The Grapes Of Wrath
The Grapes Of Wrath

Music News Digest, June 20, 2018

BreakOut West has made its first lineup announcement of showcasing artists for the 16th annual festival, running from Oct. 11-13, in Kelowna. Notables include Foonyap, The Grapes of Wrath, Gunner & Smith, The Heels, Megan Nash, Quantum Tangle, Sarah Jane Scouten, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, and The Velveteins. The Grapes Of Wrath membership is to be inducted into the Western Canadian Music Hall Of Fame at the fest.

Drake has added a dozen shows to his  Aubrey and the Three Migos Tour. The 41-date Live Nation-produced outing kicks off July 26 in Salt Lake City, UT; the new dates include shows in Denver, Detroit, New York, Montreal (Sept. 5 at Bell Centre), Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, LA, San Francisco, and Edmonton (Nov. 7 at Rogers Place). On June 28, Drake releases his fifth official full-length album Scorpion. This week, his hit single "Nice For What" returned to No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100, rising from No. 2, for a seventh week total at the top.

– The Ontario Music Fund (OMF) is now accepting applications for its 2018-19  Live Music stream and Music Futures stream. The Live Music stream is aimed at music promoters, presenters and booking agents. Its goal is to increase the number and quality of live music experiences enjoyed by residents in and visitors to Ontario at events, festivals and concerts featuring Canadian artists. The Music Futures stream is also aimed at music promoters, presenters and booking agents, with a goal of stimulating entrepreneurship and providing support to develop Ontario’s diverse and emerging music industry, including live music. The application deadline for both is Oct. 4. Details here 

–  A new stage musical inspired by the life of Michael Jackson is being developed, with the aim of a 2020 run on Broadway, Variety reports. The announcement came from The Michael Jackson Estate and Columbia Live Stage yesterday. The show will be written by Lynn Nottage, a two time Pulitzer Prize winner. Tony Award winner and contemporary ballet star Christopher Wheeldon (“An American in Paris”) will direct and choreograph. Recent successes on Broadway have included a number of jukebox musicals such as Jersey Boys, On Your Feet, and Beautiful.

– Pearl Jam was forced to postpone a performance at the O2 Arena in London last night (June 19) after frontman Eddie Vedder lost his voice. “It’s the first time ever having to postpone a show for this reason. Ed and the band are gutted thinking of all the folks who have travelled and made plans,” an announcement by the band explained." The group hope to resume its tour in Milan on Friday. Source: Celebrity Access

– The summer solstice will be celebrated at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg tomorrow (June 21) on national Indigenous Peoples Day, with a free concert featuring Indian City, Kinnie Starr and Scott Nolan. "One People, One Voice" has been organized in partnership with Winnipeg artist Vince Fontaine, the creative force behind the Juno-nominated folk-pop band Indian City. Their powerful song "Through the Flood" was first performed live at the CMHR last summer, sending a message of greater awareness for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

– The full list of artists to perform on the Calgary Stampede's Coca-Cola Stage has now been announced. It includes Sheryl Crow, Broken Social Scene, Lights, Our Lady Peace, Billy Talent, Alexisonfire, Too Many Zooz, The Funk Hunters, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Elle King, Walk Off The Earth, and Yukon Blonde. All concerts free with admission to the Stampede, July 5 to 15.

– An already potent lineup for Toronto’s Festival of Beer just got stronger. Added to the bill and performing on July 26 are Broken Social Scene and Rural Alberta Advantage. The fest runs July 26-29  at Bandshell Park, Exhibition Place. Other acts featured are Ludacris, Dwayne Gretzky, I Mother Earth and Finger Eleven.

– Toronto experimental pop group Bernice recently made the Polaris Prize Long List with its album, Puff LP: In the air without a shape. A video for one of its tracks, "One Garden," has just come out. The group played Montreal last night and supports Washed Out at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto on June 21.

– The Smithers District Chamber of Commerce and the Bulkley Valley Community Arts Council, located in BC, have begun working to create the town’s first comprehensive music strategy, Music Canada reports. The group hosted a social three weeks ago to bring together key stakeholders in the local music industry, and help secure their involvement in the strategy development.

The impetus to begin this project arose out of a Music Cities Toolkit created by Music Canada last spring. The Toolkit was designed to provide Canadian chambers of commerce with a roadmap and guide to activate the power of music in their city. The group received funding through Creative B.C’s Industry Initiatives Program. The final version of the music strategy will be presented to the Smithers town council on June 26.

– Rufus John is a smooth-voiced Canadian soul singer with a brand new album, Gone But Not Forgotten. He hosts his album launch party at Toronto's Painted Lady tomorrow (June 21). Earlier tracks by John have made it onto the UK Independent Soul Charts, and he has collaborated with such artists and producers as Son Real, Marcus Kane, and Slakah The Beatchild.

– Notes in the Night: The History of Toronto Jazz Clubs since 1946 is a very well-curated exhibit that has been on display in Toronto's St. Lawrence Market Gallery. Classic photos, video footage and newspaper clippings tell the fascinating story of the city's storied past as a live jazz hub. The exhibit closes this Saturday (June 23), and friends of the show are invited to come to mingle and for some parting remarks on the final day (hours 9 am to 4 pm).


XXXTentacion (born Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy), a Floridian rapper,  died June 18 at age 20. He was shot and killed during an attempted robbery in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Last month he had a No. 1 album his sophomore effort ?, and a top 10 hit with “Sad!"


Philip John "Jon" Hiseman, an English drummer, recording engineer, record producer and music publisher, died on June 12 at age 73, from cancer

He was best known for founding the innovative and influential jazz-prog band Colosseum in 1968, after working with Mike Taylor, the Graham Bond Organisation (where he replaced Ginger Baker), and John Mayall. Colosseum's 1969 debut, For Those Who Are About To Die We Salute You, and follow-up Valentyne Suite made an impact on both sides of the Atlantic. Following Colosseum's break up in 1971, Hiseman formed Tempest with Allan Holdsworth and refigured Colosseum 11 in 1975 for three albums before extensive live and recording work with the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble.

He also recorded with his wife, saxophonist Barbara Thompson's, group  Paraphernalia, and the pair opened a recording studio in 1982 and produced a number of TV and film soundtracks. Hiseman also produced and engineered albums by Nucleus and Keith Tippett, and collaborated extensively with Andrew Lloyd Webber. Sources: Jazzwise Magazine, Wikipedia

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