Toronto Blues Society | » August 2022 – Loose Blues News

August 2022 – Loose Blues News

Festival Fever:  If you didn’t get to a summer blues festival yet, the night is young.  Coming up August 4, the world-class Kitchener finds its legs and even though it might not have the long list of American superstars that we have seen pre-pandemic, they’re bringing in a slew of top-notch blues greats from the States and beyond Lachy Doley (all the way from Australia!), The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Coco Montoya, Samantha Fish , Zoom w/Shawn Kellerman, some big-name Canadians like Lowest of the Low, Drive By Truckers, Whitehorse, New Pornographers, Sam Roberts, as well as blues favourites like David Wilcox, Harrison Kennedy, Cheryl Lescom And The Tucson Choir Boys, LMT Connection, Erin McCallum, Miss Angel and The Homewreckers and a couple of Lance Anderson side-projects, Everyday People: The Music Of Sly And The Family Stone and Matchedash Parish. After two years of pausing for the pandemic, The Kitchener Blues Festival will be marking their 20th anniversary this year, and festival president Rob Barkshire said he’s hopeful the event will be able to draw the usual hundreds of thousands of attendees seen over previous years. After that substantial pause, Barkshire said that many of the volunteers involved in the festival have been missing the outdoor live music atmosphere, and while Crossroads 2021 was a success in its pandemic pivot, it’s just not the same. “We did the best we could under those guidelines that were presented to us, put some acts inside some restaurants where each venue had to very carefully manage and control the number of people and where they sat, wearing their masks and all those things we had to do to fight the virus.” said Barkshire. “Hopefully we’re coming out the other side of that now, and live events are starting to happen. We’re pushing ahead with ours and we’re looking to have (…) pretty much a return to normal – and hoping everybody’s going to come out and enjoy.”

And if you thought the blues was the roots of rock then check out the roots of the blues at the Habari Africa Festival the same week-end at Harbourfront Centre. Some amazing sounds will emanate from the harbour, and check out the new stage at Harbourfront Centre.

Later this month, August 19-21, the Markham Jazz Festival always delivers some talent that appeals to the blues crowd and this year it’s a couple of “queens” of the blues, Shakura S’Aida (Friday, August 19) and Molly Johnson (Saturday. August 20) – three if you count Queen Pepper (Sunday, August 21) , who has been wowing audiences at the Reservoir Lounge since before her name change. There will be some sweet vocals from Alex Pangman and the Sweet Hots, Irene Torres, Elizabeth Shepherd (w/Michael Occhipinti) and Gigi Marentette are two other singers doing interesting stuff. Gigi is always fresh and enthusiastic and Irene is no stranger to blues but easily crosses genres.

The Limestone City Blues Festival in Kingston is not that far a trek for a hard-core bluesfan. Once again, the streets of downtown Kingston will welcome the raucous sounds of the blues, as the Limestone City Blues Festival returns to Springer Market Square, from August 25th to 28th, 2022, with a dynamic and decorated lineup.

Dione Taylor plays the park on Thursday, August 25; Crystal Shawanda and JW-Jones play Friday, August 26 and on Saturday the action moves to Springer Market Square with Jerome Tucker Band, HoRoJo Trio and Albert Cummings. Wristbands are available online purchase in person at participating clubs ($20 in advance or $25 at the gate) and give you access to all three nights of mainstage performances, as well as participating club shows.

 Amy Louie Grossman Scholarship: ALGMS is an artist development bursary created in memory of the late Amy Louie, a member of the family that has owned Grossman’s Tavern in Toronto since 1975. Each year, the bursary provides a musician or band from the Greater Toronto Area $2000 to help with career development. There is a secondary prize of $1000 for the runner-up.

Previous recipients of the Scholarship include The Big Butter and Egg Men, Mike Nagoda, The Swingin’ Blackjacks, Dan McKinnon, Bad Luck Woman & Her Misfortunes, Chloe Watkinson & Park Eddy, Jerome Godboo, and The Responsables. 

The 2022 Amy Louie Grossman’s Music Scholarship fundraising event will take place Tuesday, September 27th at Grossman’s Tavern (379 Spadina Ave, Toronto). All submissions will be considered. A full explanation of the project and the need for funding must be included.

Grossman’s has long been considered an incubator for an impressive roster of local artists who got their start inside the Tavern, including Jeff Healey, the Downchild Blues Band, Rough Trade, and more.

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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.