Music News Digest, Oct. 21, 2021

The Weeknd (pictured) cancels a planned world tour, Celine is forced to abandon Vegas shows, and more details about Nova Scotia Music Week 2021. Also in the news are African Music Week, Serena Ryder, Triumph doc, BreakOut West, David McPherson, Nick Zyla, Prix MNB Award Show, Tokyo Police Club, CIMA, Brantford International Jazz Festival, Caroline Wiles, Ontario Creates, and farewell Ronnie Tutt and Leslie Bricusse.

Music News Digest, Oct. 21, 2021

By Kerry Doole

The Weeknd's previously postponed world tour has now been cancelled. CPreports that "the Toronto pop superstar says he wants to move his world tour to stadiums and is rescheduling for next summer. He is telling fans he wants to invest in “something bigger” rather than move forward with the planned shows." He had been scheduled to begin a massive tour for his After Hours album starting with two nights in Vancouver on Jan. 14 and 15, 2022. “Due to constraints of arenas and the demand for more shows I want to do something bigger and special for you which requires stadiums,” Abel Tesfaye wrote on social media. All tickets for the planned tour will be automatically refunded and ticket holders will be given priority to buy tickets for the stadium shows when they go on sale.”  


– Another cancellation from a Canadian superstar has been announced. A press release from promoter AEG states that Celine Dion has been forced to abandon upcoming shows at the new Resorts World Theatre in Las Vegas. These had been skedded for Nov. 5-20 and Jan. 19-Feb. 5. The statement reads: "Celine has been experiencing severe and persistent muscle spasms which are preventing her from performing. Her medical team continues to evaluate and treat her. However, the symptoms she is experiencing are prohibiting her from participating in the ongoing rehearsals for the new show."

– African Music Week (AMW) takes place in Toronto, Oct. 22 and 23. The conference and festival seeks to heighten the understanding of Africans and people of African descent through music and culture. Events include a Summit panel discussion, keynote speaker, and music showcase, all at the Small World Music Centre on Oct. 22. That venue hosts the Aim Conference on Oct. 23, while the Afrobeat festival is set for the National Event Centre (on Finch) that evening (8-12 pm). More info and free registration here.


– Nova Scotia Music Week 2021 is right around the corner, and it'll include the Music Nova Scotia Awards Brunch. Held on Nov. 7, from 11 am, at the Inn on Prince, Truro, its lineup includes Breagh Isabel, Joel Plaskett, Keonté Beals, and POSTDATA. Tix ($30) here. #NSMW2021 has also added 10 more performances. View the full schedule here

– Upstreet Craft Brewing, producer of non-alcoholic craft beer brand Libra, is partnering with Serena Ryder to normalize socializing without alcohol. Ryder has been recruited as Libra's Chief Balance Ambassador, and, under the partnership, 1% of Libra sales will support ArtHaus, her Toronto music incubator.

– Banger Films, in association with Revolver Films, has announced that its latest rock doc, Triumph: Rock & Roll Machine, will make its US  premiere at the Philadelphia International Film Festival this week. Directed by Banger Films’ Sam Dunn and Marc Ricciardelli, the documentary chronicles the career of the platinum-selling power rock band, Triumph. It will be released in Canada by Bell Media.

– BreakOut West is launching Back To Live!, a five-week series of concerts, speaking engagements, and digital content showcasing the western Canadian music industry has to offer. Artists and guest speakers will take to venues across the western provinces and northern territories through Oct. and Nov., kicking off next week. The performances and speakers will also be live-streamed via BreakOut West’s Facebook. More info here. BreakOut West’s annual music festival will be held next year in Winnipeg, MB from Feb. 2 to 6. Check  for details.


– The newest (and 39th) episode of Steve Waxman's acclaimed The Creationists podcast spotlights Massey Hall,  the soon to be published (Dundurn Press) history of the famed Toronto concert hall written by David McPherson. Listen in here.


– Nick Zyla may just be the most prolific recording artist you've likely never heard of. In very under the radar fashion, the Hamilton-based singer/songwriter has now released 208 albums. He tells FYI that “I can fart up a ton of songs, close to 3000 now. They aren’t all good, but I do believe there’s some gems in there.” His recent outing, On All Fronts, is influenced by ‘60s pop songwriting, and is indeed melodic and accessible. Here’s a sample.

– A reminder that the Prix MNB Award Show will be live-streamed tonight (Oct. 21) at 8 pm (ET). Performers include Pokuhulakon Witsehkehsu, Sisters of the Drum, Colin Fowlie, Cédric Vieno, Chloé Breault, Pallmer, and Wolf Castle

– Toronto rock outfit Tokyo Police Club kicks off its Champ 10 tour, celebrating the 10th anniversary of its sophomore album, this week with three sold-out, hometown performances at Lee's Palace, followed by US shows. Champ was issued for the first time on vinyl, along with an expanded digital version this past March. Check tour dates here, and here's a newly recorded Champ-era single, Top 5. 

