Toronto Mayor John Tory has proclaimed today (June 14) “Massey Hall Day” in honour of the National Historic Site’s 125 birthday. The concert hall is currently closed for renovations. A Massey Hall exhibit at City Hall closes June 18. To check progress with the reno project, Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy and a CBC crew visited the Hall recently.
– Kelly Jay, former keyboardist of Hamilton band Crowbar, has suffered a serious stroke. Premature reports of Jay's death circulated on social media yesterday. A GoFundMe page set up by the family to help cover the costs of a “Celebration of “Life” for Kelly Jay states "he has suffered from a severe stroke affecting the left side of his brain that he will not recover from."
– True North Records has announced a Sept. 20 worldwide release date for Crowing Ignites, an all-instrumental CD from Bruce Cockburn. The veteran singer/songwriter will showcase his acoustic guitar prowess on the album, recorded with his long-time producer, Colin Linden, and a stellar supporting cast. It will be supported by a 40+ date North American Tour. Dates here
– Presented by Six Shooter Records and Massey Hall and set for June 18 at Toronto's Mod Club, The Key of X is a deluxe event featuring Sarah Slean, Ensign Broderick, and Erin Costelo, a grand piano, string players, and craft cocktails. Also presented will be a screening of ACCIDENCE, the critically lauded short by filmmaker Guy Maddin and Evan and Galen Johnson, scored by Ensign Broderick. Tix here
– Canadian Music Week (CMW) has signed the Keychange campaign which encourages music festivals and conferences to achieve a 50:50 gender balance pledge by 2022. CMW has just reported that women and bands led by women made up 41% of all musical acts at Canadian Music Week 2019.
– Matthew Sweet, Damhnait Doyle, and Alejandro Escovedo headline the 2019 Halifax Urban Folk Festival (HUFF). Each artist will perform at The Carleton with a specially curated backing band, The Halifax All-Stars, and will participate in HUFF's Songwriters Circles throughout the festival. Wintersleep's Paul Murphy, Catherine MacLellan, and Christina Martin also perform at these Songwriters Circles.
HUFF 2019's Carleton lineup also includes a Gordie Sampson Songcamp 10th Anniversary show featuring Mo Kenney, Carleton Stone (of Port Cities), Kaleigh O'Connor, Dave Sampson, Jodi Guthro, Willie Stratton, Dylan Guthro (of Port Cities), Maura Whitman, and Cameron Nickerson, plus other shows by The Burning Hell, Museum Pieces, Gianna Lauren, Ian Janes, Chris Kirby, The Novaks (acoustic), Cameron, Cory Tetford, and others. Now in its 10th year, HUFF runs Aug.25- Sept. 1. Tix go on sale today.
– The Festival Village at NXNE in Toronto runs all weekend (June 14-16) on Yonge St,, from Dundas to Queen. Presented in part by Slaight Music, the impressive lineup includes Santigold, Haviah Mighty, Cold War Kids, Greys, Moscow Apartment, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Leikeli47, Just John x Dom Dias, Notifi, and Walrus. Full sked here
– As tribute to legendary former Toronto music venue The Cabana Room (atop the Spadina Hotel), Arlene Bishop organised two reunion shows at Hugh's Room Live that feature alumni from the fertile Cabana-based scene of the '80s and '90s. The first was last night (June 13), an acoustic night featuring Andrew Cash, Jason Collett, Skydiggers, Lost and Profound, Stephen Stanley, and more. Part 2, set for Sunday night, goes electric, featuring members of The Jitters, API, The Supreme Bagg Team, The Dave Howard Singers, Garage Baby, The Sattalites, The Lawn, Drastic Measures, Monkey Trial, Mr! Mouray, and more, with Bishop hosting. The shows are dedicated to the Room's curmudgeonly host Jimmy Scopes. Tix here
– The deadline to apply to showcase at Indie Week in Toronto (Nov. 13-17) has been extended to June 28.
– A strong musical lineup s set for Pride Hamilton 2019. Set for Gage Park on Saturday afternoon (June 15), it is headlined by Carole Pope and features such strong local talent as Lacey Hill, Myke Hutchings, and Holly Smith.
– Speaking of Carole Pope, we last reported on her back in January. She was recovering from spinal stenosis surgery, and a GoFundMe campaign to assist her was launched. Clearly Pope's recovery has gone well, as she is playing other dates soon, including Toronto's Hugh's Room Live on June 19 and Mariposa on July 5.
– Dueling Pianos is an upcoming Toronto concert showcasing the ivory skills of father and son pianists, Eddie and Quincy Bullen. It is on June 16 (5 pm) at the 918 Bathurst Centre for Culture, Arts, Media & Education.
– On FB yesterday, Blue Rodeo drummer Glenn Milchem posted that his bandmate Greg Keelor "is recovering very nicely from a medical emergency brought about by complications due to diabetes. He is healing at home but will be back in action very soon." Be well, sir.
– Music NB's Summer Song Camp takes place in Fredericton July 5 -7. John Mullane is on hand as a mentor to guide the writing sessions as needed. The application deadline is today (June 14).