public to dive into the movement of three distinct social dance styles, all with live music. Featuring swing, tango, and Haudenosaunee (Indigenous) social dances, THE BIG SOCIAL is a moment to learn some new moves in a beginner’s workshop and celebrate dancing together in a social setting, in the stunningly renovated West Wing at Union Station.THE BIG SOCIAL is hosted in partnership with Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Lindy Hop Revolution, and Bulent & Lina Tango.In addition to its ticketed performances and free programming at Union Station, FFDN features an extensive variety of ancillary events and programming that seek to enrich audience appreciation for the form and offer dance practitioners opportunities to enhance their craft and career. Activities in 2019 will include:• Complimentary master classes and workshops for dance artists and non-dancers.• The return of its popular artist talks, both at MERIDIAN HALL (formerly the Sony Centre) and Ryerson Theatre.• New for 2019, the Harbourfront Centre will act as the main hub of the International Presenters Program.Fall for Dance North 2019October 2–6, 2019Venues: MERIDIAN HALL (formerly the Sony Centre)1 Front St. East, Toronto, ONRyerson Theatre 43 Gerrard St. East, Toronto, ONUnion Station 65 Front  St. West, Toronto, ONTicket Prices: $15Tickets and Info:

Jazz Guitar: David Cruz - David Cruz (Independent - May 10, 2019)
Jazz Guitar:David Cruz - David Cruz(Independent - May 10, 2019)• Buy/Stream the CDDavid Cruz is a jazz guitarist based in Toronto. He just released his first, and self-titled, CD. It offers a nice mix of old and new tunes, stamped with Cruz' contemporary sense of style.Davis's guitar has a golden tone and liquid fluidity, with a nicely tasteful phrasing that doesn't favour virtuosity over musicality. Beatrice has a laid back lounge flair, with great work by bassist William Dietrich against Cruz' melodic riffs. As a soloist, he has an impressive sense of invention.He takes The A Train in a languid pace, trading runs with the bass in a kind of counterpoint. Jazz is all about finding and dancing with the groove in these well worn tunes, and he adds enough personality to make it his own style.In Hindsight takes the pace up several notches, allowing drummer Miles Fuller to shine with a sense of rhythm that's crisp and delicate all at the same time. Dietrich kicks in a stellar bass solo in the middle, just before Cruz himself lets loose.There's a nice sense of variety on the release that showcases Cruz' and his collaborators' talents. Avery is slow and romantic, emphasizing Cruz' warm tone. Giant Steps is a classic contemporary jazz track, with Cruz soloing over a buzy rhythm section at breakneck pace. Chocolate Blackout emphasizes a sexy groove and tasteful licks.While it's his debut release, David has a long history in music. He began with piano lessons at age six, and then guitar at age 10. You can hear him play with his main project called FOMA, (@fomaband on Instagram) a group that focus’ on playing modern jazz music with an awareness of hip-hop and funk.Peronnel:Guitar - David CruzBass - William DietrichDrums - Miles FullerRecorded February 2019 in Toronto Canada at Magnolia Studios

Glenfiddich Artist in Residence Exhibition July 27 to August 25, 2019 at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland
From a media release:Glenfiddich Artist in Residence ExhibitionJuly 27 to August 25, 2019at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, ScotlandLove art and scotch? If you're in Scotland this summer, you owe yourself the opportunity of taking in a unique art exhibition in a unique location at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown - the Valley of the Deer in the Scottish Highlands. You may naturally also choose to sample the distiller's art while you are there.For the past 18 years the Glenfiddich Distillery has been honoured to play host to an array of visual artists from around the world.Each artist spends three months living and working at the distillery, harvesting ideas and inspirations before distilling them down into a fresh range of visual interpretations that  document their experience in The Valley of the Deer.Since arriving in early May, Marla Hlady and Christof Migone - a collaborative partnership from Toronto - have spent many hours collecting sounds from all areas of the distillery. The sound of water rushing from the Robbie Dhu spring in the Conval hills, the daily actions of our coopers and warehouse teams, the clinking of bottles as they go down the filling lines have all been merged with a special arrangement of vocal recordings made by many of the workers in an audio piece entitled the Doric Dozen.A recent graduate of Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, Samantha Cheevers was selected for the Glenfiddich residency at the New Contemporaries exhibition held at the Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture earlier this spring. Samantha has been exploring some of the abandoned former family homes and hunting lodges scattered across the Cabrach to the south of the distillery.Taking inspiration from the memories of inhabitation they contain such as wall papers or long disused arm chairs she has created a range of her distinctive and evocative paintings.The Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland by Paul Stafford for TravelMag.comOver the past few years Korean artist Ryu Biho has moved from painting into videography, capturing his subject matter digitally rather than on canvas. Presenting a triptych  of video works shot over the past two months Biho’s work offers a thoughtful and atmospheric rendering of the landscape around the distillery.Glenfiddich Distillery Glenfiddich Distillery Castle Road, Dufftown AB55 4DH, ScotlandThe exhibition opens to the public on Saturday 27th July until Sunday 25th August. Admission is free.DufftownThis village in the Scottish Highlands is located on the rivers Fiddich and Dullan, at the foot of the Conval Hills. A market town, it has been dubbed the malt whisky capital of the world. Dufftown offers an authentic taste of Scotland.From the 2017 Exhibition:

