Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 4, 2019

Jane Bunnett and Maqueque (pictured) boost Afro-Cuban jazz, climate change impacts festivals, and a monstrous R.E.M. display. Others in the headlines include Prince, Taylor Swift, Rosanne Cash, Karina Gauvin, Jeff Lynne, Pandora, Bernie Sanders , Fender, Booker T, Threatin, John Fogerty, Van Morrison, Garth Brooks, Selena Gomez, and Michael Kiwanuka.

Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 4, 2019

By FYI Staff

Maqueque new queens of Afro-Cuban jazz, with Jane Bunnett’s boost

Like Hilario Duran, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and countless other Cuban musicians, pianist and composer Danae Olano owes Toronto’s Jane Bunnett and Larry Cramer a debt of gratitude. With the continuing Cold War between Cuba and the U.S. unlikely to thaw under their present regimes, musicians occupying the island have found it nearly impossible to find career traction when restricted to local borders. – Nick KrewenThe Star

Outdoor festivals see fire, rain and, maybe, cozier temperatures

Unpredictable weather has been a routine concern for outdoor music events since a summer shower drenched the unwashed at Woodstock in 69, but the climate-change-caused extreme weather of today is putting a damper on festivals like never before. Flooding, gale-force winds, lightning storms, severe heat and outrageous rains are becoming the norm, causing organizers to plan for the worst. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail


Maureen Batt’s playlist is Crossing Borders 

Tired of seeing contemporary compositions getting shelved, the soprano started a concert series of songs she wants to hear. – Mary Collier, The Coast

Toronto's Sonic Boom used 400 copies of R.E.M.'s 'Monster' to create one hell of a window display

R.E.M. reissued their ninth studio album Monster last week in celebration of its 25th anniversary, and ahead of the expanded package hitting shelves, Toronto's Sonic Boom Records marked the occasion in monstrous fashion. The record store says the piece was "15 years in the making." – Calum Slingerland, Exclaim

SBC Restaurant no longer hosting live music, will meet with liquor inspectors soon

In an unexpected recent post, SBC Restaurant's Facebook account (presumably maintained by the venue's owner, Malcolm Hassin) announced a sudden end to live music at the Downtown Eastside space. From 1953 until the early 1990s, 109 East Hastings was occupied by the Smilin' Buddha Cabaret (the initials of which gave SBC its name). – John Lucas, Georgia Straight

Karina Gauvin and Pacific Baroque Orchestra put on a fine show

The Western art music canon presents a conundrum: The old chestnuts get played a bit too often but resurrected less-known pieces of music often pale in comparison to the popular masterpieces. That was the case on Friday night at Koerner Hall, where Canadian star soprano Karina Gauvin and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra from Vancouver presented largely unfamiliar 18th century music with Russian connections. – John Terauds, The Star


What the digital age means for my music — and my paycheque

The digital age has given us two "gifts." The technology used for playback sounds terrible and our recorded music no longer has any monetary value.– Matt Zimbel, The Sunday Edition, CBC

Opera Atelier’s Don Giovanni is bold and comedic, but also shallow

Opera Atelier’s production feels dated in a way that is not a cheeky reference to the company’s baroque specialty. – Jenna Simeonov, Globe

5 things to know about From Out of Nowhere by Jeff Lynne's ELO

The band is back with another collection of new material showcasing Lynne’s signature cascading melodies and full-on rock ‘n’ roll. Here are five things to know about it. – Stuart Derdeyn, Vancouver Sun

Stop, pop and roll: Our favourite moments of Halifax Pop Explosion 2019

The mega music fest continues to surprise and inspire. PUP and Charlotte Cornfield were amongst the highlights.  –The Coast 

What would The Mastering of a Music City mean for Sault Ste. Marie?

According to the Chamber of Commerce, a vibrant music economy drives value for cities in several important ways: job creation, economic growth, tourism development, city brand building and artistic growth. – Sault Online


Pandora's user base is now nearly one-quarter the size of Spotify's after recent losses

When the music industry ‘streaming wars’ are taught in universities in years to come, ‘Spotify Vs. Pandora’ will be a fruitful case study for students to delve into. – Tim Ingham, MBW


From Ariana Grande to Jack White: Here's why these musicians are feeling the Bern

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders may be focusing his energy on trying to win over voters in early primary states, but a variety of musicians have shown that they are listening, too. – Annie Grayer, CNN

Guitar maker Fender hopes to rock revenues with digital song-learning app

Fender Musical Instrument Co will help musicians play along with their favorite songs on their guitars with a recently announced subscription service that will display chords to millions of tunes, the latest effort in the 73-year-old electric guitar maker’s digital revenue strategy. – Stephen Nellis, Reuters

The unbelievable story of Threatin: Heavy metal's Fyre Festival moment

Last year, Threatin became a viral sensation after faking his entire career. We chat to the man himself and those around him, to find out just what the hell happened. – KJ Yossman, Kerrang


