The Rock ‘n’ Roll Art Show

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Art Show features a new and unique style of incorporating photos of famous musicians by the legendary rock photographer Bruce Cole and incorporating them with gorgeous abstract artwork by artists Brooke Opatowski and Jonathan Hiltz. The Rock n' Roll Art Show is the collaboration of these three artists coming together to create original work by imbedding the photographs amongst the abstract designs of the artists, reminiscent of the surreal posters of the 60’s and 70’s rock icons of the flower power generation.

Ron Nigrini Returns to Hugh's Room

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It is one of the rites of passage – each year, as a new school year begins Hugh’s Room welcomes back Ron Nigrini, and each year he delights an audience of old and new friends.

Born in 1948, Ron Nigrini started playing as a teenager in 1965 with a duo called The Coachmen from Toronto. Two years later, he was a member of Dan's Heard. In 1970, Nigrini went solo, touring the coffeehouse circuit through the American Midwest, Texas, New Mexico, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Back in Canada in 1972 he wrote commercials for TV and radio with Michael Hasek, a singer on A&M Records. In July 1974 Nigrini signed a contract with Attic Records and recorded his first single, "Letters" and a self-titled debut album. Two years later, he recorded his own version of the Oscar-winning song "I'm Easy" from the movie Nashville. After a long absence he returned to the recording studio in 1983 and formed his own label, Oasis Records. His first single, "Baby I'm A Lot Like You", was a national hit in Canada and the most played Canadian single of 1984-85. Ron Nigrini is still performing in the Toronto area, with an occasional trip to France.

Jamaica Land We Love Gala


Submitted by Bill Delingat

The Metro Toronto Convention Centre ‘s south building lit up with a big Jamaican Sun as all the flowers, colours and beauty of the island encompassed the great halls to  celebrate the 50th Golden Anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence.

The ‘Jamaica Land We Love Gala’ was hosted by CBC Television’s Dwight Drummond and Anne-Marie Mediwake and featured  a spectacular star-studded four-part evening, honoring 50 years of Jamaica's Independence and  toasting the mother land while celebrating great Canadian-Jamaican achievements. The production commenced with The '62 Reception, and then moved into the main halls for the greetings. welcoming remarks with introductory speeches including the Hon. Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario, Sheila Sealy Monteith High Commissioner For Jamaica to Canada and a message from Jamaica by the Hon. A. J. Nicholson Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Government of Jamaica to name a few of the many dignitaries in attendance. The event is one of many worldwide that is recognized as an official event by the Jamaican government.

Opening entertainment began with a beautiful rendition of the O Canada by Jay Davis, followed by Allan Jones with the National anthem of Jamaica only to have his microphone malfunction, but the audience joined into the chorus to back him up. The moment brought to mind the Bob Marley song“One Love” as you could feel the love the audience have for Jamaica.

Cold Specks Brings Polaris Music Prize Short Listed Album “I Predict A Graceful Expulsion” On Tour Across Canada


Types who bet on the Polaris Prize say there’s serious coin coming down on Cold Specks to take it home. Here’s a chance for folks across the country to check why this is so. Starting this weekend in Calgary, Cold Specks is on the road and coming to a venue somewhere near you.

After a very successful North American tour with Great Lake Swimmers, and with summer festival appearances in Calgary, Guelph, Regina, New Brunswick and B.C. looming as well as headlining club shows in Montreal and Toronto, Cold Specks’ debut album was short listed yesterday for the Polaris Music Prize.

With a voice that evokes the ‘spirit feel’ of Mahalia Jackson and the visceral tones of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the Arts & Crafts artist from Etobicoke, Ontario’s sparse arrangements and chain gang rhythms stop you dead in your tracks.


Cold Specks Canadian Festival Dates
July 27/28 – Calgary, AB @ Calgary Folk Festival
July 29 – Guelph, ON @ Hillside Festival
August 3/4/5 – Sackville, NB @ Sappy Fest

August 10/11/12 – Regina, SK @ Regina Folk Festival
August 17/18/19 – Salmon Arm, BC @ Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival

Cold Specks Canadian Headlining Dates
August 7 - Montreal, QC @ Le Divan Orange 

August 8 - Toronto, ON @ The Great Hall



Now that we have your attention, did you know that server handing you a cold one makes $8.90 an hour tops? Did you know the minimum wage is $10.25?

The good news is that Toronto’s party people are rated as decent tippers. And events like NXNE bring out the best in us all. The bad news is the growing trend towards ‘Tipping Out’, where every server has to turn over every tip to an owner/management type who may or may not return a portion of the accumulated gratuities.

