Entertainment Beat

The Shout Sister! Choir will be hosting a concert at Kingston Road United Church tonight, Tuesday, June 11.

The choir takes an unusual approach to choral singing, with a focus on fun and singing popular music, without the need to learn how to read sheet music.  The Toronto South East chapter, one of 16, is based at Kingston Road United and is directed by Abby Zotz and managed by Nancy Greig.

The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 with a donation of a non-perishable food item, and are available at the door. Funds raised will go toward the Grace Pascoe food bank at Calvary Baptist Church.

Timmy Boyle

Beacher Timmy Boyle is being called one of the fastest-rising starts in clean comedy.

Boyle launched his career in “up standing comedy” in 2009, but had already performed on multiple tours across the country. He has been a regular on the reality tv show Comedy Tournament, featured on season one, with filming of the second season just wrapped up.

Boyle is working on establishing Canada’s first clean comedy club circuit. He co-hosts a morning radio show, Rise & Shine with Timmy & Anna-Lee, on UCB Canada, a network of Christian radio stations.

The Up Standing Comedy Show will be hosted by Waverley Road Baptist Church, 129 Waverley Rd., on Sunday, June 23, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, or $12 at the door. Find out more about Boyle and order advanced tickets at www.upstandingcomedy.ca.

East End jazz icon Norman Marshall Villeneuve will be making an appearance as part of the Toronto Jazz Festival.

Villeneuve’s drumming career spans more than six decades, and he has made his home in Toronto for the past 35 years. Born in Montreal, he studied tap dancing at eight years old, dancing professionally from the age of 10 until he was 21. He studied piano with Daisy Peterson-Sweeney, Oscar Peterson’s sister. Meanwhile, also beginning at the age of eight, Villeneuve began playing drums on a homemade kit, taking inspiration from Art Blakey, along with Max Roach, Elvin Jones and others.

Villeneuve began playing music professionally at the age of 14, eventually meeting many of his heroes in Montreal’s jazz clubs in the 1960s and 1970s. He has played with countless jazz greats over his long career. He has performed for world leaders including Nelson Mandela, President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

In 1974 he moved to Toronto where he quickly took a leading role in the city’s jazz clubs. He has toured the country and remains a fixture at many of the country’s jazz festivals. His group, Norman Marshall Villeneuve’s Jazz Message, has offered opportunities to many young and new players, many of whom are now becoming icons themselves.

Norman Marshall Villeneuve’s Jazz Message Quintet will play the Shops at Don Mills on Monday, June 24 at 7 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit torontojazz.com.

Singer Brenda Carol will be appearing with the band ClaireVoyance at the HotHouse Restaurant and Bar on Sunday, June 23 and Monday, June 24, as part of the 2013 Toronto Jazz Festival. Carol is married to ClaireVoyance pianist Stephen Gardner.

ClaireVoyance is something of a Festival institution at the HotHouse, as this pair of performances will mark the group’s 17th appearance at the downtown venue. ClaireVoyance also includes Bill McBirnie on flute, acoustic and electric bassist John Yelland, Greg Pilo on drums and Peter Meuller will join the band on guitar for the second set on Monday. The group plays compositions from 1970s icons such as Yes, Steely Dan, King Crimson, Supertramp, Heart and more.

Brenda Carol and ClaireVoyance will play sets at 7 and 9 p.m. both nights, with no cover charge, although reservations are strongly recommended. To reserve seats, phone 416-366-7800. For more information on the musicians, visit www.brendacarol.com or www.stephengardner.ca.

The second annual Toronto Beaches Film Festival will run Friday and Saturday, June 28 and 29, at the Fox Theatre on Queen Street East at Beech Avenue. The festival will showcase both feature length and short films from around the world, focusing on summer, water and beaches.

The opening short film is Scars, directed by Toronto resident Cody Campanale. The film is produced by Beacher Alex Jordan, and also features lead actor Lara Amersey, another Beach resident.

The film is a youth drama which tells the story of a group of teens sharing secrets, but the evening of fun takes a dark turn as one character reveals a startling secret from his past.

Scars, which is one of the few in the festival to receive funding from the Ontario Arts Council, was shot mostly on 35mm film. Other actors include Jamie Johnston of Degrassi fame and Chris Violette, who may be known to some as the Blue Ranger on Power Rangers SPG. Scars airs Friday, June 28 at 11:30 a.m.

Other films of note include The Common Sense Rebellion, a 16-minute short from Norway, directed by Sturla Ellingvåg. The experimental documentary covers politics and activism from the viewpoint of a ‘gentle rebel’, looking to understand the feeling of living in a social democracy such as Norway.

Summer of the Sharks, a feature-length documentary, is directed by Rusty Armstrong. Producer Eli Martinez is the founding editor of Shark Diver Magazine. The film is a combination of road/diving trip document, following a group of professional shark divers, and eco activism, filming the giant misunderstood sea creatures being killed by shark fishermen.

Sur La Ligne, Variation No. 2 (On The Line) is a Quebec short film directed by Anne-Marie Turcotte and Mario Calvé. The vintage-feeling film takes a nostalgic view of an earlier era of beach culture.

Go Ganges! is the official closing film of the festival. Directed by JJ Kelley and Josh Thomas, the feature length movie covers the pair’s attempt to navigate the Ganges, the world’s most populated and polluted river, from its source in the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal.

For more information on the 2nd annual Toronto Beaches Film Festival, a complete schedule and ticket information, visit the website at www.torontobeachesfilmfest.com.

Relish Bar and Grill continues its quest to provide a haven for live music on the Danforth, a block east of Woodbine. Every Monday at 8 p.m. Bentroots offers up “swampy N’Awlins” blues, while on Wednesdays the BTBs play jazz-funk fusion. David Macmichael’s power pop can be heard on Fridays at 9 p.m. Saturday is New Music Night. The Lost Anglers will appear on June 22, with Jennifer Foster on June 29.

Upcoming special guests include Muscle Souls playing alternative Brit pop at 9:30 p.m. on Friday June 21. William & Polly will play bluegrass on Thursday, June 27 from 7 to 9 p.m.

A copy of East End author Penel J. Smith’s Hugo and Fluffy Tales now resides in the Dalai Lama’s personal library.
A copy of East End author Penel J. Smith’s Hugo and Fluffy Tales now resides in the Dalai Lama’s personal library.

East End author Penel J. Smith published a book titled Hugo and Fluffy Tales in 2012. Back in 1980, while working in watch repairs at a jewelers, Smith had the opportunity to meet the Dalai Lama. She sent a copy of her book to the Buddhist spiritual leader, and recently was pleased to find out that not only was the book well-received, it has been added to the Dalai Lama’s personal library in Dharamsala, India, along with her cover letter.

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