Canada 150

MomenTo en Francais

MomenTO: Sounds Like Toronto

MomenTO: Sounds Like Toronto is a six-part, live-music series celebrating Toronto's influence on Canadian music, from folk to rock, global to hip hop. Free performances will be hosted in music venues, some legendary in their own right, from Queen West to Little Jamaica.  Hear musicians and DJs, young and old, perform classic songs, collaborations and new material.  Expert hosts will weave the story of Toronto's contribution to Canadian music through each event.

MomenTO: Sounds Like Toronto is produced by the City of Toronto in partnership with the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario's Ontario 150 Program.

ExpandWednesday, October 18 - The Roots Rock Sound of Queen West

Wednesday, October 18 | The Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W. | Celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2017!
FREE | Advance tickets available online through NOW Tickets. Limited tickets available at the door.

Program Curator & Host: Nicholas Jennings

7:30 p.m. | Doors open

8:00 p.m. | Johnny & the G-Rays

9:00 p.m. | Lori Yates with David Baxter, Bazil Donovan & Michele Josef

10:00 p.m. | Whitney Rose & band

Toronto in the late 1970s and early ’80s was a hotbed of musical talent. In clubs all along Queen West, some refreshingly feisty sounds sprang up, ranging from punk and new wave to rockabilly and alt-country. It was a scene that carried artists like Blue Rodeo and Cowboy Junkies all the way to the national stage. Johnny & the G-Rays were right in the thick of it. The four-piece band, led by Johnny MacLeod, released a 1980 album that drew from all the Queen West sounds and what one critic called “a little bit of Iggy and the Stray Cats.” Lori Yates started out in a punk/new wave band before embracing cow-punk with her popular group Rang Tango. A solo career, a stint in Nashville and recording deals with Sony and Virgin Music followed before the alt-country heroine formed Hey Stella! with ace musicians from Blue Rodeo, Prairie Oyster and the Sharks. Now the roots torch has been passed to younger artists like Whitney Rose, who cut her musical teeth at the Cameron House. With two acclaimed albums, including this fall’s Rule 62, Whitney is “a sultry country classicist,” according to The New York Times, blessed with what Rolling Stone calls a “devilish twang".

ExpandTuesday, October 24 - Folk Roots and Branches

Tuesday, October 24 | Hugh's Room Live, 2261 Dundas St. W. | 
FREE | Advance tickets and dinner reservations available through Hugh's Room Live - call 416-533-LIVE (5483).

Program Curator & Host: Nicholas Jennings

6:00 p.m. | Doors open

8:30 p.m. | Showtime featuring Liam Russell, Jennifer Castle, Doug Paisley and Sylvia Tyson

Singer-songwriters are one of Canada’s richest natural resources—and Toronto has contributed some of the best, dating back to the Yorkville era of the 1960s. It was in Yorkville’s coffeehouses that artists initially put their poetic reflections to song. But before any of them had penned their first compositions, Sylvia Tyson was showing how it was done, crafting the global hit “You Were On My Mind” in Ian & Sylvia, the celebrated folk duo. A music legend, Sylvia went on to enjoy a successful solo career, writing evocative songs covered by the likes of Crystal Gayle and Kitty Wells, and now resides in both the Canadian Music and Canadian Country Music Halls of Fame.

The influence of Sylvia and her contemporaries has influenced successive generations of Toronto singer-songwriters. Doug Paisley has drawn praise from Rolling Stone and comparisons to Gordon Lightfoot for his honest lyrics and mellifluous melodies. Critically acclaimed Jennifer Castle is an admitted Joni Mitchell fan, but her rustic balladry also sounds inspired by Sylvia’s small-town laments. Liam Russell, with three promising albums to his credit, comes by the folk tradition honestly: his father is Brent Titcomb, whose songs have been recorded by Anne Murray, Glen Campbell and others.

ExpandSaturday, October 28 - Roots, Rock, Regg'Eh

TreaJah Isle LogoSaturday, October 28 | Sankofa Restaurant & Bar, 1653 Eglinton Ave. W. |
FREE | Advance tickets available online through NOW Tickets. Limited tickets available at the door.

Program Curator & Host: Dalton Higgins, with special guests Donisha Prendergast (Bob Marley’s granddaughter), Jah Chozen (TreaJah Isle).

9:00 p.m. | Showtime

Toronto has been ground zero for reggae music in Canada dating back to the late 1960s, thanks to the influx of Caribbean immigrants largely from Jamaica. Whether reggae has been presented in its ska, roots reggae or dancehall form, Toronto has also quietly been home to numerous global reggae icons with direct ties to Jamaica's premier ska band, Skatalites, all the way to one of reggae's most legendary recording studios and record labels Studio One. Join us in the vibrant Toronto neighborhood of Eglinton West - affectionately referred to as Little Jamaica and where the first reggae record shops in Toronto resided - as we celebrate world-class, Toronto based reggae vibes with an eye to the future.

