Music News Digest, Sept. 15, 2022

Awards news

The nominees for the Prix MNB Awards 2022 have been announced by Music•Musique NB (MNB). Leading the way with four nominations is Fredericton-based bilingual multidisciplinary artist Boy T, a first-time nominee at the Prix MNB Awards. Not far behind are Catherine Kennedy, DenMother, Hilary Ladd, as well as the band La Patente, earning three nods each. See the full list of nominees here. The 13th edition of the Prix MNB Awards Show will take place in the Bernard-LeBlanc Hall at the Aberdeen Cultural Centre (Moncton) and will also be live-streamed on Facebook. The show kicks off Conference (506), a three-day industry event (Oct. 20-22) which features conference and networking sessions and showcases.

– SiriusXM's Top of the Country finale has awarded SACHA the title of Canada's next country music star and $25K at its show at the Palace Theatre that opened Country Music Week 2022 in Calgary last week. For the first time, the runners-up were awarded $10K each. As part of the prize, SACHA appeared in the live CCMA Awards on Sunday. Alongside sets by the three finalists (Josh Ross, SACHA, and Shantaia) was a performance by Tenille Townes. Audience votes and a judging panel of music industry professionals decided upon SACHA as this year's winner.

– The Western Canadian Music Awards (WCMAs) have announced its 2022 Western Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductees – award-winning musicians, NYT best-selling authors, producers and activists, Tegan and Sara; recipient of The Kevin Walters Industry Builder Award – booking and entertainment management pillar, Gerry Stoll; and Heritage Award honourees – Northern Cree, led by educator, mentor and founding member, Steve Wood. These recipients will be formally honoured and recognized at the WCMA Industry Awards Brunch on Oct. 1 during BreakOut West in Calgary. The full list of 2022 WCMA nominees can be found here. Winners of the artistic categories will be announced during a special broadcast presentation and reception in Calgary on Sept. 23, ahead of the official kick-off of BOW's 20th-anniversary edition on Sept. 28 . More info here.

– Toronto jazz artist/impresario/radio host/man about town Jaymz Bee is riding high these days. He was recently notified that he took the grand prize in the jazz category at the 2022 John Lennon Songwriting Contest for his composition Nails. The song began as a poem, then a performance art piece on the streets of Zurich. It was recorded many times, but the version submitted was arranged by Jono Grant and Richard Underhill. Judges included: Sheila E, Flea, Bootsy Collins, George Clinton, Bob Weir and many other big stars. Bee tells FYI that "Not only did I get a home studio (being delivered), but I'm getting congrats from emails around the world. This is one of the best-known and most respected song contests in the world. I heard from Weird AL and Dr. Demento (dj) right away, then congrats started pouring in from Europe too. Not to mention the cool judges who voted for it." Bee is also celebrating his 20th year at JAZZ.FM91 this month, and we'll report on his other activities soon.

Festivals news

– Blessed with near-perfect weather, Hamilton's popular three day free street festival Supercrawl returned last weekend (Sept. 9-11), drawing large and appreciative crowds. This scribe caught all three days of action, with highlights including Dearly Beloved, Tallies, Ellevator, a scorching set by OMBIIGIZI, and a sublime closing night performance by Sarah Harmer. Kodos to the sound guys for a great job, and to Tim Potocic and his Sonic Unyon/Supercrawl crew.

Industry news

– As part of Victoria's Rifflandia music festival, Vancouver singer-songwriter and Side Door co-founder Dan Mangan will facilitate a City of Victoria Music Symposium titled Life on the Road: Touring Wellness. It takes place on Sept. 17 at 10 am at the Victoria Event Centre and features discussions with publicist Neesha Hothi, accountant Donna Branston, recording artist Kandle, producer-performer-facilitator Francis Arevalo of Creative BC and Music BC, and artist/agent Grant Paley. Tix here.

– The next Indie Weekly session takes place on Sept. 20, at 4 pm (EST). Entitled Power Of Export, it explores how your music can reach larger audiences abroad. The speakers, Steve Gardiner (SGM Group Artists) and Andrew Cassara (artist), share experiences from their recent successful Mexican tour. Free to register here.

