Browsing: Popular Music

Saturday, September 1 was one of the busiest journeys of the five-day Festival with 6 indoor concerts, a Masterclass with Russian accordionist Roman Jbanov,  a Trad Quebecois dance event and free concerts held all over the town in different outdoor stages and restaurants. I also wanted to visit the Accordion Museum at the historical Manoir et four a pain Couillard and the photographic exhibition by Julien Simard which documented 30 years of the festival’s history. My first order of business was to meet with accordion prodigy Andrea Di Giacomo. The 22-year-old left the audience in awe at the Opening night…

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PROFILE/REVIEW: of the 2018 Glimmerglass Festival Season: Silent Night by Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell; West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim; Cunning Little Vixen by Leoš Janáček; and The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini and Cesare Sterbini. “It’s remarkable how many important things happened in 1918,” observes Glimmerglass Festival artistic and managing director Francesca Zambello, speaking at a recent pre-show audience address in Cooperstown. “The end of World War I. The birth of Leonard Bernstein. And the premiere of this piece” – this last a reference to Igor Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale, which was…

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INTERVIEW: with renowned composer John Rutter. Mark it a red-letter day in the Canadian classical music calendar: on Friday the 13th of July, John Rutter – among the world’s most beloved and widely performed living composers – arrives in Ottawa. “I feel very much at home in Canada,” Rutter says from his home in Great Britain. “I was quite a regular visitor in past years, when I was patron of the Toronto Mendelsohn Youth Choir. But this will be my first trip to Ottawa, and I’m very much looking forward to it.” It’s a journey occasioned by the two back-to-back…

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War came to an end with the Treaty of Versailles. Music societies and festivals around the world are observing the centenary and paying their respects. Reflections of Wartime is the theme of this year’s Toronto Summer Music Festival, which runs from July 12 to Aug. 4. “I didn’t want it to be just World War I-inspired, but wartime-inspired in general,” artistic director Jonathan Crow explains. “An incredible wealth of music comes from wartime and not all of it dark.” Toronto Summer Music combines a festival with an academy program for pre-professional classical musicians. Most have completed their undergraduate degrees and…

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From July 20 to 22, Ottawa will welcome the fourth edition of the Capital Ukrainian Festival. More than 500 artists from all corners of the country as well as the United States and Ukraine will ­converge for this three-day weekend event. Jane Kolbe, the organizing committee’s ­president, wants the event to be a truly global and multicultural experience. There will be ­traditional music to be heard, songs to be sung and dances to be seen. But the program also ­offers a wide array of cultural activities for young and old, including a village market, a food court, a beer garden,…

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Well-established in Quebec’s cultural landscape for 30 years, the Carrefour mondial de l’accordéon invites musicians and music fans to gather in Montmagny and celebrate the rich heritage of the instrument. Although it’s often associated with the Parisian musette waltz, the accordion has spread across Europe and the Americas to become an integral part of many music traditions. Its 200-year history has seen several developments that have produced an extensive range of instruments with diverse characteristics. With the aim of preserving this heritage and inspiring the development of the practice, the Carrefour will gather more that 40 musicians from different geographic…

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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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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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Now residing in Montreal, Inuit singer-songwriter, film director and activist Elisapie will release The Ballad of the Runway Girl at the end of summer. About 30 concerts are already planned in connection with this new album. Elisapie launches her cross-province tour in Lavaltrie and travels to Val-d’Or. Montreal welcomes her on Sept. 27. Elisapie’s fourth album was inspired by the life of Willie Thrasher, an Inuit singer. “Sent to a residential school in the south, deprived of his language and traditional lifestyle, Willie Thrasher did not have an easy life, but this fighter gave me force and influenced my work,”…

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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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