The xx (Tonight – Tuesday): The xx return to Massey Hall for what promises to be another epic performance supporting their new album Coexist. The show is previewed in the current issue of NOW Magazine and a review of a recent concert in Chicago is in the Chicago Tribune hinting at what we have to look forward to tonight: “…there were times that the packed crowd achieved the ecstatic release of a club, bobbing and swaying to the music, waving their hands in the atmospheric light…it’s the rare act that’s managed to create a world worth getting lost in.” Watch their 2010 set at Glastonbury embedded above.
Reinventing Radio: An Evening with Ira Glass (Saturday): We’re super excited about this presentation – not only is Ira Glass, the voice behind the public radio show This American Life, going to be here and on Massey Hall’s stage, he’s also going to tell us how all the magic happens. This Saturday’s Big Interview in the Toronto Star was with one Mr. Glass. In it, he explains the upcoming show: “I stand on the stage with an iPad and recreate the show… I talk about how the show is made and why we’ve chosen to make it differently from all other programs on the airwaves.” Check out the This American Life website for podcasts of the show and all sorts of other good stuff.
Phillip Addis (Sunday): This is the first performance as part of our 2012|13 Canadian Voices vocal recitals series at Glenn Gould Studio. With Emily Hamper on piano, Phillip Addis will perform works by Ravel, Vaughan-Williams, Tchaikovsky, Fauré, and CONTINUE READING >
Good Pinsent Keelor (Tonight – Tuesday): We can’t wait to see – live – what this trio cooks up for us tonight on the Glenn Gould Studio stage. Travis Good of The Sadies, Greg Keelor of Blue Rodeo, and Gordon Pinsent (yes, that Gordon Pinsent), have teamed up for a really interesting and rare collaborative project seeing Gordon Pinsent’s poems inspiring a musical album Down and Out in Upalong, and this concert. It promises to be something seriously special so don’t miss it. Watch them discuss the collaboration in conversation with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC Q in the video embedded above.
Chris Botti (ThursdayJune 28): Chris Botti returns to Massey Hall (*next week) with his signature sound blending pop, jazz, and classical music that’s sure to please. In advance of the show, you can check out some of the videos on his site including a series of interviews with Roy Firestone and an EPK for his latest recording, Impressions, featuring serious praise from the likes of David Foster, Mark Knopfler, Vince Gill, Andrea Bocelli, and Herbie Hancock.
Chris Isaak will perform at Massey Hall in October celebrating his latest recording, Beyond the Sun. The album, recorded at the original Sun Studio, is a collection of Isaak covers from the greats like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis. And Joe Rogan, provider of colourful commentary for UFC and host of Fear Factor, returns to Massey Hall on September 21 for a concert presented by Just For Laughs promising a showcase of his “tough” stand-up comedy. The Guardian has called him “one of the most complex and exciting stand-ups working in America today.” Tickets for both shows are on sale now.
PERFORMANCES TSO – The Hockey Sweater (Young People’s Concert Series) (Saturday): Saturday afternoon sees two matinee performances of this TSO Co-Commission based on Roch Carrier’s classic story. Roch Carrier himself narrates the piece and former Montréal Canadiens’ goaltender, Ken Dryden, hosts the performances. A very special afternoon for young fans of music and hockey alike! (Go Leafs Go!)
Glenn Gould Prize Gala Concert In Honour of Leonard Cohen (Monday): As we announced recently in the Buzz, this very special evening will fête Leonard Cohen with quite a list of those honouring him including Colm Feore, Basia Bulat, Cowboy Junkies, John Prine, Serena Ryder, and Gordon Pinsent with Travis Good & Greg Keelor (whom we present at Glenn Gould Studio later in June), among others. This celebration will include this, the Ninth Glenn Gould Prize, as well as the presentation of the City of Toronto Glenn Gould Protégé Prize winner as selected by Mr. Cohen, Sistema.
Massey Hall lost two treasures last week, a promoter and a performer. They were both important to me at a formative stage of my teenage experience. Dick Clark, in the early 60s not only produced television shows but took artists on tour. One of those tours, specifically the first live concert I ever saw, was at Massey Hall. It was “The Gene Pitney Show” starring Gene Pitney with opening acts including The Outsiders (“Time Won’t Let Me”) and a group from England who were one of my favourites, Chad and Jeremy(“Willow Weep For Me”, “A Summer Song”) *CORRECTION As I recall this was actually Peter and Gordon, another duo that were one of my favourites.
Then shortly after, my second show, I was perched up in the first row of the Gallery at the side, for Bob Dylan at Massey Hall. The first half was solo acoustic with a harmonica around his neck on a wire frame, and the second half, which is more of the show I confess I came out to see, was Bob backed by a local Toronto group called Levon and The Hawks. “Positively 4th Street” and “Like a Rolling Stone” were what I was there to experience live. A wonderful show despite a round of audience boos (because he was playing electric) but I do remember Levon smiling away with that famous grin. He was a great performer and obviously loved Bob Dylan and the music.
The line-up for OVATION: Celebrating Classical Music at the JUNO Awards has now been announced! The special event, which takes place at Roy Thomson Hall on Tuesday, March 22, is a celebration of JUNO Award nominees and winners past and present in classical music categories and will feature Peter Oundjian, TSO Music Director, as the host of the evening. Artists and Ensembles who will be performing include Measha Brueggergosman, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Gryphon Trio, Amici Ensemble, Winona Zelenka, Anton Kuerti, Lara St. John, Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà, and Duo Concertante.
