Some Favourite People and Moments of 2014

2014 flew by so fast I have not had any time to think about lessons learned, goals achieved and irons in the fire that should be attended to. Going over my blog for the past year, it’s impossible to pick a Top Ten or anything like that – I can’t even do a particular highlight of the month – rating experiences isn’t my bag. Still, the past hour made me marvel at how many incredible bands I’ve witnessed in the past year, how many wonderful cocktails and meals I’ve enjoyed and mostly; how many brilliant, sweet friends I have! Grateful would be my middle name, but Jaymz G Bee doesn’t have a ring to it.img_1981

I rang in the New Year (Dec. 31 2013) at my loft with a dozen or so friends after our annual Bonzai Suzuki performance at the Massey Hall Comedy Extravaganza, which ended at ten thirty.

sunset_view_skyline_panama_city_panama_photoIn January I hit Panama on business (The JAZZ.FM91 International Jazz Safari) and enjoyed the Panama Jazz Festival. (As I write this, II’m packing for Panama, seeking dejavu and then some – back on the 16th with a new blog!)

Perez: Our Man In Panama!

Perez: Our Man In Panama!

Danillo Perez, the world renowned pianist, composer and jazz educator is the Artistic Director of the festival and gave us all tickets to his private party in a tower over looking the Panama Canal. We saw a ton of amazing shows – most notably students from around the world who were attending Berklee. I met some new friends and on my last night bumped into Bare Naked Ladies at a small club in the old city.

Pura Vida!

Pura Vida!

From there my touring companion, Sahra Featherstone and I hit Costa Rica for a week. A visit from one of my best friends, Melissa Shouldice was an unexpected treat. We hit five star private beaches, remote beaches, tourist beaches…ate healthy food and drank the best coffee. Something about Costa Rica makes me not want to drink so much. Even though we explored a ton of places, Sahra and I enjoyed the last night of our trip in Jaco Beach more than anything. A perfect sunset, a visit with our friend Lalena and a simple perfect meal sent us back to the Canadian cold.

Back to the Toronto cold yes...but hitting TSO at RTH with Mel was a nice welcome home!

Back to the Toronto cold yes…but hitting TSO at RTH with Mel was a nice welcome home!

Miss Judy is like the Queen of Treme - one of the most friendly, wild memorable nights was taking the jazz safari to her club.

Miss Judy is like the Queen of Treme – one of the most friendly, wild memorable nights was taking the jazz safari to her club.

In February, I had another international jazz safari to host: this one to New Orleans which I must admit is my favourite destination. I also love New York and Newport, RI…what’s up with New?!?

I like to take our crew to the jazz hotspots like Preservational Hall, Fritzell’s and Snug Harbour but I also bring them to places they’d either never hear of or be worried about. As we drove up to the Oom Poo Pah Doo Bar we saw a car turned over. Two kids got out, by kicking out the windows and crawling. One opened the trunk, retrieved a bag..and they ran. As we got out of the bus the people standing around were talking and I said “isn’t it nice those kids are racing home before the ice cream melts? It’s probably groceries for their granny!” Everyone laughed and we went into the bar. This was a local joint and they not only allowed – but encouraged – smoking. The band played jazz, then blues and by the time we left, we were dancing to Rick James covers. The band were blown away because they usually get a buck a head in the tip jar and our people were putting in tens and twenties. We were so grateful for their hospitality and they now officially love Canadians. (Especially Jazz FM donating Canadians!)

Don Francks CD Launch. DCT also admires the Melleny Melody cake!

Don Francks CD Launch. DCT also admires the Melleny Melody cake!

In March, Don Francks released his recording from a live show at Top O’ The Senator about ten years back. Finally the CD “21st Century Francks” was available to the public! His show was stellar and our friendship has inspired me to sing more than I have in years. Working with Don Francks and Tony Quarrington is one of life’s sweetest treats. img_4392

We played The Horseshoe for Martian Awareness!

We played The Horseshoe for Martian Awareness!

Don, Tony and I also performed at St. Phillips Anglican on my birthday in April. Dave Young and Bernie Senensky joined us.

I host a birthday pajama party each year. Limited to me and of my favourite peeps.

