— Next year will be the fifth and final season for Luminato Festival artistic director Jörn Weisbrodt. The Ontario arts and creativity festival’s board of directors and CEO have launched an international search to find a new artistic director in time for the 2017 season. Weisbrodt will stay on to program the organization’s 10th anniversary festival in 2016 before relocating to NYC, where he shares a home with his husband, Rufus Wainwright. Weisbrodt’s first collaboration with the festival occurred in 2010, when he helped to launch the NA premiere of Wainwright’s opera, Prima Donna. He became the festival’s artistic director in 2012.
— Mainland China's Modern Sky Festival expands its US presence in 2015 with events in Central Park's Rumsey Playfield in New York on October 4 and Seattle's Mural Amphitheatre on October 11th. Artists confirmed so far include Gang of Four, Black Lips, Ariel Pink, Mark Sultan, Lower + Chinese artists Song Dongye, New Pants, Hedgehog, and Miserable Faith. The Modern Sky Festival was first produced in Beijing in '07. Today, that event is one of 20+ large-scale music festivals, boasting a cumulative attendance of over 710,000, produced in cities throughout Mainland China by Modern Sky, China's leading music entertainment company. In 2014 Modern Sky exported their expertise to New York with a festival that featured Cat Power, Atomic Bomb!, The Blood Brothers, Aimee Mann + Ted Leo, and Chinese stars Queen Sea Big Shark, and Re-TROS.
— With the support of the Ontario Music Fund, Music Managers Forum Canada has been able to secure $60,000 in funding to develop new international markets for their artists by offsetting a portion of travel expenses. According to an MMF media release, the pilot year for the program was oversubscribed, receiving requests for 231% of actual funding available. There was a significant response to the program, and 78% of applicants were at least partially funded. MMF Canada hopes to secure additional funding for the next round.
— Stony Plain Records has announced a September 25th release date for The Acoustic Blues & Roots of Duke Robillard. The former founder of Room Full Of Blues describes the new collection as a salute to American roots music spanning blues, ragtime, early jazz, Appalachian music, early country, swing, honky-tonk, folk, R&B, soul, New Orleans music, rock and roll "and all kinds of roots music have always moved and inspired me the most."
Joining the Duke is an all-star backing cast, including Maria Muldaur and Sunny Crownover, former Muddy Waters band member Jerry Portnoy on harmonica and the late, Kansas City piano legend Jay McShann. Other players include Mary Flower – acoustic finger style and lap slide guitar and vocal; Marty Ballou and John Packer – acoustic bass; Matt McCabe – piano; Mark Teixeira and Marty Richards – drums; Billy Novick – clarinet; Doug James - baritone sax and harmonica; Dave Babcock - tenor sax; Jon Ross – mandolin; Russell Gusetti – concertina and the Providence Mandolin Orchestra.
— September Seventh Entertainment Limited reports that due to a scheduling conflict, Iron and Wine has been replaced on the Greenbelt Harvest Picnic line-up by The Rural Alberta Advantage. Also on the bill are Arkells, Bahamas, Gordon Lightfoot, Gregory Alan Isakov, Kathleen Edwards, Lee Harvey Osmond, Basia Bulat, Martha Wainwright, Terra Lightfoot and Dinner Belles. The annual at Christie Lake outside of Hamilton takes place on Saturday August 29th.
— CAPACOA/Culture of inClusion 2015, a three-day gathering of Canada’s national and international presenting and touring sector, convenes in Ottawa, November 25 - 28. The deadline to submit for showcasing opportunities ends tomorrow (Aug. 21st). Details can be found here
— Music PEI will host the eighth annual Showcase PEI September 21st to 24th, 2015. In 2008, Music PEI held the initial buyers conference in Charlottetown and invited 15 buyers from across Canada, the US and Japan. It has since grown to include 30 to 40 delegates each year. Over 200 delegates have attended Showcase PEI and they have included many types of music industry professionals from a dozen different countries around the globe. Showcase PEI 2015 will focus entirely on live performance opportunities. Music PEI is currently recruiting delegates to attend Showcase PEI. Contact Rob Oakie for further information.
A limited number of selected Delegate applications will be eligible for financial assistance to attend including hotel and meals.
— Open Road Recordings' annual CCMA hootenanny is always a blast. The line-up for this year's 'shanty' includes Dean Brody, Tim Hicks, Madeline Merlo, Curtis Rempel from High Valley, Clayton Bellamy from the Road Hammers, and Blackjack Billy's Jeff Coplan. Get yourself press-ganged to the new Gottingen address of the Seahorse Tavern on Friday, Sept. 11th. RSVP only.
— Apple kicks out the jams with a rebranded Apple Music festival at London's Roundhouse on Sept. 19th. Acts on tap to play include Florence + The Machine, Pharrell Williams, Disclosure and One Direction. Tickets are free via an Apple Music draw. Might be nice if a few of the music streaming services stuck their heads above ground here in Canada, or maybe they do and we've just never heard about them (which is one and the same, isn't it?).