My Life Is A Gemischter Salat?

photo by Melissa Shouldice

photo by Melissa Shouldice

This week…beauty contests, wrestlers, a jazz safari, a day at the races, two birthdays and some sailing! (Oh yeah, and of course working all morn at JAZZ.FM91 on weekdays.) IMG_0174Never a dull moment…sometimes I think my life is best described as a Gemischter Salat; which basically means a mixed salad and depending on where you are, that “mixed” can mean anything. Still, “variety” and “not unhealthy” is a good start and everything I did this past week was fun and more than a little eventful.

My mom taught me not to judge people - please don't make me choose!

My mom taught me not to judge people – please don’t make me choose!

Tuesday I attended the press conference for the CHIN Picnic 2013, held on Canada Day weekend each year. They’ve stepped it up this year with budgets for bands I imagine…during the male and female bikini pageant Platinum Blonde will hit the stage. IMG_0184At the Liberty Grand press conference, there were dancers and acrobats on hand, and after the wrestlers speech (read: rant) Lenny Lombardi got really animated and hilarious. I always miss Lenny’s dad (the late, great Johnny Lombardi) when I attend this event, but Lenny gets better every year dealing with the logistics and the media for Canada’s largest free picnic. He was having a blast at the conference and his crew make everyone feel like family. If you know of anyone looking for a family friendly thing to do Canada weekend, it’s at The CNE Grounds for the CHIN Picnic. Lenny was taken aback when I won the Weber’s BBQ from a business card draw…because I won the exact same prize from the same draw a year earlier! The odds were in the hundreds of it happening once…dunno how to figure it twice annually! Last time I gave the barbecue away to a good friend but this time knew I was supposed to have one…I’m keeping it. (Note to self: by a Veggie BBQ book!) IMG_0205Wednesday night I went to Lula Lounge and enjoyed a prog-rock-film-soundtrack performance from Maurizio Guarnini. The concert doubled as a CD launch for his latest recording called “Creatures From A Drawer”. CS2195337-02A-BIGMaurizio played keyboards with the Italian band Goblin whose soundtrack from the cult film Susperia was a favourite of mine growing up as a teen. He was joined by Chris Garnter, Great Bob Scott and others. I am happy to report I’ve never seen so many new faces at Lula Lounge! Fans of Fangoria and Rue Morgue Magazine filled the room. Maurizio sold a ton of shirts, CD’s and DVD’s and I hope Lula brings him back. (It’s the perfect venue for him because Howard Laurie is on the sound and this music deserves to both kick and kiss ass! Howard has two of the best ears in town and gives enjoys doing sound for artists in any musical genre.)

What a treat...painting the town with Jessica is always great fun!

What a treat…painting the town with Jessica is always great fun!

I played tour guide (bwana) on another jazz safari Friday and was thrilled that Jessica Pelchat could join me. She arrived just in time to board the Magic Bus to see Jeff Jones at The Old Mill Inn. She brought along brand new business cards for me, that she designed herself – and they look great. (She also designed my website www.jaymzbee.ca)

Jazz singer Jeff Jones...amazing talent, sweet man...I hope he comes back to Home Smith Bar at The Old Mill Inn SOON!

Jazz singer Jeff Jones…amazing talent, sweet man…I hope he comes back to Home Smith Bar at The Old Mill Inn SOON!

Lily Frost was brought in to play The Jazz Bistro by Gary Topp and we stayed for the entire set.

Lily Frost: ace singer and all around entertainer!

Lily Frost: ace singer and all around entertainer!

The set was over an hour and although it’s uncommon for the jazz safari to visit four instead of five venues in one night, I’ve found that the Jazz Bistro has such a great ambience and the caliber of talent so high, nobody wants to leave, so I will often do 4 stops and allow us the full experience. The Jazz Bistro is at Dundas Square on Victoria; and when you consider Massey Hall, Pantages Hotel and Ed Mirvish Theatre all a stone’s throw away I’m sure this place will be a huge success.

Lily in action at The Jazz Bistro!

Lily in action at The Jazz Bistro!

We ended our night with Steve Koven playing solo piano at Pantages Hotel Martini Bar.

Koven!

Koven!

