Music News Digest, Sept. 7, 2018

Gord Bamford (pictured) donates $10K to a Hamilton hospital, a cavalcade of stars will celebrate Joni at 75, and Belly announces a new album. Others in the news include NAFTA, CCMA Top of the Country, The SOCAN Foundation, Dolly Parton, People's Choice Awards, Paradigm Talent Agency, Ensign Broderick, Music Harvest Fest, and farewell Iosif Kobzon. Videos provided for your enjoyment.

Music News Digest, Sept. 7, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Yesterday (Sept. 6) the Gord Bamford Foundation made a $10K donation to the McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton. The gift goes to the Music Therapy Program and provides children in the hospital a chance to use music and its elements to promote and improve mental, physical and emotional health and wellbeing. In attendance alongside the country star at the special event were Dr. Peter Fitzgerald (President, McMaster Children’s Hospital), Tracy Akitt (Child Life Clinical Leader),  Bonnie Brittain (Music Therapist) and Orna Richter (Development Officer). 

– Joni Mitchell has been conspicuously absent from the public eye since suffering a stroke in 2015, but she is certainly not being forgotten. In honour of her 75th birthday (on Nov. 7), a two-day all-star tribute concert is set in LA. It takes place on Nov. 6 and 7 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion, with Glen Hansard, Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, Chaka Khan, Diana Krall, Kris Kristofferson, Los Lobos, Graham Nash, Seal, and Rufus Wainwright performing music from “all stages of Mitchell’s life and career.” Two musical directors, percussionist Brian Blade and pianist/composer/arranger/producer Jon Cowherd, will provide musical arrangements. Tickets for both nights are on sale now, and there’s also a charity dinner happening on night two, following the concert (starting at $2.5K US). Source:


– The protection of Canadian culture has become a surprise sticking point at the current contentious NAFTA talks, The Toronto Star reports. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau insists that he is committed to such protection, telling Edmonton radio station HED on Wednesday that this is one of his "red lines." "We can't imagine a situation in which an American TV company or network could come up and buy radio stations or CTV, for example," he stated.

– During his recent mainstage set on at the Made In America festival, multiplatinum-certified Canadian rapper, songwriter and producer Belly announced that his new album Immigrant will be released Oct. 12 via XO/Roc Nation/Republic Records/Universal Music Canada. Explaining the title in a label press release, Belly noted “I came here as an immigrant, I came from nothing & made myself into something. I want to show every young immigrant in the world that anything is possible.” 


During his fest set, Belly wore his popular “IMMIGRANT” t-shirt. Inspired by the hundreds of Families Belong Together protests which occurred on June 30 across the US, the artist created this statement t-shirt. 100% of the artists'' profits benefit the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)and the International Rescue Committee (IRC)

– The winner of the SiriusXM CCMA Top of the Country Finale will be crowned today (Sept. 7). The top three finalists – Leaving Thomas, Andrew Hyatt, and Jason Benoit – will compete live on stage at a concert headlined by Tim Hicks in the new CCMA Fan Village in Hamilton. A judging panel of music industry professionals along with audience votes will then determine the winner. The top prize brings $25K, a SOCAN songwriting camp in Pender Island, BC and more.

– Music agent Perry Gilman has joined Paradigm Talent Agency's Toronto office, the first new agent hire for the agency's Canadian office since its Aug. 2017 opening. Gilman has years of experience focusing on electronic and urban music, most recently at Madison House, whose Canadian office he opened three years ago. In a press release, Gilman said, "I’m honoured to join such a forward-thinking agency. I look forward to collaborating with my new associates at Paradigm on my expanding, talented group of artists and ensuring that they are all appropriately positioned for a global audience." Rob Zifarelli, head of Paradigm's Toronto office, notes that "Canadian artists have always punched above their weight on the international stage, and over the past decade, urban and electronic artists have led the way. We plan to find the next stars and deliver them to the rest of the world from here."


– The SOCAN Foundation has awarded financial prizes totalling nearly $94.75K  to young music creators across Canada, in three separate competitions. Industry juries considered over 500 submissions. The SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Canadian Songwriters awarded five prizes of $5K each to Mary Bryton Nahwegahbow, Kate Stevens, Braden Lamoreaux, Christian Hudson, and William Dolan.

The SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers awarded $42.75K to the finalists in the five categories. The John Weinzweig Grand Prize of $3K for the best overall work was awarded to Michael Kim-Sheng. The SOCAN Foundation Awards for Audio-Visual Composers gave out $27K to the winners in four categories. A full list of recipients here

– Dolly Parton will be honoured at the 2019 MusiCares Person of the Year tribute on Feb. 8, 2019. Proceeds from the 29th annual gala will provide support for the charity MusiCares. Parton is being recognized both for her creative accomplishments and her work with the Dollywood Foundation. Her organization has championed causes such as the Imagination Library, which, since 1996, has provided more than 100 million books to children up to 5 years old in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. The eight-time Grammy winner will be the first artist from the Nashville music community to be recognized by MusiCares. Source: Variety

– For the first time ever, the E! People's Choice Awards present a Canadian category. Entitled "Most Hypeworthy Canadian of 2018," it features nominees Drake, Ryans Gosling and Reynolds, Tatiana Maslany, Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue, Slessia Cara, Justin Bieber, and Samantha Bee. The awards are telecast Nov. 11 on E!


– Receiving its North American premiere at TIFF next week is Accidence, a short film created by noted filmmakers Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, and Galen Johnson, in collaboration with enigmatic Six Shooter Records artist Ensign Broderick.

–  Michael Stadtländer has long been recognised as one of Canada's top chefs, and his rural Ontario base,  Eigensinn farm, has been a foodie mecca. On Sept. 23, the farm hosts the Music Harvest Fest, at which notable classical and jazz musicians will perform as guests sample the offerings of Stadtlander and such guest chefs as Anthony Rose, Paul Bohmer, Hiro Yoshida, and Keith Seymour. Performers include the Darren Sigesmund Quintet (with Peripheral Vision), LynnKuo, Andrew Downing Trio, TSO Brass Quintet, Georgian Bay Choir, and more. Details here


Iosif Kobzon, a Russian singer, described as 'the Soviet Sinatra,' died on Aug. 30, of cancer, at age 80. Mourners at his funeral this week were led by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Kobzon's striking baritone and repertoire of songs about the heroic achievements of the Soviet people helped make him one of Russia's most popular singers of the 20th century. With his trademark toupee and boxer's build that could easily withstand seven-hour singing marathons, Kobzon was omnipresent on Soviet and Russian radio and television starting in the early 1960s.  Sources: AP, Daily Mail


Lindsay Duncan

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