Thursday, December 15, 2011

A little about Jolt

Jolt radio is a free form online radio station located in Miami, Florida. This online station acknowledges emerging independent artists from the local, national, and international scene. As an open source space for bands, artists, and music lovers alike, Jolt Radio is helping to contribute to the independent music community.

So head on over to Jolt Radio to discover new bands, listen to some favorites, participate in the community and find local live music listings.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hotbreath Tea & The Invisible Branches

Tree Machine Records 'New Artist of Interest' is...

Hotbreath Tea

What started as a compilation of lullabies for his newborn daughter, became the premise for Hotbreath Tea's upcoming album with Tree Machine Records, a collection of full band folk/rock compositions with a unique flavor.

Think early Clap Your Hands Say Yeah; Similar sound, similar background.

In 2010 Hotbreath Tea recorded the EP, Like A Dragon The Water Cleans Itself on a Skype microphone in the back room of his antebellum home, which compliments his clever vocals quite nicely.

The seven song EP about family, horses, fever, paranoia, and an abandoned prison spawned further songwriting that will soon be Hotbreath Tea's emergence from the underground music community. As he nears the completion of his first full length album, Tree Machine is preparing to commence recording for what is expected to be an exceptional assortment of songs.

Keep an eye out for the release in the new year, and until then, keep in touch with the artist through his bandcamp page

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What Is Music Theory? FAQs

By Michael Allard

1) What is music theory?

Music theory is the language of musical construction. Those who understand the language of music, those who can read and write music are called musicians. Just as people who share a common language communicate everyday, musicians communicate through a common musical language.

The language musicians communicate in is not by speaking but rather by the use of sheet music. Sheet music contains information that allows musicians to play the same piece of music on their instruments regardless of which language they speak. People all around the world communicate through the language of music and that is why music is called the universal language.

2) Do I need to know music theory in order to play a musical instrument?

This is a tricky question and the answer is yes and no. Allow me to explain. If some noise or sound has rhythm, a melody, and harmony, it can be called music. Without these components it is simply noise or organized noise.

A musician, someone who understands music theory and is able to communicate in the language of music, will compose a piece of music and know what they are doing and why they are doing it. A musician will know the name of the notes, chords, and scales they are using and more important, they will know why the musical composition works or sounds good.

A musician does not need to hear the musical composition to know wether or not certain notes and chords sound good when played together, because the theory has already determined what note and chord families will sound good together and why it is so.

On the other hand many people who play music, do play by ear. Many of those who play by ear do not know the name of the notes, chords, and scales they are playing, yet they are able to create a musical composition that is pleasing to the ear of the listener.

Players who learn and create music by ear have developed a good sense of pitch and as they continue to train their ear, their ability to identify notes, chords, and qualities of chords, will improve.

Typically, those who play by ear are limited to playing simple forms of music like blues, rock, pop, and country. It is very difficult to play classical and jazz music without some form of musical training and a decent grasp on music theory.

People who have the ability to learn complex forms of music by ear have an extraordinary musical gift and they might even be considered musical prodigies.

To help draw a distinction between musicians and those who play music by ear I offer this example. A person who uses a computer may not have a clue about how a computer works, yet they can type a letter, send an e-mail, or surf the net. The same is true with music.

So, if a person who plays music by ear creates a musical composition that pleases the ear then they are likely applying principles of music theory wether they realize it or not.

3) Is music theory only beneficial to musicians?

No. Many studies have concluded that those who study music and the arts excel in school, career, and in life.

A degree in music is most always a liberal arts degree and therefore does not limit one to just being a musician. There are many career paths one can pursue with a music degree.

A person who understands music theory will typically pay close attention to the music they are listening to. Musicians will listen for rhythm, melody, harmony, note juxtaposition, point counterpoint, dynamics, etc... The better someone listens and can understand the nuances in the music they are listening to, the more they can enjoy it.

4) What is tablature and is it the same thing as reading music?

Tablature would not be considered reading music. Tablature is a system that shows guitar players exactly what notes and chords to play by showing where to place their fingers on the neck of the guitar. Tablature does not give enough information to play the music as it was written, with tablature you must know the song to be able to play it as it was written.

Tablature is a very effective tool for musicians and players alike and is widely used by both. Accurate tablature will allow a player to to copy a piece of music very close to the way it was written if they are familiar with the piece of music.

Tablature is not the same thing as reading music but it is a very useful tool for learning note for note transcriptions, and is a good learning tool as well.

5) What is the best way to learn music theory?

I believe the best way to learn music theory is through formal musical training. Music study can be acquired at a school that teaches music or by way of private instruction or tutoring. Learning music theory without the assistance of a teacher is possible but it would be a challenge.

My own experience is that the best time to learn music theory is when a person is young, between the ages of 8 and 12 or when a child is in elementary school. The chances of successfully learning music theory seems to be much better when the music training starts at an early age.

To read discussion on this topic visit my blog and remember, in music ignorance isn't bliss, it just means more work!

Michael Allard is fitness instructor and private consultant. Michael is also a performing musician and guitar teacher. He has published numerous books, booklets and articles on music, fitness, art, and politics. Michael is currently completing a B.S. in political science and host a blog at []

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Learning Musical Instruments - How Do I Improve My Playing?