I host a birthday pajama party each year. Limited to me and half a dozen of my favourite peeps.

My entire birthday week (I do 7 parties in a row and then 7 nights where I only invite one friend over for a quiet dinner) is a bit of a blur…even with photos to remind me. It’s a whirlwind of good vibes and various styles of music.

Speaking of that, The JAZZ.FM91 One Stop Vocal Jazz Safari was another highlight of the spring for me. So much talent in this town – it’s ridiculous!

I was so happy Sheena was in town for my b-day week!

I was so happy Sheena was in town for my b-day week!

Twice a year I produce and host a vocal showcase...over two dozen singers per show with an all-star live house band at Lula Lounge. (This is only for generous donors of Jazz Fm - no tix sold per se)

Twice a year I produce and host a vocal showcase…over two dozen singers per show with an all-star live house band at Lula Lounge. (This is only for generous donors of Jazz Fm – no tix sold per se. Check out: http://www.jazz.fm for info.)

BLOOM on Bloor (near Jane) is now an annual birthday tradition. Amazing food and sometimes live Cuban music!

BLOOM on Bloor (near Jane) is now an annual birthday tradition. Amazing food and sometimes live Cuban music!

I produce a show called "Jazz Lives" with Ross Porter (for Jazz FM) and last years Koerner Hall show was the best yet!

May days were exceptionally warm, and mid-month Captain Paul and I set sail several times with a fabulous crew. When I say crew, I should say guests – because other than optional steering of the ship there is nothing for our guests to do but enjoy.

I only had about twenty sails last year but they were good ones!

I only had about twenty sails last year but they were good ones!

On safari in Chicago...the suit is from New Orleans!

On safari in Chicago…the suit is from New Orleans!

In 2014 I lost count of how many International Jazz Safaris I hosted but I know we hit Chicago twice, New York twice, New Orleans, Monterey and Panama once – and for the first time we hit Newport Rhode Island for the Newport Jazz Festival which is held at Fort Adams – a historical festival on a historical site!

Bee's Angels in Newport.

Bee’s Angels in Newport.

 

I hosted a wine safari of Southern Ontario and one weekend Barbra Lica, A-Phil and I cycled through wine country and stayed over with friends in St. Catherine’s. Also this year; a few RV trips to wineries in the Beamsville and Niagara region.

Great acoustic for music in the Henry of Pelham wine cellar!

Great acoustic for music in the Henry of Pelham wine cellar!

We were all refreshed after cycling up the escarpment for vino!

We were all refreshed after cycling up the escarpment for vino!

I also hosted a wine safari in Napa Valley during our San Francisco and Monterey jazz safari.

For a guy who rarely whines…I should do wine a lot!

Trius Jazz Festival and The Niagara Jazz Festival were huge successes!

Trius Jazz Festival and The Niagara Jazz Festival were huge successes! Trius had the best day of entertainment I’ve seen in many moons. Kevin Breit, Shuffle Demons, Lily Frost and literally dozens more. I hope to be back to emcee next year!

For kicks...I took my pal Kiran to Cuba for a holiday and we rode a bull!

For kicks…I took my pal Kiran to Cuba for a holiday and we rode a bull!

 

Kiran and I swam more than walked while in Cuba.

Kiran and I swam more than walked while in Cuba.

Aside from a week in Costa Rica with Sahra, the only actual vacation (non-work related) was in Cuba. It was still kind of work related because I wanted to scout out a new resort…nothing to write off or anything but I hope to take a jazz safari to Caya Coco one day.

People make fun of me when I'm two fisting drinks but nobody says anything about two gorgeous dates!

People make fun of me when I’m two fisting drinks but nobody says anything about two gorgeous dates!

I attended a whack of charity events this year and one that I’m always happy to promote is The Purple Party which raises money for Childhood Cancer Canada. Barbra Lica, Mary B and I ripped it up on the dance floor!

While in New York, Fred Schneider asked me to lead a sing song at a children's book launch at Barnes & Noble. The things I agree to do with a hangover!

While in New York, Fred Schneider asked me to lead a sing song at a children’s book launch at Barnes & Noble. The things I agree to do with a hangover!