– Roncy Rocks is a popular annual musical street festival in the Roncesvalles area of Toronto's West End. Now part of the Roncesvalles Polish Festival there, it routinely sports a strong lineup, but fest producer Luke Jackson has outdone himself this year by booking local resident Daniel Lanois as the headliner for the two-day (Sept. 17 and 18) event. He is joined by such acts as Lydia Persaud, Conor Gains, KC Roberts, Snowbird, and Kennedy Road. 

Artists news

– Beginning Jan. 25, 2023, Bryan Adams returns to Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas for a six-show run of his So Happy It Hurts Tour, one that follows his sold-out venue debut in 2021. Tix for all shows will go on sale tomorrow (Sept. 16). Released on March 11, 2022, Adams' latest studio album, So Happy It Hurts, came out on his new label, BMG, back in March. Source: Broadway World

– As was to be expected, the death of Queen Elizabeth 11 elicited many tributes from major stars. Few were as eloquent and detailed as the one Paul McCartney posted on his Facebook page. It begins,""On the sad occasion of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, my memories came flooding back and I would like to share these with you. I feel privileged to have been alive during the whole of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. When I was 10 years old I entered an essay competition in Liverpool and won my division for my essay about the British Monarchy so I have been a fan for a long time. In 1953 when the Queen was crowned everyone on our street in Speke, Liverpool finally got a television set and we settled down to watch the Coronation in glorious black and white. Looking back I am honoured and amazed to see that I met Her Majesty eight or nine times and each time she impressed me with her great sense of humour combined with great dignity."

His reminiscences concluded with this anecdote: "Our last meeting came in 2018. Because of my respect and love for the Queen and her fabulous sense of humour, when I was given the Companion of Honour medal I shook her hand, leaned in and said, ‘We have got to stop meeting like this,’ to which she giggled slightly and got on with the ceremony. I did wonder if I was a bit too cheeky after saying this, after all this was The Queen, but I have a feeling she didn’t mind. God bless you. You will be missed."

– Hard rock veterans The Headstones return with a new album, Flight Risk, out Oct. 14 via Cadence Music/Known Accomplice. It will be supported with just-announced Nov. and Dec. concert tour dates from Vancouver to Toronto. The tour begins in Thunder Bay on Nov. 22, and closes with a Dec 22 Toronto date at The Phoenix in Toronto. Itinerary and tix here.

– Hamilton rock heroes Arkells release a seventh studio record, Blink Twice, on Sept. 23, via UMC. A just-released new single, Danser avec toi, features Cœur de pirate (she penned the french verse) and Aly & AJ. Blink Twice is the companion album to the band’s current release, Blink Once (55M streams). Arkells are currently touring Europe and the UK, followed by Canadian dates beginning Sept 30 and closing out on Nov. 24 in Ottawa. Tix here.

– ArtHaus Music has signed Toronto’s Blair Lee to its roster and Lee just shared the video to a first single Hurdles. Lee produced and edited the music video from home video footage. The track is produced by ModMaxx (Drake, Roy Woods, Tinashe).

– Alma Records, the acclaimed Toronto jazz label founded by Peter Cardinali that is home to releases from Florian Hoefner Trio, Alfie Zappacosta, Eliana Cuevas, Hilario Duran, and more, has signed former Nylons singer and Canada’s Got Talent's Music Director Micah Barnes to its roster. Barnes and the Brampton Big Band play a concert on Sept. 24 at Rose Theatre, Brampton. Tix here.

– Two acclaimed Toronto singer/songwriters, Laura Fernandez and Howard Gladstone present an evening of original songs with accompanist Bob Cohen at Toronto’s Free Times Cafe on Sept. 17. Vinyl copies of albums by the two artists will be available at the show. 

– Canadian pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico has just received a $30K grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to have composer Frank Horvat create a solo piano suite, More Rivers, for her to record and tour, and for further projects relating to music and the environment. The Order of Canada recipient maintains a busy schedule with a slate of live performances and the launch of new recordings.

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