Paul Shaffer at CMW 2017
Paul Shaffer at CMW 2017

Music News Digest, Jan. 31, 2018

Paul Shaffer returns as host of the 3rd annual Live Music Industry Awards that fall under the Canadian Music Week umbrella. Held from 4-6pm on May 11 at the El Mocambo in Toronto, the event celebrates the best of the live music business sector. Created by CMW in partnership with the International Festival Network (IFN) and Music Canada Live, the awards are a highlight of CMW's Live Music Summit. Purchase tickets here.

 – In other CMW news, renowned international immigration attorney Lorraine D'Alessio is named as a speaker at the 2018 Live Touring Summit. Her keynote on May 10 is entitled "Changing times: How the immigration landscape is adapting to new digital and streaming trends." The Summit takes places May 10-11 at the Sheraton Centre Downtown Toronto. More info here

– The Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) will be returning to New Skool Rules in Rotterdam for two Canadian Blast showcases and a business mission. Running May 18-20, New Skool Rules is the largest international Hip-Hop and R&B music conference in the world.

With the support of Music Export Canada, the CIMA showcases will focus on R&B/Urban on May 18, and Hip-Hop on May 20. This is an excellent opportunity for 8-12 Canadian acts to showcase to festival delegates and attendees. Last year 13 Canadian acts showcased, including Ahi, Jenna, D.O., Quake Matthews, iLLvibe, and Devontee. The submission deadline this year is Feb. 23. Details here  

–  Canada Reads is a popular CBC Books series in which celebrity panellists advocate for their chosen book. The five 2018 contenders were announced yesterday, and the inclusion of Mark Sakamoto's Forgiveness: A Gift from My Grandparents is of particular interest, given that Sakamoto's day job is as chair of the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC). Forgiveness is described as "a compassionate look at a family's history, and an unflinching portrait of Canada's past." It will be defended by Jeanne Beker on Canada Reads. R&B star Jully Black is one of the other panellists.

–  Country singer Dan Davidson is the winner of the 2017 Edmonton Music Prize yesterday, one worth $10K. The two runners-up were Nuela Charles and 100 Mike House. Formerly with indie rockers Tupelo Honey, Davidson scored a gold single as a solo artist in 2016, with "Found." He won four Alberta Country Music Association Awards in each of the last two years and is currently opening for Brett Kissel on a national tour.

– The list of music legends announcing farewell concerts and tours seems to grow weekly, with the likes of Elton John, Slayer and Lynyrd Skynyrd announcing retirement plans. Now there is Paul Simon, who has entitled his upcoming show in London “Homeward Bound: The Farewell Performance.” Joined by special guests James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt, Simon is closing out the British Summer Time Hyde Park festival on July 15. Now 76, Simon has rarely performed in recent years. Source: Forbes

– The SOCAN and CIMA-supported Northern Beat pre-Grammy party in NYC last Thursday attracted some heavy-hitters, including Tom Cochrane, Oscar-winning and Canada-loving filmmaker Michael Moore, and Beyonce's team, eager to check out Daniel Caesar's set. Also performing were Neon Dreams, Dear Rouge, and Iskwé.

– Peter Kater won a Grammy Award on Sunday night in the Best New Age album category, for Dancing On Water, beating out such heavyweights as Brian Eno and Kitaro. His victory has a Canadian connection, as the album is released on Spring Hill Music, a division of Geoff Kulawick's Linus Entertainment.

–  US rock band The National won the Best Alternative Music Album Grammy, for Sleep Well Beast. The group is managed by Hamilton-based Straight & Narrow Artist Management.

– Scottish-born, Toronto-based, singer/songwriter David Leask has long been a favourite on the folk rounds. Hometown fans can hear material from his new album, Six in 6/8, at a March residency at The Cameron House, every Monday from 6-8pm. He'll be joined by album producer and multi-instrumentalist Justin Abedin (Jacksoul/Justin Hines). 

– The Hagersville Rocks festival in Southwestern Ontario has announced the complete lineup for the 208 edition. Performing on Friday, July 27 are Lee Harvey Osmond, The Mudmen and Tomi Swick, with the strong Saturday lineup including James Barker Band, River Town Saints, Terra Lightfoot, Freedom Train, and Logan Staats. Tix on sale Feb. 2. 

– Renowned jazz pianist/composer Robi Botos won a Juno Award for his last album, Movin' Forward. He has done just that, with a new release, Old Soul, ready to roll out on Friday, via A440/Universal Music Canada. Botos will launch it with a three-night stand at Toronto's Jazz Bistro this week (Feb. 1-3). Guests on the album include Ingrid Jensen and Lionel Loueke.

– The Art of Music is a fundraising concert to assist the much-loved Toronto visual artist  Michael Wrycraft through his current health challenges. Organised by George Koller and Grit and Judy Laskin, it takes place Feb. 25 at Trinity St. Paul's Centre in Toronto. Performers confirmed include Tom Wilson, James Keelaghan, Carlos Del Junco, Chloe Charles, Wendell Ferguson, Kevin Fox, Jon Brooks, Katherine Wheatley, Treasa Levasseur, Sharlene Wallace, and Koller, with the irrepressible Jaymz Bee hosting.

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