Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More Moo business card patterns!

Melissa Crowley, Naturally....

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Beat the Blues, Business Cards

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I just received the ones I blogged about earlier which are lovely! Now I see more of them on their site...that's the great thing about printing only 50 - you can change your mind and you're not stuck with 250 of them....

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Great gadget.....

This nifty item I found out about from Kristen's Raw blog - it apparently produces great coffee with 67% LESS acidity - something I have been trying to reduce in my!

Catching up with "Jazzology" grads - Rosanne Howell

Great to hear the lovely Rosanne at Gate 403 tonight with her band -she did original tunes like "Twilight" and "Gravity" - joking that she was covering the great Canadian songwriters - starting with herself - not really a joke since she does write very well.

I particularly enjoyed "Shiny Stockings", "So Far Away",  "I Try" and "Both Sides Now" lovely - hope you are back at Gate 403 soon! (Photo from my cell phone so not the greatest image!)

In the audience was Taurean Clarke, master of the steel pan and Humber grad - now teaching for the TDSB - hope to hear him perform soon too..he tells me he was part of the bill with the legendary Archie Alleyne at Pero recently....

Via Facebook an evening of award winning composers - at Berklee in Boston.
Yet another "Jazzology" grad - this time from Mohawk - Lorenzo Castelli is performing award winning compositions at :

 "Professional Writing Division Awards Concert" on Thursday, April 1 at 8:15pm.

Event: Professional Writing Division Awards Concert

What: Concert

Start Time: Thursday, April 1 at 8:15pm

End Time: Thursday, April 1 at 10:00pm

Where: Berklee Performance Center

Lorenzo is representing the film scoring department. Congratulations!

Muffin Mo

Made some Banana Chocolate Chip muffins from "Get Real" as there were "reject" bananas at the Kitchen Table downstairs. Today I am finishing "Prisoner of Tehran" - which I highly recommend - and made making Cheezy Kale Chips...mmm...I need to have lunch because that phrase caused my stomach to rumble.

I can't wait to try out the cookie recipes....

Rosanne Howell is at Gate 403 from 5 - 8 and Danica Leigh at the Reservoir starting at 7 p.m. - I am sensing a mad dash on the TTC between the two venues.

Ate salad rolls and curry puffs from King's Cafe at Yoga Show on Sunday - bought another yoga top plus a gorgeous rose pink number- short sleeves and hood- bamboo from KarmaWear our neighbours - sooo soft and comfy. Regrettably - they are from B.C. - however, this is the age of internet....

The great guitarist Herb Ellis passed away on Sunday - he was 88. Herb was best known for his work with Oscar Peterson along with Ray Brown - a legendary trio - his lightning fast melodic guitar playing and being a true gentleman - I got to meet him a number of years back when I was working at the Yardbird Suite so I can attest to all counts. I loved the stories I heard about the practical jokes those three used to play on each other - including the one where Herb dyed his hair purple and Oscar never rose to the bait to comment! Oscar is waiting for you, Herb.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

An embarassment of jazz riches

Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone's Favorite TreatsVegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone's Favorite Treats

Wow - Bobby McFerrin certainly lived up to my expectations....a blog posting should appear soon on Jazz FM's website. Tonight is Kurt Rosenwinkel....

Yesterday I worked at the Yoga Show for Soul Symbols with the always gracious Jalanna Lloyd Smith and I'm scheduled for tomorrow as well. I bought some great yoga/pilates wear at a booth called Aiyoku - operated by the very outgoing Wendy Waters - her stuff is colourful, prints not the same old same old one colour - check it out. Tried out my new purchase at Pilates today - may get another top....

I know I don't really need another cookbook but the money goes to TVA - so I am justifying it..."Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar" and "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World" -  drooling over food porn. There were also samples when you spent $20 or more on books. Beware Jazz FM staff I have new cookbooks and I'm not afraid to use them....

And now off to Fresh and Kurt Rosenwinkel....

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Billie, Bling, Baking and Monsoon

Okay, couldn't come up with a "b" word for Indo jazz - maybe Bollywood - but that wouldn't go.

Spent a delightful hour at Jazz FM Shawne Jackson a.ka. Billie Holiday - read about it on the Jazz FM blog....

Here is Monsoon in action at the Rex last night....