CD Release: Villalobos Brothers - Somos (Independent / July 23, 2019)
From a media release:CD Release:Villalobos Brothers - Somos(Independent / July 23, 2019)All for one: the Villalobos Brothers charge their virtuoso violins with eclectic energy on Somos• Buy/Download/Listen the CD• Check the website for tour datesThe Villalobos Brothers' story starts like a fairy tale, or an adventure story: Once upon a time, three brothers who made beautiful music on their violins left home to seek their fortunes. What they learned on that journey is given musical expression on their new album, Somos (release: July 23, 2019).From their three violins, they conjure all the sounds they encountered on the way: the technical virtuosity of their classical training, the flamboyant energy of Son Huasteco, the honeyed melodies of Mexican trova, jazz-inflected dissonance, the charm and energy of pop. Politically aware lyrics respond to injustice and corruption at home and abroad. Somos (We Are) is a musical declaration: “We’re here,” it says, “Hear all that we are.”Their story begins in rural Veracruz, Mexico, where the three brothers grew up studying violin. As Luis reminisces, “Our formal training was classical, but growing up in Xalapa, its traditional music was always close to our hearts. Our grandmother never trained formally, but she played guitar and sang songs from all over Mexico, from the time of the revolution.”Nevertheless, the brothers set out to earn advanced degrees abroad, where classical violin was more likely to lead to a lucrative career. First, Ernesto won a Fulbright scholarship to study at the Manhattan School of Music in Pinchas Zukerman’s studio, then Alberto went to Belgium to train with Igor Oistrakh at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, while the youngest, Luis, became a disciple of Nicolas Chumachenco at the Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany.Their professional futures seemed clear: orchestras, PhD studies, professorships. Then Ernesto issued a surprising summons to Alberto and Luis: Could they come to New York to play a benefit at Carnegie Hall? Oh, and could they compose two hours of original music? They jumped at the chance. Luis says leaping into another musical world just felt right: “My admiration was always with the composers. They have been dead for 300 years, but still many people get together to make their music happen all over again. I wanted to find my voice.”Creating original music resonated more deeply than performing classical music ever could. Alberto recalls listening to regional Mexican folk music while he was studying in Brussels, out of a need to feel himself represented: “I would listen to the great European composers, and I would wonder ‘where are the brown people, where are my people?’ My Russian professor would never let me tell him how to play Tchaikovsky. But who can tell me how to play the music of my heritage?”Their hard work (and a little bit of fairy-tale luck) has paid off, earning them a stint as the house band at the Latin Grammys and an opportunity to perform orchestral arrangements of their original compositions with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. They’ve delighted audiences throughout Latin America, India, Russia, Canada, and the U.S., in settings as diverse as the United Nations on its 60th anniversary, the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico City, and the Blue Note Jazz Festival. They’ve made guest appearances with stars across the firmament. In fact, you can hear Luis’s violin on Bruce Springsteen’s latest project, Western Stars.Along the way, they recorded their own album that reflected another journey—toward U.S. citizenship. Aliens of Extraordinary Ability, named after their initial visa category, explored the brothers’ immigration saga by focusing on the sounds of Mexico from a largely classical perspective. The musical and political horizons of Somos are considerably broader.• Listen to the album hereNevertheless, the raw plight of immigrants is never far from their minds—Ernesto is still embroiled in the naturalization process, and the brothers are seeking U.S. residency for their mother. The brothers feature on jazzman Arturo O’Farrill’s “Fandango at the Wall” project with the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, a suite first performed on alternate side of the San Diego-Tijuana border as a protest against cruel border policies. Arturo guests on Somos, adding piano to “Xalapa Bang!,” an edgy song about peaceful protests crushed by state-sanctioned violence.The brothers considered naming the album after the track “Hombres de Arcilla,” a powerful, haunting song punctuated by restless strings and impassioned vocals. It’s just one facet of a larger project by Alberto, also a visual artist and sculptor, to commemorate students from a rural teachers' college in Ayotzinapa, Mexico, who disappeared after being attacked by police in 2014. Moved by meeting the father of one of the missing students, Alberto sculpted 43 clay faces—one for each of the vanished—and wrote this song.They settled on “Somos” as the album’s title track, and its combination of scintillating music and thoughtful lyrics encapsulates the ensemble’s current sound. The uplifting, pop-tinged violin melody is charged with optimism and joy, while Luis’s lyrics plead for expanding the notion of who “we are” beyond our own family, city, and nation, until it encompasses the entire human race. This is the wisdom the brothers absorbed on their fairy-tale journey: Stay true to your voice, while opening your heart to the world.Stay in touch:

