Pat Blythe – It’s April….
…..and my lovely purple crocuses are out….sprouting in places I don’t remember planting them. I think the squirrels and anything else that’s been rooting around in my gardens have taken the liberty to relocate some of my bulbs. The birds have also been disposing rose hips seeds out their back ends and I have tiny, wild rose bushes sprouting up everywhere. Yes, I realize we had a bit of snow and freezing rain last week but I for one sense that Old Man Winter is done with us….at least until the end of the year. I’ve set up new (for me) outdoor furniture on the deck with the hope I’ll be enjoying my morning coffee out there very soon. Some of the detritus has now been cleared out from under my deck so this weekend it’s time to start the yard cleanup. Fingers crossed Mother Nature goes along with the idea. So far, sun and decent temps are scheduled.
I’ve written about N’we Jinan in previous columns but I feel strongly their story needs repeating. Directly from their website, “The N’we Jinan Tour is a music initiative that that brings a mobile recording studio and a video production team into schools and youth centres across First Nation and Native American communities. The program offers youth the chance to create an original song and music video that explores relevant issues and topics while promoting positive messaging, community engagement and collective voice.”
…and the young man who brings much of this to fruition (from his FB page), “David Hodges is a hip-hop producer/artist and music educator from Montreal, Quebec….David travels to 50 schools/communities yearly across North America and provides a sustainable music program that offers youth the opportunity to create their own songs and market them into the public world…David works with the Cree Nation Government and has built a platform for young Native youth to develop their artistic skills. He is the executive director of two programs, N’we Jinan, a non-profit organisation that works in the music capacity and Mikw Chiyam, a curriculum arts concentration program that focuses on artistic enrichment and school retention. Most notably, N’we Jinan Volume 1, which brought together 9 Cree communities and over 70 artists, went number 1 on the iTunes Charts in Canada and was also featured on CBC’s The National. David continues to bring his mobile studio to communities across our nation, while planting arts concentration programs into high schools and is now partnering with several non-profits….” https://www.facebook.com/hodgesmusic/
Chisasibi First Nation youth participated in the N’we Jinan project, which was started by Montreal producer and educator David Hodges (front left kneeling)
N’we Jinan encourages the native youth to express their thoughts and feelings with music while providing a voice and an opportunity to showcase their talents. This year is Canada’s 150th birthday. What is more “Canadian” than celebrating her indigenous people. N’we Jinan is an initiative we should be shouting about from the treetops. Here are three of their latest productions. Give them a listen.
Show Us The Way – N’we Jinan Artists, Surry BC
Song written, recorded and filmed with Elementary school students selected from the Surrey School District Board in Surrey, British Columbia.
Feather The Flame = N’we Jinan, Sioux Lookout, ON
This next piece is dedicated to the many missing indigenous women and men. The Highway of Tears story. It’s a very powerful video.
THE HIGHWAY – N’we Jinan Artists, Kitsumkalum First Nation, BC.
Song written, recorded and filmed with students of ‘Na Aksa Gyilak’yoo School in Kitsumkalum First Nation, British Columbia.
Quietish the past week as I’ve been focusing on work, cataloguing Chris’s negatives and ramping up for the remainder of the month. However, I had the greatest of pleasures attending The Alzheimer’s Appreciation Orchestra and Chorus event last Thursday evening (March 30) at Placebo Space…. the night of snow and freezing rain….March’s last hurrah. A well-loved and highly regarded group of extremely talented musicians and an immense pleasure to listen to. This is not a frequent occurrence so I get excited when I know they’re performing. Hosted by Robert O’Neill, this particular gathering of talent drew an audience from both inside and outside the GTA, many who hadn’t seen each other in eons. We all really need to get out more. These fabulous musicians included our own inimitable editor/publisher, Bob Segarini, Orchestra music director Peter Kashur (guitar/vox), Drew Winters (keyboards/vox), Roxanne Tellier (vox), Connor Walsh (stand-up bass), Kid Carson (drums), Craig Riddock (lead guitar) and Annette Shaffer (vox). An acoustic set by O’Neill opened the evening. Honourable mention, Marshall Mech on tambourine for one song.
We don’t do this often enough as was apparent by the rather boisterous hello’s, hugs and comments. Why wait for a wedding or a funeral? The latter happens far too frequently for many of us at this stage of life. Facebook be damned, we need to SEE each other more. This…….this way is soooo much better.
