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PREVIEW: Summer Music in the Garden Is Back At Toronto’s Harboufront With Eclectic Mix

By Anya Wassenberg on June 2, 2023

Toronto Music Garden (Photo: H. Michael Miley/CC BY-SA 2.0)
Toronto Music Garden (Photo: H. Michael Miley/CC BY-SA 2.0)

Harbourfront Centre’s Summer Music in the Garden series is back at the Toronto Music Garden for its 22nd season. The free concert series is curated by Dora award-winning music director Gregory Oh.

The line-up includes JUNO award-winners, international musicians on tour, city foavourites, and much more. Arabic jazz takes its place alongside baroque and chamber music, Indigenous classical, opera, folk, and more.

The Line-up

Deantha Edmunds: Connections | Wednesday, June 21

Contemporary Indigenous Classical (Newfoundland and Labrador)
Soprano Deantha Edmunds, Canada’s first Inuk professional classical singer, performs a program of original compositions as well as traditional music in both English and Inuktitut.

National Youth Orchestra of Canada: Up Next | Sunday, June 25

Western Classical (Ontario)
The National Youth Orchestra of Canada is one of the country’s strongest incubators of classical music talent. They’ll be performing a program of chamber music.

Tafelmusik: Music In The Garden | Thursday, June 29

Western Classical (Ontario)
The baroque music orchestra will perform a program of chamber music from Bach, Handel, and other favourite composers of the era.

L-R (clockwise): Deantha Edmunds (Photo courtesy of the artist); Tafelmusik (Photo courtesy of Tafelmusik); Beau Dixon (Photo: Dahlia Katz)
L-R (clockwise): Deantha Edmunds (Photo courtesy of the artist); Tafelmusik (Photo courtesy of Tafelmusik); Beau Dixon (Photo: Dahlia Katz)

Moneka Arabic Jazz: From Baghdad To Toronto | Sunday, July 2

Arabic Jazz (Iraq)
Ahmed Moneka’s music journey begins in Iraq and ends up in Toronto’s music scene, wehre it blends maqam-style Arabic music technique with the African rhythms of his descendants. His band assembles some of Toronto’s finest musicians.

Morgan Toney: First Flight | Thursday, July 6

Mi’kmaltic Music (Nova Scotia)
Mi’kmaq Celtic Fiddler Morgan Toney has developed a unique style he calls high energy acoustic. He’s accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Keith Mullins.

Beau Dixon: Freedom 2.0 | Sunday, July 9

Soul Roots (Ontario)
This intimate acoustic performance journeys through blues, gospel, reggae, soul, and jazz to trace the influence of African American music on Western culture during the Civil Rights era. It includes words and music by Martin Luther King Jr., Stevie Wonder, James Baldwin, Harry Belafonte, Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, Maya Angelou and many others.

The Musical Stage Company: Putting It Together: In Concert | Thursday, July 20

Musical Theatre (Ontario)
A 45-minute concert that explores how musical theatre creates characters that audiences love and root for using material from musicals currently developing at The Musical Stage Company.

Naghmeh Farahmand: Towards A New Day | Sunday, July 23

Iranian Music (Iran)
Naghmeh Farahmand and the Eastern Sunrise Ensemble perform traditional music from the ancient Middle East on classical Persian percussion instruments. The ensemble gives a voice to women from cultures where they still fight for the right to artistic expression.

Lori Cullen: It’s All Love | Thursday, July 27

Artfolk (Ontario)
Kurt Swinghammer and Chris Gartner join JUNO-nominated songwriter Lori Cullen for a set of music from her latest album BLOOD WONDER. Lori’s music is infused with a blend of folk, jazz and a range of emotions.

Nick Fraser Quartet: If There Were No Opposites | Saturday, July 29

New Jazz (Ontario)
Saxophonist Tony Malaby and string players Andrew Downing and Rob Clutton round out drummer Nick Fraser’s quartet for a performance of innovative jazz.

Aline Morales: Forró! | Thursday, August 3

Traditional Brazilian (Brazil)
Aline Morales and her band will perform a set of old school Forró, a beloved dance genre that has traveled from Brazil around the world.

L-R (clockwise): Brandi Disterheft (Photo courtesy of the artist); Raging Asian Womxn Taiko Drummer (Photo: Ima Jing); Chroma Duo (Photo: Amy Brandon)
L-R (clockwise): Brandi Disterheft (Photo courtesy of the artist); Raging Asian Womxn Taiko Drummer (Photo: Ima Jing); Chroma Duo (Photo: Amy Brandon)

Opus 8: Songs For A Summer Garden | Sunday, August 6

Eclectic Choral (Ontario)
A cappella choral group Opus 8 perform a mixed program that includes everything from Britten to traditional pieces, Rodgers & Hammerstein and Cyndi Lauper.

Chroma Duo: Courses Of Two Rivers | Thursday, August 10

Contemporary Classical (Ontario)
The classical guitar duo delivers a set of new repertoire written for them, including a Harbourfront commission by Amy Brandon.

Waleed Abdulhamid: Songs From The Nile And Afrika | Sunday, August 13

North African Roots (Sudan)
Waleed Abdulhamid is a sought after multi-instrumentalist in the Toronto music scene. He performs a set of songs and stories that journey up and down the banks of the Nile.

Daniel-Raums Family: The Wellspring Of Bach | Thursday, August 17

Classical Folk (Ontario)
Canadian violinist Erika Raum and her family perform their folk-infused interpretations of pieces by Bach and other classical composers.

Raging Asian Womxn Taiko Drummers: Raging For Change | Sunday, August 20

North American Taiko (Ontario)
Nine women perform Japanese Taiko drums with a modern spin on the traditional art.

Brandi Disterheft: Coup de foudre | Thursday, August 24

Jazz (British Columbia)
JUNO-winning bassist Brandi Disterheft performs a set of standards and originals in her signature powerful style.

Hasheel: A Meeting Place | Sunday, August 27

Indian Classical Jazz (Ontario)
Hindustani classical flautist Hasheel, Carnatic hip-hop producer Yanchan and Balkan composer Anton perform an acoustic set of meditative music.

More details about the performances and location [HERE].


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