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The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) is pleased to announce its latest song induction into the Hall of Fame, Marie-Hélène, a touching jazz song written and originally recorded in 1976 by beloved Quebec singer-songwriter, author, and poet Sylvain Lelièvre.

As part of Covered Classics, a collaboration between the CSHF, CBC Music and ICI Musique, talented singer-songwriter Alexandre Désilets performs his electric-pop take of the newly inducted song.

Watch Alexandre Désilets perform Marie-Hélène below.

The touching jazz-pop song Marie-Hélène helped launch the career of Sylvain Lelièvre, the Félix Award-winning songwriter and poet adored throughout Quebec and France for his skill with the French language.

Lelièvre was already known for his hit Petit matin when in 1976 he introduced Marie-Hélène on his LP “Programme double” for the Les Disques Presqu’île label. The album, and in particular the catchy Marie-Hélène, established the composer as a future giant of Quebec songwriting.

Marie-Hélène is an intriguing character study, sung in the third person, of an “everywoman” figure, a young woman starting her adult life in the big city. Lelièvre paints his appealing title character in deft, sparing strokes: Marie-Hélène is twenty, jobless, and does not have a lover yet; she is uncertain.

The jazz groove that made Marie-Hélène a favourite of Quebec radio stations is established from the start: a short introduction by strummed guitar with percussion is followed by a plaintive, jazzy violin riff. Lelièvre sings the verses (with Louise Bédard joining the choruses) and arranger Marc Bélanger providing the violin part. The mood is laid-back, much like the song’s title character.

Lelièvre on the writing of the song: “I wrote Marie-Hélène in 1976. I thought the situation for our youth would change. However, it remains true to this day: it’s not easy being a 20 year old. The entire tradition of the song reveals how wonderful it is to be 20. It was wonderful for me. I look at the students that I work with, it’s not as wonderful for them…. The song tells a story of solitude.” (Lelièvre, Sylvain. (26 May 2006). Le chanteur libre. Canada: Éditions TYPO.)

Pop-culture references situate the song in time and place, such as references to Montreal (“rue Saint-Denis”; “en métro”), British rock band Genesis, Quebec band Harmonium (“Cinquième saison”), and The Beatles’ Let it Be.

A song with “legs,” Marie-Hélène’s popularity grew rapidly. The sheet music was published in 1977, selling for $1.75. In 1980, the song appeared again on the composer’s “Sylvain Lelièvre – 13″ album, its title prominently displayed this time on the album cover. And a single on the Kébec-Disc label was released in January 1981.

Marie-Hélène appears on several subsequent Lelièvre albums: “Le Chanteur indigène” (1983, Kébec-Disc; a compilation album for sale in France); “Ses plus belles chansons” (1991, Kébec-Disc),again prominently named on the cover; and a 2001 two-piano instrumental version recorded for Radio-Canada and released on “Chansons Retrouvées” (2008). The song also leads off the 2002 collection “L’Intégrale 1975-1989″ and is featured again on “Versant jazz: Live au Lion d’Or” (2002). Print versions can be found in the collections “Le Plus Beau Métier” and “Le chanteur libre,” and it has been arranged for four-part choir.

2001 was a big year for Marie-Hélène: not only did the song earn the coveted SOCAN Classic Award for 25,000 radio plays, but “L’Intégrale 1975-1989″ took home the ADISQ Industrial Award for anthology of the year. The following year proved just as auspicious, with the album “Versant Jazz: Live au Lion d’Or” being awarded ADISQ’s Félix Award for best jazz album in 2002.

Shortly after Lelièvre’s sudden death in 2002, Quebec musicians joined together to sing Marie-Hélène and his other hits at a tribute concert. Since then, the song has been a favourite of various tribute acts, such as Benoit Gautier’s “Lettres de Lelièvre,” and of special radio broadcasts including, Radio-Canada’s seven-episode series about Lelièvre.

Marie-Hélène has been performed by Guillaume Vigneault (son of Lelièvre’s mentor, Gilles Vigneault); jazz singer Linda Racine on her ADISQ-nominated 2007 album “Racines”; Le Quatuor Robert Angelillo (an instrumental version); and Marc Bélanger. It has been included in anthologies such as, “Les Cent plus belles chansons du Québec” and “Les Romantiques Vol. 1″. Marie-Hélène continued to earn kudos on “Petite anthologie: de Limoilou à Tombouctou” (2013).