Latin Alternative Music Conference and the Latin Grammy Awards® 20th Anniversary Joint Concert - Summerstage NYC July 13 2019
From a media release:The Latin Alternative Music Conference and the Latin Grammy Awards®Celebrate their 20th Anniversaries with a Joint Concert at Summerstage, Central ParkJuly 13, 2019 - 2–7 p.m. in New York CityConcert to Feature ChocQuibTown, Vicente García, Guaynaa, and MacacoThe Latin Recording Academy®, in association with the Latin Alternative Music Conference, announced today a joint concert featuring Latin GRAMMY® winners ChocQuibTown; three-time Latin GRAMMY winner Vicente García; emerging artist Guaynaa; and Latin GRAMMY nominee Macaco as part of their 20th anniversary celebrations. The concert will take place on Saturday, July 13 from 2–7 p.m. at SummerStage, Central Park in New York City.The Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) returns for the 20th time to New York City this summer from July 9–13, boasting dynamic panels, powerhouse showcases, and a wide range of events. With past conferences averaging more than 1,250 music industry attendees and 25,000 concert fans each year, this LAMC promises to be yet another exciting year."We are thrilled to kick off our anniversary festivities in New York City, a city that symbolizes what Latin music has become — a fusion of many sounds and cultures, joined by common languages bringing the world together," said Gabriel Abaroa Jr., President/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy. "We launched the Latin GRAMMY Awards® 20 years ago to spotlight the great work of music makers in various Latin genres, and since then they have become the premier international showcase for diversity, relevance, and excellence of Latin music. This great mix will be on display during this special summer concert.”Tomas Cookman, founder of the The Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) says, "We’ve had the pleasure of being supporters and friends of the Latin GRAMMYs for these past two decades, and we thought it was fitting to celebrate both of our milestone 20th anniversaries together at the LAMC’s big, free show at SummerStage, Central Park. The show's lineup is a testament to the diverse sounds in Latin music and to the crossroads where the LAMC’s efforts to promote and nurture left-of-center genres of Latin music meets the Latin GRAMMY celebration of Latin music in all its shapes, forms, and sounds. And what better way to celebrate que un verano en Nueva York!"The concert is one of many Latin Academy events scheduled ahead of the 20th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards. The Biggest Night in Latin Music® will air Thursday, Nov. 14, live on the Univision Network from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The three-hour telecast will begin at 8 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. Central), preceded by a one-hour pre-show at 7 p.m. ET/PT. The nominees for the 20th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards will be announced on Tuesday, Sept. 24."We are thrilled to host this year's 20th anniversary celebration with The Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) and The Latin Recording Academy, two of Latin music’s most important advocates. LAMC has been one of SummerStage's longest running and most valuable partnerships," said Erika Elliott, Executive Artistic Director, SummerStage. "And, like all years prior, the breadth and quality of talent we will be presentingtogether is unparalleled."ABOUT THE FEATURED ARTISTS: ChocQuibTown is a Colombian hip-hop group composed of Carlos "Tostao" Valencia, Gloria "Goyo" Martínez, and Miguel "Slow" Martínez. The band's music draws influence from a wide variety of modern genres, including hip-hop and more recently electronica, combined with traditional genres such as salsa, Latin jazz, and Afro-Latin rhythms. At the 16th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards, the group won for Best Tropical Fusion Album for El Mismo.Vicente García is a Dominican musician, singer and composer. At the 18th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards, he was awarded Latin GRAMMYs for Best New Artist, Best Tropical Song for "Bachata En Kingston,"and Best Singer-Songwriter Album for A la Mar.Guaynaa (Jean Carlos Santiago) is an emerging urban artist from Puerto Rico. He launched his career in 2017 with the single "María,"which featured powerful and painful lyrics that touched the hearts of many after the devastation of Hurricane Maria.Today, Guaynaa has recorded more than 30 songs produced by DJ Nelson and Angelo Torres.Macaco (Daniel Carbonell de las Heras) is an influential Spanish artist who mixes rap, rhumba, pop, funk, and reggae in his work. He was nominated for a Latin GRAMMY in the Best Alternative Song category for "Moving" at the 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards.ABOUT THE LATIN ALTERNATIVE MUSIC CONFERENCE: Now in its 20th year and often called the "Sundance of Latin music," the Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) features industry panels with special guests and experts, showcases, and other events. Additionally, LAMC provides free concerts at SummerStage and BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn, plus intimate private concerts at various venues around New York City. The LAMC was founded with the aim of bringing together the Latin music community, a community that over the years has grown, evolved and redefined the idea of mainstream music. The panels, exhibitors, networking opportunities and multitude of activities during the week, both at the conference site and the showcases around the city, have been the catalyst for many a career, and personal as well as professional growth. Whether you are new and getting your foot in the door or have been part of this wonderful industry for years and are looking to continue to connect with colleagues, create opportunities and innovate, the LAMC provides a forum to take those next steps. We hope you can join us in celebrating this very special anniversary.From the LAMC Conference 2018:

