Music News Digest, Nov. 10, 2017

WILD 953 and Alberta Music have announced this year's Top 3 Finalist Artists for year two of Project WILD. All three finalists are up for the top prize of $100,953 towards their career. Chosen are (in no particular order) Nice Horse (Calgary), Tanya Ryan (Okotoks), and Brad Saunders (Calgary). They will all perform at The Palace Theatre in Calgary on Nov. 25, followed by the announcement of the grand winner. Proceeds from that show go to the Unison Benevolent Fund. More info here

– Canadian Music Week (CMW) has announced its eight 2018 Co-Chairs. They are: Andrew Lindsay (Music Label Partnerships), Denise Ross (Live Nation), Michael McCarty (SOCAN), Nick Farkas (Evenko), Paul Jessop (Universal Music Canada), Sarah Cummings (Bell Media), Stefanie Purificati (APA Canada), and Vivian Barclay (Warner/Chappell).

CMW will be held May 7-13 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel.

– On Monday, Nov. 13, Lula Lounge in Toronto will host a live music industry forum on the theme of venue sustainability. Toronto Music Advisory Council (TMAC) chairs Jeff Cohen (Collective Concerts), and Jesse Kumagai (Live Nation) will moderate an open discussion about the most pressing issues facing live music venues in Toronto, focusing on ongoing venue sustainability and potential revenue growth. This panel will explore traditional spaces and business models, while a later session will focus on the challenges facing DIY spaces.

The forum will run from 4-6pm and is open to all live music industry professionals, venue owners and operators, musicians, agents, touring professionals, city councillors and officials. If you are interested in attending the discussion, you can RSVP through the Facebook event or by e-mailing

– Noted US trade mag Hollywood Reporter recently dropped by Drake's Toronto apartment for an in-depth interview with the hip-hop superstar. They discovered he has new projects on the go with Apple and Netflix, with Apple apparently giving him carte-blanche to produce whatever he chooses. Drake also discussed plans to "take six months or a year to myself and do some great films." Read more here

– Earlier this week at Toronto's Gladstone Hotel, local bon vivant and JAZZ FM host Jaymz Bee launched his new book, Cosmic Fishing (on Insomniac Press). The fun event featured Bee reading from this collection of witty poems and song lyrics, then sitting down for a revealing interview with two of his longtime comrades, Ross Porter from JazzFM and former CBC personality Ralph Benmergui. The evening also included performances from some of Bee's musical friends, while a just-wrapped new video by his group Bonzai Suzuki, "Virus," was screened. Those spied in the crowd included jazz singers Barbra Lica, Laura Hubert, Ori Dagan, poet Robert Priest, and former mayor David Miller.

–  The Upstream Fest in Seattle is now accepting artist submissions for the 2018 edition, scheduled June 1-3. You have until Nov. 24 to apply here. At this year's Upstream, Music BC hosted a BC Music House featuring performances from 12 of the province's acts.

– Toronto-based world music guitarist Yiannis will launch his new CD, Awakening, with a Nov. 12 performance at Lula Lounge in Toronto. His third release, it features original compositions that fuse Greek, Latin, classical, funk, rock and jazz elements. Proceeds from the concert will go to the Red Cross International Disaster Relief Fund.

– Edmonton-raised, Toronto-based, singer/songwriter Michael Rault is signed to Wick Records, the new rock subsidiary of the US label, Daptone Records. He has been recording at Daptone's House of Soul studio for an upcoming release. Rault has upcoming dates in LA (Nov. 15), at the M for Montreal fest (Nov. 18) and at Toronto's Smiling Buddha on Nov. 22.

– Ever wondered what the backstage area at Toronto's famed Massey Hall looks like? If so, you can find out this Sunday (Nov. 12) when York U’s Ethnomusicology Professor Rob Bowman hosts a Music History Talks event at MH, one including a backstage tour and look at archival displays. The free sessions, part of Myseum’s Music from People City series, take place at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. More info here


Pentti "Whitey" Glan, a Canadian drummer who recorded and toured with Lou Reed and Alice Cooper, amongst others, died on Nov. 7. He was 71. reported Glan had been diagnosed with lung cancer last month.

Born in Finland, Glan moved to Toronto and, in 1965, joined a band called The Rogues. They became Mandala and had a 1968 Top 10 hit in Canada with "Love-Itis," then Glan and Mandala bandmates Domenic Troiano, Roy Kenner and Prakash John formed Bush. Glan then worked on two solo albums by Steppenwolf leader John Kay, before joining Lou Reed's band. His work can be heard on Reed's live Rock 'n' Roll Animal and other following records. Glan played on Alice Cooper's hit album Welcome to My Nightmare and often toured with Cooper.

As an in-demand session drummer, Glan also recorded with Anne Murray, Van Morrison, Bette Midler ( for The Rose soundtrack), Klaatu, David Wilcox, and more. His skills were praised by the legendary Buddy Rich on The Tonight Show. He continued to gig around Toronto until very recently.

Paul (John) Buckmaster, an English Grammy-winning arranger and artist who worked with Elton John, David Bowie and The Rolling Stones, has died. He was 71. He began his career as a cellist, then became an in-demand arranger after working on David Bowie's Space Oddity in 1969.

His long resume includes work on albums by Miles Davis, the Grateful Dead, Heart, Elton John, Mott the Hoople, Harry Nilsson, The Rolling Stones, Guns 'N Roses, Taylor Swift, and many others over the past four and a half decades. Buckmaster won a Grammy in 2002 for arranging Train's Drops of Jupiter.

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