– In a Zoom seminar on Oct. 26 (3 pm ET), CIMA partners with the TikTok Music team for a session entitled The Business of Music on TikTok. More info and registration here.

– The 14th annual Brantford International Jazz Festival Virtual Edition screens this weekend (Oct. 22-24) on Rogers Community TV 20. It features performances by The Count Basie Orchestra, The Manhattan Transfer, Tony Monaco, Cyrille Aimée and Diego Figueirado, and many more. Info here.  

– Ontario pop-folk singer/songwriter Caroline Wiles has released a new video to accompany her recent Gordon Lightfoot cover Talking in Your Sleep. This is the first cover Wiles has ever recorded, and it earned a thumbs-up from Lightfoot himself. Of note, Wiles' just released album, Grateful, was recorded at the famed Grant Avenue Studio, and produced and by Bob Doidge.


– The next event in the Ontario Creates Discussion Series is entitled Creative Industries on Climate Action. The Zoom webinar features a discussion between experts from the music and screen sectors to hear how and why these industries are working to improve their own environmental practices, and takes place on Oct. 22 (9-10 am), followed by a Virtual Lounge & Networking session. Moderated by Jen Knoch (ECW Press), the panelists include Brighid Fry, of Music Declares Emergency and the indie band Moscow Apartment, and Chris Dunn (Ontario Creates and Ontario Green Screen). 


Leslie Bricusse, Oscar and Grammy-winning songwriter whose songs for Broadway and Hollywood include What Kind of Fool Am I? and Pure Imagination, died Oct. 19, at age 90. No cause of death has been reported.

Over seven decades, the London-born writer-composer was in demand for his clever, witty and tuneful songs, sometimes in collaboration with others (notably Anthony Newley in London, Henry Mancini and John Williams in Los Angeles) and sometimes serving as both lyricist and composer.

Bricusse wrote the lyrics for James Bond theme songs“Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice, as well as songs for movies including Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (including The Candy Man), Scrooge, Hook, Doctor Dolittle and Superman.


Bricusse won the 1967 best song Oscar for Talk to the Animals, from the Fox musical Doctor Dolittle, and the 1982 song-score Oscar for the musical Victor / Victoria, written with Mancini. His Grammy was for song of the year in 1963, What Kind of Fool Am I, written with Newley for the West End musical Stop the World – I Want to Get Off.

The Bricusse-Newley song score for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was Oscar-nominated in 1971.

Both his song Thank You Very Much, and the musical it was written for, Scrooge, were Oscar-nominated. Dolittle, Scrooge and Victor / Victoria were all later adapted for the legit stage.

Bricusse regularly moved back and forth from stage to screen. In addition to Stop the World (with Newley starring), he wrote The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd, also with Newley, a U.K. production that enjoyed bigger success on Broadway in 1965. 

He was a five-time Tony nominee for Stop the World (musical, book, score), Roar of the Greasepaint (score) and Jekyll & Hyde (book). He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1989.

For the big screen, he wrote the Oscar-nominated musical Goodbye, Mr. Chips, with Peter O’Toole, in 1969; and, with Mancini, the songs for Santa Claus in 1985. He and Newley also wrote a Peter Pan musical for TV in 1976. There were 10 Oscar nominations in all, five for best song and five others for best song score.

With John Barry, Bricusse wrote lyrics for the James Bond thrillers Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice, and he also collaborated with  Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams.

Educated at Cambridge, he was president of its Footlight Revue Club and founded the Musical Comedy Club; there he also co-wrote, directed and performed in his first two musicals, Out ofthe Blue and Lady at the Wheel, both of which made their way to the West End in the 1950s. He performed with Beatrice Lillie at the Globe Theatre and wrote his first film, Charley Moon, in 1956. Sources: Variety,AP

– Ronnie Tutt, drummer and original member of Elvis Presley’s TCB Band and the Jerry Garcia Band and a famed session musician, has died at the age of 83.

Elvis Presley Enterprises announced Tutt’s death on Oct. 16, describing Tutt as "an amazing ambassador to Elvis’ legacy – sharing his memories of working with Elvis with fans – as well as bringing Elvis’ music to arenas around the globe through later Elvis in Concert shows and performances.” No cause of death has been reported.

The Dallas-born drummer joined Presley’s famed TCB Band (short for Takin’ Care of Business) following the singer’s 1968 comeback special, serving as drummer for Presley’s 1969 Las Vegas opening and his subsequent residencies. He remained with the group through Presley’s death in 1977, and continued to perform with the TCB Band in the decades that followed.

From the mid-70s on, Tutt became an in-demand touring and session drummer, spending two years in the first incarnation of the Jerry Garcia Band. Tutt also notably toured with Neil Diamond and played drums on a pair of Billy Joel albums — 1973’s The Piano Man and 1974’s Streetlife Serenade.

He also appeared on albums by Buckingham Nicks, Gram Parsons, Elvis Costello, and Johnny Cash. Source: Rolling Stone

Jayda G
David Reiss

Jayda G


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