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Carl Lorusso Jr. "100 Broken Words" Release Party

Free Times Café (320 College Street)
Carl Lorusso Jr. (guitar/voice), Noah Zacharin (guitar/voice)

Noah Zacharin
Noah Zacharin was born in Montreal and resides in Toronto. He was given his first guitar at age 9, wrote his first song at 13, began performing at 14, and is happy to say that he still loves playing music. He has been called "a wonderful songwriter and performer, and stunning guitarist" (Paul Mills, Borealis Records, Producer (Stan Rogers, Oscar Peterson), a "wonderful, adventurous guitarist" (Blues Bytes), "a poet, a songwriter, a singer we have been waiting for" (Penny Lang), "a great guitarist/singer/songwriter...a wonderfully musical player" (Randy Finney, President and Founder Toronto Fingerstyle Guitarist's Association), "in a league of his own" (Brian Gladstone, AD Winterfolk Festival), "one of the best songwriters this country has produced" (the late great Rick Fielding, recording artist, radio host) and "deserving to be mentioned in the same breath with names such as James Taylor and David Wilcox" (Minor 7th).

Zacharin's recordings have garnered praise from fans and critics alike. silence spoken here (1997) was called "an understated classic...musical versatility and lyrical depth" (Xpress-Ottawa); Scene Roots and Blues dubbed aLIVE! (2000) "a real gem"; and a review of crow dark wind (2001) in Minor 7th elicited the following: "like Bruce Cockburn, Ry Cooder, and Bonnie Raitt, Noah Zacharin possesses a virtuoso command of the guitar...world-wise songwriting."


Facebook Event | More About Carl Lorusso Jr.

Sunday, March 26th

Sunday, March 26th

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Jewish Brunch Buffet with Gloria Valentine & Nina Shapilsky

Free Times Café (320 College Street)
Gloria Valentine (voice), Nina Shapilsky (piano)

Live music as part of the "Bella did you eat" Sunday brunch.
1st seating - Reserve between 10:30 – 11am, music at 11:45
2nd seating - Reserve at 1:15pm Club (1:00 Bistro), music at 1:45

Buffet includes over 50 Homemade Items - Potato latkes, blintzes, lox eggs & onions, challah, french toast, sour cream, apple sauce, bagels, lox & cream cheese mix, salmon patties, gelfilte fish, cheese, salads galore, fresh fruit, cheeses, cakes, sweets, tea, coffee and much more! Children 12 and under 1/2 price, 3 and under free.

Gloria Valentine
Gloria is a multi-faceted actress and singer specializing in Yiddish songs who has been entertaining audiences for many years. She has performed across Canada, in the US and in Israel, in concert, in clubs and in cabaret shows. Gloria has acted in TV, film and theatre. Selected credits include Kojak on television, The Children's Hour on stage and Tony and Tina's Wedding for six and a half years for The Second City. She performs her cabaret show, Bella Did Ya Eat, once a month at Free Times Café as well as other venues.

Nina Shapilsky
Nina Shapilsky is an award-winning concert pianist and composer. A talented and versatile musician and composer with improvisations from classical through folk to pop and jazz.

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Monk's Music

The Emmet Ray (924 College Street)
Michael Davidson (vibraphone)

Michael Davidson
Michael Davidson is a Toronto-based vibraphonist in the improvised, jazz, and creative music scene.

He works with many of the active jazz and improvised music players in Toronto including: David Occhipinti, Nick Fraser, Brodie West, Ryan Driver, Rob Clutton, David French, Harley Card, Andrew Downing, Alex Goodman, Jim Vivian, Darren Sigesmund, Ethan Ardelli, Fabio Ragnelli, Felicity Williams, Dan Fortin, Jon Maharaj, Allison Au, Rebecca Hennessy, David Braid, and Michael Herring.

Michael leads a chamber jazz septet with cello, voice, bass clarinet, vibraphone, alto sax, double bass, and drums, which is his main compositional outlet.

