Quebec Standard

Tuesday, December 7, 2021


Stephen Sondheim dies at the age of 91, leaving behind his legendary works in the world of music

According to his lawyer’s words with the New York Times, Sondheim passed away at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut. Stephen Sondheim, a legendary American composer and songwriter has died at the age of 91. He was a musical theatre legend who turned the most unlikely themes into cultural classics.

Over his successful career, he created the music for some of Broadway’s most well-known productions, including Company, Follies, and A Little Night Music. West Side Story’s lyrics were also composed by Sondheim.

Sondheim, who was born on March 22, 1930, attended his first Broadway musical when he was nine years old. He joined Oscar Hammerstein II, of The King and I and Oklahoma! fame, the very next year, and he became his mentor as he began his musical theatre career.

Born in New York, the composer received eight Grammys, nine Tony Awards, one for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, and an Academy Award. He was also awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Sondheim received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour, from US President Barack Obama in 2015 for his contributions.

According to Sondheim’s lawyer, the composer had enjoyed Thanksgiving with friends the day before he passed away. The tributes to one of the musical theatre’s most famous composers have begun to flow in.

Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, also tweeted on the sad demise of Stephen Sondheim. Anna Kendrick, a US actress, and vocalist remarked that performing Sondheim’s work was one of the greatest honours of her career and that his death was “a tragic loss.” Journalist Fae O’Toole shared a letter from Sondheim in 2011 when she was a “theatre-mad 16-year-old” on Twitter.

Source: BBC News

Kylie Jenners reaction on the Astroworld festival

Kylie Jenner’s reaction on the Astroworld festival fall

“My thoughts and prayers are with all who lost their lives, were injured or affected in any way by yesterday’s events,” Jenner wrote on Instagram.

On Instagram early Sunday, Kylie Jenner expressed her “desolation” over the killings at her boyfriend Travis Scott’s Astroworld music event in Houston. When a crowd surge crushed concertgoers during Scott’s performance on Friday, at least eight people died, and many more were injured.

“Travis and I are shattered and heartbroken. My cares and prayers are with all those who lost their lives, were injured, or were somehow impacted by the events of yesterday, “Kylie Jenner wrote.

Kylie Jenner, pregnant with her second child with Scott, received backlash after uploading photos from the concert that included an ambulance. As the tragedy unfolded, many people on social media chastised Scott for not halting the show.

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Kylie Jenner tried to address the controversy in her response, saying she didn’t know what was occurring in the audience until after the concert.

Jenner concluded her points by expressing her condolences to the families of those who had been harmed.

“During this sad time, I am expressing my honest condolences to all the families and will be praying for the healing of everyone who has been impacted,” Kylie Jenner wrote. One person was 14, another was 16, two were 21, two were 23, and one was 27, according to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who added that one person’s age had not been determined.

Directors say more than 300 people were treated at an on-site field hospital throughout the event on Friday. 13 of the 25 persons sent to hospitals remained hospitalized on Saturday. A ten-year-old child was critically sick. Officials have failed to publicize the victims’ names, even though specific local news sites have begun to identify the victims.

Source: NCB News

Roger Taylor

Watch Nandi Bushell play drums with Queen’s Roger Taylor

The thrill of youthful drumming creates yet another high-end collaboration.

Nandi Bushell has other high-profile collaborations – check out his drum fight with Roger Taylor of Queen below.

The 11-year-old musician, who previously played with drummers such as Foo Fighters and Arctic Monkeys Matt Helders, covered versions of songs from Nirvana, Linkin Park, Slipknot, and Muse Taylor in a new video on his YouTube channel.

“To play with Mr. Taylor. Just wow! Bushell says in the video, revealing that he fell in love with Queen’s music at the age of eight after performing Bohemian Rhapsody. “I just had an AWESOME day!” he wrote next to the video. “Mr. Taylor has been very nice to me.

First, we had a little drum game; then, we put on some Queen songs.

“I am so grateful and so appreciative of all these unreal experiences! Thank you, Mr. Taylor!!!” Taylor accepted defeat by beating the drums, dropping his bat, and saying, “I’m done! I give up!” Bushell was seen in an advert in Redraw Your World playing drums with Drawsticks, a song written and produced by composers Brian and Melissa as he toured the town.

Last month, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl said watching Bushell play the drums was “the true meaning of rock ‘n’ roll.” It’s as inspiring as every Beatles record, every Zeppelin record, every AC/DC record, every Stones record.

In August, Bushell finally met the Foo Fighters after joining the group onstage at the Los Angeles Forum to witness a flawless performance of “Ever long” on drums brought to center stage. Bushell received a standing ovation before and after her performance as fans sang her name.

Source: NME

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Justin Bieber teams up with former rivals for Christmas song

Bieber was locked in a contest for Britain’s favorite Christmas song with a group of little known health workers. He gave in.

