Entertainment Beat

The Uptown Swing Band

If dancing the night away to the sounds of the big band is your idea of a romantic Valentine’s Day gift for your sweetie, then you will want to know that The Uptown Swing Band is performing two Valentine’s-themed dances.
The band will be in the Melody Bar at the Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W. on Feb. 14, beginning at 9 p.m. Call the Gladstone at 416-531-4635 to make reservations for dinner beforehand. For more information visit gladstonehotel.com.
On Feb. 15, The Uptown Swing Band will be returning to this area when it performs at the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 11, 9 Dawes Rd., for its annual Valentine’s Dance. This is always a very well-attended evening so it would be wise to book your tickets early. The $20 ticket price includes dinner and dancing. The bar opens at 6 p.m., dinner is served at 7, and dancing will begin around 8. There will also be door prizes, basket draws, and a 50/50 draw. To book tickets call Branch 11 at 416-699-1353 or visit rcl11.com.
For more information on the Uptown Swing Band visit the website at uptownswingband.com.

Acoustic Harvest presents ‘maverick balladeer’ Aengus Finnan, February 16, at 8 p.m.
Finnan is making a return to the performance stage after a hiatus which included time spent founding and managing the Shelter Valley Folk Festival, serving as President of the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals, founding ArtBeat, a community outreach program, and spearheading The Way We Feel, an annual Gordon Lightfoot tribute concert. He is timing his return with the release of a 2004 live performance on CD, as well as a collection of Robert Service poetry recorded at various locations throughout the Yukon.
Finnan specializes in story-style songs, crafted with “beauty and grace, grit and sorrow.” He has toured extensively throughout Canada and the US, performing at folk festivals and solo concerts. His two previous CDs, Fool’s Gold and North Wind, featured songs such as the popular O’Shaughnessy’s Lament, and Lately. For more information visit borealisrecords.com/artists/aengus-finnan.
Tickets for Aengus Finnan are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors, and can be purchased at the door, or by calling 416-264-2235. For more information on this and other upcoming concerts, visit acousticharvest.ca. Acoustic Harvest is located in St. Nicholas Church, 1512 Kingston Rd.

Jazz pianist Mark Eisenman brings his Quintet to The Rex Hotel, Jazz & Blues Bar, 194 Queen  St. W., Feb. 21 and 22. This is a rare appearance by a jazz quintet whose talent and musicality is unquestionably of the finest calibre in Canada. The band includes Steve Wallace, bass; John Sumner, drums; Pat Labarbera, sax; and John Macleod on flugelhorn. The quintet has recorded an acclaimed CD called Apparition. For more information call The Rex at 416-598-2475, or visit therex.ca. To fins out more about Mark Eisenman visit his website at jazzpiano.ca.

Harmony Hall presents Girls’ Night Out, beginning at 6 p.m., Feb. 23, at Celebrations Banquet Hall, 174 Bartley Dr., in East York. Girls’ Night Out is a charitable fundraiser that also promises to be a fun-filled evening exclusively for women, featuring cocktails, dinner, a jewelry sale, DJ, live entertainment and silent auction. all in support of Harmony Hall Centre for Seniors/Call-A-Service Inc. A professional photographer will be at the event taking portraits and group shots, and several Toronto firefighters will be on hand to help out.
Harmony Hall is a community centre that specializes in transportation, recreation, education and wellness support services for seniors as well as adults with disabilities in East York, Scarborough and Regent Park. Harmony Hall has partnered with George Webster Elementary School and Crescent Town Public School to deliver intergenerational programs. For more information visit www.call-a-service.com.
Tickets for Girls’ Night out are $50 and are available at 416-752-8868, or through call-a-service.com. Donations of gently used jewelry or accessories are welcome. Doors open at 6 p.m., dinner is at 7.

The Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Ronald Royer, presents its first concert of the new year, Warm Sounds for a Winter’s Eve, Feb. 23, at 8 p.m., at St. Paul’s L’Amoreaux Anglican Church, 3333 Finch Ave. E., on the southwest corner of Finch and Warden.
On the evening’s program will be Mozart’s Serenade in E-flat, K. 375; Charles Gounod’s Petite Symphonie for Wind Instruments; Francis Poulenc’s Sextet for Piano, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Horn; and the world premiere of John S. Gray’s Explorations for Wind Ensemble and Piano, all performed by the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra’s Wind Ensemble.
Special guests for this evening’s concert will be members of St. Paul’s L’Amoreaux, including the Youth Music Program; David McCartney, St. Paul’s Music Director on piano for the Poulenc and Gray pieces; Matthew Waterman, saxophone, performing J.S. Bach’s Arioso from Cantata 156; and Daisy Zhou, flute, performing Romance, by Georges Brun.
Tickets for Warm Sounds for a Winter’s Eve are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and $15 for students, with group rates available. They can be purchased at the door, by calling the Box Office at 416-429-0007, or by emailing spo@spo.ca. For more information visit spo.ca.

Mélodies: une soirée en chansons avec (an evening of song with) Louise Pitre, is a special benefit concert for the Hélène Tremblay Lavoie Foundation, being held Feb. 21, at 8 p.m., at the Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E.
Tickets for this special event are $75 and $50 with seniors rates available, and can be ordered by calling 416-366-7723, or online at stlc.com. There are also tickets available for a post-concert reception with Ms. Pitre ($50). For more information on Pitre, visit her website at louisepitre.com.

Relish Bar & Grill, 2152 Danforth Ave., presents live music six nights a week.
Mondays sees the band Bentroots, a New Orleans-style blues band, perform from 8 to 11 p.m. Das Fagott Mannschaft (bassoon quartet) performs Tues., Feb. 5, from 9 to 11 p.m. Every Wednesday is Jazz Night with The BTB’s, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Bill Wood & the Woodies perform Fri., Feb. 8 from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m.
Saturday is New Music Night, featuring up-and-coming singer-songwriters, including James Clarke Institute (Feb. 16),  Jean Paul De Roover (Feb 23), Quails In A Nest (March 2), and William and Polly (March 9).
The Jazz Collective perform Sunday Brunch, Feb. 10, March 5, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. And there is a popular open mic every Sunday from 1 p.m. until 2 a.m.
To find out about these and other up-coming acts, call ‘the Relish’ at 416-425-4664, or visit relishbarandgrill.com.

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