Music News Digest, Sept. 14, 2018

The third annual Kensington Market Jazz Festival (KMJF) in Toronto runs this weekend, Sept. 14-16. The brainchild of local hero Molly Johnson (assisted by Ori Dagan and Genevieve Marentette), it continues to get bigger and better. This year, 400 musicians play over 200 shows in various venues in the bohemian enclave. Artists include Robi Botos, Shuffle Demons, Marc Jordan, Elizabeth Shepherd, Robi Botos, Hilario Duran, Aaron Davis, Daniela Nardi, and Heavyweights Brass Band. Here's the fest schedule, and you can read our previous profile of Molly Johnson here

– Hamilton's annual Supercrawl street fest is now well-established as one of the country's most popular free music events. It extended to four days this week, with Broken Social Scene, Zeus,  and local hero Terra Lightfoot launching the fun last night. Those playing along James Street in the heart of The Hammer over the next three days and nights include Ian Thomas, Lights, Crybaby, The Elwins, Wintersleep, Suuns, Cadence Weapon, Partner, The Dirty Nil, Hollerado, Weaves, Elliott Brood, and Lindi Ortega.

– From margaritas to marijuana: Singer Jimmy Buffett and billionaire William “Beau” Wrigley Jr. are getting behind a U.S. marijuana startup, joining the increasingly crowded cannabis industry. Buffett will license his Coral Reefer brand to Surterra Holdings Inc. for a line of cannabis products including vape pens, gel caps, edibles and lotions. Founded in 2014, Surterra is based in Atlanta and licensed to operate in Florida and Texas. It grows marijuana, manufactures medical cannabis products and operates retail outlets. It has raised more than $100 million since 2015. Source: Wall Street Journal

– Vancouver duo Bob Moses (Tom Howie and Jimmy Vallance) made a major splash with its 2015 debut album Days Gone By, including a Grammy win. A follow-up record, Battle Lines, comes out today, and Bob Moses has shows at Vancouver's Commodore (Sept. 15), Toronto's Danforth Music Hall (Oct. 6), and Montreal's Corona Theatre (Oct. 7).

– Ex-Voivod bassist Jean-Yves "Blacky" Thériault has accused his former bandmates of fraud, claiming they have tried to cut him out of his rightful royalties for the albums that they wrote and recorded together, Blabbermouth reports. Theriault initially left Voivod in 1991 for personal reasons but rejoined from 2008 to 2014.

– It has been a momentous week for brother-sister country duo The Reklaws. This past weekend, they won the SiriusXM Rising Star award at the 2018 CCMA Awards in Hamilton, performing on the televised broadcast. Now comes news that their recent hit single, "Long Live The Night," has been certified gold. The track is the first single and title track from their three-song EP, out via UMC.

– Last year, we described the long and frustrating battle to restore Toronto’s historic Matador Ballroom as an events venue. The Toronto Star now reports that after eight years, owner Paul McCaughey has finally received a zoning certificate from the City of Toronto that will allow the Matador to operate as a “place of assembly,” an “eating establishment” and a “custom workshop.” The space’s inaugural event is on this weekend. The hard-won liquor license will be in place March 15, and McCaughey hopes to participate in next year's Canadian Music Week.

– Alberta Music and WILD 953 has announced the showcase dates for Project WILD's Top 12 artists. Taking place at Knoxville's Tavern in Calgary over a 4-week period, three artists will take the stage per night (Sept. 27, Oct. 4, 18, 25). Proceeds from all ticket sales will be donated to the Unison Benevolent Fund. The Top 3 are awarded prizes of $100,953 for first place, $75K for second, and $50K for third.

– Toronto’s multi-discipline Luminato Festival has announced Canadian producer Naomi Campbell as its next artistic director. She has been deputy artistic director since 2017 and a full-time producer at the festival since 2013 and replaces Josephine Ridge, who left in July.

– The 3rd Annual Kids Music Day will be celebrated on Oct. 5th. The  Keep Music Alive organisation partners with music schools, music retail and other music organizations worldwide to spotlight the importance of including music in children's education. Kids Music Day Ambassadors include Sarah McLachlan, Richie Sambora, Nancy Wilson of Heart, Jim Brickman, Todd Rundgren, and Jan Hammer. Source: The Music Universe

– Tom Waits has a significant role alongside James Franco, Liam Neeson, and Tim Blake Nelson in the Coen Brothers’ new western movie, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Created as a six-part anthology series for Netflix, the brothers changed the project into a film – although the story will still retain the anthology structure. Watch the first trailer below.

– Acclaimed Toronto singer/songwriters The Weather Station (Tamara Lindeman) and Jennifer Castle have recorded a pair of songs together for the third edition of the Polaris Cover Sessions, sponsored by Stingray Music. The songs are The Weather Station’s “I Tried to Wear the World (feat. Jennifer Castle)” and Jennifer Castle’s “Midas Touch (feat. The Weather Station).” The songs will be featured on Stingray Music for four weeks during September and October, with a video to appear on the Stingray Music YouTube channel.

– Creative Manitoba has announced its AGM will be held on Oct. 4 (noon - 1 pm) at its offices, 245 McDermot Ave, Winnipeg. All welcome. Light lunch served. Please RSVP to

– Hall of Famer Paul Simon released his 14th studio album - In The Blue Light - on Sept. 7 on Sony Music, and it features re jazz greats Wynton Marsalis, Bill Frisell, Jack DeJohnette, and Steve Gadd. The release coincided with the final leg of Simon's Homeward Bound - Farewell Tour. There are no more Canadian dates on Simon's tour, whose remaining US dates run Sept. 14-22, including shows at Madison Square Garden in NYC, Sept. 20-21.

– Keith Richards has finally sold his duplex penthouse in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. Mansion Global reports the property, bought by Keef for $10.5M (US) in 2014, fetched $9M (US), after being on the market for two years. The three-bedroom apartment is on Fifth Avenue and 8th Street.

– Vancouver label 604 Records has signed local comedian Fatima Dhowre. Jonathan Simkin, label  president and co-founder, said of the signing: "Fatima opened for Charlie Demers at his 604 livestream (“The Anti-fascist Children’s Hour”) last February. I was immediately smitten, and by the end of the set I wanted to sign her! She is an incredible talent, and I really feel like the sky is the limit for her." An album will follow, release date TBA.


Rachid Taha, an Algerian-born, Paris-based singer, has died of a heart attack, aged 59, his family said.

Taha was born on Algeria's north-west coast in 1958 and moved with his family to Lyon aged 10. He rose to prominence as the lead singer of Arabic-language group Carte de Séjour, which blended Western punk rock with Algerian Maghrebi music.

Taha then went solo, and in 2004 covered The Clash's song "Rock the Casbah." by The Clash, a major influence. His work also appeared in several films, including 2001's Black Hawk Down. Source: BBC News

Leave a comment