Articles written by: Irwin Block

Montreal Great: Trumpeter Ron Di Lauro
Features / What's Happening

Montreal Great: Trumpeter Ron Di Lauro

Music has always been part of Ron Di Lauro’s life. You can hear it when he plays his trumpet, whether it’s jazz, pop, traditional Italian or classical. The tone is warm, slightly sweet, and the mix of skill and passion is immediately evident. I first saw him perform as the […]

Montreal’s Ratchet Orchestra performs on opening night at the Victoriaville fest. (Courtesy of Victoriaville fest)
Reviews & Previews

Victoriaville festival: Musical adventurers and explorers meet

If you want to explore music that is unexpected, unique, challenging and varied, the place to be May 15-18 is Victoriaville. That is where the Festival de musique actuelle de Victoriaville will present a remarkable series of 20 concerts for its 30th edition. Over the many years that I have […]

Dennis Brott has added new and potentially spectacular events to this year’s chamber music festival. Below, Itamar Zorman and Vira Lozinsky will perform. (Courtesy of the Montreal Chamber Music Festival)

Montreal Chamber Music Festival: Spirit of friendship, musical creativity reign

To appreciate Montreal is to celebrate its greatness as a centre for creative expression, and for many that means music at the Montreal Chamber Music Festival. With 22 concerts from May 8 to 31 at the lovely and accessible St. George’s Anglican Church at Peel and de la Gauchetière, the […]

Courtesy of stock.xchng
Reviews & Previews

CD reviews: Kleztory, Spaces

Kleztory Arrival AMERIX This Quebec-based Klezmer group has been around for more than a decade, but it has never sounded better. A sextet with a mix of Quebec-trained and European musicians, the collective is rooted in the traditional Romanian/Gypsy/Turkish party music that is so easy to love, yet broadened by […]

Mayor Denis Coderre has no regrets leaving federal politics to serve Montreal. (Photo courtesy of the city of Montreal)

Mayor Denis Coderre: “Montreal is my flag”

Only one politician showed up when the family and friends of figure skater Joannie Rochette gathered in Berthierville in 2010 to watch her skate in the short program at the Vancouver Olympics. Denis Coderre was there, joining in the chants of “Go, Go Joannie,” though Berthierville was far from his […]

Henry Milner expects that if the PQ loses or wins only a minority, leader Pauline Marois will quit. (Rachel Côté)

Quebec election could turn on values charter and PKP gamble

As a political scientist and author who actively supported the Parti Québécois, Henry Milner brings a unique perspective to political analysis in Quebec. He explains his involvement, which included running as a PQ candidate in Westmount in 1981. “In terms of making a better society around us, they were the […]

Aeneas as envisioned by painter Claude Lorrain in the 17th century.
Reviews & Previews

The Aeneid to play at La Chapelle Theatre

The Aeneid is the Greek classic poem by Virgil that tells the saga of Aeneas, his escape from Troy with his son and father and his search for a new home. It has been transposed into a modern setting of the Middle East in the French-language version by Quebec playwright […]

Women study information technology in Amman, part of a program that fosters equality. (Photo courtesy of ICAN)

Project Genesis: Mideast peacebuilding from bottom up

Note: A clarification appears at end. The idea was solid, and so was the training of its leaders and implementation of its programs. After initiating Project Genesis in 1975, McGill University social work professor Jim Torczyner in 1997 succeeded in transplanting that successful formula to the Middle East. The idea […]

Anthony Housefather and his team broke a record for freestyle mixed relay swimming in January. (Photo by Irwin Block)

C.S.L Mayor Anthony Housefather takes the plunge into federal politics

If you live in Montreal’s West End, don’t be surprised if one day soon a young-looking man with a spring in his step knocks on your door to talk politics. Côte St. Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather, now seeking the nomination as Liberal candidate in the federal riding of Mount Royal, […]

CD reviews: David Ian, Mike Rud, Ben Peterson
Features / Reviews & Previews

CD reviews: David Ian, Mike Rud, Ben Peterson

David Ian, Valentine’s Day, Prescott Records The music of the great American Songbook, when given a personal touch, never ceases to charm and delight. Toronto-born pianist David Ian has arranged these 11 pieces—classics of the standard repertoire, except for the gospel tune Sweet By and By—into smooth, easy listening yet spirited and […]