I also held an event for Unison Benevolent Fund (www.unisonfund.ca) and the Fred Schneider dance party at The Phoenix raised over eight grand. The silent auction was stellar and the body painting was a welcome addition to the shenanigans.

Fred Schneider whoops it up while Tim Rivers bows.

Fred (B52’s) Schneider whoops it up while Tim Rivers bows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was aiming for the gay 80's...oopsie. Anyway, this is monami with a capital M.

Retro Dance Party: This is monami – with a capital M.

Barbra Lica seriously loved playing Koerner Hall.

Barbra Lica seriously loved playing Koerner Hall.

Mervon Mehta at Koerner Hall: Take a bow! Mervon booked Barbra Lica in this gorgeous venue and lemetellya: It felt SO GOOD to see her and her band (under the direction of Lou Pomanti) play to over a thousand enthusiastic fans. She’s come a long way in a short time! Go get her new CD “Kissing You” right now!

Gigi and I loved the Zombie Walk!

Gigi and I loved the Zombie Walk!

Thanks to Friskey Brown for the makeup. Nobody even noticed me in Parkdale on Halloween!

Thanks to Friskey Brown for the makeup. Nobody even noticed me in Parkdale on Halloween!

Gigi and I had a ton of fun when my parents came to town to visit!

Gigi and I had a ton of fun when my parents came to town to visit!

Halloween was a gas…but as usual the Zombie Walk was even better than all the Halloween parties I hit. It’s so much more fun when you get your make up done. CLICK HERE

 

Happy Family!

Happy Family!

Ross Porter...a great boss and true friend.

Ross Porter…a great boss and true friend.

This year-end blog is really just scratching the surface…perhaps a pointless exercise…still, it’s faster than reading through twelve months and dozens of blogs from last year…uh, not that there’s anything wrong with that!😉

I didn’t even post pics from my salon nights at Chez Bee Gigi. Gigi being home in T.O. …The single best thing about 2014!

Counting my blessings:

My family are happy, my neighbours are brilliant, I work with awesome people at JAZZ.FM91, I adore making music with Bonzai Suzki, Don Francks and Tony Q. and sitting in with all kinds of bands…and the adventures with friends continues…all out of fingers and toes…WISHING YOU ALL THE BEST FOR 2015!

HAPPY NEW YEAR INDEED!

HAPPY NEW YEAR INDEED!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

2014 – Out With A Roar!

Ending 2014 with a Bonzai Suzuki appearance at Massey Hall. So much fun!

Ending 2014 with a Bonzai Suzuki appearance at Massey Hall. So much fun!

Roxie meets Gigi...two lovely singers!

Roxie meets Gigi…two lovely singers!

What a great couple weeks to end an exciting year! After hearing about Roxie for ages, I finally made it out to a club called ZIPPERZ on Monday night (twice in fact) to see this entertaining drag queen. Gigi and Alex Pangman joined me both times.

That's Irritainment!

That’s Irritainment!

We brought other friends along and met Ori Dagan there – who is one of the main Roxie-fans that talked her up. Roxie is seriously funny one moment and then sings a ballad that causes you to drink the next. My bar tab was unusually high there on both visits, despite the fact that drinks are not particularly expensive. I guess a good drag queen drives me to drink.

Happy Family

Happy Family

I took a bus to North Bay for Christmas. Don’t get me started on the fact that there are no more Northlander Trains – I’m pretty sore on that one, but happy to report Dalton McGuinty’s terrible blunder looks like it’ll be reversed by Kathleen Wynn and if she gets us back on track, I’ll be singing her praises with wild joyous abandon. The bus sucks – but I got a lot of writing done…old skool pen to paper.

My mom on dad...when I was eight...looked a bit like TV's "MacMillan & Wife".

My mom on dad…when I was eight…looked a bit like TV’s “MacMillan & Wife”.

North Bay had snow but it rained Christmas Eve so our candles up and down the street (Santa’s Runway) was short-lived. We had many guests drop by the house as always but in smaller groups so we got really good visits in with everyone. I normally don’t care about presents but my cordless headphones, the warped wine glasses and professional foot massaging unit were brilliant gifts. Apparently, Santa really gets me.

Tom Green hit my party after our Massey Hall shenanigans...this is after our midnight kiss. Awkward!

