NEWSLETTER

Updated:  November 21, 2002

 

Why am I always shocked if we get snow in November?  Luckily, there are so many hot events in the coming weeks – be sure to check them all out!  This week’s highlights include my review of 8 MILE, THELONIOUS MONK tribute, sultry blues of TRISH RIBEIRO, FLAVA CITY’S FIRST ANNIVERSARY, CANADIAN REGGAE SUMMIT, 30 SOMETHING SOCIAL CHRISTMAS EDITION, WHEN BROTHERS SPEAK, UPCOMING FILM FESTIVALS, MORATORIUM ON VIOLENCE IN URBAN MUSIC, INDIA.ARIE, DENZEL WASHINGTON, REGINA KING and much, much more!

This newsletter is designed to welcome all the new members, give you some updated entertainment-related news and provide you with our upcoming event listings.   To be removed from this email distribution, please CLICK HERE!  Welcome to those who are new members.  Want your events listed by date?  Check out EVENTS.

 

SCOOP

 

8 MILE

I went to see 8 Mile starring Eminem this week and I was really impressed with Eminem’s performance.  Film critics would say that this is not a far stretch in character for the controversial rapper but that didn’t matter to me.  Keep in mind that I only write this as a fan and not an expert!  He delivered an honest and very intense performance.  So what if his first project was close to home – I always say that’s the place to start before you can expand your talents.  Eminem was also convincing in his more vulnerable moments in the film’s storyline, which also starred Kim Basinger, Mekhi Phifer and Brittany Murphy.  Mekhi Phifer was hot when he was playing the part of MC at The Shelter, although I never got over how bad his dread wig was – it made me crazy the entire film, which might have taken away from his performance for me.  But this little glitch didn’t have much to do with the final analysis.  This is an excellent film with a story that kept my attention the entire time.  I went to see 8 Mile out of sheer curiosity and was ultimately delighted with the outcome – in my books, Eminem is a true, intense talent.  

 

RECAP

 

SOUNDS LIKE JUSTICE RECAP

Johnnie Cochrane gave a stirring and inspirational speech at the fundraiser for Rubin “Hurricane” Carter’s, Sounds Like Justice.  The fundraiser is in support of AIDWYC, an organization formed to support cases of wrongful convictions.  Unfortunately, Johnnie had to leave before the reception got underway but The Hurricane was gracious enough to stay until every autograph was signed and picture taken.  What was touching to me was the truly inspirational people in attendance who, in one form or another, are fighting for a loved one or fighting on behalf of one who is allegedly wrongfully convicted from all over North America.  There were so many stories and entities represented – there are really so many people affected by this dilemma.  See some photos and websites to check out their stories in my PHOTO GALLERY.

 

 

HOT EVENTS TO CHECK OUT!

 

JARVIS CHURCH IN CONCERT – TONIGHT!  THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21

Jarvis Church will perform music from his debut album, Shake It Off.  Look for quite a few local artists to go on tour with Jarvis Church!  Things have come full circle for Jarvis Church. He first found fame as a member of the Philosopher Kings (when he was known as Gerald Eaton), a pop/ rock/ R&B band in the 90s. The band travelled worldwide and sold a number of gold and platinum albums. After they broke up, Church started a production company, where his first work was with a singer/ songwriter out of Victoria, BC, whom he discovered at a talent competition. That singer was Nelly Furtado, and her debut album, which was produced by Church, went on to earn the group Juno Awards and nominations, as well as Grammy nominations.  Now Church has returned to his roots with the release of Shake It Off, an album where he explores and melds many musical genres. It includes the songs Fine Line that Church recorded with Nelly Furtado, and Run For Your Life, featuring Furtado and Esthero.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21
JARVIS CHURCH 
Phoenix Concert Theatre
410 Sherbourne

8:00 pm
BUY TICKETS

 

 

CALIBAN ARTS THEATRE PRESENTS A MUSICAL TRIBUTE TO THELONIOUS MONK – SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2002

The ultimate contemporary / urban jazz performance series
.  Originally produced in 1997, The Black Underground Project honours the genius and talents of the greatest musicians and vocalists who championed the form and sounds of Jazz. The Underground features the incredible talents of professional instrumentalists and vocalists, paying tribute to the styles of the greatest musicians and vocalists of past and present!  This particular night is to pay homage to Thelonious Monk.  Featured Musicians:  Alana Bridgewater (Guest Vocalist), Marc Auguste Jr. (Piano, Musical Director), Meiron Kelly (Saxophone), Jack Zarowski (Bass), Mark Hundevad (Drums).  Also featured this special evening is special feature film presentation: “Straight No Chaser” - A look at Thelonious Monk.  Sponsored by: Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, JAZZ91.1FM, CKLN 88.1FM, CHRY 105.5FM, Steam Whistle Breweries, Mankind Studios, A Different Booklist. 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23
A Special Concert Tribute to Thelonious Monk (Part 2)
The Rivoli
334 Queen St. West (at Spadina)
Tickets are $15 @ The Door Only
For more info. 416-657-0367
Doors will open earlier at 8:30pm!!! Film at 9:00pm

 

 

TRISH RIBEIRO DEBUT CD RELEASE "BARE"  - WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27

