This week was a phenomenal week for live music, but I also got to dress up like a corpse and join the Toronto 2012 Zombie Walk. What a wild weekend! The week began with a Tribute To New Orleans by none other than Kevin Clark who came up from NOLA and hired his A-List band of local musicians who he played with for five years back when he was based in Toronto. Tony Quarrington (guitar), Denis Keldie (organ), Peter Hill (piano), Chris Lamont (drums) and Ross Wooldridge (clarinet and sax) were all in fine form…and just like on Bourbon Street, the band felt loose and played tight! The crowd at The Old Mill Inn gave Kevin two standing ovations and he sold over a thousand dollars of his new CD. The next night I hosted a loft party for Kevin. Tony, Chris and Peter joined us, along with Bill McBirnie (flute), Chris Butcher (trombone) Mark Kieswetter (piano) and signers Julie Michels, Hisaka Sakai, and yours truly! I love hosting small get-togethers in my loft.
There is only room for 20-30 so I have to switch up the guest list often if I want to see old friends…which means it’s never the same twice…exciting!
I hit Lambton Golf & Country Club for a great show by SLY BLUE who are visiting from New York City and staying in my loft while here in town. This band got octogenarian millionaires up and dancing! I saw them again Saturday at a private part at Winchester Kitchen. The only show they do for the public is this Wednesday, October 24that Lula Lounge.
Doors at 7, show at 8…Alex Pangman opens and the cover is only $20 which includes their brand new CD called “The Edge Of The World”.
Saturday was the busiest day of the week. I began early, working at JAZZ.FM91. I produce shows and like to catch up on things in the morning on weekends (since nobody I know is up at stupid o’clock on Saturday or Sunday) and on this day our board room was full of volunteers stuffing envelopes and helping with the Fund Drive. For info the fund drive and to find out how to become a member of JAZZ FM check out www.jazz.fm
After a few hours of work I went home and got zombie-fied. I didn’t go all out but I also didn’t want to be a party pooper so I put on some make-up and an old helmut Nash The Slash gave me as a gift a decade ago.
The Toronto Sun said a thousand zombies took to the street but it was over five thousand for sure! I swear it took more time than the Santa Clause or Gay Pride Parade. Silly fun! Captain Paul picked me up in his RV and I had a chance to change and wash up before we hit the town. First: a great meal at THE EAST ENDER, a restaurant near Leslie and Queen…incredible food and terrific service. I am soooo going back!
Then to see Sly Blue at a private party, over to see Era Chorna at Painted Lady where she celebrate her birthday and after a few dances down the street to Represado for a concert by Plan C…they got me up to do some spoken word…cool room…feels like you are in a booze can; uh, but it’s legal to drink there!
At the end of the night we hit one more birthday party for my pal Stella Walker. It was a no-camera-policy-party but she let me take a picture of one of her paintings. I love her art!
Sunday was Archie Alleyne Day! Archie is a solid bebop drummer and has a heart of gold. He founded The Archie Alleyne Scholarship Fund many years ago and has put a bunch of kids through school or assisted with bursaries for private lessons.
His show, Syncopation featured the Evolution of Jazz Ensemble which is made up from the youth who he assisted and he also had a set featuring jazz, soul and reggae stars; both new and some from back in the day. Eric Mecury, Joni NehRita, Shakura S’Aida and my new favourite dancer/singer/legend…Jay Douglas, all performed. I was a fan of Jay’s before, but his moves and energy blew my mind. Whether he sings R&B, funk, jazz, blues or reggae, this guy is a star! I hope they raised a lot of dough. You can always donate at www.aasf.ca
Sly Blue at Lula Lounge and I will make a rare appearance with my band, The Royal Jelly Orchestra at Palais Royale on Sunday afternoon to raise money for St. Joseph’s Hospital. Info at http://www.foundation.stjoe.on.ca/