After a week of parties it was a sweet treat to spend some quality time with some close friends; many of whom were at my parties but since everything was jam-packed; we never had a lot of face time. I had a couple of adventures too, but mostly I just cooked dinner and entertained one friend each night. Sheena was at the last three parties and had to head back to Montreal…
We had a ton of laughs on this visit and she knows she’s always got a Toronto HQ at Chez Bee. I first met Sheena when she starred in “Hair”. She was sexy, goofy and immensely talented at a rehearsal I attended and I had a feeling we’d become good friends. So glad I was right.
On Tuesday Alex Pangman came over for dinner and laughs. She played my first “birthday” party at Hugh’s Room, singing with her hubby Colonel Tom Parker and friends. They performed folk and country music to an enthusiastic, open-minded crowd.
She also played with her Alley Cats at Palais Royale at the biggest bash last Saturday.
Alex and I looked through a bunch of photos of the night before enjoying some episodes of Johnny Staccato, a groovy black and white TV series from 1959. They call Staccato “televisions first jazz detective” but I’ve never seen anyone call him a detective: He just seems to get in trouble or help friends out of trouble. It’s fun to watch, I love the soundtrack and the script always includes hipster lingo that causes a few laughs.
For about 12 years now Alex and I have been going sailing, horseback riding and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen her in concert. Even if we weren’t friends I’d recognize she’s one of the best singers of her chosen genre. The new CD is called “HAVE A LITTLE FUN” and features Bucky Pizzarelli!
Wednesday I met Afrah Gouda the Egyptian Love Goddess at CBC for an event called The Brewer’s Plate. Sampling beer and a variety of chi-chi food is a great way to raise money for charity, but I must admit I am not much of a beer fan anymore and much prefer wine or scotch tasting events. Still the food was good and the company was great! Afrah and I have been close friends for decades and although our hanging is rare (about ten times a year because she’s always jet-setting around the world) it is always memorable!
On the way out of the CBC we stopped to pose with the Glenn Gould statue. I love having fun with statues!
Thursday, I took Melissa Bourne to a fantastic play at the Yonge Centre for the Performing Arts in THe Distillery District: The War of 1812.
If you haven’t seen a show by Video Cabaret, just do it now and thank me later. Michael Hollingsworth’s version of Canadian history should be seen by all Canadians…and this play would be of interest to many Americans, especially Western New Yorkers who might know a little more about this war. (Hint: The U.S., despite the hilarious claims of a few, didn’t win that war!) After that Melis and I beelined to my place for scotch and more Johnny Stacatto!
Friday Kiran came over for dinner and a movie.
I met Kiran through a mutual friend, Aurora McLaughlin, who has since passed away of cancer (way too young). Kiran and I have had great adventures for about 15 years now…and recently she performed with Bonzai Suzuki; pole dancing to an original song at Massey Hall on New Years Eve. Nice way to ring in the New Year! She is a pole dancing athlete and teacher, and has won or placed in competitions across the country. This has nothing to do with stripping: It’s about movement and strength, choreography and grace.
Saturday I admit I didn’t stay in. I enjoyed a poker game and was up and down all night. It’s a friendly game with low stakes but a really great way to brush up on my game because everybody knows what they are doing.
The week ended perfectly on Sunday with a visit from Jessica Pelchat…a gorgeous gal with a big brain! She does marketing, social media consulting, special event planning and built my website, http://www.jaymzbee.ca Her company is called CHARTREUSE and I can easily recommend them highly!
I met Jessica only about a year ago and looking back at our countless photos, I am impressed with how much fun we’ve had in such a short period of time. We did some private scotch sampling, enjoyed a great meal and watched the movie “PICNIC” which is a timeless classic! Not an exciting week to read about – but I sure needed some quiet time and loved every mellow evening!
Jazz Lives is the biggest charity concert of the year for JAZZ.FM91 and it’s sold out long ago. Pat Metheny, Bill Charlap and Terence Blanchard will be in town! Lou Pomanti is the music director once again and my pals Bill McBirnie and Barbra Lica will perform at this big Koerner Hall show. A couple great photographers will be on site so you won’t have to rely on my crappy-cam-pics! Next Monday!