• Mitch Albom — Bestselling Author of THE NEXT PERSON YOU MEET IN HEAVEN
    Fifteen years ago, in Mitch Albom’s beloved novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, the world fell in love with Eddie, a grizzled war veteran- turned-amusement park mechanic who died saving the life of a young girl named Annie. Eddie’s journey to heaven taught him that every life matters. Now, in this magical sequel, Mitch Albom reveals Annie’s story. The accident that killed Eddie left an indelible mark on Annie. It took her left hand, which needed to be surgically reattached. Injured, scarred, and unable to remember why, Annie’s life is forever changed by a guilt-ravaged mother who whisks her away from the world she knew. Bullied by her peers and haunted by something she cannot recall, Annie struggles to find acceptance as she grows. When, as a young woman, she reconnects with Paulo, her childhood love, she believes she has finally found happiness. As the novel opens, Annie is marrying Paulo. But when her wedding night day ends in an unimaginable accident, Annie finds herself on her own heavenly journey—and an inevitable reunion with Eddie, one of the five people who will show her how her life mattered in ways she could not have fathomed. Poignant and beautiful, filled with unexpected twists, The Next Person You Meet in Heaven reminds us that not only does every life matter, but that every ending is also a beginning—we only need to open our eyes to see it.

    * MITCH ALBOM is an internationally renowned and best-selling author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster and musician. His books have collectively sold more than 39 million copies worldwide; have been published in forty-nine territories and in forty-five languages around the world; and have been made into Emmy Award-winning and critically-acclaimed television movies.

Special Guests

  • Laila Biali — Award Winning Recording Artist
    The raven-haired musician has won awards (SOCAN Composer of the Year and Keyboardist of the Year at Canada’s National Jazz Awards) and played the world’s most prestigious venues (North Sea Jazz Festival, Tokyo’s Cotton Club, Carnegie Hall). She’s toured with GRAMMY award winners (Chris Botti, Paula Cole, Suzanne Vega) and recorded with an international icon (Sting). In short: She’s established herself as one of Canadian jazz’s brightest young stars. And now, almost two decades into a successful career, she’s ready for a change. “It’s been a long time coming,” Laila says of her upcoming self-titled album. “I’ve been playing music professionally for years but this album feels, in a way, like a new beginning.” Led by the funky single, “Got to Love,” LAILA BIALI is the culmination of everything the acclaimed singer-songwriter has achieved thus far. “Writing this album, I felt like a kid in a candy store, wanting to try everything,” Laila explains. “It took some time for me to find my voice as a songwriter, and I didn’t want to pigeonhole myself into any one particular genre.” The end result is an eclectic-but-focused album that Laila describes as “fully representative.” “There are elements of improvisation, so the jazz is there,” she says. “There’s also an edgier songwriting persona that I think has always been there but took some time to hone in on.” Catchy, sophisticated, and unlike anything currently on the radio, it’s pop music, but not the kind that can be neatly tagged by an algorithm. Melodies take thrilling left turns and pre-choruses give way to instrumental interludes. One minute Biali is soaring over a bluesy storm of handclaps and hard-charging keyboard riffs (“Got to Love”), the next she is pouring out her soul on an impassioned, slow-burning plea for empathy (“Refugee.”) It’s pop music, but the experimental, distinctly human variety popularized by Regina Spektor, Rachael Yamagata, and Sara Bareilles.
    * Catch Laila before she heads out on her European tour: October 23, 2018 @ The Rose Theatre (Studio 2) in Brampton AND November 03, 2018 Etobicoke Jazz Festival @ The Odeum.

  • Jason Carter and John Franklin — Musician, Raconteur, Filmmaker and the Executive Director of IMAGO Arts
    Jason Carter’s musical depth and extraordinary style have left an indelible impact around the globe. Touring with his inimitable fusion of world music and classical styles, he has performed in more than 100 countries and travelled over a million miles – making music in such diverse locations as Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, North Korea and the Gulf States. Garnering a reputation as an ambassador for peace and intercultural dialogue by using music to open doors for communication, Jason has received honors and awards for these efforts and also support from UNESCO, The United Nations, and the British Council. Jason is a guitarist/composer of the highest caliber and originality. Prolific and exceptionally creative, he continually produces captivating and alluring music that showcases not only his classical abilities but also his obvious love for world music. Played with humility, passion and exquisite flair, his music offers audiences a profound and intimate experience, regardless of the size of the venue. Jason’s ability to connect with his audience is unparalleled and offers a moving, thought-provoking and unexpectedly comforting experience. Though working primarily as a solo musician, Jason regularly collaborates with other musicians and orchestras. He has worked as a soloist with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, the Novosibirsk Orchestra, the Nanjing Chinese Orchestra, New Irish Orchestra, and performed with countless other musicians from around the world. His work can be found on compilations with artists such as Anoushka Shankar, Barbara Streisand, Zakir Hussain, John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), Joe Satriani, Steve Morse, Allan Holdsworth, John Scofield, Jeff Beck, Larry Coryell, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ozzy Osbourne, Trey Gunn (King Crimson), Huong Thanh (Vietnamese folk singer), Yuuka Nanri (Japan), and Trilok Gurtu. His 18th album is now out – “Seeking The Divine,” featuring solo harp-guitar compositions. Produced and presented by British Musician Jason Carter, “Grain of Sand” is Jason’s new documentary about the music and heritage of the pearl divers of the Arabian Gulf. The film raises questions of Cultural Identity and demonstrates the power of music as a platform for Intercultural Dialogue.

