Alanis Morissette  Photo supplied by CSHF
Alanis Morissette Photo supplied by CSHF

Music News Digest, May 26, 2022

Awards news

Yesterday (May 25), the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) announced Alanis Morissette as a new Inductee, along with the first round of performers for the Gala. In a press release, CSHF Chairman Stan Meissner noted that “Some albums define a generation, but few albums can transform a generation as Jagged Little Pill did. Alanis is a tour de force who blazed her own trail amongst the male-dominated alternative rock landscape of the 90s; and her intrepid approach to songwriting has influenced and empowered an entire generation of songwriters, including Avril Lavigne, Pink, Katy Perry, Serena Ryder, Beyoncé, and Olivia Rodrigo to name a few."

Best known for her iconoclastic 1995 album Jagged Little Pill, Morissette's nine studio albums and three live albums have sold over 60 million copies. She can add this new honour to an already packed trophy cabinet that includes 4 Billboard, 7 Brit, 4 MTV, 2 World Music, 13 Juno, seven Grammy Awards, and a Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize.

Morissette will join recently announced 2022 Inductees Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance to be honoured during a star-studded gala at Toronto’s Massey Hall on Sept. 24.  The first round of performers named are three platinum-selling female Canadian singer/songwriters, Serena Ryder, Jessie Reyez, and Charlotte Cardin. Gala tickets go on sale tomorrow (May 27). Call 416-872-4255 or visit masseyhall.com/tickets. NB: CSHF is having a one-day industry pre-sale today, May 26). The Promo code is cshfriends. Additional Gala special guests and Inductees will be announced in the coming months. More info here.

– At an event at The AGO, The Metcalf Foundation announced the five winners of the 2021 Johanna Metcalf Performing Arts Prize. They are Ian Cusson, composer; iskwē, musician; Ravi Jain, theatre director; Sandra Laronde, multidisciplinary artist; and Marilo Nuñez, theatre director and playwright. Each winner received a prize of $25K and selected a protégé as a way of celebrating early-career artists who are showing formidable promise. The five protégés are: Beverley McKiver, composer (protégé of Ian Cusson); Zeegwon “Zee” Shilling, musician (iskwē); Aaron Jan, theatre director (Ravi Jain); Aria Evans, interdisciplinary artist (Sandra Laronde); and Margarita Valderrama, actor and playwright (Marilo Nuñez). Protégés were awarded $10K each. This performing arts prize is named in honour of Johanna Metcalf, who was at the heart of the Metcalf Foundation’s work for over 40 years.

– The 2022 Polaris Music Prize Long List will be revealed at an in-person invite-only event in Toronto on June 14.

Festivals news

POP Montreal 2022 returns to the city from Sept 28 to Oct 2, and the fest has announced some of its lineups. That list includes Tortoise, Cymande, Martha Wainwright, Partner, Sister Nancy, Priyanka, Ata Kak, The Linda Lindas, and Allison Russell. More info and tix here.

– Named in honour of the late great Waterloo-based bluesman, The Mel Brown Music Festival & Symposium brings together a diverse group of community participants, the Black music community, scholars, students and youth to raise awareness of Mel Brown’s legacy and his musical influence in the Waterloo region. This year's fest runs in various Kitchener-Waterloo venues, May 27-29, with performers including Polaris Prize winner Haviah Mighty, Alysha Brilla, Elaquent, Miss Angel, and Soul Inspiration. Info and tix here

Industry news

– The Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) is returning for an in-person showcase and business mission to Nashville this Sept. for the Americana Music Festival & Conference, running Sept. 13-17. The trade org is partnering with Alberta Music, Manitoba Music and SaskMusic to present a full afternoon of Canada House at the event on Sept 16. This is an excellent opportunity for 6-8 Canadian bands to showcase to festival delegates and attendees, and submissions are now being accepted until June 10. Register here 

– CIMA is also hosting Canada House and presenting showcases at the Reeperbahn 2022 festival, which runs Sept. 21-24 in Hamburg, Germany. You can apply to showcase here by June 17.

– The Music Managers Forum (MMF) hosts an in-person MMF Connect event during Canadian Music Week. It takes place June 8 (8-10 pm) at The Bovine Sex Club in Toronto. Meet your fellow artist managers and self-managed artists from across the globe, and celebrate with featured live performances (artists TBA soon). RSVP is required here.

– Indie Week presents a MasterClass workshop entitled Playlist Placements + Livestreaming Success today (May 26, 2 pm ET). The speakers are Karen Allen (Twitch For Musicians) and Mike Warner (Work Hard Playlist Hard), who will demystify all there is to know about TikTok, Twitch, and DSP. More info and tix here.

