Cirque Du Soleil – Kooza

Grand Chapiteau, Toronto, Ontario. May 27, 2023.

Original size versions: flic.kr/s/aHBqjBhKaL

Oxxxymiron

Phoenix Concert Theater, Toronto (03.11.2023).

Miron Fyodorov, known by the stage name Oxxxymiron, is a Russian-born British hip-hop artist. In June 2008 he graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in Middle English literature. After university, Fyodorov moved to the East End where he restarted his musical career under the name Oxxxymiron. The name is derived from his first name Miron, rhetorical device oxymoron and triple X, representing the large amount of profanity in his lyrics.

Today he is one of the most influential and prominent hip-hop performers in Russia, and his albums are considered by the community as the most important releases of Russian rap.
On February 24, 2022, he opposed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He held a number of charity concerts, and used the proceeds from them to help Ukrainian refugees. At concerts, during breaks between songs, he often spoke out against the war.

All pictures: flic.kr/s/aHBqjB2Wua

Nino Katamadze

Meridian Arts Centre, Toronto (27.09.2023)

Canadian premiere of world-renowned jazz sensation Nino Katamadze and Insight Band in Toronto, featuring Gocha Kacheishvili, Ucha Gugunava, Alexander Kaki Japaridze, Papuna Sharikadze and Giorgi Berishvili.

All pictures: flic.kr/s/aHBqjAWZBN

Polina Osetinskaya

Solo Recital Debut At Koerner Hall (Toronto, 03.06.2023)
Baroque Music from the Greatest Movies of All Time. North American Tour.

It’s no secret that music by Bach, Handel, Purcell, and Rameau have been prominently featured in movie soundtracks like Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather, Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon, Jean-Pierrel Jeneut’s Casanova, not to mention in films by Tarkovsky, Greenaway, and Bergman. These works have become some of the most popular and enduring musical masterpieces in history.

Hear Ms. Osetinskaya, in this unique program of Baroque art house film music. Her obvious charm, vivid interpretations, and impeccable attention to musical detail will make you understand why she rose to international acclaim as a collaborator with renowned artists like violinist Maxim Vengerov, and a soloist in demand by the preeminent conductors on stage today from Carnegie Hall, to Vienna’s Musikverein, and London’s Barbican Centre.

She began her career at the age of five and was soon recognized as a wunderkind, giving her first solo concert at the age of six and going on to study with Marina Wolf and Vera Gornostaeva. She’s since performed on international stages ranging from Rome’s Teatro Argentina, to Germany, Poland, Israel, Tokyo, the United States, and more. She’s also collaborated with the likes of Maxim Vengerov, Alexander Knyazev, Julian Milkis, Theodor Currentzis, and more. Osetinskaya is also a published author with a harrowing reflection on her childhood in her memoir, Farewell Sadness. Hers is a contemplative mind with reflections across a wide horizon, creating in various genres, including on the theatrical stage wherein she both acts and performs as a musician.

Osetinskaya has been a life-long human rights advocate, supporting political prisoners, performing charity recitals for patients in hospice care, and working as a trustee for Oxygen Foundation to support children with cystic fibrosis. Elsewhere, she has been vocal about her anti-war stance while remaining in Moscow, and has faced cancellation of her concerts in all state and government concert halls. In an interview with VAN Magazine, Osetinskaya reflected on how her childhood has prepared her to adapt to this censorship: “I remember when I was seven, I would go to the concerts of the big rock groups like Aquarium that were playing concerts in private apartments. This kind of underground culture of the early ’80s is suddenly coming back. I’ll continue to play in those places, because the people who can’t leave Russia or prefer to stay in their own country and fight as they can for truth need art and music to heal their pain.”

All pictures: flic.kr/s/aHBqjAGJZ1

Vasya Oblomov

Adelaide Hall, Toronto (22.04.2023)

All pictures: flic.kr/s/aHBqjABCUJ

Vera Polozkova & Alex Manotskov

Meridian Arts Centre, Toronto (14.04.2023)

“Hand luggage” (Poetry and Songs) program

Hand Luggage is a dialogue between two authors, a composer and a poet. It’s like a personal archive of plots and stories that they were eyewitnesses to. Previously, they sounded like an attempt at a summary, a detailed account of what a person says goodbye to and what a person gains when he enters maturity. Now this is a confession about life before the war. About what we actually took with us when we left.

