While many music presenters celebrate the close of their concert seasons, others are just starting up. And with the arrival of warmer weather, it’s nice to know that there is at least one outdoor venue offering a series of free concerts. The Toronto Music Garden (475 Queens Quay West) is in its tenth year of presenting concerts on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons, running June 28 to September 20. Glancing at the schedule of events (curated by artistic director Tamara Bernstein), it’s interesting to see the way in which “world music” has seeped into the fabric of general concert programming, without necessarily being labelled as such. Perhaps we’ve become less self-conscious of our own multiculturalism, something we increasingly take for granted in the “global village” that is our city.
Global village: Muhtadi International Drum Festival, June 6,7
The first Music Garden concert will feature cellist Shauna Rolston and cello students from U of T’s Faculty of Music in works by Elgar, Massenet and others; the concert will open with a piece titled Calling from Different Directions by native-Canadian composer Barbara Croall, who will also play cedar flutes and First Nations drum, with Anita McAlister (trumpet and conch shell). The next concert, July 2, features Samulnori!, a traditional Korean drumming and dance ensemble from Toronto. Stay tuned for more in our July/August issue, or visit www.harbourfrontcentre.com/torontomusicgarden for the full schedule.
Another free concert series, presented by the Canadian Opera Company, is the noon-hour series at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, also known as a venue for “world music” events. June 9 come and hear “A Celebration of World Drumming” with Taiko drums and other percussion instruments, featuring both the OnnanoKo and Torq percussion ensembles. Yet another free lunchtime concert series, Music on the Hill, presents the Yiddish Swingtet with Jonno Lightstone (winds), Tony Quarrington (guitar/mandolin) and Jordan Klapman (piano), June 19 at St. John’s York Mills Church.
Small World Music has one concert left in its Sounds of Persia series, June 5 at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. Classical Persian vocalist Homayoun Shajarian performs with the Dastan Ensemble, a five-member Persian classical instrumental ensemble. Also presented by Small World, singer-songwriter Joanna Moon celebrates the release of her first CD, June 17 at the Lula Lounge. Inspired by Spanish flamenco artists, she sings in French and Spanish with instrumental accompaniment. As well, the Swar Sadhana Music Lovers Club presents the final round of its Indian vocal music competition, July 4 at the Rose Theatre in Brampton.
Last but not least, the Canadian Folk Music Awards announces its call for submissions; the awards ceremony will take place November 21 at the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Québec. The deadline for submissions is July 3 and forms and eligibility guidelines can be found at www.folkawards.ca