The renowned Sultans of String will be joined by acclaimed sitar master Anwar Khurshid for the first instalment of the newly-branded Kingston Road Village Concert Series.
The Sultans are led by Beach resident Chris McKhool, whose mixed background informs the band’s penchant for mixing Middle Eastern, Gaelic and other musical heritages in the band’s melting pot of world gypsy jazz.
Khurshid may be best known from his work on the Oscar-winning film Life of Pi, though he too has a long history of blending musical styles from around the world into his own expanding repertoire.
Both are excited to perform together, in a unique pairing as likely to have listeners attentive to cultural influence as on their feet dancing.
The show is partially a fundraiser for the venue, Kingston Road United Church, which needs funds to upgrade accessibility. There are also plans for a proper stage for the church – currently musical acts perform on a stage built on a base of stacked milk crates.
The Sultans of String with Anwar Khurshid takes place Sunday, May 4, starting at 1:30 p.m., at Kingston Road United Church, 975 Kingston Rd. Tickets are $20 from the church at 416-699-6091, or through smallworldmusic.com/shows. For more on the performers, visit sultansofstring.com and anwarkhurshid.com.
Jim Clayton, who has been called “the new Vince Guaraldi,” will be leading the final Music for the Soul: Beach Jazz and Reflection at Beach United Church on Saturday, May 3.
Joining East End resident Clayton will be drummer David Peters and bassist Peter Telford. The theme of the show is also the title of his most recent album, Songs My Daughter Knows.
Clayton’s previous outfit, The Clayton/Scott Group, won awards and had its music played internationally on radio, in film and on television. He spent a decade as the music director for theatre company The Second City.
Beach Jazz and Reflection starts at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 3 at Beach United Church, 140 Wineva Ave. There is no charge, but a freewill offering will be collected. For more on Clayton, visit songsmydaughterknows.com.
Beach dancer Loulou Calce is one of the dancers appearing in Follow Your Heart, a dance and theatre production running from May 8 to 11 at Harbourfront Centre’s Fleck Dance Theatre.
The show features a cast of more than 40 artists from numerous nationalities, and mixes dance styles from belly dance to jazz to hip hop.
Calce is a dancer and dance instructor who has trained extensively both at home and in Spain, and has performed in Canada and internationally as a soloist and former lead dancer of the Arabesque Dance Company.
The story follows Almaza, a modern Middle Eastern woman in Toronto, in love with a traditional man named Jivan. Producers promise “a love story of taboo and tradition.”
Follow Your Heart runs from Thursday, May 8 to Saturday, May 10 at 8 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, May 11. Tickets are $35 and up, with discounts for students, seniors and groups. For tickets or information, visit evolutiondt.ca or call 416-973-4000.
Countermeasure is a 14-piece a capella group co-founded by Beacher John-Michael Erlendson four years ago, and led by composer and arranger Aaron Jensen. The group was recognized as the runner-up for album of the year at the recent Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards.
The group’s debut album, 14 Characters, marked the only Canadian content of this year’s awards. The album covers a number of styles ranging from pop to jazz, including songs from the Beatles, Carole King, Madonna, Queen, D’Angelo and more.
For more information on the group, visit countermeasuremusic.com.