Toronto

Maqueque new queens of Afro-Cuban jazz, with Jane Bunnett’s boost

Nick Krewen Special to the Star Nov 02, 2019 Like Hilario Duran, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and countless other Cuban musicians, pianist and composer Dánae Olano owes Toronto’s Jane Bunnett and Larry Cramer a debt of gratitude. With the continuing Cold War between Cuba and the U.S. unlikely to thaw under their present regimes, musicians occupying the island  have found it nearly impossible to find career traction when restricted to staying within…

Read More

U.S. immigration crackdown inspires Jessie Reyez’s charged new music video

Nick Krewen Special to the Star Oct 07, 2019 In the visually compelling video for her latest song “Far Away,” Toronto’s Jessie Reyez pulls no punches when depicting immigrant persecution in Trump’s America. During the two-minute-and-50-second scenario directed by Peter Huang, Reyez’s character and her male love interest are dancing at a party that is suddenly stormed and tear-gassed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, who end up…


How Toronto’s master guitar maker brings a new instrument to life — and why she worries

By Nick Krewen Special to the Star October 02,  2019 “Whoo-oo! Would you look at that?” Pleased as punch, musician Stephen Fearing is leaning moon-eyed over an open case, cooing over his latest custom-built, flat-top, six-stringed guitar, its European Spruce surface kissed by the slightest toasted-sunburst finish and adorned with a mother-of-pearl replica of Fearing’s signature on its fingerboard. Linda Manzer, the world-renown luthier who spent more than a year crafting…


Regent Park School of Music is glad to have a friend in Taylor Swift

By Nick Krewen Special to the Star August 26, 2019 The Regent Park School of Music has discovered that it’s nice to have a friend in high places – especially if that friend is named Taylor Swift. It turns out that several Regent Park School of Music students between the ages of nine and 18 appear on the Nashville-based Swift’s latest album Lover, released last Friday: specifically on the sample…


Clairmont The Second is up for a climb

Nick Krewen Special to the Star July 20, 2019 Clairmont The Second may be one of the more ambitious rappers out there, but he’s in no rush to achieve the lofty stardom to which he aspires. “We knew from the start that it was going to be the long game,” said the Juno-nominated hip-hop artist born Clairmont Humphrey, who hails from the Jane and Weston area of Toronto and brings…