By Tim S Robinson

When asked a question like "how can I improve my playing?" It is my experience that most music teachers and musicians will answer "practice" or maybe "practice makes perfect". And essentially I agree. There is no substitute for practice, especially practice where the musician is wholly focused on the task at hand, concentrating on the various aspects of the music they are learning and listening attentively to their playing. Even musical savants with uncanny musical powers such as seemingly photographic memory and true perfect pitch must complete years of intense practice before being performance ready(1). One of the greatest pianists and composers, Rachmaninoff could according to Harold Schonberg transcribe whole compositions after a single hearing.(2) Even so, when Rachmaninoff decided to earn his living as a concert pianist, he didn't dare to go on stage until completing two years of further practice. Some musicians may brag that they don't practice much but generally you will discover they are either lying or that as an adolescent they sat up all night practicing while others were out mucking around or asleep. But what about the many cases of musicians who do have the drive to practice long and hard but never make the grade? I've even had musicians tell me they can "get worse" after practicing.

Most musicians must be familiar with hitting "walls" where they find they simply don't improve even with extra effort. This is a likely reason that many stop playing musical instruments altogether, becoming frustrated, overwhelmed and believing that music simply isn't for them. It's my belief that it's sometimes not mental will or effort that is to blame, but the method of practice.

Over the years I have occasionally heard an objection to the "practice makes perfect" cliche. Some people like to say, "perfect practice makes perfect". Implicit in this statement is the idea that the way you practice is important. Sure there is natural variation in all human being's physical and mental abilities, but in my experience anyone can play a musical instrument well with a little perseverance as long as they go about it the right way. Interestingly, researchers have found marked differences between the way amateurs and professionals practice.(3)

Our human bodies have not evolved to play musical instruments. After all, most instruments are fairly recent inventions in their current forms and continue to evolve themselves. Unlike language and other mental functions, there is no "music center" in the brain. Many parts of the brain are required to both listen to and perform music. Playing a musical instrument well is a complex task. A level of physical strength is required, fine muscle coordination and muscle control are essential and of course extensive mental training and conditioning is necessary. It's no good being able to produce the best tone in the world if you have no rhythm. It's no use having a well developed musical appreciation and emotional sensitivity if you have no technical ability and vice versa. A good musician needs to master many skills and therefore, to know how to practice "perfectly" becomes a very complex and difficult question.

Like most musicians, throughout my childhood and adolescence I simply practiced instinctively. The problem here is that sometimes you're instincts lead you astray. In my experience, most teachers do not give extensive thought to the finer details of how to practice. Most teachers simply tell students what to practice. However as an adult who is almost always pressed for time, I need to know that I am improving every time I sit behind the piano or get on the drums.

As previously stated, this is a very broad and complex topic but I'd like to share some basics that I've learnt from my travels in the world of music. For clarity, I have broken up this topic into three main sections: Musicality, technical ability and performance.


I have deliberately listed musicality first because in order to develop technical prowess at your instrument of choice, you need to know what sound you are trying to achieve. When it comes to musicality the most important thing to develop is your listening abilities. This may seem obvious but it takes time and effort to be a good listener. A large amount of listening to music in our modern world is done with no conscious thought at all, however as a child all the skills of listening to music must be learnt. Ever heard a choir of kindergarten students? They inevitably sing out of tune. Because their young brains are still learning the pitch categorizations of our 12 note scale. How about asking a very young child to tap along in time to a song? This is something that can be mastered at a very young age but nonetheless, even simple rhythms found in many songs using 4/4 meter must be learnt. Note how difficult it can be to keep tapping perfectly in time once the music stops playing. For most, sensitivity and awareness of harmony is the hardest to learn but deeply rewarding in terms of a listener's emotional response.

So to develop your musicality, all you have to do is listen! But attentive listening requires effort. Ideally, only listen to music without any other distractions. Try to listen to music in styles that you are not familiar with, and note the differences to other styles of music. For example, various types of dance music emphasize a strong pulse or beat, some types of dance music achieve a dance feel while overlaying several rhythms at once eg/ Latin percussion. Classical music often focuses on thematic and harmonic development, jazz music contains intricate solo lines and variation, pop music highlights catchy melodies. When listening to any type of music involving more than one instrument, focus in on the different parts of the music. For example, when listening to jazz or rock can you sing the bass line? Can you hear what cymbals the drummer is playing? Singling out the different instrument lines in a piece of music will also help develop your sensitivity to harmony both homophonic and polyphonic. A 4-part fugue by Bach is a fairly complex piece of music using four separate but related lines or "voices". It's also not the type of piece you will hear on most radio programs. Why not challenge yourself with something like a Bach prelude and fugue or two? Or perhaps a piece by Debussy or Bartok with experimental and complex harmonic development.

For advanced listeners, note the form and structure of the piece of music. See if you can identify the phrasing of melodies or motifs. Identifying repeats and variations will help you to understand and memorize the piece. By focusing on the larger structure of a song you can make a simple song "map". Knowing the larger structure of a song may lead you develop an appetite for listening to compositions with different forms and structure. If you are a musician, knowing the larger structure of a piece will also help you know where and how to emphasize the different sections. Note the contours of the music, for example, where are the climaxes in the song? Where are the loudest and softest parts of the song?

Good listening involves anticipating what is coming next. Your brain will do this automatically to some degree but you can help it along. For example, try to figure out how the rhythmic patterns repeat so you can predict them. How many repeats are there? It takes listening time and experience to develop a mental portfolio of musical conventions allowing you to anticipate the music to come. And often, the way that a piece adheres to or varies from your expectations will trigger emotional responses from you the listener. A piece of music may set you up for a perfect cadence for example, or for a return to a previously stated melody. It's often when these "rules" or expectations are not followed that a piece of music becomes interesting and more enjoyable to listen to.

