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Odds and sods from the Toronto blues community and beyond.

Loose Blues – February 2020

Blues at Winterfolk:  The Winterfolk Blues & Roots festival is moving to the Annex but continues with a healthy dose of blues.  Opening night, Friday February 21, presents festival favourite Jack de Keyzer and a “Blues and Bluegrass” showcase with Ken Whiteley, Chris Whiteley and Diana Braithwaite and the Layrite Boys as well as a “Finger Picking the Blues” workshop with Isaak Bonk, Brian Blain and Mr. Rick. Saturday brings sets from Noah Zacharin and Mr. Rick and a “Campfire Jam” hosted by Brian Blain.  On Sunday Brian will have a solo set and Jack de Keyzer will present  Evolution of Blues Guitar (from Robert Johnson to Jimi Hendrix), followed by the Guitar Jam with Mike McKenna, Danny Marks (pictured), Donne Roberts and D’Arcy Wickham. More info at

Jack de Keyzer

Loose Blues – January 2020

Winterfolk & Blues: More than 100 artists will be performing on 5 stages at Winterfolk, now relocated from the Danforth to the Spadina/Bloor area including the Tranzac. It takes place February 21-24. Buy early and the wristband price is a mere $15 for the entire weekend. Blues highlights include: Ken Whiteley, Heather Luckhart, Jack de Keyzer (pictured), Chris Whiteley & Diana Braithwaite, Jerome Tucker, Brian Blain, Donne Roberts, and more. Tickets for the Winterfolk Preview show on January 18th in Scarborough include a wristband for the February event. More info at

Loose Blues – December 2019

“Almost” to be inducted into Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame: The first Canadian blues recording ever to sell gold, “I’ve Got Everything I Need (Almost),” written by The Legendary Downchild Blues Band’s leader and co-founder, Don Walsh, was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on Friday, November 29, 2019.  The song skyrocketed to international fame when it was covered by The Blues Brothers’ Dan Aykroyd and the late John Belushi, who were heavily influenced by the Canadian group founded in 1969. The song induction will take place during the band’s 50th Anniversary Party in Ottawa on Nov. 29, featuring special guests Dan Aykroyd, Tony D (MonkeyJunk), Suzie Vinnick and Andy J Forest.

Loose Blues News – November 2019

Blues for the Red Door is back and some of the finest musicians from across Southern Ontario will again take the stage at Lula Lounge on Sunday, November 3 to give of their time, sing their hearts out and make music for this worthy cause. This year’s amazing lineup includes headliners Tyler Yarema & Janice Hagen, Jerome Godboo, Rick Taylor, Fraser Melvin & Raha Javanfar, Johnny Max, Sugar Brown, Sean Pinchin, as well as special appearance from Bywater Call with the night hosted and presented by Big Rude Jake (pictured), and Pivotal Productions.

Loose Blues News – October 2019

John Valenteyn’s Blues on CIUT-FM has moved to a new time. It’s now broadcast Fridays from 1-2pm.  John showcases concert previews, Blues Society events, new music releases and blues news. The shows are available as podcasts at Photo by Doug MacVicar.

Loose Blues News – September 2019

Revival Club bringing the Blues: Music Express is launching a new initiative at the Revival Club on College St. in which they will bring a series of high profile blues shows to help fill the gap from the departure of the Cadillac Lounge. The first show is Jack DeKeyzer, Paul James and Danny Marks on September 20th and on November 15th they will present Myles Goodwyn Blues Band and MonkeyJunk.

Loose Blues News – August 2019

Congratulations to Suzie Vinnick who was just honoured by the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival with their special recognition award, presented to musicians who have made a significant contribution to Saskatchewan’s music culture. Noting that it’s been rare that a female musician has been recognized Suzie told the CBC, “It’s amazing because it’s 30 years since my first performance that I’m going to be back at the festival… I feel old now.”

Loose Blues News – July 2019

Amy Louie Grossman’s Music Scholarship: Grossman’s Tavern is pleased to announce that the applications are open for the annual Amy Louie Grossman’s Music Scholarship (ALGMS), from June 10, 2019 until September 13, 2019. The winner will be announced at their fundraiser on Tuesday, September 24th, 2019, 7pm at Grossman’s Tavern. Musicians or bands interested in applying for the ALGMS are asked to fill out a proposal, highlighting what they plan to do with the funding. The ALGMS scholarship is valued at $2,000 CAD.

Previous winners of the ALGMS include Jerome Godboo, Chloe Watkinson, Bad Luck Woman & Her Misfortunes, Dan McKinnon and The Swingin’ Blackjacks. Details

Loose Blues News – June 2019

Veteran music publicist and “eminence grise” at the TBS, Richard Flohil presented Buddy Guy with his Maple Blues Award for International Artist of the Year backstage at Roy Thomson Hall.  Flo played a big part in Buddy’s introduction to Toronto blues fans in the 60s and has lent a helping hand to many emerging and established Canadian blues & roots artists, many of whom will gather at the Horseshoe Tavern on Friday, June 28 to celebrate his 85th birthday. Ariana Gillis and David Gillis, Jay Aymar, Jaymz Bee, Jenie Thai, Kaia Kater, Paul Reddick, Russell deCarle, Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar, Scotty Campbell, Shakura S’Aida and more will be performing while friends and fans will enjoy birthday cake and other vegetable-less “Flohil food.” All the performers have donated their time and all proceeds after expenses will go to the Unison Benevolent Fund. Photo by Jag Gundu.

Loose Blues News – May 2019

Milton’s 19 year old blues phenom Gavin McLeod will be doing festival dates at Orangeville (May 31), Downtown Milton Streetfest (June 1), Burlington Sound of Music festival, Ottawa Bluesfest (Jul 11) Tremblant Blues (Jul 12 & 13)

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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.

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