Orbit Room don’t need no festival to showcase top talents
With the concurrence of two major music festivals this weekend (or maybe that should be “collision” of festivals —more about that in another article) over the next few days many non-music rooms and many bars and other venues that present music regularly will be offering either Indie or Jazz acts, depending on with which of the two events (North By North East -NXNE or TD Jazz -Toronto Downtown Jazz) they’re affiliated.
But snug and ultra-hip Orbit Room, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in a few months, has no need of being involved with either of these events in order to offer superior music from a variety of genres, in a room designed for listening, seven nights a week —and sometimes twice in a day, like tonight.
This club, on the second floor at 580 College St. near Clinton Ave. in TO’s Little Italy district, is the ultimate live music room whether it’s R&B (for which they’re best known), Blues, indie Rock, Ska, Funk, Reggae, Jazz or Fusion on its small but beautifully appointed stage.
Tonight there are two stellar acts, starting with a 7-9 show (cover’s just $10) featuring vibraphone maestro Paul Hoffert backed by the Senensky-Riley combo of Bernie Senensky on the club’s house Hammond B3 organ and Ben Riley on the drums. Eat your heart out TD Jazz!
Following that world-class act, from 10-2 the amazing LMT Connection R&B/Funk trio, featuring Leroy Emmanuel on guitar (and often adding cheek percussion!), takes over. (You may or may not have to pay a second cover if you attend the early show, depending on your ability to blend in with the gang on the club’s awesome rear patio deck.) This act is inventive and exhilarating, demanding your bones to dance and your mouth to smile with delight.
The club also has a very special double-bill show coming up this Friday, as somehow someone has convinced Can Rock icons Parachute Club to reunite for a special performance at 8 p.m. Take that NXNE! They’ll be followed by the best Ska band in Canada, Arsenals. (I know there aren’t that many, but these guys spoil you for seeing others like TO’s Frankie Foo & The Yo Yo Smugglers —a decent group but one that just can’t compare to talent-rich veterans Arsenals.)
Thursdays lately have seen a variety of acts appear in the room and tomorrow a Tower of Power tribute, The Oakland Stroke, will be featured at 10. I doubt that room booker Tim Wilson planned this particular series of superb acts with the specific aim of tweaking the noses of the two festivals with which it’s not involved at all this year. But he couldn’t have done it much better if he did.
-Gary 17, www.torontomoon.ca
Listings preceded by an asterisk (*) are repeating weekly events. (Double asterisk indicates repeating event with different hosts/guest/etc.) 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.
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NXNE = North By Northeast Festival; wristband or $ admittance
Noon> Free lunchtime Jazz with tba @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz
*5-8> The Mediterranean Stars @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E.. TO East ~Jazz
5-8> Bruce Chapman Blues Duo & guests @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Blues
6> Belle Regards @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO
6:30> Payadora @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Tango
7-12> EXEE Festival -Battle of The Brew Bands @ The Only Café, 972 Danforth Ave., TO East
7-10> Paul Hoffert Trio; Senensky/Riley Trio @ Orbit Room, 580 College St., TO ~Jazz; $10/-
*7-11> open jam with Wayne Buttery Band @ The Beacon, 146 45th St., Wasaga Beach
7> Brian Haddelssey @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough
*7:30-10:30> Peter Griffin & BTBs @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Jazz
7:30> Wool & Howl @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave. TO
