Entertainment Beat

Acoustic Harvest presents Suzie Vinnick on Saturday, March 22 at St. Nicholas Anglican Church’s Robinson Hall.

Suzie Vinnick
Suzie Vinnick

Vinnick is a 10 time Maple Blues Award winner and three time Juno nominee, and has won numerous other awards in Canada and the US.

Her most recent album, Live At Bluesville, features roots, blues and gospel songs sung by Suzie and accompanied by her parlour guitar, named Mabel. Her previous album, Me ‘n’ Mabel, was her breakout moment, earning a Juno nomination, a seven-week spot on B.B. King’s Picks to Click chart and an opening spot for John Hammond at Madison Square Park Conservancy in New York City. She was also invited to perform at Germany’s Women in (e) Motion Festival in Bremen.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. at Robinson Hall, at 1512 Kingston Rd., just east of Warden Avenue. Tickets are $25 at the door or $22 in advance through acousticharvest.ca. For more on Vinnick, visit suzievinnick.com.


Fourteen-piece a capella powerhouse Countermeasure, co-founded by Beacher John-Michael Erlendson and led by composer and arranger Aaron Jensen, is on a roll, with award nominations and a pair of upcoming shows.


The group has just been nominated for four Contemporary A Capella Recording Awards for their debut album 14 Characters. They are nominated for Best Jazz Album, Best Electronic/Experimental Song, Best Contemporary A Cappella League Album and Best Contemporary A Cappella League Song. The awards are given out by the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America, and winners will be announced at the Boston Sings festival in April.

In the meantime, fans of vocal music can catch Countermeasure at Jazz Bistro, just off Yonge-Dundas Square, on Sunday, March 23. There are two full-length shows, a lunchtime 12:30 p.m. performance, and an evening set at 7 p.m. Admission for each is $15.

Countermeasure features 14 of Canada’s top vocal talents, and has been seen and heard at a number of jazz and vocal music festivals, as well as on CBC, Global, Rogers and CityTV’s Breakfast Television. For more on the group, visit countermeasuremusic.com. For tickets and show info visit jazzbistro.ca.


Storyteller Hugh Cotton will tell the stories of Rhiannon and Branwen from the Mabinogion at White Raven and the Goddess, on Saturday, March 29 at LucSculpture School and Studios, 663 Greenwood Ave. at Danforth.

According to Cotton, the ancient and epic tales of the Four Branches of the Mabinogion are “a pinnacle of Celtic storytelling and a treasure of Welsh culture.” He will use his storytelling skills to guide the audience through “a world of magic, seduction and violence; a place where the boundary between our world and the Otherworld is fluid and permeable, and little is what it seems.”

Cotton has entertained audiences of hundreds and an audience of one, in schools, cafés, markets and festivals. His stories come from around the globe, but recently he has a particular interest in Celtic myths.

The evening’s stories are open to adults and youth. Admission is $10, and the stories run from 8 to 10 p.m.


Trio Arkel will be appearing at Kingston Road United Church on Sunday, March 30.

Trio Arkel
Trio Arkel

The trio consists of Marie Bérard on violin, Teng Li on viola and Winona Zelenka on cello.

Bérard is concertmaster of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra. Li is principal violist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, while Zelenka is assistant principal cellist.

The concert gets underway at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $20, or free for children under 12. Proceeds go to the church’s ramp fund. Kingston Road United Church is at 975 Kingston Rd., and can be reached online at kruc.ca or by phone at 416-699-6091. Find out more at facebook.com/TrioArkel.


Peggy Baker Dance Projects presents he:she, an evening of contemporary dance and live music at the Betty Oliphant Theatre.

Peggy Baker and Shauna Ralston
Peggy Baker and Shauna Ralston

Baker, an East End dancer and choreographer, has a hand in all four works that will be presented, choreographing three and dancing in one.

Two of the pieces – Aleatoric Duet No. 2, danced by Sean Ling and Andrea Nann to an improvised score by John Kameel Farah, and stone leaf shell skin, danced by Ling, Ric Brown and Mateo Galindo Torres to music composed by Heather Schmidt and performed by cellist Shauna Rolston – will be world premieres. Baker will also perform Box, la femme au carton, a work gifted to her by choreographer Paul-André Fortier.

