JUST ANNOUNCED Last week, we announced the Jazz at Massey Hall series for our 2013-2014 season. We’re excited for what promises to be a really engaging season of music at storied Massey Hall, home of the “Greatest Jazz Concert Ever” and some other seriously impressive collaborations. This year’s season is decidedly one of collaboration and dynamic teamwork within the genre. The series kicks off with Wayne Shorter 80th Birthday Celebrationfeaturing the Wayne Shorter Quartet with Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, and Brian Blade as well as ACS, a trio made up of Geri Allen, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Esperanza Spalding (whom we were just wowed by at Massey Hall last month). ACS will perform works from Shorter’s mid-career days with Weather Report. The second of four concert events in the series is a return engagement by Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis performing a very special Big Band Holidays concert in December. February brings The Spring Quartet featuring the impressive talents of Jack DeJohnette, Joe Lovano, Esperanza Spalding and Leo Genovese. Finally, the series concludes with a performance by Brad Mehldau Trio in April. Details on all four concerts and CONTINUE READING >
PERFORMANCES Belle Starr (Wednesday): We’ve called Belle Starr a trifecta of talent, and we weren’t kidding – Stephanie Cadman, Kendel Carson, and Miranda Mulholland are bound to knock your socks off this week at our third night of music from our Canadian Songbook at the Rivoli series. If you haven’t seen it yet, you simply must check out the video for their cover of the haunting “Jolene” (embedded above).
Toronto Children’s Chorus (Saturday, 2pm): The Toronto Children’s Chorus returns to the stage of Roy Thomson Hall with their performance of A Chorus Christmas: Dancing Days. The afternoon, a true marker of our immersion in the holiday season, includes a performance featuring Judy Loman on harp and the accompaniment of special guest quintet, True North Brass. Andy Morris (percussion) and Chris Dawes (organ) also join the Chorus while they celebrate their 35th Anniversary season.
The Barra MacNeils: An East Coast Christmas (Saturday, 8pm): This performance promises to be both seriously festive and triumphantly special and includes special guests Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea, Canadian Country Music Award winner Jimmy Rankin, David Myles (who we’re thrilled to see return to one of our stages after his lovely concert at Glenn Gould Studio last season), and JUNO Award winner Meaghan Smith. The show may just well become your favourite Christmas recipe – a delicious mixture of the Barras signature take on Celtic music alongside the East Coast sounds of their friends from the Atlantic Provinces.
Just this week we announced two concerts for the New Year and 2013 is looking bright! Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience is a rock concert that will make its way to Massey Hall on January 31. The show, which features Zeppelin songs, video and light effects, and of course the living heir to the Bonham (drum) throne, Jason Bonham (son of John Bonham, legendary drummer for Led Zeppelin). Then, on April 11, An Evening withYES will take to the Massey Hall stage with an ambitious program, performing three albums in their entirety in this one concert: The Yes Album, Close To The Edge, and Going For The One. Tickets for both concerts go on sale to FriendsFirst members tomorrow and to the general public on Friday.
If you haven’t yet heard, Buddy Guy has confirmed that he will return to Toronto this spring! Legendary blues artist, Buddy Guy has become something of a Massey Hall institution, with this being his ninth annual appearance at the Grand Ol’ Lady of Shuter Street. Buddy Guy was also recently announced to be one of the latest recipients of Kennedy Center Honors, an award given annually for “lifetime achievement in the performing arts.” The Honors themselves will be held on December 1 and taped for a television broadcast to be aired later in December on CBS. All the details are over on the New York Times Arts Beat blog. Buddy Guy hits the Massey Hall stage on Saturday, April 20, 2012. Tickets for our FriendsFirst Members are available starting Wednesday and to the general public on Friday.
