Cantemus Singers presents Rule Britannia, a concert of English songs, madrigals and motets from the 16th to 18th centuries, Sept. 24, at 7:30 p.m., at Hope United Church, 2550 Danforth Ave. at Main Street. Cantemus Singers is under the direction of Michael Erdmann.
Tickets for Rule Britannia are $20 for adults, and $15 for students and seniors, and are available at the door. For more information call 416-578-6602, or visit www.cantemus.ca.
The popular Jazz Vesper Series continues with the first service of the new season, Oct. 1, from 4:30 to 5:15 at the new location, St. Aidan’s Anglican Church, 70 Silver Birch Avenue. Beach United Church is planning renovations for November so the Jazz Vespers will continue at St. Aidan’s for the season.
This service’s theme will be ‘We Are One’ and will feature Howard Rees’ Toronto Jazz Chorus, a unique ensemble comprising of eight vocalists with piano trio. Their repertoire is drawn from beautiful originals as well as traditional jazz standards, and features eight-part harmonies written and arranged by Barry Harris.
The Toronto Jazz Chorus is under the direction of Howard Rees. Rees founded the Jazz Workshop, Canada’s oldest independent jazz school in 1984, and the We Are One Project another in-school project. For more information visit www.jazzworkshops.com, or www.jazzschoolonline.com.
Admission to the Jazz Vespers Series is free with a goodwill offering taken up. For more information on this, and other upcoming services call 416-691-8082, or visit www.beachunitedchurch.com.
Mark Battenberg, Beach guitarist/poet, will be presenting The Hidden Pass: Poetry and Guitar for an Autumn Day, Oct. 8, at 2 p.m. at the Main Street Library. Mark will be reading from his latest collection of poems, The Hidden Pass, Song of the River Spirit, and The Ancient (reviewed in BMN Sept. 6/11), along with new pieces for the classical guitar.
Admission is free, and there will be CDs and books of Mark’s poetry available for sale. For more information visit www.battenbergmusic.com.
Battenberg was also one of the 40 winners in the recent Why My Library Matters to Me challenge sponsored by the Toronto Star. His entry was a self-penned poem about a trip to the library where book characters come alive.
“The reason I entered is because I believe that our libraries are sanctuaries that should be untouchable by our elected officials,” said Battenberg. “In my lifetime mayors have come and gone, but the library has been and still is a place where I can escape from the busy world to read, learn, and relax regardless of my financial situation.” Battenberg also spoke of the time when he performed a children’s concert at our local Main Street Library.
“There were so many kids that we had to find more room to fit them all in,” he explained. “They all sang, drew, and listened to stories, and laughed. It is the library that enabled us to do that.”
Battenberg is hoping to get to have lunch with Michael Ondaatje, “because I really love his poetic style… Michael has had a very full and interesting life, and I hope to hear about it first hand.”
Beach actor, Peter Keleghan, was a big winner at this year’s Gemini Awards. Keleghan won Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role for his character in the television series 18 To Life. Keleghan plays Ben Bellow in the series. Congratulations Peter!
It was a sad day for music lovers in the East End when Ten Feet Tall closed. Ten Feet Tall was the popular restaurant and club at 1381 Danforth that for the past six years has been THE music venue in this area. What began as Sunday Afternoon Jazz Matinées, eventually morphed into music almost every night of the week. The Toronto Fingerstyle Guitar group ran an open stage Tuesday evenings. There was an open Jazz Jam on Thursday nights. Saturday evenings was devoted to a Cabaret Series, and the popular Sunday Jazz Matinées continued. Sadly, all that is gone.
Chalk it up to the recession for the most part. Owners Carin Redman and Andrew Woodley opened Ten Feet Tall eight years ago, but admitted that the past couple of years has been a struggle.
“The recession has been tough on restaurants,” said Redman. “I tried to find a buyer, but no one is interested. Restaurants along the Danforth are almost all empty.” Woodley in the meantime has taken another job as a chef at a luxury retirement home, leaving Redman to manage more or less on her own.
“My plate was already full with the admin side,” she said. “Booking the bands, managing the business end of things. Now I’m cooking, doing the buying, even serving.” Redman has also found other employment as a studio account manager, and is happy to return to the regular nine-to-five world. “I get to be home at night with my kids,” she said. “I’m not really a night person.”
Redman herself is a jazz singer, and intends to devote more time to that side of her life now. She is part of a new vocal trio with Yvette Tollar, and Thyron Lee Whyte, called Red, White & Tollar. Keep an ear out for them.
We are really going to miss Ten Feet Tall. It was a great place to hear great music, but we wish Redman and Woodley good luck in their new ventures.
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