Gordon Lightfoot Book, Music and More!

The home of music journalist Nicholas Jennings, author of Lightfoot, the definitive new Gordon Lightfoot biography from Penguin Random House.

Music Feature: Ay Caramba! - Music in Cuba

Behind a dilapidated storefront in central Havana, an ancient ritual is under way. An old black man, sitting in a crumbling shell of a room, instructs four initiates in the art of traditional Yoruba drumming. Beneath the glare of a dangling light bulb, Elpidio Acea barely seems up to the task. Wiry and wizened, he looks like he’d have trouble keeping a heartbeat, let alone a tricky West African rhythm. But striking two cigar-shaped sticks together, he taps out the offbeat pattern that signs the drums to begin. His students, all young women, respond with a sudden flurry of beats. Today’s lesson is the guaguancó, one of the most complex of all Afro-Cuban rhythms. And two of the students can’t ...
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Feature Article: Canada's Country Music Pioneeers

Country music has its roots in the southern United States. But just as the blues came up the Mississippi on trains and steamboats, country music traveled north on the airwaves to find a welcome home above the 49th parallel. Country has a long and vibrant history in Canada, from the honky-tonk classics of Hank Snow in the 1950s to the chart-topping country-pop hits of Shania Twain, the biggest-selling female artist of all time, in the ’90s. And Canadian artists continue to make their mark, both in Nashville and their native land, where country music appeals to an ever-growing demographic—from diehards in cowboy boots driving pickup trucks to closet fans wearing business suits on Bay Street.&n...
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Feature Article: Souljazz Orchestra and the Inner Fire

Listening to the Souljazz Orchestra is like to taking a rhythm-crazed, horn-drenched trip across the planet, hopping from Latin salsa and Caribbean funk to African beats and jazz from east and west.For a dozen years, the tropically inspired, Ottawa-based band has crisscrossed Europe and North America, introducing its exotic musical mosaic to enthusiastic audiences and critical acclaim. This summer is no different, as the group—hot on the heels of its excellent sixth album, Inner Fire—continues to blaze a trail at festivals on both continents. Souljazz leader Pierre Chrétien says the six-piece ensemble also hopes to reach South America and Africa for the first time this year.That Souljazz has...
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