2017 Polaris Music Prize Gala, Toronto

The 2017 Polaris Music Prize Gala was held once again at the beautiful Carlu in downtown Toronto presented by CBC Radio. As always the Gala featured incredible performances by the short list nominees including Lisa Leblanc, Feist, Tanya Tagaq, Weaves, Leif Vollebekk. Congratulations to this year’s winner Lido Pimienta for her work “La Papessa”

 

visit https://polarismusicprize.ca/ for more exclusive content and highlights from the Gala.

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Whitehorse – Danforth Music Hall

Whitehorse packed the Danforth Music Hall for a hometown show on their Sweet Disaster tour, in support of Leave No Bridge Unburned (Six Shooter). The husband and wife duo of Luke Doucet and Melissa McLelland were joined throughout the night by some talented musical friends and family including Tanya Tagaq, Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay of July Talk, Toronto guitarist Sam Taylor and Luke’s dad Rollie Doucet.

 

Tanya Tagaq – Panamania, Toronto

Tanya Tagaq performs at Nathan Pahillips square as part of the Panamania concert series. Tagaq’s performance was intense, sensual and at times challenging to the crowd made up of diehard and casual fans along with those unfamiliar with her work. Tanya closed her performance by exclaiming “I hope we weren’t too fucking weird for you!” and maybe she was, but I honestly don’t think she cares and that’s what’s so beautiful about it.

In addition to her core band of violinist Jesse Zubot and drummer Jean Martin, Tagaq was joined on stage by Christine Duncan’s Element Choir and notably Greenlandic (yes that’s how you say it) uaajeerneq performer Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory. The interplay between the two was a rollercoaster ride of intimacy, fear, dominance, submission, sadness and release. I’m not surprised to read the murmurs of disapproval from certain media outlets, but considering all of the vile, offensive activity that goes on inside City Hall, I was quite proud something so raw and uncensored was taking place outside, in my city square. Whatever your place on the tolerance level, there was no way you were left unaffected. That’s fucking art for ya!

Tanya Tagaq – Indigenous Arts Festival, Toronto

Just before dusk on Saturday night, Tanya Tagaq began her performance with the help of a volunteer from the crowd. Together they demonstrated traditional Inuk throat singing for the audience at the Indigenous Arts Festival, held at Fort York.

At the close of the demonstration, she coyly stated something that would become abundantly clear in a few minutes. “I do something like that but a little different.”

As the topic turns to our nation’s politics, the petite beauty speaks with a strong conviction in her voice and a disarming sweetness that belies her vocal performance.

Tagaq’s contemporary fusion of throat singing combined with percussion and violin creates an aural soundscape that is at once haunting, sensual and rhythmic. This enchanting combination, encapsulated so well on her latest album Animism (Six Shooter Records), has won the hearts and ears of the 2015 Juno and Polaris judges and has rightfully brought Tanya Tagaq into the national spotlight