Saturday, March 5, 2011

I Wonder... Bobby Bazini and the 2011 Junos - In Toronto!

My Sunrise View to the west from Liberty Towers

This is awards season.  February is kind of a slump month in the northern hemisphere and so awards season is well placed at this time of year.  In Toronto, everyone has been hibernating since late fall.  OK, we came out briefly over the holiday season late December to celebrate with family and friends, but after that it was cocooning, internet surfing and Saturday Hockey Night in Canada.  Heck, I used to hang with one guy who bragged to his friends that he watched 32 games of hockey during one cold winter week.  There have not been many street festivals in Toronto since Nuit Blanche came to a shivering end that cold evening on Oct 1st last year. Have you noticed that  the only Toronto Events content my blog has had in months has been indoor music concerts? 

In short, we get pretty fed up with winter at this time of year and so to distract us, the powers that be send us awards nights.  The Golden Globe and Oscars out of the way, we now move into the time of music awards.  In Canada, that means the Juno Awards and this year they are going to be held in Toronto.  Good timing to kick up our heels and get out to a few events in our city.

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) announced last October that it would bring the awards ceremony home to its city of origin, Toronto, to mark the occasion of its 40th anniversary.  The Juno awards were held in Toronto until 1991, when they began to move to a different Canadian city each year.  It has been a while since it was last held in Toronto.

JUNO Week takes place March 21-27, 2011 and in support of the awards, the month of March will encompass a variety of events spanning all art forms from music, fashion, art and literature.  In short, we will be immersed in all things Juno and it has begun!  This week I noticed in the Toronto Events blog that there is a free Juno Photo Exhibition  at First Canadian Place Gallery.  I've just bought some tickets to the March 25th Juno Cup, in which former NHL players team up against Canadian musicians and entertainers to raise money for MusiCounts, a Canadian music education charity. Should be an interesting hockey game.  According to stats, JUNO Cup has raised over $700,000 for music programs across Canada.

I've also got it in mind to go see the Juno Tour of Canadian Art at the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario).  It is on until August, so lots of time to go see and blog about this very interesting installation.

I am wondering if I should/could go to the Awards Ceremony which is going to be held on Sunday March 27th at the Air Canada Centre.  Hmm, something to think about - anyone else interested?

The Toronto Events site has a great guide to the Junos.  There is also a full article on the 2011 Junos on Wiki

Bobby Bazini - Image via
I wandered into the topic of this blog when I woke up to the sound of Bobby Bazini on CBC's Radio 2 Morning.  As regulars to my blog know, this program, featuring Jazz musician Molly Johnson as radio host,  is part of my weekend wake up ritual. I have discovered some just fabulous musicians during these lazy morning R&R times.  This morning's treat was Quebecois musician Bobby Bazini, who is a Juno nominee for New English Artist of the Year, along with Basia Bulat, Caribou, Hannah Georga and Meaghan Smith. He was also nominated for Pop Album of the Year, although I suspect Justin Bieber has that one tied up.

Arcade Fire will perform at the Juno Awards Ceremony

Keeping with the topic of nominees, Arcade Fire, blasting out of international obscurity via their Oscar win, is nominated for Group of the Year, along with some other pretty fine bands, such as Great Big Sea and Broken Social Scene.     I am wondering, is this a shoe-in given the recent Oscar win?  They are also nominated for Songwriter of the Year and Album of the Year and Alternative Album of the Year.  For sure they will pick up an award or two.  I also have my fingers crossed for Neil Young, who is nominated for 2 Junos, including Adult Alternative Album of the Year and Artist of the Year as well as being honoured with the 2011 Allan Waters Humanitarian award.

But back to Bobby Bazini, his sound is spectacular.  His voice is quite distinctive - you would say belongs to a grey haired, belt it out, R&B singer. I predict great things for this guy - and to think he is only a child at the young age of 22!

Bobby Bazini is a Canadian singer/songwriter whose full-length album debut, Better in Time, was a Top Ten hit upon its release in 2010. Born in Mont-Laurier, Quebec, Canada, he grew up in a rural setting in a family with a love for country music. Influenced by Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan as well as Otis Redding and Ray Charles, he is often compared to Paolo Nutini. Bazini made his commercial recording debut in 2009 with the single "I Wonder," which became a hit on both French- and English-language radio stations in Quebec. Several months later Bazini made his full-length album debut with Better in Time (2010) on Mungo Park Records. Comprised entirely of material written by the 20-year-old wunderkind, Better in Time was a Top Ten hit on the Canadian albums chart. ~ Jason Birchmeier, Rovi
I scooted over to iTunes and picked up his debut full length album, Better In Time, which has 12 great tunes on it, two of which I have featured below.

To hear more of his songs
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  1. It sounds like you are in the midst of making plans to come out of Winter hibernation, Peggy. I guess the obvious advantage of living in a metropolitan region is having a constant flow of activities and events at your finger tips. Have fun ....

    Your singer certainly does have a unique voice. I cannot make up my mind if I like it or not, but the songs were rather good.

    I enjoy your window views, especially being able to see the big water.

  2. Hey Fram, nice to have you visit. Yes, I am looking forward to getting out more and ending my reclusive and indoor ways. Just have to figure out how to work less and play more.

    As to my big water views - I would be hard pressed now to live anywhere that I could not see a big expanse of water from my living room. I consider myself very lucky in that regard.


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