Showing posts from May, 2018

Black Peacock Shortlisted For Amazon Award - First Novel - Canada


Love The Theatre. Hate The Lighting

Photography's Godfather of Costume Launches Don Moreland lives to take Mas pictures By Stephen Weir Caribbean Carnival
There are two written-in-stone constants at all Toronto Mas Band costume launches.Law number 1? The costume designs will always radically change from one season to the next. Law number 2? Photographer Don Moreland will be at every launch photographing the models in their costumes and recording the elaborate fashion shows. 
“WOW the people who put on these shows are amazing!” Moreland told the Caribbean Camera. “ My first carnival was in 1987 and I started taking pictures of the launches back in 1997. Since then I have taken over 60,000 photos and have over 300 hour of video tape in my studio warehouse (In Toronto’s Junction District)”. “I am the owner of Ontario Portable Display Systems,” he continued. “We set up displays at trade shows, galleries and private functions in Canada and the United States.I am 58 and I have had a camera in my hands for over 45 years. In 199…

Ma Rainey Revival Hits The Boards In Toronto

Alana Bridgewater Is Singing The Blues with the Soulpepper Theatre 
Review By Stephen Weir - Caribbean Camera Way back in time, Singing the Blues was a cultural statement for embattled Black Americans. The sad truth, at least, according to a 36-year old award winning play, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom that just opened in Toronto, living the Blues doesn’t usually end well. The play which tells a story of race, and exploitation of Black recording artists in Chicago in the twenties is getting a much deserved revival at Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre this month. The award winning American classic by August Wilson is a fictional account of the day the “Mother of the Blues” Ma Rainey (aka Gertrude Pridgett) recorded her 1927 hit record, Black Bottom, at a white owned studio in the Windy City. Ma Rainey is on a roll – and today she is going to cut a song she has written about dancing the Black Bottom  (a popular African American dance in the 20s. It is a cross between tap dancingand doing the Jitterbug…
Pop-up Concert at the Canadian Music Week Conference By Stephen Weir Grammy-nominated Panamanian American singer Aloe Blacc was in Toronto last week at the Canadian Music Week conference. He performed on stage at the Sheraton Centre conference and met with the media.
Blacc was here at the request of the US Consulate who were at the music conference to promote the Toronto premier of a new IMAX movie which stars Aloe Blacc. America’s Musical Journey opens next month at the Ontario Science Centre and at other museum and science centre IMAX theatres across Canada. The 40-minute large format film follows Blacc as he travels to New Orleans, Chicago, Nashville, Miami, New York and California to explore the roots of American music. It is all about making music and sharing music and how the influence of the greats like Louis Armstrong and Elvis Presley helped shape today’s sounds. Aloe Blacc is best known for his chart-topping “I Need a Dollar” and his vocals on Avicii’s “Wake Me Up”. Blacc took to …
FM Belfast Teaches Canadians How To Run Around Iceland In Our Underwear When It Is 20 Below.
 Singer Lóa Hjálmtýsdottir in a mound of ribbons By Stephen Weir written for my Huffington Post blog Two men in front tried the impossible, putting on their pants while stumbling to the exit. There was an urgency – it was 2 am and we were being herded out the concert doors into a normal Icelandic night. Black. Windy. Sub-Zero temperature. It didn’t take a detective to figure out that the laundry droppers were Canadians – the Roots labels gave ‘em away.Not that anyone in the crowded Reykjavik art gallery cared about their lack of trous. Blame the lack of clothes on the band that 600 of us had just seen. It was FM Belfast, one of Canada’s most favoured Icelandic bands. The veteran electro-pop group closed out the Airwaves music festival concert with a group participation song called Underwear.
FM Belfast has been performing for a dozen years.They are always the premiere Icelandic act at the world famo…

Speaking of Growing Up Gay In Jamaica