Sylvain Lelièvre (1943-2002) was originally from Quebec City. His interest in piano and French literature led him to a dual career as a songwriter and as a French teacher at Montreal’s Collège de Maisonneuve. A poet and novelist, he was mentored by chansonnier Gilles Vigneault, and became known for such hits as Petit matin, Lettre de Toronto, Hiroshima, and Tôt ou tard. Among his many top honours were first place in the 1963 Concours international de chanson, and the 1994 Félix Award for composer of the year. The Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec (SPACQ) named an annual songwriting award after him, and the Quebec/Wallonie-Bruxelles award was renamed the Rapsat-Lelièvre award named after Pierre Rapsat and Sylvain Lelièvre who both died just 10 days apart in April 2002. His name graces halls at Collège de Maisonneuve and Cégep de Limoilou and a park was named Sylvain-Lelièvre in Limoilou, Quebec in 2004.

JAZZ.FM91 launches season two of the critically acclaimed, five-part series focusing on stories of New Canadians and their music, Identities: The Documentary Series.

Narrated by acclaimed vocalist and actress Jackie Richardson, and written/produced by Alan Lysaght and Paul McGrath, Identities: The Documentary Series chronicles the lives and careers of remarkable musicians from around the world whose search for their identities was challenged as a result of their decision to leave their home and move to Canada.

“Storytelling is integral to what we do at JAZZ.FM91. We are proud to tell the stories of these new Canadian artists and how they strived to assimilate into a new culture while trying to preserve the values and culture of their native countries. These are important stories to tell, especially now, in light of current world events,” said Ross Porter, CEO & President of JAZZ.FM91.

Created by Ross Porter, the first season of Identities: The Documentary Series received a finalist award at the prestigious New York Festivals International Radio Award in the “Culture and Arts” category.  The musicians featured in season two are:

·         Ezra Kwizera, a multi-genre singer-songwriter from Rwanda, currently living in Vancouver;

·         Maryem Tollar, an Egyptian-born, Toronto based Arabic singer;

·         Minor Empire, a band which combines elements of Turkish and North American styles, led by guitarist Ozan Boz and singer Ozgu Ozman;

·         Quique Escamilla, a multi-instrumentalist singer from Mexico, currently based in Toronto; and

·         Alex Cuba, a Cuban-born guitarist and singer, currently residing in Toronto.

Identities: The Documentary Series will begin airing on Documentary Sunday at 11AM starting October 25th for five weeks.

JAZZ.FM91 is called “One of the most vibrant and versatile jazz stations on the planet” by Jazz Times.  More than just a radio station, the JAZZ.FM91 enterprise is Canada’s only 24/7 jazz broadcaster and registered not-for-profit charitable arts organization dedicated to enriching the cultural, educational and community experience of their audience.  JAZZ.FM91 can be heard live on the air at 91.1FM, streamed online at www.jazz.fm, or listened to on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, with the free JAZZ.FM91 App and via the JAZZ.FM91 Android App, available for download from the Google Playstore.

Funding for Identities: The Documentary Series was provided by Maytree.  Established in 1982, Maytree is a private Canadian charitable foundation committed to reducing poverty and inequality in Canada and to building strong civic communities. Maytree seeks to accomplish its objectives by identifying, supporting and funding ideas, leaders and leading organizations that have the capacity to make change and advance the common good.

American Express announced today that Dead & Company has been chosen as the next artists in its popular live stream music series “American Express Unstaged,” in partnership with Vevo and YouTube. This new show has been added to the band’s Fall 2015 tour schedule on Saturday, November 7 at Madison Square Garden. The band and American Express will distribute 10,000 free tickets for this concert via a sweepstakes and fans will have the chance to support the Robin Hood Foundation, New York’s largest poverty-fighting organization.”

The Amex Unstaged global concert livestream will be directed by Brett Ratner and will be streamed at amexunstaged.com and via the Unstaged app on the evening of November 7.

To be eligible to win one of 5,000 pairs of free tickets to this show, fans who are U.S. residents, 18 and over can enter the official American Express Presents: Dead & Company Giveaway sweepstakes at www.DeadAndCompany.com beginning Monday, October 5 at 12 a.m. ET. The sweepstakes entry period will be closed on Thursday, October 8 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Ticket distribution details will be communicated directly to sweepstakes winners on or after Thursday, October 22. Tickets for this concert will not be made available for sale, and are only available to the public through the sweepstakes. There is no purchase necessary to enter, and official rules for the sweepstakes can be found via the entry page.

Grateful Dead members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir joined forces with singer/guitarist John Mayer to form the band Dead & Company. The band will take the stage at a series of shows this Fall including three nights at the legendary Madison Square Garden and will perform two sets of music drawing largely from the Dead’s historic catalog of songs.

