Hamilton; strutting out its cultural range 2

 Review by Danny Gaisin
                Toronto: – its’ Taste of the Danforth; the Beaches – renowned jazz Festival; Oakville – ‘Midnight Madness, and HAMILTON — The James St. North ‘CRAWL’!  Like those counterparts; ‘The Hammer’ shuts down the street to vehicle traffic and turns it over to 50,000 pedestrians [and oftimes – accompanying pets!] to see, to eat, and be entertained. In spite of our erroneous reputation as a lunch box town, we’ve culture up the kazoo and we display it every September. Today was no exception.

Avery & the H.P.O. ‘al fresco’

. We saw paintings, handmade clothes, sculpture and were given a chance to see what else defines Steeltown besides the Tiger Cats and our waterfalls.
               The muse and I were first-timers to the refurbished Lister Block and if she could have gotten away with it, I’m sure Terry would have made shop-lifting history by re-doing our kitchen with Lis’s new floor!
               For us, it also turned out to be another of those serendipitous schmoozing opportunities whereby we reconnected with some of the folks who had changed phone numbers; moved or relocated their cultural venues. Now we’re back in the loop!

James St. CRAWLERS” from the HPO’s view!

               In the realm of diametrical contrast, a highlight was seeing & hearing Vancouver’s composer/performer C.R. Avery, in concert with the musicians of our Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. Avery is a consummate entertainer whose style covers all the genres of jazz. His effortless facility with both the audience & HPO made this a ‘hamische’ and intimate performance. It was also this columnist’s first opportunity to see an admired musician seated in what is to be his permanent first chair as HPO concertmaster. Stephen Sitarski is an acclaimed violinist and his KWS tenure was non-pareil. We personally welcome him and are sure he’ll be a more than adequate replacement for Lance and a positive collaborator for maestro Jamie Sommerville. Speaking of whom; “ Jamie – those ‘shades’ have to go!”


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