Anya Wassenberg - aka Anya Mia - You Can Have My Husband cover
A Blues Interlude Some shenanigans from the past holiday weekend at the Masque in Hamilton, Ontario. (You Can Have My Husband But Please) Don't Mess With My Man written by Dorothy LaBostrie for Irma Thomas and her album of the same name.My cover version with David Battrick on guitar, Gerald James Myers on drums and Jon Ingalls on bass recorded Sunday, June 30, 2019 by Vesna Trkulja,

Classic California: Capitola Venetian Hotel
Classic California:Capitola Venetian Hotel• Find Out MoreIf you're looking for a classic California beach holiday, Capitola is out of the usual tourist melee, and offers a mile of sandy beach with a picturesque small town feel. While it may seem off the beaten path, it's only five miles to Santa Cruz and its famous beach boardwalk, and another hour or so through the mountains to San Jose. The beaches of Monterey Bay lie about 40 miles to the south along the coast.The beach at Capitola, CaliforniaEverything is within walking distance in Capitola, including shops, restaurants, art galleries, and more, all along the waterfront. Surfing is naturally a popular local sport, and beginners will find it a good place to learn.Among the annual events that draw visitors and locals are the Begonia Festival, Art and Wine Festival, and the famous Wharf to Wharf race. Capitola offers the friendliness of a laidback small beach town with a sophisticated and artistic flair.The Capitola VenetianThis historic property overlooks the beach and the wooden wharf. Built in the 1920s, the Capitola Venetian is about five minutes walk from the Esplanade, Capitola's main shopping and dining area.The colourful boutique hotel on the beach offers all-suite accommodation in a Mediterranean style. The decor features hand carved doors from Venice, and modern amenities for a casual beach vacation.Note: The kitchens are not stocked with dishes or cookware. You are welcome to bring your own or rent kits from the hotel.Stay in touch: Venetian Hotel1500 Wharf Rd, Capitola, CA 95010, USA•+1 831-476-6471

Mixto Block Party - The True Flavour Of Toronto! Sunday July 7th 2019
From a media release:Mixto Block Party - The True Flavour Of Toronto!Sunday July 7th, 2019, 2pm - 11pm• Tickets are $10 Online• Stay in TouchOn July 7th, 2019, the parking lot of Lynx music in Toronto’s central west-end will be transformed into a massive BLOCK PARTY!Imagined and produced by a collective of local artists and presenters who have joined together to host a festival that brings old school flavour to a new school location! The day-into-night event highlights Toronto's “mixed” nature through regional and international programming that spans across the festival, from the musical talent to the food vendors.WHAT: An afternoon and night of music, food, dancing, children's activities, art, performances, installations, and community vibes.WHERE: The parking lot at Lynx Music, 260 Emerson Avenue, TorontoWHEN: Sunday July 7th, 2019, 2-11pm, event is rain or shine!          FOOD BY: Chocosol - Bean-to-bar dark chocolate and beveragesAlijandro’s - Mexican Middle Eastern fusion food truckFive Points Hot Chicken - Traditional Nashville fried chickenFeasTO - Canada’s first dumpling food truckLIVE MUSIC BY:47soul السبعة و أربعي - Palestinian electro shamstep (Co-presented with Aga Khan Museum)Bangerz Brass - Heavy cypher style hip-hop brass bandMaracatu Mar Aberto- Afro-Brazilian percussion and Batu- Toronto's original samba reggae blocoSoukustek- Energetic Afro-Colombian champetaDJs:General Eclectic- Polyrhythmic, tropical dance floor soundsTamika- Dancehall, demobs, reggaeton and afrobeatsWin- Deep global houseHigher Heights Djs - Reggae dub-wise soundsystemHOSTED BY: Tamar Ilana - Multi-talented singer and dancer, internationally raised Toronto native, leader of VentanasSPECIAL GUESTS: Ahmed Moneka - Baghdad-born, Toronto-based percussionist and vocalistFlavia Nascimento - Brazilian-Canadian composer, percussionist, vocalist, and clownADDITIONAL PROGRAMMING BY:FaceArt - beautiful and unique face and body paintingMiniPong - Toronto’s original on-site ping pong animatorsLive Green TO - Eco-focused kids activity$10 general admission TICKETS If $10 is prohibitive, a Mixto pay-what-you-can link available to all without judgment or prejudice.Funded in part by the Toronto Arts Council, co-presented by Aga Khan Museum, Lula Music and Arts Centre, Polyphonic Ground, and media partner CIUT. With additional support from Carpenters Local 27, The Toronto Palestinan Film Festival, Chocosol, and Turner Fleischer Architects Inc.ABOUT UMA NOTA CULTURE:Uma Nota is a reference point for world citizens and lovers of music and culture. It is a unique event series focusing on Afro-Brazilian, Latin, Caribbean, funk and soul music provided by both live acts and DJs. Unpretentious, open-minded, lively and fun, Uma Nota is a place where people come together to dance, united by a polyrhythmic, tropical vibe. Alongside the music, our events have included a wide range of cultural activities and programs. These elements might include interactive workshops in dance or percussion; family-friendly programs; film screenings; custom-made video projections, stage design and thematic decor; vivid parades; dance performances; ping-pong; live painting; cultural talks and panels; visual arts markets and food vendors; art and photo exhibitions and more.

