Archive for Live Music

The Arrogant Worms

Thursday, December 19, 2019 | 8:30pm

The Arrogant Worms
$40 Advance / $45 Door *

The year was 1991.  Presumably, some significant world events occurred.  The world truly changed in the fall however, when something truly magnificent happened in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. A beacon of hope was lit and has shone brightly ever since – The Arrogant Worms. The Arrogant Worms began as a comedy troupe performing songs and sketches on campus radio. The early feedback on the live shows was clear:  lose the sketches. So the songs endured and they all remain because the band hates to throw anything out.

The songs were written to make fun of a big dumb world. Luckily, the world is still dumb and The Arrogant Worms (Mike McCormick, Chris Patterson and Trevor Strong) still have plenty to sing about. The shows are fast, furious and family friendly. The wit is quick, the satire is biting and the musicianship is second to none. Their appeal has earned them fans from kids to parents to grandparents to Princess Leia.

The Arrogant Worms have sold more than 160,000 copies of their 13 albums.  Their most recent offering is SPACE, a collection of 16 new songs released in 2014 that bravely tackles the hard issues like Local Politicians, Yoga Pants and Uncomfortable Chairs.  The band has played on three continents to crowds as large as 100,000 and were recognized in 2003 as the Touring Act of the Year by the Canadian Arts Presenters Association. The Worms have entertained at corporate functions, sung anthems at sporting events and emceed at major festivals. Their songs are in school lesson plans, in textbooks and even played on the Space Shuttle. On earth or in space, everyone digs these Worms.

The Arrogant Worms are as comfortable on the radio or on camera as they are on stage. Their energy and showmanship were captured on the DVD of their concert with the renowned Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. The DVD also features appearances by Worm pals figure skating champion Kurt Browning, astronaut Chris Hadfield and actors Tom Cavanaugh (Ed, Love Monkey) and Nathan Fillion (Castle, Firefly).

In recent years the Worms have been pleased to donate their time and talent to the cause of literacy in Canada through Frontier College and were twice awarded the Peter Gzowski Award for their efforts.

So nearly a quarter century after they began, The Arrogant Worms continue to provide tuneful and silly escapism for everyone who needs it. And if you think you don’t need it, well you’re wrong. You do. The Arrogant Worms know what’s best for you and what’s best for you is The Arrogant Worms.

*Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

The Mistletones

Wednesday, December 18, 2019 | 8:30pm

The Mistletones
$25 Advance / $30 Door *

Kick off the holiday season with The Mistletones, a 9-member a cappella group formed by John McDermott and other choristers in 1980. After years of singing together on a daily basis at St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto, this group of alumni came together, with their love of song and unique vocal blend, to continue making music.

The all-male voiced group combine a rich blend of concise and complex vocal harmonics to form a unique and well-developed vocal style. A combination of choral and jazz, they perform a mix of a few sacred songs along with some popular Christmas favourites, but not your typical Christmas carols.

The Mistletones have performed in such esteemed places as Roy Thomson Hall, Koerner Hall, the Princess of Wales Theatre and Massey Hall.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

BluesIn’ Toronto Presents: Another Bluesy Christmas

Tuesday, December 17, 2019 | 8:30pm

BluesIn’ Toronto Presents: Another Bluesy Christmas
Featuring Paul Deslauriers, Erin McCallum, Murray Kinsley and the Ghost Town Blues Band
$40 Advance / $45 Door *

As the leaves do fall and the wind doth blow, the colours red and green inevitably burrow under snow banks and a new season is hurried into our calendar. Winter is coming. Merry as the season may be, this year, Hugh’s Room Live is here to put the blues back into Christmas.

A Bluesy Christmas at Hugh’s Room Live will feature a beautiful cast of musicians and vocalists from around the city, including but not limited to Paul Deslauriers, Erin McCallum, Murray Kinsley and the Ghost Town Blues Band, all of whom will take the stage and deliver to you some of their favourite songs from Christmas past, present and future.

Escape the cold and warm up to the blues this holiday season. Tickets available right now.

