UPCOMING GIGS

  • Aug. 5, 2017 Private Party, Carnarvon, ON
  • Aug. 4, 2017 Music by the Gull, Minden, ON
  • Aug. 2, 2017 The Nice Bistro, Whitby ON
  • May 17, 2017 The Nice Bistro, Whitby, ON
  • April 29, 2017 Minden Cultural Centre, Minden, ON
  • March 24,2017 The Old Mill Toronto, Home Smith Bar
  • Feb.26,2017 San Pancho Music Fest. Mexico
  • Nov.5, 2016 Radio Hall, CanoeFM, Haliburton, ON
  • Nov. 2, 2016 le Nice Bistro, Whitby, ON
  • Sept. 4, 2016 The Red Umbrella Inn, Minden, ON
  • July 26, 2016, Head Lake Park, Haliburton, ON
  • Jan. 29, 2016, The Home Smith Bar at the Old Mill, Toronto
  • Oct.23, 2015 Gate 403
  • Sept. 9 The Nice Bistro, Whitby, ON
  • August 22, Gate 403, Toronto
  • August 14, Music by the Gull, Minden, ON
  • July 29 Hugh's Room, Toronto
  • June 13, Gate 403,Toronto

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

HOW CAN WE KEEP FROM SINGING?

Played with the band at a private function over the weekend.  Lots of people and good cheer, although I only caught some of the crowd in this tiny clip.


video


Hope everyone's holiday is filled with fun, food, friends, and/or family, and lots of love.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

ON THE TOWN

The Toronto Blues Society had its Christmas party last Saturday at Dora Keogh's bar, so I got there - and even had a little (crippled) dance with John Deehan, who had dropped in too, after another gig he had, to see some fellow musicians playing in the band - who were great, by the way - the Swingin' Blackjacks.  Randall Cook, who took the photo of myself and the blues women with Rita Chiarelli a few posts ago, had his camera there, and took this picture as we came off the dance floor.
I paid for the premature boogying later when my still-healing broken leg ached all night. But I don't care.  It was fun.




If you're on facebook, you can see other pics Randall took at:



And speaking of John Deehan, I don't think I ever posted this little clip (with two different songs) from when we played last October at Gate 403 in Toronto.  I still had the brace/cast on my leg at that time, and was just so excited to finally be out after the enforced home-bound period of recuperation.

video

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

CHRISTMAS MAKES ME CRAZY...

It's so, so....you know....everywhere! And so not fun.  And mostly about money money money.


When you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  At least have some fun.  This is a video made by my ten-year-old granddaughter, who is a whiz on all things electronic:




video


It's a little different from the original artist's version (Calvin Harris's "Feel So Close"), but I think it expresses how close I am to being just a kooky, crazy-happy dancin' fool. And if that's not the Christmas spirit, what is?







Tuesday, December 1, 2015

REVUE OF DA BLUES WOMENS

Yah, every year 'round this time, it's the Toronto Blues Society's Women's Blues Revue, and I'm there, comme toujours, seeing all the fabulous talent.
Afterwards, got some pics with the amazing Shakura S'Aida and Rita Chiarelli - both always so warm and friendly, My camera is being ridiculously stupid these days, closing down after twenty seconds or so, not zooming, and just generally being a pain.  So the pictures are a little dark - also because of the bad lighting in the area where we were, but, in the case of Rita's photo, extremely out of focus:


But here's a better one that Rita's friend Roberta took with a camera that works:
 
And then Randall Cook took one of the Blues Society goils with Rita; and it was posted on Facebook..."now, THERE's a gang of feisty ladies!"  said a guy named Dave
 
 
 I also got to meet a new performer, Cecile doo Kingue, who I thought was incredibly inventive and strong.  Here's herself and moi ;- Oh, oh, on the side again:

 
Good friend Sharon was not feeling well, so in her place, here's the gorgeous card she gave me on my birthday, which I have framed:
 
You have to twist your neck the other way, just to balance the muscles.
 