I also made a lemon poppyseed loaf from Alicia's book yesterday and some chocolate peanut butter shells from the "100 best vegan baking recipes" book.....

Check out the bling I received from Diva D - my very good internet buddy....gorgeous - early birthday present - love it! Thank you again Divine D!

On a sad note, the great Eugene Amaro passed away yesterday. Condolences to the family and friends of a great contributor to Canada's jazz scene including of course Rob McConnell's Boss Brass.  One more for the stellar jazz band in the hereafter.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Meatless Mondays

And Tuesdays, Wednesdays...well heck it is every day for me...but very exciting that there is a "Toronto Star" article on the front page of the Entertainment section featuring a photo of the TVA's  wonderful Executive Director David Alexander!

Inside there is more coverage - with recipes and a photo of the chef of the splendiferous "Calico Cafe" - Jared Davis - and reminds me I must pay that fine establishment a visit soon....

If I do have a bone to pick - yes, odd turn of phrase there - it's the emphasis on deprivation in the tone of the article's writer. I know they are likely required to be fair and balanced however, I feel there could have been far more focus on the pluses (of which there are many) than the minuses. I have never had such an interesting diet or created such interesting dishes as when I went veg. I still am more inclined with the "Meat Free" campaign that started in Britain personally - perhaps it is the allure of Sir Paul. More like to my way of thinking "Hooray, I am free of meat"! A liberation if you will....

By the way had a yummy lunch at "The Friendly Thai" newly on Queen Street west of Tecumseh - oodles of noodles and many veg options on the menu...I will be back. An extra treat mango, banana and green tea ice cream - thud - that's the sound of me perhaps falling off the vegan wagon unless that was coconut ice cream...which you must try!

Feeling very balanced thanks to Melissa at All One in Roncesvalles - love reflexology and as added indulgence - I was a massage model for Ayurvedic Touch - a very gifted student, Cathy (don't know if that's the spelling - sorry!) of Andrea Olivera's - an incredible teacher, Ayurvedic practitioner, facialist, skin care goddess and lovely, warm and nurturing person.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Business card images I am checking out...psychedelic

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Queen Street Mug

This funky creation comes from one of the ladies who sell pottery on Queen Street on the weekends - between Tecumseh and Niagara. I liked the blue colour and pink/purple interior as well as the shape.

I think the artisan herself is either deaf or deaf/mute or both - if that is politically correct. She gestured about wrapping it but I just smiled and gestured I would put it in my purse. I also bought some leaf patterned earrings from her neighbour - cool items and great prices.

In Tarot my colouring most likely is represented by the Queen of Swords - but really as you can see - I am the Queen of Cups...or at least collecting cups.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Jazz Slacker

That is me this weekend anyway - well, other than hearing Dan Bodanis and his trio at Azure- Brian Dickinson sitting in on piano - great version of "Nica's Dream"  - I recommend the Invisible Lotus martini...delish.

I had hoped to see "The Damned United" in the building last night as I am becoming a Michael Sheen fan - he is such a chameleon - however, 3rd time this week rec staff has not planned ahead for the showing. "Adam" became "New Moon" and last night's movie some lame filler called "The Goal" - which I didn't even bother to stay for - I went across the street and rented "Lymelife" instead.

I am gathering energy, so not really slacking as I will be covering the Shawne Jackson event at Jazz FM, Bobby McFerrin on Friday and Kurt Rosenwinkel on Saturday - plus likely going to Tequila Bookworm for Adam Arruda's Monk themed event and to hear "Monsoon" at the Rex on Wednesday...

And now on to bios....

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Paul Read Tribute

What a wonderful testament this concert was to Paul Read's contributions to jazz in Toronto and indeed Canada. Patrick Boyle did a great job on his emcee duties as well as musical. The musicianship of the 10 o'clock and 11 o'clock Jazz Orchestras under the direction of Terry Promane and Jim Lewis was top notch. Chase Sanborn also emceed and provided his usual solid trumpet duties - special appearance from the always searing tenor man Alex Dean.

It's great hearing all the burgeoning talent particularly Shannon Graham on tenor - she is from Edmonton - and Landon Vieria I think it was - I just know the fun curly hair also on tenor. Mackenzie Longpre on drums - awesome.