He also co-leads the chamber jazz quartet Hobson's Choice, who in the words of CBC's The Signal host Laurie Brown,

"...has made a unique contribution to the Canadian scene with their debut album (of the waves). Just when I think I have the sound pegged, they switch things up."

Michael approaches improvising with passion and stunning sensitivity, as well as Monk-like wit. He is an active composer in the realm of jazz, and his inventive compositions are featured in The Michael Davidson Septet, and Hobson's Choice.

He has been composing seriously since 2001 and has received funding from The TAC, The OAC, and The CCFTA for his original projects. Recently, Michael composed and recorded a film score for the BravoFact film, "She Sings for Me."

His compositions have received praise from esteemed Canadian jazz drummer/ composer Barry Elmes,

"Not only are his songs creative and well crafted, each one has a story to tell."

Michael is also a devoted educator through his work at Humber College in the jazz program.

You can hear Michael playing around Toronto with The Michael Davidson Septet, Hobson's Choice, Pocket Camera, Monk's Music, The Dan Fortin Quartet, Bedroom, df md df trio, Ben Gunning, and Ryan Driver. These ensembles represent the diversity of Michael's musical interests, spanning from contemporary jazz to chamber to improvised. Both his original material and his interpretation of standard repertoire are evocative and communicative with the intensity of someone who, while madly in love with the tradition, has something new to say.

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New Music Concert Fundraiser: Gyorgy Kurtag's KAFKA FRAGMENTS

Gallery 345 (345 Sorauren Avenue)
Tony Arnold (voice), Movses Pogossian (violin)

This annual fundraiser at Gallery 345 will feature a performance and video of the Kafka Fragments by soprano Tony Arnold and violinist Movses Pogossian. The board of New Music Concerts provides food and drink as part of the evening's festivities. All proceeds go the the benefit of New Music Concerts. A charitable receipt will be issued for the CRA allowable portion.

Gyorgy Kurtag's Kafka Fragments present a unique and monumental exploration of the world of Franz Kafka. Using forty excerpts primarily from Kafka's letters and diaries, Kurtag spins a kaleidoscopic web of music styles representing extreme and disparate moments within a life. By turns introspective, dramatic, penetrating, and humorous, this hour-long journey for voice and violin is an event to be savoured . - Tony Arnold

Program
- Gyorgy Kurtags coaches Tony Arnold and Movses Pogossian for Kafka Fragments (video)
- Gyorgy Kurtag: Kafka Fragments

Tony Arnold
"Soprano Tony Arnold is a luminary in the world of chamber music and art song. Today's classical composers are inspired by her inherently beautiful voice, consummate musicianship, and embracing spirit" (Huffington Post). Hailed by the New York Times as "a bold, powerful interpreter," she is recognized internationally as a leading proponent of new music in concert and recording, having premiered over 200 works "with a musicality and virtuosity that have made her the Cathy Berberian of her generation" (Chicago Tribune). Since becoming the first-prize laureate of both the 2001 Gaudeamus International Competition (NL) and the 2001 Louise D. McMahon Competition (USA), Tony Arnold has collaborated with the most cutting-edge composers and instrumentalists on the world stage, and shares with the audience her "broader gift for conveying the poetry and nuance behind outwardly daunting contemporary scores" (Boston Globe). "Simply put, she is a rock-star in this genre" (Sequenza 21).

Movses Pogossian
Native of Armenia, violinist Movses Pogossian made his American debut performing the Tchaikovsky Concerto with the Boston Pops in 1990, about which R. Dyer of the Boston Globe wrote: "There is freedom in his playing, but also taste and discipline. It was a fiery, centered, and highly musical performance…" Movses Pogossian has since performed with orchestras such as the Brandenburger Symphoniker and the Halle Philharmonic in Germany, the Sudety Philharmonic in Poland, the Tucson Symphony, the El Paso Symphony, the Scandinavian Chamber Orchestra of New York, and the Toronto Sinfonia. He is a prizewinner of the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Competition, and the youngest-ever First Prize winner of the 1985 USSR National Violin Competition, previous winners of which included David Oistrakh and Gidon Kremer. An active chamber musician, Mr. Pogossian has performed with members of the Tokyo, Kronos, and Brentano string quartets, and frequently collaborates with the Apple Hill Chamber Players, touring worldwide and teaching annually at their summer music festival in New Hampshire. A committed propagate of new music, he has premiered over 30 works, and worked closely with composers such as G. Kurtag, A. R. Thomas, T. Mansurian, and V. Sharafyan.