Vera Polozkova: “We sing and read about what a person feels when the world is cracking right under his feet. About war, about loss, about gratitude, about hope, about despair. About memory. About what remains yours when you lose everything. About what cannot be taken away from you as long as you are alive.

Since ancient times, there has been such a form – the alternation of reading the text and, immediately, singing it – the text, as it were, is highlighted from different sides. This song cycle arose quickly and unexpectedly. Just as unexpectedly, an unusual instrumentation was born – electric bass and voice. But, as sometimes happens, what appears unexpectedly has long-term consequences.

All pictures: flic.kr/s/aHBqjAACDa

The Woodshed Orchestra

Moonshine Cafe, Oakville, Ontario (28.01.2023)

Band: Legendary Toronto drummer Dave Clark, Joe Lapinski – guitar & vocals, Rebecca Hennessy – trumpet & vocals, Julia Hambleton – clarinet & vocals, Michael Herring – bass, bass drum/cymbalist & vocals.
The Woodshed Orchestra mashes up classic dance styles from all over the world into a soulful celebration.
This band is a funky, uplifting and joyful ride every time it plays.

All pictures: flic.kr/s/aHBqjAqq5A

Noize MC

Ivan Alekseev (Noize MC) in Toronto. “Everything is like people” tour in North America
The Opera House, Toronto (26.11.2022)

Russian rapper, singer, and actor Ivan Alekseev, better known by his stage name Noize MC, performs in Canada and the United States as part of his “Everything is like people” tour in November-December 2022. By the summer of 2022, the artist is preparing a special program consisting of iconic songs for all 19 years of the group’s existence, as well as fresh tracks from the new, already sensational album “Exit to the City”, which managed to gain love and popularity among listeners. This performance has everything that we love so much in Noize MC: individual musical style, sarcastic rap on topical topics, sensual, romantic songs with a guitar, as well as Ivan Alekseev’s unique freestyler talent – whoever heard it at least once will never forget this performance ! Obviously, Noize MC is the main musician of our time today.

All pictures: flic.kr/s/aHBqjAhkZr

Cirque Du Soleil – Alegria

Grand Chapiteau at Ontario Place, Toronto, Ontario. November 11, 2019.

Original size versions: flic.kr/s/aHsmJEmCqP

Yiddish glory

The Lost Songs of World War II
Koerner Hall, Toronto. (August 28, 2018.)

The story:

Yiddish Glory features anti-fascist songs and music documenting Nazi atrocities that were discovered in a former Soviet archive in Kiev. The songs have been resurrected by Yiddish Glory in a jaw-dropping new recording of music written by Holocaust victims and survivors in the Soviet Union during World War II.

Many of the songs are grassroots accounts of Nazi atrocities in Ukraine at sites such as Babi Yar, Pechora and Tulchin, while others are explicit descriptions of resistance and revenge. Most of the songs were written by women and children, perspectives rarely seen in music of this period. The songs were collected by a team of Jewish Soviet ethnomusicologists led by Moisei Beregovsky during the war, but shortly afterwards, during Stalin’s anti-Jewish purge, the collectors were arrested, their work confiscated, and they died thinking the music was lost to history.

On stage:

Yiddish Glory features an elite ensemble comprising world class musicians and led by

Psoy Korolenko: Singer-songwriter
Loyko: The world-renowned Gypsy trio from St. Petersburg, Russia, led by virtuoso violinist Sergei Erdenko with Artur Gorbenko (violin) and Mikhail Savichev (guitar)
Sasha Lurje: vocalist (Yiddish singer from Latvia)
Julian Milkis: Widely considered among the world’s greatest living clarinetists
David Buchbinder: Juno Award-winning Trumpetist
Sergiu Popa: Virtuoso Roma Accordionist
Beth Silver: Multiple Award-winning Cellist
Isaac Rosenberg – Vocals
Anna Shternshis – Historian and Researcher (Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Toronto)

All pictures: flic.kr/s/aHskHhVtWJ