Toronto's Canwest Cabaret Festival Line-Up Announced, 10/29 - 11/1

Toronto's Canwest Cabaret Festival Line-Up Announced, 10/29 - 11/1

Albert Schultz, General Director of the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, today announced the Canwest Cabaret Festival 2009, an intimate weekend of songs and stories at the Young Centre this fall. The second annual Canwest Cabaret Festival brings together over 150 of Canada's most diverse and exciting artists under the same roof for more than 60 unique performances. Every corner of the Young Centre is teeming with activity all weekend long.

Building upon the success of the inaugural festival in 2008, the weekend-long Canwest Cabaret Festival transforms the Young Centre into five intimate club venues. The Cabaret Festival highlights the collaboration of artists and artistic disciplines, while celebrating master musicians as well as emerging artists. Artists perform intimate cabarets showcasing their artistic strengths and interests. Featured artists are musicians, singers, actors, poets and dancers from across Canada, including Molly Johnson, Jackie Richardson, Melanie Doane, Tomson Highway, Kenneth Welsh, Brent Carver, Sharron Matthews, John Alcorn, Andrew Craig, Don Francks, Robert Glumbek, DK Ibomeka, aka SUBLIMINAL, Luis Mario Ochoa, Dave Restivo, Elizabeth Shepherd, Denzal Sinclaire, Maryem Tollar, Peter Tiefenbach, d'bi.young, Patricia O'Callaghan, and many more.

A Canwest Cabaret Festival signature is the Songbook Series, where featured artists celebrate master songwriters in playful and passionate interpretations. In this year's Songbook Series, artists pay tribute to Stevie Wonder, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and Rodgers and Hart. To round out the series is a revue of the work of the celebrated Toronto songwriting team, the Breithaupt Brothers.

The festival's featured artists also perform in the Salon Series - an array of cabaret performances exploring a particular theme.

The Canwest Cabaret Festival begins on Thursday, October 29, and runs until Sunday, November 1, at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, located at 55 Mill Street, Building 49, in the Distillery Historic District. Tickets will be on sale October 14, 2009. Ticket prices: Concerts $20. Buy 3 concerts and save 20%. Gala Opening Night $100 (includes exclusive pre-show reception and 3 concerts). Student Festival Pass $30 (access to all concerts 5 minutes before show time, subject to availability) ID required. Tickets are available by calling the Young Centre box office at 416.866.8666 or online at or

Canwest is the Title Sponsor of the Canwest Cabaret Festival. TD Canada Trust Music is a Songbook Performance Sponsor. The Canwest Cabaret Festival is generously supported by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, the Ontario Arts Council, Canadian Heritage, and the City of Toronto. The Young Centre Resident Artist Program is generously supported by Donna and Gary Slaight.

The Young Centre for the Performing Arts is an award-winning, multi-venue performing arts facility located in the Distillery Historic District. Anchored by Soulpepper Theatre Company's year round season and George Brown College's Theatre School, the Young Centre is a home for Toronto's leading artists and arts organizations across all performance disciplines. The Young Centre presents the very best in theatre, dance, music and spoken word in a state-of-the-art setting.CANWEST



Joni Mitchell Songbook
Joni Mitchell is one of the most influential, multi-faceted artists of this generation and her music remains as timeless and relevant today as when she began her career over 40 years ago.

Joni Mitchell Songbook features Heather Bambrick, Suba Sankaran, david sereda, Elizabeth Shepherd and Denzal Sinclaire, with Musical Direction by Suba Sankaran.

Stevie Wonder Songbook
Stevie Wonder, a singer, songwriter, producer, musician, humanitarian and social activist, has recorded more than 30 Top 10 hits, won two dozen Grammys, and has been inducted into both the Rock and Roll and the Songwriters' Hall of Fame.

Stevie Wonder Songbook features Andrew Craig, Daniel Galessiere, Mike Ferfolia and Elizabeth Shepherd with Musical Direction by Andrew Craig.

Rodgers and Hart Songbook
During the 1920's and 1930's, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart helped craft musical comedy into a well-developed art form, with their songs being performed in countless hit stage productions. Rodgers and Hart were the first songwriting team in which the lyricist received equal billing with the composer. The remarkable pair crafted dozens of the great standards of the American popular repertoire, such as Blue Moon and My Funny Valentine.

Rodgers and Hart Songbook features John Alcorn, Diana Braithwaite, Heather Bambrick, Denzal Sinclaire and Chris Whiteley, hosted by Robert Cushman with Musical Direction by John Alcorn.

Breithaupt Brothers Songbook
Canada's Breithaupt Brothers - Don (composer) and Jeff (lyricist) - host a regular revue of their songs at New York City's Public Theater, featuring the very best musical theatre performers.