TRISH RIBEIRO lifts the Soul and belts the Blues with sultry vocal prowess on her debut full-length release "Bare" (featuring artists like Spyro Gyra's guitarist Julio Fernandez and Billy Joel saxophonist Richie Cannata). Returning to Toronto after a three-year sojourn in New York City, this multi-talented singer/songwriter and popular YTV host has crafted inspiring original songs drawing on the emotive range of Stax/Volt artists in their heyday. See TRISH perform LIVE at Healey's on Wednesday, November 27th. Admission is $5 at the door or $15 (which includes a "Bare" cd). Two sets begin at 10 p.m. Check out www.allabouttrish.com for more artist info or call (416) 532-7224.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27
TRISH RIBEIRO "BARE" CD RELEASE PARTY

Healey's
178 Bathurst Street (Southwest corner at Queen)
Info: 416.703.5882 or www.jeffhealeys.com

2 sets beginning at 10 p.m.
Admission: $5 at the door / $15 includes "Bare" CD

 

 

CANADIAN REGGAE SUMMIT – WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2002

Attention all reggae artists, producers, promoters, DJ’s, MC’s, radio personalities, promoters and booking agents!
  MARK YOUR CALENDARS!  The objective of the Canadian Reggae Summit, specifically Julian King, is to establish dialogue and education on various levels including: Educating the Canadian reggae artist about the funding available to produce more music; Learning how to create a larger body of work to hit the airwaves; Introducing the artists to success stories within the industry; Introducing artists to contact information for radio personalities like, Tony Barnes & Sweet Tee, Ron Nelson, DJ Ruff Kut, Delroy Sterling, Delroy G and D.B. Hawkes to improve greater airplay; Initiating networking opportunities within the Reggae community, i.e.; artist with artist collaborations, sound systems with artists producing riddim tracks or compilations or individual projects; Improving sales opportunities globally by exporting Canadian reggae music to international waters in established reggae markets.

Come by and share in this information-sharing gathering.  Bring your product!  Bring your business cards!  Bring pen and paper!  Speakers include Master T (Tony Young), Farley Flex (Flow 93.5FM), Ivan Berry (BMG Music), Ryan “Fritz the Cat” Hanes (Universal Music) and FACTOR representative, Mark Watts and SOCAN representative, Dave Betts.  Featuring performances by Belinda and Michael St. George.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER, 27, 2002

CANADIAN REGGAE SUMMIT
Presented by
Canadian Reggae World
Lula Lounge
1585 Dundas Street, just west of Dufferin
6:00 pm SHARP
$10.00

 

 

REMY SHAND IN CONCERT – NOVEMBER 28, 2002

Shand brings his distinctive approach to soul to town.  An artist who attacks the boundaries of R&B, pop and alternative with his own timeless fusion, as undeniable as it is unconventional.  Some call his sound 'fresh,' others compare him to '70's greats Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder while still others call him the best Canadian export in years. But whatever you call Winnipeg, MB native Remy Shand there is no denying his ability to capture the power of soul in every note and leave audiences begging for more.  Shand's debut album, The Way I Feel first flew up the charts after it's release earlier this year, with singles like "Take A Message", "Rock Steady", and the title track "The Way I Feel" receiving numerous plays around North America; Shand's name quickly became synonymous with soul and talent. He recently received two honours at the 2002 Prairie Music Awards, Best Producer and Best Pop Recording.  A self-taught musician, Shand started on acoustic guitar and bass around age 12, and later picked up the keyboards and writing; "Everlasting," "Take a Message" and "Rocksteady" were among some of his first completed songs.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 28
REMY SHAND
Palais Royale Ballroom
1601 Lake Shore Blvd. W.
8:00 pm
$29.50

 

 

FLAVA CITY FIRST ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION – SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30

You are invited to celebrate our One Year Anniversary with us!  We want to thank everyone who has supported us this past year and would like to show you our appreciation Saturday, November 30!  We will continue to provide the most talked about events for the mature, positive minded clientele who are in search for a place to call home!  What's in store?  Free admission, free beverages for the first 50 guests, free dinner giveaways, prizes and surprises!  Featuring:  The Crowd Pleaser, DJ Mark Anthony and MC BIGG KEVV.  Mature Dress Code, Mature Attitude, Mature Clientele.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30
FLAVA CITY'S 1-YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY!

Flava City Dinner Theatre

247 Spadina Ave. 2nd Floor (south of Dundas)

Doors & Kitchen open:  10:00 pm

FREE before 12!
More info: 416-877-3882, info@flavacity.com, www.flavacity.com

 

 

30 SOMETHING SOCIAL CHRISTMAS EDITION!  SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7

These Eyes Ent. & Mark Anthony invite you to experience a flamboyant affair that will truly capture your essence - Toronto's only 30 Something Social!  Celebrating among your mature, influential and sociable peers in a comfortable, sophisticated atmosphere, join us for our Christmas Edition!  Featuring Live Jazz/R&B performance by TRIFECTA along with a special celebrity guest vocalist, music by The Crowd Pleaser, DJ Mark Anthony, Hosted by MC Bigg Kevv!