Try to identify in words what exactly it is that you love about your favorite music. Music is so powerful an art form because it can reach inside you and somehow illicit intense emotions and pleasure in the listener. Music goes far beyond being simply "happy" or "sad". Subtle and beautiful emotional shades can occur when you listen to music you love. For example, I love music with a sad wistful tone, that is reflective, poignant and beautiful but I hate pessimistic or dreary music. Yet both could be classed as sad. I love powerful, energizing and dramatic music, but I don't like reckless, raw anger. Fully absorb yourself in the music you love. At this point it is helpful to do some analysis and try to identify what specific aspects of the music are combining to give you this powerful emotional response. The timbre of the instruments and rhythms used are important but particular attention should be applied to the harmony of the piece. Are there any chord progressions that really do it for you?

Finally, when playing music, good listening habits are not easy to learn, especially for young children and for amateurs at the early stages of learning a piece. Your brain is focusing on many different activities such as controlling your muscles, counting time, making sure you're hitting the right notes, relaxing and anticipating what is to come. On top of all this, you need to step outside yourself and listen to the sound you are producing. So whenever possible, shift your focus momentarily, pretend you are a passive observer in the room and listen. Personally, I find it extremely useful to play both the piano and the drums with my eyes closed from time to time. Am I playing it exactly how it should be played? Developing your musicality means being a perfectionist forever developing a finer attention to detail.

Technical Ability:

Music teachers and sports coaches alike tell their students to relax. This is the number one basic rule for technical development at any endeavor that requires fine muscle control. Often teachers simply shout "relax" at their students while the student gets progressively more tense. Obviously, you cannot entirely relax your body or else you will quickly end up lying on the ground, limp and listless. Relaxation is the art of relaxing all the muscles in your body that are not needed to execute the music. In addition the muscles that are needed should contract only so far as required and no more. The phrase "economy of motion" comes to mind. Relaxation is annoyingly difficult to master and it's something that I am constantly working on every time I practice. Relaxation is muscle coordination. Eg/ Are your shoulders hunched? Is your mid section or upper leg tense? While playing you must observe the state of your entire body. When you decide to play a note or hit a drum skin, you don't have conscious control over exactly which muscles your body will contract in order to execute the movement. While you may not have full conscious control, when practicing you are conditioning your muscles to move how you want them to move through repetition. Focus in on how it feels to play a particular passage. Experiment with different motions and keep the motions small but not rigid. Practicing quietly and slowly can really help with relaxation. Try to feel the weight of gravity holding your hands down on the piano keys or your feet down on the drum pedals. Often when fully relaxed you will have the sensation of playing from your upper arms or upper legs even though your extremities are where all the action is. Try to learn what it feels like to play relaxed.

One of the biggest differences between amateurs and professionals practice is that professionals focus on the difficult parts of a song and break them up into small fragments whereas amateurs waste time trying to play a piece from start to finish. Small sections are a great way to do many repetitions where it matters. In addition, you can often simplify difficult sections. Eg/ playing hands separately at the piano is essential especially when learning a piece. Or for drummers, try dropping out the right hand momentarily, or left hand, or left foot etc. When practicing small sections do not be afraid to play fast. Slow practice is great for relaxing and for fine attention to detail, but slow playing will most likely use different muscles in different combinations to fast playing. Ideally, small simplified sections of a piece should be able to be played faster than the final tempo you're aiming for.(4) In addition, vary the start and finish points of these small segments. A smart musician knows that it's often the notes around a particularly troublesome spot that cause problems. Eg/ Do you have a two octave jump before you have to play that long trill? Then practice the jump and the trill. Do you have to swivel from one side of the drum kit to the other before executing the 4-way coordination pattern?


If you play an instrument, sooner or later chances are you will be playing in public. And performing in public is the real test of your ability as a musician. Performing poses many challenges such as an unfamiliar room or even an unfamiliar instrument, often no chance to warm up and of course nerves. Performance can be quite stressful but can also be a hugely rewarding and fun. The better you know your repertoire, the higher the chance of you and the audience enjoying the show. To perform well, memorization is always desirable. To help with memorizing try to spot patterns and logic in the music. Work out the structure of the song. Identifying chords and harmonic elements may help. Memorize small sections at a time through repetition and try to recall the notes visually in your mind.

To become performance ready, there is a lot of mental work you can away from your instrument. Run through the piece in your mind and try to imagine each note. This is actually very hard to do, but it confirms that you really know a piece. The renown pianist Glenn Gould would run through songs in his mind, singing and fingering the music on an imaginary piano.(5) Before the invention of the radio and gramophone, score analysis was much more widespread amongst musicians. It was far more commonplace to analyze a score and sing the musical parts aiding the learning of a piece before even playing a note.

It is certainly worthwhile recording yourself preferably on video as part of your practice. The process of recording is a good test in itself because the pressure is on when you press the record button. And watching or listening to yourself play can help you pick up parts you'd like to change or mistakes you are making.

Before performing, focus on the task at hand and take a few deep breaths. Run through the first song you are about to play in your mind. Realize that you are most likely a little apprehensive and nervous. Your heart is probably beating a little faster than normal and your adrenal glands may even be firing up. Take your time and make a conscious effort to relax. Once you have started, remember to keep focusing on the task at hand and absorb yourself in the music. Don't shift your awareness to what is going on around you and don't contemplate how you're playing. If you catch yourself drifting, focus back on the music and your playing. There's plenty for your mind to worry about contained in the task of executing your music well so simply concentrate on making the best music you can and you will be fine. It may take a little time before you start feeling a comfortable but generally most people find that once they are away and going, everything's OK and can be a lot of fun. Try to keep just ahead of the music in your mind, focusing on what is coming up as well as listening closely to your sound. Try to relax before difficult sections. Being too apprehensive of a difficult part is not helpful. Trust yourself in these situations, relax and let your sub-conscious take over. It's too late to improve now, you might as well have fun. If you make a mistake, never stop. The larger structure and the mood of the music probably won't be affected. And perhaps you can find some comfort in knowing that even famous concert pianists such as David Horowitz made the odd mistake.

