Singer, Songwriter, Performer

First fundraiser to complete Gaidies album tonight at Free Times |

First fundraiser to complete Gaidies album tonight at Free Times |

Aug 18, 2016

13882364_10154233951996343_7541262092572600460_nChristine-Gaides-COURTESY-300x300 (1)From Toronto Moon 

As I mentioned in the introduction to the heartfelt obituary that Brian Jantzi wrote about Folk songwriter Christine Gaidies after her untimely passing last month, I never knew her, even though we were friends on social media for a little while.

Those who were close to her describe Christine as an optimistic, sunny personality and perhaps that can in part be seen in how she never bemoaned her medical situation and if anything underplayed it in her social media posts even as the cancer was robbing her of vitality and eventually her very life.

Well before anyone realized she was enduring this battle, she released a debut album September 27 of last year and packed Hugh’s Room in west TO for its release party featuring a 10-piece band.  Subsequently, perhaps realizing her time was running out, she was actually working as hard as she could on a new collection of her originals that she’d hoped to bring out later this year.

Christine-Gaidies-in-band-mode-March-12-2016-Facebook-300x211Some of the musicians who had been working with her on the project, as well as others who have performed with her over the past few years, want to see her goal fulfilled and, along with her life partner Christopher Crumb, are planning a life celebration and fundraiser for that hopefully in September, with details yet to be released.  No doubt there will be other such events to follow before the year is out.

In the meantime, one of TO’s most gentlemanly and community-oriented talents, Glen Hornblast, is getting the ball rolling at tonight’s edition of his monthly Nashville Bound series at Free Times Café, for which Christine herself had performed —most recently in January when the night was themed as a fundraiser to help fellow songwriter Michelle Lecce get her album underway.

Tonight some of those who appeared at the January record fundraiser will return along with several others, because Glen has invited at least 20 performers who knew and admired Christine to come out to share their talent and is dedicating the proceeds from the pay-what-you-can event towards completion of the album.

The roster reads like the showcase lineup for a Winterfolk Festival show and indeed, in addition to Hornblast, Jantzi and Lecce, the bill includes Winterfolk director Brian Gladstone and a slew of other gifted Roots/Country songwriters.  The artists include: Lynn Harrison; Harpin’ Norm Lucien; Herb Dale; Peter Mathieson; David McLachlan; Kevin Jeffrey; Glen Gary; The Curries; Tony Hanik; Sean Peever; Ruth Jenkins; Joanne Crabtree; Bob Cohen; Jean Baillergeon; Peter Eastmure; Pete Janes and Phil Ciglen, some of whom will be teaming up in band combos of various sizes and genres.  Many of them are expected to do covers of Gaidies originals as well as a tune of their own.

All these folks, plus audience, will have to shoehorn into the tiny back concert room of the club at 320 College Street.  It could go without saying that you’ll need to get there very early for this 8 p.m. till 11:30 event if you hope to secure a seat or even standing room.

No doubt the crowd will spill out to occupy much of the rest of the club and keep the staff hopping all the night through.  But I’ll bet that somewhere, if Christine’s spirit lives on past her transition from the mortal coil, she’ll be there too —no doubt blushing.  And she’ll most certainly be very much alive in the minds, hearts and musical offerings of participants.

-Gary 17,

15 stellar artists recording Tony Quarrington songs tonight
Tribute to Christine Gaidies Aug 18

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