Happy Thanksgiving!

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My week started off with scotch sampling at a great little place called The Caledonian, the only Scottish-themed restaurant I can think of in downtown Toronto.

Frank taught us all about scotch and told stories. He loved  all the wonderful singers!

Frank taught us all about scotch and told stories. He loved all the wonderful singers!

I took some JAZZ.FM91 donors and provided some live entertainment.

I love women who love scotch. Thanks Glenfiddich!

I love women who love scotch. Thanks Glenfiddich!

I sang my “Scotch Song”, Big Rude Jake belted out a few original tunes and Emilie Claire Barlow, Heather Bambrick and Irene Torres all sang.

Mary was not miserable at all! She loved it!

Mary was not miserable at all! She loved it!

On Wednesday eve I attended the opening night performance of “Les Miserables” at The Princess of Wales Theatre. This is a limited run and I highly recommend you get tickets now. IMG_9823It was a truly outstanding production with top notch acting and singing. It simply doesn’t get any better! Mary B. loved the show as much as I did!

Stretch Orchestra!

Stretch Orchestra!

On Thursday I hosted another show at McMichael Gallery after strolling through the gallery with a gorgeous friend.

Stretch is right!

Stretch is right!

Before the concert Kevin Breit explained the name of the band, Stretch Orchestra. “We were called The Tall Boys for a little while, but there was already a band with that name; uh, but they were actually kinda short. Jesse Stewart is 6’2″, I’m 6’4 and Matt Brubeck is 6’8…so Stretch Orchestra fits.”

Zeynep checking out Jess Stewarts percussion.

Zeynep checking out Jess Stewarts percussion.

Everyone was blown away by the many sounds and styles coming from this brilliant trio and we all agreed this was the perfect band to play an art gallery. (Much like the show coming up October  Don Francks show on October 24 with Tony Quarrington, Don Thompson and Terry Clarke.) Tickets and info the next three Thursday concerts at http://www.mcmichael.com

I love visiting some of my favourite paintings every time I go to an event at McMichael Gallery!

I love visiting some of my favourite paintings every time I go to an event at McMichael Gallery!

I also had back to back Jazz Safaris on Friday and Saturday and took in ten bands in two nights. I do the same thing this month….by Halloween I figure I will have seen a minimum of 31 bands this month…one set each!

Fern Lindzon, Mike McClennan and Chris Gayle at Habits Gastropub!

Fern Lindzon, Mike McClennan and Chris Gayle at Habits Gastropub!

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am feeling thankful today. Here are seven things I am truly thankful for.desert

1. My health! I can’t remember the last time I had the flu…and didn’t take a single sick day at Jazz FM in my first seven and a half years! Sometimes I think I’m pickled…germs can’t get me…other times I think it’s because I went Pescatarian over twenty years ago. Whatever the reason, I thank my lucky stars and try not to take my health for granted. And as far as weight goes; I could shed twenty pounds but I like to feel like a Polar Bear: I never get cold! And besides, as Burl Ives is my idle far be it from me to lose weight before Christmas.

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I play Bad Santa at a few corporate events this season and will have to add a pillow. I fear I’ve reached a weight plateau now…no matter how much I eat, I can’t get weight. At this rate I’ll never be “Burl-sque”!

Bad Santa.

Off duty…and Bad Santa is still bad…

000000102. I am thankful for my family! I got lucky…cool siblings and awesome parents! My mom and dad come to Toronto (from North Bay) several times a year and take in big concerts with me. They are my pals as well as my parents and there isn’t anything I ever have to hide from them.  Since I have Complusive Disclosure Disorder I’ve no choice, but it’s nice to know they don’t judge and love me for the me that makes me me!

(As for the photo above: Las Vegas, late seventies! I’m in the middle. The cutie in the tux is my mom!)

IMG_16993. Girls! I am so thankful for my bevy of beautiful girlfriends (meaning close friends who are female). I always had many female friends, even when in committed relationships, but recently it seems I can’t go a week without meeting half a dozen women I want to hang out with. When it comes to a beautiful, kind, fun, intelligent girl; I consider myself best friend material and I Don Juan anyone to think I am a “playa”!