More About Tony Arnold
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Annie Bonsignore

Free Times Café (320 College Street)
Annie Bonsignore (voice/piano), Natalie Wong (violin), Jean Doench (voice/guitar)

Annie Bonsignore
Annie Bonsignore is a South African born singer/songwriter/performer/arranger/pianist and producer who has been living in Toronto, Canada for 12 years.

Annie was born into a family of passionate musicians and began singing and playing the piano at the tender age of five, composing music by the age of nine and singing professionally by eleven. She was a top ten finalist in South Africa's "Coca Cola Popstars" competition before moving to Canada, and taught voice and chorus at numerous schools in South Africa. She has performed nationally in South Africa and recently released her self produced album of original songs 'Shades of Red'. Annie's first single 'Best of Me' has been featured on CBC's Fresh Air as well as CBC's Saskastoon Afternoon Edition. In July 2015, another original song 'Feel for You' from the album is being used as the theme song in a massive charity campaign for the Youthdale Foundation (a charity for children's mental illness.)

Annie maintains a thriving voice studio in downtown Toronto and also does session singing and writing for jingles and TV. She performs in and around Toronto where she has a steady fan base of friends and admirers that she has drawn in with her extraordinary voice, immense talent, stage presence and natural charm. Annie's original music is emotional and raw with layers of piano, vocals and harmonies. Annie sings a vast range of genres, such as Jazz, Country, Classic Rock, Contemporary hits, Original music, Pop and even Opera.


Facebook Event | More About Annie Bonsignore
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Harley Card Trio

The Emmet Ray (924 College Street)
Harley Card (guitar)

Harley Card
Harley Card is a Toronto based guitarist, composer, and freelance musician. As a contributor to the creative music scene in Toronto for the past decade, Harley has played with many artists including; Richard Underhill, Alex Dean, Alex Samaras, William Carn, Michael Herring, Sarah Jerrom, Michael Davidson, Don Scott, David Virelles, Felicity Williams, Dave Clark, Carlie Howell, Jon Challoner, Colin Power, RJ Sachnanathan, Ian Sinclair, Kurt Neilson, Matt Newton, Dan Fortin, Ernesto Cervini, Ben Dietschi, Jesse Malone, Dan Gaucher, Caitlin Smith, and Scott Kemp among others.

Harley is a member/composer for the Toronto groups; Hobson's Choice, The Harley Card Trio, The Harley Card Quintet, God's Gift To Yoda, and Stoptime. Each ensemble has performed extensively in Canada and released multiple recordings. Hobson's Choice's recent Barnyard Records release; "Of The Waves", was premiered at The 2012 TD Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival.


More About Harley Card

Monday, March 27th

Monday, March 27th

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Chris Platt Band

The Emmet Ray (924 College Street)
Chris Platt (guitar), Phill Albert (bass), Robin Claxton (drums)

Chris Platt
Already an accomplished guitarist in his teens, Chris connected with the guitarists Eric Clapton, Jim Hendrix, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, whose music inspired him to develop his skills, write songs, and lead a band of his own. Following high school, he attended Mohawk College and graduated with an Applied Music Diploma. It was there that he developed his passion for jazz, studying with Bob Shields and listening to musicians such as Lenny Breau, Ed Bickert, Jim Hall, and Reg Schwager.

Following Mohawk, Chris went on to complete a Degree in Jazz Performance at the University of Toronto, where he had the privilege of studying under Mike Murley, Kelly Jefferson, Chase Sanborn, Geoff Young, Andrew Downing, and Dave Young. Chris has also had the opportunity of performing with some of the best musicians in the world, such as, Dave Leibman, Norma Winstone, Jerry Bergonzi, Mike Murley, Dave Young, Reg Schwager, Bob Shields, Pat Collins, Kieran Overs, Chase Sanborn, and many others.

