Browsing: Canadian Music

Montreal, the 25th of July 2018 – The Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) unveils today the new face of the 2019-2020 edition of its Homage Series: Katia Makdissi-Warren. By the choice of this established composer having met the challenge, with sensitivity, of eliminating the frontiers between music of various traditions, Walter Boudreau, artistic director of the SMCQ, poses a concrete gesture in favor of the recognition of a contemporary music open to the world. “The SMCQ believes as much in the importance of recognizing the immense contribution of the ‘builders’ of contemporary music in Quebec such as Gilles…

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Musique nomade promotes emerging Indigenous musicians from Quebec and Canada regardless of style or nation while seeking fair cultural representation within the music industry. Supporting talented and vigorous emerging artists, this non-profit organization has a positive impact on professional development production and workshops in communities. The organization also wishes to ensure the survival of traditional music through digital media and to encourage cultural exchange. Like the professionals from Wapikoni mobile, created in 2011 by film director and activist Manon Barbeau, Music nomade’s professionals visit communities in remote areas to meet their young people. How do they achieve this? The directors’…

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Melody McKiver is a vivacious and brilliant Anishinaabe artist, cultural activist and arts educator. She is a member of the Lac Seul Obishikokaang First Nation on her mother’s side. Her father comes from a family of Scottish/Lithuanian settlers. Holder of a master’s degree in ethnomusicology from Memorial University in Newfoundland (2014), McKiver is especially interested in indigenous electronic music and the urban Indigenous scene. Art processes that support and favour decolonization and the concept of bi-spirituality are other great sources of inspiration. This versatile musician has learned classical violin and viola and played and recorded contemporary classical, folk, hip-hop, funk…

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The awards ceremony of the Indigenous Music Awards is a celebration of First Nations creativity. It is also an important event in the larger program of the Manito Ahbee Festival of Winnipeg, which is named after a sacred site for all peoples in the west part of the Whiteshell area of Manitoba. In Ojibwe, Manito Ahbee means “the place where the Creator sits.” The name of Manitoba finds its origin in this special place. The Manito Ahbee Festival, whose 13th edition just ended, celebrates Indigenous arts, music and culture at large. It presents international powwows, a conference on international Indigenous…

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Singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie is a trailblazer, the first Indigenous musician to come to prominence in Canada. Her first album, It’s My Way!, was released by Vanguard Records in 1964. Last November, Medicine Songs, her 19th album, was released to critical acclaim. It contains some new material, like You Got to Run (Spirit of the Wind), in which she is joined on vocals by well-known throat singer Tanya Tagaq. Almost all the other songs have new arrangements. Overall, Sainte-Marie continues to have a remarkable career, enriched (although commercially hindered at one point) by her educator/outreach work and activism on behalf of…

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Last April, First Nations musician, composer and activist Jeremy Dutcher released his first album, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa. Bridging traditional music, pop and classical, it pays tribute to his beloved roots in the Wolastoqiyik reserve where he grew up. Can his style be described as Indigenous pop? “I prefer not to be labelled,” says the 27-year-old classically-trained tenor. “I’m more than an First Nation singer. I see myself as metamorphosing from pop to traditional music. A hybrid, if you like.” Dutcher is keen to point out that his pieces were written to be as accessible as possible to a young audience.…

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Montreal International Guitar Festival and Competition Again this year, the Montreal International Guitar Festival and Competition promises to be an event to follow. The program involving artists François Fowler, Jesus Serrano Huitron, Emma Rush, Roberto Fabri, Samuel Coyle, Tariq Harb, Jeffrey McFadden and Dave Pilon guarantees a rare spectacle. The festival continues its youth competition in addition to offering many master classes. Concerts start at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The musical cocktail is a mix of musicians of different nationalities. May 25-27, D.B. Clarke Theater. www.guitaremontreal.com 21C Music Festival The 21C Music Festival celebrates its fifth anniversary with…

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Keith Cerny comes to Calgary with what he describes as a “hybrid” background in classical music and business technology. The accomplished pianist arrived mid-January to start work as the newly appointed general director of Calgary Opera. “The reception has been great,” says Cerny, who left the same position with the Dallas Opera, a company with a larger budget and a bigger mainstage season. “[Calgary] has a lot to offer. It has an extensive track record,” he insists. Two other key factors in deciding to move were a “clear-thinking board” and “one of only three National Emerging Artists Programs.” Although plans…

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The Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil (OSDL) is celebrating spring with Carl Orff’s renowned Carmina Burana. The concert will bring together OSDL musicians, the St. Lambert Choral Society, Les Petits Chanteurs de Laval and soloists Raphaëlle Paquette (soprano), Antoine Bélanger (tenor) and Marc Boucher (baritone). They will be led by OSDL artistic director Marc David, who describes Carmina Burana as “one of those grandiose works of the symphonic repertoire dealing with a universal theme, where listeners, singers, musicians and conductors are satisfied.” This seminal work was composed in 1935 and premiered in 1937 in Frankfurt. The text comprises 24 medieval poems…

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I recently had the great pleasure of conversing with Joseph Rouleau, a Quebec bass of international reputation, still working on projects at 89. Why, in the middle of a singing career that would have filled more than one life, was he interested in the development of young artists? “If we go back to the 1950s, there was not much [opportunity],” he replied. André Turp, Robert Savoie, Maureen Forrester and I, we all made our first tours with Jeunesses Musicales. “I made my first tour in 1950-1951 with Jeunesses Musicales. This allowed me to sing in more than 40 concerts and…

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