Music, Merriment & Remembering…

Monday started off with a visit from my mom and dad who drove in from North Bay for a quick visit! After my morning radio shift at 91.1, I bee-lined to Barberian’s Steak House for lunch. I had my usual seared tuna and Arron Barberian told me all about a cool event this week at The Drake that benefits Childhood Cancer called The Purple Party. I will attend and report on it next week.

That night, we attended Pam Hyatt’s highly anticipated CD Launch at Hugh’s Room.

Pam Hyatt was sweet one minute, hilarious  the next….thanks to Robert Saxe for all the great pics!

The performance was brilliant and by the time the set ended an hour later, everyone in the room knew they got their money’s worth. But there was more to come…

Laura Desiree and Megan Oldfield from “Vamps Like Us” joined me at Hugh’s Room for a great night of witty ditties!

Peter Hill returned for a few songs in the second set, but most songs were played by Mark Kieswetter. Barbra Lica and I performed and emceed with guests: Era Chorna, Roger Clown and Terra Hazelton all making cameos.

Sam and Pam…reminiscent of Las Vegas in the early seventies!

Sam Broverman and Pam Hyatt did solo tunes and a hilarious duet from SCTV called “I Hate Your Guts”. Big thanks to Robert Saxe for the swell pics!

Barbra Lica and I had a riot emceeing the second set. Somebody give us a TV show, will ya?

Afrah the Egyptian Love Goddess thought Robbie Rox was sweet, talented and funny as hell!

Tuesday I had dinner at Afrah Goudah’s sub-penthouse condo in Yorkville. The food was delicious, the wine was brilliant and the company, perfect! She had never heard of Robbie Rox, so I took her to Revival and joined a bunch of other friends including Jef Vegas, Gord Myers and John Johnson for a show that had me laughing like a Saturday night at Yuk Yuks.

When Robbie wasn’t singing he was bongo-ing

Great Bob Scott and Kevin Hearn also had a blast at Revival for Rob Rox!

Robbie’s falsetto is right out of The Three Stooges and I hope one day he might record both parts in “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and “I Got You Babe”. After Rob Rox rocked I dropped by Monarchs Pub at The Delta Chelsea to see a singer from Mexico that was recommended by Randy Bachman.

Thanks for the tip Randy…I owe you one!

Vivi Castell can sing any style of music and is drop dead sexy. I hope she plans to perform more often in Toronto.

Another great CD launch this week was the concert celebrating the release of “Stolen Genius” by Amy McConnell and William Sperandei at The Gladstone Hotel Ballroom.

Thanks to Doug Dickin from for supplying this great shot!

Amy and William were joined by Mark Kieswetter (keys and arrangements), Roberto Occhipinti (bass), Ted Quinlan (guitar ) and Ben Riley (drums).

Aside from occasion bleed of the rock band next door during introductions to songs, it was a perfect venue for this blend of jazz and pop. They managed to duplicate the sound on their CD, which is no small feat. The CD is on iTunes now and I highly recommend it! After the show I got to hook up with my old pal Melissa. We laughed hard at You Tube clips including ,  

Wednesday I emceed a show at First Canadian Place and before the show went to see the art exhibit by photographer Elaine Waisglass.

Taking a photo of a photo doesn’t do it justice! Head over to the First Canadian Place gallery and take a look yourself!

Elaine invested in “Seriously Happy”; a recording my band The Royal Jelly Orchestra made about a decade ago, and one of the stars of the CD, Roger Clown, was the subject of one of my favourite photographs. Jarvis Church and his backup singers did a short set and then he signed CD’s. (Thanks to my buddy Tom Sandler for the great photo above!) His full band played a local show the following night but I already had plans…Jazz Safari plans!

Friday, I kicked off with dinner and show at Quotes, across from Roy Thomson Hall. The building has been sold and the live music only has two more Fridays to go before they pull the plug. The Canadian Jazz Quartet were joined by special guest Al Kaye; who showed his dexterity on the horn playing bebop, ballads and swing tunes.

Dave Young Quartet, shot by Robert Saxe. (I love when great photographers provide me shots for my blog…four this week!)

Jazz Hands? Really?!

Then I took the mini coach full of jazz fans to Hugh’s Room for Dave Young’s tribute to Oscar Peterson that featured Denzal Sinclaire. Over to The Old Mill Inn for a set by Margot Roi, to Dominion On Queen for Robyn Banks and her smokin’ blues and finally a night cap with Richard Whiteman at Pantages.

Can you believe that gorgeous blonde in the middle of this family photo was grandmother to all seven kids?!? Lyne was a truly amazing person and I miss her so much. Anyone who knew her feels the same, no doubt!

Saturday was sober in more ways than one. I went to the burial of a close friend and as expected, it was an emotional roller coaster. Everyone had sweet memories but were so sad to know there would be no more new memories to make. Lynn Caruso was a woman I knew since I was a teenager and she and her husband Frank nurtured me and booked my plays, concerts, puppet shows…and we stayed in touch ever since. She left behind three kids, and a whack of grand children. The hottest granny on Earth, sez me…and one of the sweetest and most driven ladies I’ve ever known!

Father Al is a perpetual donor to JAZZ.FM91. Luckily I had a piece of gum and could fake a white collar!

Saturday mourning.

Remembering Lynn and Remembrance Day? Double sober!

The 68thHighlanders sent chills and the Veterans Burlesque Brunch gave thrills.

Pipe and drums…a timeless and beautiful way to remember all those who made sacrifices so we can live the way we do now!

Beautiful women baring arms…and more…at the Veterans Burlesque Brunch!

Thanks to Mopo for sending me this great photo from The Cadillac Lounge!

Hanging with Mellisa twice in one week was a sweet treat!

Boy oh boy…Caesar’s, Eggs, Dancers and Friends…what a perfect way to start a sunny Sunday. The next show by Great Canadian Burlesque is November 24th at 10pm at the new improved El Mocambo Tavern, owned by the same guy who owns Cadillac Lounge!

Captain Paul and I took his RV down to the lake over the weekend and lo and behold there were a few people kite surfing! I met a nice photography enthusiast (who I was pleased to discover is a big fan of JAZZ.FM91) and he sent me a couple of great shots.

Flying at Cherry Beach. Wow!

Dave MacVicar shot Lee Sousa in action!

I love the shots from Dave MacVicar but I have to admit my iPhone captured this…doesn’t it look like a giant bird is about to eat the tiny wind surfer?


I will attend The Purple Party at The Drake Hotel Wednesday and  Mysteriously Yours Dinner Theatre on Friday. And of course, lots of concerts and parties to report next Monday!

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