Lift spirits raising your voice in Christmas song with Michael Keys | 171218Mo | Shows for Monday, December 18, 2021

Michael Keys smooth Jazz poster

Michael Keys smooth Jazz poster


It’s too bad that keyboardist/singer and versatile band leader Michael Keys doesn’t get more gigs these days, because this lifetime honouree of two venerable music institutions not only is musically proficient and diligent, but can assemble an all-star unit at the drop of a stylish hat.

We told you not too long ago about how he was honoured by the Hamilton Musicians Guild of Ontario with a lifetime membership for his years of stalwart service to both Blues and Jazz and various extensions and cross-pollinations of those genres such as Boogie Woogie/Barrelhouse Blues, Blues-Rock and Swing.

He’s performed regularly with some of the legends of the Canadian music scene including Jazz-Pop singer Danny B (with whose band he was, in 2014, inducted into the American Heritage organization’s Blues Hall of Fame) as well as longtime stints with iconic Blues-Rock slide guitarist Mike McKenna, with ubiquitous Blues/Jazz/R&B six-stringer Brian Gauci and many, many other highly regarded performers.

He’s also over the years shown indefatigable initiative in organizing shows that have produced a lot of gigs for other players.  One long-running R&B Sunday matinee was at an Oakville club I wrote about in 2011 when every Sunday he brought in stellar special guests with a hugely talented house band to put on a show that was going great guns until the club changed its concept and he has also done regular gigs performing smooth Jazz in Oakville and Burlington.

Lately, however, it seems Michael mostly has been doing sideman stuff, recently appearing regularly, for example, as a member of Ronnie Russell & The Corvairs, a vintage Pop/50-60s Rock outfit that does big-stage extravaganzas.

He’d be gung-ho to do more shows under his own leadership but sadly the number of clubs that appreciate the talent he brings to the table is in decline in favour of djs, sports tv and juke boxes.  But a few times a year, at least, he still does organize special event performances, often for a good cause, such as his now annual Good Friday show at Black Bull in Burlington that I wrote about this spring.

And happily, with the festive season now here, he’s doing another special event affair this afternoon, but this one’s at an unusual locale in Hamilton.  From 1:30 to 5 he’ll be anchoring a “Christmas Carol Singalong” at the Juravinski Cancer Centre’s Hummingbird Café at 699 Concession St., up high on Hamilton Mountain at the peak of the Niagara Escarpment.  (The views from up here on the lip of the hill on a clear day, believe me, are stunning and alone are worth the drive to “The Hammer”.)

171205 Moon lights up live music night ALTThere’s no cover but of course people are always welcome to make a donation to the centre, which treats patients from all over the 905 and 519 regions and, in conjunction with McMaster University, conducts leading research into cancer treatments and educates physicians in the tools and skills of caring for those so afflicted.

But really today’s show is more about boosting the morale of patients, staff and volunteers, who are all likely to be spending the festive season either working or being worked on at the facility.  And since seeing happy new faces is always a fillip for people in such situations, consider attending this event as being a Christmas treat both to yourself and your fellow audience members.

If you’re daytripping into The Steel City and still in a good-cause and festive mood, btw, you might want to consider sticking around after this show and heading downtown to The Pearl Company arts centre at 16 Steven St., (near Wentworth St. N. and King St. E.).  From 6:30-10:30 a “Koren Family Christmas” show includes lots of local talents such as Tomi Swick, Union and Kay, Doug Feaver and Ruth Sutherland, Christopher Clause, Matty Simpson, Justin Fischer and, of course, The Koren Family.  Admission to the fundraiser for Hamilton Food Share is just $10 plus a non-perishable food item.

-Gary 17,
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SHOW LISTINGS for Monday, December 18, 2021

For KEY to listings codes and schemata see note at end of shows list.