Tom Green hit my party after our Massey Hall shenanigans…this is after our midnight kiss. Awkward!

warming up backstage

warming up backstage

New Years Eve was truly memorable. It was my tenth or eleventh year acting as MD for The Massey Hall New Year’s Eve Comedy Extravaganza and the fifth year with Dave Howard and the Bonzai Suzuki crew. Ij2PwsGfD_GKPt-96Gwx1cGw6HNEmYR1JpYC-ro8MKE(Almost all the shows on NYE also featured Great Bob Scott on drums.) This year Barbra Lica, Genevieve and Sahra Featherstone joined us and performed a syncronic routine to a song called “Work That Butt” and I sang a ditty called “Let’s Potty”.

"Work That Butt" - encouraging people to chair dance!

“Work That Butt” – encouraging people to chair dance!

Tom Green was a nice guy, Kenny Robinson told the truth and every comic was rewarded with a big round of applesauce…er, applause. It was great to see Mark Breslin once again – an annual tradition. He picks the best comics year after year and just recently I found an old show we did together for CTV where he featured Jim Carrey, Harland Williams, Steve Pearl and others…I think somebody should hire Breslin to produce some new comedy specials. There’s nobody with more knowledge and friends in the comedy biz.

THANKS TO DALE SOOD FOR ALL THE PRO PHOTOS FROM MASSEY HALL AND KAMA!

THANKS TO DALE SOOD FOR ALL THE PRO PHOTOS FROM MASSEY HALL!

HAPPY NEW YEAR...INDEED!

HAPPY NEW YEAR…INDEED!

Mel and I have had such great times this past year. Chicago, Costa Rica and tons of fun here in Toronto!

Mel and I have had such great times this past year. Chicago, Costa Rica and tons of fun here in Toronto!

After singing Auld Lange Syne at 10:30 we beelined to an Indian restaurant on King called Kama. Roger Clown and Robert Scott performed earlier and I jumped up with Don Francks and Tony Quarrington upon arrival and sang.

Then Barbra Lica and Genevieve took over. The house band included TQ on guitar, Lou Pomanti on keys, Lee Hutchinson on bass, Alison Young on tenor sax, Great Bob Scott on drums and special guest Rich Underhill on alto sax. We ate, drank and sang into the wee hours. A classy way to enter into the New Year!

A perfect party? Yes!

A perfect party? Yes!

Bernie Senesky did a few songs with the band. It was his birthday! (pianist Robert Scott's too!)

Bernie Senesky did a few songs with the band. It was his birthday! (pianist Robert Scott’s too!)

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Happy Christmas

Jackie Richardson brings on the Christmas spirit!

Jackie Richardson brings on the Christmas spirit!

Look what I found: A Christmas photo from 1996!

Look what I found: A Christmas photo from 1996!

The other day I had a screaming match over whether or not it was ok to say Happy Christmas. A friend disagrees and says “it sounds like put-on British…you gotta say Merry”. It escalated into a comedy skit but, uh, you had to be there.

action shot!

action shot!

 

 

Anyhoooooo… The Electro Swing Jingle party was a blast.

Gigi’s Elixir debuted and the well-dressed crowd danced up a storm.

professional shots coming soon!

professional shots coming soon!

IMG_0304Revival had a really good bottle of bouron that I helped finish – then after the show we beelined to catch Robert and Bob Scott at Reposado on Ossington, winding up at Chez Bee Gigi till 5:00am.

these girls were pulling some serious shapes on the dance floor

these girls were pulling some serious shapes on the dance floor

things got fuzzy

jessica – my tango partner

 
IMG_0293

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kissing You is the new CD by Barbra Lica - go git it!

Kissing You is the new CD by Barbra Lica – go git it!

Earlier this week I also got to see Barbra Lica at Koerner Hall…she and her band had a terrific set to a packed house. Even though it was clear most people in the hall were there for Barbie, The Hot Sardines put on a stellar show as well and the opening “Nutcracker Suite” gave everyone assurance we were in for a double treat.

Some say Combo Royale have come a long way from Grossmans, but it's really only nine blocks!

Some say Combo Royale have come a long way from Grossmans, but it’s really only nine blocks!

