Toronto Blues Society | » April 2024 – Loose Blues News

April 2024 – Loose Blues News

Published April 1, 2024 in Loose Blues News

What to do on April 5?  It’s great to see the live blues scene coming back to life but this month we have one of those weird convergence of blues stars all playing on the same night, Friday April 5. Dave Mowat is having his album release party at the Cameron with an all-star lineup who helped with the recording, Steve Marriner, Jimmy Bowskill, Terry Wilkins, Jesse O’Brien and Clayton Yates.  It’s an early show (6:00 pm to 8:00 pm) so you might even be able to make it to another show later in the evening (Paul Reddick fans will want to hang the Cameron for his show at 10pm). Jack de Keyzer will rock the house at Hugh’s Room Live…or catch a rare local appearance from Colin Linden at the TD Music Hall (behind Massey Hall). Then there’s guitarslinger Shawn Kellerman celebrating his new solo CD at the Legendary Horseshoe (on a double bill with multi-instrumentalist Steve Marriner who is everywhere and sometimes even two places at once (not to mention being a new parent – Congrats Steve & Jacquie!). Then there’s Castro regulars, Fraser/Daley who play from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm at this beach blues haunt. And if you’re out of the city, you might find some great blues shows in your hood: A’Court, Spiegel & Vinnick at the River Run Centre in Guelph, Garnetta Cromwell & DaGroovmasters at Sammy’s Creamery in Brantford, and blues pioneer Andy Earle with Manny DeGrandis, Patrick Fockler and Al Cross at La Gabbia in Newmarket. And there’s more – see the listings page. Can we say live blues is alive and well?

Jani Lauzon recognized: Congratulations to former TBS board member and friend of the blues Jani Lauzon on being selected as the 2024 Equity Showcase Cayle Woman of the Year. The citation reads “Jani’s dedication to the arts and her outstanding contributions to the community make her a shining beacon of inspiration”. Not only is she this year’s deserving honouree, but Jani is also a past Cayle Award Winner and Mentor, embodying the spirit of excellence and mentorship. Jani Lauzon is a director/writer/multidisciplinary performer of Métis/French/Finnish ancestry. She is a 10-time Dora Mavor Moore nominated actor/director/writer, a Juno nominated singer/songwriter, an award-winning screen actress, a Gemini Award-winning puppeteer and a Toronto Theatre Critics award-winning director. She is a recipient of the ACTRA Toronto Award of Excellence and the John Hirsch Directors Award (OAC). As a puppeteershe was Grannie on Mr. Dress-up, Pa Foley on Big Comfy Couch, Seeka on Wumpa’s World, and Sasha on Prairie Berry Pie. Her company, Paper Canoe Projects produces her original work including A Side of Dreams, I Call myself Princess and the award-winning Prophecy Fog. Her film Just One Word (supported by the Cayle Chernin Awards) had a successful run of film festivals worldwide.

Road to Memphis: Big Dan Jeffares and his Band are off to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge next year representing the Grand River Blues Society (who just celebrated their 21st Anniversary). Big Dan started playing guitar when he was 8 years old. He caught on quickly and was gigging by the time he was 16. He soon became a big fan of the Blues.He has shared the stage with many greats including….Downchild Blues Band, Colin James, Paul James, Jack deKeyzer and Bobby Dean Blackburn to name a few… The Blues has taken him around the world with tours in Canada, United States, China, Japan and Hong Kong.The sound of  Big Dan’s voice and his guitar playing comes from deep within his soul. He gives it all he’s got every song, every second, every bit of himself comes out in his music…. The band consists of Big Dan Jeffares guitar/vocals, Toshi Otani guitar, Don Ray bass and Jerry Mclaren, drums.  GRBS prez Bruce Hall reports, “The talent on stage from this four piece band was over the top as were all the phenomenal six other bands. The five esteemed judges had a difficult task in scoring the acts”.

Musicians take note:  If you’re planning on gigging in the States, be advised that the fees for a visa have been raised (again). Starting April 1, US Immigration is increasing the fee from $460 USD to $510 USD. The processing time can be as long as 90 days so you better book far ahead. If you need your work permit in 30 days, they are happy to provide “premium” processing and the rate for that was just raised from $2500. to $2805 USD.  There are more fees from the Canadian Federation of Musicians (you have to be an AFM member and then it’s $125 CAD for the first person, plus $25 for each additional musician/technician) but you can’t do it without them and they are very helpful.  Any hope that the American Federation of Musicians would step up for their Canadian union brothers and sisters has been dashed so good luck to any independent Canadian blues artist trying to make a splash in the birthplace of the blues. All you need to know is at

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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.