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May 6, 2003
Artist Backgrounders
  
Afropan Steelband
Formed in the early 1970s, Afropan Steelband is Toronto's oldest community
steelband. The group won the "Best Playing Steelband" competition in 23 out of
29 of the annual Caribana Parades in Toronto. Afropan Steelband is also known
for their elaborate, award-winning costumes. Afropan Steelpan has a core of 25
pan players with members aged six and up. http://www.kos.com/afropan.html
(Sounds in the City, Nathan Phillips Square, Wednesday, July 23, noon - 2 p.m.)

Bertolt the Explorer
Bertolt the Explorer is always on the look out for hidden treasures and a good
adventure. His hilarious, magical shows involve interactive audience support.
When not traveling the world, Bertolt goes by the name of Jay Cormier. He has
been involved in theatre for more than 15 years, with acting experience in
stage plays, television, street theatre, improv, comedy troupes and more.
http://www.bertolt.ca
(Toronto Kids Tuesdays, Nathan Phillips Square, Tuesday, August 5, 11 a.m. - 1
p.m.)

The Bobby Herriot Band
The Bobby Herriot Band was the house band for many years at the Imperial Room
of the Royal York Hotel and the Old Mill restaurant. The group performs a
selection of music from the big band era and the current hit parade. The
musicians from the Bobby Herriot Band have performed with such artists as Tony
Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Jack Jones, Robert Goulet and Sarah Vaughan.
(Sunday Serenades, Mel Lastman Square, Sunday, August 3, 7:30 - 9 p.m.)

Cassava
Cassava brings together musical styles and rhythms from across Latin American
to form a high-energy mix that is part sampler and part fusion. The group's
colourful performances keep crowds moving with their infectious salsa, bossa
nova, samba and cumbia sounds. The group's debut CD Latin Rhythms garnered
extensive critical acclaim. Cassava is currently putting the finishing touches
on their sophomore CD. http://cassavalatin.com
(Sounds in the City, Nathan Phillips Square, Wednesday, August 13, noon - 2
p.m.)

Dufflebag Theatre
DuffleBag Theatre boasts a repertoire of ten different shows ranging from fairy
tales to literary classics. With each story, the narrator begins an enchanting
tale when, suddenly, an unsuspecting audience member is brought into the show
to play one of the lead roles. After being given a costume from the trunk, that
person becomes Princess and the Pea, Cinderella, Peter Pan, or Macbeth, among
others. The entire audience participates in this interactive story-theatre
event. By providing a safe environment for participants, the DuffleBag Theatre,
which in turn results in spontaneity creating truly engaging shows.
http://www.dufflebag.com
(Toronto Kids Tuesdays, Nathan Phillips Square, Tuesday, August 12, 11 a.m. - 1
p.m.)

Enter the Haggis
Enter the Haggis is an explosive Celtic-rock Toronto quintet. The band combines
the traditional sounds of the highland bagpipe and fiddle with a powerhouse
rhythm section and strong vocals to create an infectious hybrid of old and new.
Their raucous live show has made them a favourite at festivals and clubs across
North America since their inception in 1996. Enter the Haggis has released
three albums. http://www.enterthehaggis.com/index.php
(Canada Day, Mel Lastman Square, Tuesday, July 1, 7:00 - 10:30 p.m.)

The Fabulous Crooners
The Fabulous Crooners is a dynamic stage show celebrating the super-star male
vocalists of the past century. The group is headlined by the 14-member Galaxy
All-Star Orchestra directed by Eddie Graf and Ross Wooldridge and features some
of Canada's best musicians. The Fabulous Crooners showcase the talents of a
vocalist performing the music of Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Tony Bennett, Paul
Anka and more. http://www.bigbandworld.com/crooners_page.htm
(Sunday Serenades, Mel Lastman Square, Sunday, August 24, 7:30 - 9 p.m.)

Sue Foley
Juno Award-winning, Canadian-born musician Sue Foley is a musical force. Where
The Action Is, Foley's 7th and current disc, shows her skill with blues. The
Los Angeles Times said "Echoes of Earl Hooker, Bessie Smith, T-Bone Walker,
Muddy Waters, and other forebearers of the blues filtered through the cannon of
singer, songwriter and guitarist Sue Foley." Foley's has shared the stage with
such legendary blues icons as BB King, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and the late
John Lee Hooker.
http://www.suefoley.com
(Sounds in the City, Nathan Phillips Square, Wednesday, July 9, noon - 2 p.m.)

Glengarry Bhoys
The Glengarry Bhoys' signature sound fuses the roots of their Glengarry
heritage with the multicultural sounds of modern Celtic and contemporary music.
Their performances combine modern technology with a crafted presentation that
will have audiences dancing in the aisles. Currently touring in support of
their latest album Juice, the Glengarry Bhoys have received rave reviews from
critics and audiences around the world. http://www.glengarrybhoys.com
(Sounds in the City, Nathan Phillips Square, Wednesday, August 20, noon - 2
p.m.)

