Vocal Jazz Showcase # 11

The One Stop Vocal Jazz Safari - I love the music scene in this city!

The One Stop Vocal Jazz Safari – I love the music scene in this city!

What a fast week! Time flies when you are having fun and there is no shortage of that…despite the weather being cold and wet.

The sun came out for Scarlett Jane last week!

The sun came out for Scarlett Jane last week!

Monday I enjoyed Scarlett Jane twice…they played Yonge-Dundas Square and Lula Lounge and if these girls weren’t my good friends I’d want to see them anyway as their songwriting is top notch and their harmonies are as gorgeous as they are! IMG_0060

Afrah has frequent sailing miles with me!

Afrah has frequent sailing miles with me!

On Tuesday I was treated to an amazing meal, thanks to Afrah Gouda, the Egyptian Love Goddess.

Afrah...yes, she has worked as a model!

Afrah…yes, she has worked as a model!

I met Afrah about fifteen years ago at a party and we’ve made time for each other once or twice a month ever since! She made some  killer martinis, then we shared a bottle of fine wine and then went to Yorkville for sushi.

On Saturday morning the strangest thing happened…I rocked out with my old pals from the early nineties…it was a Look People rehearsal, the first since 1993…and we killed it! Kevin Hearn’s house serves as our H.Q. and it was a unique feeling to do complicated rock music with no sheet music or lyrics in sight. I purposely chose to do the first rehearsal from memory and the guys played tighter than I would imagine is possible.

We had breakfast a few weeks ago to discuss a special set for EE8.

We had breakfast a few weeks ago to discuss a special set for EE8.

We are doing a performance at The Electric-Eclectic Festival near Meaford Ontario in August and are discussing the possibility of doing one show around Halloween in downtown Toronto. For now, only the EE Fest is for sure! Get your tickets and info at:

THE ELECTRIC-ECLECTICS FESTIVAL #8

I was a tad hungover at the Look People rehearsal but that was apropos because back in the day we were all hungover at rehearsals. We rocked hard till 1pm and then Kevin had to jump on a plane to Lou Reeds house. Yeah, I just said that. (Kevin plays in Lou’s band and they’ve become good friends. Both have had their health battles which I’m sure creates a friendship bond closer than most.)

I can't promise to sport this look at the Look People concert!

I can’t promise to sport this look at the Look People concert!

Friday night I provided another tour for JAZZ.FM91 donors…and Melissa Bourne, an actress and singer I’ve known for about a decade was my special guest.

Melissa Bourne: dressed for success!

Melissa Bourne: dressed for success!

Habits Gastropub (College at Dovercourt)  is a great place to eat...the Landen Vieira Trio played wonderfully. A brilliant safari stop!

Habits Gastropub (College at Dovercourt) is a great place to eat…the Landen Vieira Trio played wonderfully. A brilliant safari stop!

On Saturday night – you guessed it – another jazz safari and this one was with Mary B! Our night culminated with a dance party at Dovercourt House featuring Alex Pangman and Her Alley Cats!

Alex and I sharing a tender ballad?

Alex and I sharing a tender ballad?

Mary is always ready to be my photo muse!

Mary is always ready to be my photo muse!

This dance night on Dovercourt features different local swing bands every Saturday and is a ton of fun every time. You can get info at http://www.odd-socks.orgIMG_0103IMG_0131

Aubrey Dayle says: "Music Heals!"

Aubrey Dayle says: “Music Heals!”

Sunday I was interviewed for a documentary about jazz drummer Aubrey Dayle and his recent kidney transplant…which reminds me to remind you: Did you go to http://www.beadonor.ca and fill out your organ donor card on your license? Save a life after you die, whydoncha? IMG_0139

After this I picked up Melissa Shouldice and we strolled over to Roy Thomson Hall for a classical concert…or so I thought!

Angel with a hangover.

Angel with a hangover.

