Musicians Annual Launched During James North Art Crawl

[December 14, 2012]

On James Street North you could see a bright blue light on the dark sidewalk from as far away as two blocks. The front of the shop was awash in cool light, announcing to the hundreds of window shoppers and art crawlers that something was afoot.

The crisp, clear weather was perfect for this December 14th Art Crawl, and the event was unfolding in typical fashion. Dozens of galleries, shops and restaurants were open late to welcome visitors from in and out of town, hoping to sell their stuff and make a good impression.

Approaching the coolly lit storefront, a familiar song reached your ears, accompanied by some nice jazz guitar. “That sounds great,” you said to your friend. “Let’s go in.” Special live music was often a big part of Art Crawl, and you often would go into a new venue to hear and watch the performance.

Inside the small, warm room was a cozy gathering of people. The singer was Brenda Brown of Room For Two, accompanied by Joe Finochio on guitar. You stayed for a while to enjoy some of your favourite jazz standards and some very pleasant renditions of American songbook selections.The room was nicely decorated for the holidays. A table with hors d’ouevres, a glass of wine, and comfortable seating made it easy for you to stay and listen, as one of your favourite tunes, “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” came up.
Room For Two’s Joe Finochio and Brenda Brown
Photo by Tony Gosgnach
A flat screen TV was showing a slide show of Alex Zafer’s interesting and exciting photographs of local musicians in performance. Zafer is fascinated by what he sees during concerts, and he prefers to capture images using only existing lighting. The spontaneity and energy of these moments, and the effect of the shadows and glows provided by the stage lighting without the intrusion of a camera flash create a powerful testimony.
Chatting between tunes
Photo by Tony Gosgnach
Taking the scene in, you begin to understand that the event is about local musicians. The performers, the slide show, the location are all telling a story about the quality and quantity of local musical talent. Hamilton can be proud of its very active and healthy musical community. Part of the story is on display around the room. The pages of a magazine are neatly arranged like a gallery. The Greater Hamilton Musicians Annual is being launched, and you’re looking at the entire contents of the soon to be printed magazine.
When the musicians take a break, you decide to go out for some fresh air and come back later. When you return, you intend to take a closer look at the pages on display. It appears that there is a significant variety of coverage and some great photography in the full-colour publication, and you want to make sure you get a copy when it comes out.
Upon your return to the venue, you are greeted by Martinus Geleynse, the publisher of Urbanicity newspaper. The room for tonight’s launch event has been provided by him, and he has been working with the publisher of Greater Hamilton Musician, Glen Brown, to get the layout completed. Reg Beaudry, the designer of the magazine was standing nearby, so Martinus made an introduction. In his very affable manner, Reg brushes off your compliments about how excellent the magazine looks, and as you are about to continue the conversation, Glen Brown takes the microphone.
Dan Medakovice, Matt Coleman, Dave Pomfret
“Small Fries”
Photo by Ange Noto Campanella

“Hamilton has a rich and active community of musicians, as we can see here tonight on our stage and within the pages of the publication displayed on the walls around us. There are many more significant people and ensembles that have yet to be covered; what you see here is only the tip of the iceberg. But we have this first annual edition, a record and a symbol of how great music and musicians are in this town of ours! Thanks, many thanks, are due to the local businesses and individuals who caught the vision and sponsored ads in the magazine, and thanks for the willing participation of the musicians who were interviewed and photographed, and thanks to the numerous authors and of course, the photographers Alex Zafer and Ida Adamowicz who contributed their work It has been such a rich experience for me, and a testimony of how something great can happen when people work together. Raise a glass to our local musicians, and local music!”

Sam DeRosa adds a touch of blues harp
Photo by Ange Noto Campanella

With that, you raise your glass, find your seat and settle in to watch Dan Medakovic and his friends. You’ve heard some of Dan’s work on his YouTube channel and were pleasantly surprised that he’s here tonight, with Matt Colemen (violin) and Dave Pomfret (guitar and vocals). A true slice of local music! Dan’s easy style and thoughtful, often wistful lyrics convince you to stay. You think, “So much for the rest of art crawl. This show is the best musical thing happening on James North tonight. I’m tweeting this out to see if some of my friends will pop in.”

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Glen Brown cuts the cake
Photo by Tony Gosgnach


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