This week on my Jaymz Bee Blog: More sailing, jazz and parties (Oh, what a beautiful rutt!); a soccer game and a great hang with my old chum, Mark Holmes!
I started my week off checking out a TFC soccer game against Vancouver. I was given tickets for a private booth as a thank you gift for hosting the Jane’s Walk Tour of Liberty Village. My old friend Nezam (who used to own The Liberty Café) was also invited and we loved every minute. A really exciting game that ended 3-2 for the good guys!
I had some great sailing adventures this week. I met Sylvia a week before and was really happy that she was free for an afternoon trip on Incommunicado. Both Andrea Ramolo and Sahra Featherstone were thrilled to be sailing while in town between tours and it was great to catch up and blast some great tunes. Andrea is in one of my favourite new bands, Scarlet Jane. I suppose I can try to describe it as torch western roots pop but really you should just get their CD on iTunes and come up with your own description. http://scarlettjane.com
Sahra has never been busier…playing with a bunch of different bands including The Tartan Terrors, Nelly Furtado, Bonzai Suzuki and tons more. Harp, fiddle, electric violin, penny whistle and flute…and a great voice to boot! I love her lead vocals on “Happening Thing” on the Bonzai Suzuki debut CD most of all!
I stopped by TIFF Bell Lightbox to have a tour of their various rooms and theaters for events in the future and was pleased to see there is a piano in the lobby for anyone to play. The fact that it was covered in Bee’s and had the word Costa Rica on it, (CR is my favourite place to visit every January), compelled me to break into some Glenn Gould-ish nightmare tune.
One sunny afternoon last week, it was so still on Lake Ontario some of my guests went for a dip. I did not feel like Jack Nicholson in Witches of Eastwick…
Elise LeGrow is making waves on radio these days. Her first single “No Good Woman” is on play lists everywhere and her videos of the song have had over fifty thousand hits! Among the new friends Elise met on the boat…another Elise! The great snacks were courtesy of Platinum Blonde leader Mark Holmes, who was camera shy this particular afternoon. Dips and cheese with Ace bakery products went perfectly with the pinot grigio from Henry of Pelham and Hillerbrand Estates.
Mark brought the best cracker-breadie-type-treats. Try them! http://www.acebakery.com/more-good-things/category/6/mini-crisps/
Mark and I have had some outrageous fun at his Mod Club over the years. Once I had ten pianists on five pianos playing Caravan all at once. I also had one of my 42nd Birthday Bashes there; complete with a full-on show by The Royal Jelly Orchestra and a host of my favourite singers. Having my dad join Big Rude Jake on Mini The Moocher was a real highlight.
I took Melissa Bourne on a jazz safari and we really enjoyed the diversity. Barry Elmes, Mike Murley and Steve Wallace were at The Old Mill Inn. What beautiful playing for our first stop!
From there we hit Hugh’s Room for a Samba Singers Series, then to the Reservoir Lounge for Sophia Perlman and then to Dovercourt House for swing dancing with The Mike Daley Quartet, featuring Great Bob Scott on drums. Genevieve got up to do a song with the band and Mike kept her up for three more! Dovercourt is one of my favourite places in Toronto. Everyone should go just once…ha…like that will happen. Believe me, the vibe there is so friendly and sincere you’ll be back with friends. I like to joke that the swing dance events are where old people dance with young people, and it isn’t even creepy! Finally we went for a nightcap to Pantages Hotel to see the last performance (they are redesigning the room and there is no guarantee they will book live pianists again) of John Campbell.
After all that excitement I wound down with my neighbours at my secret lair in Liberty Village. There is always something going on in one room of the warehouse but in the summer it’s mostly in the garage/lounge. We all realize how lucky we are and how few real lofts are left in Toronto!
Sunday I popped by Hugh’s Room to wish my pal Richard Carson a happy 60th birthday. It was great to see some old friends, especially
Richard Flohil who shares a love of Scarlet Jane, Sahra Featherstone and so many other of my favourite acts.
Coming up this week…THURSDAY JULY 19th at 10ish…The Painted Lady…BONZAI SUZUKI! I am excited to take to the wee stage at one of my favourite Toronto venues to do one long set with my pals Dave Howard, Great Bob Scott, Bubz Magoo and Geegee. We always tweak our shows to fit whoever is in town. Sahra is off on tour the next morn at stupid o’clock, Legs Mahoney is super-preggo in Ottawa and Brandi is in New York. No biggie – we have actually never performed with everyone featured on our CD at the same time and it’s always a blast. It’s PWYC (no coins) and if you buy someone in the band a drink, you get a free Bonzai Suzuki kazoo as a keepsake! Electronic Pop was never so much fun sez me. Come checkitout!