Music News Digest, Oct. 2, 2019

Susan Aglukark (pictured) is honoured at BreakOut West, M for Montreal announces notable names, and Concord acquires Victory Records. Also in the news are Sultans of String, Mississauga Music Awards, Arts & Crafts, Dave Sampson, Ontario Creates, SING!, Orbit Room, John P. Allen, Jimi Hendrix, and farewell Walter Rathie and Jessye Norman. With video.

Music News Digest, Oct. 2, 2019

By FYI Staff

Whitehorse, Yukon, is a hive of musical activity this week with the arrival of BreakOut West, running from Oct. 2-6. The annual consists of the BreakOut West Festival, with over 100 shows, the Western Canadian Music Awards, as well as the conference.

The WCMA Artists Awards Reception on Oct. 3 includes the induction of Susan Aglukark into the WCM Hall of Fame. The Industry and Specialty award categories will be presented at a brunch on Saturday, Oct. 5. More info here

–  M for Montreal has announced the first look at 2019 programming for its festival, running Nov. 20-23. Notables included in the 14th edition include N0V3L, Ada Lea, TEKE::TEKE,  Mind Bath, Busty and the Bass, Close Talker, Lydia Képinski, Odonis Odonis, Corridor, and Atsuko Chiba. More info here


–  Concord has acquired independent rock, metal, emo and hardcore punk music company Victory Records and Another Victory Publishing from Chicago-based founder and CEO Tony Brummel. The acquisition includes approximately 4,500 master recordings and 3,500 compositions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although Billboard estimates it in the US$30M range. Brummel started the company in 1989 in his hometown of Chicago with an initial investment of less than $1,000.

Victory’s master recording catalogue includes A Day to Remember, Hawthorne Heights, Thursday and Canadian band Silverstein. The completion of this deal also brings all of Victory’s catalogue under one roof at Concord with the likes of Taking Back Sunday, Atreyu, Bayside, Counterparts and Between the Buried and Me. The label has sold over 15M albums over the last 30 years and earned six RIAA certified Gold albums, six RIAA certified Gold singles and one RIAA certified platinum single. Source: Variety

–  CFMA-winning world music combo Sultans of String has released a new single, I Am A Refugee, featuring esteemed poet, multimedia artist, and Somali refugee Ifrah Mansour. The track is part of a larger cross-collaboration release, Refuge. Set for spring 2020, this is SoS' seventh album and features talents that arrived in Canada and the US as immigrants and refugees.


–  On Sept. 27 at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga, notable members of the local music scene were celebrated at the third annual Mississauga Music Awards, presented by Mississauga Music. Trophies were presented in ten categories, with featured performances by local artists Cat Bernardi, David Boyd Janes, Kendra Charest-French, Lawless Sons, Matt Zaddy, Polarity, and U.N. Jefferson. Winners included David Boyd Janes, John River, Brianna Corona, U. N. Jefferson, and S4G4. More info here

–  Toronto's Henderson Brewing Co. has announced its fourth season of Pint Sized Conversations, in which a partner takes over the taproom to play host to a casual, brief discussion about their world. Noted indie record label Arts & Crafts is involved, previewing new record releases and making exclusive music, books, apparel and more available. Vinyl Show & Tell takes place the first Wednesday of each month, starting tonight (Oct. 2).

–  East Coast singer-songwriter Dave Sampson releases a new album, All Types Of Ways on Oct. 4, one produced by the Grammy-nominated Gordie Sampson (Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert) in Nashville. He previews the album at Toronto's Dakota Tavern tomorrow (Oct. 3), followed by shows at Sydney's Highland Arts Theatre (Oct. 12) and  Halifax's The Marquee Ballroom (Oct. 19).


–  Ontario Creates is collaborating with the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) to bring a nation-wide delegation of producers to Australia’s premier event for documentary, factual, and interactive content. Tailored activities for Canadian producers will take place from Feb. 29 to March 5, 2020.  Ontario Creates is currently inviting Expressions of Interest from Ontario producers who have projects that could be suitable for collaboration within the Australian industry. Interested producers should submit their EOI via e-mail by Oct. 10.


–  Allena Litherland joins The SING! team as Executive Director, taking over from the retiring Lynn McGuigan. Litherland has worked Scarborough Arts Council, Peterborough Arts Umbrella, Quinte Ballet School of Canada and Artistic Associate and 4th Line Theatre. SING! 2020 will take place in Toronto from May 22 to 31. Programming will be announced later this fall.

–  There is still time for the public to help select the winners in the PRIX MNB AWARDS, by voting online until Oct. 11. The awards show is set for the Aberdeen Cultural Centre, Moncton, NB, on Oct. 24. The evening celebrates a year in the New Brunswick music scene and kicks off Festival (506), Music·Musique NB's annual event.

–  Popular Toronto music venue The Orbit Room turns 25 this year but admits "it needs your help" to survive. A fundraiser is set for Nov. 17 at  Revival, featuring Orbit regulars Jordan John, Soul Stew, Oakland Stroke, LMT Connection, and the Dave Murphy Band. Tix here

–  For the past five decades, fiddle player John P. Allen has been a prominent and popular member of the Canadian country/roots community. He had long stints in The Good Brothers and Prairie Oyster, and both groups are part of a talent-heavy lineup set to play a benefit for Allen, who had a heart transplant last week. Organised by The Good Brothers the event is on Oct. 20 at Rockmosa Community Centre, in Rockford, ON. Other performers include Sylvia Tyson and Cindy Church, Thomas Wade, and The Allen Family Band. Tix info at 519-856-9419.

–  On Nov. 22, Experience Hendrix L.L.C. and Legacy Recordings release Songs For Groovy Children: The Fillmore East Concerts by Jimi Hendrix, on CD and digital (a vinyl release follows Dec. 13). This collection assembles all four historic concerts by the legendary guitarist in their original performance sequence. The 5 CD or 8 vinyl set boasts over two dozen tracks that have either never before been released commercially or have been newly pressed and newly remixed by Eddie Kramer.



Walter Rathie, a Montreal-raised, Oakville-based musician and screen composer, passed away on July 23, at the age of 66, unexpectedly, after complications during treatment for a cancer diagnosis, SOCAN reports.

For nearly three decades, Rathie played keyboards and sang vocals in several popular Montréal bands, including The Frames, Bacchus, Flying Circus, and Cruiser. From the late 1990s, he shifted his musical focus from performing to composing and built a successful career as a film and television composer. His music soundtracks appear in many network and cable TV shows and series in Canada, the U.S., and worldwide. More here. Source: SOCAN

Jessye Norman, the renowned international opera star whose passionate soprano voice won her four Grammy Awards and the National Medal of Arts, died on Sept. 30, from septic shock and multi-organ failure secondary to complications of a spinal cord injury she had sustained in 2015. She was 74.


Norman was a trailblazing performer and one of the rare black singers to attain worldwide stardom in the opera world, performing at such revered houses as La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera, and singing title roles in works including Carmen, Aida and more. She sang the works of Wagner but was not limited to opera or classical music, performing songs by Duke Ellington and others as well.

Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days. Sources:  Billboard, The Guardian

Jayda G
David Reiss

Jayda G


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