Jazz Performance and Education Centre Presents: Tapestry – A Musical Landscape, featuring Joe Sealy’s Africville Stories and a Salute to Motown
A Tribute to the Honourable Mr. Justice Michael H. Tulloch, Ontario Court of Appeal
Saturday, February 23, 2013 at the Toronto Centre for the Arts
Photo Report by Atael Weissman
Joe Sealy performing “Africville Stories” – from his Juno award-winning “Africville Suite” – featuring Jackie Richardson, Paul Novotny, Mark Kelso and Mike Murley.
“A Salute to Motown” with world-renowned and award winning jazz musicians and vocalists, including Soul Stew, Toronto’s legendary R & B, soul, and jazz, band: Musical director Roberto Occhipinti is joined by Alana Bridgewater, Michael Dunston, Kervin Barreto, David Gray, Joaquin Nunez Hidalgo, Matt Horner, John Johnson, Mark Kelso, and Michael Shand.
“Africville Stories” is a narrative and musical journey, a poignant combination of words and music. Established at the north end of Halifax in 1847 by descendants of slaves who fled the United States, Africville was razed in the late 1960’s by the government for “urban improvement.” The neighbourhood overcame a multitude of challenges and managed to survive for more than a century until the final building, their beloved church, was tragically demolished in the 60’s and is now being rebuilt. “Africville Stories” conveys profound memoirs of the Africville community and its people reaching into their hearts and souls. Such high profileindividuals as, Joe Louis and Duke Ellington were all part of the legacy. See what the Toronto Star and Whole Note say about Africville.
Motown was always more than a record label. It uniquely reflected the pop music of the day, but with clear roots in soul, blues, and gospel. Under Berry Gordy Jr., it transformed into an identifiable vibe created by songwriters, producers, and performers who became legendary. Just saying “Motown” conjures memories of performers including Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, the Four Tops, Diana Ross, the Supremes, the Jackson Five, and many more. One song enters our minds, followed by another, and then another. Like some of the other music of the time, Motown was intertwined with the social and political dynamics of the 1960’s. It unified audiences from all ages and backgrounds. We enjoyed the music, and in the process, it broke down barriers. Though Motown has a 60 year history, for many of us it will always evoke the memories of those early days when it had us “Dancing in The Streets”.