By Kerry Doole
Joni Mitchell will be the next recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The legendary Canadian singer/songwriter will be honoured with a tribute concert March 1 in Washington, D.C., that will premiere on PBS stations in North America on March 31 at 9 pm ET (check local listings).
– The Mississauga Arts Council has opened nominations for the 28th Mississauga Arts Awards (MARTYS). The deadline is March 13, and the big show is on May 11 at the Mississauga Convention Centre. Submissions here.
– In partnership with Canadian Heritage, ELMNT FM (First People’s Radio) and Indigenous management company/record label Red Music Rising are presenting Minoshkite ("music to the ears" in Algonquin), a free concert event on Feb. 3 that will kick off Canada's Capital Region annual winter festival, Winterlude. Hosted by actor Charles Bender, the Minoshkite concert at the Grand Hall of the Canadian Museum of History will feature top Indigenous performers, including William Prince, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Sebastian Gaskin, Boogey the Beat, Nimkish and Siibii. Tix can be reserved now here and include a free festival t-shirt (limited quantities).
– ACTRA National has added Toronto music industry veteran Linda Noelle Bush to its senior management team. She becomes director of the Performers’ Rights Society and ACTRA Recording Artists’ Collecting Society. Read more on the appointment here. Bush's resume includes roles at Universal Music, Warner Music, Cadence Music Group, Attic Music Group, and WildBrain Media.
– The deadline for the call for Indigenous Artists to showcase at the International Indigenous Music Summit 2023 has been extended to Jan. 23. Apply here.
– With the support of CIMA and Music PEI, some of Canada's very best roots music talents are heading to the UK next week for Americana Music Association UK Americanafest, Jan. 23-26. The list includes The Sadies, Suzie Ungerleider, Whitehorse, Julian Taylor, William Prince, Tara MacLean, Catherine MacLellan, Dylan Menzie, Mikhail Laxton, and Willie Stratton. More info here. Listen to a playlist of participating artists here.
– With Love For Ukraine is a benefit concert set for Jan. 21, 7.30 pm, at the Heliconian Hall in Toronto's Yorkville. Performers include Ukrainian-Canadian opera star Natalya Gennadi, Solidaridad Tango, multi-Grammy nominee Claire Lynch, Juno nominees Sara Craig & Maria Soulis, and new collaborations from Taivi, Catherine Vaneri, Rita Greer & others. All proceeds will go to the Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal and directly to artists in Ukraine. Info and tix here.
– Montreal-based musician, songwriter, DJ, and recent Polaris Music Prize winner Pierre Kwenders has released the No No No - Remixes EP – a three-track collection featuring renditions of the José Louis and the Paradox of Love album highlight by a range of international remixers and vocalists, including Vanyfox, Spilulu, and Majoos. On Jan. 25, Kwenders begins a North American tour that includes shows in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Edmonton, Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal. Check dates here.
– Award-winning Cancountry group High Valley enlisted roots music superstar Alison Krauss for a collaborative new version of Do This Life, a track on the band's 2022 album Way Back. This is the first release off the forthcoming deluxe version of Way Back, due out this spring.
– Platinum-selling Quebec composer Alexandra Stréliski has announced that Néo-Romance, the follow-up to the hugely successful INSCAPE, will be available on March 31 via Secret City Records in Canada and XXIM Records in the rest of the world.
– Following the release of its eighth album, I’m Not Crying, You’re Crying, on Jan. 13, Whitehorse has announced a spring Ontario tour, following a showcase at UK Americana Week in London, Jan 25-28. The Ontario trek begins May 18 at Sarnia’s Imperial Theatre and closes out at Parry Sound's Stockey Centre, June 4. See the full tour itinerary here.
– Roots-rock singer-songwriter Ryan Wayne is fondly remembered for work in the superb if under-rated Toronto band Warped 45s. He is now returning to the fray with a debut solo album Crow Amongst The Sparrows, mixed by ace producer Malcolm Burn ( (Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Patti Smith). A second advance single has just been released, and you can check it out here.
– Acclaimed songsmith Marc Jordan is putting on a Valentine's Day show at the Lester B Pearson Theatre in Brampton, an event produced by Lorenzo DiGianfelice of Vesuvius Music. Highly recommended. Info here.
– The dynamic Toronto duo of Rusty and Maja play the Mahtay Cafe in St. Catharine's on Jan. 22 (a full band show) in support of their fine album, Part Kitchen Party, Part Cabaret.