Triple treat, when you count Combo Royale entertaining in the lobby after the show.  Lica and Sardines sold a lotta swag at the after party – Mervon and the crew at Koerner really know how to host a concert!

Tara Davidson!

Tara Davidson!

Holiday Party for JAZZ.FM91 Staff!

Holiday Party for JAZZ.FM91 Staff!

I sang at our holiday party at The Old Mill – “Mr. Grinch” with Justin Bacchus and three clarinets!

 

It was a great concert from Ernesto Cervini and his crew…we filled the room with a couple hundred donors and our staff. Look at this photo above – this is one functional family!

Barberian's Steakhouse hosted a "regulars lunch" which is a seasonal treat for me!

Barberian’s Steakhouse hosted a “regulars lunch” which is a seasonal treat for me!

What are YOU doing New Years Eve?

What are YOU doing New Years Eve?

 

If you are considering spending NYE with me and my friends! nye_2014

 

 

 

 

 

I’m sure you can still get tickets for Massey Hall’s Comedy Extravaganza (early show that ends before 10:30) but there are only a handful for my small party (100 tix, 80 are gone!) so call KAMA and give them your Visa to reserve now!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Party Time (still !?!)

IMG_9525

A few words about New Years Eve before I start my diary-ish part of the blog:

The Massey Hall Comedy Extravaganza celebrate’s it’s 14th year this Dec. 31st at 7pm and stars Derek Edwards, Dave Martin, Kenny Robinson and tons more. My band Bonzai Suzuki play a few tunes and it’s my tenth time acting as MD for this show that is produced by my old pal Mark Breslin. Mark inspired one of our songs called “Let’s Potty” – a perfect song to do before Tom Green takes to the stage as emcee. After that I beeline (excuse the bee jargon) to Kama on King to sing with Don Francks and Tony Quarrington. Then Barbra Lica and Gigi Marentette perform! It’s also birthday celebrations for four of my friends!

It's Dress Up Party Time!

It’s Dress Up Party Time!

 Anjelica Scannura is the belly dancing world champion. We are so spoiled at my salons!


Anjelica Scannura is the belly dancing world champion. We are so spoiled at my salons!

I have hosted a few parties at Chez Bee Gigi in the past few weeks. (Gigi makes my parties that much more special by offering up a signature cocktail upon arrival.)

Hammy ham ham.

Hammy ham ham.

June, Gigi and Sophia...a triple Goddess threat!

June, Gigi and Sophia…a triple Goddess threat!

Every loft party is quite small; between 20 and 30 friends.

 

I switch it up as far as the guest list is concerned, but there are a few regulars of course.

Fred Schneider (of B52's and Superions fame) was our guest of honour...or I guess, honor!

Fred Schneider (of B52’s and Superions fame) was our guest of honour…or I guess, honor!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is a rare treat …that I ever have a big dinner at my place…but with the inspiration of Gigi’s b-day, and her cooking skills, it was a pleasure to turn my cocktail lounge into a feasty treat.

Gravy train!

Gravy train!

It doesn’t hurt that the (literal) boy next door, Jake Vanderham, is a great chef too. It was technically called “American Thanksgiving” but a handful of people very close to Gigi were invited for dinner. (Like salons, the room size means we can’t possibly invite everyone we want to.)

Gigi and I loved The Women In Blues Review at Massey Hall...Brandi Disterheft was brilliant as always!

Gigi and I loved The Women In Blues Review at Massey Hall…Brandi Disterheft was brilliant as always!

I hit Don Dixon’s Asylum Artists HQ twice.

Irene Torres is a hoot at a photo shoot!

Irene Torres is a hoot at a photo shoot!

Firstly for a photo shoot to plug my parties (and drink a bottle of Aberfeldy in the process) and also to celebrate Don’s birthday that included a fun concert and far too much booze!

International Divas - one more show December 21!

International Divas – one more show December 21!

I loved seeing George Koller’s showcase of female vocalists displaying various genres of music. You can get tix and info on the next one at http://www.internationaldivas.net

Sophie Milman in a small cozy venue like Hugh's Room...pinch me!

Sophie Milman in a small cozy venue like Hugh’s Room…pinch me!

