Toronto Blues Society | » May 2022 – Loose Blues News

May 2022 – Loose Blues News

Published April 28, 2022 in Loose Blues News

Union Summer Market: With massive renovations and upgrades nearing completion, Union Station is working to create social spaces for travellers and a variety of communities.  Toronto Blues Society will be a partner in presenting a series of free outdoor concerts on the north face of Union Station, in the shadow of the Royal York and offering a mix of food / beverage options with fine music talent.  At press time the line up is still forming but noon-hour concerts followed by after-work sessions will fill the calendar, TBS enjoying the lunch sessions with “Blue Monday” artists drawn from Toronto’s deep reservoir of performers.

The Michael Fonfara Memorial Concert at the Paradise on Bloor was a memorable event and Gary Kendall and the Downchild crew were able “to give Fonf the send-off he deserved.”  A nice sum was raised from contributions at the door and the sale of the memorial CD, The Late Late Michael Fonfara. Requested by Avril Fonfara, the CD was produced and curated by John Pickering at Rhythm Ranch Studio. All proceeds contributed to the RESP account that was set up for the Fonfara grand kids. The entire concert was filmed and will be released as a full length concert video in the near future.  Keith Holding is the videographer with Gary Kendall and John Finley overseeing the project.

Downchild leaves for a 10-day theatre tour of the Maritime provinces on April 28.  A number of Ontario dates will follow in May and June.  Tour info at

The Maple Blues Band will go into Loud Mouse Studio in August to record a full-length instrumental release of compositions written by the band over 22 years at The Maple Blues Awards.  Gary Kendall producing, L. Stu Young recording, mixing and mastering.

The first Mel Brown Festival and Symposium is scheduled to run May 27-29. It will celebrate Black heritage in the K-W region and the enduring legacy of the jazz-funk-blues-fusion guitarist who lived in Kitchener for the last 20 years of his life, winning the hearts of music fans and inspiring award-winning blues artists from that area. Live shows curated by Juno-winning R&B artist Carlos Morgan will be staged at The Jazz Room, the Kitchener Public Library and TheMuseum and on May 28, a symposium on white privilege, racism and the history of academic programming that created barriers for many students from racialized communities. Spoken-word artist Afua Cooper, a Killam Research Chair in Black History and African Diaspora Studies at Dalhousie University will speak and there’s an exhibition on the Rolling Stones called “UNZIPPED.” The festival will showcase local, regional, and international Black artists who traditionally are underrepresented in the Waterloo Region. About $50,000 has been raised to erect a statue of Mel Brown created for a public space in Kitchener. More info here

Youth Legacy Showcase:The Grand River Blues Society is launching another round of their Youth Legacy Showcase. It has been a cornerstone of what they do in the community. For the younger folks wanting to follow their dreams and keep the blues alive, this is the place to be on May 15th! Get your applications in soon!! Go to to download the application form.

Blues Hall of Fame: The Blues Foundation announces their Blues Hall of Fame inductees on Wednesday, May 4 at the Halloran Centre at the Orpheum in Memphis. The inductees honours are Performers: Lucille Bogan, Little Willie John, and Johnnie Taylor. Individuals –  Business, Production, Media, Academic: Mary Katherine Aldin and Otis Blackwell. Classic of Blues Literature: Red River Blues: The Blues Tradition in the Southeast by Bruce Bastin (University of Illinois Press, 1986).  Classic of Blues Recording – Album, Bo Diddley – Bo Diddley (Chess/Checker Records, 1958). Classics of Blues Recording: Single or Album Track, “Eyesight to the Blind” – Sonny Boy Williamson II (Trumpet, 1951), “Farther Up the Road” – Bobby “Blue” Bland (Duke, 1957), “Good Rocking Tonight” – Roy Brown (DeLuxe, 1947), “Rock Me Baby”  B.B. King (Kent, c. 1964), “Rollin’ and Tumblin’ “ – Baby Face Leroy Trio (Parkway, 1950).

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