PERFORMANCES Canada’s Walk of Fame Festival featuring Sarah McLachlan and K’NAAN (Thursday), Jann Arden (Saturday), and Johnny Reid (Sunday): The third annual iteration of the Festival returns to Toronto this week and includes three concerts at Massey Hall. If you aren’t familiar with the Canada’s Walk of Fame, you can read all about its history here and come check it out next time you’re in the Roy Thomson Hall neighbourhood. The organization celebrates Canadians “who have excelled in music, sport, film, television, as well as the literary, visual, performing arts, science and innovation.” Over the course of this week, performances at Massey Hall include Sarah McLachlan, K’Naan, Jann Arden, and Johnny Reid (who just won Fans’ Choice Award at the CCMAs for the fourth time in a row – you can see him perform at the Awards show here).
Joe Rogan (Friday): Joe Rogan returns to Massey Hall hosted by Just for Laughs. Rogan, known for his ‘colour commentary’ during Ultimate Fighting Championship games and as the host of Fear Factor, is one funny fellow and comes to Toronto to share with us, CONTINUE READING >
We are very excited to have just announced a presentation featuring the man behind This American Life, Mr. Ira Glass. The event, entitled Reinventing Radio: An Evening with Ira Glasswill take place at Massey Hall on Saturday, October 27 and tickets are on sale right now. The show will feature Ira Glass talking about how his program is put together and then through a process of combining stories from the show with pre-taped quotes and music, he’ll recreate the sound of This American Life in front of our Massey Hall audience. If you’re not familiar with Glass or This American Life you can (and should) get a good idea from this article (via AnnArbor.com). And be sure to check out the This American Life website which includes ways to listen to the show like streaming online and through the mobile app.
And Canada’s Walk of Fame announced yesterday three exciting concerts at Massey Hall as part of the Canada’s Walk of Fame Festival – on Thursday, September 20, Sarah McLachlan and K’Naan will perform; Saturday, September 22 features a return from Jann Arden; and Sunday, September 23 will showcase Johnny Reid in a feature performance at the Grand Ol’ Lady of Shuter Street. Tickets for the public are available starting tomorrow, Thursday, July 5 at 10am.
Norah Jones (Thursday): The great Norah Jones returns to Massey Hall in support of her latest album Little Broken Hearts. You can read about the album and the various recent projects of Norah Jones in this recent article from CNN. CONTINUE READING >
JUST ANNOUNCED If you missed it, last week we announced that Lewis Black will be performing at Massey Hall this September presented by Just for Laughs. Looking to do some preliminary research? Here’s his take on weather and meteorology (but head’s up: not entirely safe for work). Tickets are currently on sale!
Dala (Friday): The duo that is Dala is made up of Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine and they’ll be hitting the Glenn Gould Studio stage this Friday in a highly anticipated concert with special guest Kevin Fox. Dala’s new album, Best Day, is available starting today – and you can check out a trailer for the record here (or embedded above). We’re giving away copies of Best Day on our Twitter and Facebook page – if you’re not already, follow us for your chance to win (and other good things, of course).
TSO – Late Night (Saturday): Once again this year, the TSO “stays up late” to deliver a very special concert starting at 10:30pm. This year’s program sees the performance of Shostakovich Symphony No. 11 “The Year 1905.” The evening’s entertainment doesn’t stop there, a post-performance party in the lobby features music from BADBADNOTGOOD (you can download their new album for free at their website). On the TSO’s site you can read more about the show, the symphony, and check out a video from Music Director Peter Oundjian about the excitement the night promises.
PERFORMANCES Amelia Curran (Tonight – Tuesday): The lovely and talented Amelia Curran returns for an intimate engagement at Glenn Gould Studio this evening and we are so excited to see her for a solo date after getting a taste of what she’s been up to when she opened for Whitehorse back in February. Also, have you seen this video (embedded above) yet? Ms. Curran debuts a stellar new song “Modern Man” on our own Soundboard, recorded at Toronto’s own Revolution Recording.
Jay Douglas (Friday): Jay Douglas is a Toronto and reggae music institution and he’s taking the Glenn Gould Studio stage with his 12-piece All-Star band this Friday night. You can read all about the impressive CV that Mr. Douglas has acquired on the event page and be sure to take a moment to view his recent visit to Revolution Recording where he recorded a cover of Bob Marley and The Wailers “Simmer Down” and listen to him on the Soundboard podcast. You can do both here.
