Excellent concert choices in non-climate-controlled places over the next few days
There are many green-tinged, sweat-stained people who would like to see us using less air conditioning and restore some of the laziness of our great-grandparents' summers. But, for an inner-city dweller surrounded by sun-baked concrete, glass and steel and cut off from a refreshing breeze from across yonder pond, Long Island iced tea can only go so far.
Perhaps hearing music in a hot temple or under a smog-coloured sunset is not your cup of tea, but that's where the best musical bets are at the moment, with the Toronto Summer Music Festival (which uses air conditioned spaces), still a couple of weeks away:
TONIGHT -- 7 p.m. -- Johannes Brahms's lush, late Quintet for Clarinet and Strings is the main attraction in the Toronto Music Garden, which should be a few degrees colder than the rest of downtown. It's performed by the Madawaska String Quartet and clarinettist Jerome Summers. Free.
TOMORROW -- 7 p.m. -- There's a new string quartet in town: Ars Longa Vita Brevis (which you could translate as too much art, too short a life), made up of violinists Pam Hinman and Carolyn Blackwell, violist Brandon Chui and cellist Lydia Munchinsky. They're mixing traditional rep (Smetana's String Quartet No. 1) with new music, including something by talented Toronto writer-composer Colin Eatock. Eastminster United Church, 310 Danforth Ave. (a couple of blocks from the Chester subway station). Admission is $10 for students, $20 for the rest of us.
SATURDAY -- 7 p.m. -- Beaches Baroque (Tafelmusik members Lucas Harris (lute) and Geneviève Gilardeau (violin)) are back with music by Leopold Weiss, at Beaches Presbyterian Church, 65 Glen Manor Dr. Free/pay-what-you-can. After the concert, you can go enjoy the dusk views from the Beach boardwalk, which is only one block south.
SUNDAY -- 2 p.m. -- Mount Pleasant Cemetery is presenting a Sunday-afternoon concert series for the second summer. There is a big, white tent set up on the beautifully manicured lawn behind the main visitors' centre parking lot. There's no street noise and only the occasional cemetery jogger to distract you. This afternoon's program has the Op. 18, No. 6 String Quartet by Beethoven and Debussy's Op. 10 Quartet, played by Matthias McIntyre and Valerie Gordon, violins, Rory McLeod, viola and Sebastian Ostertag, cello. Free.
FREE WORLD MUSIC IN LONDON (ONT.) VICTORIA PARK
Sunfest returns for the 15th year in downtown London's Victoria Park. The festival kicks off today, running to Sunday night, with an amazing program of performers that span just about every genre of indie and world music out there.
If I had the time, I'd make the trip to hear La 33, a big band of energetic 30-somethings that represent a new wave of urban salsa from Bogotá, Colombia. They're at the Galaxie Stage on Saturday at 10 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Sunday at 10 p.m., they move to the TD Bandshell.
The Sunfest website is colourful, but a bit frustrating to navigate.
In honour of our first week-long heatwave in years, here's La 33 with their own take on "Roxanne" as well as a bit of their own music, "La rumba buena":