Paul Deslauriers | https://www.pauldeslauriersband.com/
Paul DesLauriers is one of Canada’s elite guitarists  often featuring a formidable slide. Paul fronts one of the nation’s greatest blues bands which was twice crowned Entertainer of the Year and once Electric Act of the Year at Maple Blues Awards. In 2016 they also took 2nd place at the 32nd International Blues Challenge, the world’s largest gathering of blues acts held by The Blues Foundation in Memphis Tennessee.

Erin McCallum | http://www.erinmccallum.com/
“Longing for a female Blues singer who can digest the notes whole, spew them back, adding punch to the lyrics while stirring your animal instincts?  Somebody who dips way down and bends things to her liking, purring over the content one minute before serving it up like a five alarm fire? Then, welcome Erin McCallum.” – Eric Thom, Blues Review Magazine

Murray Kinsley | http://murraykinsley.com/
Reviewers have described Maple Blues Award-winning band Wicked Grin as stripped-down, hellaciously rockin’ new blues with the distinctive voice and guitar-work of Murray Kinsley…

Wicked Grin’s latest album “Murder Creek,” released October 2018, has earned widespread industry acclaim and was a semi-finalist for the 2019 IBC Best Self-Produced CD Award.

Ghost Town Blues Band | http://www.ghosttownbluesband.com/
Recently headlining the blues stage at The Montreal Jazz Festival, Beale Street’s latest success story, 5-time Blues Blast Music Award Nominee and International Blues Challenge Runner-up is Ghost Town Blues Band. Not your grandpa’s blues band, their live show has been captivating audiences in the U.S., Canada and Europe with their “second-line horn entrance,” cigar box guitars and electric push brooms to Allman Brothers style jams and even a hip-hop trombone player. The band’s stage show and energy is unparalleled and has been called the best new live blues show in the world.

Horns, harmonies and homegrown instruments combined with an energetic and roots rich festival set makes Ghost Town Blues Band one of the “must see live bands on the festival scene today.” Both Andrew McNeill behind the drums and Matt Karner on the bass guitar are a punishing rhythm section behind multi-instrumentalist/frontman Matt Isbell with raunchy cigar box guitar licks and raspy “Dr. John-like, whiskey and gravel-soaked vocals.” With the addition of Trombonist Suavo Jones, Cedric Taylor on B3 and Taylor Orr on lead guitar, the grooves go from fresh to funky as the band gains more notoriety in the blues festival and jam circuit. Ghost Town Blues Band has performed all across US and Canada at over 100+ festivals and will perform more than a half-dozen international tours in Canada and Europe in 2019.

“GTBB shows what can happen when the past is distilled through young sensibilities, voices, and instruments. This is 21st century blues at its best.”   -Living Blues Magazine

2019 B.B. King International Entertainer of the Year Nominee – Maple Blues Awards (Canada)
2018- #4 Billboard Blues Chart
2018 Tennessee Music Award Winner “Best Blues Band”
2018 3-Time Blues Blast Music Award Nominee

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Jack de Keyzer

Saturday, December 14, 2019 | 8:30pm

Jack de Keyzer
$25 Advance / $30 Door

“The finest blues guitarist in Canada.” – Jeff Healey

Guitarist, Singer, Songwriter Jack de Keyzer plays the blues world wide, from Alert, Arctic Circle to Puerto Escondido, Mexico; from Athens, Greece to Hornby Island, BC and many points between. One of Canada’s most awarded and  in demand live performers and session guitarists, Jack has released 10 CD’s and 1 DVD. He has also played on hundreds of recordings and live sessions with artists ranging from Etta James to Ronnie Hawkins and Bo Diddley to Blue Rodeo.  He is an exciting live performer, soulful vocalist and world class song writer and performs an average of 120 shows per year. De Keyzer has brought audiences to their feet at many major Jazz and Blues Festivals including the Montreal Jazz Fest, Blues Sur Seine (France) The Ottawa Blues Festival and Puerto Blues, (Mexico).  A much celebrated musician, de Keyzer has been nominated for the Juno (Blues Album of the Year) 5 times and won the Juno twice in 2003 and 2010. He has won 7 Maple Blues Awards (Canada’s national blues awards) , first place in the International Songwriting Competition and won CBC’s Great Canadian Blues Award from a poll of radio listeners. Always touring with an incredible band, Jack will have you rocking in your seat and swaying to his hot  blues, soulful r&b and cool soul jazz. World class.