SATURDAY DECEMBER 7, 2002

30-Something Social, 1st Saturdays "Christmas Edition"

Flava City Dinner Theatre

247 Spadina Ave. 2nd Floor (south of Dundas)

Doors/Kitchen Open: 10pm

Adv tix, $10 single, $15 couple

For more info/tickets: 416-877-3882, info@flavacity.com, www.flavacity.com

 

 

WHEN BROTHERS SPEAK – DECEMBER 13 AND 14

This is the 4th annual international spoken word concert, featuring NYC's Jamaal St. John and Osagyefo, DC's Komplex, New Jersey's Faraji Salim, and Toronto's own Dwayne MorganUp From The Roots is Toronto's premiere entertainment company that seeks opportunities to uplift through entertainment. By providing opportunities to participate in the community, and expressing oneself using their skills and abilities in all artistic genres, we aim to better our society through entertainment.  For all details, go to www.upfromtheroots.ca.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13 AND SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14
WHEN BROTHERS SPEAK
St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts

Jane Mallet Theatre
27 Front Street (east of Yonge)
$21.00-$26.00
Purchase Tickets
Info:  (416) 822-1465

Sunday, December 15, 2002
Up From the Roots say “Thanks”. This will be a night of partying, networking, and great entertainment, inside of the Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W. This show will be free for everyone who comes with their When Brothers Speak ticket stub, and $7 for those who missed the show. We will have performers from both sides of the border, as we showcase hip hop, dance, soul, and poetry as only we can. Check out www.upfromtheroots.ca for more info on confirmed artists.

 

 

NEW CD RELEASES

 

Tuesday, November 19, 2002
BLACKSTREET Level II (DreamWorks)
CRAIG DAVID Slicker Than Your Average (Warner)
DEBORAH COX The Morning After (J Records)
JA RULE Last Temptation (Def Jam)
JAY-Z Blueprint 2: The Gift And The Curse (Def Jam)
JENNIFER LOPEZ Jenny From The Block (CD Single) (Sony)
TALIB KWELI Quality (MCA)
TONI BRAXTON More Than A Woman (BMG)

Tuesday, November 26, 2002
BUSTA RHYMES It Ain't Safe No More (J Records)
DRU HILL Dru World Order (Def Soul)
JENNIFER LOPEZ This Is Me...Then (Epic)
K-CI & JOJO Emotional (MCA)
NELLY Dilemma (CD Single) (Universal)
PAUL MCCARTNEY Back In the U.S. (Capitol)
SANTANA Fillmore Performance (Cleopatra)
SNOOP DOGG Paid Tha Cost To Be Da Boss (Capitol)
SUM 41 Does This Look Infected? (Island)
THE ROOTS Phrenology (MCA)
WILL SMITH Greatest Hits (Sony)

Tuesday, December 3, 2002
FUNKMASTER FLEX
TBA (Funkmaster Flex) (J Records)
MARIAH CAREY Charmbracelet (Island/Def Jam)
NEXT NEXT (J Records)

 

 

INDUSTRY NEWS

 

REEL ASIAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL - NOBU ADILMAN

Excerpt from Metro Today - by
Kathryn Kates  


It just seemed so appropriate to take Nobu Adilman, co-artistic director of the 6th Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, to one of the cities premiere Chinese restaurants, Lai Wah Heen in the Metropolitan Hotel Toronto at 108 Chestnut St. In this role, a short filmmaker himself, Adilman ’s duties include creating a vision for the largest Canadian festival celebrating the diversity of Asian cinematic culture.  The festival runs Nov.27 – Dec.1 at the Bloor Cinema, Innis Town Hall and various downtown locations. “This year our international spotlight is on Thailand.  Our artistic spotlight is always on a Canadian filmmaker who has given a great contribution – Mary Stephen is a Canadian, born in Hong Kong, now living in France,” explains Adilman.  Adilman, a bright light on the art scene is also a musician; his stage moniker is Mr. Nobu. He ’s also a television writer and producer and as of Dec.3, will be co-hosting with his older brother Mio – the CUBIC TV teen game show – Smart Ask, every Tuesday to Friday, from 5:30 to 6 p.m. “I ’ve also produced segments to appear as video questions on the show. I enjoy it all.  You learn so much from being part of production, whether you ’re behind the scenes or in front of the cam- era,” states Adilman. www.reelasian.com

 

 

UPCOMING FILM FESTIVAL DEADLINES

DV Awards
Submission Deadline: November 30, 2002
Festival Date: December 6, 2002 — December 8, 2002
http://www.dvawards.com/

Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Submission Deadline: November 29, 2002
Festival Date: February 28, 2003 — March 9, 2003
http://www.sbfilmfestival.org/
 

Cleveland International Film Festival
Submission Deadline: November 30, 2002
Festival Date: March 14, 2002 — March 24, 2002
http://www.clevelandfilm.org/index.asp
 

Bermuda Int'l Film Festival
Submission Deadline: December 1, 2002
Festival Date: April 11, 2003 — April 17, 2003
http://www.bermudafilmfest.com/

New York Underground Film Festival
Submission Deadline: December 1, 2002
Festival Date: March 5, 2003 — March 11, 2003
http://www.nyuff.com/
 

U.S. Comedy Arts Festival
Submission Deadline: December 6, 2002
Festival Date: February 26, 2003 — March 2, 2003
http://www.hbocomedyfestival.com/

South by Southwest Film Festival
Submission Deadline: December 8, 2002
Festival Date: March 7, 2003 — March 15, 2003
http://www.sxsw.com 
 

San Francisco Int'l Film Festival
Submission Deadline: December 31, 2002
Festival Date: April 24, 2002 — May 8, 2002
http://www.sffs.org/