Booker T peels back story behind Green Onion's success

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Booker T. Jones on the inspiration for his memoir and how a radio station accidentally flipped "Green Onions" from forgettable B-side track to hit single. –  The Tonight Show

John Fogerty to donate a house with his cancelled Woodstock 50 fee

Creedence Clearwater Revival legend Fogerty will dedicate the ‘Proud Mary – John Fogerty Container Home’ at Veterans Village in Las Vegas on 11 November. Fogerty funded the construction of the ‘Proud Mary’ container using the money he received from the cancelled Woodstock 50 event. – Paul Cashmere,Noise 11

A duel with Van Morrison

The singer-songwriter is releasing his sixth album in three years – his best since 1997. Would he like to expand on how he made it, or why he chose his collaborators? He would not. – Laura Barton, Guardian 

Prince’s memoir isn’t really Prince’s memoir

There are fewer than 20 full printed pages in Prince’s own words here, out of a total 280. The results remain worth reading. – Carl Wilson, Slate

People's Choice Awards: Pink to receive Champion honor

The pop star joins Gwen Stefani and Jennifer Aniston as previously announced recipients of special prizes at the E! event on Nov. 10.  Hollywood Reporter

Michael Kiwanuka: Kiwanuka review – one of the greatest albums of the decade

The soulful singer’s third LP is timeless and contemporary at the same time, with shades of everything from What’s Going On to Screamadelica. –  Dave Simpson, Guardian

Garth Brooks got called out by Jimmy Carter for taking a break during Habitat for Humanity build

Even Garth Brooks admits to not being able to keep up with former president Jimmy Carter‘s unshakable stamina. During an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Friday, the country star, 57, shared a story about working on a Habitat for Humanity housing build alongside 95-year-old Carter. – People

Clara Schumann didn't just raise seven children, she also invented the classical piano recital

Clara Wieck was a musical prodigy. Her mother Marianne was a singer; her overbearing father, Friedrich, a music teacher. She went on to marry one of the greatest composers in history, Robert Schumann, bear eight children, and become a successful composer in her own right. – Andrew Ford, ABC


Musicians on Musicians: Bonnie Raitt & Brandi Carlile

"She illuminated the path I could have," Carlile says as she sits down with her hero for the first time. "She taught me I could lead and not apologize." –  Rolling Stone

Taylor Swift pounced on writing new ‘Cats’ song with Andrew Lloyd Webber

Feline lover Taylor Swift took a behavioral studies class on cats to prepare for her role in Tom Hooper’s new film, “Cats.” Swift, who credits musical theater with getting her into “performing as a medium,” also got to co-write with Webber “Beautiful Ghosts,” a new song for the film. – Nardine Saad, LA Times

Back from the dead: Bauhaus reunited

Bauhaus Undead — The Visual History and Legacy of Bauhaus, a stunning, mostly photographic chronicle of the band by its drummer Kevin Haskins was published last year by L.A.-based Cleopatra Records. –  Lina LeCaro, LA Weekly

Rosanne Cash, Ry Cooder, and the long shadow of the Man in Black

The Man in Black casts a long shadow and Rosanne Cash has been living alongside it her whole life. But this year, Cash says, two deeply rewarding projects have led her to fully embrace that legacy as never before. –  Dan DeLuca, Inquirer

Selena Gomez to take stage for world television premiere of new music at American Music Awards

Multi-platinum-selling superstar Selena Gomez will take the stage at the 2019 American Music Awards, marking her first live TV performance in two years. An American Music Award winner, Gomez previously graced the American Music Awards stage in 2014, 2015 and 2017. – WNY Papers 


Panyc Attack: A living history of NYC punk

Camilla Saly turned her wild stories of a misspent youth in punk bars, and their eventual boxes of ephemeral proof, into the Punk Archives NYC, a developing online database for collectors of punk artifacts related to the city. – Eric Davidson, Please Kill Me

Sean "Diddy" Combs attends Day 1 of 2023 Invest Fest at Georgia World Congress Center on Aug. 26, 2023 in Atlanta.
Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Sean "Diddy" Combs attends Day 1 of 2023 Invest Fest at Georgia World Congress Center on Aug. 26, 2023 in Atlanta.

Music News

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs’ Honorary Degree From Howard University Rescinded by School’s Trustees

The school will also return Combs' $1 million contribution and terminate a $1 million pledge agreement from the Sean Combs Foundation.

Howard University’s board of trustees voted unanimously on Friday to revoke the honorary degree awarded to Sean “Diddy” Combs in 2014, saying he is “no longer worthy to hold the institution’s highest honor.”

Howard, a private, historically Black research university in Washington, D.C., will also return Combs’ $1 million contribution and terminate a $1 million pledge agreement from the Sean Combs Foundation, the board said in a statement.

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