This is very different from the common practice of tip pooling, where the total gratuities are split between the back of house workers, the people who actually have something to do with serving you.

Incredibly, it’s all too legal under the current regulations regarding Gratuities.

Which brings us to M.P.P. Michael Prue, the Beaches MPP who’s looking to put a stop to all that with a Private Members Bill.

Since 2010, Prue has been fighting to protect the hard-earned tips from the hands of bar and restaurant bosses. “Most people don’t even know that when they leave a tip, the owners of some restaurants and bars take a cut,” Prue said.

Today he asked the Premier if he agreed that tips should go to the hard working bartenders, servers, and dishwashers across Ontario – and not to the owners and management staff. Thousands of bar and restaurant workers have been hoping for this second chance after the government let the bill die before the October election, even though it had the support of all three parties.

Mariposa Folk Festival – The Grande Dame of Canadian Folk Festivals

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The Grand Dame of Canadian Folk Festivals once again returns to its roots July 6-8 2012 in Orillia, Ontario. The Mariposa Folk Festival was founded in 1961 in Orillia, Ontario. It was held in Orillia for three years before being banned because of disturbances by festivalgoers. After being held in various places in Ontario for a few decades, it returned to Orillia in 2000.

“Legends In Little Rooms” Guitar Series with Jorge Matinez

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

“Legends In Little Rooms” Guitar Series with Jorge Matinez is a series that introduces Canada’s own Jorge Martinez with very special guest Oscar Lopez.

Jorge Martinez has but one mission at his fingertips: to carry us away, namely to his native Argentina. With remarkable virtuosity, he composes and performs Flamenco-inspired music with Latin and Oriental accents. But be warned: the man plays faster than the speed of light! When he flies off on magical solos, Jorge never does so alone – he takes us with him.

Jorge is already highly regarded in his adopted home – the province of Quebec,  but not yet as well-known in the rest of Canada and, to that end he and his stellar band, along with very special guest, Oscar Lopez will appear in concert in three of southern Ontario’s best venues.

Jorge Martinez closes out this first season of the “Legends in Little Rooms” Southern Ontario tours that saw truly amazing concerts from internationally renowned artists, Strunz & Farah and Ottmar Liebert in March and April.  Now it’s Jorge’s turn.

He relocated from Argentina to Montreal some ten years ago, and with cross-Canada performances tucked under his belt, he is poised to take off once again. Jorge, last summer, fulfilled one of his greatest dreams when he was invited to open the Paco de Lucia concert in Winnipeg.  The year before, he was honoured to share the stage with the legendary Cesaria Evora. He opened for her at one of her last concerts in a packed Place des Arts.

Scott Woods Band – Fiddle Legend Tour


Scott's dad Merv started playing old time music in 1944 as a youngster. His very first performance was a fundraiser for the local school house just outside of Fergus, Ontario. By 1950, he had formed his own band known as The Merv Woods Orchestra. They soon became very busy playing for dances, socials, garden parties, weddings, anniversaries and many more fundraisers.

In 1956, a young lady named Carolyn Dyer joined the band as the pianist. The Dyer family was very musical and had for many generations been playing Old Time Fiddle Music. In 1960, Carolyn & Merv were married and went on to have 4 children, Elizabeth, Kendra, Bruce and Scott.

All of the children studied classical violin and piano and were already performing with the band by the time they were 8 years old. From large stages and theatres to community halls, school houses, barns and even a raft in the Elora Quarry.

Montreal’s Music Community Raises Over 600 Clothing Items For Homeless


Montreal’s socially conscious bands hard rock acts Society’s Ills, The Era Of, Rudebeats and Isolate Cast  came together this past Saturday, February 18th for the 4th annual Blankfest Quebec to answer the call to help those in need during Montreal’s coldest winter months and raised over 600 clothing items for the city’s largest and oldest shelter, theOld Brewery Mission. 
“I’m always impressed by the generosity and compassion from the city of Montreal, its citizens and its music scene. Their support along with media and sponsors to help raise awareness and proceeds is always astounding,” commented Blankfest Quebec organizer and music publicist Jon Asher.

Photo: Society's Ills rock out in support of Blankfest Montreal 2012

Proceeds from this year’s Blankfest Quebec came not just from the music community, but also from grandmothers across Quebec.“My heart was truly touched by the kindness of this year’s donations of knitted blankets, scarves and tuques that came from both the ladies at the Steger Residence in Montreal and the “Townships Grandmothers” who quilted blankets when they heard there was a need to help the homeless.”

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