I hope some of these tips have been helpful.

Tim S Robinson

1. Jourdain, Robert, Music the Brain and Ecstasy 1997 p. 200

2. Schonberg, Harold C. The Lives of the Great Composers. 1981 p. 537

3. Howe Michael J.A. The Origins of Exceptional Abilities 1990 p. 92

4. Chang, Chuan C Fundamentals of Piano Practice 2007 1.II.6

5. Documentary, Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould 2009

Tim Robinson A.Mus.A (pianoforte) B.Sci (Hons) B.Tech

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Music and Healing: The Power of Meaningful Words and Music

By Michael Alan

Ain't nothing quite as beautiful as music!

We All Have a Favorite Piece of Music that Moves Us to a Special Place in Our Hearts. A Conversion About the Music We Love and How It Colors Our Lives.


My favorite piece of music, depends on the mood, jazz is music for all moods. My favorite jazz piece would be - as a sax player - My Favorite Things by Coltrane, or anything by Thelonios Monk. Soft lighting, Kalhua and milk and company always suits Monk or vice versa.

Driving is made for music so anything by crowded house makes a trip to anywhere (even work) worth it. How can a song sound so simplistic yet be difficult to play. what does Neil do?

but my favorite piece would be from the shine soundtrack, a piece called "Nulla in mundo pax" by Vivaldi, which I am listening to now.


Every piece of music represents the expression of the composer of that music. The piece of music that I like the most is the piano instrumental music because it does not say in words as other kind of music. The person who listens to the instrumental music has to try to understand what messages the composer is trying to tell through the piece of music. It is challenging in finding the meaning. Furthermore, when I listen to the instrumental music, such as "A Maiden's Prayer" by T. Badarzewska, I believe that this piece is messaging us to surrender to God. If I got chance, I'd love to play my favorite pieces.


This is old stuff to those who know me, but I am a huge James Taylor Nut. And my favorite song is 'The Water is Wide' If MP3s are legal I will put it up on this site. But I will have to check first.

Every time I hear it, I feel transformed to a different place, where everything is pensive, and people walk in the streets heartbroken, but with the hope that life will be kind to them again. It leaves me with a lump in my throat each time. There is something comforting in the song that leaves me appeased and convinced that whatever trial I'm facing, someone's faced it before, and someone's overcome it before.

That's what music should do. The song and the artist both inspire me endlessly. It inspires me in a way I hope that I can inspire people.

Listen to it if you can find it --Ken


Many times, when I just close my eyes and listen to music I escape to this other level. It does something to appease me, as you put it feeding my soul I guess. I appreciate music very much, which to me is as much art as creating it. Music is a part of everyone's life, and everyone is connected to it in someway. For me it keeps me going when I'm down, or just makes me happy when I'm happy. I have music for all occasions. All in all, I'd be a very unhappy girl if music were suddenly taken away.


At the end of a busy day..

I love listening to music. I did dancing and singing lessons when I was a child but never learnt to play an instrument. This year, at the ripe old age of 40, I decided to learn to read music and play the keyboard. It is all part of having a balanced life, setting goals and taking time for me to do the things that I enjoy.

My nine year old son and I now have lessons at home each week

and are encouraging each other to practice and enjoy our music. It is something we are doing together and I hope that my son

continues to enjoy music and continue playing as he grows up.

I love listening and now playing music to "switch off" and relax at the end of a busy day. I have only had a few lessons so far and play poorly, but I am enjoying it and improving week by week. My son is doing the same and we, as a family, are enjoying playing music, listening and singing along with our simple tunes. I consider the keyboard as my "best buy of the year 2000" so far!



Music embodies life. A physical and emotional manifestation of divinity, music is an integral part of the loving bond that has fulfilled us and strengthened us, and brought harmony to individuals, societies and nations around the world throughout time.


Without Words..

Music is an expression of what is going on inside a persons' mind/heart. You don't need to concentrate to realise its power. I think the most moving music is music performed by an artist who is playing with a passion, who feels precisely, or deeply empathizes with, the meaning and feelings conveyed in the song.

I play the piano by ear. That is, I can listen to music and once the music has made an impression on me , I can more often than not, play back what I heard. I have always played the piano this way (since I was 4) and I wouldn't have it any other way because its made me sensitive to music - the melody, the beats, the volume and pace of songs.

The most wonderful thing I believe music can bring to a person is when a person can sit down with their instrument and play (and/or sing) whatever feelings they would otherwise keep bottled up inside them - the kind of feelings you just wouldn't be able to tell another person, the kind of feelings that only music can really bring comfort to.

Many times, when I just close my eyes and listen to music I escape to this other level. It does something to appease me, as you put it feeding my soul I guess. I appreciate music very much, which to me is as much art as creating it. Music is a part of everyone's life, and everyone is connected to it in someway. For me it keeps me going when I'm down, or just makes me happy when I'm happy. I have music for all occasions. All in all, I'd be a very unhappy girl if music were suddenly taken away.

Jenny and Me:

Okay.. If I don't play my guitar, Jenny, at least once a day, I get withdrawal. I'm deadly serious here. Its like you forgot something and you left a part of you somewhere... where?? where?? where.. Almost like losing your keys. Music has been part of my life since I was 5, when I was forced to learn piano. Luckily I loved it. Music is like a parent.

My muse is that thing which makes me make music. Like the entity "music" herself or himself. I don't write really.. Its "it" which speaks through me. People deal with pain, and hurt in different ways. When I have finished blaming myself =)

I talk to jenny and she seems to make it all seem very trivial. and I say thanks jenny.. Sometimes she is moody. People give me strange looks when I say she talks to me. But I believe instruments acquire a soul when they are created. Spirits inhabit them, and they generate karma.

