One has only to look at the steady stream of innovative, independent and varied presentations at the Al Green Theatre to know that the MNjcc is dedicated to fostering culture. It was they who approached me about a memorial night honoring my late father composer Milton Barnes. A packed house and a great experience organizing the show led to me approaching them for further presentations; Micah and Daniel Barnes in Concert in 2009 featuring original music from my brother Micah’s new CD release Domesticated and The Daniel Barnes Jazz Quartet playing music from my two CD releases. Then, in 2011 the Al Green Theatre partnered with myself, my bro, and our Mom, to Co-produce the Premiere of the show we wrote Jazz for Mara. It features my jazz quartet once again and my brother Micah on vocals plus my mother Lilly performing dramatic readings from, and the entire story line of our show is based on, her novel Mara (Variety Crossing Press, 2009). It stands as a highly original Literature and Music Concert Presentation!
Harriet Wichin’s bravery and the professionalism of her colleagues/staff are all to be applauded and enjoyed by those of us lucky enough to work with them!
Now comes the fundraising Gala for which I’m heading up the house band. The group consists of Kobi Hass on bass, who, although he’s pretty new to Canada, has vast experience in many facets of the music industry back in Israel! His son, cellist Daniel Hass, is a featured performer on the program. On the Milton Barnes memorial show I mentioned, my dear brother from Vancouver, cellist Ariel Barnes came to play some of our Dad’s music! Also in the house band on the 23rd is pianist Mr. David Restivo. Dave is recognized as one of the finest jazz pianist/composers in our fair country! It’s always a pleasure to make music with him, ever since he and I took our “spares” in high school to jam!!
We’ll be backing some great talent; Jazz vocalist, singer songwriter, my brother, dynamic front man and former member of vocal group The Nylons, Micah Barnes. A leading performer (Diva?) of Yiddish and Canadian theatre Ms. Theresa Tova plus “New Generation” jazz pianist Ron Davis and vocalist Daniela Nardi who’ll be tapping into her Italian roots.
Sharing the bill with Moshe Hammer will be a pleasure, he and my Dad have been colleagues so it’ll be extra sweet to see him and then there’s Hilario Duran and his daughter Yailen, considered a leading voice in Latin-Jazz music in the world! And, all the rest of the talent….
Finally, the JCC at Bloor and Spadina has been close to my heart, literally, my whole life. You see, I was raised a block and a half from the place! My dear Mom still lives there! (So if rehearsals run too long, I can always escape for a tea!) I started swimming in the MNjcc as a wee one!
As I said, I’m glad Harriet Wichin has asked me to be involved. Let’s support the wonderful programs of the MNjcc!
Daniel Barnes is the House Band Leader for this year’s Stars on Spadina Gala. Hi varied work in jazz, world and popular idioms is well-documented and has led to JUNO nominations for a variety of Canadian artists. His full body of work can be found here.
Join us for Stars on Spadina on Monday, April 23 as we celebrate the heart and soul of the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre while making arts and cultural creativity accessible at any age.