Music Notes – November 2016

Neil Young’s “Indian Givers” Neil Young’s new song and video, “Indian Givers”, is a straightforward condemnation of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the oil mega-project that is being resisted by the Standing Rock Sioux Association and allies from across the continent. The veteran rock star has long been a supporter of Indigenous land claims and a […]

Music Notes – October 2016

“We Are the Halluci Nation” Since the release of their first album in 2012, Ottawa-based indigenous DJ trio A Tribe Called Red has been one of the most influential groups in Canadian music. Their third album, “We Are the Halluci Nation”, was released last month. Ian “DJ NDN” Campeau, Tim “2oolman” Hill, and Bear Witness, […]

Music Notes – September 2016

Fidel’s 90th: a musical extravaganza Last June, the Cuban Institute of Music announced that on August 13th, “a great cantata and concert” would launch a nation-wide day of festivities to celebrate Fidel Castro’s 90th birthday. When the anniversary arrived, more than 100 children’s choirs and concert bands performed a tribute to Fidel simultaneously across the […]

Music Notes – August 2016

“Cubanacán: A Revolution of Forms” DVDs of the first new Cuban opera in 50 years have been sent to American promoters in hope of attracting interest in a U.S. production. “Cubanacán: A Revolution of Forms”, with music by Cuban composer Roberto Valera, and libretto by American writer Charles Koppelman, premiered in Havana in 2015. The […]

Music Notes – July 2016

Victor Jara trial in Miami The trial of the former Chilean military officer accused of murdering folk singer and activist Victor Jara began in Miami on June 13th. Former lieutenant Pedro Pablo Barrientos Nuñez is charged with torturing and murdering Jara, a communist artist who had campaigned for, and defended, the socialist Popular Unity government […]

Music Notes – June 2016

Valentina Lisitsa interviewed in Donetsk Not long after her triumphant April 10th concert at Toronto’s Koerner Hall, Ukrainian-American pianist Valentina Lisitsa was interviewed for the Donetsk-based Russian-language daily Komsomolskaya Pravda. The outspoken critic of the post-Maidan regime in Kiev has taken a lot of flak in some quarters, but in the predominantly Russian-speaking lands of […]

Music Notes – May 2016

Most likely only rock & roll More than 500,000 people attended a free Rolling Stones concert at Havana’s Ciudad Deportiva on March 25th. By all accounts the Stones, who had just concluded a tour of South America, were in good form during their 2-hour 20-minute set. Canadian musicologist Rob Bowman was there, and found the […]