“Well, this is great – this is the system working at its best. Our fans get music for free, we get to play our music for a bunch of folks who might otherwise not get to catch it, AMEX gets to support music and the arts, and everyone gets to come together at Madison Square Garden and online to benefit The Robin Hood Foundation and New York City’s less fortunate,” said Weir.

Hart remarked, “New Yorkers have given us their hearts over the years. I’m proud to support The Robin Hood Foundation who are in the trenches, on the streets making a real difference for those who are homeless but not hopeless.”

Kreutzmann commented, “As you know, it’s been a phenomenal 50th anniversary year and now we’re resurrecting the spirit of the Dead at MSG. The Dead has always been inclusive, not exclusive. After all, we are everywhere. So we decided to add a third night at MSG, but this time…for free. Your patience and dedication will be rewarded.”

“This is one of those great moments where everything clicks. The spirit of the music, the great generosity and hard work of The Robin Hood Foundation, the beautiful energy of a concert at MSG as only Amex Unstaged could put together, and a night for fans to enjoy music that’s truly free,” said Mayer.

“This unique Dead & Company show will be a tremendous musical experience for fans at the Garden and those watching the livestream. We’re thrilled to create a memorable experience for the devoted followers of this iconic group of musicians in New York and beyond,” said John Hayes, Chief Marketing Officer, American Express. “As importantly, it’s a great opportunity for American Express to give our Card Members and all fans of the Dead the chance to support Robin Hood.”

Given the live show and livestream are free, fans will have opportunities to “pay it forward” and help Robin Hood in its mission of finding, funding and creating programs and schools that generate meaningful results for families in New York’s poorest neighborhoods. For more information about the foundation, visit www.robinhood.org.

“There are 1.8 million New Yorkers living in poverty,” said David Saltzman, Executive Director of Robin Hood. “We are especially grateful to Dead & Company, American Express and the entire caring community of Dead fans for the opportunity to help transform lives with their donations.”


What’s better than seeing the multi-platinum recording group HEDLEY live? How about winning two tickets — not only to the concert, but also a meet and greet with the award-winning Canadian pop-rock band?!

One lucky winner will get this opportunity by entering the Ontario College of Trades’ ‘Want An Encore’ contest. Visit earnwhileyoulearn.ca/tunein to enter. Contest runs until Oct. 29.

HEDLEY, arguably Canada’s biggest band, will be touring the release of their sixth album Hello, due out Nov. 6. The album sees frontman Jacob Hoggard with writing, producing and creative direction credits and features classic Hedley pop gems along with adventurous new sounds.

With tickets sponsored by Universal Music Canada, the College’s ‘Want An Encore’ contest is helping to promote the skilled trades involved in the music industry — from general carpenters, electricians and heavy equipment operators to truck and coach technicians, cooks and hairstylists. If you love music and you’re considering your career options, know that a career in the skilled trades can take you backstage with the country’s biggest artists.

Music to your ears? Discover how you can “earn while you learn” as an apprentice in a rewarding career AND in an industry you love. And don’t forget to watch the cool behind-the-scenes video, which features this past summer’s WayHome and Boots and Hearts music festivals.

Stay plugged in. Follow the Ontario College of Trades on Twitter and Instagram for contest announcements and other updates.



Multi-platinum singer and actress Selena Gomez announced today she will embark on her worldwide “Revival Tour” in 2016.  The first leg will find Gomez traveling to 41 cities across the United States and Canada.  The tour will kick off in Las Vegas on May 6th at Mandalay Bay and will hit major markets including Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and more (see full listing of cities below).  Additional international territories and dates are expected at a later time.  Tickets for “The Revival Tour” go on sale starting Saturday, October 17th at 10:00 AM via Ticketmaster.com  (Check local listings for timing in your area).

For complete tour details please visit, SelenaGomez.com  and for early ticket access and other exclusives, visit http://smarturl.it/REVIVALTour.

“I am ready to get back on the road and see my fans in person!” said Gomez.  “This album marks a new and very important chapter in my life.  I cannot wait to get on stage and perform this new material.”

“The Revival Tour” will follow the October 9th release of Selena’s new album “Revival” via Interscope Records.   The lead single “Good For You” recently topped the Top 40 Radio Charts for three consecutive weeks.  Gomez, who has sold over 22 million singles worldwide, embarks on her first tour since the sold out 2013 “Stars Dance Tour.”

REVIVAL is now available for pre-order from all participating digital partners.  A deluxe edition featuring 14 tracks and a Target deluxe version with 16 tracks are now available. Also available is a limited edition deluxe version with an autographed book journal, color vinyl, forward by Gomez and exclusive and unreleased photos. Fans should visit Gomez’s online store for special pre-order packages and bundles.

