Music News Digest, Oct. 7, 2021
Arkells (pictured) announce a national tour, voting for the 2021 Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize has opened, and M for Montreal finalizes its lineup. Also in the news are the CCMA Awards, John Finley, a Unison fundraiser, Prix MNB Awards, David Myles, Catherine MacLellan, the Junos, TD Toronto Jazz Festival, CMRRA, William Prince, Darryl Kissick, Rudy Blair, Johnny Orlando, Winterfest, MMF Canada, and farewell Pat Fish.
By Kerry Doole
Hamilton rock favourites Arkells headlined three nights at Toronto’s Budweiser Stage in August and have now announced a nine-date national tour, entitled Blink Once, again with Haviah Mighty in tow. The shows run Feb. 2-19. US and European shows are also on the itinerary. Dates, info and tix here. Of note: Arkells have partnered with PLUS1 so that $1 per ticket sold will go to supporting orgs working towards health access for traditionally marginalized and vulnerable communities.
– The M for Montreal conference and festival is set to run as a hybrid event, online from Nov. 15-26 and in-person, Nov. 17-19. Over 20 artists will perform, with notable names including Backxwash, Naya Ali, Zoon, Ghost Woman, Julien Sagot, Laurence-Anne, P’tit Belliveau, and Sophia Bel. The Official Selection shows, accessible to PRO badge holders only, will be held in several of the city’s major venues. More info and passes here.
– Voting for the 2021 Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize has opened, with an Oct. 18 deadline. The companion award to the Polaris Music Prize, winners and nominees for the Heritage Prize are also Canadian albums of artistic distinction, without regard to sales, genre or affiliation. Think of it as a hall of fame that honours meritorious Canadian albums from the pre-Polaris era. This year there are 12 nominated albums up for consideration, including releases by Joni Mitchell, k.d. lang, Stars, Corb Lund and The Weakerthans. See the full list here. Two of these albums will receive Heritage Prize designation this year. One album will be chosen by public vote, and a second will be determined by a Heritage Prize jury made up of music media and music historians.
– The 2021 Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Awards will be held in London, ON, on Nov. 29. The CCMA is offering one lucky fan, and a guest, the Ultimate Fan Experience, in which the contest winner gets to present the 2021 CCMA Fans’ Choice Award, as well as receiving VIP access to CMW events including SiriusXM’s Top of the Country Finalist Showcase and the 2021 Music Industry Gala Dinner & Awards. The contest runs until Oct. 15. Check here for entry details.
– Veteran Toronto soul vocalist John Finley released his acclaimed album Soul Singer in early 2020, but the pandemic prevented a proper record launch concert. It finally receives one on Oct. 14, with a show at new Toronto venue the Paradise Theatre. Tickets here. Finley’s Vesuvius Music labelmate June Garber recently had a successful album launch concert there.
– The Band Together online silent auction is a fundraiser for The Unison Fund, Canada's music industry charity. It features exclusive experiences, sports and music memorabilia and more, up for bids through Encan Signature Pro. Bidding will close on Oct. 12th, at 8 pm.
– David Myles has been named host of the Prix MNB Awards, to be held on Oct 21 at 8 pm. For a 2nd year in a row, the event will be live-streamed on Facebook, with no public present in the Jim Myles Auditorium in Fredericton.
– Ongoing Covid concerns has forced the cancellation of the public component of Festival (506). Initial plans had called for performances in 3 different NB cities: Fredericton + Miramichi + Moncton. Check here for updates.
– Award-winning PEI folk artist Catherine MacLellan has announced a Virtual Tour. For four Tuesdays (Oct 12, 19, 26, Nov 2) she'll be joined by two special guests on each episode. That impressive list includes Leela Gilday, Kathryn Calder, Crys Matthews, Jonathan Byrd, and Liz Stringer. Tix are free, with donation to the artists welcomed. More info here.
– The Juno Awards are accepting applications from those wanting to become a judge for the 51st Annual Juno Awards. Apply here before Nov. 19.
– The TD Toronto Jazz Festival has announced a new program, the Immersive Artist-in-Residence, aimed at directly supporting local musicians. Through the program, one or two emerging and/or mid-career Toronto musicians will be selected to receive a monthly stipend to work on a new project and prepare for a performance at the 2022 TD Toronto Jazz Festival. The deadline to apply here is Oct. 22.
– A week ago, the CMRRA team gathered via Zoom for a special performance and educational learning session in honour of Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The event featured Juno-winning singer/songwriter and CMRRA client William Prince The org reports that “the event provided an opportunity for staff to listen, be educated and reflect on the histories of indigenous people, all while connecting through William’s inspiring music and conversation."
– Tomorrow (Oct. 8), Regina-based singer/songwriter Darryl Kissick releases a solo full-length album titled My Sunshine. Kissick is a member of the band Foxwarren, whose lineup includes acclaimed songsmith Andy Shauf. Here's the first single from his new release.
– Veteran Toronto entertainment journalist Rudy Blair has been named Official Host of Canadian Music Week's Virtual Voices Series, presented by RBC Emerging Artist Project.
– Rising young Canadian pop star Johnny Orlando plays a hometown all-ages Toronto show at The Axis Club on Nov. 18. Tix here go on sale Oct. 8.
–Hamilton Winterfest returns in Feb. 2022 and is seeking musicians/groups to play in the Hub Stage from Feb. 3-21. All musicians fees will be based on the City of Hamilton - Musicians' Fair Payment Policy at a minimum. Musicians will be playing inside a heated geodesic dome. Send audio/video submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
– MMF Canada and TikTok Canada co-present a webinar presentation - TikTok for Managers and Teams - on Oct. 14, 3-4 pm ET, hosted by Erin Lowers (Artist Partnerships Manager, TikTok Canada). Register here
Pat Fish (born Patrick Huntrods), an English artist who worked under the name The Jazz Butcher, died on Oct. 5, age 64. The cause of death was not announced, but Fish had been battling cancer. A GoFundMe page to assist him had been set up.
The Jazz Butcher was formed in Oxford in 1982 by Fish and Max Eider. The début album Bath of Bacon was released by Glass Records in 1983. A second album, A Scandal in Bohemia, also on Glass, featured guest appearances from David J and Kevin Haskins of Bauhaus.
After four albums, and two singles collections for Glass, Fish signed to Creation Records in 1988, releasing eight albums on the label, culminating in 1995's Illuminate.
The Jazz Butcher’s work was well-received on college radio in North America. Sources: Wikipedia, Brooklyn Vegan