Avril Lavigne has announced her first tour in five years. The Grammy nominee's 15-date North American Head Above Water trek begins Sept. 14 in Seattle, and hits cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Boston and Toronto (at the Sony Centre on Oct. 6), before concluding in Philadelphia on October 11. The tour supports Lavigne's sixth studio album, Head Above Water, released on Feb. 15 via BMG. Tickets for the general public go on sale June 28.
– Indigenous singer/songwriter iskwē is a Juno-nominated artist generating plenty of attention. Toronto music industry veteran Keely Kemp (CultureCap) informs FYI that she is on board as manager, and is "super excited to bring iskwē to the world." Aiding that cause is a BBC International piece that came out yesterday about the KeyChange initiative and which features iskwē in a prominent role. Originally from Winnipeg, iskwē is now based in Hamilton.
– Just before joining his comrades in Sloan to open for The Rolling Stones, Jay Ferguson is showcasing his serious chops as a DJ with an 8-10 pm set at the Antler Room on Front St in Toronto (part of the Unibroue Tap Takeover) on June 27.. On FB he teases that you can expect Phoenix, Pretenders and Roxy Music.
– The Jazz Musician Intensive is presenting clinics at Victoria University Chapel in Toronto this week, featuring industry veterans who bring a variety of experiences to the table. Clinics are free and open to the public. Today (June 26) is themed Working with publicists and venues and features Ernesto Cervini Orange Grove Publicity) and Charlotte Cornfield (The Burdock). On June 27, Tao-Ming Lau (founder, Blue Crane Agency) and Matt Maw (Six Shooter Records) discuss Working with agents and record labels, and June 28's session covers Creative music in creative spaces, with David Dacks (The Music Gallery), Alicia Bee (Pollen) and Said Yassin (Dudebox). More info here
– Last week, Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour’s Black Strat sold for nearly US $4M, breaking the world record for a guitar sold at auction at Christie's in NYC. The famed 1969 Black Fender Stratocaster, which he used on most Floyd albums in the ’70s, went for $3.975K. Other axes sold topped the million dollar mark, and the total gross from the auction was US$ 21,490,750. Proceeds go to Gilmour’s ClientEarth charitable foundation that gives money to famine relief, homelessness and “displaced persons throughout the world."
– The second annual Forge Fest takes place in downtown Tillsonburg, ON, on July 27. A $20 Wristband allows entry to 7 different venues from 6 pm to 1 am with live music and comedy featuring acts like Sam Losco (Trailer Park Boys) Jesse Stewart, Fate's Got A Driver (x-Taking Back Sunday) Seas (x-moneen), The Homeless Gospel Choir, BA Johnston and over 40 more. Full artist line up and schedules here. Fest proceeds from 2019's Forge Fest will be donated to Canadian Mental Health Association Oxford. Last year over $2.4K was raised.
– Much-lauded Toronto roots songsmith Justin Rutledge released his eighth studio album, Passages, a month ago, on Outside Music. He has now announced a fall headline tour, with dates from Ontario to the West Coast, from Sept. 8 to Oct. 22. Sked here. On July 19, he plays the Outdoor Stage in Creemore, ON.
– Fourteen-year-old Toronto singer-songwriter Priyana is launching her first original EP, Out of Place, to share her vision for children and teens to feel heard, validated, and understood through her music. The fundraising EP will support youth mental health through the Kids Help Phone. Her campaign runs until Oct. 10, World Mental Health Day and can be accessed here.
– BillboardBiz reports that 2019 was the last year on the Farm in Manchester, Tenn. for Bonnaroo co-founder Rick Farman with Superfly Entertainment. Live Nation purchased a controlling interest in the festival in 2015 and has told minority owners in Bonnaroo it plans to exercise a buyout clause in the agreement to acquire the rest of the fest. This will take place before next year's festival and effectively ends Superfly's role as festival producer. Bonnaroo will be produced by co-founder AC Entertainment and C3 Presents, which Live Nation purchased in 2014.
– The 2019 Italian Contemporary Film Festival (ICFF) presented its Lifetime Achievement Award to Oscar-winning composer Nicola Piovani for his outstanding contributions to film. Piovani is responsible for more than 150 film scores, including the soundtrack to Roberto Benigni’s Life is Beautiful/La vita è bella, which earned the 1999 Oscar for Best Original Score. During ICFF 2019, Piovani performed a concert, Music is Dangerous/La Musica è Pericolosa, at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto.
At the recent Music Nova Scotia Annual General Meeting 2019 in Halifax last night, an election to choose a Board of Directors was held. Elected are Barbara Cameron , Brian Doherty, Israel Ekanem, Matthew Sampson, Meghan Scott, Mike Campbell, Rosanna Burrill, Sarah Atkinson, and Tracey Williams.