Be sure to catch Selena’s performance of her new single “Same Old Love” live for the first time on television this Friday on Ellen.

Selena Gomez Tour Dates

Date                            City                                                     Venue


May 6                          Las Vegas, NV                         Mandalay Bay
May 8                          Fresno, CA                              Save Mart Center
May 10                        Sacramento, CA                      Sleep Train Arena
May 11                        San Jose, CA                           SAP Center
May 13                        Seattle, WA                            Key Arena
May 14                        Vancouver, BC                       Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena
May 16                        Edmonton, AB                       Rexall Place
May 17                        Calgary, AB                            Scotiabank Saddledome
May 19                        Saskatoon, SK                        SaskTel Centre
May 20                        Winnipeg, MB                        MTS Centre
May 22                        Toronto, ON                           Air Canada Centre
May 23                        London, ON                           Budweiser Gardens
May 25                        Ottawa, ON                            Canadian Tire Centre
May 26                        Montreal, QC                          Bell Centre
May 28                        Boston, MA                            TD Garden
May 29                        Uncasville, CT                        Mohegan Sun
June 1                         Brooklyn, NY                         Barclays Center
June 2                          Newark, NJ                             Prudential Center
June 4                          Washington, D.C.                   Verizon Center
June 5                          Cincinnati, OH                        US Bank Arena
June 7                          Charlotte, NC                         Time Warner
June 9                          Atlanta, GA                            Phillips Arena
June 10                        Orlando, FL                            Amway Center
June 11                        Miami, FL                               American Airlines Arena
June 14                        New Orleans, LA                    Smoothie King Center
June 15                        Houston, TX                           Toyota Center
June 17                        Austin, TX                              Frank Erwin
June 18                        Dallas, TX                               American Airlines Center
June 19                        Tulsa, OK                                BOK Center
June 21                        Nashville, TN                          Bridgestone Arena
June 22                        Louisville, KY                        KFC Yum Center
June 24                        Detroit, MI                              Palace of Auburn Hills
June 25                        Chicago, IL                             United Center
June 26                        St. Louis, MO                         Scottrade Center
June 28                        Minneapolis, MN                    Xcel Energy Center
June 29                        Milwaukee, WI                       Summerfest
July 1                           Kansas City, MO                    Sprint Center
July 2                           Denver, CO                             Pepsi Center
July 5                           Phoenix, AZ                            Talking Stick Resort Arena
July 6                           San Diego, CA                        Valley View Casino Center
July 8                           Los Angeles, CA                    Staples Center


This summer was the sound of country music for me. Having been invited by American Express to see four of the finest singers and songwriters the genre has produced – Rascal Flatts, Jason Aldean, Zac Brown Band and Lady Antebellum – you can tell each of the performers have lived through different stages to get to the top of their game.

Amex has evolved from being not only a credit card provider Cardmember but a leading provider in one-of-a-kind-experiences for its Cardmembers through Front Of The Line Advanced Presales and Reserved Ticket allotments and Cardmember Lounges at venues across Canada. This access definitely makes for experiences like none other.

I don’t own a cowboy hat, because if I wore one, I’d be nothing but hat. Every country guy or girl owns camo for hunting. I don’t hunt, nor have a camo, two of the style rules for country music code. Three, actually, since I don’t own cowboy boots because me, in a cowboy hat and boots would cover my entire body up completely. BUT I HAVE LOTS OF PLAID SHIRTS. In fact, I don’t want to make anyone jealous, but I can still fit into my shirts I wore from high school. So, I ended up wearing four of my favourite plaid shirts to these concerts.

At each concert this summer, I got to hang with some new friends in the Amex Lounge, a fun and warm, inviting place American Express offers Cardmembers. Here, Cardmembers can seek shade from the hot summer sun or shelter from spontaneous rain storms, to having complimentary water, hanging out in an exclusive bar, and tasting from their delicious menu from one of Toronto’s hottest restaurants, Barque.

I didn’t dig into the amazing menu until the last show – Jason Aldean in mid-September, and now I wish I had earlier. I had the pleasure of taking my friend Cadence Grace of country group, Runaway Angels, to the show. We had one minor problem at the offset – which choice of nachos to get (we got both), which sandwich to eat (we ordered chicken and beef), and how many s’mores to buy, and when (four and right at the beginning of the meal).

It was great to have Cadence around. She knows country music is changing, and we talked about the success of these four artists and their unparalleled success in country, along with “bro country” really means, and the power of a song.