 “If Jack de Keyzer was from Chicago, New York or LA, he’d be famous.” Bob Dylan

“Electric Love…a rock blues album with nods to guitar influences Clapton, Hendrix and Page… a disc of excellent new songs by a bluesman who should be considered their equal.” (Maple Blues) 

Two-Time Juno Award Winner 
Seven-Time Maple Blues Award Winner

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees

Dr. Draw

Thursday, December 12, 2019 | 8:30pm

Dr. Draw
$40 Advance / $45 Door *

Dr. Draw is known as the first violinist to venture from rock and classical into electronic music culture. His style is difficult to describe as his history with music and culture spans an eccentric lifetime. From playing for royalty in Prague to creating near chaos at the Toronto Beaches Jazz Festival to playing luxury brand events like Chloé and Dom Pérignon, Dr. Draw inspires kudos wherever he plays. Lately, his reputation is growing eastward. Performances have included playing in Singapore, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, and a spate of Louis Vuitton events in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and South Korea.

Performing in such frenetic locales energizes the performer time and time again, allowing him to repeatedly “creatively interact with cultures all across the world.” The result is a constantly evolving musical style that brings together the seemingly disparate elements of classical violin, jazz-rock fusion, folk, and pop into a riveting masala that feeds the soul and invigorates audiences.

“Dr. Draw stole the show with his infectious performance of high energy, piping out a mix of classical and house musical sounds from his electric violin. The show allegedly literally brought some to tears.” – Newsweekly, Boston

website: https://www.drdraw.ca
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA6xoKpbsI8

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Quartette

Sunday, December 8, 2019 | 8:30pm

Quartette
$50 Advance / $55 Door

Since their debut in 1993, the four members of Quartette have been both publicly and critically acclaimed for their lush harmonies and delightfully diverse repertoire. Cindy Church, Caitlin Hanford, Gwen Swick, and Sylvia Tyson are seasoned singer/songwriters whose influences range from blues and gospel to folk and country to jazz and pop.

The group’s first appearance, a showcase of Canadian women songwriters, took place at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre. What began as a “songwriter in the round” concert of musical friends grew into an inspired collaboration. This initial performance generated an appearance on CBC Radio’s Morningside with host Peter Gzowski. The phones began to ring with requests for a recording, and seven months later in April of 1994, the self-titled album, “Quartette,” was released to rave reviews. This was followed by coast-to-coast tours of theatres, folk festivals, performances with symphony orchestras, and live appearances on radio, including two appearances on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion.

In 1995 a second album, “Work of the Heart ,” was released and, following this, CBC’s Adrienne Clarkson Presents profiled the group in an hour-long special.

With the untimely death of original member, Colleen Peterson, in 1996, Quartette elected to continue performing, and welcomed another musical friend, Gwen Swick, to the group. Gwen’s skills as a songwriter and vocal arranger carried the group to a new level as they prepared to record once again, and the result was “In The Beauty Of The Day,” released in 1998.

Quartette has received several Juno nominations, won a Canadian Country Music Award for best vocal collaboration, performed with major symphony orchestras across Canada, and recorded the CMT-TV special, “A Quartette Christmas.” They have also released two Christmas CDs, “It’s Christmas!” in 1996, and “I See A Star” in 2002, both of which are collections of traditional and original Christmas songs, and their Christmas shows have become a tradition with audiences across the country.

Quartette continues to tour and record. In October of 2007, they released their sixth recording, “Down At The Fair,” produced by legendary guitarist, arranger and producer Colin Linden.

An evening with Quartette is always a magical musical journey.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees

Carlos del Junco

Saturday, December 7, 2019 | 8:30pm

Carlos del Junco
$30 Advance / $35 Door *

It’s probably a good thing Carlos wasn’t there when the harmonica appeared in North America in the 1860s. Neil Young and Bob Dylan can probably roll with it when he says they are very mediocre harmonica players. Aspiring harmonica players Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid might have overreacted and pulled out their pistols…

To say that Carlos is just a harmonica player is like saying Jimi Hendrix was just a guitar player. He blows the blues harp through a prism — suddenly it seems he’s holding every color in the musical rainbow right there in his hands.