LONDON — Five years ago pop star Justin Bieber was locked in a contest for Britain’s favorite Christmas song with a group of little known health workers. He gave in.

This year, the Canadian singer-songwriter and the health workers are back, singing his hit “Holy” together to raise funds to help Britain’s state-run National Health Service (NHS) tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Bieber’s 2015 tweet asking his fans to help the South London Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir went viral and their song beat his to the coveted Christmas Number 1 spot.

The former teen star later met up with the medical workers, leading to this year’s collaboration. “Especially in these difficult times, I’m humbled to team up with them,” he said in a statement on Friday announcing the new release.

Britain has among the largest recorded numbers of infections and deaths from COVID-19 and the government said on Friday the epidemic appeared to be growing again, shortly before a planned five-day relaxation of restrictions for the festive period.

Earlier this year, Bieber donated profits from “Stuck With U,” his single with Ariana Grande, to the First Responders Children’s Foundation, a charity which supports frontline workers in the United States, which has the world’s highest figures for COVID-19 deaths and infections. (Writing by Philippa Fletcher; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

Comedy, classical music Christmas super weekend coming to NACC

The Northern Arts and Cultural Centre will host a double-act, super weekend of comedy and classical music on Dec. 12-13. 

Although the Ever Late Show: Christmas Edition! comedy event and the Gryphon Trio Celebrate Beethoven@250 Watch Party events are catered to different audiences, NACC executive director Marie Coderre said she’s trying to cater to as wide an audience as possible leading up to the holiday season.Advertisement

Martin Rehak, right, throws flowers to the crowd with Skye Plowman at a summer performance at the Willideh traditional site. Baby Brian Weadick performs in the background. Rehak and Plowman will be back on Dec. 12 for a Christmas comedy show. 

“We’re trying to target two different crowds and we tried to find programs that could really satisfy local audiences with laughter while also celebrating a big composer,” Coderre said.

Tickets are now on sale for the Ever Late Show: Christmas Edition, to be held on Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. The event will feature Martin Rehak and JD and a lineup of comedians. 

Rehak, 36, has been part of NACC’s mentorship program for more than a year and has been among the Yellowknife-based arts performers building a community of comedians in town, said Coderre. 

“I think that during the pandemic, we really need to laugh right now and we really need funny content,” she said. “We are used to having music shows for Christmas and stuff like that, but I think  a parody comedy show around Christmas will be quite different and quite relevant in these unprecedented times.”

Marie Coderre, executive and artistic director of the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre (NACC), has organized a weekend of comedy and classical music on Dec. 12-13 to reach a broad audience ahead of the holiday season.
NNSL file photo.

The lineup will also feature comedians Skye Plowman and Emily Blake, a brief appearance by Tom Parker and other surprise acts.

The musical guest is Ryan McCord and there will also be a special appearance by David Thomas Micheal. 

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there are only 50 spots available for the live act in the cultural centre. However, the event will be broadcast via Facebook and Northwestel later that day at 7:30 p.m. 

All sales will be online as the box office is closed and people who attend are asked to take public health precautions. 

Coderre said the show will be a Christmas-based parody and viewers are advised there could be adult content involved. 

NACC hosted a Martin Rehak event in August at the Willideh stage and he said that audiences can expect a similar performance.

“It will be like a late-night talk show format with multimedia and local acts with some silly bits in-between and sketches,” he explained. “The one at Willideh was the first of its kind that we had done and this is the next installment as a Christmas edition.”

Gryphon Trio

The same weekend will also feature a virtual concert by the Gryphon Trio on Dec. 13 at 3 p.m.  to mark the 250th birthday of musical composer Beethoven.

One of Canada’s most celebrated classical music trios, the Gryphon Trio comprises pianist Jamie Parker, cellist Roman Borys and violinist Annalee Patipatanakoon. 

Tickets are also on sale for that event. The show will include a pre-recorded performance of Beethoven’s G Major Piano Trio Op. 1, No. 2 and the Piano Trio in Bb Major, Op. 97, nicknamed the “Archduke.” 

The Gryphon Trio will be holding a virtual concert on Dec. 13. Ticket-holders will be able to participate in a question-and-answer session with the classical Canadian musicians.
photo courtesy of the Gryphon Trio official website

The event will only be seen via screen, exclusively for ticket-holders.

“All the classical music lovers will love that show and we’ll have a chance to talk to the members afterwards,” Coderre said. “I will be on stage with them on the screen and we will have a discussion and the audience will be able to ask questions. “

She said that show will be a reunion of sorts as the Gryphon Trio have toured in the NWT in the past, the last time being December 2016 as part of the Broken Hearts and Madmen Project.

“So yes, it’s good just going to be a reunion with the Gryphon Trio who have been an important asset for the community here and who have done so much for the Northwest Territories,” she said. “I’m sure they will be thrilled to to see a few patrons even though it will be just 50 people.”