Dominic Pangborn.

Art, jazz shows to see in metro Detroit this weekend

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While Detroit’s Concert of Colors, Riverfront Music Festival and the Ann Arbor Art Fair are the big game in metro Detroit this weekend, there are art and jazz events more than deserving of attention if you’re looking to avoid the heat and larger crowds. Here are a few shows to check out.

An icon’s farewell

Dominic Pangborn.

Celebrated Korean American artist and designer Dominic Pangborn will be featured in an exhibition at Keego Harbor’s Le Shoppe Modern from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday. More than 100 multimedia pieces from his recently closed Detroit studio will be on display in the show, his last before leaving Detroit and moving to Southeast Asia to begin a new chapter of his life.

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Remembering Tony Bennett: A review of his 2001 Ottawa conce…

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American crooner Tony Bennett died Friday morning in New York City at the age of 96.

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During his eight-decade-long career, Bennett made several stops to perform in Ottawa. In 2001, he sang to about 9,000 people in Confederation Park at the Ottawa Jazz Festival. Here is this newspaper’s review of that show, by writer Chris Cobb. Time and date references have not been altered. 

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Originality. That’s the problem with Tony Bennett.

It’s impossible to find an adjective, let alone a superlative that hasn’t been used a hundred times to describe his music, either in the recorded or live forms.

It’s regrettable then that a portion of the audience in Confederation Park last evening weren’t close enough to the stage to hear what those in closer proximity were relishing. And even more regrettable that some were dismayed enough to ask for their money back.

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Bennett’s range, from whisper to confidentially crafted crescendos, is a challenge for anyone working behind a sound board but this concert was in a field, not Carnegie Hall. A perfect mix sometimes has to be sacrificed for some extra volume.

But let’s not dwell on the negative. This was a masterful concert by a master of his craft. A night of romance for some, a night of musical appreciation for most. Those in a position to savour every note and every vocal inflection could only have been thoroughly entertained and somewhat mesmerized by the sounds of “Turn it Up!” or “We Can’t Hear” coming from behind them.

Jazz?

True, the purists consider that the words jazz and Tony Bennett in the same sentence constitute the main ingredients for an oxymoron. Whatever. If he isn’t a jazz musician — and, incidentally, he doesn’t claim to be one — he does a pretty good impersonation.

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But such insoluble matters of definition were the furthest thing from most minds at this year’s Ottawa Jazz Festival main event. From the people in the Gold Circle to those cheapskates parked in their lawn chairs outside the fence perimeter on Laurier Avenue, this was simply an evening of superbly paced music. And, it should be said, for those in the first half of the park, the sound was perfect.

Bennett, who had spent much of the afternoon at the National Gallery indulging in his other favourite pastime, strode onto the stage at the stroke of 8:30 to the most minimalist of introductions — though earlier, CBC radio jazz host Ross Porter had felt moved to recite a ”Poem for Tony” he had composed.

“The voice is what Pearl Bailey loved … and onto the stage he was shoved.” Ross’s sentiment was noble but he should not give up his night job.

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Bennett, nattily dressed in a deep blue suit and tie, announced: “Canada I love you…thanks for coming by,” before launching into On an Evening Such As This and galloping quickly on to The Best Is Yet to Come.

There are notes that Bennett avoids these days, but surprisingly for a man 75 years old, he can still climb a few vocal ladders without any apparent risk of an embarrassing tumble. On Autumn Leaves, for example, he belted the final lines, “I’ll miss you most of all my darling when autumn leaves start to fall.” The applause indicated that the effort was well appreciated.

For the entire concert, the crowd of about 9,000 was so reverently silent you could hear a plastic wine glass drop onto the Confederation Park grass.

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The Ralph Sharon Quartet provides Bennett with a velvet cushion for his voice to touch down on. Sharon, accompanist to Bennett for more than four decades, knows his singer’s every vocal whim. For his part, the singer is joined at the lip to Sharon’s piano stylings. His drummer, Clayton Cameron, is also a great crowd-pleaser, as well as a great drummer.

The repertoire was largely pop, at least in the first 45 minutes. He slid his signature song I Left My Heart in San Francisco early and to predictably enthusiastic applause. He says he never gets bored with singing it because he performs it differently each night.

You have to believe him, if he says so.

Also included in his set were his second most famous song, I Wanna Be Around, and They Can’t Take That Away From Me, Foggy Day in London Town, Old Devil Moon and Duke Ellington’s It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it Ain’t Got that Swing). Some of the songs were mere snippets, all were aimed to please.

Long before 10 p.m. he was gone from the stage, and after exchanging a few greetings with fans backstage was gone from the grounds.

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Massar Egbari to Perform Live at El Sawy Culture Wheel on A…

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Sat 22 Jul 2023 | 02:52 PM

Egyptian underground band Massar Egbari will perform live at the El Sawy Cultural Wheel in Sheikh Zayed, on Saturday, August 12.

They are set to present several of their popular and latest songs.

Massar Egbari, which means “Compulsory Detour”, is one of the most famous and oldest singing groups in Egypt and the Arab world.

The band was founded in 2005 and consists of Ayman Massoud, Hany El Dakkak, Ahmed Hafez, Tamer Attallah, and Mahmoud Siam.

Massar Egbari tackles social problems with their music, inserts a mix of Alternative Egyptian Music, and blends rock, jazz, and blues with some Oriental music.

In 2011, the band was honored by UNESCO in Paris. 

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The Montclair Jazz Festival returns for 2023

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The Montclair Jazz Festival, one of the largest free jazz festivals in the area, is returning for 2023, starting on Aug. 12 and finishing up on Sep. 9.

The festival was founded in 2009 by Melissa Walker and Christian McBride. The first festival was a small event with a few dozen musicians playing jazz in the park. Over the years, the festival has grown to become one of the largest free jazz festivals in the country.

The Montclair Jazz Festival typically takes place over two days in August and September. The festival features a variety of jazz artists, from up-and-coming musicians to legendary performers. In addition to live music, the festival also features food vendors, a family jazz discovery zone, and a children’s stage.

Detail of the trumpet closeup

Furtseff

The festival kicks off with a block party on Saturday, August 12th in Lackawanna Plaza. The block party will feature performances by JAZZ HOUSE KiDS, Charlie Sigler, and Endea Owens & the Cookout.

The festival culminates with the Downtown Jamboree on Saturday, September 9th. The Downtown Jamboree will feature performances by over 50 artists on five stages along Bloomfield Avenue. Food vendors, a family jazz discovery zone, and a children’s stage will also be there.

Tourist couple buying pasta from food truck at outdoor market

Kritchanut

The festival is produced by JAZZ HOUSE KiDS, a non-profit organization that provides music education to children in the New Jersey and New York areas.

No tickets are required for the performances and bringing a lawn chair is encouraged, but no tents or beach umbrellas, please.

For more information, go here.

LOOK: A history of Black representation in movies

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle only.

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