Chicago Latino Film Festival
Submission Deadline: December 13, 2002
Festival Date: April 4, 2003 — April 16, 2003
http://www.latinoculturalcenter.org/ 

 

 

 

 

THE NATIONAL FILM BOARD OPENS ITS DOORS

National Film Board of Canada announces the opening of the NFB MEDIATHEQUE ONF, a major initiative to reconnect Canadians with their past, present and future on film. The NFB MEDIATHEQUE ONF launches the new public facility with three non-stop days and nights of public, school, family and film industry events, Friday, November 22 - Sunday, November 24. The NFB MEDIATHEQUE ONF is located at 150 John Street, in the heart of Toronto’s media and entertainment district. For information, the public can call 416-973-3012 or visit the NFB online at http://www.nfb.ca.  At the forefront of media technology, the NFB MEDIATHEQUE ONF houses custom-designed personal viewing stations that offer visitors a personalized cinema experience, as well as a window into Canadian culture, history and cinematic expression. With access to an impressive selection of the NFB collection of productions at their fingertips, visitors will be able to use an interactive touch screen to immediately view NFB animated, documentary, short and feature films on demand. There are six individual and eight double personal viewing stations at the NFB MEDIATHEQUE ONF.  The NFB MEDIATHEQUE ONF also features the newly renovated NFB Cinema, an intimate 79-seat theatre that hosts festivals, community events, conferences, workshops, lectures and private screenings, and the Atelier, a multi-functional space used for animation workshops, cocktail receptions and any number of events. There is also a large conference room, which converts into a private screening room with VHS and DVD projection.  The NFB MEDIATHEQUE ONF launch weekend, November 22-24, includes free public film screenings, a school day with special events for school groups, panel discussions with high-profile filmmakers and industry insiders, an animation festival, animation workshops, a high-tech scavenger hunt and more, day and night for 44 non-stop public hours from Friday at 10:00 pm through Sunday at 6:00 pm.  To purchase NFB releases or for more information, visit http://www.nfb.ca or call 1-800-267-7710.

Planet 3 Communications:
Heather Kelly, Joanne Smale, Tel: 416-922-4459
Email: heather@heatherk.ca, joanne@planet3com.net

 

 

ARTIST EMPOWERMENT COALITION ("AEC") CALLS FOR A MORATORIUM ON VIOLENCE IN URBAN MUSIC

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com - Kerri Brusca / KSA Public Relations / KerriB@KSAPublicity.com

The Artist Empowerment Coalition ("AEC") is calling for the recording industry to issue a moratorium on the excessive promotion of violent lyrics and violent references in urban music. The AEC with prominent entertainment attorney L. Londell McMillan (Prince, DMX) have long been proponents of the need to address the media and the music industry's infatuation with and promotion of violence in urban music and culture. This violence came to a peak last week with the tragic slayings of Run-DMC founder Jam Master, Jason Mizell, and rap music promoter Keneth Walker. Jam Master Jay was the sixth prominent rap star to be killed since 1995, others include Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G., Big L (Lamont Coleman), and Freaky Tah (Raymond Rogers).   The AEC feels that the music industry contributes to the promotion and celebration of criminal behaviour, violence and anti-social messages in music, particularly that generated by the hip hop community. While the AEC does not support censorship or completely blame the music industry, the organization challenges the industry to take leadership, invest in, promote and market additional forms of music and issue this life-saving moratorium in honour of recent events.   "The power of music, art and culture is unlimited. Music needs to be used and promoted as a positive force. Earlier this year, the AEC called for a federal prosecutor be appointed to investigate the unsolved murder of Christopher Wallace, as well as the widespread irresponsible journalism used to promote and fuel violence. Today, we call for to music industry to show leadership in addressing urban violence" said AEC General Counsel, L. Londell McMillan.

The Artist Empowerment Coalition is a not-for-profit coalition which focuses on artist empowerment and accountability to effect positive change in the entertainment industry. The coalition was formed (i) to provide a supportive environment in which the gift and creation of music, art and culture can flourish, and help to make the world a better place and (ii) to promote changes and reform in the relationships between artists and the companies that exploit, market and distribute their creative work. The AEC is an advocate for the arts, organizing common efforts to increase awareness and funding by involving industry, community, educational and cultural institutions and policymakers in the quest for an improved entertainment model and creative offering.   The AEC is also joined by prominent artists, musicians, organizations and today's leading labour unions -- the American Federation of Labour-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), American Federation of Musicians (AFM) and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). Recently the AEC-sponsored "Artist Power" concert held in New York City featured a wonderful, musically diverse number of performances by the legendary Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, DMX, Faith Evans, Montell Jordan, Hezekiah Walker, Naughty By Nature, Public Enemy, Doug E. Fresh and Najee, among others. The concert was followed by the introduction of the "Artistic Freedom Act of 2002" a measure which would protect recording artists from unreasonably long contractual obligations to record companies. Together, the AEC, state and federal lawmakers and labour unions are leading the charge, to bring about change in the treatment of artists in the business of entertainment.
Visit the AEC website at www.artistempowerment.com.

