H.P.O. & Basia Bulat; a ‘Pops’ opener Reply

Review by Tony Kilgannon

Saturday marked the reunion of the Hamilton Philharmonic with Basia Bulat, for the first of this season’s Pops Series. There is something about mixing together more than one type of music which can be very exciting, in the same way that combining various flavours of foods can be. We’ve become used to certain combinations, and know what to expect. A jazz vocalist with an orchestra, for example, is a “flavour” we all enjoy. We operate within a certain comfort level within that tradition, exploring the unique qualities that each vocalist or stylist brings. Sometimes, as in the food analogy, a whole different flavour is created. Put apples & cheese together, and you have an idea of what Bulat and the HPO achieved. It was a fresh, interesting sound that very much appealed to this reviewer, earning a standing ovation from the audience.

Basia Bulat & company, onstage with the HPO

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K/W.S. presents a touching ‘Penelope’ Reply

Review by Amy McBride
                   The song cycle PENELOPE” was mesmerizing from beginning to end! Even after watching, and hearing it performed I am still unsure if I was really there when it happened. The voice of Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) was captivating; somehow subtly voracious, and at the same time incredibly poetic and wondrous. Sarah Kirkland Snider, the composer of this magical story, came up with this idea of loosely basing Penelope on the story of Homer’s Odyssey; modernized into a story of a soldier returning to his wife after 20 years at war. The soldier has suffered brain damage and it seems that the sea that took him to war has finally brought him home to his wife. More…

Denzal Sinclaire, an almost Nat ‘King’ Cole evening Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Busy night at HECFI: – comedian John Pinette on stage at the Great Hall; the Rascal Flatts @ Copps; and in the studio Theatre Denzal Sinclaire. We enthusiastically picked the latter having been impressed with his guest track on Karin Plato’s first album and his superb M.C. ing of the National Jazz Awards a few years back.
Since then, we’ve heard him perform on CBC as well as a personal interview which demonstrated his ability to speak without ‘ums’, “you knows”, or ‘like’s’… sports celebs – take note! Loved his singing, arranging and selections, but the show itself was a bit of a letdown.

Sinclaire, on-stage with Henderson & West

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“♫ Something inviting; something exciting ♪ ” Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin
                Something new; something exciting; something really worthwhile. Not a ‘new & improved dish-soap’ or yet another ‘miracle hair shampoo’ – but a cultural evening with a twist! The multi-talented composer/arranger/director/orchestrator par excellence, Charles T. Cozens,aided by local impresario Rick McKenzie (who did so much to rejuvenate the LYRIC theatre) is bringing a monthly concert experience to the Lincoln Alexander Centre.

l-r; Paton, Cozens & Lima

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An OK 7th; not an exciting Beethoven 7th Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
  SEMTEX™ is a powerful explosive; but without a fuse or blasting cap; no more dangerous than putty. Great compositions are similar; monumental – but needing that igniting spark to be a volatile performance. The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra’s inaugural 2012-13 Masterworks concert failed to ignite and was musically asymmetrical ranging from pedestrian, to boring, to immaculate.

Newman & Goodman under watchful eyes of Sitarski & Sommerville

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Gershon Wachtel & his piano- in performance Reply

Review by Tina Gaisin
I was not planning on attending another concert but something told me I should go! I dragged my special someone and off we went!  The concert was held at Chabad Romano located on Bathurst St. in Maple. Instead of a lectern on the Bimah (elevated altar area) was a beautiful piano!  Acting as Master of Ceremonies, and guest soloist/ speaker was pianist Gershon Wachtel.  
               Wachtel has a lengthy bio which includes the accompaniment of the 1976 and 1980 USA women’s Gymnastic Teams. More…