And finally, the next day, Sunday, was a very, very, very quiet one in which I did not venture even out the door.  Here I am being serenely at home, red camera eyes and all:
 
 
 

Monday, November 23, 2015

ESCAPING THE BAD AIR

Spent the weekend in Haliburton, Ontario - unfortunately for a funeral, but it was wonderful to see so many good friends; did my heart good.  And I got to breathe in the clear, fresh air as I was limping along on my morning walks.  The second day had gorgeous sun and snow (!!)  Bit of a shock to the system, but lovely to look at. Special thanks to Carolynn and Eric, Dave and Cheryl, and the Marquardt family.
 Here are some pics:
"Blue Skies, smilin' at me..."  - out the bedroom window in the morning

remember picnics?

Carolynn, Zoe, and Eric from the Haliburton Folk Society

Starting the looooong bus ride back - the lake at Haliburton

Happy me on the bus - had a good book about the McGarrigles

Saturday, November 21, 2015

LA VIE EN ROSE

Catching up here; the last post happened few days ago, then from yesterday's trip to Haliburton, Ontario:

This morning i awoke, and saw a strange thing in a room adjoining the one where I slept.  Something white, partially obscured by the doorway, was flashing on and off, like the top of a police car, only more orangish than red.  There was nothing in that room that could do that, so I lay there, watching and waiting. It finally stopped, and then the light dawned on me.  Literally.  A window in that room, out of sight altogether, was letting in a lone, low ray of the south-east-rising sun, which found a pathway from its source, through a gap in the leafless trees on a ridge south of my house, and then, when the local morning commuter train went by, flickered a rosy strobe until the train passed.
Magic in the morning.  La vie en rose.  

Then, later, on my way to that same commuter train, I passed a sewer cover with some lettering that I read as "DANCER", as I walked by, until my subconscious let in the other word that had been below it - which was "sewer".  And then the little grey cells started to work, reasoning that what I had really seen was the word "DANGER" etched in the metal. Another 'coo-coo' perception of my mind, but I say thanks, and I'll keep my viewpoint.  It's rather fun.
May we all see a dancer rather than danger as we walk our days, and light alternating with movement as we awaken.
.

FUNNY HOW LOVE BECOMES A COLD RAINY DAY

Those are words to a beautiful song I finally learned.  Thank God for music in my life to offset all the crap.
My life has been taken up lately by the focus on my 'jambe', la mia gamba, - the leg, the leg. - demanding so much energy - but it is getting better, very slowly. The cast has been cast aside.  I'm walkin'. Yes, indeed. And I'm talkin' - about me and me.  I'm hopin' that I'll come back to me.
That's what we always come back to, isn't it?- our little selves.  In spite of the wonderful friends I love, who help me through life, and help me through all the people who are not friends, we have to know how to be alone.  Speaking for myself, I have learned how to to trust myself, and keep on truckin'.  So I will be back.....
And for anyone out there who reads this - if you ever come across a short film about a day in the life of a bike, with the soundtrack of the Dead's "Truckin" - please let me know.  I made it a thousand years ago with some other students, and then lost track of it.  I'd love to find it again.

I've been doing some retro-reading in my quiet, healing moments - besides the books I was given by my dear book-publisher friend - I'm also going back into my own archives of stories and poems, or simply journal entries that I wrote over the years.I must say, a part of me loves to revisit those creations, and see the things I saw at another stage of my life.  One piece, however, written shortly after the death of someone I knew, really got to me.  At the time, I was so utterly saddened, - shocked, even as I wrote - at how very sad I was, especially since we had been separated already for a while.  The death affected me so much, so immediately and deeply, that I couldn't understand it.  When I read what I'd written back then, the rawness of the loss I had felt came back in full force so that a huge wave of grief swept over me, choking me.  I was taken aback - literally, - reliving that pain and once again, shocked by my feelings.

All in the plan of getting my writings organized.  I once had a dream about finding huge piles of diaries that my mother had written during her life, and I was so surprised, and delighted, to find this treasure trove of her.  In real life, in fact, my mother never wrote, nor spoke, anything about herself.  She kept her feelings and her thoughts - her self - quiet.  And unknown.  I've always missed having shared a real relationship with her.  And when I awoke, I knew that it was myself who had the mountains of words.
So....project one: leg;  two: music; three: languages; and four: (making a stable table) - my writing.

