Features

Beaches Jazz Fest Returns for the 29th Year in Toronto’s East End Neighbourhood

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

The Beaches International Jazz Festival is a 10-day music festival held each year in the lakeside Beaches community of Toronto in the month of July. Originally started in 1988, it is now one of Canada's largest free jazz festivals with nearly 800,000 attendees, throughout its 10-day span.

The Festival takes place across a number of venues; stage concerts are held in several different parks within the area and also along a two kilometre stretch of the Beach main street - Queen Street East.

Every year, the Festival brings in internationally acclaimed jazz performers while also showcasing local talent, including “new generation” jazz musicians. The Festival now hires around 1000 artists per annum, including 50 bands for its “StreetFest” event along Queen Street East. The Festival offers concerts at six stage locations: Kew Gardens Main Stage; the Latin Square and Big Band Stages (also located in Kew Gardens Park); the Woodbine Park Main Stage and the New Generation and Youth stages also at Woodbine Park. The Festival holds a Workshop and Lecture Series which varies each year and is programmed to appeal to both professional musicians and to the general jazz loving public. The Festival also sponsors a "Jazz in Motion" Juried Photography Exhibition.

2CELLOS Release New Video For Chariots Of Fire

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

2CELLOS, music's most electric and dynamic instrumental duo, release a new video for "Chariots of Fire" from their new album SCORE (Portrait/Sony Music Masterworks), available now. The video was filmed in Croatia and features Luka Sulić and Stjepan Hauser playing on a stunningly scenic beach.

"Summer is here so we thought we'd kick back and enjoy playing 'Chariots Of Fire' on the beautiful Zlatni Rat Beach in Bol, Croatia," said Luka and Stjepan.

SCORE brings 2CELLOS' game-changing sound and style to the most popular melodies ever written for classic and contemporary movies and television.

The guys will kick off the US leg of their tour in July performing at iconic venues like The Greek in LA and Red Rocks in Colorado. In September they will perform for the first time at New York's Radio City Music Hall.

An international sensation since their unique video version of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" rocked YouTube with millions of hits in 2011, the Croatian cellists Luka Sulić and Stjepan Hauser have created three high-energy albums for Sony Music Masterworks. Score finds them exploring a more traditional sound-world. Joining them here - to provide the ideal aural backdrop to their virtuosity - is the London Symphony Orchestra, with conductor/arranger Robin Smith at the helm. Sulić and Hauser also co-produced Score with Nick Patrick (Jackie Evancho, Il Divo, Placido Domingo).

Graham Ko Outside Looking In

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Graham Ko has spent years developing and searching for a sound to call his own. In his new album, “Outside Looking In,” Graham has finally defined himself as a Country-Soul-Rock artist.A Humber graduate, and a private student of the legendary Rik Emmett, Graham is ready to showcase his colourful writing and honest soulful voice in this full-length album.

Graham Travis Ko is a Canadian singer/songwriter born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. His music brings together a mixture of R&B, Pop, Rock & Roll and has been compared to the likes of John Mayer, Michael Bublé, and Jason Mraz. As a budding new artist Graham has played and shared the stage with artists such as Mike Stern, The Celebration Army, The Video Games Live Orchestra, as well as playing with many local acts and in different venues around Toronto, Hamilton, and Sarnia.

The title, “Outside Looking In,” is a representation of the songs on the album, which reflect and tell stories from different perspectives. When he spoke about the album, Graham said, “After getting my music degree I felt I was left with a sound that didn’t represent who I was. This album has really been about expressing who I am as an artist, and I feel like I'm finally able to represent myself honestly."

Please also check out Graham’s video for “City Girls”:
youtube.com/watch?v=PRUwopm-Tt4

Johnny Cash Forever Words The Album

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Submitted by Don Graham

There’s a new album on its way of new, never before recorded Johnny Cash songs thanks to the foresight of the legend’s son John Carter Cash.  Last year, 2016, Carter Cash published a book of his father’s poetry called ‘Forever Words’ made up of works that the elder Cash left behind. The book contained reproductions of Cash’s own handwritten pages and a collection of never before published poems and musings.  Taking a lead from Arlo Guthrie, who decided to have some of his father, Woody Guthrie’s unused poetry put to music. Carter Cash has done the same with Johnny Cash’s poetry. When publishing the book John Carter Cash told the New York Times: “I want people to have a deeper understanding of my father than just the iconic, cool man in black. I think this book will help provide that.”  And so will the record.

