Music News Digest: June 2, 2017

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) has announced that Peter Oundjian will be honoured with the title of Conductor Emeritus when he completes his tenure as TSO Music Director at the end of the 2017/18 season. By then, Oundjian will have served in the role of Music Director for 14 seasons, the second longest tenure in TSO history (Sir Ernest MacMillan helmed the orchestra for 25 seasons).

Beginning with the 2019/20 season, Oundjian will return for a number of annual engagements, conducting the TSO at Roy Thomson Hall as part of the flagship Masterworks series. An extensive search for his replacement as Music Director is under way. Sir Andrew Davis will act as Interim Artistic Director for two seasons following the conclusion of Oundjian's tenure.

Below, Edward Top: Eruption / Peter Oundjian · TSO & TSYO

— Look for acclaimed Canadian musical Come From Away to clean up bigtime at the upcoming Dora Mavor Moore Awards, honouring Toronto’s theatre, opera and dance community. Come From Away scored eight nominations, reflecting the fact it was a commercial and critical hit in Toronto. It is now repeating that success with a Broadway run.

To be hosted by actor/musician Raoul Bhaneja, the Awards will be presented June 26 at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre.

Oh Susanna released her album A Girl In Teen City, and launched it in her Toronto hometown with two shows at The Monarch Tavern last night. The first one was an industry showcase attended by many local notables, including Warner Music head Steve Kane and Skydiggers Andy Maize and Josh Finlayson. Album producer Jim Bryson was part of the A-list combo backing Oh Susanna (aka Suzie Ungerleider). One sweet touch was the presence of Paul Brennan of the Odds at the drumkit for one song, to honour the fact that he helped inspire one of the songs on the album, a witty recollection of an experience he and Ungerleider shared in Vancouver decades ago.

 — La Voix 2 winner Renée Wilkin is red hot in Quebec with an album of soulful standards by the likes of Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Etta James — selected from the year 1967, hence the title Soul ’67. It’s a big production, with a horn line, a trio of backup singers, Hammond B3 and a guitar/bass and drums crew. She expects to deliver her second album in the new year with all original material.

Here’s her take on Etta’s “I’d Rather Go Blind”

— Two-time Juno-winning banjoist, composer and instigator Jayme Stone started out as a Deadhead, and found himself going from following the band around the country to researching their influences in the Library of Congress.

“There’s an old Zen saying about how you shouldn’t ‘seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise,’” says Stone, “but rather ‘seek what they sought.’” So he did. This led him straight to the Alan Lomax collection, which led to a treasure trove of tunes that influenced him in turn.

A musical journey through the Appalachians, the Sea Islands and the Caribbean, Jayme's new album Folklife follows the bends and bayous through the deep river of song and story. Now he’s created an album mirroring his journey, released in Canada by Borealis Records.

Listen and watch Miranda Mulholland (singer, songwriter, violinist, label owner and music festival organizer) addressing the Economic Club of Canada on the reality for music entrepreneurs in the digital age.

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