Travel Tips: Can We End Carry On Chaos?
Travel Tips: Can We End Carry On Chaos?I am blessed with strong relationships, with good people who all live far away from me. It means I've become an expert on flying and traveling cheap, which in turn means I've experienced the decline of air travel over the last decade or so. But, you don't have to fly economy these days to become embroiled in the chaos of carry on luggage.Carry On LuggageFees for carry on bags came from the fallout of the 2008 recession, and the resulting jump in fuel prices. As anyone who has traveled has experienced, however, the fees have had a perhaps unintended effect as people over-stuff and over burden themselves with their two bag carry on limit in order to avoid checking bags at all. There are problems from the start.They don't police their own policy - the standard rule was supposed to be: one bag for the overhead locker, and one for the under seat area. But, no one seems to put anything under the seat unless they're forced to, and I've yet to see airline personnel say anything to people who are carrying two large backpacks or suitcases each - even three.It often gets full, and they have to check them anyway - how does this save money, time or fuel? And why are their bags free, when checked bags are not?Long lines and slow moving lines boarding the plane, in reverse when the plane lands - because there's never quite enough room.New DirectionsAmerican and some other airlines have adopted a new class of economy ticket that doesn't include any carry on luggage space - just the space under the seat in front of you. In the case of American, the ne cheap seats also include the privilege of boarding the plane last, and not choosing your seat. Ideal for single travelers, but questionable for families and certainly not romantic.In contrast, some airlines are giving early boarding priority to passengers who don't put anything into the overhead baggage bins. If you want to encourage the practice, why make it a classist issue? :)Some airlines, like Swoop and Ryanair, now charge a very basic fee for the ticket, with additional fees for both carry on AND checked luggage. In fact, Swoop charges more for carry on bags than checked.Some airlines have also adopted smaller carry on standard sizes and weights, and are now weighing the bags before boarding.Some trials have begun with a kind of bag valet process, where the airline personnel put your luggage in the bin for you.It's not just an issue of fairness or an airline cash grab. It's also about safety. One way or another, it can't continue the way it is. I'm in favour of any policy that takes the emphasis off carry on and restores some kind of sanity to the proceedings.