Nerd alert!

Nerd alert!

No lack of Goddess energy lately. I sang at A Kosher Christmas and got to bask in the glow of Julie Michels and Sophie Milman. Kellylee Evans and Garvia Bailey in the same room? Good Morning Toronto indeed!

I never met Presley but I supped at a table beside Costello and have hung with Stojko...

Elvis has entered the building!

 

Ken Worth and John McMurchy were diggin the salon at Chez Bee Gigi.

Ken Worth and John McMurchy were diggin the salon at Chez Bee Gigi.

IMG_0117Kazoos are under-rated, sez me. Still, I often find myself bringing it out in the most inappropriate places. I turned Havana Cuba into a Guantana-Marthon…like a swarm of bees with bongos. So wrong and strong! Anyway, I recently serenaded a young princess who would have none of it and later crasehd a bunch of Carollers outside City Hall. (I admit they were posing, but still…)IMG_0084

I’ve hosted several jazz safaris and seen countless bands but one unforgettable moment was at The Old Mill with PJ Perry as special guest with the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band. They played an exciting show, confident and capable…can’t believe my buddy Carter (on piano) is only 15 – I’ve been a fan of his for years!

Jazz Fm Youth Big Band rhythm section

Jazz Fm Youth Big Band rhythm section

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New York City and a Retro Dance Party!

One of the highlights of the past two weeks was a party at The Drake Hotel, raising IMG_9558money and awareness for Childhood Cancer. The auctioneers raised big bucks, the wine was wonderful and  Mary, Barbara Lica and were pulling shapes on the dance floor. A top notch event!

The Django Rheinhardt Festival was on in New York and Dorado Schmitt and his family were amazing!

The Django Rheinhardt Festival was on in New York and Dorado Schmitt and his family were amazing!

The New York Jazz Safari was similar to my last one…which is to say; perfect!

Entertaining the kids at a book launch for "Sassafraz Jones" by Cathleen Smith.

Entertaining the kids at a book launch for “Sassafraz Jones” by Cathleen Smith.

Fred Schneider and I met some of his friends at The Algonquin Hotel. His long-time friend Kathleen Smith had a book launch and she suggested I go to the reading and help entertain the kids. It’s a wonderful book and I hope to help her get it published up here so she can do another event which also helps rescue animals. What a girl!

I bumped into six Canadian friends in three days. This is MagiStar!

I bumped into six Canadian friends in three days. This is MagiStar!

Sunday night was the another unforgettable evening, despite my twelve cocktails. The Ice Bar was my first stop (Minus Five at the midtown Hilton) In some ways it’s a typical tourist thing to do and nobody really goes in there for more than a couple drinks. They don’t let you take your phone in. You must buy pricey photos. I didn’t want the parka they provide, explaining that since I am from Canada, minus five is a walk in the park! (PHOTOS FROM THE ICE BAR WILL BE ADDED HERE TUESDAY AFTERNOON)

Chris Churchill (of Churchill Cellars) picked out perfect wines for dinner and then it was off to The Rum Room at the Edison House to enjoy a night of live music from The Candy Shop Boys.

Drinking Rum Manhattans in a dark room with a hot band. Bliss!

Drinking Rum Manhattans in a dark room with a hot band. Bliss!

It was a wicked party – even though it was a day off for everyone to do what they liked, everyone showed up at The Rum House and were seated just a few feet from the smokin band. Monday, after a little more shopping I flew home and prepared for a busy week.

Kitano Hotel bathrooms are special.

Kitano Hotel bathrooms are special.

 

 

I’m on the board of directors of The Unison Benevolent Fund…If you don’t know what that is, why not surf over there for a moment. Five minutes and you’ll get the gist. CLICK HERE

Fred dancing...Tim Rivers loves it!

Fred dancing…Tim Rivers loves it!

 

DJ Chris from The Retro Road Show in action.

DJ Chris from The Retro Road Show in action.

The Love Shack Retro Dance Party Anyway, Fred Schneider (of The B52s fame) came up from New York to DJ a party for Unison Benevolent Fund and I played host and emcee.

Fred played 60's and 70's funk and soul as well as 80's.

