MusiCounts kicked off Juno week with a 2017 MusiCounts Band Aid Program presentation made by the wife of the Prime Minister, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, with Juno nominee Ruth B who also thrilled the kids with a performance.
The gift of instruments for St. Elizabeth Elementary School's music program in Ottawa is part of the not-for-profit's plan to distribute the equivalent of $720,000 in instruments to 88 music programs in schools nationwide. This is the largest instrument allocation in the 20 years the Band Aid Program has been running.
The PM's wife congratulated the Band Aid Program recipients, spoke about the importance of music education, and introduced a special performance by Ruth B.
"Music is a special medium that has the power of building bridges between strangers," she said. "It's a global language we share and one every child should have the opportunity to learn. When children are given the opportunity to play music, school becomes a place for creative expression and collaboration. Congratulations to this year's recipients and a special thank you to MusiCounts for their great work over the past two decades."
-- Trade org Music Canada breaks down the recent federal budget and reports that it contains some encouraging language for Canada’s music sector. You can read the findings here.
-- New RIAA stats show streaming revenue now outpaces income from downloads and CD/LP/CS sales in the US. The trade org also reports that recorded music sales in the market were up 11.4% in 2016. Combined with ad-funded streaming and SoundExchange distributions from web radio platforms such as Pandora, streaming generated US$3.93B in the 12 months – up 68% on 2015.
-- Australian actor, comedian and composer Eddie Perfect is following in the footsteps of his friend Tim Minchin, all the way to Broadway. Playbill reports that Perfect is writing the score for a new musical adaptation of Tim Burton’s 1988 cult comedy-fantasy film Beetlejuice, alongside book writers Scott Brown and Anthony King.
-- MBW reports on Universal Music’s ambition to become the predominant player in Japan, the second largest global music market after the US.
-- Media are running pics of Slowhand being wheeled through LAX in a wheelchair this week. Recently turning 72, Eric Clapton was forced to cancel a pair of shows at The Forum in Los Angeles over the weekend after being diagnosed with severe bronchitis.
-- Every year Jaymz Bee, most assuredly one of Toronto's most colourful bon vivants, hosts a week of parties and this year three are open to the public: A free party at La Rev runs 7-11 pm on April 10, a quiet dinner and show at Bloom is yours for the booking on the 11th, and a wild double concert at Lula Lounge starts at 6:30 pm on the 13th.
-- Sony releases Van Morrison, the Authorized Bang Collection, a 3-disc set, on April 28. The first features 17 mono and stereo mixes, disc two contains 15 alternate takes with a couple of previously unissued tracks, and disc three is the self-explanatory Contractual Obligation Sessions. Find out more here and pre-order the collection for C$37.05 on Amazon here.
-- Sarah McLachlan, OC, will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the Junos in Ottawa this weekend and an exhibition of her work opened Monday at the National Music Centre in Calgary. Milestones- Sarah McLachlan covers the songbird's 30-year journey in music. The Junos have partnered with the NMC in presenting the show. The Lilith queen has sold a million copies of Surfacing in Canada, 30M records worldwide and won 10 Junos and three Grammys. Her most recent album, 2016’s Wonderland, is up for a Juno in the Adult Contemporary Album gong. She won in the same category in 2015 with Shine On.
-- Barenaked Ladies will be visible this summer playing a series of 'folk' festivals, returning the lads to the genre they were birthed in before tilting towards mainstream pop.
-- Loreena McKennitt is on tour in Europe. She's performing with mainstay Brian Hughes and cellist Caroline Lavelle. There are no plans for a new record. Her last full album of new material was issued a decade ago.
-- Toronto jazz guitarist/composer Michael Occhipinti (NOJO) made a mark in 2001 with his True North album, Creation Dream: Songs of Bruce Cockburn. This featured inventive instrumental versions of Cockburn tunes. He plans to revisit the material on three upcoming Ontario shows.
Jazz vocalist Elizabeth Shepherd joins Occhipinti, as does brother Roberto Occhipinti and Davide Direnzo, on April 8 at the Jazz Room in Waterloo, April 9 at The Rex Jazz Bar in Toronto, and April 10 a "Jazz FM Live to Air.” Cockburn manager Bernie Finkelstein joins in-studio with stories from his past in Yorkville and managing Mr Rocket Launcher.
-- WayHome Music & Arts Festival has added more names to its lineup. Included, Cage the Elephant, DJ/producer Porter Robinson, Foster the People, New Orleans' Mutemath and Canadian R&B act, Clairmont the Second. They join previously announced headliners Imagine Dragons, Frank Ocean and Flume at the fest, held in Oro-Medonte, ON, on July 28-30.