PERFORMANCES Willie Nelson and Family (Saturday corrected, Willie Nelson and Family performThursday, June 20): As part of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, the one and only Willie Nelson appears at Massey Hall this week. Willie Nelson, a veritable musical icon, turned 80 this year and has so many achievements to show for reaching his octogenarian years: 2,500 tunes, what seems like countless awards (Grammys, American Music Awards, Country Music Awards), and a unique place in our hearts. Nelson recently performed as part of the Ottawa International Jazz Festival and the Ottawa Citizen outlined all the reasons we should love him – in preparation for this weekend’s concert you can read up here and watch the video of him singing “Always on my Mind” embedded above – sweet tune.
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.
UPCOMING While it’s still more than two weeks away, we’re super excited about our new Canadian Songbook at the Rivoliseries that begins on October 10 with a feature performance from singer-songwriter, and incredible storyteller, Del Barber. The series of monthly performances at the Rivoli will give us the chance to introduce you to some musicians whom we think you should take note of now. Discovering new and emerging talent is such a special feeling, not to mention an opportunity to be able to tell your friends that you “saw them when…”
And, loyal Buzz readers, I’m pleased to tell you that we’ve got something special cooking on this series, which also features – announced so far – Jeremy Fisher, Belle Starr, Mo Kenney, and Tanika Charles, so stay tuned and let us know if you have a special musical discovery story – or someone else you think we should discover!
Last week we announced two very exciting additions from the Bureau of legendary Canadians to the line-up of our presentations. Leonard Cohen will be honoured at the Glenn Gould Prize Gala Concert on May 14 . Tickets are now available for this exciting event where Mr. Cohen will be present but not perform. Performances will come, however, from the likes of Basia Bulat, Cowboy Junkies, John Prine, Serena Ryder, and others. This promises to be a very special night indeed.
Also very special should be a presentation at Glenn Gould Studio of “Good, Pinsent, & Keelor” – that is Travis Good of The Sadies, Greg Keelor of Blue Rodeo, and acclaimed actor Gordon Pinsent. The trio have just released an album, Down and Out in Upalong, and are hitting the Glenn Gould Stage to show off their new stuff. You can read the 4-N album review in NOW (where Sarah Greene reports that “[t]he album is reminiscent of Billy Bragg and Wilco’s Mermaid Avenue, but with strong Canadian flavour.” You can also read about the project in the National Post. While the three will be performing as part of the aforementioned Leonard Cohen tribute, you can see their full length show at the Glenn Gould Studio on June 19.
PERFORMANCES There is a lot happening at the Halls this week, not least of which Chilly Gonzales tonight at Glenn Gould Studio, Colin James at Massey Hall on Friday, and Georgy Tchaidze at Glenn Gould Studio on Saturday. If that’s not enough, check out these other great shows:
Big show announcement this week with the news of An Acoustic Evening with Ben Harper on September 29, 2012. He’ll be performing songs from throughout his career, acoustically in Massey Hall. Tickets go onsale to FriendsFirst on Thursday and to the general public on Friday at 10AM. Check out the above video to hear a classic track from his classic Welcome To the Cruel World album.
Yundi (Originally scheduled for Friday – POSTPONED): A reminder that the recital originally scheduled for March 23 has been postponed due to scheduling difficulties and we are currently working with artist management to secure a new date. More information on this is available at the event page above.
David Myles (Saturday): Mr. Myles performs at Glenn Gould Studio this weekend and we’re excited to see him take the room by storm. Myles is nominated for no less than an impressive FIVE ECMA Awards including Songwriter of the Year (you can check out the full list here). We’ve been spending some extra time with him this week seeing him perform on Canada AM, telling us about the song he performed on a video featured here on Soundboard, and on our podcast, he talked to us about the art and craft of songwriting.
We meet up with East Coast musician David Myles in the middle of what was a busy 24 hours. On this podcast David Myles discusses singing in the early morning as well as his unexpected role in the world of arena rock and hip-hop.
In the spirit of romance and courtship, we’re happy to share with you this free download from David Myles (just right click on the above free download link to save or you can stream in the audio player below).
Might we suggest you hang on to this track a couple of days to set the mood, on say, this coming Tuesday? Even if you’re not the Valentine type…have a listen. Whatever you’re doing, we hope you enjoy it.
PERFORMANCES Jim Gaffigan (Saturday): Jim Gaffigan hits the Massey Hall stage this weekend in what’s sure to be a very funny evening. You may know Gaffigan from his appearances on late night shows with David Letterman and Conan O’Brien but my personal fave was his guest appearance as the loveable, if odd, best friend to Murray on Flight of the Conchords (recall his initial introduction to Murray’s “newly added friends” Bret and Jermaine over barbeque). Check out the embedded video above for some of Gaffigan’s more classic stand-up, this time on the topic of camping from his perspective (he notes that he is “what you would call indoorsy”).
Spencer Wells, Deep Ancestory: Inside The Genographic Project (Monday): The third presentation in this year’s new National Geographic Live series, Spencer Wells is a Population Geneticist who is currently taking it upon himself to create a “detailed, genetically-based map of human migration.” Seriously impressive stuff, right? (Makes your victory dance about the accomplishment of finally cleaning the attic this weekend seem a bit lacklustre, doesn’t it?). You can read all about the project here and learn about how you can participate by doing a cheek swab to “reveal your deep ancestry” here.
Soundboard is the official community of musicians, music fans, and friends of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, Canada. It’s your behind-the-scenes source for related music news, recommendations, and rewards.