That’s not to say you have to be a country star like Cadence to enjoy the shows. The stories of small-town characters, contemplating their lives and their loves, are so memorable that you can bet many will be thinking of these songs when they turn back the pages of their yearbooks. It’s those memories of partying, drinking, bonfires and girls in jean shorts that make up a strong component of country lyrics, and it’s exactly why country music has thrived in recent years. Heavily influenced by other genres, like rock and hip-hop, country brought the party atmosphere to the forefront of the concert experience. Rascal Flatts, Jason Aldean, Zac Brown Band and Lady Antebellum have introduced more people to country music than almost any other artists, and bring the party – and heartache – to new and old music fans.

And do these crowds love to dance! It’s astounding the courage and free spirited energy the artists make Toronto audiences feel, whether they’ve got moves or not. Another positive thing I noticed was the lack of cell phones raised after the first few songs. The audiences know that by taping the show, you’re not really experiencing the concert, but experiencing the screen on your phone. Whether I was in the first few rows of Rascal Flatts, mid-venue for Jason Aldean, or moving to the lawns near the end of Lady Antebellum’s set, the fans were right into it.

While the music industry talks about streaming, having access to 25 million songs at your fingertips, we’re entering a whole new age when it comes to live shows. For those on the move, a concert is a great way to get out of the house, relax, or join a mosh pit (there were several happening on the lawns at Jason’s show). For those who want to take it easy, American Express gives Cardmembers access to tickets before the general public through Front Of The Line Presales, so having some of the best available seats is a breeze. Add the excellent clarity for sound provided by the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, and you have one of the greatest adventures you can have as a music fan.

Looking for your own memorable experience? Explore www.AmexInvites.ca to learn more about some of the hottest upcoming events.

A number of Lana Del Rey fans have been surprised recently to find their copy of 2012’s Born To Die contains the wrong piece of wax.

Instead of Del Rey’s sophomore LP, customers are playing Baltimore shoegaze band Wildhoney’s 2015 debut Sleep Through It.

YouTube user johnny herrera jr was among those affected, but wasn’t upset at the mistake — “I really enjoyed what I was hearing,” he wrote on a video showing the mishap, saying he decided to keep the Wildhoney album after all.

Deranged Records founder Gordon Dufresne, who released the Wildhoney album, told Baltimore’s City Paper, “This happened due to a mix up with the stampers at the plant – small mistake with huge implications. To be fair to the plant in question, this sort of mistake has occurred with other projects at other plants but it’s typically caught before it has a chance to get into the ends of customers/fans.”

Via Billboard

Este Haim, 29, never saw the original Lillith Fair—but she says that she and her sisters (who are also her bandmates in Haim) talk “all the time” about how they’d love to revive the festival, or create a female-driven festival like it. Her dream lineup would include LordeFlorence + the MachineCHVRCHESJenny LewisSavages, and of course Haim’s tourmate Taylor Swift. (Billboard via The Current)

Hard rock legends BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, fronted by guitar icon ZAKK WYLDE, have announced a batch of winter tour dates for the end of 2015 with special guests HUNTRESS andTHE SHRINE. Tickets are on sale now. HUNTRESS has released their new LP Static today via Napalm Records. THE SHRINE will have an all new release due out early next year via Century Media Records.

Fresh off an electric performance last weekend at the Food Truck & Rock Carnival in New Jersey, BLS is gearing up to finish the year strong in the U.S. The last time the band performed in The States was during highly successful Unblackened Tour earlier this year. Originally performed as a one night only concert at Club Nokia in Los Angeles for a live CD/DVD release two years ago, the show made its way across the U.S featuring intimate versions of some of the band’s most popular songs, as well as songs from Wylde’s best-selling solo album Book of Shadows & his Southern rock band Pride & Glory.

Dec-26    Phoenix, AZ    Marquee Theater
Dec-27    Albuquerque, NM    Sunshine Theater
Dec-28    Dallas, TX    Gas Monkey Live
Dec-29    Tulsa, OK    Brady Theater
Dec-30    Houston, TX    Warehouse Live
Dec-31    Marksville, LA    Paragon Casino Resort

For the past 57 years, as sure as the sun would come up in the morning and set in the evening, there was one thing you could count on — Kenny Rogers would soon be coming to a venue near you to perform.

However, that time is now drawing to a close. Kenny Rogers announced on NBC’s The Today Show this morning that his next world tour commencing in 2016 will be his last.

Details and dates for Rogers’ final World Tour will be announced in the coming months.

Today also marks the release his first new Christmas album in seventeen years titled: Once Again It’s Christmas (Warner Bros. / Warner Music Nashville). The festive set is Rogers’ first Christmas release since 1998 and his sixth Christmas release overall.