Music feeds my soul in ways I can't even begin to explain. If you know what I mean, then you are truly blessed too.


The most important things..

Music keeps me in touch with life, real life. It reminds me of the basics and the most important things. While we are all rushing around from day to day it is too easy to get wrapped up in 'getting it all' done and we forget to get in touch with ourselves and with each other often enough. Music takes us away and provides the ultimate escape for the soul - a renewal, and its free for the taking. We all need to take advantage of what it offers on a daily basis to stay in touch with 'life'.

Have a good day - and take some time out today to be embraced by music!!


How Music Moves Me

(Apart from the obvious way in wanting to get up and dance around!)

Music moves me in many ways but the most memorable experience I have had was (eyes closed, sitting in an armchair) listening to a particular piece of Mahler's. At one point the string section builds up to a high note which is so exquisitely haunting and sad that tears streamed down my face. I'm not sure if I knew at the time, but I now know that he wrote this music about the death of his child and I find it amazing that this emotion could be conveyed so clearly.

Most of the time music makes me glad to be alive, but I suppose this experience was more memorable because the emotion was so powerful.

Created by: Ken Chan & Kent Logie of Curtin's Music Community:

Edited & Presented by: Michael Alan

Michael Alan is a published songwriter, with album & movie credits, who has lived and toured in the US and Europe. Website: []

Visit his site to hear original songs of the heart & soul. Free mp3 downloads.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tweaker in the Park - new release by Gulcher Records

Tweaker.jpg "Nineteen-year-old Bloomington, Indiana resident and international man
of mystery, known as Hypocrite In A Hippy Crypt, released his first
full length LP, Tweaker In The Park, last month. After honing his
craft in various basements and bedrooms, and accumulating over 300
tracks on the hard drive of his computer, this industrious young
Hoosier has found himself with a deal with Gulcher (Kurt Vile's first
label). According to his Bandcamp page, the 11-track album is about
crazy people, oceans, and murder, recorded in the basement of a dorm,
spawned from craziness and late nights." --NWMusicPDX

Check out Hypocrite In A Hippy Crypt at Bandcamp

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Try Violin Master Pro!

Violin Master Pro is a very popular website for violin lessons. Members receive large value in violin lessons from a world renowned violinist. Eric Lewis, the first violinist from the Manhattan String Quartet who brings his 40 years of professional experience to your prospect's living room.

The system is the most flexible violin teaching tool available online. It is by no means too early, nor too late to play the violin. At Violin Master Pro, the players would be given enough tips and knowledge that would give them a chance to attain violin know-how. The truth behind this wonderful improvement is that players may acquire the famous way of playing violin with the great Eric Lewis method. During this time Eric Lewis had the chance to study with Rachmael Weinstock who was known as the first violinist of the version of Manhattan String Quartet during 1930's.

What You WIll Learn In Violin Master Pro:
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3) Learn how to play the violin from memory, using the ear training method, which is more than easy to develop.
4) Build the expertise up from newbie to advanced violin playing until it is a matter of impulse.
5) Play violin like a seasoned with a cutting edge, step by step method that is easy to understand and apply.
6) Visually stimulate your brain with the violin movie lessons, opening up your horizons to "own" the fingerboard, no matter what level of encounter.
7) Getting your hands on the best instruments. Learn where and when to obtain the most valuable violins and other string instruments at discounted prices and from time to time even free.
8) Learn to play violin in every style imaginable: Classical, Spruce, Pop, Fusion, Latin, European, Rock, Hip Hop, People, Country and more Be able to play any song imaginable.

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At Violin Master Pro, you will learn the step by step method with a smooth cutting edge which will make it easy for you to understand each one. You will uncover that violin music is very fun to read actually.

What's Comprised In The Violin Master Pro Regular membership:
Eric Lewis assured all the players that he is assured that the players will undeniably love the program since the Violin Master Pro power video recording system has a 56-day, iron dressed guarantee with no questions asked upon your return. The complete violin lessons are all encompassed in the learning system package deal.

On the Violin Master Pro internet site you will be able to learn how to play violin solos, sonatas, concertos and a lot more. Many have experienced have Violin Master Pro themselves and have gained great satisfaction with using this product. You will absolutely blow the most difficult passages with violin scales and riffs gaining enough tricks and techniques or methods that most well known professional players have.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Release - Bonfire John and the Majestic Springs Band (TMRecords)

Bonfire John and The Majestic Springs Band started as a solo project by singer songwriter, Owen Yonce in the winter months of 2010. Since that time, Yonce has worked hard to establish himself in the local music scene of Carmel, Indiana where his band originates. Yonce is independently releasing his first album, “Makin’ The Most” with the help of recording engineer and founder of Tree Machine Records, Zack Anselm.

"I was cornered and trapped by a raging bull after a full day of fishing with my buddy, Owen Yonce, front man for the Majestic Springs Band. Not a typical day for me, but common practice for our good friend Bonfire John," says Anslem. "This wasn't just a big cow either, this was a thousand pound beast circling us at high speeds and taunting us with flaring nostrils and stomping feet as we were pushed back to the edge of a dock on a mucky lake at the farm. Luckily we dodged that bullet and stayed dry, and the next day Yonce was off on a trek across the country to rock climb, hike, explore canyons, and make familiar the rural landscapes that can sometimes be overshadowed in this modern America. He's truly a man who knows how to 'make the most,' the title of his first LP release with the band."