*8-12> Girls Night Out Jazz singers jam with Lisa Particelli, Peter Hill et al @ Chalkers, 247 Marlee Ave., TO North-West
*8> open jam with Juggernaut Jam Band featuring Andy Narsingh @ Rockpile East, 2878 Eglinton Ave. E., Scarborough
8-4>NXNE: Oneiroi; I Hate Todd feat. Nelson Sobral (9); Go For The Eyes; The Mercy Now; Big Name Actors; Miss Plygamy @ The Hideout, 484 Queen St. W., TO ~indie Rock
**8> open stage with 9 p.m. feature by Pete Janes @ Fat Albert’s, 25 Cecil St. (Steelworkers Hall), TO ~Roots
8> NXNE: Walter Senko; Beyond The Mountain; Painted Saints; Our Founder; Ghost Town Jenny; Amity Beach @ Cameron House (rear), 408 Queen St. W., TO
8> Wicked Wednesdays with Heather Chappell & Vince Peets; Orit (Little Birdie) Shimoni; Anastace Krieger; Marcus Walker @ Graffiti’s, 170 Baldwin St., TO ~indie; pwyc/$5 Billion suggested
*8-1> open jam with Wednesday’s Child feat. Johnny Bootz Hutt @ Lola, 40 Kensington Ave., TO
8> Lester McLean Quartet @ Monarchs Pub (Eaton Chelsea Hotel), 33 Gerrard St. W., TO ~Jazz
*8-11> Fraser-Daley @ Inter Steer, 357 Roncesvalles Ave. TO West ~Roots/Blues
8-2> NXNE: Dave Norris & Local Ivan; Luke Austin; David Rosales; Cailtin Harnett; Her Harbour; The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., TO West
8-1> NXNE: Amos The Transparent; Panicland; The Mohrs; Fast Romantics; Cardinals @ Supermarket, 268 Augusta Ave., TO ~indie
8-1> Three Dads @ Timothy’s Pub, 344 Brown’s Line, Etobicoke South ~Pop Rock
8-1> Nashville Songwriters Association International with various artists @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville ~songwriters
*8-12> all-ages jam with The Brand New Low @ Sixth Line Pub, 1500 Sixth Line, Oakville
*8-11> open mic @ Frank’s Pasta, 426 King St. E., Cobourg
8> comedy @ Free Times Cafe, 320 College St., TO
*8:30> open mic with Jenn Fiorentino @ Earl Of Whitchurch, 6204 Main St., Stouffville
*8:30> Something Country @ The Endzone, 1900 King St. E., Hamilton ~Country
*8:45> Bradley & The Bouncers @ Reservoir Lounge, 52 Wellington St. E., TO ~Jazz/Blues/R&B
8:45> NXNE: Shaky Knees; Papermaps; 5th Projekt; Cricket @ The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Ave., TO West ~original Pop Rock
9-12> Blues Night with Julian Fauth & guests @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~original Jun0-winning Blues
9> The Vaudevillian @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~1920s Blues
9-12> The Howlin’ Brothers @ Bar Radio, 615 College St., TO ~Bluegrass; pwyc
*9?> open mic with Skip @ The Queen’s Legs, 286 Eglinton Ave. W., TO North
*9?> open mic with Sean Barker @ Monarch Tavern, 12 Clinton St., TO
*9?> jam with Michael Zane @ Shakers, 580 Kerr St., Oakville
*9-12> jam with Damage Control @ St. Louis Bar & Grill Ajax, 11 Harwood Ave. S., Ajax
9> Bruce Gorrie @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa
*9-1> open mic jam with Whiskey Birds @ Sweetz Lounge, 5289 Hwy 7, Woodbridge-Vaughan
9> Sweet Alibi @ The Red Garnet, 231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough ~Country
*9:30> open stage with Nicola Vaughan @ Black Swan (downstairs), 154 Danforth Ave., TO East
9:30> Julien Dionne; Garage Baby @ C’est What, 67 Front St. E., TO ~comedy/variety; $10
9:30> David French Group @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz
*9:30-2> jam with Live Animals @ The Unicorn, 175 Eglinton Ave. E., TO North
10> Luke Bill @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO
10> NXNE: Pilot Light; Melissa Lauren; Emma Frank @ Free Times Cafe, 320 College St., TO
10> Ian Sinclair Quintet @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave. TO ~Jazz
*10-2> Blues-Rock jam with Bruce Domoney @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave. TO
*10-2> Paul & Curtis @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Rock/Pop
*10:30> The LMT Connection @ Orbit Room, 580 College St. TO ~Funk/R&B; $10
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