Fred played 60’s and 70’s funk and soul as well as 80’s.

 

Archer recently returned from England - good timing!

Archer recently returned from England – good timing!

There were a lot of cooks in the kitchen on this and it went off without a hitch. Doing shows at the Phoenix has always been a pleasure – they have a great staff and crew!

Robin Barker teased a lot of hair! He (and the others) donated their tips to Unison!

Robin Barker teased a lot of hair! He (and the others) donated their tips to Unison!

Friskey Brown working on G!

Friskey Brown working on G!

Monami and her friends were a great addition to the party!

Monami and her friends were a great addition to the party!

Dali Tat!

Dali Tat!

Robin Barker, Anthony Passero, Friskey’s Fritty Bridage and the Knox crew from Liqiud Imprints looked after the body painting. Check out more body painting and just CLICK HERE

The silent auction was a big hit and I imagine they made close to ten grand. I’ll find out later this week.

I'm not sure what this was all about - I paid for a speaker at the silent auction and someone was in the empty box! Scandalous!

I’m not sure what this was all about – I paid for a speaker at the silent auction and someone was in the empty box! Scandalous!

Lisa Zbitnew worked so hard on this party. She is one of the new owners of the Phoenix AND a Unison Fund board member!

Lisa Zbitnew worked so hard on this party. She is one of the new owners of the Phoenix AND a Unison Fund board member!

 

 

 

 

Other fun things recently:

Gap and I should be doing Martin & Lewis!

Gap and I should be doing Martin & Lewis!

Gap Mangione (brother of Chuck “Feels So Good” Mangione) came up from Rochester and blew my mind at Old Mill Toronto…part of the Sound of Jazz Concert Series. For other shows visit http://www.jazz.fm

Singing non-stop...Alex Pangman is in great shape! Get her new CD called "New"...now!

Singing non-stop…Alex Pangman is in great shape! Get her new CD called “New”…now!

Alex Pangman did a Live To Air and then packed up, beelined to Hugh’s Room and performed a full show.

Also, last Saturday, Don Francks dropped by for brunch. We’re working on some great stuff and he’ll soon be starring in a TV series that I probably shouldn’t talk about just yet. Stay tuned!

Don Francks drops by for brunch!

Don Francks drops by for brunch!

Zeynep Ozbilen performed at Lula. World and jazz, Turkish influenced boleros…don’t ask me to tell you what this music is without a lot of hypens…but it’s really romantic and I have no doubt she’ll blow up in Europe. IMG_9551Her daughters and their friends were having a blast, loving the music, food and vibe at Lula Lounge. Mary and I sat with King Arthur and were swept away. Amazing music!

 

Next up: Many JAZZ.FM91 concerts, safaris and an electro-swing party December 13th at Revival. More on all that soon but meanwhile, if you are looking for some of my recommendations for this month also visit http://www.bullhorn.ca

AND HEY – Please sign at http://www.bullhorn.ca while you are at it…it’ll be sent to you once a month.

ALSO, if you didn’t sign up for this blog yet it’s easy. I try to post  a weekly journal but it’s usually at least two weeks.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Toronto Zombie Walk 2014

Baby likes brains.

Baby likes brains.

Zombie Walk is fun for the whole family!

Zombie Walk is fun for the whole family!

I remember the first small group of people parading down Queen Street West…IMG_9010there might have been forty zombies in all, and I thought it was cool. Twelve years and thousands of zombies later (this year alone I’m sure there was close to ten thousand) it’s better than ever. I only participated in a few in the past but enjoy attending it annually – I’m always impressed with how imaginative it is. If only Pride Day and Santa Claus had such artistry!IMG_6611

Good morning! All ready for Zombie Walk!

Good morning! All ready for Zombie Walk!

 

 

Gigi and I headed over to Monster Makeup Factory and enjoyed watching them at work before it was our turn. Zombies might grunt and groan a lot (“urrrgh….brainssss!”) but they are actually quite friendly.They don’t mind posing for photos and very few children seem to be afraid of them these days. They also obey traffic cops…who knew?!?

breakfast in parkdale - nobody noticed anything unusual...

breakfast in parkdale – nobody noticed anything unusual…

IMG_6632
IMG_9050

 

I’ve just now cleaned off my make-up and want to think Friskey for inviting me to http://www.monstermakeupfactory.com to get zombified. IMG_6621IMG_8944

She takes appointments – it’s better (and cheaper) if you go to her – but as it’s Halloween “season” you best go to her site and book now.