– Music Nova Scotia is seeking bids from host communities for Nova Scotia Music Week (NSMW) 2023 - 2025 and has extended its deadline to June 10. NSMW is a multi-day showcase festival, educational conference, and awards show focused on the Nova Scotia music industry. More info here.

– The Rhapsody is a documentary film portrait of late Polish-Canadian composer Leo Spellman, a Holocaust survivor, and it gets its world premiere at The Toronto Jewish Film Festival on June 15. Tix here. Of note: the film, directed by David Hoffert, is produced by noted Canadian musician/composer Paul Hoffert (Lighthouse) and his wife Brenda

Artists news

– Bryan Adams is hitting the road in Canada with a cross-country tour set to kick off in the summer, following the recent release of the Grammy winner’s 15th studio album, So Happy It Hurts. Adams began touring Europe and the UK ahead of the album’s release in January, and will wrap up dates in Europe/The UK in July, then kicks off his new set of shows in Prince Edward Island in Aug, making his way cross-country before wrapping up in Vancouver in Nov. Itinerary here. Source: CP

– Originally set for May 2020, Tom Wilson's fundraising Mohawk Symphony concert at The RL Wilson Concert Hall at McMaster University in Hamilton will finally take place over two nights, May 27 and 28. The shows are designed to raise money for The Tom Wilson Indigenous Scholarship Award in Honour of Bunny Wilson (Tom's presumptive mother), one that supports year 1 Indigenous students from Ontario secondary schools completing an undergraduate program in any faculty at McMaster. Wilson pals Colin Linden (his bandmate in Blackie and The Rodeo Kings), Terra Lightfoot, and Logan Staats will join him at the concerts. Tix here. Read an earlier FYI feature on the Scholarship here.

– As part of its Final Freakquency Tour in support of a final studio album, Einsteins of Consciousness, platinum-selling Toronto duo USS is playing three hometown concerts at the El Mocambo on June 1, 2, and 4. Support acts are, in order, B.A. Johnston, Darenots, and Kadeema. 

– Chamber music Juno nominees Music in the Barns makes a return to where it all began with its latest installation concert on June 2, at 7 pm, animating three spaces at the Artscape Wychwood Barns (601 Christie Street, Toronto) for a fully-curated evening of art, music and food celebrating the collective's debut album. Expect work by album composers including Scott Godin and Michael Oesterle, Steve Reich and Geof Holbrook. More info and tix here.

– Canadian rockers The Sheepdogs are celebrating the start of their European tour with the release of a live version of their newest track Scarborough Streetfight., taken from the band's forthcoming album Outta Sight. The live version of Scarborough Streetfight was filmed as part of the group's Live At Lee's release, one recorded over four sold-out nights in 2021 at Lee's Palace in Toronto.

– Now Toronto-based, Aaron Goldstein is an in-demand guitarist and producer who has worked with City and Colour, Lee Harvey Osmond, Huron, and Future Now, amongst others. He has also pursued a solo project, Espanola, that showcases his chops as a singer/songwriter. Last Sunday, as Espanola, he returned to his former stomping grounds of Hamilton to rock The Casbah, abetted by an ace band comprising guitarist Steve Marriner, bassist Anna Ruddick, and Blue Rodeo’s Glenn Milchem, in my opinion, the best drummer in Canada. Together they delivered tunes from the self-titled Espanola debut album and brand new numbers that show real potential. Driven by twin guitars and Goldstein’s rugged vocals, the sound brought ‘70s Southern rock and Drive By Truckers to mind. Spied in the crowd were local musos Tom Wilson, Justine Fischer, and Pete Lambert, plus Spectator scribe Graham Rockingham and Hamilton live music hero Lou Molinaro. 

– Lunch at Allen's is a collaborative project featuring four of Canada's best veteran singer/songwriters: Murray McLauchlan, Ian Thomas, Cindy Church, and Ian Thomas. Renowned for entertaining live shows, they have booked an 18-date Ontario tour, running June 9-30. Itinerary here.

– On June 4, Toronto world music favourites Sultans of String close out Acoustic Harvest’s 24th season with a concert showcasing music from their double CD offerings, Refuge/Sanctuary. Joining them on stage is guest artist Saskia Tomkins (The Chieftains, Jimmy Bowskill, Ken Whiteley).  The concert is at St Paul's United Church, 200 McIntosh St. Scarborough, with advance tickets here.

– Toronto jazz group Nick Maclean Quartet (ft Brownman Ali) is beginning an early summer tour of Ontario (plus a Montreal date), just prior to starting tracking on their second album. The tour begins tonight (May 26) at Kingston's RCHA Club. See the full itinerary here. 29-year-old pianist Maclean is an 8x Global Music Award winner and a Toronto Independent Music Award winner.

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