Featuring Jay Douglas (Jamaica to Toronto), Canada’s Queen of reggae Nana McLean, Otis Gayle (Studio One), rising dancehall phenom Eyesus, backed by Hardcore Band. With DJ Lindo P.

ExpandTuesday, November 7 - Where Global Goes Local

Tuesday, November 7 | Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W. | 
FREE | Advance tickets available online through NOW Tickets. Dinner reservations guarantee seating – please book your ticket(s) online and then call 416-588-0307 to reserve dinner. Limited tickets available at the door.

Host: Mervon Mehta

6:00 p.m. | Doors open

7:00 p.m. | New Canadian Global Music Orchestra Quintet

8:15 p.m. | Jane Bunnett and Maqueque

9:30 p.m. | Kobo Town

Now celebrating its 15th year, Lula Lounge is home to Toronto's live Latin, Brazilian and world music scenes. While also presenting several jazz, urban and reggae series, Lula has built an international reputation as an incubator for projects with roots in Latin America and the Caribbean as they evolve in our city. Six members of the New Canadian Global Music Orchestra, a Canada150 initiative spearheaded by the Royal Conservatory of Music, will kick off the evening followed by Toronto jazz icon, saxophonist, bandleader and composer Jane Bunnett and her Juno- Award-winning, all-woman ensemble, Maqueque (just back from extensive national and international touring).

The night wraps up with an intoxicating blend of calypso, dancehall reggae and trombone-heavy brass by Kobo Town, fronted by émigré Trinidadian songwriter, Drew Gonsalves. Executive Director of Performing Arts for The Royal Conservatory, Mervon Mehta, will host the evening highlighting how each of these projects fits into the history of Lula as a venue that has made a major contribution to the story of music in Toronto and Canada. Program curator:  Tracy Jenkins, Co-Artistic Director, Lula Music and Arts Centre.

ExpandFriday, November 10 - Jazz Generations of Toronto

Friday, November 10 | Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, University of Toronto, 80 Queen's Park |
FREE | Advance tickets available online through NOW Tickets. Limited tickets available at the door.

Program Curator & Host: Josh Grossman, Artistic Director, Toronto Downtown Jazz

6:30 p.m. | Doors open

7:00 p.m. | Showtime

For over 40 years, the University of Toronto has been a centre for post-secondary jazz instruction in Canada, starting with the legendary Phil Nimmons' appointment as instructor of Jazz Techniques in 1973. Since its establishment in 1991, the Faculty of Music’s Jazz Performance Program has produced some of the most important names in Canadian jazz – musicians who have made a significant impact on the local, national and international jazz scenes playing with the biggest names in jazz and beyond.

This special Sounds Like Toronto concert, a collaboration between Toronto Downtown Jazz and U of T Jazz, celebrates the past, present and future of jazz in Toronto, with performances by outstanding faculty, alumni and students.  Highlights include the JUNO-nominated and Montreal Jazz Festival Galaxie Rising Star Award-winning quartet Peripheral Vision; the Carn/Davidson 9, co-led by JUNO nominees Tara Davidson (saxophone) and William Carn (trombone); the highly acclaimed Myriad 3; and the Dave Young/Terry Promane Octet, under the direction of multiple JUNO-Award winners Terry Promane (trombone) and Order of Canada Member Dave Young (bass).

ExpandSaturday, November 11 - Hip Hop House Party: From the T-dot to the Six

Saturday, November 11 | BAND (Black Artists' Networks Dialogue), 19 Brock Ave. |
FREE | Advance tickets available online through NOW Tickets. Limited tickets available at the door.

Program Curator & Host: Dalton Higgins, with special guest panelist Kardinal Offishall

7:00 p.m. | Doors open

The current local rap renaissance did not begin in a vacuum - the 6ix has been exporting a unique blend of Caribbean and cultural influenced rhymes for the last 30 years. Fast forward to today, and Toronto is viewed as a virtual rap mecca fuelled by the Drake phenomenon. Join us for a multi-disciplinary, inter-generational dialogue and showcase of Toronto’s rap past, present and future.

Featuring a panel discussion with some of the rising stars of today and tomorrow: Sean Leon (IXXI), Clairmont The Second and Exclaim hip hop editor Erin Ashley, as well as a rap showcase featuring legendary Toronto artists (Ghetto Concept, Michie Mee, Que Rock, Infinite) + Gen Now new voices (Devontée, pHoenix Pagliacci from The Sorority, ALL.ME) with DJ Jayemkayem.