I'm glad I read that sad piece, to have my heart re-opened.  Glad I have kept it.

Here's a photo of myself and my cousin Michelle in old Montreal last weekend.  oo la la.


 
 
plus the inevitable selfie, and one with a weird effect that i liked:

 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

SOMETHING WRONG WITH THIS JOINT!!

No, not the spliffy kind; and not the English kind either, that you make a stew with.  I mean one of the many miraculous spots on the human body, which enables us to move and bend, and generally get around. 
They ARE miraculous, especially when they heal themselves, but geeeeeez, it's taking soooooo looooong.  I walk along the street, having got pissed off with the brace/cast, and tossing it away, with the result that my knee joint feels like a sloppy bowl of pudding with rocks in it.
Really.
Not much stability, and certainly not a pleasant sensation.


But how can I complain? It's nothing in the grand scheme of things.
I just pretend I'm 11 or 12 months old again, and just learning to walk altogether, and give myself the parental praise and applause for the smallest successes.
And then sometimes I simply ignore everything and WALK ON, with purpose.

Eventually, all will be 'swingin' again:









Monday, November 9, 2015

PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE

So I tell myself, as I go along the street at a snail's pace.  Oh, I know there are many people with much worse to contend with, but it's the adjustment, isn't it, that is difficult.  It's what one is used to.  And I'm getting pretty tired of giving myself pep talks.
But ever onward....
You can see how bored I'm am with being house-bound when I resort to creating more and more pictures of myself, and then a picture like this one, created for a friend, in which I quadruple myself.






Honestly, I promise, I'm going to get to my language studies real soon.  And the new tunes I want to learn, and, and, and.....

And I've started physiotherapy for the sluggish broken leg now, so we should be just speeding along in no time.
Meanwhile, I found this short clip from the summer - if you don't mind viewing it sideways...And I hope it's actually there.  One never knows.

video
 
Lullaby of Birdland, with Laurie Bower, trombone; John MacLeod, trumpet, Don Vickery, drums.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

ZOOT SIMS AND STAN ROGERS

They have nothing in common, of course, except I provide a small link because I knew Zoot
when I was in my early thirties, including my 33rd year, and now, on this, the 33rd day of my BROKEN LEG SAGA,  it is Zoot’s 90th birthday, - Happy Birthday to him. I am marking it by celebrating the release of my leg from the beastly cast I’ve been forced into all this while (I can take it off at home, according to the doctor). As for Stan, he wrote the famous song called “The Mary Ellen Carter”, and with my new-found freedom I, like that ship, shall ‘rise again’.

I WILL bend my leg; I WILL walk normally; I WILL swim and exercise.  And I will kneel in prayerful thanksgiving on this day (“oh beautiful mother”…)

 
Happy?  Yes, - and almost back.  Speriamo.

 
But now I must go and give my knee and leg a special treat for healing so well.  I mean – do YOU know how to knit bone together, dear reader?  I certainly don’t, but that knee did it – all by itself.  Hey Hallmark – how about that new market?  Cards to body parts that do a great job for you. Just think of the athletes’ spending alone.

Why oh why don't they have a function to right the photos?


And I WILL dance again - missed the annual
dance-in-the-woods this year



 

 

Monday, October 26, 2015

AUTUMN LEAVING


The summer has left, and soon autumn will leave too, and then the cold begins, and goes deep into my bones....I dream of warm Agrigento and the sea.  My neighbour on the street where I live came to Canada from Italy, and another town by the sea.  We commiserate in the park while she walks her dog, and I walk my leg. 

The big break, the fame; the success so wished-for by performers, and  'break a leg!' wished on us by others before a gig – hey, it's  NOT LITERALLY, EH?   We didn't really want to break a part of our body; it's just a traditional theatre saying....Tell that to my tibia.