Simultaneously sophisticated and raw, his playing blurs the boundaries between blues and jazz (hence the name for his band “The Blues Mongrels”). The emphasis is on blues, but Carlos and his band are not afraid to merrily traipse off in other directions delivering a seamless fusion of New Orleans second line grooves, swing, Latin, hip-hop or ska melodies, to swampy roots rock.

Born in Havana, Cuba, del Junco (loosely translated “of the reeds”) immigrated with his family at the age of one. He bent his first note on a harmonica when he was fourteen, making his debut with his high school math teacher at a student talent night. In his early 20’s del Junco was immersed in a visual arts career; he graduated with honours from a four year programme, majoring in sculpture (click here to see photos) at the Ontario College of Art. Sculpture has definitely had an influence on his outlook on music: “Music is just a different way of creating textures and shapes.”

Playing a ten hole diatonic harmonica, Carlos has developed the unique ability to play chromatically by using a recently developed “overblow” technique taught to him by jazz virtuoso Howard Levy. Overall, this approach to the diatonic harmonica, although much more difficult to achieve, is in many ways more expressive and communicative than the mechanized tone produced by the chromatic harmonica . Carlos is one of the few pioneers of this overblow method, bringing musical credibility to what has still been considered by many in the music industry – a fringe folk instrument. The sophisticated sound produced by del Junco is at once sensitive, soulful, and sexy while never forgetting the rawness inherent in blues music.

website: https://www.carlosdeljunco.com
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9PP3Fv4aBs

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Patricia O’Callaghan  

Saturday, December 4th, 2019 | 8:00pm

Patricia O’Callaghan  
$35 Advance / $40 Door *

Patricia O’Callaghan is something of a wandering minstrel. Her fifteen-year career has taken her across genres, continents, and a range of disciplines and passions.

Her recording career spans six solo CDs and many interesting guest collaborations. A speaker of French, Spanish, and German, her early recordings focused on European cabaret, and she is considered a specialist in the music of Kurt Weill. Patricia has performed his Threepenny Opera, Seven Deadly Sins, and Kleine Mahagonny with Soulpepper Theatre Company, Edmonton Opera, and Vancouver Opera, to name a few.

This Toronto soprano can sing a 100-year-old German tune so lustily that you almost don’t need a translation to know that someone’s about to get his throat cut or get laid or both. The National Post

One of Patricia’s most unique talents is the ability to blend a variety of languages and musical genres seamlessly together in her concerts, and completely embody whatever style she is singing at any given moment.

O’Callaghan sings her diverse material as if it was always meant to go side-by-side and by the end of the evening, it’s easy to believe her. Chart Attack Magazine

She has sung with some of the world’s great ensembles and artists (Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Don Byron Quartet, Bryn Terfel), and has performed in venues that range from London’s Royal Opera House to New York’s Noho cabaret Le Poisson Rouge.

Patricia also writes and co-writes songs and has had the honor of premiering many new compositions, from both the classical and pop worlds. It has been her great privilege to work with such creators as R. Murray Schafer, David Braid, Dennis Lee, Christos Hatzis, George Aperghis, Steve Reich, and Steven Page, to name a few.

Patricia’s film, theatre and television credits include her own Bravo! special, The CBC produced Ken Finkleman series Foolish Heart, and the semi autobiographical Rhombus / Westwind film Youkali Hotel, which has won several prizes, including a Golden Sheaf Award to Patricia for best female performance. Ms. O’Callaghan has also received other awards, such as a Chalmer’s Grant from the Ontario Arts Council and a Fleck Fellowship from The Banff Centre for the Arts.

She recently completed a six year stint as a Resident Artist at Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre Company. Her responsibilities there included conducting, teaching, mentoring young artists, producing, curating and performing in festivals, and developing new work.

Recent projects are Broken Hearts and Madmen; a collaboration with The Gryphon Trio, which blends classical music with traditional songs from Latin America and pop songs from around the world…

“Broken Hearts and Madmen is an exquisite piece of work. The result is absolutely breathtaking in its attention to detail, with every note carved from their love of the songs…” – Vivascene and Matador: The Songs of Leonard Cohen

A truly exceptional blend of natural expressiveness and masterful coloration, her tender versions of Cohen’s “Take this Waltz” and “Hallelujah” are revelatory. – Billboard Magazine

She’s one of the best singers ever to come out of Canada. – Vivascene

website: http://www.patricia-ocallaghan.com/
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7QLtMHOiqw


* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.

