Bow Wow, August 29
The artist formerly known as Ol' Dirty Bastard once said that Wu-Tang was "for the children," but judging by the insane number of kids at the downtown HMV Superstore Friday afternoon, it seems this statement could more appropriately be applied to the artist formerly known as Lil' Bow Wow . The rapper's in-store signing appearance drew an enormous crowd of hyperventilating girls eager for one of the 250 wristbands that would permit a close encounter with Bow Wow, hiphop's answer to Corey Feldman . The miniature MC was affable and kind to his fans, although some of them weren't wholly impressed. One was overheard telling her friends, "I always thought he was small before - but he is really tiny!" After over an hour of frenetic meeting and greeting - a much more generous session than Foxy Brown 's five-minute breeze-through a few years back - this prince among tweens sped off in an SUV, almost running over a number of the wildly screaming youngsters desperate to photograph his teen idol countenance.
Upcoming, Guelph Jazz Festival
So exactly how did Guelph become home to the most exciting jazz festival in the country after Montreal? Ten years in, the Guelph Jazz Festival (Thursday to Saturday, September 4-7) has firmly established itself as a major player on the jazz scene, relentlessly pushing forward where others are content to rely on the familiar. There are none of the standard faces seen year in and year out at Toronto's Downtown Jazz Festival, and the sense of adventure implicit in Guelph's programming makes Toronto seem provincial by comparison, not the other way around.
The fest's Sounds Provocative tag line sums it up, and this year's festival is no different. Friday, D.D. Jackson premieres his multicultural love story opera Québécité, scored with George Elliott Clarke and featuring performances by jacksoul 's Haydain Neale and Kiran Ahluwalia . Other sets worth driving an hour for include tonight's (Thursday) show by Myra Melford and Saturday's solo set by Steve Lacy , scheduled at the decidedly un-jazz hour of 10:30 am. Full schedules and fest details are online at www.guelphjazzfestival.com.