The album began when country artist Brad Paisley set one of the poems from ‘Forever Words’ to music. The song “Gold All Over the Ground” was the first to take shape and prove the viability of the project.

The never-before-published poems  on this record were found after Cash passed away in 2003, with some dating back to as early as 1944 when Cash was aged 12.

Also appearing on the upcoming album are country star Jamey Johnstone, Jewel, T-Bone Burnett and Kacey Musgraves.

Tanika Charles Endless Chain on a Soul Run

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

The first thing you feel when you hear Tanika Charles talk about her music and performing is the passion in her voice. Tanika is filled with passion; about her songs, her music, her band, her loves, her life. Her passion, performance and songwriting combine the strength of her soul while showing her vulnerable side through her music.

‘’I was surrounded by music growing up. My Dad, Leonard, always had great records playing so I heard Spiro Jiro, George Benson, Chante Moore, George Duke, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder and so many more. I always loved the soulful vocals of Patti LaBelle, Nina Simone and Etta James but the one that really was a huge influence on me was Paula Abdul. I am a dancer and a singer and so she really has it all.”

“My older brother Rudy is also a greatly multi-talented man; he can play any instrument so he inspired me as well.”

Tanika Charles has also appeared on television with a re-occurring guest spot on CBC Kids, and a torchy lounge singer on Global TV’s Bomb Girls, a much acclaimed drama series. Her music has been featured on HBO’s Less Than Kind, ABC’s Rookie Blue, The CW’s Seed and CTV’s Saving Hope. In 2017 Tanika made her theatrical debut with the touring production of Freedom Singer.

Gary Cain Band playing It Right with Twangadelic Bluesophunk'

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Since the May 12th release of their outstanding debut album Twangadelic Bluesophunk, Kitchener Waterloo's Gary Cain Band have enjoyed extensive airplay and positive album reviews from around the world, particularly among guitar and blues-rock aficionados.

Canadian guitarist and songwriter Gary Cain has had a long road to get to his debut album. After suffering a vocal injury while playing in a band in Dubai, Cain took a hiatus from live performance that was physically and mentally rejuvenating.

“I was making a living playing music, which had been my goal,” says Cain, “but I realized through that experience that what mattered more to me was playing what felt right to me, not necessarily what paid my bills. After that experience, I didn’t even touch my guitar for three months. For me that was a big deal - it was normal to play every day, six or eight hours. In summers when I wasn’t in school it would be 13 hours a day. It’s all I ever wanted to do. When I came back to it, everything was different. I didn’t try to label what I was playing, or worry about what kind of music it was. I just followed that magical feeling that made me pick up the guitar in the first place.”

Stay Groovy and Have Mercy!

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Submitted by MERCY The Band (Ted Lalonde/Shelley Buffitt)

When Steve Clark introduced Chris “Travis” Townes, Pat Lalonde and Ted Lalonde to Shelley Buffitt and her daughter Alysha Carman in May 2016 to perform at a benefit concert in Marathon, Ontario in June, little did they know that nine months later they’d be Mercy The Band.

“Shortly after the June 2016 concert in Marathon, I became quite ill. Unfortunately, we had to cancel a couple of gigs that Steve booked for us in August and September, 2016. I also had to leave the Clay Williams “Canal Pursuit” marathon run, in which I was selected Crew Chief. I took the next few months to recover and in February 2017, I received a call from Chris “Travis” asking if I was able to perform for The 6th Annual Unplugged for Cancer Concert in Marathon in March,” explains Shelley. The group got together within days to start practicing and the performance went very well. On March 22nd they officially became Mercy The Band and began collaborating on original material. What followed was a recording session on April 29th at Pennock Studio in Thunder Bay, with Producer (Steve) Clark and Sound Engineer Bob Kovacs.