Get your feet tapping as these remarkably talented musicians explore the songs of the celebrated Breithaupts. Breithaupt Brothers Songbook features John Alcorn, Heather Bambrick, Adi Braun, Brent Carver, Patricia O'Callaghan, Jackie Richardson, Denzal Sinclaire and others, with Musical Direction by Don Breithaupt.

Leonard Cohen Songbook
The legendary Leonard Cohen is arguably the most influential Canadian singer/songwriter of our time. He is the fantasy of every English major, coffeehouse poet and aching romantic and his songs of love, lust, and loneliness have been covered by artists the world over. Last year, at age 73, Leonard Cohen embarked on a world tour, which has sold out major concert halls across Europe.

Leonard Cohen Songbook features Brent Carver, Patricia O'Callaghan, Mike Ross and Elizabeth Shepherd, with Musical Direction by Mike Ross.


The Scary Cabaret
A spooky concert for Halloween featuring: Diana Braithwaite, Dan Fortin, Sharron Matthews, Luis Mario Ochoa, Dave Restivo, Tomson Highway and Chris Whiteley, with Musical Direction by David Buchbinder.

A Tribute to Danny Kaye
Songs, patter and laughter for all ages. Danny Kaye enthusiasts Don Francks and Albert Schultz with Musical Direction by Steve Hunter.

(re)birth: e.e. cummings in song
The multi-talented artists of the Soulpepper Academy perform original compositions based on the work of the legendary American poet, with Musical Direction by Mike Ross

Clown Cabaret
Theatre Columbus founder and clown master Leah Cherniak directs the artists of the Soulpepper Academy.

The Gypsy Wife
A unique musical creation inspired by the musical and mystical traditions of Eastern Europe, featuring Patricia O'Callaghan and John Gzowski.

Black Hammer
An innovative theatrical setting of original songs by John Millard and Happy Day.

Cuba Tradicional
Master Latin musician Luis Mario Ochoa and six of the city's most exciting musicians in a celebration of traditional Cuban music.

Collaboratory Jam
A thrilling Young Centre signature event to cap off the festival. Young Centre Resident Artists David Buchbinder, Andrew Craig, John Millard, Patricia O'Callaghan and Suba Sankaran welcome the artists of the 2009 Canwest Cabaret Festival for a multidisciplinary improvisational explosion.

To view full concert listings, please visit or


Waleed Abdulhamid: This Sudanese singer and musician brings an Afrobeat soul to the
cabaret environment.

John Alcorn: Acclaimed for his stylish, heartfelt renditions of jazz standards, John Alcorn is a beloved fixture on the Toronto cabaret scene.

Julia Aplin: Multi-talented dancer, choreographer, sound designer, actress and accordion player.

Diana Braithwaite & Chris Whiteley: The collaboration of award-winning multi-instrumentalist Chris Whiteley and acclaimed blues singer Diana Braithwaite has resulted in multiple Maple Blues nominations and an extensive tour of North America and the U.K. Their first album, Morning Sun, has received many rave reviews internationally.

Heather Bambrick: This St. John's native and winner of the 2004 National Jazz Award for Vocalist of the Year was destined to entertain.

Adi Braun: Since the release of her critically-acclaimed debut CD, Delishious, jazz vocalist Adi Braun has firmly established herself, both at home and abroad, as one of the Canada's brightest musical lights.

The Breithaupt Brothers: These talented Canadian brothers write and perform contemporary yet classic music - a fresh sound tinged with the artistic elegance of the Great American Songbook.

David Buchbinder: Expect passion, technical mastery and artistic innovation from this award-winning composer/trumpeter who is a key fixture on the Canadian world music and jazz scenes and co-bandleader of the Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band.

Patricia Cano: Accomplished world traveler, dancer, actress, singer and co-creator of a Cree cabaret with celebrated playwright Tomson Highway.

Brent Carver: A major Canadian talent whose stage, television and film performances have been much admired and celebrated.

Leah Cherniak: Co-founder and co-artistic director of Toronto's Theatre Columbus, Cherniak is a writer, director, teacher, and clown extraordinaire.

David Cox: A three time gold medalist at the World Tap Dance Championships, this dancer, teacher and choreographer's goal in life is to inspire tap dancers of all ages.

Andrew Craig: The African Diaspora meets European art music in this multi-instrumentalist and composer. Andrew is currently the host of CBC Radio Two's In Performance.

Melanie Doane: An award-winning multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and singer, Melanie Doane is renowned for her melodic, intimate music that fuses rock, pop and folk.

Mike Ferfolia: One of the city's most successful session singers, Ferfolia has studied voice, piano and bass guitar with some of the foremost musical educators in Canada and has performed with such established Funk/R&B bands as Grooveyard (Michael Occhipinti, Paul Neufeld), and The A Team (Rich Brown, Shamakah Ali).

