Chuck D
Chuck D

Music News Digest, May 19, 2022

Awards 

The 18th edition of the Canadian Folk Music Awards (CFMAs) is set for March 30 - April 2, 2023, in Vancouver. Submissions are now open, with early bird rates until May 31. The final submission deadline is July 15. Again for 2023, there are reduced submission fees (a reduction of $10-$15 per category). More info and submissions here.

– Canadian Music Week has announced that Chuck D, founder and leader of the pioneering rap group Public Enemy, will receive the Social Justice Honours Award and appear for a keynote interview at the CMW Music Summit on June 9 at the Intercontinental Toronto Centre Hotel as part of the 40th Anniversary event. "Chuck D will receive the Social Justice Honours Award for his using every opportunity throughout his career to speak his mind and stand up for what is right,” says CMW President Neill Dixon. “Chuck D is a champion and an innovator with the unique ability to identify new platforms to get his message across." Canada’s largest and longest-running industry conference, CMW, will run June 7-10. Registration is now open here.

– Make Music Matter Founder and CEO Darcy Ataman will receive the Order of Manitoba "for his dedication to enriching the lives of vulnerable populations in conflict and post-conflict zones. The Winnipeg-born music producer and humanitarian is recognized for the creation of Make Music Matter's innovative music therapy program. Established in 1999, The Order of Manitoba is the province’s highest honour. 

– The inaugural Spotlight Award in the International Songwriting Competition (ISC), presented this year by ISC and SOCAN, has gone to Manitoban trio The Color. The award will be given annually to a song and its songwriter(s) from a different country. The Color won the Juno award in the Contemporary Christian/Gospel album category for its latest album, No Greater Love.    

Festivals news

–  The TD Halifax Jazz Festival has named additional headline and support acts for its 36th annual event scheduled for July 13-17. They include Aquakultre, Tank and The Bangas, The Weather Station, Perfume Genius, Molly Johnson, Alex Cuba, Reeny Smith, The Mellotones, Adam Baldwin and more. As a pre-festival show, Upstream Music Association Presents bassist Michael Formanek Drome Trio on July 12 at St. Matthew’s United Church. More info here.

– The Something Else! Festival in Hamilton has announced dates for its 9th summer edition. The core weekend is June 16-19, with the following events on June 25, July 3, and 16. Performances take place at Cotton Factory, Bayfront Park, Hamilton Public Library + Bridgeworks, and the lineup features a stellar cast of avant-garde jazz and new music artists, from the US and across Canada. Notable names include Dave Douglas, Don Byron, Wayne Horvitz, Michael Moore, Robin Holcomb, Peggy Lee, Torsten Muller, Dylan van der Schyff, David Rempis & Tyler Damon, François Houle, Gerry Hemingway, JP Carter, Joshua Zubot, Gordon Grdina, Thus Owls, JOYFULTALK, Diane Roblin, Lori Freedman, Lina Allemano, and more. Passes here, and more info here.

–  Toronto summer music gathering Mixto Festival (produced by Uma Nota Culture) returns July 7-10, at two venues, Lula Lounge and Lynx Music. This year brings more international artists into the fold, including Xenia França (Brazil), Ghetto Kumbé (Colombia), Bombino (Niger), Céu (Brazil), Uproot Andy (New York-via-Toronto), and Francisco, el Hombre (Brazil). Local acts include Trp.p, General Eclectic, New Chance, Sofia Fly, Tush, Mosamba, Bangerz Brass with special guest Narcy, Tara Moneka, Reggaddiction, T.dot Batu, Ana Luisa, Ensoul, Tamar Ilana, Aline Morales, Abdominal and Selectress Sunshine. More info here. The entire festival can also be streamed here.

– Toronto Latin/world music hub Lula Lounge is celebrating its 20th anniversary with Lulaworld 2022, running May 17 to 23. Seven diverse nights feature salsa, Indigenous throat singing, Arabic roots, jazz, Jamaican dancehall & reggae, funk, and soul. See the sked here.  