Performances run from March 28 to 30 and April 2 to 6, with show times at 8:30 p.m., except on Sundays, which are 4 p.m. There will be a pre-show chat with Baker 30 minutes before each performance. Tickets are $28 or $23 for seniors and students, available through peggybakerdance.com or by calling 1-800-838-3006.


Beacher Jeffrey Wetsch is making his Young People’s Theatre debut at the end of March, in Minotaur.

The play is a co-world premiere (it’s also starting simultaneous runs in England and Wales) and fuses Greek mythology with present-day drama in an adventurous tale that jumps around in time, while touching on classic and modern issues.

Jeffrey Wetsch
Jeffrey Wetsch

Minotaur tells the story of 12 year-old Freddie who receives text messages from his father, a soldier in an unnamed country. While Freddie is trying to work out what the cryptic messages mean, the Queen of Minos and an ogre appear in his backyard, and take him into the past in the role of Theseus. He is given a quest to slay the minotaur and save his father, King Aegeus. Believing this to be the only way to save his own real father, Freddie accepts the quest.

Wetsch is put to work in multiple roles in the play, acting as Freddie’s father, King Aegeus, Sinis, Minos and a pig. While Minotaur is his first YPT production, he’s no stranger to the stage, having acted in numerous plays including Jesus Chrysler at Theatre Passe Muraille, The Great Gatsby at the Grand Theatre, Mirvish’s production of Dirty Dancing and six seasons at the Stratford Festival. He’s also had television roles on Bomb Girls, Warehouse 13, Republic of Doyle, Reign and Rookie Blue.

Minotaur is written by Kevin Dyer and directed by Alan Dilworth, and is recommended for ages nine and up. The play will appear on the main stage at Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front St. E., from March 24 to April 13. Tickets start at $15. For more information and showtimes, visit youngpeoplestheatre.ca or call 416-862-2222.


Morgan’s Jazzy Sundays continue at Morgan’s on the Danforth, mixing vocal jazz with brunch every week.

Pat Murray
Pat Murray

Sunday, March 23 will see Pat Murray take the stage with Jordan O’Connor.

Murray has released four jazz albums over the past 15 years, after a life that has led her through a path that covered rock, pop and 1960s doo wop. She was born into a musical family – her mother was a singer in Montreal, while her father played guitar with Oscar Peterson and gave guitar lessons to Gordon Lightfoot (who babysat Murray as a youngster).

O’Connor is a musician and composer originally from Ottawa, now performing jazz and classical in Toronto. He has released several albums, and recently completed a work for chamber orchestra featuring accordion as the solo instrument.

On Sunday, March 30, Allyson Morris and Reg Schwager will perform.

Allyson Morris
Allyson Morris

Morris was raised in Chatham, but now makes Toronto her home. Although she began to seriously perform only over the past few years, she has been turning heads – and ears – since taking to the stage. She has worked with a number of Juno-winning artists so far in her relatively short career.

Jazzy Sundays take place from 2 to 5 p.m. at Morgan’s on the Danforth, 1280 Danforth Ave., just east of the Greenwood subway station. Visit morgansonthedanforth.com or call 416-461-3020 for more information.


Beach rapper Cale Sampson has just released the video for The Truth Is, from his most recent album The Big Picture.

The video was filmed by Jamie Doyle in Toronto, Washington, DC and a number of GTA locations. The song’s lyrics centre around Sampson’s theories on economics, big money and politics, and the lies the public believe to be the truth.

Check out the video for The Truth Is.


Relish Bar and Grill, 2152 Danforth Ave. just east of Woodbine, offers a home for live entertainment on East Danforth.

Regulars include Bentroots from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Mondays, the BTBs on Wednesdays from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Kiki’s Karaoke on Thursdays from 10 p.m. to close, the Danger Bees on Fridays from 9 p.m. to close, and the Stir It Up open mic from 9 p.m. to close on Sundays.

Other upcoming performers include Alex Vissa from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18; Joanne Morra from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, March 20; Sean Bourke from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Massey Harris from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 22; ZimZum from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 23; Jordan Glick and the Usual Suspects from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25; Julia Tynes from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, March 27; Captain Dirt and the Skirt from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 29; and Michele Verlinden from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. followed later by Pearl Motel from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 30.

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