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Every week Drake's art concierge Betty Ann Jordan explores the galleries and project spaces along the Queen West strip with an eye out for the best of the best. Whether you are an art aficionado or culturally curious, Betty Ann is sure to show you something a little unexpected. For updated tour information and weekly schedules please check out Art InSite.
As impressive as her list of recent collaborators, Shara Worden's voice and arresting live performances have left audiences thunderstruck from the Sydney Opera House to Lincoln Center to the House of Blues. She's performed under the experimental-pop moniker My Brightest Diamond for the last seven years, and counts Bryce Dessner (The National), Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), David Byrne, Laurie Anderson and each of The Decemberists among friends and fans. They are just a few of the many who've fallen in love with Worden's mystical voice and mythic storytelling.
Growing up outside of Detroit in a family of musical evangelists, Worden studied multiple instruments (her father is an acclaimed accordionist and mother an organist). She became equally passionate about classical and Motown, later pursuing a degree in Opera at the University of North Texas where she wrote and recorded original material for the first time. After moving to New York by way of Moscow, Worden recorded three albums before joining the ranks of Sufjan Stevens' Illinoisemakers. She then expanded her musical education further by studying composition under Padma Newsome (Clogs, The National), and turned out several scores for off-Broadway productions.
Worden's artistry seems to transcend music itself. On stage she evokes as much Martha Graham as Edith Piaf, and can be found collaborating with visual artists (Matthew Ritchie) and filmmakers (Matthew Barney, Murat Eyuboglu) alike. Where worlds are colliding, there is a Shara; a zeitgeist for a growing movement of experimental musicians eager to bend the borders of artistry and genre.
Having recently returned to Detroit, planted a garden and given birth to a son, Worden's latest offering, All Things Will Unwind, draws inspiration from the motor city itself. More folk inspired than much of her recent work the new album addresses the juxtaposition of life and death, class and race, pantries and politics—as heard through the mesmerizing lullaby of a new mother.
DJ NaNa believes that the art of Turntablism is a science. The same precision and dedication scientists put into research and experiments, is what NaNa is known for putting into his own artform. His influences range from the common (Wu Tang Clan, Outkast, A Tribe Called Quest, Jay-Z). to the not so obvious (Zamfir, Portishead, Lamb, Fleetwood Mac), and everything else in between. A true music connoisseur, his knowledge of diverse genres of music is almost as impressive as his knack for combining them.
Bridging the gap between 4 different eras and forming a cohesive sonic bond, Conor Cutz & Rouge bring you a night of the best music from times past. From the 1970s to the early 2000s, expect to hear the best of everything from James Brown to Justice, M.J. to Biggie - tracks that defined generations, seamlessly mashed up and reworked by the infamous duo.
Quatro is a unique experience in that it combines the audio with the visual. The show truly kicks off around midnight when a renowned speed artist, Anthony Haley, takes the stage and begins performing his craft. Gaining inspiration from the crowd, music and overall feel of the night, Haley will take you on a visual quest creating piece after piece LIVE on stage.
This is Quatro.
From September 10 to 24, Jessica Karuhanga has been the Drake Lab artist in residence.
Karuhanga's performances, drawings and videos explore the emotive and affective propensity and possibility of everyday rituals, moments, both witnessed and experienced. An artist currently based in Toronto, her visual art and performance work have been presented at various centres throughout Canada including Royal BC Museum, Open Space, Deluge Contemporary Art, Art Mûr, Whippersnapper Gallery, The Theatre Centre Pop-up, OCAD U Student Gallery, Videofag, Electric Eclectics, Xpace Cultural Centre and Nia Centre for the Arts.
During her Drake Lab residency, Karuhanga enacted a process of drawing and erasure using black charcoal dust on a fifty foot long white photo paper. Unveiled through this process is a field of positive and negative spaces, shadows, shapes and forms in an effort to explore the negative spaces, the black spaces, and black holes.
As Karuhanga's residency draws to an end, Drake Hotel's assistant curator Rea McNamara will lead a studio visit with Karuhanga, discussing the work (daily enactments, gestures, drawings) she created in the space and her practice overall.
Get your hands dirty every Monday night with some artful food fun: Be a guest judge in one of our competitive cook-offs, get creative with some do-it-yourself food art or sit back and sip a pint as sharp + sassy host Ivy Knight takes your taste buds on a gastronomical mystery tour. Tonight is our 6th Annual Ontario Madcap Pickle Championships! Featuring both professional and amateur categories; there are no rules, if it can be pickled you can enter anything from beets to black walnuts to beef tongue! BRING IT!
Elvis Monday is Toronto's longest running indie showcase. Now in its 30th year, at least 3000 bands have played Elvis Monday including Cowboy Junkies, Blind Melon, Treble Charger, Lights, Sum 41, Three Days Grace, Billy Talent, Austra, Peaches, Diana, JackSoul, Ron Sexsmith, Doldrums, Moon King, and BECK! Acting as a launching pad for many Toronto bands, Elvis Monday continues to champion emerging talent and play an important part of Toronto's music scene.
The Lonely Hearts are a rock and roll jukebox.
A high energy quartet, the Lonely Hearts have been playing together for nearly a decade; from intimate parties to maximum capacity crowds, they have kept audiences dancing from start to finish. They contain the energy and soul of a vintage rock and roll band but with an incredibly vast repertoire that ranges from early rock and roll, Motown, early punk, new wave and modern pop. Their musicianship goes far beyond their years. They pride themselves on the ability to read a crowd and use their repertoire to tailor their set in order to keep the party at a high pace.
A unique contrast exists within The Lonely Hearts; they give you the best of then with the youthful energy of now. They understand the importance of your event and will do everything they can to make your event as memorable and enjoyable as possible.
Queens of the east and west unite! Join Judy Virago and Scarlett Bobo for a dirty, flirty, flithy, MILFy evening of bingo, babes and balls-out fun with a different retro theme each week. DJ Aeryn Pfaff keeps the balls bouncing all night long! $2 gets three cards - first round at 8pm!