The Canadian Music Week festival returns to Toronto for its 34th year. From May 2-8, more than 1,000 artists from 40+ countries will perform in 60 venues. Single night event tickets are available as well as wristbands. Participating artists will include both headlining and emerging acts. Many artists will have the chance to network with others and industry professionals to help build their future careers. Not limited to concerts, CMW has seminars, celebrity interviews, and mentoring sessions. There are also music-themed film screenings and comedic performances.
Niagara region band Eli & the Straw Man are bringing their roots-gospel-folk-rock inspired music to Toronto as part of Canadian Music Week. Their May 5 CMW show is at the Dakota Tavern at the corner of Dundas St. and Ossington Ave. Also on the lineup are The Dead Projectionists, Peasant Moon, Sun K, The Middle Coast, and Ryan Carr. Eli & the Straw Man are also currently on tour in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and B.C.. The tour is in partnership with the Huntington Society of Canada.
Tam Maiuri of Eli & the Straw Man scheduled an online interview with byteclay.com ahead of their CMW showcase.
Ryan Ayukawa: You’ll be returning to TO to play CMW. Have you set out any goals for your showcase?
Tam Maiuri: Well we get to play the Dakota again this year, and we got a lot out of last year’s showcase, and ended up with a residency there. So we’re hoping to continue creating a buzz in the Toronto music scene
RA: Will you have time to check out any of the CMW conference events? And any of the other musicians?
TM: Yes we hope to, there’s a lot to see and learn from the festival.
RA: Any Toronto spots you’ll be hanging out in? Or will you not have time?
TM: We’re lucky to be playing at one of our favourite hangouts so we won’t have to wander far.
RA: Your current tour is in support of Huntington’s disease. How did you become involved in supporting awareness of the disease?
TM: Well I’m from an HD family and I work in an HD research lab. So since we’re in the process of recording our first full length album, and we wanted to tour but didn’t have an album to support, we thought it would be nice to have a message of sorts. And so we partnered with the Huntington Society for an awareness campaign.
RA: Has there been a positive response so far to increasing awareness?
TM: For sure. People are really receptive when they find out you’re partnering with a charity. And it’s been a really nice way to connect with people across the country–the Huntington Society has chapters across the country who we were able to connect with.
RA: As this is a first tour and with 6 band members how easy/hard was it to work out schedules that matched for being on the road?
TM: Luckily we all have pretty flexible schedules and our jobs allow to do some work from the road. Most of the band members are full time musicians so they had to clear their local show dates. But this is something we’ve all wanted to do so we make it work.
RA: For anyone who hasn’t heard your music, what would you say is the best/main reason for someone to come out and hear you?
TM: Most people tell us they enjoy seeing a big band with six different personalities, unique instrumentation and lots of vocal harmonies. I guess that’s how we create our own sound.
RA: What’s next after CMW?
TM: We will be finishing up recording our full-length album at Catherine North studios with plans to tour it in the fall. We’ll have summer shows in southern Ontario to announce in the upcoming months.
Eli & the Straw Man website.
Eli & the Straw Man fan page.
Canadian Music Week showcase
Dakota Tavern (249 Ossington Ave)
Eli & the Straw Man
Vocals, Guitar / Eli Maiuri
Guitar / James Gizzie
Bass / Philip Bosley
Guitar, Lap Steel / Nathanial Goold
Trumpet, Percussion/ Tam Maiuri
Drums / TJ Rogers
For Canadian Music Week tickets visit here.
For Canadian Music Week full artist info visit here.
For more Toronto music news visit here.