….and oh yes, here come the pics.
Post show photo – L-R – Bob Segarini, Annette Shaffer, Peter Kashur, Roxanne Tellier, Kid Carson, Connor Walsh; seated in front L-R Craig Riddock, Drew Winters
Our host Robert O’Neill
L-R – Connor Walsh, Annette Shaffer, Roxanne Tellier, Drew Winters, Bob Segarini
Music director Peter Kashur wearing his best guitar face
Grandpapa and his two munchkins
An attentive audience – L-R – Ron (Elton Rohn) Camilleri, Joel and Jennifer Rabinowitz, and Janis and David Rees.
L-R – Drew Winters, Bob Segarini, Peter Kashur
L-R – Bob Segarini, Peter Kashur, Craig Riddock
Another weekend in London, this time for a birthday celebration of a milestone year for my brother-in-law. He has finally joined the “6x” club and a fine club it is. My sister threw a surprise open house and the spouse, he had no clue….whatsoever. None. Nada. Bupkis. Blank slate. Generally speaking, I do believe it is a “guy thing”. Apparently most guys (I’m going out on a limb here) have absolutely no Spidey sense when it comes to something like this. I threw three surprise birthday parties for Chris and he was totally clued out all three times. Brings to mind this particular video….
A Tale of Two Brains – Mark Gungor
A great party, excellent food prepared and catered by Jeff Haynes. Those cucumber cups stuffed crab, divine. Finger sandwiches with homemade pesto, marvellous. “Think of them as expensive tater tots” potato puffs filled with goodness and light as air. Beautifully made spring rolls, meatballs, skewers of yumminess and so much more. The birthday cake….carrot cake heaven and provided by whomever does the baking for London Life cafeteria. I have never seen a cake disappear like that one did. I am now, and for the foreseeable future, on a starvation diet.
Chef du jour Jeff Haynes with hostess Christine Romard
The birthday boy, Tim Romard, (centre) with two of his close friends.
Music festival season will soon be upon us and it’s looking to be a very busy, fast-paced summer. First out of the starting gate, CMW beginning April 18. Accreditation approved, Betty and Veronica along with Reggie, will be checking out the seminars and of course, the music. Approximately 1,000 bands from all over the world will be descending on our fair city to keep us hopping and bopping until the wee hours (clubs/bars are open until 4am). A good excuse to get out and enjoy your favourite ‘brand’ of song, shake that booty and shed those winter pounds. I know I’ll be. For more info and a list of the talent click here
Places to go, things to do, people to see….
Here are a few shows that have piqued my interest, many of which I plan to attend. Get on out and start supporting the local talent!!!
April 6 & 7, Duggans Brewery, Stephanie Nilles
April 7, Lee’s Palace, The Crooked, launch (J.C. Sandoval formerly of Die Mannequin and Secret Broadcast)
April 8, Toronto Centre for The Arts – Father & Son Dueling Pianos, – Eddie and Quincy Bullen
April 9, Olde Stone Cottage – David Gogo with guest Sam Taylor
April 18, This Ain’t Hollywood, The Redhill Valleys
April 19, Adelaide Hall – James Blonde, Ivory Hours, The Balconies
April 20, Velvet Underground, Courage My Love
April 22, Horseshoe Tavern – Julian Taylor Band
April 28, Showplace Performance Centre, Peterborough – ONES
April 29, Meaford Hall, Eddie Bullen and Coldjack
…..and I leave you with THIS, one of my favourite songs and the ring tone on my phone. Just released. Love love love it!!!!
Chemical Low – Julian Taylor Band
Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.
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“Music and photography….my heart, my passions.” After an extended absence — 33 years as a consultant and design specialist in the telecommunications industry — Pat has turned her focus back to the music scene. Immersing herself in the local club circuit, attending the many diverse music festivals, listening to some great music, photographing and writing once again, she is eager to spread the word about this great Music City of ours…..Toronto. Together for 34 years, Pat also worked alongside her late husband Christopher Blythe, The PictureTaker©, who, beginning in the early 70s, photographed much of the local talent (think Goddo, Frank Soda and the Imps, BB Gabor, the first Police Picnic, Buzzsaw, Hellfield, Shooter, The Segarini Band….) as well as national and international acts. Pat is currently making her way through 40 years of Chris’s archives, 20 of which are a photographic history of the local GTA music scene beginning in 1974. It continues to be a work in progress. Oh…..and she LOVES to dance!