Who's who of jazz community there - Larry Green (my boss), Denny Christianson, Pat LaBarbera, Dave McMurdo Don Thompson, Mike Downes to name a few. Dave says he has a gig coming up at the Old Mill in May and that I should get my ahem...behind (not what he said) over there - yes, sir!

The Outreach band was outstanding - playing a tune dedicated to Read's mother "Marmalade Margaret" - over 50% "Jazzology grads - Ben Dietschi, Patrick Boyle, Nathan Hiltz, Robin Jessome, Rob Fekete - way to go guys!

Exciting news I am going to see Bobby McFerrin and also Kurt Rosenwinkel...woo hoo! May head over to Azure tomorrow night and then the Rex to see Dave Young.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spice Girl

This is the Spice Swirl Bundt Cake with Buttahmilk Icing from Jae Steele's "Get It Ripe"...I was feeling in a spice cake mood. I am also planning on a Lemon Poppyseed Cake -perhaps on Friday.

Tonight off to hear the Paul Read tribute at U of T - should be great.

Currently I am trying to eat some more raw foods and smoothies to settle the digestion - so not so much spice for me or hot or fried. I tried out a Chocolate Mint Matte at David's today - it was great and as advised by the clerk gives you energy, without the downsides of coffee - the mint helps cover some of the "earthy" flavour of the Matte I find and I love mint.

Coconut is also good for me - so, a little treat of Coconut Milk ice cream later...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Kate Rusby

How delightful she was last evening at Hugh's Room - packed house. Ran into friends who were surprised so many knew about her - ah, the wonders of the internet.  In between numbers she displayed a fun sense of humour - her obsession with "Shrek" and Superman - she has a little outfit for her dog, Doris...husband and fellow musician - on guitars and banjo Damien - displaying one of my favourite accents - Northern Irish had a great dry wit and talent to burn - lovely voice.

Kate performed "You Belong to Me" - that sweet 50's tune, "A Good Man", "Not Me", "The Drowned Lovers", "The Cobbler's Daughter" - among many and "Underneath the Stars" as an encore solo - magical.

Check out - for more photos, bio, albums, tour dates, etc.

Today is a beautiful day - uncharacteristically springlike. I had a reflexology session which I hope is the start on the road to being back in balance - perhaps I need to settle digestive issues by going raw again...hmmm....too many tomatoes, peppers, acidic items of late? Plus, meditation. Thanks to Melissa at All One Clinic in Roncesvalles - an oasis of tranquillity and healing.

Jazz content: an email I received from Terry Promane:

On behalf of the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, I invite you to join us on Wednesday, March 17 at 7:30 pm in MacMillan Theatre when the University of Toronto Jazz Studies Department celebrates the work and music of Professor Paul Read.

The 10 O’Clock and 11 O’Clock Jazz Orchestras conducted by Terry Promane and Jim Lewis will perform music composed and arranged by Paul. A reception will follow.

Paul Read was a central figure in the establishment and growth of the U of T Jazz Studies degree programs and he continues to be a major figure in the jazz community as a pianist, saxophonist, composer, arranger and educator.

To recognize Paul’s contribution to the University of Toronto, we are establishing an award for jazz graduate students in his name. I hope that you will consider making a gift to support this new initiative to encourage jazz graduate students and to honour Paul.

To reserve a pair of tickets to the concert and reception and/or to make a gift please contact Tyler Greenleaf at 416-946-3580.

 I have the privilige of having met and heard many of these fine students and graduates - it promises to be a great show!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dead Umbrellas

Everywhere. Including my own - I wonder what the fatalities were yesterday after the wind and rain....hundreds or thousands? Much more gentle today.

An interesting fact from the Nature Conservancy calendar - male Grizzly bears emerge from hibernation today....hmmm...just be careful - you never know they could be roaming Queen Street - where you would least expect it and they are HUNGRY!

This afternoon I am making a "mash-up" as the kids say of Minestrone recipes...smells good - used Ying Ying "bacon" onion, garlic, broth, carrots, celery, cabbage, tomatoes, zucchini - lima beans, peas, corn (all frozen) - green beans, kidney beans, pasta, basil, oregano, parsley.