BTW- Darcys, Astrocolor, Heather Bambrick, Hnry Flwr, The Smugglers, Heather Rankin, The Flatliners, Pokey LaFarge

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

It's beginning to look a lot like Summer, so next week Darcys hit the pavement with tour dates across North America, and today they roam through the American West in an El Camino in the new video for "Arizona Hwy" courtesy of NPR. "We've always been taken with the kitschiness and heroism of the great American road trip," says Wes Marskell. "It's hard not to be seduced by the freedom and redemption of driving the American West. So, instead of staging a music video we filmed a joyride through the stunning natural backdrops, campy motels, and cheap roadside attractions that make the highways of Southern California so iconic. It's hard to tell where reality begins and ends in this buddy comedy, but it's clear that the aging blue Chevy El Camino slowly emerges as the films' true star.

"Arizona Hwy" single will also feature Jason Couse and Marsksell performing a cover of Prince's "Kiss" on the B-Side. The single is out now via Arts & Crafts.

Last fall, The Darcys released their third original studio album, Centerfold. Exclaim! called it "infectious, retro-tinged electro-pop", while Clash hailed it as "an outlandish exploration of pop ambition." Guided by Grammy Award-winning producer Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Weezer, Lucius) Centerfold evokes the heat and wanderlust of the stays in New Zealand and Los Angeles where it was recorded. Centerfold followed 2013's acclaimed Warring, which earned JUNO Award and Polaris Music Prize nominations.

Eagles To Soar Again

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Submitted by Don Graham
Photo Credit Myriam Santos

When founding member and a large part of the songwriting and lead vocals Glenn Frey passed away it seemed that the end of Eagles was inevitable. Co-founder Don Henley said  “While I was still in shock during some interviews after Glenn passed away, I did say that I thought that was the end of the band  but I reserve the right to change my mind.”

The surviving members plus one family member and one long time friend of the band will help round out the new configuration which has  wrapped up rehearsals  for the upcoming festivals, set for July 15 and 16 at Dodger Stadium and July 29 and 30 at Citi Field in New York. Deacon Frey, the 24-year-old son of Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey and country music star Vince Gill will divvy up lead vocals on the songs Glenn Frey sang with the Eagles. The  Southern California country rock  band formed in the early 1970s in Los Angeles and is set to headline a two-pronged, bicoastal festival: Classic West and Classic East, alongside Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan, Earth Wind & Fire, the Doobie Brothers and Journey.

According to  Henley and Gill,  it’s the prospect of keeping Frey’s songs alive that has motivated the decision to move forward and Gill, who has won 21 Grammy Awards was heard to say “I always thought I’d make a good Eagle.”

Eric Andersen Mingle With the Universe: The Worlds of Lord Byron

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Submitted by Don Graham

You’re Eric Andersen. You have iconic status, you have a Gold Membership card to the folk elite club with fellow members like Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs and Joni Mitchell. You were there when the great folk boom exploded. This is your time to bask in the golden light and soft glow of all you have accomplished in your music career. That’s what one would think.

But Eric Andersen has a different approach to it all. Not content to look back at his past, he keeps pushing himself onwards, always looking for something new and fresh to sink his creative artistry into. Perhaps deep down he is driven by the edict of the great poet Blake who said an artist has a duty to create. From the beginning with songs like ‘Thirsty Boots’, ‘I Shall Go Unbounded’, ‘Violets of Dawn’ and ‘Close the Door Lightly When You Go’ to the later years of ‘Blue River’, Eric secured a deep rooted place in Americana history. For six decades now Eric Andersen has been writing songs and making records and I’ll bet you if you told a young Eric in 1966 that he would still be making records (and relevant records, not reissues) 50 years later in 2016 he would be hard pressed to believe you. But that’s exactly what he’s doing. Lately, Eric has taken the words and works of some literary giants from the past and written music to accompany their poetry and prose to bring it into the 21st century. He managed to take the works of the great existentialist Albert Camus and make a haunting record that got rave reviews.

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