Heavyweights won't bring you down.

brasstronomicalHeavyweights Brass Band are part of the Uma Nota community. Christopher Butcher, the trombonist and main activist behind the band, is a former housemate, a friend, and one sexy guy. Anyways... so their new CD Brasstronomical is pretty dope and the release is going to be killer. Check the details below.Book it!This country’s greatest purveyors of feel-good horn music burst onto the Canadian jazz scene with their energetic brass band covers of contemporary pop hits. Now with Brasstronomical, the Heavyweights are offering a unique sound with emphasis on their original compositions. They delve deeper and more eclectically into each musical direction implied on their first album. Brasstronomical reveals the band’s music is stronger, bolder, funkier and more mature than ever before.Here is their new CD streaming this week only!Not only all of the above but for the show check their special guests: Jane Bunnett, Toronto jazz performer and composer extraordinaire, Jay Douglas, Jamaican-born soul singer, Luis Obregoso, Latin percussionist of the most amazing kind, and the great DJ General Eclectic! and to top it off STreet Brass, the Uma Nota produced band that plays street carnival music from across the Americas, will be opening up (this will be fun).Check their EPK video release below Street Brass Uma Nota Community

Family Jam! Feb 17th

coverRoll out the barrels! Uma Nota presents Family Jam!It is a common scenario: People who have kids don't come out anymore.  Somewhere along the line in our busy modern lives we lost the enjoyment for cross-generational fun. Well, Family Jam or (#FamJam) hopes to bring back the community vibes of Toronto's creative class of youth, young adults, older adults and children. No excuses because Fam Jam will take place during the day, on Family Day February 17th, a provincial holiday in Ontario, so everyone can come out and enjoy the afternoon together. There will be the best of Toronto DJs, live music, drum and dance workshop, ping pong table, face painting, a photo booth, chocolate history class, craft making activities for all the ages, food and drink! whew... that's a lot of stuff.Don't be so uptight as to think you can't enjoy a beer, glass of wine or caipirinha while your kids are around. There will be lots of community and our zone will be safe, and... there will be a kids menu!


FEBRUARY 17th Family Day at Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas Street West.Tickets are nineteen dollars for adults and children are free.Buy tickets!Featuring:The Heavyweights Brass BandThese funky Toronto horns bring the best in original and classic funk, soul, jazz, R&B, and New Orleans-style street music and  is always delivered with style. They are set to release their sophomore album Brasstronomical in early March. DJ Fase. Club & Radio DJ, music producer, husband & father that can rock any jam and read the crowd like a pro. He has his own daytime show on CIUT Tues 3-5PM Stolen Moments & often hosts Friday's 8-10PM Stylistic Endeavours. He has been an active DJ since the late 90s.DJ General Eclectic. One of Toronto's DJ and design legends. General Eclectic is the driving force behind the Footprints parties at the Rivoli (among others, like Shindig). Resident and founding Uma Nota deejay who has some of the deepest, most varied record crates around. He has styles upon styles and keeps the party bumping.MC Abdominal. The phenomenal Abdominal is our host for the day. This mighty master of ceremonies among men has the gift of gab and clever wits to keep us entertained the whole way through. Abs has recently become the darling of mothers everywhere by recording a song with his own mother. The only rap star to ever do so.Workshop w/ Maracatu Mar Aberto. Maracatu Mar Aberto leads a 'roda de coco' or a circle dance. In Northeast Brazil, villagers would gather together, sing songs to drums and dance the day away to pack the earth with coconut husks in order to create even ground. Mar Aberto leads this little traditional game, in a Toronto context, for fun, all the while teaching everyone some percussion, new and old songs and some dance steps.Crafts Activities w/ Island Woolworks. Kristyn Gelfand, momma extraordinaire sets up a craft table for kids and adults alike, using paper, crayons, wool and fabric.The Story of Chocolate w/ ChocoSol. ChocoSol leads us through games and activities on the famous delicacy: chocolate. From it's cacau origins, through its status as "food for the gods" and its modern production on small farms, the story is interactive, hands on and fun for kids.Face Painting by Ilyan Balicki of Face Art, a Photobooth and... wait for it... Ping Pong tables by VanGrey!

kids coco 2


Paint the Halls! (at Women's College Hospital)

