Take a blustery brass lineup, layer it over a rhythm section led by a Fats Waller-style stride-piano virtuoso, and tie the whole thing together with singer “Miz Elizabeth” Bougerol, a magnetic, one-of-the-boys frontwoman whose voice recalls another era, and you have the Hot Sardines.
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Ukrainian “ethnic chaos” band DakhaBrakha’s concerts are truly a one of a kind experience, blending Ukrainian harmonies, surprising instrumentation, and theatrical flourishes. “The creative quartet from Kiev, Ukraine, makes music that sounds like nothing I’ve ever heard, with strands of everything I’ve ever heard... they play tight-knit tunes featuring accordion, drums, reeds and shakers while wearing tall, Marge Simpson looking wool hats that made me jealous.” (NPR)
Fatoumata Diawara draws elements of jazz and funk into an exquisitely contemporary folk sound – refracting the rocking rhythms and plaintive melodies of her ancestral Wassoulou tradition through an instinctive pop sensibility. Fatou’s warm voice and rhythmical guitar playing is centre stage following a set by 2017 Juno Award-winning group Okavango.
Italian pianist Beatrice Rana came to public attention in 2011 after winning First Prize and all special jury prizes at the Montreal International Competition. Her very promising career was brought to an even higher level in 2013 when she won the Silver Medal and the Audience Award at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. In September 2015, she was named a BBC New Generation Artist and, in April 2016, she was awarded a fellowship from the Borletti-Buitoni Trust. She will perform works by Schumann, Ravel, and Stravinsky.
The Royal Conservatory’s New Canadian Global Music Orchestra features top notch musicians from all over the world who now live in Canada. Played on instruments from every corner of the globe, they perform original music which they wrote together and that can, arguably, only be created in Toronto.
They are joined by award-winning trumpeter and composer, David Buchbinder, and Grammy Award nominated Cuban piano master, Hilario Durán, with their band, Odessa/Havana, renowned for textured and tuneful music with powerful, swinging, and lyrical playing.
This concert will be a joyful celebration of Leonard Bernstein, conductor of the New York Philharmonic, lecturer, and composer of scores for West Side Story, On the Town, and other popular musicals, on the occasion of his centenary.
German pianist Sebastian Knauer “manages to give such an impression of spontaneity that he never seems to cover the same ground twice.” (The Times)
The Takács Quartet is renowned for the vitality of its interpretations. The New York Times lauded the ensemble for “revealing the familiar as unfamiliar, making the most traditional of works feel radical once more,” and the Financial Times has written “even in the most fiendish repertoire these players show no fear, injecting the music with a heady sense of freedom.
“A conjurer of impulsiveness and abandon.” (The New York Times)
The late Paco de Lucía once said, “Diego has one of the most beautiful flamenco voices of our time, a voice of sweetness that flows over everything.” This multiple Grammy Award winning flamenco guitarist has captivated audiences all over the world with his gravelly voice and passionate interpretations, and now returns to Koerner Hall for the third time.
Top Canadian songwriters come together with host Blair Packham to perform their music and tell us about the inspiration, the songwriting process, and the stories behind the songs. Each concert in this series, formerly known as Bluebird North, will feature a different lineup of distinguished musicians.
“Africa’s premier diva.” (TIME) Grammy Award-winning singer, dancer, and songwriter Kidjo roves across boundaries, genres, and ethnicities. Her songs embrace rhythm & blues, soul music, jazz, and Beninese melodies, as well her own original works with “irresistible energy and joie de vivre.” (Los Angeles Times)