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Music

Reggae great Sugar Minott dead at 54

A giant of reggae music has been silenced. News of the death of Sugar Minott in Kingston, Jamaica, on July 10, at age 54,-has greatly saddened his many fans here in the GTA. (more)

JIMMY CLIFF: THE SHEPHERD

With the starring role in the ground-breaking film, The Harder They Come, a recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, over 24 studio albums to his credit and a three month-long North American tour, Jimmy Cliff is definitely not slowing down. In fact he says he’s now embarking on Act Two of an incredible career. (more)

Shakura S’Aida heads south on Brown Sugar

Given the mythology surrounding the blues and Southern crossroads, it’s highly appropriate that Toronto blues treasure Shakura S’Aida ventured to a dirt crossroad in Mississippi to capture some mojo. But whereas Robert Johnson, as legend has it, sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his talent at one such locale, the spirits Shakura encountered there were far more benign. (more)

TAKE FIVE WITH ERIC ROBERSON

Time is catching up to Eric Roberson. And it’s all good! In many ways he’s been ahead of the musical curve. Known as Erro to his fans, the recently Grammy nominated indie soul/singer songwriter is on a roll with his music career. He’s arguably the best soul artist some mainstream music fans have never heard of even though you’ve heard his songs sung by others. (more)

JASON WILSON

You can make a legitimate argument that no Canadian artist has ever done more to innovate within his genre and expand popular perceptions of what his artform represents than Jason Wilson has for reggae music. Given that he just celebrated his 40th birthday (with a concert, of course), now would be time to look both back and forward into the life and music of Canada’s original reggae visionary. (more)

SOUL MUSIC UNDERGROUND

Soul Music, the sweet soul music - don't you miss it? There is alot to say about the intoxicating vibe that runs through your body when you hear Marvin Gaye's "Lets Get It On"(more)

QUEEN IFRICA

If you've been paying any attention to roots reggae in the last three years, then you've probably heard of Queen Ifrica. SHe made headlines with her song 'Daddy', an uncomfortable plaintive anthem condemning paternal child abuse this year, and last year she cloaked the issue of domestic...(more)

HIP HOP AS A WOMAN

It was in 1994 that Common released "I Used to Love H.E.R.," arguably the most hightly-regarded and seminal song to ever personify hip-hop as a woman. More than a dozen years later, WORD asks some of today's finest; If hip-hop was a woman, what would she look like? (more)

OSCAR PETERSON

Oscar Peterson was 82 years old when he died of kidney failure at his Mississauga, Ontario home on Dec. 23, 2007. Within hours of the sad news, tributes poured in from across the globe as the world mourned the loss of one of the most admired, techically proficient jazz pianists of his generation. (more)

MUSIC REVIEWS

May 2008. (more)

TORONTO MASS CHOIR

The Toronto Mass Choir has seen great success. Not only have they pioneered a lasting name in the Canadian music industry with their releases. but they have also paved the way for a music label, Micah Records. (more)

FAB-5

It takes a lot of confidence to name yourself Fab 5, but over the course of a career now closing in on 40 years long, this Jamaican group has indeed justified the fab (ulous) tag. (more)

News & Analysis

African Continuities: Ghana, Spirit and Service

On this clear, warm night in Cape Coast, Ghana, the Atlantic Ocean is frothing and foaming, swelling, cresting and crashing about. We are sitting in our bus in silence, all dressed in white at 2am in the morning waiting to continue our reverie with ourselves. We listen to the tumult of the sea a few yards away from us. (more)

Africa is Not a Victim of Circumstance

Africa is not a victim of circumstance and we must replace complacency with confidence. All Africans of good will are needed to integrate the development of the continent and take responsibility for our collective destiny. If we cannot change our attitude at this critical time, then we might just as well stop feeling sorry for ourselves and prepare to die at our own hands. We stand on the precipice of our own salvation, no need to rehash our old sad, colonial stories or feeling sorry for ourselves. (more)

EMPOWERING WOMEN IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Education, health, productivity, credit and governance all work better when women are involved. In the first of a three part series WORD explores the ways in which women in sub-Saharan Africa are being empowered to play a more significant role. (more)

EMPOWERING WOMEN IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA (Part 2)

Pictures: (more)

Film & Video

HISTORY OF AFRICAN AMERICANS AT THE OSCARS

Could Hollywood movies have helped pave the way for Barack Obama to run for president. Writer Mike Szymanski summarizes the the success of Black actors at the Academy Awards. (more)

URBAN MUSIC WEEK FILM SERIES

This exciting urban film series was launched in 2003 in association with the National Film Board of Canada at the John Spotton Cinema, aka National Film Board Cinema. A series of films and a Master Class by a noted director proved very successful. (more)

STARS FOR OBAMA

An unprecedented bizarrely-diverse list of celebrities have thrown their endorsements toward Barack Obama. Hollywood celebrities who have once voted Rupublicans, some who have once supported the Clintons and those who have never voted ever before are all now lining up to push for the first African-Amercian President. (more)

Sidebar Story: (more)

DVD REVIEWS

January through March 2008 releases. (more)

DVD REVIEWS

The Good, Bad & Quirky of DVDs Released in Late 2007. (more)

Books

Dan Hill Gets Intimate

It’s symbolically fitting that Dan Hill has a fierce passion for long-distance running. He runs daily, reads all the running magazines he can find, and even writes for them. “People like me and you work really hard at what we do, so running is this wonderful hobby for some of us. We are in a very hyper-competitive world, so reading about your hobby, running, is very relaxing.” (more)

THE WEDGE'S FLAVA

The Wedge Gallery celebrates it's 10th anniversary with Flava, 142 pages of original photography celebrating black identity. (more)

Dance

COBA 17TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS

Seventeen years ago dancers/choreographers, BaKari E. Lindsay and Charmaine Headley, along with two collaborators, Junia Mason and Mosa Neshama embarked on a journey to celebrate an African aesthetic in dance. They founded COBA, the Collective of Black Artists in Toronto. (more)

CLEO PARKER ROBINSON (Getting to the Light)

What do you get if you cross a passionate black actor with a defiant white musician? Well, if you're very lucky, you may end up with the extraodinary Cleo Parker Robinson. (more)

CLEO PARKER ROBINSON (Getting to the Light)

Sidebar Story (more)

Stage

Coming Soon...

Restaurants/Bars/Clubs

Trane Studio Celebrates Seven Years

Smack dab in the middle of the city lies a venue that has been part of a bustling neighborhood for the past seven years. It boasts a quaint brick-faced interior, with warm and sensual colors that seep into your soul. And that is simply the décor. The music is billed as jazz, but is truly an eclectic mix and the food is simply divine. Trane Studio’s vision was, and still is, to share the wealth and history of jazz and its many facets to the people of Toronto. And being named after a jazz legend, Mr. Coltrane himself, is quite a namesake to live up to. (more)

Arts

ARTS NEWS

  • Collective of Black Artists presents Yebo!
  • Sony Centre presents African Footprint & Harlem Gospel Choir
  • 3 MO`DIVAS at Winter Garden Theatre

(more)