Music News Digest, Feb. 6, 2019

The Work Film Grant set up by Charlotte Day Wilson (pictured) announces the two winners, and Folk Music Canada gets busy at FAI. Also in the news are CIMA, MEGAPHONO, Ben Caplan, Maroon 5, Shad, Festival of Beer, Yumi Nagashima,  Lisa Weitz, The Dirty Nil, Patti Jannetta, and farewell Dave Ferri. Videos added for your enjoyment.

Music News Digest, Feb. 6, 2019

By Kerry Doole

The winners of the one-time Work Film Grant are Jackie Dives, for her short film “A Room for the Pain,” and Jessamine Fok, for her music video treatment for Nomvdslvnd’s “Flowers While You’re Here.” They share the $10K prize from the fund, one donated by Charlotte Day Wilson and video director Fantavious Fritz, generated from a portion of the Prism Grand Prize the duo received at the 2018 awards, for the video for Day Wilson’s song “Work.” The fund launched in September and attracted more than 150 entries.

– CIMA's incoming mission targeting the Eastern European market is now underway. Eight delegates from across Eastern Europe are in Toronto and Ottawa to meet with Canadian industry participants through one on one meetings, networking receptions, networking dinners, panels, information sessions and more. Last night (Feb. 5), a reception and showcase at The Hideout in partnership with MusicOntario and Indie Montreal featured sets by Amanda Rheaume, Ken Whiteley, Briga, and Courage My Love. 


After a morning B2B session today, the Eastern European delegates head to Ottawa for MEGAPHONO, Feb. 6-10, partnering with that conference's international delegate programming. There they'll participate in speed meeting sessions, panels, a networking dinner, and showcases.

– Folk Music Canada (FMC) presents 40 showcasing artists at this year’s Folk Alliance International (FAI) Conference, Feb. 13 to 17 at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montréal. Notable names include Catherine MacLellan, Shari Ulrich, Madison Violet, Stephen Fearing, Cécile Doo-Kingué, Hawksley Workman, Lennie Gallant, Corin Raymond, Amanda Rheaume, Chloe Watkinson, Frazey Ford, Suzie Vinnick, and Shakura S’Aida. The org also co-sponsors the FAI opening reception, and, under the banner of FolkNorth, coordinates music business meetings and roundtable discussions for select artists and key international industry professionals.

– Well-traveled Halifax troubadour Ben Caplan has announced a Canadian tour featuring both concert dates and two runs of his internationally-acclaimed musical Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, at the Belfry Theatre in Victoria from March 20 – 24, and The Tarragon in Toronto from April 16 – May 26. His concerts run March 29 to April 13, with Geoff Berner as support. Caplan recently received six nominations for the 2019 East Coast Music Awards.


– Maroon 5’s 2019 Super Bowl halftime show was met with savagely critical responses, but it did bring the group major sales gains, according to initial reports to Nielsen Music. In total, the songs performed during the halftime spectacular (including guest turns by Travis Scott and OutKast’s Big Boi) combined to sell 25,000 downloads on Sunday, Feb. 3, the day of the big game. That marked a 434 percent increase from their combined sales a day earlier: 5,000. Combined sales of the six Maroon 5 songs the band played rose by 587 percent. Source: Billboard

– Shad begins a nine-city North American tour on Feb. 12, at Grand Rapids' Fine Arts Centre, closing out at Victoria's  Capitol Ballroom on Feb. 23. The hip-hop artist is out promoting his recent much-lauded release, A Short Story About A War. 


– Toronto's Festival of Beer (#TOBeerFest), returns to Bandshell Park, in Exhibition Place, July 26-28. Music plays a big role in the fest, which has just announced that the city's fave cover band, Dwayne Gretzky, will headline on July 27. More acts TBA.

– As co-founder of west coast hip-hop group Sweatshop Union, Vancouver MC, songwriter, and producer Mo Moshiri made a mark on the scene, before taking a long break. He returns with a new solo album, Can I Tell You Something? is set for release this summer via URBNET. Here's an advance single.

– Japanese-Canadian comedian Yumi Nagashima releases her debut album, My Name is Yumi, this Friday (Feb. 8). It comes out on 604 Records' comedy label imprint Comedy Here Often? Her recent stand-up videos on YouTube have been going viral.


– Chris McKhool of Sultans of String has set up a GoFundMe page to support his friend Lisa Weitz, the group's manager/booking agent/publicist. She is dealing with a recent diagnosis of aggressive breast cancer and has had to cut back on work while her expenses mount. Weitz, a popular member of Toronto's roots music community, was Hugh's Room’s first publicist from 2001-2008 and has worked on management/publicity for many artists.

– Ross Miller, the bassist of fast-rising Hamilton rock trio The Dirty Nil, recently broke his hand, forcing the band to cancel upcoming shows in St. Louis and Cincinnati. Ryan Gavel from No Warning is deputizing for a gig in Buffalo, while Jon Gallant from  Billy Talent is joining the band for upcoming European shows.

– Memories of Louis Jannetta and the Imperial Room is a concert event sure to induce nostalgia in some of our readers. Singer/actor Patti Jannetta will share warm stories of her father Louis Jannetta, and his life among the stars as show business Maitre D' at the famed Royal York Hotel Imperial Ballroom. The music component features guests Micah Barnes, Jackie Richardson, and Adrian Luces. The show is at RBC Theatre in Mississauga on March 2. Tix here.


Dave Ferri, owner and operator of Orchard Recording Studio in Ontario, died on Jan. 26, age 65, from brain cancer.

He also owned and operated Orchard TV Live Streaming, and more recently, along with his son Adam, The Livestream Airstream and Big Bay Sound.

Ferri played for a decade in the band Storm Crow, alongside Wendell Ferguson, before building Orchard Studio in 1980 on the family Apple farm in Huttonville, Ontario. For over twenty years it ran as a state of the art analogue recording studio, working with a wide range of artists from Stompin' Tom Connors and Jane Siberry to Moist and The Waltons, along with hundreds of other Canadian artists.


In 2003 Orchard expanded into the world of video and started live streaming artists to the Internet. Its 2004 webcast Weekend Online Music Festival was the first of its kind in Canada, an around the clock live stream.

In 2008 and 2009, Ferri live streamed 30 shows from Brampton's Rose Theatre with artists including Sass Jordan, Lighthouse, Hollerado, and Rik Emmett.

OrchardTV webcast the Allman Brothers Band, for two consecutive years, for their month-long residencies at Manhattans Beacon Theatre, then worked in Florida with Stephen Stills, the Wailers, Johnny Winter, and members of the Grateful Dead.

Recent clients included Microsoft Canada, E-One Entertainment, Bell TIFF Lightbox, David Suzuki, the University of Guelph/Humber, The Shelburne Fiddle Festival, and Meaford Hall.

In 2016, after 36 years, The Orchard moved to the shores of Georgian Bay to build a new studio, Big Bay Sound, and operate mobile studio The Livestream Airstream. Adam Ferri will continue recording and filming live music. A celebration of life is expected in the summer. Sources: Adam Ferri, John Switzer


Jayda G
David Reiss

Jayda G


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