    Imago Arts provides support, as an umbrella organization, for projects from various disciplines of the arts. Since its beginning in 1972 Imago has engaged in advocacy for the arts, addressed social issues and promoted science/religion dialogue. The founder, Wilber Sutherland, embodied a vision that called for reflection and action on a wide range of topics relevant to the cultural life of Canada. In the fall of 1997 Imago turned its attention particularly to the arts and today it continues to carry the vision of promoting and advocating for the arts in Canada. Their mandate is to affirm the artistic gift and to encourage and facilitate creative initiatives in the arts that will make a positive contribution to the Canadian cultural landscape. It is their intent to promote high calibre artistic work across the spectrum of visual, written and performing arts.

  • Sandra Longo — Founder of Navy Street
    On December 8, 1983, Sandra left the hospital after visiting her mother and her newly born baby sister. Only to find out minutes later that an accident occurred during the delivery process. What was supposed to be a joyous occasion for her family turned out to be a time of severe duress. Sandra’s mother sustained a sudden and traumatic spinal cord injury that occurred during delivery. This medical accident left her mother as a paraplegic with permanent nerve damage, loss of movement and feeling of her body from her waist down. She could no longer walk, be independant or care for her young family. She instantaneously had to deal with the fact that she was going to live out the rest of her life as a paraplegic in a wheelchair. “This situation abruptly left her disabled and left me as a very scared 9 year old child. As I watched her go through the trials and tribulations of being a paraplegic and her new life confined to a wheelchair, I realized how challenging her life became, and how I was truly blessed that I was able to walk, run and play. In this new experience, with a new perspective I was utterly astonished at the amount of obstacles that existed in her world as I observed through my own eyes. I quickly realized that life as our family once knew it had changed forever, and that we as a family were all just introduced into a new world, particularly a world that was not well suited for wheelchairs. Our frustrations as a family quickly reached their peak when my mother could not easily access our own home. As a family we encountered daily sets of stairs inside and outside of our home. We no longer could visit the homes of many family members or friends due to the limitations of stairs and slowly we became secluded.” So Sandra decided to change her reality and her mother’s accessibility.

LIVE! on TDMS - Devoted Souly to the Art of Music

  • Andrea Ramolo
    Canadian singer/songwriter Andrea Ramolo is releasing a new album called HOMAGE, dedicated to iconic Canadian songwriter, Mr. Leonard Cohen. It includes her own renditions of 10 Cohen songs, from the classics to more contemporary choices. The record is produced by Michael Timmins of the Cowboy Junkies, who Andrea worked with on her last release, NUDA. “I have been gently colliding with the spirit of Cohen for a while. I fell in love with his prose and poetry during my early years in university. I had never connected with anything so raw and prophetic before and I always loved the way he strung together simple words that would explode into the most lush and rich imagery and profound meaning when placed alongside one another. Years later, I was given the opportunity to join Leonard’s son Adam Cohen onstage with my partner in Scarlett Jane to sing backup vocals for his show at Place des Arts in Montreal along with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. We moved into Leonard’s Montreal home for the week to rehearse the show and my intrigue and passion for his work and life continued to grow. A few weeks after he sadly passed away, I was playing a show in Montreal at the Corona Theatre to celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Last Waltz, and myself and Gavin Gardner from the Wooden Sky whipped together a duet version of ‘Hey That’s No Way To Say Goodbye’ to end the night. From that moment forward, I took that beautiful song with me wherever I went, and having recently suffered my own hard goodbye, the song means more to me now than ever. The hardest goodbyes are often saved for those who have had a profound effect on us. This album is a love project to honour Leonard, his poetry and song, and the ways his music has weaved through and impacted my own life, my own stories, and my own goodbyes.” To order HOMAGE or find out more about Andrea Ramolo’s upcoming Canadian tour,
    visit www.andrearamolo.com

    CHECK THIS VIDEO OUT: 'Homage' Pre-Order Via Pledge Music

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