I have spent the first couple weeks of 2013 preparing for a week of parties to celebrate my “coming of age”…I will turn 50 on Saturday April 13th 2013. There are a few things I always promised I’d do “when I grow up” so we’ll see if any one of these things happens in the next wee while. Will I: 1) Learn to drive a car 2) Make some real money 3) Grow some hair on my chest 4) Sleep-in once a week!
Check out this crazy birthday agenda: (I know it seems a bit early, but I like doing it now so I can stop thinking about it and get on with other work till April. Also, anyone reading this can get their tickets a week and a half before I release the info to mainstream media!)
Monday, April 8th at 8:00pm I kick off my birthday week with a show called MY FAVOURITE FOLK at HUGH’S ROOM on Dundas West. The night features songs from my favourite folk artists including: Julian Fauth, Joe Hall, Tony Quarrington, Roger Clown, Heather Luckhart, Big Rude Jake, Tom Parker, Sahra Featherstone & Scarlett Jane! Tickets $22.50 at http://www.hughsroom.com
Tuesday, April 9th I have something up my sleeve, but I can’t share it just yet.
Wednesday April 10th a friend is hosting a dinner for me at Barberian’s Steakhouse, which he knows is my fave restaurant in Toronto and I don’t even eat meat. (My idea of a steak is a seared tuna steak!) It’ll likely be a couple hundred bucks a head so I have no idea how many there will be. If you are interested in joining us, contact me. Whether it’s a table of 12 or 40 – I look forward to it.
Thursday April 11th I perform with my pop band, Bonzai Suzuki, at The Painted Lady, which is a hotspot on Ossington! We played this venue twice before and don’t hype it up much cuz it’s easy to fill a club with 100 capacity. We’ll play songs from our first CD and a bunch of new stuff…in fact, if all goes to plan we’ll have a new CD you receive with your $20 cover. (Tix at the door only – show at 10pm sharp)
Friday April 12th I will host a party at Lambton Golf & Country Club (sold out already I believe) and my jazz ensemble, the Royal Jelly Orchestra performs. This means I will get to see Julie Michels, Sophia Perlman, Michael Danso and all the usual suspects…and have some great food and drinks while playing to about 100 golf club members who I have known from five years of jazz events! As I say, no tickets left…which is fine since the Saturday bash is the biggest of them all, and it’s on my actual birth date:
Saturday April 13 at Palais Royale…my 50th b-day bash is a swing dance party! Unlike past years dinner is not served and seating is just here and there, it’s about dancing not sitting! It also doubles as a benefit concert for UNISON FUND and I hope to get everyone signed up to be a member of JAZZ.FM91 too. Regular tickets are $40 and include live music and DJ all night in the ballroom, free pizza and (gourmet) mac and cheese all night, and even a Karaoke Party in the basement.
My brother, Christopher Dog is coming in from Ottawa and his company Dog And Pony Sound will supply the gear and host the karaoke room. (I will have someone video tape so I can see all the fun later…I will spend most of my night on the dance floor no doubt!) As for the main acts in the big old ballroom…Alex Pangman & Her Alley Cats kick off the night and also appearing for your swing dancing pleasure: Terra Hazelton, Chris Norton (from NYC’s Sly Blue), Barbra Lica and few special guests. Around midnight, Shuffle Demons will take to the stage! Another thing I love is the huge patio facing the lake…smokers have a classy place to hang out!
This is going to be EPIC…and again, tix are on line now (as of yesterday)…and according to the venue, tix are already selling well! I should mention that the only reserved tables of ten are for VIPS…the first 100 who purchase VIP tickets ($100 each – a grand for a table of ten) can come an hour earlier for special hors d’eourves and have a seat at a table reserved all night long.
Sunday, I know I should chill…but no…I am working on a special event for The McMichael Gallery at Kleinberg which will include live music and a look at some Tom Thompson and The Group of Seven paintings. I checkout this gallery seasonally and have been going to enjoy the art since I was in my twenties! It’s the perfect thing to do on a Sunday afternoon. More info on this soon enough at http://www.bullhorn.ca
So…aside from working my butt of at JAZZ.FM91, on my birthday shenanigans and on new songs for Bonzai Suzuki…I’ve had very little time to paint the town in the first two weeks of January. Last week I did manage to take in a film…there are so many worth seeing right now (Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Skyfall) but this movie is definitely the strangest! I have to recommend it with caution…basically, look at the trailer and you’ll know if you would love or loathe a film like this. Ladies and gentleman: HOLY MOTORS!
I also managed to have some wonderful lunch and dinner dates and hit a party for Joey C…but not the usual plethora of concerts, plays and events. My pal Audrey took me to a place for the best soup and sandwich I’ve had in recent memory. I’ve sent people there and everyone is raving: Go check out The King’s Table at 793 King West (W of Bathurst) for lunch!
Despite not seeing much live music, I will make up for it soon enough…according to my current calendar I will see close to 40 bands in February…which is laden with jazz safaris! Fun!!!
And I had one salon night at my loft. It featured some stellar performances by Cervin Winans (five time grammy winning gospel singer!), Barbra Lica, Michael Dunston, Samantha Clayton, Hisaka, Sam Broverman and Roger Clown…with Lou Pomanti on piano and George Koller on bass. Big Rude Jake broke out the guitar and sang a few of his most popular original tunes, Richard Flohil told a hilarious story about Miles Davis and everyone had a perfect, mellow evening!
THIS WEEK: I’m off to Costa Rica with Barbra Lica (hey-it rhymes) and Phil and Sahra…I will have some outrageous photos from Paradise next week in my Bee Blog! This is one holiday I look forward to all year…time to get healthy for one-whole-week. Hiking in the jungle is thrilling and there is nothing like Papa Fria (drinking cold coconut water from a ginormous coconut!) Jaco…here I come!