Yonce and Anselm spent two long months recording, mixing and creating music to finish “Makin’ The Most” by the beginning of the summer of 2011. With the help of Tree Machine Records, Yonce is playing local venues and starting to branch out to more national venues as well. Yonce intends to have the bands first cd release show at local music store Indy CD & Vinyl. The band will also be playing an upcoming show at Emerson theatre in Indianapolis in early August, 2011.

"The album turned out to be everything we anticipated and more. It's got an indie folk pop rock sound (at least that's the best way I can classify it) and has the feel of an early Modest Mouse album or maybe the recording style of a Pavement album. When he gets back from his trip touring begins, so get ready!

Yonce has tentatively planned a tour of the Midwest to kick off no later than August of 2012.

Other members include Brian McGowan on guitar, Jack Sullivan on bass, and Taylor Riner on drums.

A few sample tracks from "Making The Most" can be heard on the band's bandcamp site and on our site here,

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

British Rapper PW - The New Kid On The Block

Throughout time the British music industry has hosted a stream of teen idols – acts that appeal to the popular 13-19 market. And with the UK urban scene thriving right now, it makes sense for this to apply here too.

Step forward PW. With Chipmunk now a veteran of the game at the – ahem – ripe old age of 20, this 18-year-old from, Edmonton North London is primed to smoothly slide into this spot.

Hailing from the same ends as Chipmunk and another one of his faves Wretch 32, PW, whose stage
moniker comes from his childhood nickname ‘Peewee’ – ‘I shortened it as I don’t think it would
have been cool for me to use that as my rap name, do you?’, started rhyming at the age of 14,
literally ‘behind the bike sheds’ at lunch and break times.

He then took some time out, before returning to it in college.

"I decided to pick it up again due to the inspiration from the area I grew up in,’ he says. ‘I saw the likes of Wretch 32, Marvell and Chipmunk, who actually went to my college, doing their thing. And then one of my close family friends is a co-manager at Chip’s label Always Recordings, so it was just being around the industry in one way or another."

So does he feel like he could have the younger generation on lock? The urban music scene, unlike
in previous years is large enough to accommodate several acts and it is always wise to identify a particular niche within that market. How does PW’s swag lend to this?

‘I wouldn’t use any elaborate terms to describe my style,’ he says matter-of-factly, ‘I would just say it is just young and fresh, as a young person coming up. I know good music, and my sound and lyrics are inspirational and full of motivation. I like to make feel-good music.’

So what’s P’s (real name Akheim Allen) master-plan for his inevitable UK chart domination?

"I am aware of the acts around me, but I am not hardcore studying what everyone else is doing
to use that as my template,’ he explains. ‘Even though I am brush shoulders with a lot of up-and-coming artists and artists period, I am just myself. I know if I do that to the best of my ability no one can top that. My best is my only competition."

Right now PW, who is currently independent, is warming up to really go hard in the industry with a series of school and club appearances and freestyles posted on YouTube, including one laid over Jay-Z’s DOA blogged by BBC Radio 1xtra and Universal A&R - Dj Semtex and a few other key taste making bloggers .

He also recently recorded the Summer-vibed Sensible, which documents a conversation between P
and a young lady about the direction of their relationship.

"I want people to know that I can rhyme before I really put out any official material," he assesses.

In the meantime PW is keeping his eyes locked straight up towards the sky, which he sees us having no limits. "I’ve seen what the likes of Tinie Tempah have done in the space of under a year. Obviously I know it has taken a lot of work and dedication to reach that point, but knowing I have both those qualities makes me believe I can have it all."

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Island Soul - July 29 - August 1, 2011

This year's Caribbean-flavoured Island Soul festival at Harbourfront Centre features local and international musicians whose works embody a spirit of resistance that ignites social consciousness, with such acts as the nine-member rapso band 3Canal, from Trinidad and Tobago. They come with an excitingly energetic conscious music informed by the spirit of soca, calypso and kaiso (commonly describes as “the power of the word in the rhythm of the word”).

Other acts include:

Plenty Jump-Up Riddims! : Panman Pat and Jeff Walcott
Friday, July 29, 6 p.m. (Ann Tindal Park)
Come and enjoy our weekly Longo’s Friday Picnic as Panman Pat and Jeff Walcott bring the rhythmic sounds of the Caribbean to life on their traveling steelpan drums! Bring your own percussion instrument and join in.

Friday, July 29, 9 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
3Canal are recording artists from Trinidad & Tobago who perform rapso music.
Rapso is conscious music that is more of a philosophy and stance rather than an identifiable musical signature. It has been termed “the power of the word in the rhythm of the word,” “the poetry of calypso” and “the consciousness of soca.”

Pan Rootz: From Skin to Steelpan
Saturday, July 30, 2:30 p.m. & 4:30 p.m. (HarbourKIDS Zone Tent)
Pan Rootz: From Skin to Steelpan is a popular workshop with Joy Lapps of Drum Artz Canada that provides children with a hands-on experience of the steelpan, iron instruments and skin drums. Participants discover first-hand the amazing sounds of each of these instruments and learn a brief history of the musical evolution from skin to steel.

Elaine Lil’ Bit Shepherd
Saturday, July 30, 8 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
Elaine Lil’ Bit Shepherd is a strong, young female voice in a reggae world dominated by men. Shepard’s song “Likkle But Mi Tallawah” is the 2011 JUNO Award winner for Reggae Recording of the Year.

Treasure Isle Sounds featuring Natty B and Friends
Saturday, July 30, 9 (Redpath Stage)
Treasure Isle located in Toronto's "Little Jamaica" neighborhood is the city's one-stop shop for the best reggae music of our times. Natty B’s hugely influential Zion Train show with Bigga (on CHRY 105.5 FM) sits on the pulse of the reggae music scene and the Rastafarian community. Each weekly program features the freshest selections of reggae music interspersed with vital commentary from the community.