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*6> “Underplayed and Underpaid” interviews and performances by Guelph area bands on CFRU 93.3 FM broadcast and online

7-8> “Acoustic Workshop” with host Heather Fielding @ CIUT 89.5 FM broadcast and online


Hubert 1712015-6> Moonfruits @ Union Station, 65 Front St. W. ~French language Folk duo; $0

5:30-8:30> Momondays Toronto with host Michel Neray author Betty Franklin @ The Hideout, 423 College St. ~networking, stories and music (install the app to get the program details); $25

6-10> The Wintergarten Orchestra @ The Berkeley Bicycle Club, 504 Jarvis St. ~Jazz; $10

6> Laura Merrimen @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W.

6:30> Peter Hill Quintet @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $

**7-1 (sign-up at 7, show starts 7:30)> open stage with host Linda Saslove @ Free Times Café, 320 College St.

*7-10> open stage with Brad Scott @ Lola, 40 Kensington Ave.

7-9> Joel Sheridan & Adrean Farrugia “A Very Swinging Christmas” @ Pear Tree Restaurant, 507 Parliament St. ~Christmas vocal/piano Jazz/Swing; $10

7:30> Hey Rosetta! with Rich Aucoin @ Phoenix Concert Theatre, 410 Sherbourne St. ~contemporary original; $

**8> Music City North open mic with host Charlie McKittrick @ Rose & Crown, 2335 Yonge St.

8> Bob Sanderson; The Waiting Room @ Graffiti’s, 170 Baldwin St.

8> Toronto Symphony Orchestra @ Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. ~Christmas Classical, Handel’s “Messiah”; $38-111

8-10> Christopher Wilson’s “Cocktails & Candy Canes Cabaret” @ Jazz Bistro, 251 Victoria St. ~Christmas Jazz; $15

8> Ukulele jam @ Tranzac Lounge (Main Hall), 292 Brunswick Ave.

8> Ginbombs; Peter Serrado and The West End; Vinyl Ambush @ Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W.

10-2> Moving Violations “After Work Holiday Cheer Party” @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave. ~Christmas Blues; $0

*9:30> open mic @ Amsterdam Bicycle Club, 54 The Esplanade

9:30> Jabfung @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $

10> Jordan John @ The Orbit Room, 580 College St. ~R&B/Blues; $

**10> open mic (2 songs; sign-up starts 8 p.m.) with host Sarah Greene @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave.

10-2> The Sons of Jameson @ The Hideout, 423 College St. ~indie

10> The Wilderness; guests @ Lost And Found, 577 King St. W. ~Hip Hop


7-10> Luke Vajsar @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave. ~looping lounge music; 0$

7> Daniel Caesar; Snoh Aalegra @ The Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave.

8:30-10:30> “Revolution Mondays” with host Lucas Stagg & guest feature Chris Staig @ The Old Nick, 123 Danforth Ave. ~songwriters; 0$

8:30-10:30> The Boxcar Boys @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E. ~Gypsy Jazz

*8:45-12> Riverboat Mondays acoustic open stage jam & tribute to the late Bruce Adamson/fundraiser for Bereaved Families of Ontario with Tyler Ellis, Julian Taylor & many more @ Dora Keogh, 141 Danforth Ave.

*9-12> The Out of Towners @ Sauce on Danforth, 1376 Danforth Ave.

9-2> Tom Waits Appreciation Congregation @ Linsmore Tavern, 1298 Danforth Ave. ~Tom Waits tribute; 0$

*9:30-2> Sebastian Agnello & friends Christmas open stage @ Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave.; 0$


8-12> KOS music showcase @ Rockpile, 5555 Dundas St. W.


*8-11> open stage @ McGradie’s, 2167 Victoria Park Ave.

*8-12> open jam with Halfway Home @ Newfoundlander Tavern, 472 Danforth


5-8> Greg Cockerill & Burke Carroll @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Jazz

7> Aidan Funston Quartet @ The Emmet Ray, 924 College St. ~Jazz; pwyc

*8> open jam with The Pumpkinheadz @ The Wicket Pub, 1671 Bloor St. W.

