On what would have been the Toronto musician's 47th birthday, the musician/activist's friends and collaborators will play his songs
Toronto musician and affordable housing advocate Justin Haynes died last year. Today (Monday, February 24), on what would have been his 47th birthday, his artistic partner Rebecca Campbell has gathered a group of Haynes’s friends and collaborators to play from the two albums they made together, TUG and the sweetest noise, at Hugh’s Room Live.
The lineup of musicians for The Sweetest Noise: A Birthday Celebration Of Justin Haynes includes Campbell, Lina Allemano (trumpet), Andrew Downing (bass), Nick Fraser (drums), Tania Gill (piano), Craig Harley (keys), Jean Martin (drums), Justin Orok (guitar), David Travers-Smith (trumpet) and Kevin Turcotte (trumpet).
Haynes spoke and wrote openly about his struggles with mental illness and homelessness, including a pair of widely shared first-person essays for NOW in the year leading up to his death, highlighting the urgency of the city’s affordability problem.
“Justin was a brilliant musician, but he was also an activist,” Campbell tells NOW in an email. “His activism blossomed out of the frustration and disbelief he felt as he encountered up close Toronto’s affordable housing and homelessness crisis. His was a stirring and compelling voice, and he really got people talking.”
To honour his efforts, all proceeds from the concert tonight will go to the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust (PNLT), an organization that helps secure affordable housing for people slipping through the cracks.
If you can’t make the show tonight, Campbell suggests making a donation to PNLT in the name of Justin Haynes here (click on the “Apply Your Donation to a Specific Fund” field, where you will find the “Justin Haynes Memorial Fund” option).