And more in Juno Week news: additional artists have been added to the bill for Juno Songwriters’ Circle which takes place on Wednesday, March 23 at Massey Hall. We already knew that the charming Johnny Reid was to be the host for the evening and now we can also let you know that the following songwriters will take the stage for this exciting event: Luke Doucet, Sylvia Tyson, Royal Wood, and Lynn Miles. More artists will also be announced soon.
We also announced just last week that Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs will be hitting the Massey Hall stage on May 30. The group’s latest recording, God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise, just won the Grammy Award for the Best Contemporary Folk Album even though, according to Paste Magazine, RCA didn’t originally like the album. Ray LaMontagne will also be featured in an episode of VH1 Storytellers this season; of the line-up for the show’s 15th Anniversary Season, Executive Producer Bill Flanagan says, “VH1 Storytellers started with artists like Jim James of My Morning Jacket and Ray LaMontagne. These are the greats of this generation.”
It has been an exciting week in the world of new shows being announced – to learn about all of the most excellent shows coming our way, read on!
We are so thrilled to have announced yesterday that Levon Helm will be returning to Massey Hall for two shows this March with his Ramble on the Road. Joining Helm for what promise to be a pair of legendary nights is one Lucinda Williams. You may recall that Helm is no stranger to the Grand Ol’ Lady of Shuter Street – not only were we fortunate to see him perform just last June, Levon Helm and the Hawks were the backing band for Bob Dylan the time he went electric at Massey Hall, garnering both “cheers” and “jeers”. For a taste of what you’re in for on this visit, check out his website for a whole bunch of good stuff in the form of audio and video to tide you over until March.
Melissa Etheridge is one accomplished artist – with fifteen Grammy Award nominations, an Academy Award, and twenty-seven millions albums sold worldwide to her credit, there’s no stopping her! Etheridge performs at Massey Hall with Serena Ryder on Friday, March 11, 2011
Yet another legend plans to hit up the Massey Hall stage: Brian Wilson brings his latest project Brian Wilson Re-imagines Gershwin along with classics from his own catalogue and of course, that of the Beach Boys. Let’s face it, the man is a genius; from Pet Sounds to Smile, Wilson has changed the way we listen to music – here we have the opportunity to see what he can do with the Gershwin standards, live. In the meantime, you can preview the album here and read about it in Rolling Stone here.
And finally, you already knew that the Barenaked Ladies (who incidentally have a rather well-known song entitled Brian Wilson) were performing November 26 at Massey Hall but this just in – the lovely Jenn Grant will be on the bill as Special Guest. Jenn Grant performed at Glenn Gould Studio last season and we are rather excited for the opportunity to see her at Massey. Check out her beautiful video for “You’ll Go Far” here.
Yesterday we announced a performance at Glenn Gould Studio by Chilly Gonzales to take place on September 14. This is the very same day that his latest album Ivory Tower, drops as does the feature-length film of the same name (featuring Tiga and Peaches). It all makes you wish the “most wonderful time of year” Staples commercials were on and September was around the corner right? If you don’t know who Chilly Gonzales is, allow this performance to be your education. Prerequisite information required: Gonzales made waves in Paris last spring after earning the world record for the longest solo concert (no less than 27 hours, three minutes, and 44 seconds long). Also – check out Chess Cat vs The World over on the Chilly Gonzales website: possibly the most democratic board game you’ll ever play on a Canadian musician’s website.
Levon Helm & John Hiatt (Tuesday): For many, music is an integral part of one’s Canadian-ness, as will be demonstrated this Thursday across the country at a variety of Canada Day concerts. We’re (naturally) very proud of our Neil Youngs, Joni Mitchells, Bruce Cockburns, Rushes, Broken Social Scenes and Arcade Fires but we also hold a special place in our hearts for our friends granted the status of “honorary Canadian” through their musical prowess.
Like modern songstress Neko Case, Levon Helm is one of Canada’s proudest imports. Levon Helm begins his Canadian music career as part of the legendary Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks (which would later be renamed Levon and the Hawks after Hawkins left the group). That, alone, would be enough to gain Helm a place in the hearts of musically inclined Canucks but there’s more! Levon and the Hawks would go on to be the backing band for Bob Dylan in order to facilitate the complicated (and controversial) process of ‘going electric’ (you may recall this from our Massey By the Decade post for 1964-1973.) Levon did leave the Hawks temporarily but returned shortly thereafter before the newly rechristened group, The Band, hit it big with albums like Music from Big Pink and then later, of course, as stars of (the album, film, and generally awesome event) The Last Waltz.
“The impossibility of sainthood” is how Robbie Robertson once explained the meaning behind The Weight. In this classic track The Band immortalize a handful of people in their lives and created one of their best-known songs. In anticipation of tomorrow’s Ramble on the Road that stops at Massey Hall, today’s Listening Booth features this clip of Levon Helm’s Ramble with Mr. John Hiatt accompanying.
Last week Luminato announced the 2010 Music Program for the ten-day festival in June. Together with Luminato, we’ll be bringing you the third installation of the Canadian Songbook – this time celebrating the music of Bruce Cockburn with a new and exciting twist: Mr. Cockburn himself will be on stage. A medley of other fine musicians (including Hawksley Workman and Colin Linden) will join Cockburn to celebrate the occasion. Tickets to Luminato events go on sale in April. You can check out what the Toronto Star wrote on the latest Luminato announcements here.
We’ve also just added a second performance by Royal Woodon Saturday, April 10. Can’t make it to the first concert on April 1, now here’s a second chance to check out the man who CBC Radio 3 calls “an artist whose time is at hand to be heard”. Enjoy some Royal Wood flavoured audio video over here.
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