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FYI

Music News Digest, March 3, 2022

Sled Island makes an impressive lineup announcement, a big week for Walk Off The Earth (pictured), and the Polaris Music Prize season begins on June 14. Others in the news include Hell or High Water, Country Music Week 2022, Nova Scotia Music Week, LASSO fest, Canzona Chamber Players, With Ukraine benefit, Rick White, Dallas Good, Jay Ferguson, Kendra Kay, APA, Plants and Animals, HOROJO Trio, CMAOntario Awards, and farewell Skibadee.

Music News Digest, March 3, 2022

By Kerry Doole

This year's Calgary’s Sled Island Music & Arts Festival runs June 22-26, presenting music, comedy, film and art in multiple venues across the city. The first lineup announcement notes performances by guest curator Sudan Archives, Princess Nokia, Alex Cameron, Sasami, Lydia Lunch, Pears, Retrovirus, Frankie and the Witch Fingers, Pantayo, Lavender Country, Primitive Man, Sweeping Promises, Control Top, Uranium Club, Flore Laurentienne, Zoon, Ombiigizi,  Eve Parker Finley, Gus Englehorn, Ghostkeeper, Uyemi, and Little Snake. The complete 2022 lineup, including over 150 more bands, will be announced in the coming months. Passes are on sale here and Lukes Drug Mart (112 4th St. NE). 


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– The Polaris Music Prize, presented by CBC Music, has revealed its plans for the 2022 event season. It kicks off with the Prize’s 40 album Long List on June 14, followed by the 10 album Short List on July 14. This year’s winning album will be named during the Polaris Gala, happening Sept. 19 at The Carlu in Toronto.  The Polaris Music Prize awards $50K to the artist who creates the Canadian Album of the Year, judged solely on artistic merit, without consideration for genre or record sales. The Event Season closes with the announcement of two new Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize-winning albums on Oct. 21. 

– The career of Canadian indie-pop band Walk Off the Earth continues to take interesting turns. Earlier this week the group earned a Juno award nomination for Children's Album of the Year, for Romeo Eats Vol. 1. By coincidence, Vol. 2 is set for release tomorrow (March 4). Other big WOTE news this week is the announcement of their debut show at prestigious New York City venue Carnegie Hall. That takes place on June 23, with the group promising new songs, fan favourites, and tunes from their latest album, Meet You There. Tix here.

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– The Hell or High Water concert and telethon supports victims of the catastrophic 2021 BC fires and floods. A fundraising concert and telethon will take place on March 13 to support those affected. The 12-hour online event will feature musical performances, messages, vignettes, videos from dignitaries, and a live-streamed concert from the Clarke Foundation Theatre in Mission. Concert performers at the live concert will include Tom Jackson, George Canyon, Aaron Pritchett, Kenny Hess, Karen Lee Batten, Jackson Hollow, Becca Hess, Lisa Brokop, and Bruce Couglan. The live-streaming telethon will include performances by Loverboy, David Gogo, Chilliwack, Crystal Shawanda, Trigger Mafia, Nigel Mack, Big & Rich, Jerry Road, Dustin Harder, and the Rhythm & Blues Allstars. More info here. Source: Georgia Straight

– In honour of Dallas GoodRick White, his close friend and bandmate in The Unintended, has written and recorded a moving tribute song, Message To Dallas. 

– On March 2, the Canadian Country Music Association announced that Sept. 8-11 will be the official dates for Country Music Week 2022. Culminating with the 2022 CCMA Awards on Sept. 11, the event sees the CCMA returning to Calgary for the tenth time, making the market the most visited by the national Awards show. 

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– Artist showcase submissions are now open for Nova Scotia Music Week (NSMW), set for Sydney, Cape Breton Nov. 3 - 6, 2022 for the 25th anniversary of the event. To celebrate the anniversary of NSMW, the cost to submit has been reduced to $25. The deadline to submit here is March 22.

– Montreal is not known as a country music hub, but the city's first edition of the LASSO fest has announced a stellar lineup. It will run Aug. 11-13 on Île Sainte-Hélène at Parc Jean-Drapeau. US stars booked include Dierks Bentley, Old Dominion, Ashley McBryde, Luke Bryan, Kelsea Ballerini, Riley Green, Breland, alongside Canadian Tenille Townes and local acts Matt Lang, Sara Dufour, Five Roses, Brittany Kennell and Léa Jarry. More names TBA. Passes on sale tomorrow (March 4) here 

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– The acclaimed Canzona Chamber Players presents solo pianist Vadim Serebryany performing Music About Nature, a virtual recital (streamed via YouTube) whose program includes Beethoven, Ravel, Debussy, Messiaen, Ravel, and Béla Bartók. In lieu of concert tickets, CCP asks for donations to the Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal or the Ukraine Armed Forces. Donation details here.

– Rapidly organised by the Toronto artist community, With Ukraine is a fundraising concert in support of the embattled nation set to take place at The Opera House on March 11. The lineup features Ukrainian and Eastern European groups and those with strong ties to Ukraine, including BLISK, Polky, Lemon Bucket Orkestra Brass, Nastasia Y, Moskitto Bar, Ventanas, and more. All profits will go directly to supporting humanitarian aid in Ukraine, providing immediate help, medical aid, food supplies, and protective gear. Tix here. Those who cannot attend and still would like to support the cause are encouraged to donate directly to one of the organizations listed here.

– Jay Ferguson of Sloan has a second solo online performance set for March 12, at 8 pm EST, via Side Door. 20% of the profits will be donated to the Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal. Tix on sale now here. Expect a whole new set of solo versions of over a dozen songs from Sloan's catalogue.

– Manitoba country singer Kendra Kay has announced five March Ontario shows (including one at Toronto's El Mocambo on March 10)  prior to dates in western Canada. A 5x Manitoba Country Music award winner, Kay is riding high with the current single Wild. Tour dates here 

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– The Atlantic Presenters Association (APA) is now accepting applications for the Contact East 2022 Artist Selection Committee. 5 - 7 people are sought, with the responsibility to select artists to fill approx 20 performance spots and 10 pitch spots at the Contact East conference from Sept. 22-25. The deadline to apply here is April 12.

– The most recent Plants and Animals album, The Jungle, was released 16 months ago to major critical kudos, but the Montreal indie-rock faves have only now been able to schedule a Canadian tour. Starting off in Winnipeg on April 7, the trek features dates in Saskatoon, Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto, Hamilton, and a closing show in Ottawa on May 5. Itinerary and tix here.

– Hotly-tipped Ottawa blues combo HOROJO Trio will release its debut album, Set The Record, via Stony Plain, on April 1. A hometown album release party is set for the rejuvenated Rainbow Bistro that night, followed by shows at Toronto's Cameron House (April 2) and London's Scot's Corner, April 3. 

– Voting for the Second Round of the 2022 CMAOntario Awards is now open, with a March 14 deadline. CMAO members are urged to vote here now. 

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RIP

Skibadee (born Alfonso Bondzie), a pioneering jungle and drum’n’bass MC, died last week, age 47. A cause of death has not been reported.

Born in London, Skibadee began his career in 1993 on City Sound Radio and in recent years was a member of noted drum’n’bass group SASASAS. He performed across the UK. He was renowned for his collaborations with fellow jungle and drum’n’bass MC Shabba D from 2000 onwards. Skibadee won multiple MC awards as well as the Stevie Hyper D lifetime achievement award.

The Guardian stated that "Skibadee changed the very nature of what it meant to be an MC in the UK. He only featured on a scattering of tracks in his almost 30-year career, but as the intensity of the tributes has shown, his influence was immense nonetheless." Read more here

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Jayda G

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