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Odds and sods from the Toronto blues community and beyond.


Loose Blues News – May 2018

Duke Robillard will be sharing his blues licks & tricks at The Toronto Session of Guitar Workshop Plus on July 23 – 28, 2018 at the York University campus. This seminar is designed for players who love the raw energy, feel, and power of Blues music in all of it’s forms from Swing, Delta and Chicago to Texas and electrifying blues/rock sounds. The course will work on improving each participant’s playing and help with soloing from the ground up. Topics include various blues progressions, chord voicings, various rhythm patterns, turnarounds, phrasing, scale and arpeggio usage, double stops, developing solo ideas, and how to achieve a good blues tone and plenty of jamming as well as group development (entire bands will sometimes attend) and the family experience (father and son, mother and daughter, brothers and sisters, etc.) More info at www.guitarworkshopplus.com

Loose Blues News – April 2018

Jason Buie: MapleBlues doesn’t usually run a picture more than once, let alone within a couple of months, but we’re re-printing this “selfie” of an ecstatic Jason Buie after he was presented the Maple Blues Award for Best New Artist in January. We are sorry to report that Jason passed away on March 22 at his home in Esquimalt BC. He died just as he was getting the national recognition he deserved in the Blues Scene. He leaves behind three children who will need a lot of help and support in the coming months. A GoFundMe page has been set up at https://www.gofundme.com/jason-buie-fundraiser

Loose Blues News – March 2018

JUNO Nominees: The JUNO Awards have announced their 2018 nominees. The selections for Blues Album of the Year are: Time to Roll, MonkeyJunk; No Time Like Now, Steve Strongman; Big City, Back Country Blues, Williams, Wayne and Isaak; Better the Devil You Know, Big Dave McLean and Something I’ve Done, Downchild. The winners will be announced on Sunday, March 25 at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver and televised on the CBC . For a complete list of nominees and ticket info go to www.junoawards.ca. Good luck to all!

Loose Blues News – February 2018

The Toronto Blues Society is co-presenting an all-star Blues Showcase as part of Winterfolk on Friday, February 16 at the Black Swan (upstairs) with Al Lerman, Kim Doolittle, Julian Fauth and David Essig. The showcase is followed by a performance by Jack de Keyzer and there is a lot more blues throughout the week-end. Winterfolk is an all-ages, mid-winter, weatherproof event, where you’ll find the best of urban, blues, rock, jazz, country, folk and roots music, emulating a multi-stage rural summer festival. TICKETS www.winterfolk.com.

Loose Blues News – January 2018

The Blues Foundation in partnership with broadcast partner Ditty TV will announce the 39th Blues Music Awards nominees LIVE from Memphis on Tuesday, January 9, 2018. Bobby Rush, Kenny Neal, and John Nemeth will emcee the announcements beginning at 10am CST. You can watch the announcements in real time on any of Ditty TVs multiple platforms as well as via Facebook Live on The Blues Foundation Facebook page. Tickets to the BMAs will go on sale in conjunction with this BMA Nominee broadcast so you can visit blues.org to purchase your tickets online and get the direct link to the broadcast.

Loose Blues News – December 2017

Bad Luck Woman & Her Misfortunes will host the Nominee Jam in the Koerner Hall lobby for the Maple Blues Awards after-party. On Thursday, January 25, they host a special event at the Dakota Tavern celebrating Etta James’ 80th birthday with special guests Dani Nash, Samantha Martin, Nicky Lawrence, Alana Bridgewater, and SATE, all backed by a 7-pc band. Join Bad Luck Woman & Her Misfortunes at the Dakota Tavern to celebrate the life, career, and legacy of this legendary singer. Photo by Max Power

Loose Blues News – November 2017

TBS Talent Search Winner Dan McKinnon was just awarded the $2000 Amy Louie Grossman Music Scholarship at the 6th annual fund raiser on September 26.  His winning proposal outlined plans to support a new recording that will be released in 2018. He is pictured with Grossman`s owner Christina Louie and 2016 ALGMS recipient Raha Javanfar (Bad Luck Woman & Her Misfortunes) who hosted the evening which featured performances by The Happy Pals, Frankie Foo, The Porch Dog Choir, Robert Priest & The Great Big Face Band, Chloe Watkinson & Park Eddy, Jerome Godboo & Eric Schenkman, Neil Chapman w/ David Hines & Rob Grenway and 2017 ALGMS recipient, Dan McKinnon. $1400.00 was raised for the ALGMS fund. Photo by David Goldberg.

Loose Blues News – October 2017

Western Canadian Music Awards: Congratulations to Winnipeg bluesman Big Dave McLean who picked up the Blues Artist of the Year.award at this year’s Western Canadian Music Awards (WCMA) in Edmonton. Celebrating the accomplishments of some of Western Canada’s best and brightest, the envelopes were opened at a concert on September 14 that kicked off a professional development-focused conference and export development showcase festival and also drew a protest by several established artists who wanted to bring attention to the fact that the only people who weren’t being paid were the musicians.

Loose Blues News – September 2017

Blues at Kensington Jazz: The new kid on the block on Toronto’s jazz festival circuit, Kensington Market Jazz Festival debuted in style in 2016 when over 200 musicians performed over 3 days to packed houses, enthusiastic crowds and a buzzing neighbourhood. The second annual KMJF is back September 15, 16 and 17 with the addition of a big band stage and a new series of curated busking within popular Kensington Market businesses.

Loose Blues News – August 2017

Congratulations to Canada’s “Sweetheart of Swing,” Alex Pangman (pictured with hubby/bandmate Tom Parker), who has been inducted into the The Mississauga Music Walk of Fame. A fellow Women’s Blues Revue alumna, Liberty Silver and Canadian Music Industry pioneer Randy Lennox were also honoured at a reception at Port Credit Memorial Park. The event has traditionally been part of the Southside Shuffle weekend, and this is the first time it took place outside the Port Credit music festival weekend. The Juno-nominated Pangman has released more than a half-dozen albums throughout her career.

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TBS logo and WBR artwork by Barbara Klunder


The Toronto Blues Society acknowledges the annual support of the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council and the Department of Canadian Heritage, and project support from FACTOR< and the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) and of Canada’s Private Broadcasters, The Canada Council for the Arts, the SOCAN Foundation, SOCAN, the Ontario Media Development Corporation, and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

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