 

 

VIDEO DIRECTOR BILLE WOODRUFF (“HONEY”) ADDS FEATURE FILM(S) TO HIS CREDITS

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com - by Tibberly Richard / LBVpr@aol.com

Bille Woodruff has certainly made a name for himself as one of the most sought after directors in the music entertainment community.   He has worked with Toni Braxton, TLC, Brittany Spears, The Backstreet Boys, and Celine Dion to name a few.   He now adds feature film director to his repertoire.
The film, titled Honey -- also the name of the lead character played by Dark Angel's Jessica Alba -- is a story about a young dancer in pursuit of her dreams of becoming a music video choreographer.   But, those dreams are thwarted when she is propositioned by a mentor who threatens to ruin her career if she does not sleep with him.   We caught up with Woodruff in Toronto on the set his latest project and he tells why he decided to try his hand at film directing.

"Andre Harrell came to me with the script for Honey, and I was just drawn to the story. It's a story about believing in yourself, finding your dreams and fighting to make them come true."   The movie's cast consist of veteran actress Lonette McKee of Brewster's Million and The Women of Brewster Place; newcomer Joy Bryant of The Antwone Fisher Story; Rapper Lil' Romeo; and, Mekhi Phifer of "ER" and 8 Mile.   With so much experience directing music videos, we wanted know what separates music video directing from film directing?   "The major difference is that it's [movies] a long form", comments Woodruff. "Music videos are short form and the character development is different. And, music videos don't normally have dialogue unless you have a little piece of dialogue that accentuates the story."
Woodruff says that directing a feature film is a dream come true. He plans to continue exploring directing opportunities in the film industry and admits that he would like to do an action flick with LL Cool J.
Sounds interesting. We'll just have to wait and see!   For more information about Bille Woodruff log on to: www.genevafilms.com.  
Honey is slated to hit theatres in Spring, 2003.

 

 

MEKHI PHIFER HITS THE BIG TIME

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com - by Karu F. Daniels (New York, NY)


 “HOT” CHOCOLATE: Taye Diggs isn’t the only chocolate-covered hottie making waves on the Hollywood front, and producing great work in the process. One of my favourite “new-school” thespians, Mekhi Phifer, has finally come into his own.   The 26-year-old actor has a substantial role in this week’s top-grossing film, “8 Mile,” and also stars on NBC’s top-rated Emmy award-winning drama series, “ER.”   All of this follows a hard-hitting performance in the true-to-life movie, “Paid In Full,” which opened a few weeks ago to critical acclaim, and a string of noted performances that has shaped Mr. Phifer’s skills and built his steady-growing repertoire since first hitting the scene seven years ago.   With all that’s brewing for the Harlem-bred homeboy, it seems like it’s apropos to say that this is the season of Mekhi.   The RU Report caught up with Mr. Phifer on the set of his forthcoming film, “Honey,” directed by Billie Woodruff and starring Jessica Alba, Lonette McKee and Lil’ Romeo. Filmed in Toronto, the Universal Studios project is scheduled to open in theatres next spring.   “It’s been great, it’s been a wild ride. Life is so good,” Mr. Phifer says about his ongoing success in the film and television industries. “I’m trying to make it happen. It’s definitely been a growth, a lot going on.”   And as far as the deal with “ER” goes, he is elated. The Michael Crichton-created show is giving him some fat to chew on. Just last week, his character, the arrogant intern Dr. Gregory Pratt, steamed up the tube with an interracial love scene with his Asian counterpart. “It’s great being a doctor, a young doctor, without having to conform and be what people, what society should be like,” he says. “I get to be edgy. I get to still save lives and do everything that any other doctor would do, but I get to add some flavour to it and I get to do different things.”

With the exception of a few select movie roles like a remake of “Brian’s Song,” the MTV Hip-Hopera “Carmen” and that memorable HBO adaptation of Ernest Gaines’s best-seller “A Lesson Before Dying” (where I first met him), Mr. Phifer has steered clear of the trappings of TV. While he has had a truckload of offers, he also had his reasons for holding out for such a plum role. “You know I always shied away from TV, unless it’s HBO (but it’s not TV, It’s HBO),” he says. “But if I was going to do television, it was going to be something like ER, NYPD Blue, West Wing or those types of things. I didn’t want to do any sitcoms, I didn’t want to any like comedy things. I wanted to do serious stuff.”
And it has paid off, too.   According to Mr. Phifer, who is the father of three-year-old son Omi (his baby’s mother is “Soul Food” actress Malinda Williams), the gig on NBC’s top show has been quite lucrative. “Just put it like this, after this season I’ll be well into being a millionaire,” he reveals. “That’s basically one aspect of it.”

“So it’s a lot of paper, and it’s a great opportunity because you’re never locked into dealing with a particular type of people. You got a whole range of people that you’re dealing with, and I get to do films in between.”   What a long way he has come from taking on a friends urging to enter a casting call for a Spike Lee movie, and then seizing the lead role in “Clockers,” which was released in 1995.   Twenty-one film credits later, Mr. Phifer is not looking back to his dodgy past, either. “If it wasn’t for films, I would be in college. I would be doing music probably, or electrical engineering, which I was going to school for.   “I knew I wasn’t going to be on the streets though. I’ve been there, done that. It’s amazing to me of how cats keep getting locked up for selling drugs, keep getting locked up, keep getting locked up. At some point, man, you have to realize that you’re not good at that. You gotta do something else. You keep f@#%ing it up.”   “I went through my transitional period as a teen, as I like to call it, and I did everything from education to being locked up, and I never been to acting school,” he adds, discussing his craft. “I never had the luxury of a Julliard or anything like that. I don’t know if it would even be a luxury. I took a lot of my experiences from life and just learning from life and I’m from Harlem, so the way cats move and shake and talk, that’s in me, regardless.”   And as far as Eminem and the whole “8 Mile” deal is concerned, Mr. Phifer originally didn’t want to have anything to do with it, when originally approached. “When I first heard about it, I wasn’t that interested,” he admits. “I never heard of Eminem expressing interest in doing films,” he continues, “I thought maybe he was doing the movie because of his popularity and I didn’t want to be a part of that. I didn’t want to be a part of something that just because he’s a rapper and he sold X amount of millions of records that he’s doing a movie. It’s going to be his movie, he’s going to have to carry the movie so I had to be in something that’s going to be remembered and appreciated, so I wanted to make sure that was going to happen.   “But I went down there, met him, we read together, we talked and I just had love for him. I felt his passion.”   And the rest as they say is history.   “8 Mile” grossed over $51 million in its first week of release, making history as the first R-rated vehicle with a music star as the lead. Playing second fiddle in that winning situation surely will not hinder a bright and more promising future for the talented Mr. Phifer.

