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December 15, 2005
The WinterCity Festival presents Live Music and DJ’s outside on the Rink-side Stage
The WinterCity Festival, presented by the American Express Philanthropic Program, the award-winning 14 day city-wide celebration of Toronto’s culture, creativity and cuisine, will feature two weekends of FREE live music and DJ’s on an outdoor stage at Nathan Phillips Square as part of the WOW! (Wild On Winter) series. The WinterCity Festival takes place January 27 – February 9, 2006.

Friday Jan. 27

Opening Concert

Les Batinses, 7:30 p.m.
This young sextet plays world music with a Québécois slant. They embrace music from anywhere and everywhere to marry old-style folk and roots ballads with funk-driven acoustics.

Saturday Jan. 28

Sizzling Hot! Latin Dance Music

DJ Billy Bryans, 12 noon
Get on the ice and move! DJ Billy Bryans drops the latest in Latin music, reggaeton, salsa and the hottest timba cuts directly from Havana.

Chiva featuring Brownman, 12:30 p.m.
Toronto’s Chiva fuses seductive Colombian rhythms with funk grooves and urban hip-hop beats against a Latin-jazz backdrop.

Latin Roots Orchestra, 2 p.m.
With a nod to the golden age of Latin music, this Toronto group blends the hottest sounds of classic salsa with the latest hip-shaking Latin grooves guaranteed to burn up the dance floor.

Tumbao Inc., 3:30 p.m.
One of Toronto’s newest Latin orchestras, Tumbao Inc. offers catchy lyrics and memorable melodies combined with powerful percussive beats in merengue music and electronica.

Brownman & CRUZAO featuring Fito Blanko, 5 p.m.
Led by multi-award winning trumpeter Brownman, CRUZAO mixes authentic
Latin rhythms, jazz harmonies and modern urban grooves. CRUZAO is joined
by special guest Fito Blanko, Toronto's rising star of reggaethon.

Ricky Franco, 6:30 p.m.
Talented singer/songwriter/composer, Ricky Franco delivers slick vocals layered over powerful Salsa Descargas with a soulful edge and the popular dance rhythms of Bachata.

Between sets, DJ’s will spin. Following the final band, DJ’s will spin club music outside until 11 p.m.

Sunday Jan. 29

Cool Blues

Ndidi Onukwulu, 12:30 p.m.
A new voice in Toronto's blues community, singer/songwriter Ndidi Onukwulu was born in BC and grew up listening to a variety of music including Nigerian juju. Set for release early in 2006, her eclectic debut album defies labels.

Tyler Yarema, 2 p.m.
Originally from Thunder Bay, Toronto pianist-vocalist Tyler Yarema dishes up high-energy boogie-woogie complemented by a smooth, fiery vocal delivery.

Wickens-Knight, 3:30 p.m.
Winners of the 2005 Toronto Blues Society New Talent category, Wickens-Knight blends blues, rock & roll, country, funk and a little rockabilly to create their own unique sound.

Reuben Cherry, 5 p.m.
Toronto rock 'n' soul band, Reuben Cherry, have created a distinctive combination of rhythm & blues, rock, gospel and soul. Watch for their new album scheduled for release in April 2006.

Carlos del Junco, 6:30 p.m.
Born in Cuba, del Junco is a two-time Gold Medal World Champion harmonica player. His daring and sophisticated style is at once sensitive, soulful, and sexy while never forgetting the rawness inherent in blues music.

Between sets, DJ’s will spin. Following the final band, DJ’s will spin club music outside until 10 p.m.

Saturday Feb. 4

Hot Rising Stars — Pop, R&B, Hip Hop, Rock

Mr. Something Something, 12 noon
With a reputation for wildly energized live shows, this Afrofunk-inspired band brings the danceable rhythms of Nigeria, Senegal, Mali and Ghana to Toronto stages.

Christine Evans, 2 p.m.
From Victoria, B.C, this extraordinary gifted singer/ songwriter is emerging as one of Canada’s great, young talents. Her debut CD “Take Me Home” is a collection of evocative modern pop.

Matthew Barber and Union Dues, 3:30 p.m.
Singer-songwriter Matthew Barber’s music is lyrically captivating, melodically sophisticated and disarmingly personal without forsaking the importance of the groove, the hooks and ultimately the rock.

Blues Underdog, 5 p.m.
After touring with the Black Eyed Peas, this seven-piece band is back in Toronto rocking the masses with their blend of hip-hop, funk and alternative rock.

Belinda Brady, 6:30 p.m.
Having performed with the likes of Shaggy, this Jamaican-born Canadian singer blends elements of rock, reggae and soul. Brady’s debut album will be available in Spring 2006

Between sets, DJ’s will spin. Following the final band, DJ’s will spin club music outside until 11 p.m.

Sunday Feb. 5

Songs for a Winter’s Day — Folk/Roots

Liam Titcomb, 12:30 p.m.
This 17-year old Torontonian’s music is steeped in thick, lush melodies, indelible pop/roots hooks and expressive lyrics. His self-titled debut CD includes the hit single Counting Headlights.

JP Cormier, 2 p.m.
Renowned as a prodigious musical talent at age five, J.P. Cormier recorded his first album — a collection of bluegrass instrumentals — at age 16. Cormier has since performed with all the country greats and was awarded the Bluegrass Recording of the Year at the 2005 East Coast Music Awards.

Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot, 3:30 p.m.
Luke Doucet, Katherine Wheatley, Liam Titcomb & JP Cormier
pay tribute to one of Canada’s finest songwriters

Katherine Wheatley, 5 p.m.
Singer-songwriter Katherine Wheatley has been captivating audiences with her vibrant lyrics and infectious grooves at folk festivals, concert series and clubs across Canada since 1992.

Luke Doucet, 6:30 p.m.
A 15 year veteran with three solo records and three with the band Veal under his belt, Doucet brings his sharp wit and fiery intensity to the world of alternative roots and country rock.

Between sets, DJ’s will spin. Following the final band, DJ’s will spin club music outside until 10 p.m.

The WinterCity Festival is an award-winning 14 day city-wide celebration of Toronto’s culture, creativity and cuisine. WinterCity runs from January 27 – February 9, 2006 and offers three distinct areas of programming: the WOW! (Wild on Winter) Series featuring free outdoor spectacle shows, live music and performing arts at Nathan Phillips Square; the Warm-up Series with dazzling performances and discounts at some of Toronto’s leading cultural and tourist attractions; and the return of the hugely popular restaurant promotion Winterlicious, presented by American Express.

Admission to the WOW! events on Nathan Phillips Square are FREE. Nathan Phillips Square is located at 100 Queen Street West. Take the TTC Queen Streetcar (501), the Yonge Line subway (exit Queen station) or the University Line (exit Osgoode station).

For more information on WinterCity and other events produced by Toronto Special Events, call Access Toronto at 416-338-0338 or visit

Images available for download at

Media contact:

Grant Ramsay
Toronto Special Events



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