Happy Home Opening Series to the Toronto Blue Jays!! Good luck this season boys!
Joe Bonamassa comes to Roy Thomson Hall on Saturday November 17 in support of his forthcoming 12th studio album Driving Toward the Daylight. The blues rock guitarist was last here at Massey Hall in early 2011. Tickets are onsale Wed Apr 11, 11am to FriendsFirst members and Fri Apr 13 10am to the general public.
We’ve got some great shows coming up that we’re really excited about…
Bob Newhart (Friday): The comic legend, joins us at Roy Thomson Hall on Friday, April 13. Mr Newhart is an icon from the golden era of American comedy. The dry, stammering delivery he has cultivated over the years has worn quite well with age. I was fortunate enough to catch his last show here in 2009 and it was real treat. This is not to miss! CONTINUE READING >
An Evening with Jackson Browne (Tonight – Tuesday): Jackson Browne performs at Massey Hall tonight in a solo acoustic show performing on both guitar and piano with promises to play from his entire catalogue. If the review of his performance in Winnipeg is any indication – we’re in for a real treat.
Angela Gheorghiu (Thursday): Soprano, Angela Gheorghiu makes her long-awaited Toronto debut as part of Roy Thomson Hall’s International Vocal Recitals series. The recital is a program of opera arias with full orchestral accompaniment from the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra and Steven White, Conductor. and promises to be something very special.
Buddy Guy (Friday): Buddy Guy returns to Massey Hall this Friday for his annual trip to Toronto. By now you know that Buddy Guy is no slouch and has won more than a handful of well-deserved awards and special honours for his legacy and incredible contributions to the world of Blues music. Gifted Canadian bluesman, Matt Andersen is special guest on this night. If you’re not familiar, you can check him out here. Also, worth noting, he’s up for Entertainer of the Year at this year’s ECMAs – you can check out the contenders (like Jenn Grant and Joel Plaskett) and vote here for both that award as well as Best Video.
Margaret Cho – Cho Dependent (Friday): Ms. Cho appears on the Massey Hall stage showcasing her stand-up comedy as well as her latest comedy music. As you may recall, Cho was competing on Dancing With The Stars until quite recently when she was eliminated from the competition. She recently told Us Magazine that she’ll have great new material for her touring show, “talking a lot about DWTS.” You can also check out her recent interview with Metro News (where she makes reference to the “great comedy musicians like Weird Al.”
Stars (Saturday): It’s been a very busy couple of months for Stars. Not too long ago, the band released the highly anticipated album The Five Ghosts (you can check out their site for this fun little video about creating the 7” box set version of the album). Then, just last week they announced on their website that their digital release, Live from Montreal session is now available on iTunes for a limited time (for the low, low price of $5.99). Now, to top off all the awesome like a cherry on the sundae, they play Massey Hall this Saturday. Need more? Young Galaxy open up the night.
21st Annual Massed Military Spectacular (Sunday): This concert is always a special one and we’re so pleased to be on board again for this, the 21st Spectacular. The concert is very much a celebration this year in particular, as the Governor-General’s Horse Guards celebrate 200 years, the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada celebrate 150 years, and the Royal Canadian Navy Celebrate their centenary. Aptly titled Milestones, this year’s event will see eleven combined massed military bands and pipes and drums gather on the Roy Thomson Hall stage to perform in their honour and to feature some of the favourites, (including sing-alongs!) we look forward to each year.
Toronto has always been a fantastic city for the blues. A lot of it stems from having a really solid R&B scene in the 50s and 60s, when artists like Bobby Dean Blackburn and Curley Bridges were fixtures. Towards the late 60s and into the 70s, a wave of American blues musicians were finding audiences at folk festivals and in the clubs and concert halls around town. One of the key festivals putting blues artists in front of large audiences was the Mariposa Folk Festival. I’m pretty sure that it was 1967 when Buddy played the festival for the first time – a performance that he credits as being the one that convinced him to leave his day job behind and focus on music full time. CONTINUE READING >
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