Calgary-based jazz artist Al "Oop" Muirhead was honoured with the prestigious Meritorious Service Award from the American Federation of Musicians at age 81. In presenting the award to Muirhead, Regina Local 446 President Brian Sklar lauded Al's 68-years as a member of the AFM, the world's largest entertainment union, which he joined in 1948 at the age of 12. The trumpeter/composer/arranger was in Regina performing for the BreakOut West Festival and the Western Canadian Music Awards, nominated in the category of Jazz Artist of the Year. Earlier this year he earned a Juno Award nomination in the Jazz Album of the Year category, for his debut album It's About Time.
-- One of the takeaways from Gord Downie's interview with Peter Mansbridge is that the Tragically Hip frontman says he has material for up to four records in the vault, and confirmed the band is working on a new record. "To the point where it'll be like, 'Jesus, is that guy not dead yet?' Canadians can be funny," Downie said.
-- It has been seven years since the world discovered a shy Scottish church singer by the name of Susan Boyle when she walked on to the Britain's Got Talent stage to sing "I Dreamed A Dream." Since then she has gone on to sell 23M albums round the world and earned countless headlines for her airport antics and worldwide acclaim. On Nov. 4 she releases A Wonderful World, her seventh album whose title is taken from the included duet with the late Nat King Cole. The timely collection also includes a duet with Michael Bolton and her interpretations of Madonna’s "Like A Prayer", Paul McCartney’s "Mull Of Kintyre" and Robbie William’s "Angels". Boyle's last album, Hope, released in 2014, spent 35 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Top Inspirational Albums chart.
-- MacArthur Park is melting in the trash: “It’s like trying to push the waves back from the ocean.” That’s how L.A. City Councilman Gil Cedillo describes the ongoing efforts to clean up MacArthur Park, one of the poorest and densest parts of Los Angeles. He wants to undertake a $20M renovation that will include a new boathouse, outdoor classroom and play areas, a move that will dislodge a tent city of homeless men on Wilshire Boulevard.
-- Back in the ‘70s, Montreal ranked second only to New York City as a North American hub for disco. The Limelight club was viewed as Canada’s Studio 54, and its VIP guestlist included David Bowie, Kraftwerk, Iggy Pop, Rick James, Freddie Mercury, Gloria Gaynor, and Grace Jones. House DJ in those heady decadent days was Robert Ouimet. He is recreating the vibe of the club with a disco revival night in Montreal on Oct. 21. Entitled Québec Éléctrique : Montréal Discoville, it will be held at Théâtre Paradoxe, and features Ouimet, Michel Simard, Christian Pronovost, Alexander Robotnick, and France Joli. The show is sponsored by the Red Bull Music Academy, and Ouimet and Pierre Gagnon gave a lecture at the Academy recently, as below
--Buoyed by the positive response to new album Morning Report, Arkells announced Monday an extended North American tour taking the band into 2017. Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls join the popular Hamilton five-piece on the new leg. Arkells frontman Max Kerman notes in a press release that "I don't think we've ever toured with such kindred spirits. They embody everything I love about rock'n'roll, and they make us bring (out) our A-game every night." Not finished with praise, he adds "Our biggest shows yet deserve the best lineup, and that's what we've got here." The two-pack hit Vancouver, Edmonto, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Montreal, Ottawa, Moncton and Halifax in Feb. See full tour schedule here: