Music News Digest, March 27, 2019

The Down Under tour of Bryan Adams (pictured) hit a few roadblocks, the lineups of Osheaga and Mutek are announced, and Music For Good partners with Samaritanmag. Also in the news: Nunavut Music Week, Halifax Jazz Festival, Breakout West, Death From Above, Andrew James Patterson, Alex Henry Foster, Voivod, George Martin, and farewells to Doug Crosley, Ranking Roger, and Scott Walker. Videos added for your enjoyment.

Music News Digest, March 27, 2019

By Kerry Doole

Bryan Adams is having a bad time of it, as in when it rains it pours By example, his recent Down Under tour had its glitches. A scheduled concert at Hagley Park in Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 17, was cancelled in the wake of the massacre of Muslims at two mosques in the city two days earlier. On March 21, a cock-up beyond his control at Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena meant that half the audience missed the second part of his show.

Further back, last summer, a woman stabbed her boyfriend in the face after he caused them to be kicked out of a Bryan Adams concert at Mile One Centre in St. John's, NL. The Telegram reports that she was convicted on multiple assault charges last week and faces a sentencing hearing in May. Despite these mishaps, Adams is faring far better than his near-namesake, US roots-rocker Ryan Adams. Reports of psychological abuse and sexual misconduct have severely damaged Ryan's career, forcing cancellation of a planned UK tour.


– One of Canada's best known summer shindigs, Osheaga Music and Arts Festivalhas announced the official lineup of artists performing Aug. 2 to 4 at Parc Jean Drapeau in Montréal. Produced by evenko, the 14th edition of the festival returns to its newly renovated original site this year with over 100 acts on the bill.  Headliners include The Lumineers, The Chemical Brothers, and Childish Gambino. Other names of note include Tame Impala, Janelle Monae, J Balvin and Rosalía, Jessie Reyes, Koffee, Dean Lewis, Gucci Mane, and Mitski. Festival passes are on sale here now. Single day passes will go on sale on a later date.

– Nunavut Music Week takes place April 25-28 in Iqaluit. q'Tom Power hosts. The conference includes artist development and mentorship, daytime programming, and evening performances. NMW 2.0 artist lineup and delegate list to come. More info here


– Rocker David Scotney of the band Janus has launched a new label, Music For Good, that's designed to combine philanthropy with compelling music. Partnering with him is SamaritanMag,the music-heavy news site founded by Toronto music scribe Karen Bliss that's focused on 'good people trying to change bad things'. 

The not-for-profit Music For Good plans to release each single to benefit and draw awareness to a different cause, beginning with Scotney's own version of the Cars' hit, "Drive." His designated project is the destigmatizing of Bipolar Disorder and it's set for release on April 26, with distribution through oneRPM.

– The TD Halifax Jazz Festival has announced the first Waterfront Stage and St. Paul’s Church Series performers for the 33rd annual event, running July 9-14. In partnership with Sonic Concerts, First Aid Kit with special guest Tim Baker perform July 10,  Bahamas and The Barr Brothers play July 11 on the Waterfront Stage, the same night that Dave Liebman and Mike Murley unite as the Liebman/Murley Quartet. Tix on sale Friday and HJF passes are on sale now.

– The Western Canadian Music Alliance (WCMA) has named Whitehorse as the host city for BreakOut West 2019. The 17th annual conference,  festival, and awards run Oct. 2-6. Whitehorse last hosted in 2011.


– Toronto hard rock duo Death From Above has announced a seven-date Heads Up! Is Now Canadian tour in which its six-track 2002 debut release, Heads Up, is to be played in entirety.

– Republic Live has added Mason Ramsey, Jason McCoy, and The Redhill Valleys to the lineup for the inaugural Big Sky Music Festival on July 20th. The fest, held at Burl's Creek Event Grounds in Oro-Medonte, ON, also features Alabama, Travis Tritt, and Diamond Rio.


– MUTEK Montréal turns 20 this year, and the electronic music-themed fest celebrates by expanding to six days, running Aug. 20-25. The first wave of artist confirmations includesWajatta (Reggie Watts & John Tejada), Jlin, Blawan, Nicola Cruz, Circle of Live, Lotus Eater (Lucy & Rrose), Sinjin Hawke & Zora Jones, Ash Koosha, Gaika, Gudrun Gut, Beta Librae. 

– Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette will present the 2019 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts during a ceremony at Rideau Hall, on March 28. These are Canada’s foremost awards for excellence in these artistic disciplines. One of this year's nine laureates is Toronto media artist Andrew James Patterson, known to that city's music scene as leader of art-punk band The Government.

– Montrealer Alex Henry Foster’s debut solo album Windows in the Sky was a major chart success last year, and his first solo career appearance as a headliner is none other than under the umbrella of Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. He takes the stage at Club Soda on July 5. Foster has earned a large international following as leader of rock band Your Favorite Enemies.

– A reminder that nominations for The Indies have a March 31 deadline. Submit here today for a chance to be recognized among industry peers, media and fans alike. The awards show is on May 11 at Toronto's Phoenix Concert Theatre as part of CMW.

– On the heels of its first Juno win (after 35 years!), Quebec prog-metal band Voivod has announced an extensive North American and European tour. The North American began  last night (March 26) in Minneapolis and includes shows at Toronto's The Phoenix (March 30), Vancouver's Rickshaw Theatre (May 26), and a Montreal Jazz Fest appearance at Club Soda on June 30.  Euro dates begin in August. A full itinerary here 


– This year's inductees for the Music Business Hall of Fame will include the late Sir George Martin, who will be honoured by his son Giles on May 7. Other inductees include industry executives Ahmet Ertegun, Herb Abramson and Miriam Abramson, music industry landmarks the Apollo Theatre, CBGB, Hitsville U.S.A., Sun Studio, the Troubadour, and Rolling Stone magazine.

– On March 28, Music Ontario presents Festivals & Conferences: Perfecting the art of networking, showcasing and selling yourself. The free event takes place at The Hideout in Toronto. Panelists include Darryl Hurs (Indie Week), artist Angela Saini, and agent Stefanie Purificati (APA). Register here 

– Toronto power couple Gerald Schwartz (Onex Corp.) and Heather Reisman (Indigo) have donated C$100M  to the U of T for an artificial intelligence complex. The donation, made through The Gerald Schwartz & Heather Reisman Foundation, is the largest in the U's history. The cash will be used to build the Schwartz Reisman Innovation Centre starting this year. Source: Bloomberg


Douglas Crosley, a smooth singing baritone and entertainer, passed away in Oshawa on March 22, age 83.

Crosley began singing at the age of 6 at Sunday school and in the St. Andrews church choir. While working at GM in Oshawa, he won a local talent show.


He began his television career in the late '50s guesting on CBC shows Country Club, Holiday Ranch, Swing Easy and the Canadian Hit Parade. In the 60s, he moved to Winnipeg to star and host the show Swing Along. His big break was singing at the Brooklyn Theatre on the Bell Telephone Hour in NYC, which led to a record deal with RCA Victor where he recorded his first album A New Star In Town.

Crosley appeared on numerous national television shows, including Juliette and Friends, Johnny Carson, Mike Douglas, and Merv Griffin. He headlined numerous nightclubs and starred in lead roles on Oklahoma, Bye Bye Birdie, Guys and Dolls, and Brigadoon.

In the '70s he hosted The Doug Crosley Show on CBC. In the '80s he sang on and hosted Stars On Ice for CTV. In the '90s he continued entertaining in the US with big bands.

A Celebration of Life was staged in Oshawa on March 25. Donations to the R.S. McLaughlin Cancer Centre or the Salvation Army are appreciated. To place an online donation or condolence, visit Source: Toronto Star

Ranking Roger (born Roger Charlery), vocalist of the English Beat and General Public, died March 26, aged 56.  The Birmingham-born singer earlier was diagnosed with two brain tumours and lung cancer. He suffered a stroke last summer.

Charlery founded The Beat (known in North America as The English Beat) in Birmingham in 1978. The band fused traditional ska with elements of pop, new wave, punk rock and Latin America music, and became a pioneer of the two-tone genre.

The band released three studio albums in the early 1980s that spawned the hits "Mirror in the Bathroom," and their cover versions of "Can’t Get Used to Losing You" and "Tears of a Clown." The Beat was especially popular in Canada, regularly playing to large audiences in Toronto.

As news of his death spread, peers such as Billy Bragg, UB 40, and Pauline Black of the Selector paid tribute to him.

Despite health challenges, Charlery released an album, Public Confidential, in January, and finished a memoir, which is published this spring. Source: The Guardian

Scott Walker, (born) Noel Scott Engel, a singer who topped charts in the '60s with The Walker Brothers before becoming a daring and influential solo artist, has died at age 76.

The news was announced by his label, 4AD. “For half a century, the genius of the man born Noel Scott Engel has enriched the lives of thousands,” a statement read. The cause of death has yet to be announced.

Born in Ohio, Engel grew up in California and, in 1964, he teamed up with John Maus – who was naming himself John Walker – and they became The Walker Brothers. Drummer Gary Leeds persuaded them to relocate to London, where Scott Walker since remained.

The group scored two No. 1 hits, with "Make It Easy On Yourself" and "The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore," and their dapper image earned them heart-throb status. Reportedly at one stage, their fan club  had more members than the Beatles'.

The group disbanded in 1967, and Walker went solo and he continued to make symphonic pop, albeit with an epic, psychedelic, high-minded tone. A string of solo albums – Scott, Scott 2, Scott 3 and Scott 4 – are regarded as some of the most adventurous and boundary-pushing pop albums of the era.

He reunited with the Walker Brothers on the acclaimed Nite Flights (1978), which featured four Walker-penned songs.

Solo releases became more intermittent but earned praise for their adventurousness. He also wrote film scores, including two for recent films by Brady Corbet: The Childhood of a Leader and Vox Lux.

A 2006 documentary, 30 Century Man, was made about Walker, executive produced and featuring by David Bowie alongside testimonies from Jarvis Cocker, Damon Albarn, and Brian Eno.

His work is cited as inspiration for British artists such as Radiohead's Thom Yorke, who calls him a huge influence in "showing me how I could use my voice and words.” Source: The Guardian

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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