Tomorrow night going to see Kate Rusby at Hugh's Room - very exciting. No jazz to report on my schedule as yet this week, but it will come, I know it.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


This lovely image is from flick'r - Creativity plus by Timothy K Hamilton.

I was thinking about butterflies as my dear friend D mentioned dreaming of them last night - plus I also seem to be encountering a lot of butterfly imagery - hmm...does that mean I am becoming a butterfly? Nice concept. My dream involved Paul McCartney...interesting...completely G rated.

Here is a thought I had, admittedly strange - if you got Jamie Cullum and Jamie Oliver at the same event would one be able to withstand the energy level and cuteness factor? Let's find out!

Great music again at Azure - wonderful to hear Dave Restivo - he really killed it on "Pennies from Heaven" and I requested "Someone to Watch Over Me", "Desafinado" and "I Thought About You"...still a roomful of people and minimal applause....sigh...part of me wants to lecture, part of me to just let it Zen, like the butterfly...

It was also nice to meet Jim Biros Executive Vice President of the Toronto Musicians Association - who helped Dan put together the contract with the hotel...he is a fascinating guy - with a background in theatre.

I am excited about going to hear Kate Rusby tomorrow at Hugh's Room - sounds lovely from my You Tube listening - thanks to Brenda Lewis.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Jamie Cullum

Blog posting should be up shortly on Jazz FM - how delightful he was - our own little concert - much better than being in the nosebleed section in a huge concert hall.

Discovered a new restaurant - well, to me anyway in Liberty Village - Raaw - it's Japanese had yummy "Very Veg" sushi with brown rice, avocado, cucumber, shitake mushroom, carrot - crunchy wrapped in bean curd - scrumptious, plus the owners/staff are wonderfully welcoming people - check it out - there are a few veg options on the menu. I should have taken a photo but thought that may have freaked them out...I can't wait to sample more items on the menu.

Also another discovery in Liberty Galleria - Demo Soap - I have seen their stuff at the One of a Kind Sale and knew they had a space somewhere in the area - found it. Too much fun smelling all the soaps - I bought Vanilla Coconut, Jasmine, Shea Butter and Rose Geranium. A whole strip of shops/businesses (including a dance studio, clothing store and "For the Love of Cake" ) I haven't noticed before as I'm usually on a mission to get to Jazz FM  - other than stopping for Balzac's coffee.

Maybe a visit to Azure again today - Dave Restivo is in the house - and I will venture into folk territory methinks on Sunday or Monday at Hugh's Room - a singer someone put me onto Kate Rusby from the U.K. Julie Mahendran is also at the Rex the same night!

Thanks to Ron for the tip about Danielle Hebert - check out her "Paris is for Lovers" CD - it's been played on Brad Barker's show - that's Dinner Jazz from 6 - 9 weekdays. I am on this French chanteuse or chanteur kick and Ron is a Francophile and knows his music - we share similiar taste.

I am anticipating the Grand Opening of Bergstrom Originals - they are moving across the street - on March 18th - more on that later - with photos. Love Christina's use of colour - I certainly adore everything I buy there.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mad Men dolls

Wow....where are the martinis and cigarettes I wonder? Too risque, je pense...for Mattel.

Doesn't Joan look like the 50's era Barbies? Methinks she needs to be a little more zaftig...

Maybe a Peggy doll, too - pre makeover she would look more like Skipper....

Thanks Diva D for the heads up....still need to catch up on Season 3!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Danjam Orchestra at Trane

 Here is the fabulous Danjam Orchestra...that's Dan Jamieson's conducting and soloing is Toronto's own Mike Ruby. Next to Mike is Mr. Mike Murley - one of Canada's finest saxophonists - playing baritone.

The band sounded incredible last night and I got to visit with Heather Segger, Justin Gray, Patrick Boyle, Jake Koffman and Ben Dietschi. Ben told me he is putting together a cross Canada tour with a new group of musicians he met at Banff - thanks to the federal government. They are also going to record. I love hearing exciting news from the "kids".

Select members from Dan's group are playing the Rex late show tomorrow night....his parents are hosting about 6 members from New York - from the Manhattan School of Music. I am so thrilled to hear the next generation....

