Toronto – Part 2

I’m a sucker for a museum, an art gallery or a concert. Last week, in Toronto, I managed to take in all three in one day!

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It all started with a concert. Part of the Canadian Opera Company’s Free Lunchtime Concert Series, last Tuesday’s program was with the Humber Latin Jazz Ensamble, under the direction of the Grammy & Juno Award winning Hilario Duran. The over-capacity, standing-room-only crowd, was treated to a blend of Afro-Cuban Jazz. You can’t get THAT in Rose Bay!

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From there I wandered up to Dundas Street and into the Art Gallery of Ontario. Here, I was introduced to the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat. I confess I’d never heard if him before, but could certainly pick up the passion and frustration in his work. I’m glad to have seen this exhibit, but was equally glad to move on to the Canadian & European collections of the AGO.
I was delighted to find the Grange, a Georgian Manor House (c1817) attached to the AGO. This beautiful building was donated to the Art Museum of Toronto in 1911, and so become the original home of the AGO. That was something else I didn’t know – and didn’t expect. Maybe I should be doing more research before heading out on these excursions?

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Magic! The Michael Shand Trio

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It was an enchanting scene:

I was perched about three rows up, in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, a three-story high space surround by walls of glass overlooking the corner of University and Queen St. in the heart of Toronto.  It was a warm mid-day at the end of September, the trees still green and leafy. At the intersection, the pulse of the city throbbed with vehicles, cyclists, and swarms of pedestrians all moving to the beat of traffic lights.  Inside, I was wedged onto my bench between two obviously seasoned concert goers.  The effect was at once, both intimate and expansive.

The real magic happened when the Micheal Shand Trio began to play. The effect of jazzy musical energy filling that environment and perfectly complimenting the scene outside was magnificent.  The concert lasted a little less than an hour….but I’ve been re-living it ever since. Magic!!