But four weeks have passed already and I live in hope that the fracture is healing as it ought, and that when I go back to the doctor next Wednesday, he will say the magic words, and I will throw away the cast/brace, and won't have to walk the military march anymore.

I still want world peace, of course, as all the beauty contest winners say, but I really want my leg in one piece. I want to run and jump like the other children.

 

However I won't complain.  I got out last Friday, sexy cast and all, which I highlighted by draping my skirt to show it better, festooned with flowers-; and I sang some tunes with the jazz band.  Oh, but 'twas good to be sort of normal again. (until the WheelTrans arrived to take the invalid home early). Here are some pics - sorry about the sideways one:
 


 
Meanwhile, anxiously awaiting the new x-rays this coming week, to see if I can jettison the iron leg and get back to real life and activities like the following:
 
video
 
And in a few more weeks the ice will be back in the rinks and I will be out there skating, - singing to the trees, and sucking that icy air into my lungs, and loving it. (as seen in my youtube video “Skating, Skating
 

 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A KINDER, SLOWER WORLD


-         and I don't mean kinder in the sense of everyone being nice to each other  - although many people have in fact been more than kind and helpful to me, in this my distressful time.

No, I mean kinder in the short “i” pronunciation, in the sense of 'kindergarten': minding the children.

-         The recent break in my leg, and my current life in a cast-like brace, has forced me into a little break from regular life. Besides being a literal pain in the ass, since my exercise and muscle health are not what they usually are, and the lumbar area is not breathing properly – it's an enforced, - shall we be positive and say, - 'opportunity' - to see, to experience, to be patient.

-         Ah, yes, patience, for the super slow pace of everything now. Which brings me to the kindergarten. Having been a supply teacher in classrooms back when I had two legs, I find that I have to treat myself as if I was a bumbling and dependent group of little five or six-year-olds.

-         OK, class, it's time to get dressed to go outside; everyone line up quietly; fingers on lips; watching me; walking – I SAID WALKING!!. And like those crazy kids, I take forever to get from one room to another; to stand up and wash at the sink; don't even mention getting on the toilet with a two-by-four attached to your groin. And then to get the clothing on: one piece at a time, with loving encouragement, discipline, gentle reminders of attention, and patience, always patience. Again, don't mention putting a sock on. We try and teach creativity too, and give praise for new solutions and understanding when we just cannot reach our foot because we can't bend the leg.  Very good, little Maisie. Robert, please don't leave the crutch on the floor like that where someone might trip on it and BREAK THEIR LEG!!

-         All ready, children? Oh, oh, there's the bell.  I'm sorry, darlings, recess is over. OK, everyone, let's get these clothes off, and get back to the other room....

-         And I repeat the same type of scenario all day long for whichever of the few activities available to me that I attempt.  I save a shower for a long, long stretch, backing in and onto the portable seat I hope does not slide, then lifting my needy leg with the curved end of the cane around the foot, up, up, up and over the old person's bathtub grip, recently loaned and installed, - a reminder of infirmity which is most definitely not a fashionable design item. I hardly ever wash my hair anymore. I wear my clothes to bed.  I'm lovely. And sometimes, when other people shop for me and drive me places, and cook me meals, I get bored and bad enough to think I should keep this break going for a while.

-         But I know, really I do, it's an opportunity, and now I think of it, a unique one, - to steal away from the world: reading, stretching, eating, watching movies; taking slow, careful, smell-the-roses walks, listening to music, visiting with visitors, and most of all, to appreciate the mobility I used to have.

-         And those sweet, dull, repetitive, noisy and obnoxious little children, - those empty vessels? Which for me are all the new little synapses and muscle and nerve endings that are ever-so-slowly healing and learning? At the end of the day, they have grown into better people, with some love, we hope, for the teacher who collapses into bed each night, swinging and slinging the leg onto the mattress, and slowly, gently, in as quickly as fifteen minutes or so, rolling herself over to sleep, dreaming of swimming and running, and riding her bike – oh, glory! Oh happy day! Riding a bike!.
 