 

 

TIDBITS

 

AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS
 
 Ashanti, Eminem, Nelly Top List of AMA Nominees.  Ashanti led all nominees with 5 American Music Award nominations Tuesday. For a list of nominees, go to: AMA WEBSITE

 

 

INDIA.ARIE: HITS GOLD AND TAKES HER 'VOYAGE TO INDIA' TOUR ON THE ROAD

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com

Just five weeks after it's release and an impressive first week of chart numbers, #1 on Billboard's R&B and # 6 on Billboard's Top 200 charts, India.Arie's new CD Voyage To India (Motown) has received RIAA Gold certification (selling 500,00 units). The brisk sales of the critically acclaimed new disc has it on pace to far exceed the sales of her platinum plus, seven-time Grammy nominated debut Acoustic Soul.   Voyage To India has received rave reviews from USA Today to VIBE Magazine, Entertainment Weekly to People Magazine. Anthony DeCurtis in the New York Times says "Ms. Arie's music only further enhanced her reputation as an artist of substance; centering on her acoustic guitar and confident but restrained vocals, it recalls such soul masters as Stevie Wonder and Roberta Flack"; while Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times writes, ""A stylish album (Voyage To India) that moves well beyond the promise of Acoustic Soul."   "Little Things," the album's first single, maintains humility and earthiness - a lyrical quality that originally attracted the public to her. Billboard Magazine calls it "a groove-friendly single that serves as a perfect re-introduction for Arie."   India.Arie is currently on the "Voyage To India" tour, which kicked off November 6, 2002. The show features Floetry, K-OS and Slum Village. Remaining tour dates are as follows.

 

 

DENZEL HAS DONE IT AGAIN: DON'T BE SURPRISED IF HE'S NOMINATED FOR BEST DIRECTOR

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com

Last night we went to a screening of "Antwone Fisher" the new movie directed by the Best Actor Oscar winner. And all we can say is DAYUUUUUM DENZEL, you are the man!   Mr. Washington is just as incredible behind the camera as he is in front of it. (And this is his theatrical directorial debut!) Folks, this is a must-see movie. Bring the hankies, cause, trust us, you're going to witness grown men cry. It's that powerful and passionate "Antwone Fisher," from Fox Searchlight stars an unknown (but not for long) Derek Luke and is movie making at it's very best.   Joy Bryant, who co-stars, gives Washington props for his directorial abilities, telling Variety that he urged his cast to "just be real" and "stressed the importance of 'not acting' but of being, of exuding your character, and thereby being true to Antwone's story."   Even Denzel, who also has a somewhat limited but key role in the film as a naval psychiatrist, told The New York Times about his teary-eyed reaction to an early draft of the screenplay.  "What I read the first time ... I mean there are tears still on the pages. Whether it was a screenplay or whatever, it was the truth."   The real Fisher, 43, a former security guard at Sony Pictures, wrote the screenplay.   In case you're wondering, "Antwone Fisher" opens December 19 (LA and New York); December 20 (top ten cities) and December 25 (wide release).

 

 

LEGALLY KING: REGINA JOINS REESE FOR SEQUEL

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com

Actress Regina King has signed on to co-star with Reese Witherspoon in the sequel to the surprise hit "Legally Blonde."   The film, titled "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, & Blonde," began filming this month, according to the Hollywood Reporter.   King will play a political chief of staff in Washington, DC where Witherspoon's character, Elle Woods, has come to do legal battle.   King recently finished up her latest film "Daddy Day Care" with Eddie Murphy.

 

 

MARLEY DAUGHTER'S FASHION ACTION: CEDELLA IS MAKING ANOTHER NAME OUT OF MARLEY

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com

Bob Marley's daughter, Cedella, presented her new clothing line at a fashion show over the weekend. She told CDnow that she designs for women with an eye for the adventurous, but doesn't want her Catch A Fire line to be boxed into any category.   "I wouldn't classify it as anything -- I don't like to classify," said Marley, 35, who has no formal training as a designer. "My clothing is for people who want to express their individuality."   The collection was shown in Kingston as part of Caribbean Fashionweek. Strong on denim with an urban theme, the Catch A Fire line has caught on with celebrities in the United States, including singer Gwen Stefani of No Doubt and actress Angela Bassett.   After winning four Grammys as a member of the Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers reggae group, Bob Marley's first-born daughter decided two years ago to pursue her longtime hobby of fashion designing.