Now off to Lush and Lavish for some indulgence...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Oscar recap and Danjam

Loved, loved this Marchesa gown on Best Supporting Actress nominee Vera Farmiga - she looked elegant and comfortable in it - a pop of colour and a wonderful confection.

Also lovely: Sandra Bullock, Penelope Cruz and J. Lo....did not like the bedsheet Sarah Jessica was wearing, ditto the doily around Barbra's neck....what, it was too much effort to make the effort and dress up? As for the opening number, I hope that was a really big joke as it was cringe inducing...

Much of the evening felt awkward - I was happy to see Kathryn Bigelow win though as well as "The Cove" for best documentary. Didn't see many of the films which is unlike me and particularly the foreign films...perhaps 10 films is too unwieldy, methinks - last time it was done was the year "Casablanca" won - enough said.

On to a more positive note - Danjam Orchestra tonight at 8 at Trane - featuring some great musicians including Mike Murley and a couple of "Jazzology" graduates - Heather Segger and Patrick Boyle.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Jazz Etiquette

This one always puzzles me and I haven't yet figured it out...if there are only a few people in the audience do you still applaud after solos? It feels a little weird - I certainly would love to acknowledge the musicians but perhaps I feel too self conscious applauding - heck I even feel self conscious at the end of the tune if I'm the only one applauding/paying atttention - this has happened in venues where there have been 15-20 people or so dining! Needless to say I always appreciate the musicians - even if it's just in my head!

Today going to hear Melissa Lauren at Gate 403 and then off to an Oscar party to watch awards and check out the dresses, natch. I am brining Alicia Silverstone's Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups...

I'm on a French pop kick - listening to Madame Sarkozy/Carla Bruni and Francoise Hardy in rotation - if anyone can suggest any other singers I should check out I would appreciate it...loving the gentle nature and of course everything sounds more lovely en francais....

Can't wait to hear Dan Jamieson's Orchestra tomorrow night!!

I am also taking a tarot class again which should be fun and exciting - my card pick today is "The World" - a great card.

Friday, March 5, 2010

What's going on with me

Off to Azure again...then maybe Trane to see Julia Cleveland's group - there are apparently Japanese drummers!

Tomorrow it's Max Senitt Y Sus Amigos at Tequila Bookworm on Queen...

Here are Bruce Harvey and Dan Bodanis enjoying the treats I baked and brought them last night...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Fudgy and Hippy Dippy

Macaroon bars and crackers that is....left and right respectively. I have to say this is the first time I have tried making crackers and it was super easy.

Next time I will change it up add spices/herbs, different seeds...

Thanks again to "100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes" by Kris Holechek - best prize I have ever won. I can't wait to try making Devils' Food Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting - maybe closer to my birthday....

I am on a bit of a baking binge I confess - I was thinking of making a Lemon Poppyseed cake - but will save that for next week...

Today it is springlike, sunny and above zero. Got a haircut and colour at my fave salon Lush and Lavish on Ossington - by the wonderful Sarah. Using points next week for mani/pedi and facial....a goddess needs to be pampered.

Here is some interesting news from Sundar (apologies for being sucked into the Olympic vortex and not making it out to your gig at Chalkers - hope to see him soon).....

**Special Announcement**: Sundar's original composition Samsara has been picked as a finalist by judges that include McCoy Tyner, John Scofield, Steve Winwood, Tom Waits, John Mayer, Youssou N'Dour and many others in the Jazz Category of the International Songwriting Competition!! You can vote online once daily until Mar 31 for the Peoples' Choice award at:

**Go online to listen to Samsara and if it so moves you, to vote for Sundar

How great is that? Congratulations Sundar!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New cozy coat

Not real fur so relax! Toasty made in Canada, purchased at Lorne's on Spadina...I was also eyeing cloth coats - but maybe next season. After all it is barely March in the Great White North and you never know...I have decided a hood is a good idea - due to wind and wet snow... Not black or brown but grey... as everyone I see on the streets has a black coat! Apparently next season..more colour. Saw a great production at Canstage "Intimate Apparel" - great cast and production - some 2 and half hours but time flew - Raven Dauda as the lead was superb! Jazzwise I will be down at Azure on Thursday, seeing Max Sennitt y Sus Amigos on Saturday and Dan Jamieson's Orchestra on week is also the Live to Air for Jamie Cullum - be still my heart!