Latin Jazz: Wayne Wallace - The Rhythm of Invention (Patois Records on June 7, 2019)
From a media release:Latin Jazz:Wayne Wallace - The Rhythm of Invention(Patois Records on June 7, 2019)Wayne Wallace blends chamber orchestra, jazz horns, spoken word, and his acclaimed Latin Jazz Quintet on The Rhythm of InventionTrombonist and Afro-Caribbean scholar upends tradition to honor jazz greats and mentors• Buy it on Amazon• Stream it on SpotifyOn his previous album, the critically adored Canto América, Wayne Wallace broke with his own tradition to co-lead a chamber orchestra featuring horns, winds, a double string quartet, and an array of vocalists. On The Rhythm of Invention - slated for release by Patois Records on June 7, 2019 - Wallace set an equally ambitious goal: to combine these added resources with his Latin Jazz Quintet, whose albums have garnered three of Wallace's four previous GRAMMY nominations."I wanted to come up with a way of coherently mixing the quintet with the brass and strings from Canto," explains the esteemed trombonist, innovative arranger, and notable educator. That desire now finds voice in a dazzling set of new compositions and classic jazz standards (and even one impressive mashup) on which Wallace uses the expanded sonic palette of an orchestra to highlight the strengths of his core conjunto. Undergirding it all is an effortlessly instructive survey of Latin rhythms, from the familiar to the arcane, that reflect Wallace's lifelong study of these sounds."I wanted to retain the energy of Canto without repeating it," he explains. To do so, he chose to redirect the music's focus onto the quintet, while retaining the almost tangible richness of brass chorales and the elegance of string ensemble writing; peppering the proceedings are solos from such luminaries as Mary Fettig (flute) and Melecio Magdaluyo (baritone saxophone). Wallace also features rapper and spoken-word artist Akida Thomas on the title track, where he contributes a spontaneously composed ode to this music - and to the spirit of all music - that also utilizes an interview with Wallace's colleague and mentor, the late Dr. David Baker.To tie all this together, Wallace came up with a three-layered approach, built upon the foundational expertise of his longtime musical co-conspirator, percussion master Michael Spiro. "The concept was to have Michael play four congas" - the usual conga setup has three at most - "and to have him play as melodically as possible." As a result,  "A good way to hear the record is to listen all the way through and focus on Michael, and then to drummer Colin Douglas's cymbal work - and then put it together. It's like a history of Latin music." From there, Wallace created a second layer by highlighting the other members of the Latin Jazz Quintet's rhythm section, pianist Murray Low and bassist David Belove, and leaving space for his own forceful yet lyrical trombone solos. Only then did he add the composed material; the vital frosting to this multi-tiered concoction, it draws its flavors from the previous ingredients.As its title suggests, the album doesn't lack for inventiveness. One case in point is Wallace's arrangement of the durable Paul Desmond composition "Take Five," which famously contains five beats in each measure (instead of the usual four). After some research, Wallace realized that no one had previously recorded this song with a clave rhythm, the heartbeat of Latin music - despite the fact that the clave itself comprises five notes (within four beats). The finished product marries these two views of musical time; add in a Santeria-derived coro section sung by the quintet, and you have a memorable new take on a 60-year-old jazz hit.Another example comes on "So Softly," in which the ancient pop standard "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise" - from the 1928 operetta The New Moon - slides seamlessly into Miles Davis's "So What," written three decades later. The idea to combine them arose from one of the Latin Jazz Quintet's earliest experiments, in which the band presented these two songs as a medley; but, says Wallace, "After time I pleasantly found that the two melodies worked conversationally without detracting from each other. This inspired the idea of re-imagining them as a mashup" - an idea that, he points out, "stretches back to the beginnings of recorded music."Less complex (but no less inventive) are several homages, including Wallace's slightly shrouded cover of "Vamanos Pa'l Monte" one of Eddie Palmieri's biggest hits. Although this version mimics the blend of trombone and flute that characterized Palmieri's famous band La Perfecta, "The melody is really an extrapolation of what Eddie wrote," says Wallace. (But anyone who knows the original will recognize it as the framework of this arrangement.) Meanwhile, the completely unexpected inclusion of "In a Mist" - an impressionistic piano composition by the legendary early-jazz cornetist Bix Beiderbecke - represents a sort of personal triumph for Wallace. "It took me eight years to figure out how to arrange it, because it's just so idiosyncratic and challenging," he admits. "The original piece was a kind of collision between ragtime and danzon rhythm; I tried to combine the danzon with clave to get a Cuban feel. And I thought that a string quartet was applicable because it would bring out the sonorities in a modern way" - not to mention hinting at the classical roots of Beiderbecke's small masterpiece.The album highlight is the title track, which brings together funk, bata, and traditional Cuban rhythms and encompasses three generations of musical wisdom. On one end is Dr. David Baker, "the father of jazz education," with whom Wallace worked closely as a professor at Indiana University before Baker's death in 2016, and whose resonant voice is heard, midway through the track, discussing the essence of jazz rhythm. On the other end is Wallace's son-in-law, Akida Thomas, channeling the music to speak of The pulse gyrating through the system . . . Boom-clacks all rolled into one, stay connected through the soul of the drum. "There's this crazy counterpoint between the strings and the horns," Wallace says; "it's some of the most texturally adventurous writing I've done. Akida just listened to the track and started writing." The invention took on a rhythm of its own.But The Rhythm of Invention refers to something altogether different from the riot of Afro-Latin beats and layered percussion that characterize the album. For Wallace, the rhythm of invention is the pace that allows him to be open to creativity: the tempo "that allows a space for the muse to be available to me," as he puts it. It is the rhythm of a gentle river, slowed but not stilled: the "flow" that banishes mere busy-ness in favor of reflection and, yes, invention. "That's when I get the best ideas," he says; in fact, the "Take Five" arrangement "literally came to me when I was pulling weeds out of my garden."When you slow the rhythm enough, you can better see the speed of thought.

Lea Love Drops New EP - The Way I Am (Mensch House Records / June 14, 2019)
From a media release:Lea Love Drops New EP - The Way I Am(Mensch House Records / June 14, 2019) • Stream it on SpotifySoulful R&B/reggae singer Lea Love has just released her new EP “Way I Am,” on Friday, June 14th via Mensch House Records! Combining full bass lines, sensual lyrics, and warm harmonies, Lea creates an environment of hypnotic and sweet sonic bliss for listeners to enjoy. The empowering title track off the EP, “Way I Am,” dropped on Friday, May 10th and radiates self acceptance and self love. Other standout singles from the EP include the playful tune “No Feels,” and the sultry track “Set The Mood” Feat. Jemere Morgan.Born and raised in Oceanside, CA, singer-songwriter Lea Love’s multi-layered artistry draws from her rich Hawaiian, Japanese, and Samoan heritage. She began writing at the age of 10, often drawing inspiration from many types of musical genres. This diversity is evident in her songs, which ranges from R&B/soul to island reggae to pop. Her other recent single, “Doctor", is also available now on iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon, and has received critical acclaim.Recorded in Carson, CA, Way I Am paints the picture of an independent woman who isn’t afraid to live out loud. Lea’s recent single release, “Set the Mood” is a saucy track that inspires listeners hips to move, and captures the heat of a passionate love affair. "One Too Many" is an honest account of giving into that one person that drives you crazy, with a little liquid courage. “I’m a hopeless romantic, so it’s a fun record about those moments you have a bit too much fun and get a little too carried away by your feelings for someone else,” Lea says. “Murdera” is a strong track about the inherent power women carry within themselves, an ode to heartbreakers everywhere.Reflecting on The Way I Am, Lea says, “I am excited to announce my very first EP, “Way I Am”, will be dropping this June! I can’t wait to share my music with you all. It has truly been a labor of love, and it’s inspired by all my life experiences thus far. Catch me at my release party on June 15th at Mayfair Hotel! Be one of the first to see live performances of the new records and more!”The Way I Am Tracklisting: 1. One Too Many2. Way I Am3. Black and White4. No Feels5. Set the Mood ft Jemere Morgan6. MurderaOnline:InstagramFacebookWebsite