Here I am dreaming of swimming in lovely warm Mediterraean waters: (photo by Chris)
 
 
P.S.  This is a kinder, much better world here in Canada today, (in the being kind sense) because the people finally woke up and got rid of evil Harper.  Thank you, thank you, all who voted him out!
 
 
 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

BROKEN DREAMS

Broken dreams in Sicily
Broken bones in leg and knee
Broken streets with holes that are uncovered.....

You know the tune 'silent nights with my guitar'.  that's the melody.

And yes, they left a drainage ditch with just one little part not covered by the grills that were over the rest of it, and down I went.  And crack went the bone.
Now, many many euros later for a last-minute direct flight home, it's a pain, but I'll live.

While I was still in Sicily, however, the man who ran the B&B where I stayed was an angel, a veritable saviour, who helped me in everything and organized so much for me - I can't thank him enough, but I have written a song about him and his help that will be on youtube soon.
Watch for "Francesco Superman" - in Italian with English subtitles.

Meanwhile, the deadly ditch:

 
 
me in the Helsinki airport just on my way to Rome:
 
 
I will post more photos of Italy, but here I am suddenly back in Toronto, trying to keep my leg in circulation:
 
 
 
and finally, feeling great in the local park, and being just a little daring with my crutch and cane:
 
 
 
Really?  A lot of times I feel like this instead:
 
 
 
This is actually a good position, if the legs were just a little more down; the hip joint right on the edge of the sofa - for the shiatsu master electric rolling massage thing that I bought at a home show many years ago and never use.  Now it does its magic on the poor sacroiliac joint which doesn't get the movement it needs what with the leg in the thing it's in. 
 
Gate 403, Roncesvalles Avenue, Friday, October 23.  9pm. I will be there.  I will sing.
I will probably collapse early.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

CANTANTE E CONTENTA, IO

that'sa me.
cantante means singer, and contenta means happy; io means me. I liked the sound of the words.  almost another song.
and that just about sums it up.  i mean, there's no point in being miserable, is there, just because you were in a gorgeous hot and sunny city on the south coast of Sicily and you broke your leg and had to be put in 'gesso' - a cast - and returned subito to the cold of Toronto.

No, no point at all.  So i'll take the sun and warmth of Italy and the people I met and just ride out this misery.  Porca miseria, as they say.  

Can't walk very well, or even sit at the piano to sing, but I'll figure out a new system, won't I ?  'Where there's a will, there's a way', as one of my hated teachers in grade school used to say, but she was right.  I have a friend now who says, 'where there's a will, there's a relative'.  ha ha, that's true too.

Got lots of pictures, but not with me, because i'm just in this place, using a free computer, for an interview with Wheel Trans, the system run by toronto's public transport, which picks up all the disabled people and brings them wherever for the cost of a bus ticket.  Amazing, really, and I'm most grateful for that.
So next time I get to a computer - chi sa quando? - who knows when, I will post the pics.
In the meantime, it's nice of this hotel to let me sit here and write.
ciao for now

Thursday, September 17, 2015

THE GLORY OF A NEW DAY

Had a very unhappy and unfortunate argument with someone the other day, which meant, because of my head, that i didn't sleep that night.
Then, three days later, when I thought it was over, and I had recovered, I got an email which opened up the issue all over again, thus creating another bad night.

BUT the saving grace for me was that on both mornings-after, my poor little struggling morning glory plant bloomed - just one solitary flower on both days, but that was enough for me to say thanks, and to focus again on what is beautiful, and what i love.

I think Jesse Winchester has a song with a line that says "...so glory to the morning...." or something similar.  It's a good song.

here's a picture:



NOTE:  Gate 403 on Friday, October 23 with the John Deehan trio. 9-1am

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

PICTURES!!

Got some.

I
'll post one here, but go to
zoechilcodecadance2015.blogspot.com for all the others

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

THEY'RE AT THE POST!! I MEAN, THE GATE!!

Gate 403, that is.  Good audience that loved the music, and fun, as always.
With Mike Allen, Ron Johnston, and John Deehan. Pics by David Goldberg, photog extraordinaire.