I’ll post my usual Bee Blog on Monday…this is just a Breaking News I Got Pics bulletin.

 

And finally…I put more pics up on You Tube and used an old song I sang with The Royal Jelly Orchestra (from the CD “Life of The Party”).

 

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO: IMG_9005

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wining & Dining at Chez Bee

The photo that started it all...I asked Laura to come over for dinner and then thought: "I should do this all week!" Thanks Laura!

The photo that started it all…I asked Laura to come over for dinner and then thought: “I should do this all week!” Thanks Laura!

I spent a week in work mode (for JAZZ.FM91) every morning, writing mode in the afternoon and wining/dinging at my loft each evening. As for that last part: Every year at my birthday I do this…a seven-day party followed by a week where I don’t go out to shows or events and have just one guest drop in for a quiet visit.

Laughing and eating with Barbie!

Laughing and eating with Barbie!

Goofing off with Alex!

Goofing off with Alex!

I decided not to wait until April, and to take a “week off” in the fall. What a great idea – I got to spend some quality time with some of my favourite people:

Sahra has been my best friend for over a decade!

Sahra has been my best friend for over a decade!

Alex Pangman, Laura Desiree, Sahra Featherstone, Melissa Shouldice,

Mel enjoyed the taste test: We couldn't decide which wine we liked better but after two bottles it didn't really matter I suppose.

Mel enjoyed the taste test: We couldn’t decide which wine we liked better but after two bottles it didn’t really matter I suppose.

Stephanie Goodhue, Barbra Lica and Jessica Pelchat. (The fact that they are all gorgeous women is purely coincidental, I assure you – with not a trace of irony in my voice – and I mean that – and I’ll stop now.)

Mel and I have seen dozens of great plays but I equally enjoy down-time.

Mel and I have seen dozens of great plays but I equally enjoy down-time.

Last Thursday I went to see Heavyweights Brass Band and a young singer from Calgary named Evelyn Dotty.

I am accustomed to being recognized, but rarely are they so young. (Most of my younger friends sleep in and miss morning radio all togehter!) ;-)

JAZZ FM FANS: I am accustomed to being recognized, but rarely are they so young. (Most of my younger friends sleep in and miss morning radio all togehter!)😉

E-Dot in the T-Dot!

E-Dot in the T-Dot!

 

 

In between there was a remarkable set by Robi Botos and Kevin Breit: two of the most confident and playful instrumentalists I know! IMG_8652Friday and Sunday I hit Jazz Bistro to see Harold Lopez-Nussa Trio. After the show Sunday Gigi and I went to Reposado to enjoy live music from Robert Scott & Great Bob Scott – and fall in love with Tequila Manhattans!

Two best friends from the 80's...Wayne Parent and The Great Bob Scott. As you can see, drinking tequila doesn't affect me.

Two best friends from the 80’s…Wayne Parent and The Great Bob Scott. As you can see, drinking tequila doesn’t affect me.

 

 

Saturday I went Pumpkin hunting with Jessica and Hayden. unnamed-10While I missed my excursion to North Bay for thanksgiving with family and fall colours, it meant a lot to spend a “family day” exploring nature and pumpkin hunting.

A perfect sunny Sunday!

A perfect sunny Sunday!

Our visit to Downey’s Farm was one-stop shopping for beautifully strange-shaped gourds!

A couple nights back, Gigi and I hosted another salon at my loft. 10389338_10152315227877035_1761439031253717735_n

There is only room for a handful of people so I switch it up as best I can so I can visit with various friends – which of course means no two parties are alike.

Thanks to Amy McConnell for the great photos ... and the lovely song!

Thanks to Amy McConnell for the great photos … and the lovely song!

This time, the musicians outnumbered the party guests who weren’t performers, so there was no shortage of variety of talent.

unnamed

I will post many more photos in my CHEZ BEE SALON section of the Jaymz Bee Blog.IMG_8696

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment