Hey Winnipeg! The end of the week is here! It's a long weekend and it's Valentine's Day weekend! What plans are you making?
Thursday night (Feb 12), Jazz Winnipeg presents Guitarama 3. This now annual event once again sees the return of Icelandic guitarist Bjorn Thoroddsen. And the roster of guitarists he's bringing with him includes Romi Mayes, Big Dave MacLean, Jason Nowicki and Tim Butler. This is going to be a really fun show. All the artists will be sharing their take on favourite Beatles songs. Guitarama 3 takes place tonight at the Park Theatre 8:00 PM. Tickets are $25 at the door or $20 if you buy them in advance at Jazz Winnipeg.
Bjorn Thoroddsen is an Icelandic solo guitarist who picked up his first guitar at age 10. He's been touring as a soloist as well as with his band all around the world - Bjorn plays pop, jazz, rock, blues, country and whatever style of music he feels like playing at the time. Today Bjorn is dazzling his audiences with outstanding playing and showmanship. Here's a taste of what you might hear Thursday night.
Friday night (Feb 13), the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra presents their very special Valentine's Day concert chock full of beautiful, romantic music. The love theme from Tchaikovsky's Romeo & Juliet, Ravel's Bolero and Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream. Also on the program, dynamic piano duo Anderson & Roe will perform Mozart's Concerto for two pianos & Orchestra. There are two performances, Friday night (Feb 13) and Saturday night (Feb 14) at the Centennial Concert Hall. The WSO is even offering a special romance package. For $99 per couple, you get tickets to the concert, champagne and a chocolate rose by Chocolatier Constance Popp. If you already have tickets but would like this romance package, just call the WSO box office at 204.949.3999 and they'll fix you up.
Last June, Korea's MBC Television broadcast Anderson & Roe's concert at the LG Arts Center in Seoul. Here is their performance of Rachmaninoff's "Vocalise" (in their arrangement for piano, four-hands) from the event. Just a warning . . .you'll want to watch/listen to this over and over again!
On Sunday (Feb 15) the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra presents All My Tomorrows: The Music of Sammy Cahn with singer Martha Brooks. The Winnipeg novelist and jazz singer returns to the WJO stage with some of her most personal works. Songs that both celebrate the lyrical talent of Sammy Cahn while commemorating Brooks' love for her late husband. There are two performances. 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. As a bonus, Martha Brooks will be joined in song by two of Winnipeg's finest vocal jazz ensembles. River East Collegiate Vocalease directed by Nicole Ens during the afternoon show and then Garden City Groove directed by Stacey Natrass Brown for the 7:30 evening show. Tickets are $35 and you can get those HERE, McNally Robinson Booksellers or Jazz Winnipeg.
Martha Brooks and Jeff Presslaff were Neil''s guests live in studio earlier this week on Jazz After 9. Watch the interview here.
Here is a wonderful 1990 BBC Radio Scotland interview we found online featuirng Elliot Meadow in conversation with the one and only Sammy Cahn.
Alson happening Sunday, the second concert of the season for the Westminster Concert Organ Series. Benjamin Straley is the featured artist, He is the assistant organist at Washington National Cathedral.
In addition to his musical studies at Yale, he also pursued theological studies, completing a Master of Divinity and a Diploma in Anglican Studies. His playing accomplishments include the Baker Prize, awarded to incoming organ students at Yale who are deemed to be in the top 1 or 2 percent of young organists in the country.
Showtime is 2:30 PM at Westminster United Church. Tickets are $25 and available at McNally Robinson Booksellers, and at the door. There is also special pricing for seniors and students.
Looking ahead to next week, the Winnipeg Real to Reel Festival launches Tuesday at North Kildonan Mennonite Brethern Church on Gateway Road and Springfield in North Kildonan. Six days of feature films, documentaries and short films. The Reel to Reel Festival is in its fifth year and focusses on works that are inspiring, compelling and carry a positive message. They include local, national and international films.
Opening night launches with "Belle" – A British period drama film inspired by the 1779 painting of Dido Elizabeth Belle beside her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray. Lady Elizabeth's great uncle was Lord Chief Justice of England. Very little is known about the life of Dido, other than she was born in the West Indies and was the illegitimate mixed-race daughter of Mansfield's nephew. She is found living in poverty by her father and entrusted to the care of Mansfeild and his wife. The Film is set at a time of legal significance. A court case is heard on what became known as the the Zong massacre, when slaves were thrown overboard from a slave ship and the owner filed with his insurance company for the losses. Lord Mansfeild rules on this case in England's Court of King's Bench in 1786 in a decision that is seen as contributing to the abolition of slavery in Britain.
Belle screens at 7:00 PM at the North Kildonan MB Church on Gateway. Passes are $15 for individuals or $25 for a family pass. There are
also day passes available. All proceeds support inner city initiatives. For more information on the whole festival go HERE.
MCO music director Anne Manson. Anne will also be conducting Wednesday night's performance.
Showtime is 7:30 at Westminster United Church. Tickets are $30 for adults, $28 for seniors and $10 students. You can get them at McNally Robinson Booksellers, the West End Cultural Centre, Organic Planet or the MCO ticketline at 204.783.7377.
Those are just some of the things happening in Winnipeg as we lead up to this February long weekend and beyond.
Tune in to the Classic 107 Arts & Entertainment Calendar with Claudia Garcia de la Huerta every Thursday, and Friday at 7:45 AM and 4:45 PM and Saturday mornings at 11:15 AM.