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Music News

Music News Digest: New Documentaries on Legendary Canadian Musicians Jeff Healey and Voïvod

Also featured this week: Jaymz Bee leaves JAZZ FM, Lindsay Ell honoured by the Canadian Country Music Association, Music BC's ARC Accelerator Program and more.

Voïvod, 'We Are Connected' Documentary

Voïvod, 'We Are Connected' Documentary

Courtesy photo

Awards News

The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) has announced Lindsay Ell as the 2024 recipient of the Gary Slaight Music Humanitarian Award. This honours the multiple CCMA Award winner and Platinum-certified artist for her achievements with The Make You Movement charitable fund, in addition to her advocacy work and support for sexual assault survivors and the LGBTQ2SIA+ community. The Award will be presented to Lindsay Ell during a private industry event as part of Country Music Week 2024, taking place September 11-14 in Edmonton.

Given annually, the Award recognizes an individual(s) and/or event(s) that have made an outstanding contribution of time and energy in the support of humanitarian causes through country music. “Lindsay Ell's remarkable contributions to improving the lives of countless individuals both in Canada and around the world is commendable,” says Gary Slaight, President and CEO of The Slaight Family Foundation. This follows the announcement of k.d. lang's induction into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. For further details on the Slaight Music Humanitarian Award and other CCMA Awards of Achievement click HERE.


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Festivals news

– On July 12-13, DISTORSION presents a third consecutive outdoors edition of its yearly Montreal gathering, this time around, taking over the curation of Marché des Possibles. Music between 6 and 10 p.m. will be followed by after-parties a few blocks away. An impressive lineup includes Sam Jr. (Toronto), Tea Eater (Brooklyn), Tilden (Brooklyn) and Pust (Montréal). More info here.

– The South Coast Jazz & Blues Festival returns August 9–11 to the Brantford and Norfolk Country region of Ontario. This year’s festival, supported in part by the City of Brantford, Norfolk County Economic Development and Ontario Creates, features such artists as the Branson Palanio Organ Trio, Johannes Linstead, Avery Raquel, James Wilson and Shannon Butcher with Michael Shand. Tickets on sale now here .

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Industry News

The Estate of Jeff Healey has shared a new teaser forSee The Light: The Jeff Healey Story, the long-awaited first official feature length documentary film on the life and legacy of the late Canadian guitar great. It has been years in the making, and a 2025 international release is currently the goal.

– On July 29 and 30, Montreal art space BBAM! Gallery, run by music biz veteran Ralph Alfonso, and the Fantasia Festival are co-presenting Rebel Robots, an exhibit that ties in with the hometown world premiere of Felipe Belalcazar’s documentary on Quebec prog-metal veterans Voïvod, WE ARE CONNECTED, screening at Fantasia. It is described as "an exhibition of original art pieces, photographs, instruments and artifacts sourced directly from the band’s archives, celebrating Voïvod’s extraordinary 40-year legacy." It is open July 29, 4-7 p.m. and July 30, 12.30-6 p.m., and admission is free. More info here.

– Nashville-based Canadian roots multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter Linda McRae is now represented by Black Oak Artists for North American booking. After making a name as a member of Spirit Of The West, she has pursued a prolific solo career and gained recognition as a songwriting instructor. Her Express Yourself Writing Workshops are currently being presented in North American correctional institutions and at-risk youth facilities. McRae has shows coming up in New York state this month. Itinerary here. Other Canadians on Black Oak's extensive roster include Ray Bonneville, Julian Taylor, The Pairs, Lynne Hanson, Patrick Krief and Jenie Thai.

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– Jazz impresario, bandleader and broadcaster Jaymz Bee has been a key voice and face of Toronto station JAZZ.FM91 for 23 years. The host of Jazz in the City and Jazz Gone Wild has just announced he's leaving the station to pursue his latest creative venture in filmmaking. “Jaymz Bee has been an integral member of our JAZZ.FM91 team,” said Dana Wigle, JAZZ.FM91 General Manager. "He has fostered the growth of many of our programs over the years from the curation of our Jazz Lives concerts, local and international Jazz Safaris and the development and nurturing of the beloved program, Jazz In The City. Jaymz is family and we can’t wait to see what he does next.” The station will pay tribute to Jaymz Bee with a special finale episode of Jazz in the City on July 25. Additionally, the One-Stop Vocal Jazz Safari on July 11 at Lula Lounge will also pay homage to one of the city's most colourful personalities.

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Thousand Islands Records has signed Edmonton punk rock band King Thief (consisting of members of Teenage Bottlerocket, This is a Standoff, Choke and ex-The Fullblast) to its roster. Check out the debut single here, and look for an album in the fall. Formed in 2019, the group fuses punk, hardcore and arena rock elements.

– Presented by the Hamilton Music Collective and Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra (HPO), the free summer music series Eclectic Local kicked off at The Gasworks on Saturday afternoon. Performing were Who It Is!, something of a local supergroup comprising Darcy Hepner, Jesse O'Brien, Paul Intson and Joel Haynes. They delivered funk-inflected jazz via versions of tunes by the likes of Eddie Harris and Prince, alongside a strong original tune. The second half of their set featured a surprise guest, acclaimed Toronto soul/R&B singer-guitarist Jordan John, recently in the news as the new lead singer of famed U.S. funk band Tower of Power. His soulful covers of George Benson, James Taylor and Marvin Gaye classics went down a treat.

BreakOut West is now open for registration.This year’s event, which takes place in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan from September 25-29, features a multi-genre line-up of over 50 artists across multiple venues. The festival highlights Western Canadian talent alongside select International and Pan-Canadian artists. BreakOut West 2024 will also include a four-day conference and the Western Canadian Music Awards. Register here.

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Music BC has announced the 2024 cohort of artists participating in the ARC Accelerator Program: AHSIA, Bukola, Cam Blake, daysormay, Ivan Hartle, Janky Bungag, Jillian Lake, Jordel, Kardias Quing, Kid Filthy, Neighbourly, NIKKAELA, Riun Garner, Semi Athletic and Slightest Clue. ARC is a multi-stage program that will advance the business, creative, and technical skills of recording artists to help them build sustainable careers in the music industry. More info here.

Artists news

– Acclaimed glam-inflected rock 'n roller Art d’Ecco has returned with his first new music in almost two years, with the single + video I Feel Alive.” The track was written in L.A., worked on in Vancouver and mixed by Gus Van Go in Toronto, with d'Ecco urging him “Go as big and wide as possible.” Check it out here.

Here's a highly original concept: Throughout 2024, noted Vancouver violist and composer Thomas Beckman is, once a week, releasing a music video featuring his covers of noted film and TV themes. One recent piece grabbing plenty of views is this take on the theme from Bridgerton. More info here.

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Buju Banton
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Buju Banton

Concerts

Legendary Jamaican Artist Buju Banton Coming To Toronto On North American Arena Tour

The show will come as part of the reggae artist's first U.S. tour in 13 years. Don Toliver and Snotty Nose Rez Kids have also revealed upcoming Canadian dates.

A legendary Jamaican artist is making a major return to Canada.

Grammy-winning reggae and dancehall musician Buju Banton will perform at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on October 13, for his first Canadian show in over fifteen years.

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