 Uma Nota Culture does the music programming at WCHF's event Paint The Halls.Undeniably, Women's College Hospital has brought so much life into the city of Toronto. In 99 years (until 2010) over 150, 000 babies were born there. Even my colleague Jonathan and I, as well as all of our respective siblings, were born at Women's College Hospital.My mom still has a silly smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye as the recalls her three deliveries there. When I mention that the old building is being retired, she sighs deeply. Please don't fret mom, because now, so many years later, we are going to give back a burst of life into the the Women's College Hospital.We, a generation of '70s and '80s babies, -- along with our colleagues born at other GTA hositals, and a generation of cool-ass new Canadians -- have become instrumental in transforming Toronto "Hogtown" & Toronto "The Big Smoke" into a city of artistic expression & better living: a summer time, a good fun city, where biking around and enjoying the great cultural events going on here is as natural as Tim Hortons hangouts in the rest of Ontario.So... On May 30th, the WCH Foundation is hosting Paint the Halls! This is essentially a big party with Art Battle holding their  live competitive painting on the walls of the retired hospital and Uma Nota Culture putting up some great music.The way Art Battle works is artists compete painting live throughout the building. Revellers walk around and cast their ballots for their favorite pieces (see video below for more). Normally the artists paint on canvases, but for this event, the 75 hand-picked participants will paint on the walls.And there it is. This event promises to be awesome with great music, interactive entertainment, fun times, drinks and food.Buy tickets.Maylee Todd will perform live at Paint The HallsMaylee Todd (see video below), who recently released her new album Escapology, will perform live after ballot counting takes place. And look out, because if there is one artist who epitomizes feminine strength and beauty with stage presence and charisma, it is Maylee!Not only that, but the Heavyweights Brass Band will be around for some horns-and-drum hijinx to keep things interesting.Heavyweights Brass Band

More about Art Battle:

And here's Maylee Todd's wicked soulful and slightly artistically confusing video Baby's Got It.On top of those great live acts, we'll also have DJ Fase and DJ General Eclectic throwing down all the tunes you want to hear.For more information, tickets and more, check out the Paint The Halls website and Facebook event page.

Giovanni Hidalgo visits Toronto's Heavyweights Brass Band

Cuban and Latin music fans in Toronto tend to have plenty of options for great local artists as well as visiting heavy hitters or those who make the city (sometimes referred to as "Havana Norte") a temporary home. With that, trombone player, CIUT host and frequent Cuban ensemble member Chris Butcher gives us his take on an upcoming special show featuring master percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo and Butcher's own Heavyweights Brass Band.Here's the post from Christopher Butcher:Giovanni Hidalgo performing in Toronto; Chris Butcher at left (Photo: Roger Humbert)Giovanni Hidalgo is one of the most gifted individuals to ever touch a drum. He is surely one of the greatest rhythmic geniuses of any era or idiom. He'll be joining The Heavyweights Brass Band for a special concert on Saturday April 13th at Toronto's Koerner Hall as part of their Devoted to Dizzy series.Giovanni's claim to fame is that he was Dizzy Gillespie's conga player. Dizzy was the bridge that first connected Latin music with jazz, he essentially creating the genre of Latin jazz with his first conga player Chano Pozo with whom he composed Manteca and Tin Tin Deo. Giovanni was the heir to this throne, joining Dizzy's band in 1988, and has been arguably the most important percussionist in the genre since. Check out this concert of a young Giovanni with Dizzy Gillespie and the United Nations Orchestra in 1989 at Royal Festival Hall in London. His virtuosic technique and individual voice on the congas is obvious from the opening credits.Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1966 into a home that surrounded him with music and drums, he quickly flourished into a master percussionist. While still a teenager, he went to Cuba with the Puerto Rican group Batacumbele and started an early association with the master of Afro-Cuban percussion Changuito. The story differs, some saying Giovanni was a student of Changuito's while others saying Changuito incorporated Giovanni's rhythmic ideas into Cuban music (songo). Maybe both are true. While his mastery of Latin jazz is unquestioned, what makes Giovanni a truly special artist is his ability to sound authentic and original in a variety of contexts, a quality that will make his collaboration with The Heavyweights Brass Band so special.Here you can see Giovanni playing chekere in a Paul Simon video.You can also hear him on the sublime album Rhythm of the Saints with Paul Simon.My personal favourite track that he appears on is D'Angelo's Spanish Joint from the R&B masterpiece Voodoo. From the count-in, Giovanni joins Charlie Hunter's guitar with congas and chekere giving the track deep roots. His congas percolate through the track beautifully filling in between ?uestlove's crisp snare.Speaking of diversity, there's a live recording of him playing with iconic jam band Phish from Halloween 2010 in Atlantic City, NJ. He makes the band groove and provides a level of urgency to the music I've never heard from a band renowned for stretching out.April 13 is not going to be a night to forget and I urge you to pick up tickets now from the Royal Conservatory's website. We're sharing the concert with the Dave Young-Terry Promane Octet and their special guest Brazilian trumpet player and Dizzy Gillespie alumnus, Claudio Roditi.If you have a moment, don't hesitate to look at all the programming The RCM is booking at Koerner Hall. Concerts are still happening in the Devoted to Dizzy series with Pancho Sanchez, Christian Scott, Danilo Perez and more. The diversity, quality and quantity of the jazz, world and classical music they're are presenting should humble the other festivals and venues in this city that claim to support this music. Toronto really needs to give a big thanks to their Executive Director Mervon Mehta for bringing so much to this city.Originally posted on Chris Butcher's website (source)