At this point in time, Chris' influences include a broad range of genres including blues, jazz, Motown, and Brazilian. His music infuses these influences while still remaining true to the jazz idiom. Now an emerging artist on the Toronto scene, he is busy performing around town while continuing to teach and write music.


Facebook Event | More About Chris Platt
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Michael Burton hosts Open Stage Mondays

Free Times Café (320 College Street)
Michael Burton (voice/guitar)

Signup at 7pm.

Every Monday, all artists are welcomed to sign up and share their songs, poetry, prose or comedy act on Toronto's longest-running open stage; local artists, or those visiting Toronto are encouraged to attend. Here are some of the artists who started their careers at the Free Times open stage: Jason Fowler, Jory Nash, Kat Goldman, Ron Sexsmith, Emm Gryner, Laura Fernandez, Sarah Slean, Noah Zacharin, The Lemon Bucket Orkestra.

Michael Burton
Long time singer-songwriter, club director, concert producer (including "Hearts Of Song"), festival and stage host far and wide, Michael Burton brings a lifetime of devotion to the exacting acoustic folk standards set by Canada's finest artists. With "Real Life" as the over-arching criteria, he draws on experiential and observational stories to fuel his songwriting. Using the acoustic guitar and voice, he delivers a credible, sensitive lyrical story experience for audiences. From his background of engineer, boatbuilder and mariner, and a long list of places he's called home (and always a busy arts proponent), Michael is delighted to present the "Hearts Of Song" concept and the wonderful lineup for your listening pleasure.


More About Michael Burton
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Norbert Botos Group

The Emmet Ray (924 College Street)
Norbert Botos (drums)
More About Norbert Botos

Thursday, March 30th

Thursday, March 30th

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Ben Edwards' folk covers and originals

The Emmet Ray (924 College Street)
Ben Edwards (voice/guitar)
More About Ben Edwards

Friday, March 31st

Friday, March 31st

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Art of the Piano: Alejandro Vela — Beethoven and Bach

Gallery 345 (345 Sorauren Avenue)
Alejandro Vela (piano)

Program
- Beethoven: Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111
- Beethoven: Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2 "Moonlight"
- Bach: Overture in the French Style in B minor, BWV 831

Alejandro Vela
Praised for his power to carry an audience away through his ability to create an atmosphere of mystery and sensuous beauty, Alejandro Vela is a pianist of Northern Mexican origin now performing in concert halls worldwide. Recent solo recitals have brought him to the capital cities of Rome, Paris, Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Berlin, Helsinki, Kiev, Tokyo and Taipei.

Alejandro Vela has performed as soloist with most of the Mexican orchestras including the Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México, the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México, the Orquesta Sinfónica Carlos Chávez, the Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco, the Filarmónica del Estado de Querétaro, the Camerata de Coahuila and with many American ones, including the Chicago Symphony and the Houston Symphony led by Christoph Eschenbach, as well as orchestras in Israel, Canada and the Dominican Republic. He has appeared at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, El Paso Pro-Musica concert series, Alice Tully Hall in New York, National Arts Center in Mexico and the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Recently, Vela gave acclaimed performances at the Sibelius Academy in Finland, Óbudai Társaskör in Budapest, Canadian Opera Company Piano Virtuoso Series in Toronto, Mexico City's Sala Nezahualcóyotl, Festival de México and the National Concert Hall in Taiwan. Other recent highlights include national broadcasts and radio appearances in over 20 countries.

Born and raised in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Alejandro Vela received his first piano lessons from his mother Hortensia Vela Mante, and later from Robert Avalon. Upon the advice of Maestro Eschenbach, Alejandro studied with Yoheved Kaplinsky at the Juilliard School where he holds both a Bachelor and a Master’s degree.


More About Alejandro Vela
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Ewen Farncombe

Free Times Café (320 College Street)
Ewen Farncombe (piano)
Facebook Event | More About Ewen Farncombe