Don Francks and Christopher Plock; two great friends who are men!

Tony Quarrington, Don Francks and Christopher Plock; three great friends who are…wait for it…men!

4. Friends! Uh, I know I just wrote about gal pals but some of my best friends are men. Honest! I admit it takes a ton of effort when it comes to friends of the male persuasion. I see Captain Paul most often because our schedules mesh so perfectly and we have the same taste in adventure and I see Don Francks on a weekly basis but other than that some of my favourite people fall under the High Level, Low Maintenance Friend category.

Taking donors wine tasting in Napa Valley? It's a rough job but somebody's gotta do it!

Taking donors wine tasting in Napa Valley? It’s a rough job but somebody’s gotta do it!

5. JAZZ.FM91! In some ways I find it hard to believe I’ve had a “real job” for over a decade and that I’ve gotten up at “stupid o’clock in the mourning” (before 6am) on weekdays for eight years.

Introducing Barbra Lica to Sophie Milman? I love my job!

Introducing Barbra Lica to Sophie Milman? I love my job!

The thing is, when Ross Porter became President back in the day, I knew it was going to be an interesting ride. I loved his stuff on CBC and had met him on a few occasions. I knew the station would play more forms of jazz than ever before and that we’d get way more involved in the community, so I decided to stick around. In no time we moved to a new building, I moved to Liberty Village as well, and since then time has flown. I jokingly say “I’m in a beautiful rut”. I love my job: the music and musicians I support, the establishments that book live music and especially the generous donors who give to Jazz FM (a registered charity and arts organization); and love taking donors on Jazz Safaris in Toronto and various cities like Havana, Monterey and Panama!

Producing 26 concerts in 2013 for JAZZ.FM91? I love my job!

Producing 26 concerts in 2013 for JAZZ.FM91? Gratitude abounds!

Mark Kieswetter and Florence K play!

Mark Kieswetter and Florence K play!

Mary B. over for dinner.

Mary B. over for dinner.

Jazz and puppetry? Only at Chez Bee!

Jazz and puppetry? Only at Chez Bee!

6. My Loft! I got lucky and found a place that is a five minute walk to work. Of course, getting up before 6am, I had no intention of living far from work, and because I’m single moving is not an issue – but to find a large loft in a big old warehouse…there was certainly luck involved! I host quiet salon nights at my place; usually six or seven per “season”. Between late October and early March I’ll invite about 40 people over on a given night – mostly musicians and singers I know well – and we sip wine and enjoy a few hours of music. As I have literally hundreds of people I like to see over the winter the guest list changes constantly and there are only a few who have an open invitation to come anytime. I have the coolest neighbours too. We all help each other and sometimes host theme parties like our Mini Golf Tournament where each loft in the building had a unique putt putt course.

Bonzai Suzuki might only do a few shows a year but they are always great fun!

Bonzai Suzuki might only do a few shows a year but they are always great fun!

7. Bonzai Suzuki! My band is a project that has made me happy for a few years now. Dave Howard and I are the principle songwriters but we encourage everyone to jump in with ideas any time. Making music with some of my best friends always feels right. This is a side project only because all of us already have so much on our plate but if someone comes a knockin’ and wants to invest in recordings etc., we’re in!

OK, we don't really do "jazz hands"...it's a pop band!

OK, we don’t really do “jazz hands”…it’s a pop band!

It’s just that after decades in the music business, Dave and I are realistic…I prefer the term tempered ambition to lowered expectations. I also tell people I’m seasoned, not jaded. Currently the band also includes Great Bob Scott (drums and backing vocals), Sahra Featherstone (electric violin, flute and vocals), Bubz Magoo (uh, not her real name – vocals) and Leg Mahoney (speaking of fake names – vocals and dance moves). We are preparing to release our second CD in spring of 2014. It’s fun!

some of my best friends carry axesHAPPY THANKGIVING!Kentucky Turkey Buzzard

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