GTA Swing Band
Celebrating its sixth anniversary, the GTA Swing Band continues to delight
audiences with its high-energy performances of popular tunes from the swing
era. Specializing in the music of Glenn Miller, Count Basie and Duke Ellington,
among others, the band has garnered a reputation for lively, fun-filled
performances that leave crowds cheering for more. Along with playing the hits
from the glory days of swing, the band also performs songs in a variety of
musical styles. http://members.rogers.com/lynn.faulkner
(Sunday Serenades, Mel Lastman Square, Sunday, July 13, 7:30 - 9 p.m.)

The Irish Descendants
In 1990, four Newfoundlanders who played in local bands and worked in the
fishery formed the Irish Descendents. Since then they have released five
critically acclaimed albums, were named "Best Roots/Traditional Artists" at the
East Coast Music Awards, won a Juno Award, received two gold records and sold
out concerts across Canada. Their latest album, So Far So Good is a collection
of the best of the Irish Descendants. http://www.irishdescendants.com
(Canada Day, Mel Lastman Square, Tuesday, July 1, 7:00 - 10:30 p.m.)

Jim Galloway's Wee Big Band
Formed in 1979 as a repertory band specializing in the music of the swing era,
Jim Galloway's Wee Big Band has over 300 arrangements of the music of that
golden age. From its first engagement the band has made numerous radio
broadcasts and television appearances and has played throughout Canada. The Wee
Big Band was the featured orchestra at the 1987 Duke Ellington Conference held
in Toronto and in 1991 the band was presented a concert sponsored by the
Toronto Chapter of the Duke Ellington Society.
(Sunday Serenades, Mel Lastman Square, Sunday, July 20, 7:30 - 9 p.m.)

Gregg Lawless
Gregg Lawless affirms his vocal authority with a disarming lust for life and
obvious love of performing. Reviewers have celebrated his diverse songwriting,
drawing comparisons to James Taylor, Elvis Costello, Crowded House and Tom
Petty. On his latest CD Wicked Little Pill, Lawless showcases his trademark
range of musical, lyrical and emotional depth with his rootsy pop sound and
soulful vocals. http://www.gregglawless.com
(Sounds in the City, Nathan Phillips Square, Wednesday, July 30, noon - 2 p.m.)

George Leach
George Leach has achieved success as a musician, actor and visual artist. As a
singer, songwriter and guitarist, he has developed his own distinctive and
unpredictable style. In 2000 he won Best Male Artist of the Year and Best Rock
Album for his debut CD Just Where I'm At, at the Canada Aboriginal Music
Awards. Leach has worked with such renowned artists as Robbie Robertson, Susan
Aglukark and Bo Diddley. http://www.georgeleachmusic.com
(Sounds in the City, Nathan Phillips Square, Wednesday, July 16, noon - 2 p.m.)

Luther Wright & the Wrongs
Luther Wright & the Wrongs perform old-style country music that runs the
musical gamut -from heart breakers to full out foot stompers. Luther Wright,
who once was the lead guitarist for Kingston pop-rockers Weeping Tile, reveals
his talents as a songwriter in his new unit. Each song is heartfelt and
hurting, weaving the tales of woeful characters, war veterans, truck drivers
and life-struggling folk. http://www.lutherwrightandthewrongs.com/main.php
(Sounds in the City, Nathan Phillips Square, Wednesday, August 6, noon - 2 p.m.)

Ashley MacIsaac
When Ashley MacIsaac burst on the worldwide scene with 1995's Hi, How Are You
Today?, Obtained a kind of fame most instrumental artists only dream of. Going
triple-platinum in Canada and breaking down radio barriers with the Gaelic
single "Sleepy Maggie," Ashley became an immediate pop icon, rebellious and
exuberant, resplendent in kilts, army boots and combat pants. His current CD,
Ashley MacIsaac, was released in May, 2003. http://ashley-macisaac.com
(Canada Day, Mel Lastman Square, Tuesday, July 1, 7:00 - 10:30 p.m.)

Jim MacMillan
Jim MacMillan takes audiences along to his world of musical fun and games. He
engages his viewers in meaningful participation with his energetic, humourous
and fun-loving infectious joy of singing and love of life. Jim MacMillan is no
stranger to performing. He has traveled as far away as Japan as well as
performing at local schools and festivals. He has released two CDs, Room B12
and Anna's Box.
(Toronto Kids Tuesdays, Nathan Phillips Square, Tuesday, July 22, 11 a.m. - 1
p.m.)

Marrón Matizado
Nick "The Brownman" Ali has created an all-star salsa unit, Marrón Matizado,
which debuted at Toronto nightclub Berlin in 2001. Using the members of his
award-winning Latin-jazz unit, Cruzao, as it's core, the group features the
slick vocals of Ricky Franco (Quimica Perfecta), Juan Carlos Cardens (Son Aché)
and is co-led by Ali's equally recognizable little brother and alto
saxophonist, Marcus Ali. http://brownman.com
(Canada Day, Nathan Phillips Square, Tuesday, July 1, 12 - 2 p.m.

