Beach soprano Julia Dawson is taking time out of her busy schedule to perform a special benefit concert June 3, at 8 p.m., at Kingston Road United Church, 975 Kingston Rd. Accompanying Dawson is pianist Jenna Douglas.
Dawson recently graduated from the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio where she won the Earnest Hatch Wilkins Memorial Prize. She also performed regularly with the Oberlin Opera Theatre in such popular works as Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte and The Magic Flute. She appeared in part of a Master Class with legendary conductor James Levine at Carnegie Hall. This summer she is off to California to perform the lead in The Barber of Seville in Marilyn Horne’s Music Academy of the West. Following that she will continue her studies in the Masters of Music Program at Rice University in Texas.
Jenna Douglas is a vocal coach at Oberlin Conservatory who will be joining the Canadian Opera Company Young Artist Program this fall.
This concert will be an excellent opportunity to catch a rising star in the world of opera, while supporting a good cause. Proceeds will be going to the Raise the Roof Campaign at Kingston Road United Church. Tickets are $20 at the door. For more information call 416-699-6091.
It’s been said that you can’t go home again. But if ‘home’ really wants you, it will bring you back. This is exactly what Malvern Collegiate has done with Down With Webster. The band will be performing at the school’s prom night thanks to the combined efforts of Malvern students to win a contest.
Down With Webster, the local hip hop band that has enjoyed a great deal of success of late (they recently played Massey Hall, and were part of the JUNO Award ceremonies at the Air Canada Centre), donated their talents to a contest sponsored by Colleges Ontario called Colleges Sound Great. The Ontario high school that best answered the question “why colleges sound like a great idea” would win a concert by the band at the school’s prom night.
More than 80 Ontario high schools entered. Malvern’s winning entry included a video submission set to Down With Webster’s song, Time To Win, that “describes the excellent quality of post secondary education provided at Ontario’s 24 colleges.”
“We received many excellent submissions from students across the province,” said Linda Franklin, the President and CEO of Colleges Ontario. “We congratulate Malvern Collegiate on this great addition to their upcoming prom.”
The final Jazz Vespers of the season will be held June 4 at 4:40 p.m., at Beach United Church, 140 Wineva. The performers at this service will be Mike Murley and David Occhipinti, and they have chosen the theme ‘dialogue’.
David Occhipinti is one of the city’s most sought-after jazz guitarists. His four CDs highlight his playing as well as his composing abilities, and he has performed in Canada, the US and in Europe. He is also on the staff at Humber College in the Jazz Department, and at the University of Toronto in its Jazz Department. For more information visit www.davidocchipinti.com.
Mike Murley is one of the city’s leading jazz saxophonists. His Two Sides CD won a Juno Award in 1991, and he captured another for his Live at the Senator CD with Ed Bickert and Steve Wallace in 2002. He is teaching as well at York University and the University of Toronto.
Occhipinti and Murley got together in 1999, and recorded two CDs, Duologue and Duologue, Vol. 2.
For more information call Beach United Church at 416-691-8082, or visit www.beachunitedchurch.com.
Ten Feet Tall, 1381 Danforth Ave., continues bringing some of the city’s finest jazz to the East End when it hosts Thyron Lee Whyte and Ken Fornetran, June 4, as part of its Saturday Jazz Cabaret Series. Singer-songwriter Whyte will be accompanied by saxophonist Fornetran.
The following Saturday, June 11 will see Clela Errington take the stage. Clela’s relaxed, easy vocals will capture you whether she’s singing jazz standards, or her own compositions.
Then the ever-popular Sunday Jazz Matinees continue with the Steve Koven Trio on June 5 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Koven is one of the Ten Feet Tall regulars bringing his popular jazz stylings to the packed house.
Koven is followed on June 12 by Whitney Ross Barris and Shannon Butcher. Both Barris and Butcher are up and coming jazz artists in their own right. Together they present a dynamic duo that is sure to rock the joint.
And don’t forget that every Thursday night is the East End Jazz Jam with host Brendan Davis at 8 p.m. Bring a chart and sit in with an amazingly talented group of players. Singers are welcome, and encouraged!
For more information call Ten Feet Tall at 416-778-7333, or visit www.tenfeettall.ca.
The Toronto fingerstyle Guitar Association hosts it regular open stage every two weeks – also at Ten Feet Tall, 1391 Danforth. The next open stage will be held June 7, from 8 to 11:30 p.m. Bring your guitar to share and learn from other fingerstyle players. There is no feature set – just an open stage.
For more information contact Dunstan Morey at 416-785-9903, or at www.fingerstyleguitar.ca.
The Grinder Coffee House, 126 Main St., just south of Gerrard, features Sunday afternoon acoustic performances beginning at 1 p.m. Upcoming acts are The Lonesome Smile Singers on June 5, and my old friend, Bill Harrison, on June 12.
The Grinder is also planning to have some jazz on Thursday evenings beginning at 6 p.m. For more information call The Grinder at 416-901-0290.