Upon arrival, I realized the performance was up in North York so with no time to get up there we decided to go to TIFF Bell Lightbox and see a film. We didn’t know any of them but opted for “Around The World In 80 Minutes” cuz I imagined how sweet it would be to take this bona fide Goddess to a beautiful movie. It turned out to be a series of short films with everything from a Transexual non-love-affair (thankfully not violent) to a father who discoveries his son (with Down Syndrome) is gay for a local TV news weatherman. We couldn’t walk out – that would be politically incorrect! Awkward!

Erroll Fisher rocked the house at Jazz Bistro!

Erroll Fisher rocked the house at Jazz Bistro!

Suffice to say it was an unforgettable afternoon. To make up for it we had a great meal at Canteen and then to Jazz Bistro for champagne and a wonderful concert in celebration of Norman Marshall Villeneuve’s 75th birthday! IMG_0148And now…the best photos for last (thanks to DON DIXON who supplied the shots below)!!!

John Sherwood, George Koller, Mark Kelso and Christopher Plock played all styles of jazz and blues! Heather Luckhart said it was heavenly to play with them!

John Sherwood, George Koller, Mark Kelso and Christopher Plock played all styles of jazz and blues! Heather Luckhart said it was heavenly to play with them!

Thursday night I produced and hosted my 11th One Stop Vocal Jazz Safari, which benefits JAZZ.FM91.

Pam Hyatt: Groovy!

Pam Hyatt: Groovy!

Roger Clown: Timeless!

Roger Clown: Timeless!

Samantha Clayton: Adorable!

Samantha Clayton: Adorable!

Zeynep Ozbilen: Elegant!

Zeynep Ozbilen: Elegant!

80 donors, 26 singers and a killer four piece band (plus a few special guest musicians like Tony Quarrington and Danny Marks) led by pianist John Sherwood – all congregated for an unbelievable and unforgettable evening.

All smiles at Lula Lounge. Terra Hazelton sang great and Chris Plock sang, played flute, mouth trombone and three saxes!

All smiles at Lula Lounge. Terra Hazelton sang great and Chris Plock sang, played flute, mouth trombone and three saxes!

Julie Michels: Beautiful!

Julie Michels: Beautiful!

Having 26 singers in a show from 7pm-10:15pm seems daunting, but after years of this it tends to go off without a hiccup.

Feeling the love at Lula!

Feeling the love at Lula!

There are too many singers to list here but I’ve attached a few pictures to give you an idea how amazing this show is. The next is in late November…only people who donate $250 or more per year are eligible to come to it.

Nathalie Kraemer: Stunning!

Nathalie Kraemer: Stunning!

I won’t do the math but suffice to say with 80-100 at every show, this has made the station some good money.

Jay Douglas: Sweet!

Jay Douglas: Sweet!

The band are paid well, the singers get an honorarium and drinks for doing just one song and more than anything, we all get to hang in one room – music lovers and musicians – and celebrate our good fortune.

Joni Nehrina came from Guelph to sing for us!

Joni Nehrina: Sassy!

Toronto has an embarrassment of riches…there are still some singers who have never done this show yet.

Melissa Bourne: Sultry!

Melissa Bourne: Sultry!

I always book some singers who are well known but also draw 10 names from a hat of singers who aren’t famous but deserve to be included on a showcase like this. No weak links here – and tons of variety. It’s one of the things I love best about my job at JAZZ.FM91…producing concerts and events!

Don Francks: Inspirational!

Don Francks: Inspirational!

 

And a footnote: Barbra Lica sported three very different looks for each show this past week. Watch out…superstar on the rise…sez me! I expect by this time next year she’ll have a 2nd CD out that will blast her into the stratosphere!

Sunday Barbie dresses for outdoor fun at the Orangeville Jazz & Blues Festival.

Sunday Barbie dresses for outdoor fun at the Orangeville Jazz & Blues Festival.

Thursday at Lula...Barbie rocks it!

Thursday at Lula…Barbie rocks it!

Barbie goes Gatsby Friday at St. Lawrence Hall. (Dean's looking good too!)

Barbie goes Gatsby Friday at St. Lawrence Hall. (Dean’s looking good too!)

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