 

 

FIN-S IS TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com -
by Tamara Smith [simplymagic@rogers.com]

Toronto producer, emcee and activist Fin-S is all over the place. Some may remember him from an appearance in Alison Duke's award winning film "Rasin' Kane - A Rapumentary," as Citizen Kane's producer for their Juno-nominated album "Deliverance." These days, Fin-S is reaching out with his own music, and more.   "I Love You," Fin-S' follow up single to 2001's successful "Dedicated" is currently on rotation on television and radio. During his search for distribution of the single, Fin-S hooked up with Nuff Entertainment. Nuff allowed him to flex his entrepreneurial muscle, acting as Nuff's Urban A&R. He's currently putting together a two-disc compilation featuring Canada's hottest emcees.   Fin-S took this new-found experience and created Naijah Entertainment, named after his daughter. He hopes to raise the bar in Canadian hip-hop with the company's first Naijah compilation through Nuff. He prides himself on the trained ear his producing background has given him for what's hot in hip-hop. So far, Fin-S has recruited Y-Not, Giggz, MEYO and others to work alongside him as Najah's resident beat makers.   One would think this guy's got enough on his plate with his emcee, producer and business ventures, but he's also giving voice to a worthy cause. Last week, Fin-S and 20 other local hip-hop artists and supporters waged a war against the street violence that has plagued Toronto in recent weeks. The group also announced plans for a CD that will reach out to young people with music about solving differences with peace instead of violence.  With this much going on, you know Fin-S is going to be a major force in Canadian hip-hop. Given all that he's got going on already, it will be interesting to see what's next!   For more information on Fin-S, Naijah and Nuff Entertainment, hit 'em up at: www.nuff-ent.com.

 

 

WEEKEND EVENTS
NOVEMBER 21 - 24, 2002

 

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21
JARVIS CHURCH 
Phoenix Concert Theatre
410 Sherbourne

8:00 pm
BUY TICKETS

EVENT PROFILE: Jarvis Church will perform music from his debut album, Shake It Off.  Look for quite a few local artists to go on tour with Jarvis Church!  Things have come full circle for Jarvis Church. He first found fame as a member of the Philosopher Kings (when he was known as Gerald Eaton), a pop/ rock/ R&B band in the 90s. The band travelled worldwide and sold a number of gold and platinum albums. After they broke up, Church started a production company, where his first work was with a singer/ songwriter out of Victoria, BC, whom he discovered at a talent competition. That singer was Nelly Furtado, and her debut album, which was produced by Church, went on to earn the group Juno Awards and nominations, as well as Grammy nominations.  Now Church has returned to his roots with the release of Shake It Off, an album where he explores and melds many musical genres. It includes the songs Fine Line that Church recorded with Nelly Furtado, and Run For Your Life, featuring Furtado and Esthero.

 

 

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21
PEPPA SEED MOTOWN REVIVAL
Indian Motorcycle
355 King Street
10:30 pm
NO COVER

EVENT PROFILE
: Featuring Divine Earth Essence, Kenny Moran, Rohan Staton/Trust, Roger Williams, Neil Brathwaite, Deryck Roche

 

 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23
A SPECIAL CONCERT TRIBUTE TO THELONIOUS MONK
The Rivoli
334 Queen St. West (at Spadina)
Tickets are $15 @ The Door Only
For more info. 416-657-0367
Doors will open earlier at 8:30pm!!! Film at 9:00pm

EVENT PROFILE: The ultimate contemporary / urban jazz performance series.  Originally produced in 1997, The Black Underground Project honours the genius and talents of the greatest musicians and vocalists who championed the form and sounds of Jazz. The Underground features the incredible talents of professional instrumentalists and vocalists, paying tribute to the styles of the greatest musicians and vocalists of past and present!  This particular night is to pay homage to Thelonious Monk.  Featured Musicians:  Alana Bridgewater (Guest Vocalist), Marc Auguste Jr. (Piano, Musical Director), Meiron Kelly (Saxophone), Jack Zarowski (Bass), Mark Hundevad (Drums).  Also featured this special evening is special feature film presentation: “Straight No Chaser” - A look at Thelonious Monk.  Sponsored by: Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, JAZZ91.1FM, CKLN 88.1FM, CHRY 105.5FM, Steam Whistle Breweries, Mankind Studios, A Different Booklist. 

 

 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24
SOULAR
College Street Bar
574 College Street (at Manning)
10:30 pm
$5.00

EVENT PROFILE
: Featuring Dione Taylor, Sandy Mamane, Davide Direnzo, Justin Abedin, Dafydd Hughes and David French.

 

 

NEXT WEEK’S EVENTS
NOVEMBER 25 – DECEMBER 1, 2002

 

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 25
VIP JAM WITH SPECIAL GUESTS
Revival Bar
783 College Street (at Shaw)
10:00 pm
NO COVER

EVENT PROFILE
: Featuring Rich Brown, Andrew Craig and Shamakah Ali with various local artists.

 

 

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 26
JAZZ TUESDAYS AT MUSE
Muse Bistro
369 King Street W.
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

EVENT PROFILE
: The ever-popular and hip Muse Bistro is beginning a new jazz night after work on Tuesdays!  Every Tuesday evening, join us at Muse between 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm for some of the finest jazz Toronto has to offer.  It’s going to be a very cool vibe and remember that Muse has some of the best food in town!  Join us in filling this night with smiling faces and wonderful music.