The piano needs some love – I hope they get a new one soon – but Koven worked with what he had and blew everyone’s mind. Classical bits in between jazz, and some Liberace like chops massaging the piano that made barflies stop gabbing to take notice. I’m pretty sure I saw the piano smile, but I did have three bourbon manhattans and a martini that night.

Melissa is so elegant she makes an RV feel like a zillion dollar tour bus!

Melissa is so elegant she makes an RV feel like a zillion dollar tour bus!

Saturday morning I hopped in the RV with Captain Paul and Melissa Shouldice and drove up to Woodbine Racetrack for a gala benefit. I was asked to emcee a charity event for Best Buddies called “The Thrill Of Ascot”. IMG_0278Barbra Lica performed all afternoon and along with Mark Kieswetter on keys, Glenn Anderson on drums and George Koller on bass…entertained the well-dressed

philanthropists. We were all treated to complimentary champagne for the first hour and a gorgeous buffet for the day. Of course, being at Woodbine, watching the races was half the fun – but the most fun was seeing how much money was raised.

Beautiful Bernadette gave the most heartfelt speech ever: A truly amazing woman!

Beautiful Bernadette gave the most heartfelt speech ever: A truly amazing woman!

I was asked by Tammy Oram to act as auctioneer as well as emcee and I admit I approached that moment with a little trepidation, but the speech given earlier by Bernadette Morra (editor of Flare Magazine) was so eloquent and heartfelt that money almost fell out of wallets afterwards.

IMG_0266IMG_0269IMG_0255

The event raised over $100,000 for Best Buddies. When

 

Bernadette asked us to imagine life without friends, I choked. If you don’t know much about this organization please surf around. It’s such a worthy cause: www.bestbuddies.ca

rosa-rose

I spent my entire Sunday with Nathalie...and after rushing all over town in horrible traffic we loved the tranquillity of Lake Ontario!

I spent my entire Sunday with Nathalie…and after rushing all over town in horrible traffic we loved the tranquillity of Lake Ontario!

 

Sunday was Nathalie Kraemer Day! I thought we were going to a book signing by Robert Priest at 2pm but it turned out I was late by a day so I just bought the book and we made our way to a birthday party for Erella Gagnon. Her daughter, Celleste (who I babysat when she was one) greeted us at the door. After some animated conversations with Erella and her guests, Nathalie and I jumped in a taxi and beelined to another birthday celebration…for Serafin LaRiviere.

Being around Erella is always inspirational and fun!

Being around Erella is always inspirational and fun!

Nathalie had met Serafin at a concert recently and was a big fan of him and his voice. She really didn’t want to leave the party so soon (and neither did I, although I had resigned to the fact that I had four things to do on Sunday and only the last part wouldn’t be rushed). We took one last cab down to Harbourfront, bailing part way and walking because Toronto traffic is silly.

Serafin had friends drop by his house all day and I was happy to arrive just after Tony Quarrington got there!

Serafin had friends drop by his house all day and I was happy to arrive just after Tony Quarrington got there!

Liz!

Liz!

My friend Liz and her pal Emily were hanging with Captain Paul, enjoying some wine and ready to ship off. We sailed a bit but as there wasn’t much wind, we mostly putted in through the islands.

Emily!

Emily!

Captain Paul steering and waving a flag at the same time!

Captain Paul steering and waving a flag at the same time!

It was super warm and after two and a half weeks of non-boating, it was perfect and mellow! IMG_0320

We dropped by The Queen City Yacht Club for a drink and a bite and returned to the mainland just before sunset as it was starting to chill.  Quality time with Nathalie on Sunday was a perfect way to prepare for the busy week coming.

Such a perfect day!

Such a perfect day!

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One Response to My Life Is A Gemischter Salat?

  1. Ray Irwin says:

    Mixed salad? Considering it was suppose to represent your life, I assumed it meant “friggin awesome”… or “every man’s dream”. LOL Looks like you could use a personal assistant to help with scheduling though. This is the 2nd blog recently where you admitted to getting the day of an event wrong. Understandable, considering your typical day is like most people’s week (or month). I don’t know how you do it Jaymz… but keep it up buddy. Fun to be a witness. Ray

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