Dan Fortin: A recent graduate of the University of Toronto's Jazz Performance Program, this talented young bass player performs with such varied musical acts as Serena Ryder, Harley Card, and the Mike Ruby Quartet, among many others.

Don Francks: Canada's renaissance man is an actor, musician, visual artist and storyteller.

Robert Glumbek: Contemporary ballet master brings his seasoned dance perspective to the world of cabaret.

John Gzowski: Composer, guitarist and instrument-maker, John Gzowksi plays the gamut of instrumental offerings - from traditional Eastern and Western musical instruments, to kitchen implements, to devices of his own invention.

Tomson Highway: Celebrated award-winning Cree playwright, novelist, and children's author. Among Highway's numerous awards and accolades, in 2000, Maclean's named him one of the 100 most important people in Canadian history.

Steve Hunter: Classical and musical theatre pianist and conductor who recently released a solo piano CD, Muskoka Solace, featuring the music of Scott Joplin.

DK Ibomeka: With a three-octave range, huge emotional depth and power, and an original spin on classic jazz material, DK Ibomeka is one of the best new jazz voices in years.

Molly Johnson: Fulfilling her reputation as one of Canada's greatest voices, Johnson has rocked standing-room only audiences in nightclubs and bars from coast-to-coast as a pop artist, and seduced the patrons of salons and lounges with her luscious interpretations of jazz and blues standards.

John Millard: Toronto-based composer, singer, songwriter, and founder of the Polka Dogs, now brings his buttery baritone to John Millard and Happy Days.

Miranda Mulholland: One of the founding members of the jazz-pop band, The Roaring Girl Cabaret, and classically trained on violin and voice, Mulholland is a versatile fiddler and singer covering a wide range of styles.

Patricia O'Callaghan: "The most promising cabaret performer of her generation" lends her gorgeous, supple voIce To an offbeat repertoire of cabaret classics, rock covers and original songs.

Luis Mario Ochoa: Vocalist and guitarist is the front man for his Cuba Tradicional Sextet, bringing Havana's hot sounds to Toronto's cool nights.

Mary Margaret O'Hara: An artist who epitomized Toronto's Queen West scene in the 1980's, this singer, songwriter, actress and visual artist makes an extremely rare and unique performance appearance at the Canwest Cabaret.

Sharron Matthews: This comedic vocalist, writer and producer has been presenting her comedic musical extravaganza "Sharron's Party!" since 2005, featuring such guests such as Louise Pitre, Brent Carver, Graham Abbey, Damien Atkins and Thom Allison.

Dave Restivo: One of Canada's most respected and influential jazz artists. Restivo is a three time winner of the National Jazz Awards' Pianist of the Year Award.

Jackie Richardson: Canada's beloved first lady of gospel, jazz and blues.

Mike Ross: Multi-award-winning actor, composer, musical director and sound designer who has combined his classical training with an acute pop sensibility.

Suba Sankaran: The always compelling Suba Sankaran effortlessly combines musical worlds, seamlessly crossing genres from jazz to classical to world music.

david sereda: A Canadian musician, singer, actor, playwright, pianist and composer whose Stray Dog salons have brought unforgettable evenings of music, poetry and theatre to the city of Toronto.

Elizabeth Shepherd: Juno-nominated vocalist who pushes the boundaries of what is considered conventional jazz, all the while creating a sound that is completely her own.

Denzal Sinclaire: This Toronto-born vocalist, pianist and composer's trademark is the joyfulness in his voice and a special approach to lyrics and beats. He has recorded three albums for Universal Music, I Found Love (EmArcy); the self-titled Denzal Sinclaire (Verve), and his highly anticipated new release My One and Only Love (Verve).

aka SUBLIMINAL: A jack of all trades, with the combined skills of a beat-boxer, DJ, lyricist and producer, aka SUBLIMINAL has a truly unique and versatile performance style.

Peter Tiefenbach: Multifaceted performer, composer, and broadcaster performs musical vignettes in the engaging ensemble known as L'Accordéoniste.

Maryem Tollar: An exquisite singer/songwriter, Maryem's passionate music sits at the nexus of Eastern and Western cultures.

Kenneth Welsh: Multi-award-winning film, television and theatre actor - and trumpet player - in a cabaret that combines Shakespeare, jazz and stand-up comedy.

d'bi.young: A passionate storyteller who takes many forms: reggae artist, dub-poet, playwright and Dora-nominated actress.

Patricia Zentilli & Patti Loach: Pianist Patti Loach and musical theatre singer and actress Patricia Zentilli have teamed up for a fresh and fun mixture of cabaret, pop and musical theatre innovations.



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