Leahy

Saturday, November 30, 2019 | 8:30pm

Leahy
$30 Advance / $35 Door

Over the course of their notable career, Canadian group Leahy has secured a place as one of the country’s most highly regarded progressive folk-roots bands.  Their emergence on the Canadian music scene in the late 1990’s with their chart-topping instrumental single “Call to Dance”, introduced audiences to a new way of accessing a uniquely Canadian music genre.  The “Leahy sound” – a combination of strong stride piano, unique bass guitar and drumming styles along with driving rhythm guitar – was the foundation from which wildly talented fiddle led instrumentals and vocals were launched to mainstream music listeners.  Leahy would go on to win three Juno awards and receive countless accolades for their dynamic and powerful performances.

To date Leahy has sold more than half a million albums worldwide. They have been featured in three PBS television specials – Leahy Live in Concert, Gael Force (with the Chieftains), and Leahy Live from Gatineau, Quebec – and are the subject of an Academy Award winning documentary, The Leahys: Music Most of All.  As well as touring extensively throughout Canada, the USA and Europe in support of three acclaimed records – Leahy, Lakefield, and In All Things – the band had the enviable opportunity of opening for fellow Canadian, Shania Twain, throughout the USA, Canada and the UK on her record-breaking Come On Over tour.

Since early 2017 Leahy has been back in the studio recording new music.  The focus is on songs and the band’s original songwriting and instrumental compositions.  The result is a wide-ranging collection that reflects the individual personalities that make up Leahy.  Built on their roots and the distinctive “Leahy sound”, their new material reveals the band’s drive to continue pushing beyond its traditional footings.  It’s a powerful record that delivers a sumptuous feast of solid music, pulse-raising rhythms, compelling storytelling and infectious melodies.

On the edge of a new chapter in their career, some things don’t change – the experience.  An encounter with Leahy is inimitable. Performances are full of energy, big rich sound, poignant songs, fiery instrumentals and percussive step-dancing – all delivered with unapologetic passion! In one word – unforgettable.

 

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees

Leahy

Friday, November 29, 2019 | 8:30pm

Leahy
$30 Advance / $35 Door

Over the course of their notable career, Canadian group Leahy has secured a place as one of the country’s most highly regarded progressive folk-roots bands.  Their emergence on the Canadian music scene in the late 1990’s with their chart-topping instrumental single “Call to Dance”, introduced audiences to a new way of accessing a uniquely Canadian music genre.  The “Leahy sound” – a combination of strong stride piano, unique bass guitar and drumming styles along with driving rhythm guitar – was the foundation from which wildly talented fiddle led instrumentals and vocals were launched to mainstream music listeners.  Leahy would go on to win three Juno awards and receive countless accolades for their dynamic and powerful performances.

To date Leahy has sold more than half a million albums worldwide. They have been featured in three PBS television specials – Leahy Live in Concert, Gael Force (with the Chieftains), and Leahy Live from Gatineau, Quebec – and are the subject of an Academy Award winning documentary, The Leahys: Music Most of All.  As well as touring extensively throughout Canada, the USA and Europe in support of three acclaimed records – Leahy, Lakefield, and In All Things – the band had the enviable opportunity of opening for fellow Canadian, Shania Twain, throughout the USA, Canada and the UK on her record-breaking Come On Over tour.

Since early 2017 Leahy has been back in the studio recording new music.  The focus is on songs and the band’s original songwriting and instrumental compositions.  The result is a wide-ranging collection that reflects the individual personalities that make up Leahy.  Built on their roots and the distinctive “Leahy sound”, their new material reveals the band’s drive to continue pushing beyond its traditional footings.  It’s a powerful record that delivers a sumptuous feast of solid music, pulse-raising rhythms, compelling storytelling and infectious melodies.

On the edge of a new chapter in their career, some things don’t change – the experience.  An encounter with Leahy is inimitable. Performances are full of energy, big rich sound, poignant songs, fiery instrumentals and percussive step-dancing – all delivered with unapologetic passion! In one word – unforgettable.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees