Guitar gods are usually pretty one-dimensional: masters of fretwork, they can be counted on for outrageous riffs and awesome solos, but rarely deliver quality songwriting or strong leadership. Domenic Troiano is a major exception. The consummate musician’s musician, he has written superb songs and fronted numerous bands—all the while contributing dazzling, distinctive guitar work.
Over the course of his 40-year career, Troiano has also been highly prolific. In one seven-year period in the 1970s, he released five solo recordings and four band albums as a full-fledged member of the James Gang and the Guess Who. During this time, he also lent his unique guitar work to albums by Joe Cocker, David Clayton-Thomas, Diana Ross, Ronnie Hawkins and Donald Fagen, among others.
Such is the depth of Troiano’s musical genius that he has been able to fill the shoes of several legendary guitarists over the years, replacing Robbie Robertson in Ronnie Hawkins’ backing band and Joe Walsh in the James Gang, before helping to fill the void in the Guess Who left by Randy Bachman’s departure. In 1996, Troiano’s significant contributions were recognized when he was inducted in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
Born in Modugno, Italy, Troiano immigrated with his family to Canada as a boy and by high school had established himself in Toronto’s burgeoning
When Tarig Abubakar died in 1998, the world lost one of African music’s greatest ambassadors. Having arrived in Canada from Sudan as a refugee 10 years earlier, Tarig made it his mission to bridge cultures with music. His band, the Afronubians, was a veritable United Nations ensemble, with musicians from East, Central and West Africa working alongside Canadian and even Russian-born players. Together, they forged a vibrant, rhythmic sound that attracted a loyal following on the Toronto club circuit. But Tarig was never content with just local exposure. He had visions of spreading African music far and wide. Between 1995 and 1997, he took his Afronubians on three cross-Canada tours, playing remote places like Ness Creek, Canmore, Kamloops, Prince Rupert and Whitehorse—sometimes in the coldest, darkest days of winter. And Tarig, a round-faced, genial man with an infectious laugh, won converts at every stop.
The story of Tarig’s arrival in Canada, a genuine tale of a stranger landing in a strange land, made headlines and even became a national news item on CTV’s W5. Arriving at Montreal’s Mirabel airport with only the clothes