Moses Revolution
Moses Revolution, formed in 2001, has become a staple in the Caribbean musical
community. With the collective 70 years of musical experience, the group has
performed reggae, calypso, zouk and R&B at festivals and clubs across Ontario.
Their debut CD of all-original material, Against All Odds, garnered a
nomination for the "top Soca/Calypso Album" at the 2003 Canadian Reggae Music
Awards.
(Sounds in the City, Nathan Phillips Square, Wednesday, August 27, noon - 2
p.m.)

Alex Pangman and her Alleycats
Alex Pangman has cemented her place as one of the country's best classic jazz
vocalists with her sophomore CD Can't Stop Me From Dreaming, produced by Jeff
Healey. She was nominated for two awards at the 2002 National Jazz Awards and
has appeared on numerous television and radio programs. Alex Pangman has
performed at festivals across the country. http://www.alexpangman.com
(Sounds in the City, Nathan Phillips Square, Wednesday, July 2, noon - 2 p.m.)

Sharon Riley & Faith Chorale
Sharon Riley & Faith Chorale was born out of the Sharon Riley's tragic car
accident and the resulting injuries. The Chorale inspires to energize and
affect its audiences. The group won a 1999 Juno Award for "Best Gospel
Recording" and appeared in the films Blues Brothers 2000 and HBO's Light to the
Power of Two. The group, a 33-voice ensemble, has performed uplifting gospel
music in the city for a decade, released their debut CD Life Is in 1998.
(Canada Day, Nathan Phillips Square, Tuesday, July 1, 12 - 2 p.m.)

Skylark
With a special affinity for the sumptuous style and sound of the big band era,
Skylark bring the music and memories of the 1930s through the 1970s to life on
stage. Beautiful songs and gorgeous harmonies are presented in a glamorous show
with costumes and choreography to match. Skylark, made up of Dyanne Dumas,
Bonnie Craig and Elaine Thaller, have entertained audiences at special events
and jazz festivals throughout Ontario. http://www.geocities.com/skylarktrio
(Sunday Serenades, Mel Lastman Square, Sunday, August 17, 7:30 - 9 p.m.)

Sophisticated Swing
Sophisticated Swing is an 18-piece big band, created and led by Carl Hamilton,
consisting of musicians from the Golden Horseshoe area. In addition to the
traditional swing music of the 1940s and 1950s, Sophisticated Swing has a large
repertoire of the great tunes from the 1960s through the 1990s. They have
performed at such notable festivals as the CNE Big Band Festival and the
Oakville Downtown Jazz Festival. http://www.sophisticatedswing.net
(Sunday Serenades, Mel Lastman Square, Sunday, July 6, 7:30 - 9 p.m.)

Street Feet
Street Feet offer a dance class and performance that incorporates elements of
hip hop, breakdance, funk and more. The troupe, created by Elayne Laken and
Jaime Wilson, launched in January of this year. Street Feet are a family
oriented troupe with their interactive performances being open to all age
groups. They utilize the innocence of beats and movement in hip-hop to engage
kids in an affirmative and positive manner.
http://www.nyceone.com/streetfeet.html
(Toronto Kids Tuesdays, Nathan Phillips Square, Tuesday, July 29, 11 a.m. - 1
p.m.)

Swing Shift Big Band
Formed in August 1996, Swing Shift Big Band has rapidly become one of Ontario's
favorite big bands, and won numerous and prestigious awards along the way.
Comprised of 17 top musicians and the dazzling vocal style of Jan Laurie, this
band will perform big band favorites by Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Count
Basie, and Duke Ellington, just to name a few. With over 300 rehearsed songs in
their jazz book and 350 in the dance book, along with 80 vocal charts, Swing
Shift Big Band has the perfect dance selection. Their current CD is The
Tradition Continues. http://www.swingshiftbigband.com
(Salute to Seniors, Nathan Phillips Square, Wednesday, June 11, noon - 2 p.m.
AND
Sunday Serenades, Mel Lastman Square, Sunday, August 10, 7:30 - 9 p.m.)

Aria Tesalin
Nine-year-old Aria Tesalin has been turning heads for her indescribable vocal
talent. She has performed with the Three Canadian Tenors to such a positive
response that she was invited to appear with them on several dates this summer.
(Canada Day, Mel Lastman Square, Tuesday, July 1, 7:00 - 10:30 p.m.)

Toronto All-Star Big Band
The Toronto All-Star Big Band is a dynamic orchestra that plays music that pays
tribute to the legendary Big Band Era and gives students an opportunity to
express their musical creativity. The group, comprised of young musicians
between the ages of 16 and 21, has rekindled interest in Glenn Miller, Tommy
Dorsey and Benny Goodman classics. The vocalists, called the Serenaders, get
audiences swinging with the up-tempo harmonies of The Modernaires and the
Andrew Sisters. Some of the Toronto All-Star Big Band's notable performances
include Toronto Beaches Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake Peach Festival and Daly
Centre in Chicago. http://www.torontoallstarbigband.com
(Sunday Serenades, Mel Lastman Square, Sunday, July 27, 7:30 - 9 p.m.)


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