Saturday, July 30, 9:30 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
Jamaica-born, Canada-based reggae musician Steele’s first taste of success came with his recording of Stevie Wonder’s “Ribbon in the Sky” and then “Silhouette,” his cover of the late Dennis Brown’s anthem (Steele’s breakthrough song). Former lead singer of the band Tatix, Steele has been described as dynamic and sensational, with the versatility and range that defies restriction to any one genre.

Evin Lake
Sunday, July 31, 8 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
Evin Lake (Kevin Clarke) comes from a long line of culturally-conscious reggae vocalists and ventured into the world of music from a very early age. The Port Antonio, Jamaica native grew up with an affinity for R&B and lover’s rock reggae being drawn primarily to the sounds of Teddy Pendergrass, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Dennis Brown and Sanchez. This performance is Evin Lake’s Canadian debut.

Sunday July 31, 9:30 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
Mutabaruka has established himself as both a literary and musical giant, both in Jamaica and abroad, and is arguably one of Jamaica’s most respected wordsmiths, dub poets and broadcasters. His poems have given voice to a nation and helped forge an entirely new genre of music, dub/rhythm poetry. Revolutionary, fiery, scathing, and stinging, Mutabaruka's words are as potent on paper as they are on CD and live on stage.

Calypso Buds on the Maple Tree
Monday, August 1, 2 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Calypso Buds on the Maple Tree is a children’s showcase that features Canadian youngsters dedicated to promoting Caribbean calypso traditions.

Panatics Steelband Network
Monday, August 1, 4 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
The Panatics Steelband Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of pan music in Ontario. There is a distinctive family orientation to this steelband, with a large portion of its membership consisting of parents and their children.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Calypso STARS Showcase - July 27, 2011

The Calypso Tents Music Series is an annual event presented by the Organization of Calypso Performing Artistes that takes place over five weekends in June and early July. This year, the popular music series celebrates 30 years of calypso “tents” in Toronto, where singers premiere their latest works which reflect life in the city’s diverse Caribbean community.
Calypso STARS Showcase highlights include a special appearance from England’s famed calypso master, recording artist, teacher and writer, Alexander D’Great. Known for his political and social commentary compositions, delivered with wit and style, D’Great is an energetic and inspirational performer who recently won the Association of British Calypsonians’ 2010 Calypso Monarch title.

The house band for the evening is award-winning arranger/producer Ossie Gurley & The Truth. Gurley is the man behind smash soca hits “Who Let The Dogs Out”, “Moving To The Left” and “Follow The Leader”. Rounding out the showcase is steelpan virtuoso Gareth Burgess, a gifted young player from Toronto’s phenomenal steelpan community.
Representing mas’ and moving among the audience are iconic carnival arts characters on stilts called Moko Jumbies from Swizzlestick Theatre (a West African tradition brought to the Canada via the Caribbean). Fancy Sailor and Fireman dancers from the Hummingbird Dance Company and Prime Dance, two historical costumes introduced to Trinidad carnival back in the 1880s, will also be on site to join in on the fun.

For additional information and complete event listings, visit

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Colombian Colours – II Diaspora Festival - Harbourfront Centre - July 15-17

Harbourfront Centre, along with its lead summer partner The Toronto Port Authority, and festival partners Pacific Rubiales, Scotiabank, AviancaTaca and Caracol T.V., are proud to present the return of Colombian Colours – II Diaspora Festival. From July 15 to 17, audiences from the GTA and beyond are invited to celebrate this vibrant culture with international and local performances in music, theatre, film, dance and more. This festival is co-produced by the Casa Cultural Colombiana and Tridha Arts Association.

International music artists featured throughout this three-day celebration include salsa violinist Alfredo De Fe, who is credited with making the violin an integral part of Latin music, Colombia’s first all-vocal group NVOZ, and the Diego Marulanda Quintet who combine native Colombian instruments like the yapurutus (Colombian flutes) and maguarés (Colombian drums) with double bass and guitar.

Live Music Schedule:

Alfredo De La Fe
Saturday, July 16, 9:30 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
Cuban-born violinist Alfredo De La Fe has toured the world more than 30 times and has been featured on more than 100 albums with Latin music legends Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Jose Alberto El Canario, Cheo Feliciano, The Fania All Stars and Santana. He currently resides in New York and is considered to be one of the biggest stars in the salsa world.

Saturday, July 16, 7 p.m. & Sunday, July 17, 4 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
NVOZ is a remarkable five-member Colombian a capella band that draws on various styles of traditional Colombian music, such as cumbia, bullerengue, champeta, merengue and salsa to create a unique orchestra of vocal sounds.

Diego Marulanda Quintet
Sunday, July 17, 2 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
Diego Marulanda is a renowned dance, theatre, film and television composer with wide range of experience in contemporary and world music. The Diego Marulanda Quintet explores folkloric music from the Andean zone of Colombia and fuses it with contemporary and traditional instruments such as double bass and yapurutus, piano and cuatro, guitar and maguare. The members of the Diego Marulanda’s Quintet are among the top Latin-Canadian musicians in Toronto.

Folklore Urbano
Saturday, July 16, 6 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Folklore Urbano are a powerhouse 14-member orchestra that fuses traditional Colombian rhythms with contemporary jazz harmonies.The group’s three highly-acclaimed CDs, Aviso, Baile/Dance and the latest, Corazón, are all driven by a rhythm section deeply grounded in traditional Colombian music.

Salsa!!: José Ortega and DJ Gury Gury
Saturday, July 16, 8 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Salsa!! is a good-natured competition between two of the most well-known collectors of salsa music in Ontario. Jose Ortega, owner of Lula Lounge in Toronto and Guelph radio host DJ Gury Gury will have audiences dancing as they spin tunes from their unique music collections.

