Music News Digest, Sept 22, 2022

The YYC Music Awards honoured Calgary talent, roots star Suzie Vinnick (pictured) launches a new album, and BreakOut West is set for a 20th anniversary edition. Also in the news are Allison Russell, the Kensington Market Jazz Festival, IRCPA, NMC, Bryan Adams, Alex Henry Foster, Morojele Music Group, Gentiane MG, The Wilderness of Manitoba, Theory Of A Deadman, Mike Downes, Marla and David Celia, Bywater Call, Lenny Bull, and Colter Wall.

Music News Digest, Sept 22, 2022

By Kerry Doole


Showcasing musical talent in the Calgary area, the YYC Music Awards held their 7th annual Awards Gala on Sept. 18 as a live event at the Grey Eagle Casino Event Centre. Presented by Craig Senyk Initiatives, the  YYC Music Awards Gala recognized artists and industry leaders in 25 categories. Big winners of the night were The Royal Foundry, Fin McDowell and Sinzere, each taking home two awards. The event included performances from Sargeant x Comrade, ZENON, Dorians Mirror, Jessica McMann and Kyle McKearney, with Titus1 entertaining at the after-party. See a full list of winners here.


– Montreal folk/roots singer-songwriter Allison Russell added to her trophy cabinet last week when she won album of the year at the Americana Honors and Awards show in Nashville for her acclaimed debut solo record Outside Child. 

BreakOut West's 20th annual event runs from Sept. 28 – Oct. 2 in Calgary, but kicks off the festivities early by celebrating the winners of the Western Canadian Music Artistic Awards tomorrow (Sept. 23) with a live broadcast revealing the 2022 recipients, as well as an official in-person watch party at Calgary’s Ship and Anchor. The broadcast will feature performances by nominees Nuela Charles and The Garrys. Viewers worldwide can tune in to the broadcast at 6:00 p.m. MT. The winners of the 2022 Western Canadian Music Industry Awards will be revealed at the Industry Awards Brunch on Oct. 1 at the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre. A list of 2022 WCMA nominees can be found here.

Festivals news

– Created and helmed by local hero Molly Johnson, the Kensington Market Jazz Festival (KMJF) returns to that famed hood for its 7th year, Oct. 1 and 2. Venues include Tom’s Place ( the hub of the festival’s solo piano series), Tapestry (formerly Poetry Jazz Café), Handlebar, Supermarket and Pamenar with seven shows each per day. There are also Pay-What-You-Can shows in Bellevue Square Park on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The always-stellar lineup this year includes Kevin Barrett & Julie Michels, Sammy Jackson, Billy Newton-Davis, Micah Barnes, Diane Leah, Heavyweights Brass Band, Amanda Martinez, Jay Douglas, Laura Fernandez, Allison Au, Elizabeth Shepherd, Michael Occhipinti, Eddie Bullen, Barbra Lica and more. The complete list of artists and venues can be found here.


– Taking over Front St in downtown Toronto from Sept. 20-22 is The Elevate Block Party, a free event featuring both new and established artists, presented by Lemmon Stage, an emerging artist program. Performers include Haviah Mighty, Neon Dreams, Odario, DJ Shub, and Emi Jeen. More details can be found here

Industry news

– The National Music Centre (NMC) has added seven famed songwriters to its newly updated Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame exhibition, opening today (Sept. 22). They are David Foster, Alanis Morissette, Bryan Adams, Jim Vallance, Murray McLauchlan, Daniel Lavoie, Sylvain Lelièvre, with more to be announced soon.

– It is possible that global superstar Bryan Adams may not have been aware of the achievement, but his recent concert in PEI had the very significant achievement of being fully solar-powered. The CBC reports that a solar-charged battery had to supply sound, lights, and even air conditioning for the Aug. 31 concert in Summerside, a show that opened Adams'  North American tour. The small city's electrical utility aimed to make the concert the first evening concert in North America to be entirely solar-powered, and succeeded. Read more here.


– Led by noted Montreal rock artist Alex Henry Foster, the All the Violence in the World campaign is an initiative that rose following the world-changing events that occurred in Ukraine earlier in the year. Launched on April 22, the 150 copies of the collector lathe-cut LP featuring never-heard music by Foster, All the Violence in the World sold out within a few hours, leaving people the option to support the organization Music Saves UA with merchandising including t-shirts, slipmats, or by making a donation. Just announced by Foster is news that, on the International Day of Peace, a total amount of $5K was given to Music Saves UA.


