p8_joshgrossman1choiceREMEMBER THAT ANCIENT Wendy’s TV commercial when a pugnacious senior loudly screeched ‘Where’s The Beef’ at a rival hamburger? You might just get a similar reaction from some Hogtowners and visitors consulting this year’s Toronto Jazz Festival program, one celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Even though there’s excellent jazz to be heard at this festival, there could be shrieks of ‘Where’s The Jazz?’ if they’re just looking at the lineup in what’s always been Festival HQ, the big tent.

Read more: REFLECTIONS Toronto Jazz Festival at 25 Years

p7_heavyweights1FIVE MIGHTILY AMBITIOUS twenty-somethings make up The Heavyweights Brass Band: Rob Teehan on sousaphone, Paul Metcalfe on sax, Jon Challoner on trumpet, Chris Butcher on trombone and Lowell Whitty on drums. Barely 18 months old, the band is psyched to make a splash at this year’s TD Toronto Jazz Festival, with a main stage show on Canada Day and a CD Release event at The Rex Hotel Jazz & Blues Bar on July 3. Aside from their cordless instruments that harken back to a New Orleans of yesteryear, what’s all the fuss about? Drumroll, please. It’s the repertoire they arrange, from Lady Gaga and Beyoncé to Michael Jackson and Justin Bieber. GASP! Can a group that covers Gaga and the Biebs be a legitimate jazz band?

Read more: Heavyweights Hit David Pecaut Square

ELLIE SKROW, special events curator of the Toronto Jewish Film Festival (TJFF) has a real knack for coming up with a creative, plausible theme that then gives her an excuse to pull together a program of events containing an astonishingly diverse and seemingly unconnected array of material.

50rLast year’s theme was “People of the Comics” – based on the observation that a disproportionate number of the people involved in the emergence of the comic book as a significant cultural object were Jewish. It made for a really entertaining perspective, overall much more rewarding than just trotting off to disconnected show after show, which is what some film festivals (or music festivals for that matter) can be.

So what do you do for an encore after a brainwave like that? Well if you’re Skrow, you notice that three well-known people in the arts, who interest you for very different reasons, not only all happen to be Jewish but also share the same first name. Just like that, “The Three Lennys” – this year’s TJFF Skrow special – is born.

Unlike last year’s theme which would have been of particular interest only to readers of The WholeNote who were also movie or comic book fans, this year’s event directly ties in with what we are all about. Lenny Bruce is maybe the least obvious musical tie-in. But if you think about it, he sure knew how to scat, in a manner of speaking, and it was in the very clubs in which the “devil’s music” found its home that he found his. As for Bernstein and Cohen, what better time to view them through the same lens, especially in the year that the Glenn Gould Foundation, formerly a bastion of classical taste, has broadened its criteria to honour Cohen as its laureate?

In any case, we thought it worthwhile to bring the event to your attention. As you know from a well-programmed concert, sometimes it is from the seeming incongruity of the programmed pieces that the most interesting perspectives arise.

MIND YOU, YOU COULD SAY the same about the range of content in the section of our listings that we call “The ETCeteras.”

Just looking at the headings gives a clue to the variety: Galas and Fundraisers; Competitions and Scholarships; Screenings; Lectures/Symposia; Masterclasses; Workshops; Announcements … etcetera!

As diverse as the headings themselves are, the range of activities and opportunities captured under each heading is even more astonishing: Annual Booksale Fundraiser; The 2011 MARTY Awards; a Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Fundraiser; Choral Composition Competition; … The Lives and Loves of King Edward VII. You get my point.

What they all have in common, despite their diversity (or perhaps because of it), is that they afford wonderful opportunities, beyond going to concerts, to live an even better-rounded musical life.

We urge you to explore and sample the range of material covered here. And we invite you, having done so, to bring to our attention (by e-mail to etc@thewholenote.com) future events and opportunities of similar musical significance.

Taste and enjoy.

—David Perlman

9_organ_The current organ at St. Thomas’s is a Guilbaud-Thérien Inc. rebuild of the Church’s 1911/1955 3-manual, 45-stop Casavant (Opus 459) and the church’s original 1891 S.R. Warren 2-manual, 23 stop organ. Guilbaut-Thérien, Inc., Opus 37, 1991 has an electrified console and rebuilt organ with 60% new pipes (61 in all), and new windchests and casework …

It is one thing to convince a congregation that they should buy a new organ, and sometimes a more difficult thing to obtain approval for the removal of a carpet. St. Thomas’s  …  made a great advance in 1991, both musically and acoustically. The organ is a large eclectic instrument with attractive casework employing polished tin speaking principal pipes … The great organ speaks into the south transept, the Choir into the choir area, and the Swell is double decked in the north east corner of the Organ surrounded by Pedal pipes.

—Excerpted from Organs of Toronto, Alan Jackson & James Bailey, Royal Canadian College of Organists, Toronto Centre, 2002

“And therefore take the present time …”

8JOHN TUTTLE POSSESSES a great and generous sense of timing. One of this city’s most successful and well-loved classical musicians, Tuttle has had a long list of jobs and employers throughout his career as one the country’s great organists, most dedicated church musicians and most efficient and humble choir conductors. These include St. Paul’s Anglican Church, the Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus, the University of Toronto (as University Organist, organ teacher, conductor of the Hart House Chorus and Organist and Choirmaster of Trinity College Chapel), St. Thomas’s Huron Street and the Exultate Chamber Singers.

Over each of the past thirty years, Tuttle’s range of activities has been wide and varied, but the constant has been Exultate. Founded by Tuttle in 1981 as an outlet for students of the university’s Faculty of Music to sing for fun, Exultate has grown into one of the most well-respected, disciplined and classy chamber choirs around. Tuttle announced at the beginning of last season that the choir’s 2010-2011 30th anniversary season would be his last at the helm and he conducts his final concert with them on Friday May 13 at Grace Church on-the-Hill.

Read more: The Music Comes First John Tuttle and the Exultate Chamber Singers
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