Young Canadian stars Shawn Mendes and Alessia Cara join an illustrious list of performers for an upcoming Elvis All-Star Tribute. This is produced by NBC for a telecast airing on Feb. 17, the day on which Elvis Presley would have turned 84. The concert recreates the look and feel of the famed Elvis '68 Comeback Special. Other performers include Post Malone, Ed Sheeran, Blake Shelton, John Fogerty, Dierks Bentley, Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, Josh Groban, Darius Rucker, Pistol Annies, Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town and Mac Davis. Source: Variety
– The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) and SOCAN are partnering to launch the CCMA Song Camp. Taking place Jan. 27 - Feb. 2 in Gaspar Hernández, Dominican Republic, the week-long camp brings together 16 established country music songwriters and producers with the goal of creating a full collection of radio-ready songs. The inaugural CCMA Song Camp boasts an impressive roster of some of Canada’s top country talent. Those attending include songwriters Kelly Archer, Patricia Conroy, Dan Davidson, Lindsay Ell, Andrew Hyatt, Emma-Lee, Meghan Patrick, MacKenzie Porter, Deric Ruttan, Ben Stennis, Tebey, and producers Blake Bollinger, Jeff Johnson, Karen Kosowski, Colin Munroe, and Dave “Dwave” Thomson. More info here
– Canadians are well represented on the nominees' list for the 40th Blues Music Awards. Included are Harrison Kennedy (Acoustic artist), Lindsay Beaver (best-emerging artist, Koko Taylor Award), and Sue Foley (Song of the Year for “Ice Queen," Koko Taylor Award). Canadian roots music label Stony Plain Records also earned honours for its artists Sue Foley, Rory Block, and Ronnie Earl. The Blues Foundation hosts the Awards on May 9 at Memphis’ Cook Convention Center. Tix available here
– CIMA's first ever Showcase and Business mission to Portugal in 2019 is the Westway LAB in Guimarães, Portugal. April 10-13. The undertaking includes a Canadian artists' showcase. To find out more and submit your application, before Jan. 15 link here
– Six Shooter has named Allison Outhit as VP of International Business Development. She was with Outside Music as Head of Business Affairs from 2006-2011, then joined FACTOR as its Vice President of Operations.
– On Jan. 23 from 7- 9 PM, Music PEI hosts a Mixer at The Guild in Charlottetown, celebrating the beginning of this year's Credit Union Music PEI Week. It features performances from several of last year's Music PEI Award winners - Alicia Toner, Catherine MacLellan, and Liam Corcoran. A free event, with donations, welcomed.
– On Feb. 8, The National Music Centre (NMC) presents the Calgary premiere of I’m Going to Break Your Heart, a new documentary by Amy Green and Canadian music power couple Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace) and Chantal Kreviazuk. It will be followed by an intimate performance and conversation with the two renowned singer-songwriters, and this launches the 2019 season of NMC’s signature series, NMC Presents. A press release states that the film "captures the raw and wrenching journey Maida and Kreviazuk took to find their way back to each other, while also chronicling their first musical collaboration together as Moon vs Sun." Tix for the event are now on sale. The world premiere of the film is set for Toronto's Royal Cinema on Jan. 24.
– The first three speakers for this year's ShiftChange Conference are blogger Mike Morrison, health and safety in the arts expert Janet Sellery, and fundraiser Cindy Wagman. The event takes place Feb. 21-23 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. More info here
–Two award-winning Canadian jazz artists, Ori Dagan and Dominic Mancuso, perform a concert to benefit the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists on Jan. 27 at Toronto's Jazz Bistro. The IRCPA is a non-profit, charitable organization founded in 1983 by Ann Summers Dossena to assist Canada’s young professional musicians to achieve sustainable, fulfilling careers.
– British rock ’n’ roll veterans Def Leppard tour Canada this summer, a few months after the group's induction into the Rock Hall of Fame. The tour kicks off in Halifax on July 12 and ends in Calgary on July 31. See full routing here. Def Leppard fan presales will begin today (Jan. 11).
Vocal jazz arranger Phil Mattson died Jan. 9 at age 80, following complications related to a near-fatal motorcycle accident in 2015.
His resume as an arranger included commissions for Manhattan Transfer, Chanticleer, The Real Group, and The Four Freshmen, and as an accompanist, he worked with Mark Murphy, Bobby McFerrin, Sunny Wilkinson, Barbara Morrison, Maud Hixson, Richie Cole, Ernestine Anderson, and Carmen Lundy. In 2016, Mattson was awarded the Jazz Education Network Lifetime Achievement Award (His acceptance speech, delivered long distance is available on YouTube).
One can hear a tribute to his close harmony arranging style on this week's SING! A Cappella internet radio show on Maple Music Cafe on Saturday night at 7 pm EST. The radio show features the lush harmonies of a cappella groups Cadence, The Nylons, FreePlay, Hampton Avenue, and Countermeasure.