Funkété Late Night Party
Saturday July 16, 11 p.m. (Brigantine Room and Tent)
Funkété is a monthly party created by DJ eLman and Linterna of Dos Mundos Radio (CIUT). DJ Uproot Andy, considered to be one of the best DJs in New York, also makes an appearance as this trio mixes infectious Latin beats with dancehall, bassline, hip hop and electro.

Saturday, July 16, 3:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
KAFFE Rock are bassist Javier Gutierrez, guitarist Adrian Gonzalez, drummer Carlos Paez, singer Juan Diego Zapata and new lead guitarist Nick Houle. Formed in 2003, this London-based group have developed and integrated their Latin American sound with a mix of rock, ska, salsa and folk. Kaffe’s hope is to enlighten others about Colombian culture, introduce the world to their traditions and to dispel the negative stereotypes surrounding Latin America and her people.

Friday July 15, 7:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Caché is one of the leading bands on the Latin music scene in Toronto. The band is made up of musicians with a variety of ethnic backgrounds: Colombian, Venezuelan, Canadian, Italian and Cuban. This cultural combination produces the band’s unique Latin sound that’s seamlessly combined with a touch of jazz.

Sunday, July 17, 4:45 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
Toronto-based Baru-Vibes was founded by Colombian-born Juan Carlos Medrano. His musical roots are grounded in the folkloric rhythms and sounds of the Colombian north coast. His first CD, Poco a Poco, released in the early part of summer 2011, will be performed live for the first time at Habourfront Centre.

Carlos Bastidas
Sunday July 17, 1:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Colombian-born Carlos Bastidas is an award-winning composer and master South American bamboo flute performer. Bastidas has performed with classical and world music ensembles in the United States, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Cuba.

DJ Wayuu
Friday, July 15, 9:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
DJ Wayuu (Andres Orbegozo) began his career with support of Dos Mundos Radio on 89.5 FM CIUT and the non-profit association PorColombia Nacional. At Harbourfront Centre he spins digital cumbia mixed with traditional Colombian classics.

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Corazón de México - Harbourfront Centre - July 8-10

Harbourfront Centre along with its lead summer partner, The Toronto Port Authority, present Corazón de México (“Heart of Mexico”), a festival bringing together the traditional and the modern with sights, sounds and movements from Mexico.

Running from July 8-10, the sounds of Mexico take over Toronto’s downtown waterfront with performers Celso Piña (aka the Accordion Rebel) and Nortec Collective Presents: Bostich & Fussible, who combine traditional norteño and techno music as they take to the WestJet Stage. Also performing is Toronto’s own Dirty Maria, a Latin-alternative rock band, and Mexican ranchera music singer Cecilia Guerrero.

Live Music Schedule:

Sugar Heat (formerly known as Los Homeless)
Friday, July 8, 7:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Sugar Heat is a high-energy, nine-piece band that plays a wide variety of Latin music. Their repertoire includes salsa, cumbia, merengue, cha cha and bachata.

Celso Piña
Friday, July 8, 8:30 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
Mexican-born Celso Piña has risen to be one of the most notable figures in cumbia music. Cumbia has its origins in Colombia’s African and indigenous populations, but has since spread to be one of the most universal Latin American music genres. Celso Piña, also known as “the Accordion Rebel”, is known for blending the sounds of the tropical base with genres from norteño (a genre of music from north Music) to hip hop.

Quique Escamilla
Saturday, July 9, 5 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Quique Escamilla is a multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter based in Toronto. Despite living far from Mexico, he still remains very attached to his roots and is inclined to support diverse social causes such as human and civil rights and immigration reform through his music.

Dirty Maria
Saturday, July 9, 7:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Dirty Maria exploded onto Toronto’s music scene in early 2004, when the four members decided to establish the first Latin-alternative rock band in the city. Their unique compositions consist of lyrics in Spanish and English, covering a variety of topics ranging from comical life situations to politics.

Nortec Collective Presents: Bostich & Fussible
Saturday, July 9, 9 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
Grammy Award-nominated Nortec Collective materialized from burgeoning Tijiuana electronic scene. By combining Norteño (from the north) and techno, Nortec successfully merges traditional and modern music with a twist of entertaining visuals. Members Bostich & Fussible are committed to generating music that is a positive and proud representation of their hometown.

Cecilia Guerrero
Sunday, July 10, 12:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Cecilia Guerrero is a Mexican ranchera music singer (the music is a waltz, polka or bolero style). She began her career at age 12, and has now recorded five records and received numerous awards. In Toronto, Cecilia has been recognized as one of the best voices and interpreters of Mexican ranchera music.

Fandango with Café Con Pan
Sunday, July 10, 1 p.m. (Boulevard Tent)
Café Con Pan play son jarocho a traditional form of music from Veracruz, Mexico. They explore the roots of son jarocho while connecting with other traditions from Latin America and beyond. Over the past decade, they have maintained a multi-disciplinary relationship with son jarocho with projects that combine research, collaboration, visual arts, teaching and producing. Their performances are guided by band member Kali Niño’s uplifting voice and her effusive zapateado dancing, along with an array of traditional instruments.

El Fandanguito (Musical Bingo)
Saturday, July 9, 4:30 p.m. (Boulevard Tent)
Alec Dempster combines his skills as a visual artist and musician to create a unique workshop based on the Mexican form of bingo called lotería. The traditional lotería game consists of images and verses rather than just numbers. His version includes 60 images that represent son jarocho folk songs. The songs are sung while the players listen and try to identify the corresponding images on their boards.

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