Music News Digest, Sept. 25, 2019

Duncan Sinclair (pictured) and Hank Karr are honoured by the WCMA, the Junos head home to Toronto in 2021, and the YYC Music Awards are handed out. Also in the news are the NMC, Canadian Music Therapy Fund, Berry Gordy, music memoirs, Triumph, Concord, Dan Pitt, Dear Youth, Searson, and farewell Robert Hunter.

Music News Digest, Sept. 25, 2019

By Kerry Doole

The Juno Awards are returning to Toronto for its 50th anniversary in 2021, The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) has announced. The 2021 Juno Awards and Juno Week will take place March 22-28, 2021 culminating in The 50th Annual Juno Awards Broadcast at Scotiabank Arena on March 28, to be aired live on CBC. This will be the first Juno Week in Toronto for a decade and is the 26th year of the city hosting the event.

– The Western Canadian Music Alliance (WCMA) has announced the 2019 recipients of its Heritage Award – Local Yukon Legend and musician, Hank Karr – and of its Kevin Walters Industry BuilderAwardDuncan Sinclair, head of Jazz Yukon and long-time supporter and pillar of the music communities in the Yukon. Each year, the Heritage Award is presented to a person who has made significant contributions to the music industry over the course of their career. The Kevin Walters Industry Builder Award is given to a person who has made a significant impact on the music industry through his or her mentorship, training and leadership.


Karr and Sinclair will be honoured and recognized at the WCMA Industry Awards Brunch on Octo. 5 during BreakOut West in Whitehorse. The full list of 2019 WCMA nominees can be found here. Winners of the artistic categories will be announced on Oct. 3 at the WCMAwards Reception.

– The National Music Centre (NMC) is accepting new submissions to its esteemed Artist in Residence (AiR) program at Studio Bell for 2020. Canadian musicians of all genres, backgrounds and skill levels are encouraged to apply. Interested applicants can apply here by Oct. 27.

– Garage rock duo Miesha & The Spanks and folk singer T. Buckley were the big winners at the YYC Music Awards gala in Calgary on Sunday, taking home three trophies apiece. Other honourees included Cindy McLeod, named industry person of the year, and Marcus Trummer, who was awarded the Zackariah and the Prophets Memorial Award. Source: Calgary Herald


– The Canadian Music Therapy Fund's second annual Un-Gala is termed "a party that has the power of a gala, without feeling like one." Held at Propellor Coffee Company in Toronto on Oct. 24, it features a food truck, open bar, and performances by K-OS, Skratch Bastid, and Matata 6. Tix here 

– Berry Gordy, the music mogul behind Motown Records, has announced his retirement, at age 89. The man who launched the careers of numerous stars like Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and Michael Jackson said he had "come full circle" at a 60th-anniversary event for last Sunday. Source: AP

– Lovers of music memoirs have some promising new titles to choose from this fall. Published yesterday (Sept. 24) were Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith, and High School, the coming-of-age memoir of Tegan and Sara Quin. Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry's autobiography, Face It, comes out on Oct. 1, followed by Wham! George Michael, and Me by Andrew Ridgeley, out on Oct. 8. Rounding out the list is The Beautiful Ones by Prince, his first-ever memoir, out Oct. 29. Source: Agence France-Presse


– Banger Films, in association with Revolver Films and Bell Media’s streaming service Crave, is currently in production on the first-ever feature documentary about the career of the Canadian power trio Triumph. The producers are inviting a limited number of fans to be part of the action of filming Triumph: Lay it On the Line. An intimate and interactive event celebrating the band's legacy is scheduled for Nov. 16 in the Greater Toronto Area. For details, visit:


– Concord Recorded Music has expanded internationally by appointing staffers in Canada, Germany, Australia and the UK to market its frontline and catalogue releases, with Bryan Columbus named the Toronto-based label manager. CRM handles new releases from Concord Concord, Fantasy, Fearless, Loma Vista and Rounder, and reissues from Craft Recordings. Source: Billboard

– Today, Sept. 25, marks the 87th anniversary of Glenn Gould's birth. To celebrate, The Glenn Gould Foundation is opening nominations for the Thirteenth Glenn Gould Prize Laureate and invites you to nominate an outstanding individual to become the next Laureate of The Glenn Gould Prize. Submission details here 

– Dan Pitt, a guitarist/composer/improviser from Toronto, releases a new trio album, Fundamentally Flawed, on Oct. 18. It will be launched with a performance at Burdock Music Hall in Toronto on Oct. 21, then promoted via Nov. shows in Guelph, Montreal, and Toronto.

– Montreal rock band Dear Youth has announced new tour dates for October, before the release of a new album via Los Angeles based label Anchor Eighty Four (date TBA). The tour features shows in Montreal, Ottawa, Hamilton, Guelph and Toronto.

 Canadian Celtic pop duo Searson (sisters Colleen Searson - fiddle and Erin Searson - piano and tenor guitar) releases Live at The Neat Cafe, its 10th full-length album, as well as a first live performance DVD, on Sept 27. Searson has an international following, and has shows in the US and Ireland soon. Dates here.


Robert Hunter (born Robert Burns), the poet and lyricist best known for his collaborations with the Grateful Dead, died on Sept. 23, age 78.. No cause of death was provided.

Considered one of rock’s most ambitious and dazzling lyricists, Hunter was the literary counterpoint to the band’s musical experimentation. His lyrics — heard in everything from early Dead classics like Dark Star and China Cat Sunflower and proceeding through Uncle John’s Band, Box of Rain, Scarlet Begonias, and Touch of Gray— were as much a part of the band as Jerry Garcia’s singing and guitar.


For more, here's the Rolling Stone obituary

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Jayda G


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