UK's celebrated jazz group EMPIRICAL on their first ever North American Tour Summer 2019
From a media release:UK's celebrated jazz groupEMPIRICALis embarking on their first ever North American TourSummer 2019• Check out their catalogue on Cuneiform RecordsOne of the UK's hottest young jazz bands is on tour in North America as we speak. Formed in 2007, Empirical have quickly established themselves as one of the UK's most explorative and exciting groups in modern jazz.Left to right: Lewis Wright - Vibraphone, Shaney Forbes - Drums, Tom Farmer -Double Bass, Nathaniel Facey - Alto SaxThis dynamic London-based collective takes influence from a variety of  styles, but has managed to craft their own distinct sound built on improvisation, collaboration and shared music vision, earning them critical acclaim. Their innovative approach to music and the unique ways in which they engage their audience, has helped them attract new listeners.In 2016, the band organized a week-long "Pop-up Jazz Lounge" at Old Street Underground Station in London, showcasing the group's ability to push the aesthetic and conceptual boundaries of jazz in a way that appeals to both new listeners and veterans of the genre. They later brought these pop-ups to other cities within the UK. Now, in 2019, Empirical is bringing their high energy performances to the United States and Canada on their first North American Tour.Empirical has become one of Europe’s top jazz ensembles by creating a bracing sound rife with roiling emotion. The quartet builds on the extroverted improvisational ethos of the 1960s New Thing, embracing oblique harmonies, translucent textures and jagged, quick shifting rhythms. Featuring Nathaniel Facey (alto saxophone), Shaney Forbes (drums), Lewis Wright (vibraphone) and Tom Farmer (bass), Connection is the fifth Empirical album, the first to feature only the quartet with no guests, and the first released outside of their home base of England. It captures the ensemble at its most pure and potent.“Each of our previous albums was an experiment, where we included various guests from a string quartet to a pianist to bass clarinet,” Farmer says. “This time we went into a great sounding studio with just the four of us. It’s an accurate representation of what we’re doing now, what our gigs sound like. This is our expression.”Empirical Jazz - Photo - Chris BakerThe tour continues through June:Sunday June 23, 2019Rhizome 7:00 PM    6950 Maple St, NW Washington DCTuesday June 25, 2019 & Wednesday June 26, 2019Dizzy's Club 11:15 PM   10 Columbus Circle New York, NYFriday June 28, 2019Edmonton Jazz Festival 7:30pm / 9:15pm    11 Tommy Banks Way Edmonton, AB

Alabama Artists at the Birmingham Museum of Art
Alabama Artistsat the Birmingham Museum of ArtOn my second visit to the Birmingham Museum of Art, I decided to focus on local artists - those who were native to Birmingham and Alabama. Now, my list isn't exhaustive by any means, but does illustrate the breadth of style and talent of the artistic community.School of Beauty, School of CultureAcrylic & glitter on stretched canvas, 2012Born in Birmingham in 1955, Kerry James Marshall grew up in South Central Los Angeles, and now makes his home in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Otis College of Art and Design, and taught at the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois in Chicago. His work in painting, sculpture, collage, video, and photography examines Black subjects, race, and history.Head Wrap (gele) 2014Abiola Sholanke is a Nigerian-American artist born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1978. Her headwraps are based on traditional West African designs.Reparations NowMixed media, 2002Reparations Now (detail)Mixed media, 2002Sculptor Joe Minter was born in Birmingham in 1943, and still makes his home and career there. His found object sculptures are inspired by his father's life - a man who had become a mechanic in the army in WWI, but was unable to use his skills back home because of Jim Crow laws.Milk, Flour, One Egg, SaltB/W digital photographsfrom the Momma Jackson's Biscuits seriesPhotographer Celestia Morgan was born in Birmingham in 1981. According to her bio, her work typically revolves around retrospect imagery. She graduated with a BFA in photography from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and earned an MFA from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. Alabama God DamnSilver gelatin print, 1965Photographer James 'Spider' Martin was born in Fairfield, AL in 1939, and died in Blount Springs, AL in 2003. He became renowned for his work in documenting the Civil Rights Movement in 1965, in particular the marches from Selma to Montgomery during that period. Martin also worked for The Birmingham News as a photographer.Alabama Folk Potteryfrom the 19th and 20th centuriesUsing traditional methods that date back to before the Civil War, Alabama's rich folk pottery tradition continues. Once an art that flourished throughout the state, folk potters use a variety of influences in their work, and are known for distinctively southern styles of stoneware finishing, including an alkaline glaze that uses lime or wood ashes.