– The International Resource Centre for Performing Artists (IRCPA), a non-profit, charitable service organization for Canada’s musicians, has announced that two singers will receive a financial award to help them prepare for upcoming auditions. Sopranos Jaclyn Grossman and Jocelyn Fralick were chosen by baritone Brett Polegato, who, last Oct., provided singers with valuable performing and career advice in a daylong Encounter, as part of the IRCPA’s fourth edition of Ten Singing Stars – The New Generation.  The singers subsequently performed live on The New Classical FM.

– Urban Canadian music label Morojele Music Group has announced its 2022 Proceed With Caution Tour, 24HipHop reports. The cities to be visited include Ottawa, Hamilton, Guelph, Sarnia, and London, with others TBA. The line-up includes roster stars Grymee, SBO Swampy, Mykell Messiah, Flash Milla, and the newest member, 16-year-old Lil Kizzle. Tix here.


–  Long a popular fixture on the Canadian blues and folk circuit, singer/songwriter Suzie Vinnick will launch her new release, Fall Back Home, with a performance at 3030 Dundas in Toronto on Sept 23. The 10x Maple Blues awards winner is backed by a stellar band that includes Kevin Breit, Davide Di Renzo, Russ Boswell and Jesse Whiteley. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased here

– On Sept. 23, award-winning Montreal jazz pianist/composer Gentiane MG will launch her fourth album, Walls made of glass (on TPR Records), at the Lion d'Or. (tix here). It is followed by fall shows in Chicoutimi, Quebec City, Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and Saskatoon, Ottawa, Toronto, and Waterloo. She then has European dates from Oct. 19-28. Itinerary here


– Juno-nominated Toronto band The Wilderness of Manitoba has a show at The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern on Oct. 5, with special guests Robinson Kirby. The evening will serve as a tribute to, and celebration of life, for the band’s drummer, Adam Balsam, who passed away suddenly a year ago, just days before the group’s album Farewell To Cathedral (Popguru Sound & Vision) was due for release. Tix here.

– The self-titled album from rockers Theory Of A Deadman wasfamed Vancouver label 604 Records' first ever artist signing. It has just turned 20, and Theory fans can celebrate by pre-ordering a brand-new limited edition 7” flexi vinyl of Nothing Could Come Between Us and Invisible Man to mark the occasion.

– Ace Toronto jazz bassist/composer Mike Downes has just released his first ever solo bass album, Mind Mirrors (available here). His all-star Quartet, featuring Robi Botos, Larnell Lewis, Ted Quinlan, are performing at the Kensington Market Jazz Festival in Toronto on Oct. 2 at 7pm in Supermarket. 


– Trans-Atlantic rootsy duo Marla and David Celia are now playing East Coast dates, until Sept. 30. They then have an extensive tour of Europe and the UK, Oct. 8 to Nov. 22, with some German dates supporting Kiefer Sutherland. 

–  Seven-piece Canadian blues/roots band Bywater Call is making a splash at home and abroad with its new album, Remain. The group has a hometown gig at Toronto's Rivoli on Oct. 7. Tix here.

– Toronto rocker Lenny Bull releases a new EP, Strange Vacation, tomorrow (Sept. 23) and launches it with a hometown show at The Monarch Tavern that night. Here's the new single Vegas.

– Hardcore Saskatchewan country troubadour Colter Wall has just released two new songs on La Honda Records; a Wall original, Cypress Hills and the Big Country, and a cover of Let’s All Help the Cowboys (Sing the Blues), written by country music titan Cowboy Jack Clement.  Here's the former cut.

Soleil Launière
Jaime Antonio Luna Quezada

Soleil Launière


Soleil Launière wins the Francouvertes: “It means a lot to me as an Indigenous artist”

Meet the Innu artist, big winner of the 2024 edition of the showcase-competition, who is the first Indigenous artist to win since the Quebec music competition started allowing submissions in Indigenous languages.

Soleil Launière has won the 28th edition of Francouvertes, becoming the first Indigenous artist to win the Quebec-based music competition.

The multidisciplinary Innu artist from Mashteuiatsh, Quebec won the grand final of the musical showcase on Monday, May 13. The Montreal-based artist edged out rapper Sensei H and maximalist rock singer-songwriter Loïc Lafrance.

keep readingShow less