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The Hot Spot
July 2 – 4

Part of World Routes Summer Festivals 2010 at Harbourfront Centre

TORONTO, ON (June 11, 2010) – Explore and celebrate the latest trends within our global community at Harbourfront Centre’s The Hot Spot Festival (July 2-4). The second edition of this festival explores artistic contributions from Haiti, Colombia, U.S.A., Italy, Spain and across Canada. The festival also showcases the slow food movement with a nod to Terra Madre (Mother Earth) featuring chefs and local food producers whose practices are closely tied to the land.

The big idea behind all programming at this year’s World Routes Summer Festivals is “globalocal”, or global to local. This theme is programmed into each festival to bring together rich artistic traditions from around the corner to around the globe!

Festival highlights include a special focus on Haiti with the first Canadian performance from L’Orchestre Septentrional. This 18-piece musical ensemble is Haiti’s most significant big band. They have been performing for over 60 years together, using influences from Haitian beats, Vodou (a Haitian religion) rhythms and Cuban flavour. To compliment their performance, excerpts from When the Drum is Beating (a yet-to-be released documentary about the orchestra’s journey through Haitian dictatorships, democratic interludes, coup d’etats and chaos) will be screened and hosted by New York based filmmaker and director Whitney Dow.

Other highlights include the Jazz Mafia Symphony: Brass, Bows and Beats, a talented group of musicians who seamlessly combine Latin polyrhythms, boom-bap rhymes and swinging jazz to create a big band symphony. Their performance is followed by a late-night concert featuring Jazz Mafia Circus, a group of San Francisco’s hottest jazz cats, MCs, arrangers and composers.

The Hot Spot also sets the stage for Longo’s® Canadian Iron Chef Competition. Top chefs from across Canada compete using local ingredients with the winners moving on to the International Iron Chef Competition at the upcoming Hot & Spicy Food Festival (Aug. 13–15) presented by NOW Magazine.

For additional information and complete event listings, the public may visit or call the Information Hotline at 416-973-4000.

Full event listings:

Jazz Mafia Symphony: Brass, Bows & Beats
Friday, July 2, 9–11 p.m. (Sirius Stage)
Adam Theis (principal composer/arranger) brings together a group of musical innovators who combine Latin poly-rhythms, boom-bap rhymes, melancholy ballads, swinging jazz and blistering solos to create the sound of a jazz-era big band.

Jazz Mafia Circus featuring San Francisco’s hottest jazz cats, MCs, arrangers and composers
Friday, July 2, 11 p.m.–1 a.m. (Brigantine Room)
Jazz Mafia Circus invites The Shotgun Wedding Quintet, Supertaster, Dublin and Joe Bagale to perform at this late-night jam session following the Brass, Bows and Beats concert on the Sirius Stage.

Vandana Vishwas
Saturday, July 3, 8–9 p.m. (Sirius Stage)
Toronto-based Vandana Vishwas specializes in Sugam Sangeet, the light vocal genre of Indian music comprising song forms such as Bhajans, Ghazals and Geet. At The Hot Spot she presents songs from her debut album, Meera -The Lover, which is based on legendary Indian poetess Meera Bai’s devotional love songs.

L’Orchestre Septentrional
Saturday, July 3, 9:30–11 p.m. (Sirius Stage)
L’Orchestre Septentrional, who have been playing together for over 60 years, is Haiti’s oldest and most renowned ensemble of musical ambassadors. The 18-piece big band has made music using influences from Haitan beats, Vodou (a Haitian religion) rhythms and Cuban flavour.

Melissa Laveaux
Saturday, July 3, 11 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. (Brigantine Room)
Montreal-born, but Ottawa-raised singer-songwriter Mélissa Laveaux combines the fluidity of the English language, the nonchalant syncopation of Haitian Creole and the harmonic sophistication of French while performing songs from her second album Camphor & Copper.

Sunday, July 4, 5–6:30 p.m. (Sirius Stage)
Founded in Bogotá, Colombia by brothers Sergio and Santiago Mejia, La-33 delivers backgrounds that combine classical salsa with rock and roll. Their self-titled debut album won immediate success for its arrangement, lyrics, production and great sound, especially their worldwide Latin dance hit La Pantera Mambo, a mambo version of The Pink Panther.

Longo’s® Canadian Iron Chef Competition
Saturday, July 3, 2 p.m. & 5 p.m. (semi-finals) & July 4, 2 p.m. (finals) (Brigantine Room)
Hosted by TV personality and Chef Christian Pritchard, the 2010 Longo’s Canadian Iron Chef Competition welcomes top chefs from across Canada to use their favourite local ingredients to compete for the top spot. They will be judged by a high-profile panel of judges including Toronto hot shot Chef Chris McDonald of Cava restaurant and American Iron Chef floor reporter Kevin Brauch. Confirmed competitors include Chef Scott Vivian, formerly of the Wine Bar and soon to open Beast restaurant, and local foodie advocate Chef Joshna Maharaj of Stop Food.

Toronto International Flamenco Festival – Canadian Showcase
Saturday, July 3, 3 p.m. & 7 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Dozens of Flamenco dancers and companies bring a hot global tradition to an all-Canadian showcase. Following the afternoon showcase on the Redpath Stage, a selected number of groups will be chosen for an evening performance and celebration, and will be considered as one of the opening acts for the upcoming Toronto International Flamenco Festival.

Diabolo Juggling featuring Véronique Provencher
Friday, July 2, 8 p.m., July 3, 2 p.m. & July 4, 2 p.m. (Redpath Stage & Ann Tindall Lawn)
Originating in China thousands of years ago, the diabolo has become a staple in the local juggling and circus communities. Harbourfront Centre presents one of the hottest Canadian performers of this exhilarating art form.

Flamenco Rhythms for Kids
Saturday, July 3, 2 p.m. (North Orchard)
Kids can learn the basics of Flamenco, one of the most exciting dances around!

Castanet Making
Saturday, July 3, 1-6 p.m. & July 4, 1-6 p.m. (HarbourKIDS Zone Tent)
Kids can make their own castanet, a percussion instrument used in dance and music traditions around the world.

Toronto’s Premiere of Terra Madre Followed by Q-and-A
Saturday, July 3, 3:30-5:30 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
A film about the importance of protecting biodiversity and respecting the environment by renowned Italian filmmaker Ermanno Olmi and Slow Food President Carlo Petrini which began filming in 2006 in Turin, Italy.

Excerpts of When the Drum is Beating, hosted by director Whitney Dow
Saturday, July 3, 7-8:30 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
Film director Whitney Dow’s unreleased documentary about Haiti’s musical treasure L’Orchestre Septentrional is screened for the first time at Harbourfront Centre. The documentary highlights L’Orchestre Septentrional’s incredible and prolific 60-year history.

World Routes is Harbourfront Centre’s annual summer series of FREE festivals running every weekend from Canada Day through Labour Day. World Routes explores ideas in contemporary culture, bringing together rich, artistic traditions from around the globe. For summer 2010, Harbourfront Centre explores the idea of "globalocal" (global to local and local to global) with a festival line-up promising to entertain, stimulate and provoke.

Harbourfront Centre is an innovative, non-profit cultural organization which provides internationally renowned programming in the arts, culture, education and recreation, all within a collection of distinctive venues on the 10-acre site it operates in the heart of Toronto's downtown waterfront.


Althea Linton
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