Blyth Theatre Festival Jumbo opening 45th season June 12 to August 10, 2019
From a media release:Blyth Theatre FestivalJumbo opening of Festival’s 45th seasonJune 12 to August 10, 2019• Buy TicketsBLYTH, ON – The world premiere of one of the biggest stories in the history of South Western Ontario, the story of Jumbo the elephant’s fateful final performance, opens the Blyth Festival’s 45th Season.In Jumbo, playwright Sean Dixon, who brought Blyth Festival audiences plays steeped in local lore like The Wilberforce Hotel, Lost Heir, and The Outdoor Donnellys, now focuses on the legendary story that September night in 1885, when P.T. Barnum’s Greatest Show on Earth stopped in St. Thomas, Ontario. When the circus cars were packed up, an unscheduled freight train travelling unbrakeably fast through the railyard ended the career and the life of the biggest superstar in the world...but not before he gave his final spellbinding performance.The play bursts on the stage with live circus acts, acrobats, a massive puppet, original music and a vibrant set reminiscent of Barnum’s fabled circus.“This play will be like nothing we’ve seen before on the Blyth Festival stage. Our Circus Master, Manon Beaudoin, has created a circus within a play that will leave audiences giggling in awe,” said Gil Garratt, who is the artistic director of the Blyth Festival and director of Jumbo.Returning to the Blyth Festival stage for Jumbo are actors: Peter Bailey (The Wilberforce Hotel and World Without Shadows), Tiffany Claire Martin (The Devil We Know), Michael McManus (Ceili House), Tony Munch (Wing Night at the Boot, Our Beautiful Sons, and many others). Newcomers making their Blyth debut: Kurtis Leon Baker, Julie Tamiko Manning, Lucy Meanwell and aerialist Mark Segal.The creative team for Jumbo is: Eric Bunnell, set and costume designer; Leigh Ann Vardy, lighting designer; Deanna H. Choi, sound designer and composer; and Gemma James-Smith, puppet designer and constructor. Stage management by Heather Thompson and Katerina Sokyrko.Reserve your seats for this amazing local story by calling the Box Office at 519.523.9300, Toll Free 1.877.862.5984 or online at | June 12 – August 10DATES OF NOTEJune 12 – CKNX Night at 8pm – SOLD OUTJune 13 – Preview at 8pmJune 14 – Opening Night at 8pmAug. 10 – Closing performance at 8pmCOUNTRY SUPPERSSelected Fridays and Saturdays – Enjoy a home-cooked meal served at a local venue at 6:15pmTickets are $22 each and may be booked by calling the Blyth Festival Box OfficeSOCIAL MEDIAFollow us on Facebook and Twitter: #bfJumbo #bf2019

From country to jazz: Kevin West - Story Of My Life (Independent / 15 June 2019)
From country to jazz:Kevin West - Story Of My Life(Independent / 15 June 2019)• Check him out on SpotifyLos Angeles based Kevin West calls himself a "throwback singer-songwriter" - although he's had a busy career for a self-described anachronism.What he does specialize in is solid songwriting in a variety of modes from country to jazz. Best of Mine definitely has the flavour of a vintage anthem, with a driving country drum beat underneath layers of guitar, organ, and vocals in harmony. His vocals are expressive with a raspy edge perfect for the music.As a songwriter, his lyrics are personal and intimate. From One Too Many,I woke up this afternoon, I rubbed my eyes,I tried to wipe the cobwebs from another late night.I don't know what time it was when I got to bed;I don't know who this girl is that I'm lying here with...Ah, the life of a rock star. My Only Sunshine is pure uptempo country, while Sweet Innocence takes it more slowly in a ballad. Harmony vocals by Whitney Hanna flesh out his raspy tenor for a softer effect.Story Of My Life takes a jazzy approach, with trombone, golden guitar licks, and a languid tempo, with reflective personal lyrics about his life in music. Not For Nothin' is a jazz instrumental track, with some nice solo work on the guitar and organ.Kevin West was the 1st prize winner of American Songwriter Magazine's lyric contest in July/August 2006. Along with playing music for a living, Kevin  has done countless performances and hands on volunteer work for many low country charities to include, Communities in Schools, My Sisters House, Happy Days And Special Times,  North Charleston Juvenile Detention Center, Make A Wish Foundation, Crohn's and Colitis Foundation and "COURAGEOUS KIDZ".Track List:1. Best Of Mine2. One Too Many3. My Only Sunshine4. Sweet Innocence5. Story Of My Life6. Not For NothinPersonnel:Kevin West: Vocals, Electric and Acoustic Guitars; Markus Helander: Drums; Brett Belanger: Electric and Acoustic Bass; Whitt Algar: Piano and Keyboard; Jeff Caldwell: Electric Guitar; Whitney Hanna: Vocals; Steven Sandifer: Percussion' Quentin E. Baxter: Drums; Kevin Hamilton: Bass; Lee Barbour: Electric Guitar; Charlton Singleton: Trumpet; Mark Sterbank: Saxophone; Jonathan Lovett: KeyboardStay in touch: of Mine:

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