Tuesday, August 18, 2015

LE WEEKEND

So, it was fun, eh?
Played at the Gull River in Minden on Friday Aug. 14, and got dumped on by all the gods of rain, then were saved by Shawn at the Dominion Hotel, where we dried off and continued the fun:


Paul Chilco, Zoe, Paul Greco, John Deehan


And on Saturday, we raced down to Mississauga and boogied at the Franklin:


Zoe, Julian Yarrow, Paul Greco, Paul Chilco


Vive la musique!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

BUT GETTING BACK TO BUSINESS...

Music is my only real business, and the best one, when it means i actually get to sing and connect with people, but, well....
I just can't hep mysef:  i'm also a very opinionated and concerned citizen - of the world - not just of my lovely country, so, you know, I gotta speak up.  can't hep m'sef.

I need to do something to get rid of Harper, our awful prime minister.  He has the gall to dictate who will debate and where and when, and I cannot figure out why the remaining parties don't just have their own debates, where and when, and with whom.  We don't need to hear him blather and lie and avoid the real issues.  we need to hear politicians who are actually committed to helping us.
So why don't they do that?? Just leave him out of the picture all together and have the conversation the way it should be.

Stephen Harper has continually and consistently destroyed all the organizations that actually help people connect with each other, to help one another, to have healthy choices and environments.  His interest is protecting big business and corporate profit.  I'm not going to list all the lies and all the ways he has broken down our society - there are lots of websites that do that.  Just google search "I hate Harper" for a start.

I'm sure his family loves him.  But he is not a good leader.  He certainly is not a man with a vision that reflects what people in Canada are about, as humans, not as numbers.  The business he should be supporting is that of helping everyone in our society flourish, not the profiteers.
I think it's a very urgent task we have in front of us.
Get the man out of office. Now.
Let us pray....and keep the music alive.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

OOOO LA LA





Que c'est merveilleux chanter...

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

GETTIN' HIGH ON LIFE




First there was the great night at Hugh's Room, and all the fun of playing and singing; then there was all the lovely people and wishes and looooove.
And now I'm up in the wilderness and just had a nice long bike ride alongside a few lakes this morning, finally breathing the good air of north(ish) Ontario.  I contemplate the great good fortune I had at the CD launch.

It was so wonderful to see so much family and so many friends from different phases of my life - all together in the 4,000 degree heat of the venue - and them all happily jumping and talking and laughing.  I'm very grateful.
And one new CD officially born to the world.  It's up on iTunes too, for anyone who couldn't make it - "DecaDance".

So now, after nine compilations of original compositions, the next task for me is to make demos of jazz standards, then all the French songs I like to sing, and maybe one for blues standards too.
Somebody send me some money, please.

There are some great photos and a video of the launch, which I will post ASAP.

But meanwhile, there are wild raspberries to pick.....and maybe I'll find a fountain to bike through, like this kid at the park:


Thursday, July 30, 2015

SUCH A NIGHT



As Elvis (and Johnny Ray before him) said:  "It was a night; oh, what a night it was..."
And as Richard Rodgers, prolific songwriter and composer of the tune "The Sweetest Sound", said when asked what was HIS sweetest sound:  "Standing Room Only".

And that's what we had.  The DecaDance CD launch night - finally come to fruition, with a sold-out, packed house at Hugh's Room in Toronto.
Amazing fun and music and love and audience.  Sooooo great.
And now I'm pretty much DAID.

Well, more like a zombie is it.

I will post lots more later, and have some pics. maybe even some video.
SUCH A NIGHT

Friday, June 19, 2015

HAIR TODAY; GONE TOMORROW

Well, it's been a week already since all the past, represented in my hair, has just been swept away on the salon floor.  here are some pics, including last Saturday's gig at Gate 403 in Toronto with Ron Johnston, bass, John Deehan, sax, Tony Quarrington, guitar, and John Sheard dropped in and played a few tunes with us on the piano.  Am I lucky?  What great musicians.  I have some movie bits, but will post them next time.