The performers for the 22nd annual Maple Blues Awards gala concert at Koerner Hall in Toronto on Feb. 4 are MonkeyJunk's Steve Marriner with Harry Manx, Sue Foley, Jenie Thai, Crystal Shawanda, Earle & Coffin, and Raoul Bhaneja, all backed by The Maple Blues Band. Guy Bélanger hosts the popular lobby afterparty "Winner’s Circle Jam." Tix available through the Koerner Hall Box Office.
– A final reminder that the Unison Holiday Schmoozefest takes place in Toronto at Spice Route (499 King St W) tonight (Dec. 10). Now established as one of the best music industry holiday parties, the annual features DJ Brendan Canning (Broken Social Scene). Tix available here.
– Toronto paper West End Phoenix is celebrating its Music Issue (out Dec. 22) with the release of a blue Flexi disc, with the support of Beau’s Beer. The recording features the work of various contributors, supporters and West End artists, including members of Rush, Rheostatics, Whitehorse, Michie Mee, Leo Rautins, Serena Ryder, and Paul Linklater. Available with a subscription to the newspaper, and delivered, mailed anywhere in the world.
– Over 50 prominent musical artist including Dave Matthews, Peter Gabriel and Mike Rutherford have recorded a cover tribute of South African artist Johnny Clegg's "The Crossing." The song is available for download on all digital platforms, with the proceeds directed to the Friends of Johnny Clegg Fund. More information on how to support the cause here
– The Canadian Opera Company Academy is piloting the new artistic development Composer-in-Residence program next year. Canadian composer Ian Cusson is named the inaugural artist. He begins his residency next August.
– Some Montreal subway riders received a rare musical treat on Saturday when world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma serenaded them with a brief free concert. CP reports that Ma, 63, played both alone and accompanied by local poets, and ended the 20-minute show by inviting the crowd to sing along with what he called "the song that, for me, means Montreal": Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." The event, co-organized by entertainment company Lembas Works, was billed as a way to "explore connections and disconnections in contemporary lives."
– CIMA is heading back to Germany for the Jazzahead! 2019 music market, held in Bremen, April 25-28. CIMA hosts a Canada Stand and targeted business events at what is considered the third largest worldwide music market. Business package applications are now open here.
– CIMA and Music Export Canada are conducting a Business and Showcase Mission to AmericanaFest UK in Hackney, London, Jan. 28-31. A Canadian Blast showcase on Jan. 29 at the Empire Bar features Harrow Fair, Kaia Kater, Leeroy Stagger, Madison Violet, Oh Susanna, and Pretty Archie.
– Now viewed as a classic, McKenna Mendelson Mainline's album Stink turns 50 this year. The milestone is to be celebrated with an anniversary party/show at Hamilton's Corktown pub on Dec. 16 (from 3 -6 pm) featuring Mike McKenna and Slidewinder.
– Music PEI and the Holland College School Of Performing Arts is teaming to present the Producer Sessions. It takes place on Dec. 12 in the SOPA Garage at 7 pm, and features noted Newfoundland producer/songwriter Chris Kirby (Matt Andersen, The Once) and local Colin Buchanan (Paper Lions,). The session will cover many aspects of production and composition. Register here
– The recent SOCAN Family & Friends Bash in Vancouver drew 220 members and other music business stakeholders for a reportedly highly convivial occasion. Four SOCAN No. 1 Song Awards were presented: Two earned by Three Days Grace, for "The Mountain" and "Infra-Red." Jill Barber and Ryan Guldemond (Mother Mother) for their co-write on “Girl’s Gotta Do,” and Laura Mitic accepted for her song lyric for “Roots." Source: Words & Music