A pioneering artist in a form long dominated by males, Abida Parveen is one of the most prominent and influential Sufi musicians of our time. She has transformed the tradition of Sufi singing and inspired a folk, and feminist, renaissance, influencing countless musicians – from Pakistani rockers to Björk (who remixed one of her tunes). But though she is a part of a very specific tradition, her work transcends boundaries, linking her to great artists across the musical landscape.
Which is why the specifics shouldn’t get in the way of digging in to her music. Like the best art, it’s not about language, or what, exactly, the definition of “Sufi music” might be. As the BBC put it in an album review, “it’s clear that the best devotional music (whether Gregorian Chant, John Coltrane or Le Mystere de Voix Bulgares) has a power to communicate across racial and denominational divides.”And Parveen’s performances are nothing if not a physical and musical demonstration of that power: Both performer (who’s admitted to hallucinating while in the thralls of the music) and audiences (often sent into literal swaying rapture) become transported.
In 1996, an understated clearing of the throat not only kicked off the debut album by the then-twenty something Paul Hayden Desser, but announced the arrival of a unique talent and voice. With subtlety, simplicity, depth and a haunting quality that is no less affecting 20 years later, Everything I Long For is a classic record.
Words like “cool” and “smooth” have come to be associated with West Coast Jazz, thanks to the late-40s and early-50s surge in popularity of a particularly Californian version. But the music of the SFJAZZ Collective, who perform at Massey Hall on Saturday, April 23, is of a different sort than that which came to be defined by folks like Stan Getz and Chet Baker.
This morning we unveiled issue 3 of our new Soundboard Magazine which features our newly announced presentations from Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall. On the cover, photographer Matt Barnes captured an image of two artists we’d like you to hear – Donovan Woods and Liz Loughrey. CONTINUE READING >
Last night (Thursday, Feb 18), as they kicked off the first of two sold-out shows at Massey Hall, Blue Rodeo was presented with the second-ever Massey Hall Honours Award by Deane Cameron, President & CEO of the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall. The inaugural Award was presented to Gordon Lightfoot in November 2014. The Award celebrates the cultural contributions of great artists and their commitment to performance at Massey Hall.
Since 1987, Blue Rodeo have become an important part of the history of Massey Hall, having performed at the Hall over 30 times and releasing two live albums from those concerts, the most recent of which is their latest, Live at Massey Hall (2015). “Blue Rodeo continues to be an ambassador for live music in our country and CONTINUE READING >
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