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Music Biz Headlines: GYALFEST Debuts in Vancouver, Shawn Desman is Back

Our weekly compendium of headlines from across Canada and beyond also includes stories on Juno nominees from Halifax and Hamilton, Toby Keith, X-Ray MacRae, Bob Marley and Brittany Howard.

Shawn Desman

Shawn Desman

Courtesy Photo

GYALFEST’s Inaugural Vancouver Music Festival Takes Place at The Cobalt

A new music festival will be taking over the Cobalt this International Women’s Day. GYALFEST, originally established in Toronto, is a series specifically celebrating Black women and Women of Colour.The inaugural Vancouver version of the bash is on March 8. - Kristi Alexandra, Georgia Straight

Elliot Page-Produced Jackie Shane Documentary To Premiere at SXSW

Any Other Way: The Jackie Shane Story highlights the influence and legacy of Black trans soul singer Jackie Shane, who helped put Toronto's music scene on the map in the '60s. - Rosie Long Decter, Billboard Canada


Shawn Desman Reached the Peak of Canadian Music Before a Brutal Setback. Now He's Back

The star is back with new music and big plans for recording a live album during a Toronto concert this month — with a little help from Drake. - Adam Aziz, Toronto Star

Horseshoe Tavern Co-owner X-Ray MacRae Had An Ear for Canadian Talent

The popular late club owner and talent booker had a huge impact on Canadian music. - Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

Two New Toronto festivals to Launch Soon With 10 new Canadian Musicals and Theatre Works

The Festival of New Theatre and Canadian Festival of New Musicals will launch this spring at the Berkeley Theatre in Toronto. - Joshua Chong, Toronto Star

Hamilton Church Makes Pitch for Revamped Music Venue

Partners ask council for $900,000 toward renovations for The Music Hall project, and the local music community is supportive. - Teviah Moro, Hamilton Spectator

Valerie Tryon and the Piano Music She Loves

There needs to be a rhetorical liberty when performing Scriabin's piano music. - Leonard Turnevicius, Hamilton Spectator

Here Are All Your Halifax Nominees for the 2024 JUNO Awards

Reggae singer Jah’Mila lands first JUNO nod, while electro-maestro Rich Aucoin picks up another nomination with Synthetic Season 2. - Martin Bauman, The Coast


Hamilton, Burlington Artists Prominent in List of Juno Awards Nominees

Arkells looking to nab their fourth-straight Group of the Year win. - Hamilton Spectator

Dion: A Rock Opera Has Promise, but Lacks the Ecstasy and Excess That Dionysus and Rock ‘n’ Roll Demand

If Jesus Christ can have a rock opera, why not Dionysus? After all, the Greek god of wine, a.k.a. Bacchus, is the original rock star, known for whipping his intoxicated followers into a frenzy of singing, dancing and wild behaviour. - Martin Morrow, Globe and Mail


Warner Music Group Posts Its Biggest Ever Quarter And its Head Discusses TikTok

When it comes to the dispute between Universal Music Group and TikTok over royalty payments, WMG CEO Robert Kyncl is offering some cautionary advice: “Whatever you read in the press, don’t believe it.” - MBW

Fans Raise a Red Solo Cup to Honor Toby Keith, Who Immortalized the Humble Cup in Song

Red Solo cups – a staple of barbecues and beer pong – are usually synonymous with good times. - Dee-Ann Durbin,AP

Usher Delivers a Nostalgic, Sexy, Celeb-packed Spectacle at the Super Bowl Halftime Show


The R&B star nailed the performance with a little help from his famous friends, including Alicia Keys, Ludacris and Lil Jon. - Sarah Laing, Toronto Star

Brittany Howard Returns With a New Album, 'What Now,' and Songs She Calls 'Like Journal Keeping'

When the pandemic hit, Brittany Howard found herself hunkering down in Nashville with two dogs, two cats and one album on repeat — “Songs in the Key of Life” by Stevie Wonder. - Mark Kennedy, AP

Wim Wenders’ Life Was Saved By Rock 'n Roll: “Lou Reed Is a Mighty Voice in My New Film"


For the cult German filmmaker, there's nothing more important than music – as long as it comes in the form of many, many vinyl records. - James Mottram, NME

Review: 'Bob Marley: One Love' Doesn't Stir

The power and complexity of Marley is still out of reach for “One Love,” which takes a typical biopic framework in plotting itself around the run-up to an important concert with flashbacks mixed in.- Jake Coyle, AP

Desperately Seeking New Home: 3 Million Sound Recordings

Since the start of the pandemic, one of the world's largest collections of popular music has been housed in a former pig barn in rural New York state. But the Archive of Contemporary Music is looking for a new home. - Christine Kiernan, Reuters

Where Can Justin Timberlake Even Go From Here?

As Timberlake rolls out his new single “Selfish," his approval ratings only seem to get lower and lower.- Brittany Spanos, Rolling Stone

50 Cent

50 Cent


50 Cent Takes A Victory Lap at Toronto's Cabana Pool Bar: Canadian Concerts of the Week

Also this week: it's festival season, with Hillside, Le Festif! and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival all happening on the same weekend.

Summer is in swing, and that means festival season. While many of the biggest ones take place in August, this weekend sees a handful of folk or adjacent events with the perfect summer vibes. Find those below, after our concert of the week featuring one of the biggest rap success stories of the last two decades.

Concert of the Week

50 Cent at Cabana Pool Bar, Toronto — Saturday, July 20

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