 

 

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 26
JAM SESSION
Lava Lounge
507 College Street (west of Bathurst)
10:30 pm
NO COVER

EVENT PROFILE
: Featuring Divine Earth Essence, Calvin Beale, Michael Shand, Joe Bowden, Thomas Reynolds and various local artists.

 

 

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27
TRISH RIBEIRO "BARE" CD RELEASE PARTY

Healey's
178 Bathurst Street (Southwest corner at Queen)
Info: 416.703.5882 or www.jeffhealeys.com

2 sets beginning at 10 p.m.
Admission: $5 at the door / $15 includes "Bare" CD


EVENT PROFILE:  TRISH RIBEIRO lifts the Soul and belts the Blues with sultry vocal prowess on her debut full-length release "Bare" (featuring artists like Spyro Gyra's guitarist Julio Fernandez and Billy Joel saxophonist Richie Cannata). Returning to Toronto after a three-year sojourn in New York City, this multi-talented singer/songwriter and popular YTV host has crafted inspiring original songs drawing on the emotive range of Stax/Volt artists in their heyday. See TRISH perform LIVE at Healey's on Wednesday, November 27th. Admission is $5 at the door or $15 (which includes a "Bare" cd). Two sets begin at 10 p.m. Check out www.allabouttrish.com for more artist info or call (416) 532-7224.

 

 

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER, 27
CANADIAN REGGAE SUMMIT
Presented by
Canadian Reggae World
Lula Lounge
1585 Dundas Street, just west of Dufferin
6:00 pm SHARP
$10.00

EVENT PROFILE: Attention all reggae artists, producers, promoters, DJ’s, MC’s, radio personalities, promoters and booking agents!  The objective of the Canadian Reggae Summit, specifically Julian King, is to establish dialogue and education on various levels including: Educating the Canadian reggae artist about the funding available to produce more music; Learning how to create a larger body of work to hit the airwaves; Introducing the artists to success stories within the industry; Introducing artists to contact information for radio personalities like, Tony Barnes & Sweet Tee, Ron Nelson, DJ Ruff Kut, Delroy Sterling, Delroy G and D.B. Hawkes to improve greater airplay; Initiating networking opportunities within the Reggae community, i.e.; artist with artist collaborations, sound systems with artists producing riddim tracks or compilations or individual projects; Improving sales opportunities globally by exporting Canadian reggae music to international waters in established reggae markets.  Speakers include Master T (Tony Young), Farley Flex (Flow 93.5FM), Ivan Berry (BMG Music), Ryan “Fritz the Cat” Hanes (Universal Music) and FACTOR representative, Mark Watts and SOCAN representative, Dave Betts.  Featuring performances by Belinda and Michael St. George.

 

 

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 28
REMY SHAND
Palais Royale Ballroom
1601 Lake Shore Blvd. W.
8:00 pm
$29.50

EVENT PROFILE: Shand brings his distinctive approach to soul to town.  An artist who attacks the boundaries of R&B, pop and alternative with his own timeless fusion, as undeniable as it is unconventional.  Some call his sound 'fresh,' others compare him to '70's greats Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder while still others call him the best Canadian export in years. But whatever you call Winnipeg, MB native Remy Shand there is no denying his ability to capture the power of soul in every note and leave audiences begging for more.  Shand's debut album, The Way I Feel first flew up the charts after it's release earlier this year, with singles like "Take A Message", "Rock Steady", and the title track "The Way I Feel" receiving numerous plays around North America; Shand's name quickly became synonymous with soul and talent. He recently received two honours at the 2002 Prairie Music Awards, Best Producer and Best Pop Recording.  A self-taught musician, Shand started on acoustic guitar and bass around age 12, and later picked up the keyboards and writing; "Everlasting," "Take a Message" and "Rocksteady" were among some of his first completed songs.

 

 

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 28
PEPPA SEED MOTOWN REVIVAL
Indian Motorcycle
355 King Street
10:30 pm
NO COVER

EVENT PROFILE
: Featuring Divine Earth Essence, Mackie Langford, Rohan Staton, Roger Williams, Deryck Roche

 

 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30
FLAVA CITY'S 1-YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY!

Flava City Dinner Theatre

247 Spadina Ave. 2nd Floor (south of Dundas)

Doors & Kitchen open:  10:00 pm

FREE before 12!
More info: 416-877-3882, info@flavacity.com, www.flavacity.com

EVENT PROFILE: You are invited to celebrate our One Year Anniversary with us!  We want to thank everyone who has supported us this past year and would like to show you our appreciation Saturday, November 30!  We will continue to provide the most talked about events for the mature, positive minded clientele who are in search for a place to call home!  What's in store?  Free admission, free beverages for the first 50 guests, free dinner giveaways, prizes and surprises!  Featuring:  The Crowd Pleaser, DJ Mark Anthony and MC BIGG KEVV.  Mature Dress Code, Mature Attitude, Mature Clientele.

 

 

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1
SOULAR
College Street Bar
574 College Street (at Manning)
10:30 pm
$5.00

EVENT PROFILE
: Featuring Dione Taylor, Sandy Mamane, Davide Direnzo, Justin Abedin, Dafydd Hughes and David French.

 

 

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Dawn Langfield
Langfield Entertainment
langfieldent@rogers.com