– Republic Live, the producers of Boots and Hearts Music Festival, has announced the inaugural Big Sky Music Festival, a July 20 Burl’s Creek Event Grounds’ jamboree headlined by Alabama, Diamond Rio and Travis Tritt.
– Aquila Constellation Productions has announced the Squamish Constellation Festival that is scheduled at Hendrickson Field July 26 – 28. No details on the line-up but the Vancouver Sun sheds further light on the newbie summer event.
– Two thumbs up to the Juno workhorses and to Allan Reid and Steve Kane for adding some substance to the lingering question about the backlog of near and deceased stars hopefully headed for Canada’s Music Hall of Fame. The ‘who’ and ‘when’ is not crystal clear, but at least the topic was addressed at the Juno media scrum yesterday--as was the mention of a partnership with Calary's National Music Centre that promises the flow of multiple inductees into the hallowed Hall in forthcoming years. Cheer on to the fading melody of someone many see as deserving as hitchin' a ride into the NMC space.
– One of the wackiest new bands on the scene has to be Pterodactyl Problems, a Toronto quartet that mashes glam rock with rhapsodic elan. This insane assembly convenes at Lee’s Palace on March 8 to “celebrate the global release of our debut full-length album, Esoteric Hobbies" with a supporting cast of friends that includes The Reed Effect, Satanic Mills, and Bodhi Jar, plus MC Tanya Cheex!
Here’s the band’s latest, a saucy take on Adele’s “Hello” that replaces her emotional regret with PP's own Molotov cocktail that's equal parts seditious urbanity and battlefield counterfire.
– Larry LeBlanc moderates a CMW panel in May with a focus on the importance of the 3rd annual Palestinian Music Expo. Exponents of the scene attending include Kallemi with Jasmin Albash (The RK), La Nefera, Maysa Daw, and Rasha Nahas. All have established solo careers in the Middle East and Daw, featured in the current issue of Vogue Arabia as someone to watch in 2019, is part of the leading hip-hop unit DAM.
– A new Ontario Creates-funded census commissioned by ACTRA Toronto and ACTRA Ottawa shows that the average earnings of provincial screen performers are not only substantially lower than Ontario workers in all industries, they are also significantly lower than other Ontario workers in the arts, entertainment and recreation industry. According to Toronto union Treasurer Richard Young, one of the study's authors, "Performers are precarious workers, by any definition of the term, and the census results confirm that financial hardship is a reality for most performers."
– Musician, composer and media buff Bill King has self-published a photographic collection of musicians in performance, entitled The Night & the Music. He’s also released this video that fondly explains how he came to take up the camera bug and what it took for him to overcome a hesitancy he had in photographing people's faces.
– Following a second Grammy nomination in the Best Classical Compendium category for their Chandos recording of concertos by Vaughan Williams, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is nominated for a Juno Award in the Large Ensemble, Classical Album of the Year category. For those interested, the TSO was founded 90 years ago and in 1922 and made its radio debut with a one-hour broadcast on CBC Radio from the Arcadian Court of Simpson's department store.
– Noteworthy too in the Large Ensemble nomination category is the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra for Into the Wonder–a live recording that, in part, was made with the Gryphon Trio who themselves are nominated in the Classical Album of the Year for The End of Flowers: Works by Clarke & Ravel. But back to the TBSO, what singularly stands out here is the fact that the collection comprises compositions by (living) Canadian composer Jordan Pal, whose work the TBSO has several times commissioned and premiered.