Entertainment Beat

Beach United Church’s Jazz Vespers presents The Peggy Mahon Trio, May 7, 4:30 to 5:15, at Beach United Church, 140 Wineva. Peggy Mahon has been a fixture in Toronto’s jazz scene for many years, as have her accompanists for this gig, pianist Bruce Harvey, and bassist Dave Field. Mahon’s silky vocal stylings are perfectly suited to this atmosphere.
Beach United Church’s Jazz Vespers is free to attend, but there is usually a goodwill offering taken up during the service. For more information call 416-691-8082, or visit www.beachunitedchurch.com.
Mahon will also be performing with her trio of musicians May 12, at the Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave. for the fourth annual benefit concert for Interval House, Canada’s first women’s shelter. Joining Peggy will be Danny McErlain, piano, Dave Field, piano, and Don Vickery on drums. Tickets are $30, with free parking to the first 25 purchased. They can be ordered by calling 416-698-2163.

The Bach Consort is a group of musicians from various professional orchestras and ensembles, including the Toronto Symphony, who have established this group to raise charitable funds for various organizations. Since 1992 The Bach Consort has raised more than $400,000 for non-profit community use.
On May 13, the Bach Consort welcomes Maestro Harry Bicket, conductor of the world renowned English Consort, who will lead the group in a special concert to benefit Eva’s Initiative, a shelter for homeless and at-risk youth, and the Toronto symphony’s Adopt-a-Player which sees members of the symphony orchestra collaborating with Grade 4 and 5 students to compose music.
Bicket will conduct Bach’s Suite in B Minor for flute and strings; Handel’s Silete Venti for soprano; Bach’s Ich habe genug for baritone, and his Liebster Jesu mein Verlangen for soprano and baritone. Featured soloists are Monica Whichter, soprano; Philip Addis, baritone; and Julie Ranti, flute.
Tickets to the Bach Consort featuring Harry Bicket are $50, and are available at the door (Church of the Redeemer, Avenue Road and Bloor), or can be purchased by calling 416-519-2263. The concert begins at 8 p.m. For more information call Tim Dawson at 416-722-5833, or visit www.torontobachconsort.com.

Ten Feet Tall, 1381 Danforth presents Sunday afternoon Jazz Matinees from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. It’s a great way to while away a lazy Sunday afternoon listening to great jazz, and eating great food.
On May 15 the Norman Marshall Villeneuve Quartet takes the stage. Born in Montreal, Villeneuve has been a professional drummer since 1957. Early on he performed with his cousin, the legendary Oliver Jones, and has since performed with just about every jazz musician in Canada, including Dave Young, Ed Bickert, Mark Eisenman, Steve Wallace, and Dave Restivo. He has led several bands himself, and played the Toronto Jazz Festival, The Pilot Tavern, The Senator, and the Trane Studio.
For more information visit www.normanmarshallvilleneuve.com.
Then Yvette Tollar returns to Ten Feet Tall on May 22. Tollar has been singing since she was 16, and has recorded two CDs, the latest, Ima, in 2009. For more information visit www.yvettetollar.com.
Saturday nights Ten Feet Tall presents up and coming jazz musicians from 8 to 10 p.m. May 14 sees Kristin Lindell perform her special blend of jazz, folk and roots music. For more information or to hear clips of her music visit www.myspace.com/KristinLindell.
Ten Feet Tall is also pleased to present a new night of live music. Beginning Thursday May 5 – and on every subsequent Thursday – Ten Feet Tall presents a jazz jam session hosted by the Brendan Davis Trio with special guest Chris Gale on saxophone. The band features Amanda Tosoff on piano, Brendan Davis on bass, and Jeff Halischuck on drums. The music starts at 8 p.m., and the jam is open to instrumentalists and vocalists who are comfortable performing in the jazz tradition.
For more information call Ten Feet Tall at 416-778-7333, or visit www.tenfeettall.ca.

Acoustic Harvest presents a pair of musicians, virtuosos in their own right, but teamed up for a special concert, May 14, at 8 p.m., that will leave you absolutely breathless.
Mike Stevens is a harmonica virtuoso who has been taking the traditional blues harp to new levels of musicianship, “expanding the paradigms, balancing tradition with cutting edge innovation.” Stevens has appeared with all the legendary bluegrass stars, and performed more than 300 times on stage at the Grand Ole Opry.
At the same time his avante garde ‘soundscape’ solo performances makes his harmonica “a musical paintbrush  with no limits.” Stevens’ latest CD is called Piggyback, and is a duet with  blues guitarist Matt Anderson.
Stevens is also very involved with ArtsCan, the organization devoted to bringing music to Canada’s north. For more information, and to hear clips of his music visit www.mikestevensmusic.com.
Raymond McLain has been performing for more than 40 years, 21 of them with The McLain Family Band. He is also Director of Bluegrass and Country Music at Tennessee State University. McLain plays several instruments including banjo and fiddle. To hear a performance of McLain and Stevens playing the Orange Blossom Special go to Stevens’ website and scroll down the first page. The performance will knock your socks off. You can also visit www.mclains.com for more information on Raymond.
Tickets to McLain & Stevens are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and students, and are available at the door, but come early… it will be crowded! Acoustic Harvest is located at St. Nicholas Church, 1512 Kingston Rd. For more information call 416-264-2235, or visit www.acousticharvest.ca.

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