Acoustic Harvest is ringing in the New Year with its Pre-Winterfolk Festival Showcase, featuring an impressive lineup of talent.
Brian Gladstone has been part of Canada’s roots music scene for more than three decades, and has played close to 1,000 shows in the last 10 years alone. His five albums have been well-received, and his non-profit Association of Artists for a Better World has produced eight albums and numerous concerts in support of worthy causes.
Tony Quarrington has been part of Toronto’s music scene for more than 40 years, making his first appearance at the Mariposa Folk Festival in 1966. Hundreds of artists have enlisted him as sideman on both stages and recordings, and Quarrington has also worked extensively as a producer. Though he’s best known as a guitarist, he’s also a prolific songwriter.
Montreal native and Toronto resident Noah Zacharin began performing with his guitar at 14 and hasn’t looked back. His albums have earned praise, and the multi-talented Zacharin is also a prize-winning poet, with published poems, translations, and reviews worldwide.
Lynn Harrison has found success in numerous songwriting contests, and has released several albums since her first, Lynoleum, in 2001. The Dallas-born, Winnipeg-raised Toronto resident was songwriter in residence at CIUT 89.5 fm from 2006 to 2009.
Clela Errington and her daughter Jocelyn Barth, Beach-area residents, mix influences ranging from folk to jazz to world music. The duo are known for a wide vocal range and improvisation.
Fraser & Girard consists of the critically acclaimed songwriter Allan Fraser, half of the duo Fraser & DeBolt, and London, Ontario native Marianne Girard.
Meg Tennant was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, but lived on the West Coast, immersing herself in BC’s vibrant folk music scene before recently returning to Ontario.
The show takes place on Saturday, Jan. 17 at Robinson Hall, St. Nicholas Anglican Church, 1512 Kingston Rd. just east of Warden. Tickets are $25 or $22 in advance, and doors open at 7:30 p.m.
Scarborough Players presents The Incredible Murder of Cardinal Tosca, on now through Jan. 24.
The play, by Walter Learning and Alden Nowlan, should appeal to fans of Sherlock Holmes in any of the fictional detective’s recent or historic incarnations. The story involves Holmes working on the case of the sudden death of a prominent cardinal, with the fate of Europe at stake.
Scarborough Players is one of the longest-running community theatre groups in the country, producing plays in Scarborough for 56 years. The Incredible Murder of Cardinal Tosca takes place at the Scarborough Village Theatre, 3600 Kingston Rd. at Markham Road.
Tickets are $20, with a $3 discount for students and seniors. A special audience talk back session will be held with the cast and crew after the performance on Thursday, Jan. 22. For tickets call the box office at 416-267-9292.
East End vocalist Kristin Lindell is a firm believer in the uplifting power of music, and she hopes to share that passion with aspiring vocalists.
Lindell teaches privately, but also teaches a group singing course at Centennial College’s Story Arts Centre, at Carlaw and Mortimer Avenues in East York.
The course, called Raise Your Voice, covers contemporary music from pop to the blues. The supportive group setting enables participants to develop confidence in their singing, and covers breath control, vocal techniques, and voice projection. Raise Your Voice runs weekly on either Wednesdays or Saturdays, starting on Jan. 14 or 17.
Lindell performs her acoustic-based roots music regularly, and her most recent album is called Overflowing.
The Bleeding Lights will be hitting the stage at the Phoenix Concert Theatre downtown on Friday, Jan. 23. The show features five rising bands as part of a series hosted by 94.9 The Rock FM and Canadian Music Magazine.
The hard rock group worked with Crash Karma and former Our Lady Peace guitarist and producer Mike Turner to record their album in Leslieville, and Tenth Planet, the previous incarnation of the group, worked with Tea Party frontman Jeff Martin in his Beach studio. Bleeding Lights frontman Owen Kelly is intent on celebrating the Beach and East End roots of the band.
The Phoenix is at 410 Sherbourne Street, and tickets to the show are $10.
Pocket Concerts, a series of chamber music performances in private homes, is coming to the Upper Beach.
Tim and Nadia Dunn and their family are hosting a performance by four musicians from the National Ballet and Opera orchestras on Saturday, Jan. 24. Only 30 tickets are available for this rare opportunity to see an intimate performance by some of the country’s finest musicians.
On the bill are Les Allt, flute, Cordelia Paw, violin, Rory McLeod, viola, and Rachel Desoer, cello. Included in the ticket price is a hearty home-cooked meal, and proceeds go directly to the performers.
Tickets are $40 for general admission, $25 for those age 19 to 35, or $12 for age 18 and under.
The Jay Snider Band, led by Beach resident Jay Snider, will be playing its first local show at Castro’s on Sunday, Jan. 25.
Snider covers vocals and guitar, and is backed up by Kelly O’Neill on guitar, Paul Anand on bass, Jules Terpstra on keys, and Evan Wright on drums. The band is just finishing up its second album with local producer João Carvalho at his Leslieville studio.
The Castro’s show gets underway at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 25. If you miss that one, the group will be playing the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 17.
Jazz drummer Greg Pilo’s regular gig at the Salty Dog, 1980 Queen St. E., has been promoted to a weekly event.
Every Tuesday night from 7 to 10 p.m., Pilo is joined for a free showcase by some of the city’s finest jazz players.
Jan. 20 will highlight women in jazz, with Alison Young on saxophone, Stacie MacGregor on piano and Neil Swainson covering bass duties.
On Jan. 27, Pilo will be joined by bassist Clark Johnston, pianist Eric Boucher, and saxophonist Shawn Nyquist.
Jazzy Sundays continue each week at Morgan’s on the Danforth, 1282 Danforth Ave. near the Greenwood subway station. The shows run from 2 to 5 p.m., with no cover charge.
Henry Heillig and Eric St. Laurent will play on Jan. 18, and Lisa Particelli will bring her ‘Girls Night Out East’ jazz jam (“where gentlemen are welcome too”) back to the stage on Jan. 25.
Café chez Hélène is hosting a couple shows this week.
On Wednesday, Jan. 14, Sandra Taylor will sing and play piano at 7 p.m. Her watercolour paintings will also be on display.
On Saturday, Jan. 17, a sing-along of Israel’s songs by Nissan will be held at 7 p.m.
Café chez Hélène is at 1437 Kingston Rd. in Birch Cliff Village.