*8> Balfolk @ La Rev, 2848 Dundas St. W. ~European Folk music & dance; $5-10/pwyc

8> Joey Landreth; Roman Clarke @ Drake Hotel Lounge, 1150 Queen St. W. ~contemporary original; $

8:30> Nick Doneff; Rob McLaren @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W. ~songwriters; $

9> The Beat Club @ Smiling Buddha Stage 1, 961 College St. ~indie; $

9> Jason Portier & band host “Xmas Singalong” @ The Three Speed, 1163 Bloor St. W. ~Christmas

9-12> Tim Hamel Trio & guest @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Jazz

9> EctoMeso @ Smiling Buddha Stage 2, 961 College St. ~indie; $

*9-1> Hamstrung Stringband @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Bluegrass

*9-1> eclectic open stage/jam with host Nelson Sobral @ The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Ave.

9:30> Ben Jansson Quartet @ The Emmet Ray, 924 College St. ~Jazz; pwyc

*10> open mic with host Liam Kearney @ The Hole In The Wall, 2867 Dundas St. W.


*5> open mic with Dennis Napper @ Rhapsody Barrel Bar, 179 King St. W., Kitchener

*7:30-12> open mic with Anthony Schmanthony @ The Cornerstone, 1 Wyndham St. N., Guelph

*8-12> open stage @ The Boathouse, 97 Jubilee Drive, Kitchener

9:30> Turk and the Hobbits @ Duke of Wellington, 33 Erb St. W., Waterloo


*7> Gailie & Friends @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough

8-12> jam night with Rob Drake @ Sticky Fingers Dunlop, 199 Essa Rd.

905 EAST

*8-11> open stage @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa


7:30> songwriters’ open mic (7pm sign up) with host Derek Christie @ Divan, 9218 Yonge St., Richmond Hill

8-11> open mic @ The Barrel, 2180 Steeles Ave. W., Vaughan

9:25-1:05> jam/open stage with backline @ Sneakers Uptown, 18025 Yonge St., Newmarket


1:30-5> “Christmas Carol Singalong” with Michael Keys and Friends @ Hummingbird Café at Juravinski Cancer Centre, 699 Concession St., Hamilton

6> Michael Wainwright & Rick Labrie @ Innsville, 1141 Highway 8, Stoney Creek

6:30>> Greensville Guitar Pickers jam @ Greensville Branch Library, 59 Kirby Ave., Hamilton

6:30-10:30> “Koren Family Christmas” with Tomi Swick; Union and Kay; Doug Feaver and Ruth Sutherland; Christopher Clause; Matty Simpson; Justin Fischer; The Koren Family @ The Pearl Company, 16 Steven St., Hamilton ~Christmas fundraiser for Hamilton Food Share; $10 + collecting n-p goods for foodbank

*8> The New Rebel Westerners @ Cat ‘n’ Fiddle, 174 John St. S., Hamilton ~Country

905 WEST

*7-10> open mic with Chris Partland @ 5 West Brewpub, 3600 Dundas St. W., Burlington

*7-10> The Dirty Pioneers @ Shoeless Joe’s Brant (patio), 1250 Brant St., Burlington ~Rock/Top 40 covers

**8-12> BBQ & jam night with Port Credit Review Band @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville; ($8.95 with BBQ dinner special starts at 6)

*9> Fiddlestix Duo @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~fiddle Rock

*9:30-1> jam with Tom Barlow @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit


Listings are organized by area in which the shows occur and within each area field shows are listed chronologically.

Listings preceded by an asterisk (*) are repeating weekly events. (Double asterisk indicates repeating event with different hosts/guest/etc.). Events preceded by question mark (?) usually take place but have not been confirmed. Admission prices followed by a slash and minus (/-) after the amount indicates door charge with availability of cheaper rates for some purchases. /+ indicates stated price is minimum.

-Copyright © 2017 by Gary “17” Webb-Proctor & All Rights Reserved