Golf, Burlesque and Jazz – Oh My!

This past Tuesday I acted as auctioneer at a golf tournament for Camp Wintstone (www.campwintstone.com) which provides recreational opportunities for kids with complex neurological disorders. This was my fifth year and I always look forward to it.

My dad and his pal Ken Sutton came down from North Bay to join my foursome which also included filmmaker Greg Greene, who I’ve been a fan of ever since I saw “The End of Suburbia”. You can see a version on YouTube and the full version on Netflix. Check it out!

This year we played the Red Crest course, part of Cardinal Golf Course (www.cardinalgolfcourse.com) in New Market. Everyone on my team had his moment – even me – but as far as the tournament goes; my guess is we were average at this “Scramble” Golf Tournament.

We got lucky…the forecast was calling for rain but the weather was perfect all day long!

After the show I bee-lined to Hugh’s Room (www.hughsroom.com) to attend another benefit. This one was for MMM, Margaret Morris Method, (www.mmmcanada.ca) which is a form of dance therapy. The evening featured an opening act: George Grosman Quintet (www.georgegrosman.com) and headliner Larry Coryell who performed an awe-inspiring solo guitar set!

Silver Foxes or Executive Blondes? Larry and I could be brothers!

Larry has a DVD available for budding guitarists (or pros who wanna learn a few extra licks) and it’s available at: (www.coryelljazz.com)

I will judge beauty on Canada Day…more sexy than sexist…I promise!

Wednesday afternoon I attended a CHIN Picnic press conference. This is the largest free multi-cultural event in Canada! I love that Toronto has an international picnic, Pride Day parties and a world-class jazz festival all at the same time!

My mom always taught me not to judge people, but when it comes to the CHIN pageant, “here come da judge”! I gave my card at the door as I always do at a press conference and ended up winning a large Weber BBQ because my card was drawn. I didn’t even know there was a draw…nice!

Wednesday evening my BFF and I hit Barberian’s for my favourite meal of the year. I always love the service, ambience and food at this place but the fish was better than ever. I have to admit being in close proximity to Mary B. also makes dinner more enjoyable: She is a riot!

Mary B. was seriously impressed with the tuna – and her Sidecar at Barberians!

Mary and I ordered tuna, one seared, the other medium – and we shared. After that it was off to see Alex Pangman (www.alexpangman.com) perform at a private event held at JAZZ.FM91 (www.jazz.fm) with wine and food tasting hosted by Brad Barker and organized by Chris Churchill and Mark Donaldson (www.churchillcellars.com).

Alex Pangman and pianist Peter Hill did a great job entertaining in The Long & McQuade performance hall at JAZZ.FM91.

Alex sang beautifully and was particularly remarkable in her interpretation of “Shanghai Lil” which I was pleased to hear will be on her next recording.

Thursday night was a vocal jazz showcase for people who donated generously to JAZZ.FM91.  This was my ninth show that featured over 24 singers in one three-hour show at Lula Lounge (www.lula.ca). As always, the staff and chef at Lula were perfectly organized, we had brilliant sound by Howard Laurie and everyone who participated had a blast! From Don Francks and Errol Fisher to Roz Kindler and J.P. Saxe…rising stars, veterans and everything in between was featured.

I always love producing and emceeing the vocal showcase at Lula Lounge for JAZZ.FM91. I will also sing and recite a bit of poetry if asked!

The house band of Robi Botos (piano), Artie Roth (bass), Daniel Barnes (drums) and Colleen Allen (saxes, flute and accordion) made every singer shine. Tasty solos all around…while it might be a high pressure gig for some, this fearless foursome dug into every style and groove with ease. The One Stop Vocal Jazz Safari will celebrate its 10th at Lula Lounge on Thursday December 6th. It will no doubt sell out once again. Contact JAZZ.FM91 membership for details.

I am pleased to report that Pam Hyatt (aka Pamalot) sang at Lula and informed the crowd that she is working on her debut CD at the tender age of 76! You can donate $20 now and have a CD sent to you…or donate $250 and you and a guest can attend her live recording and CD launch party. Info at PAMALOT

Welcome home Laura!

Friday afternoon: Sailing bliss! I don’t have to say much, I think the photos speak for themselves. Laura Desiree is back in town from NYC – fasten your seatbelts!

This just in: Fresita works well on a boat! Mix with ice, triple sec and fresh strawberries!

Friday night I hit The Mod Club Theatre with some friends to see Nuvo Burlesque. This troupe is more like “The Rockettes Gone Wild” than the type of burlesque most Torontonians are used to – but a beautiful spectacle, thoroughly enjoyable and likely to keep very busy based on the enthusiastic reception and full house! Meanwhile, any girls who want a sassy workout should visit Carla at www.carlacatherwood.com

Goofing off at The Mod Club with my sweet freaky friends!

This reminds me of a topic I feel compelled to share:

Toronto needs an all male dance troupe!!! Like the infamous 610 Stompers of New Orleans (www.610stompers.com) who claim they are “Ordinary Men with Extraordinary Moves” I think we need some of that here in Toronto. I require twenty guys who will invest in some type of matching outfits, who will gladly learn to pull some shapes for the dance floor and in parades. Any takers!? I’m not giving this idea a name yet…I believe the name will come after our first “meeting”.

Fun on the street in Pickering Village!

Saturday I enjoyed The Pickering Village JAM Festival in Ajax. There was tons of music and food at this festival, but also a fashion show, belly dancing demonstration and a guy who played rhythm guitar to “Folsom Prison Blues” and refused to sing. I ended up joining him on Kazoo and received thunderous applause. (Cut to: twelve people clapping and eight laughing.) My biggest find was a great shop for a straight razor shave and custom suits in the same store. Brenton Alleynes is at 80 Old Kingston Road in Ajax or call him at 416.703.6489

Barbra Lica meets Wolfman at The Cadillac Lounge during their Burlesque Brunch. As Wolfman reports “all eggs are sunny side up, I can assure you!”

Sunday I enjoyed Burlesque Brunch (www.greatcanadianburlesque.com) at Cadillac Lounge with a whole bunch of friends, most of them female. Wolfman was a great emcee with some seriously corny jokes. By 3pm I was ready for more sailing…a lot more sailing.  Another wonderful week in the big city!

Kevin Clark is one of my favourite trumpet players in New Orleans. I love to hang with his family when they visit Toronto but I love it even more to see them on their own turf!!!

Coming up this week I will be hitting several clubs for live music but mostly preparing for a trip to New Orleans on Friday. My next blog will be NOLA infused…y’all come back now, y’hear?

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