Music Biz Headlines, March 23, 2020

Jerry Leger (pictured) is amongst the Toronto artists harmed by COVID-19, online concerts multiply, and the Calgary Philharmonic lays off the entire orchestra. Also in the headlines are Paradigm, Rihanna, Aerosmith, Stratford, SXSW, Ben Gibbard, John Loeffler, Tony Allen, Elvis, and Toots and The Maytals.

Music Biz Headlines, March 23, 2020

By FYI Staff

It’s a mess’: Toronto musicians navigate life without an income amid the COVID-19 outbreak

‘Less than three weeks away from the start of a European tour, Toronto retro rocker Jerry Leger finds himself – like every other musician on the planet – suddenly unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It meant postponing those 28 shows, which were to begin April 8. – Nick Krewen, The Toronto Star 

Critic’s notebook: Online concerts by Jim Cuddy, Neil Young and others just a mouse-click away

Denied access to in-the-flesh audiences, musicians are finding alternate ways to connect. The performances will help the artists sell their music and merchandise, though, in the case of the wealthy Young, the reasons behind his unplugged “Fireside Sessions” presentations are more altruistic. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail


Gordon Lightfoot’s new album, like his recent biography, is a little too revealing for some

 “It ain’t gonna stop now!” a feisty Gordon Lightfoot declares at the conclusion of a 30-minute interview about the state of his six-decade-plus career. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

Calgary Philharmonic to temporarily lay off an entire orchestra

The CPO will be temporarily laying off all 66 of its musicians after it was forced to cancel events due to the COVID-19 crisis. – Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald

20 Toronto artists recommend albums you can buy on Bandcamp

Those with suggestions include PUP, Allie X, Jerry Leger and Charlotte Cornfield. – Richard Trapunski, NOW

Newt's Coronavinyl Countdown, Day two: Aerosmith--Rock in a Hard Place

Newt's Coronavinyl Countdown is a daily blog wherein veteran Georgia Straight rock writer Steve Newton works through his LP collection--alphabetized according to band name, from AC/DC to ZZ Top--hoping to connect with fellow music-lovers who are also social distancing during COVID-19. Today's selection is Aerosmith's Rock in a Hard Place. – Georgia Straight

What to stream now: new music from Jazz Cartier, DijahSB and more

Socially distance with a brand new video from singer/songwriter Ruby Waters, metal band Smoulder and a full playlist of the best new Toronto music curated by our critics. – NOW

Stratford Festival is the swan in the coal mine for COVID-19’s impact on the arts

The Stratford Festival has postponed the opening of its 2020 season another month due to the COVID-19 pandemic – and the immediate impact on those who work for North America’s largest not-for-profit theatre company is major. – J Kelly Nestruck, The Globe and Mail



Los Angeles-based Paradigm set to lay off over 100 staff as the coronavirus effects live music

The Los Angeles-based company, one of the most successful live talent agencies worldwide, is preparing to lay off more than one-seventh of its workforce as the Coronavirus-triggered halt in live music activities continues to hurt the sector.  –Tim Ingham, MBW

Turning SXSW disappointment into an online opportunity

When SXSW became one of the first music festivals to be cancelled because of coronavirus, musicians were left out of pocket and without a platform to perform on. That’s when various music bodies rallied to the cause. – BBC

Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard addresses Seattle's COVID-19 crisis in new song "Life Under Quarantine"

 While the song's lyrics paint a bleak picture of a city with a siege mentality the Death Cab for Cutie frontman ends on a hopeful note, asking viewers to support local charities. – John Lucas, Georgia Straight

Rihanna donates $5 million to coronavirus relief through Clara Lionel foundation

Rihanna has pledged $5 million US towards the coronavirus relief efforts through her Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF). The Work hitmaker's singer's foundation announced the contribution on its Twitter account on Saturday, which aims to support and fund "groundbreaking and effective education, health and emergency response programs around the world." – Music News

In the hot seat interview: John Loeffler

John Loeffler’s name isn’t as known as his music, but he’s a figure that should be included in the Mount Rushmore of music creators. He is currently executive VP, Marketing & Repertoire in New York, BMG.–  Larry LeBlanc, Celebrity Access


Tony Allen discusses Hugh Masekela, Damon Albran and friction with Fela Kuti

Tony Allen is the most distinctive drummer Africa ever produced, or at least the most distinctive one who made it into a recording studio. As Fela Kuti’s musical director, he was the co-creator of Afrobeat. Here's a revealing interview. – Robin Denselow, The Guardian

The King’s birthplace of Tupelo has made his life there a tourist attraction.– Patti Nickell, Tribune News Service

A look back at the Toots and The Maytals classic Funky Kingston

Each Sunday, Pitchfork takes an in-depth look at a significant album from the past, and any record not in our archives is eligible. Today, we revisit Toots and the Maytals’ 1975 classic, which captured the country soul of roots reggae at its creative peak. – Wayne Marshall, Pitchfork


Jayda G
David Reiss

Jayda G


Fresh Sounds Canada: New Songs from Jayda G, Claudia Bouvette and More

This week's discovery roundup of new Canadian songs also includes Indigenous songwriter Celeigh Cardinal and Quebec acts KROY and Mon Doux Saigneur.

In Fresh Sounds Canada, Billboard Canada puts you on to the must-hear songs of the week by artists on the rise and those about to break. Here's what's out this week.

Jayda G, “If We Only Knew”

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