Industry news

– On May 21, Mundial Montreal presents an official selection showcase stage at Folk Alliance International in Kansas City. The all-Canadian lineup comprises Diogo Ramos, Kora Flamenca, Ramon Chicharron, Sophie Lukacs, and Waahli at the Liberty Room in the Westin Hotel, starting at 4:30 pm.

Artist news

–  Last week, popular Toronto jazz singer/songwriter/crooner and music scribe Ori Dagan released his new album Click Right Here (first on Bandcamp and now available on all streaming platforms). He is pulling out all the stops for an album release show at The El Mocambo on May 26, bringing in an A-list eight-piece band comprising Nathan Hiltz, Attila Fias, Michael Herring, Ben Wittman, Alison Young, Colleen Allen, William Carn, and Andrew McAnsh, plus surprise guests. Tix here. Click Right Here features all original material, written and recorded during the pandemic, and it comprises witty and perceptive tunes that look at life online in the 21st century.

–   Last Friday, Mills Hardware in Hamilton presented a show featuring some prominent Canadian indie rock veterans. Opening up were locals The Dill, led by singer/songwriter Dylan Hudecki (By Divine Right). His tunes are both quirky and melodic, and interesting guitar tones and textures were to the fore. Headlining trio TUNS are something of a supergroup, comprising Matt Murphy (Flashing Lights), Chris Murphy (Sloan), and Mike O'Neil (The Inbreds), all heroes of the '90s CanRock scene. This is definitely a part-time and casual project for the members, but they clearly enjoy each other's company. Rather than reprising highlights from their main bands, TUNS played material from their two albums, with a sound suggesting '60s British invasion meets '90s Halifax pop-rock. The members swapped lead vocals, and harmonised neatly, with the effervescent Matt Murphy capturing the most visual attention, given that Chris was perched at the back with his drumkit. 

–  Canadian Métis rapper Troy Junker has just delivered a new single, Honey, one he terms "a banger that anyone catching feelings can sing along to."

–  Western folk faves Sweet Alibi playing at the Monarch Tavern in Toronto tonight (May 19), with Ben Kunder in support. Tix here. The band is touring in support of its fine fourth studio album, Make A Scene, released in Jan. Check other Sweet Alibi dates here.

–  Rip Pop Mutant, the solo project of We are Wolves’ Alex Ortiz, has put out an animated video for the track Et Si Jamais, directed by world-renowned digital artist Scorpion Dagger. The tune is on RPM's debut LP Fluxus Pop, out now via Simone Records. Ortiz is hosting an album launch for the record at Hoy Gallery in Montreal on May 31, featuring a live performance by Rip Pop Mutant and an exhibit of Ortiz’s artwork and paintings. The exhibit will run from May 31 to June 2. 

–  Sarah McLachlan is set to perform with her full band at Toronto's Budweiser Stage on July 11, joined by special guest Indigenous roots star William Prince. Tix are on sale today (May 19) here

–  In roots music circles, Lucinda Williams has long been accorded hero status. The respect she enjoys amongst Hamilton singer/songwriters will be vividly displayed at a Lucinda Williams tribute concert to be held at Clifford Brewery on May 20. Curated by Bryce Clifford, the A-list cast includes Laura Cole, Ginger St. James, Heather Valley, Tim Allard (The Redhill Valleys), Sarah Beatty, Stephen Pitkin (Elliott Brood), Steve Deeps, Snowheel Slim, Ben Somer, Clifford, Greg Brisco, and more. Recommended. Tix here.

– Noted American roots artist Neko Case is considered rather an honorary Canadian given her work in The New Pornographers and with such Canadian artists as The Sadies and Carolyn Mark. She recently released a digital-only career retrospective album, Wild Creatures, and today (May 19) at 1.30 pm ET, she hosts an official livestream performance for paid subscribers of her weekly Substack newsletter, Entering The Lung. Here is the one new song on the collection.

Acclaimed Indigenous roots singer/songwriter Amanda Rheaume has announced a concert at Toronto's El Mocambo, set for June 1, and presented by Hugh's Room Live. This will serve as a launch party for her new album, The Spaces In Between, releasing on May 27.  Morgan Toney and Keith Mullins will open. Tix here.

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