At 26 years old, Derek Gray has established himself as an emerging drummer and percussionist on the Canadian music scene. While completing a Bachelor of Contemporary Music Degree at Humber College (where he performed with legendary bassist Dave Holland as a member of the Humber Studio Jazz Ensemble) and an MA in Ethnomusicology at York University (culminating-to-date his research in adapting Afro-Cuban Batá to Drumset), Derek has emerged as one of Toronto's finest young musicians. In Toronto, Derek works extensively as a bandleader, composer, and sideman performing regularly with a variety of projects, including Gray Matter (2016 Julian Award runner-up, co-led with brother Justin Gray), Trans-Mediterranean World music group Ventanas (lead by vocalist Tamar Ilana), and the Indo-Jazz ensemble Monsoon (2x Canadian Folk Music Award nominees for 2015 release, Mandala), amongst others.
Derek has travelled the world studying, performing, and teaching – including time spent in Ghana (Ewe traditional drumming) Cuba (Folkloric Batá studies), Spain (Walking the Camino de Santiago), Italy (Atina Jazz Festival 2011), Switzerland (Drumming mentorship with Julio Davalos), Banff (Artist Residency), New York City (Private studies with Roman Diaz), and Washington (Betty Carter Jazz Ahead).
In 2008, Derek founded the Hand Drumming in the Schools program in which he voluntarily travels to schools in the greater Toronto area and facilitates hand-drumming workshops for students of all ages. In the summer of 2009, Derek travelled to Ghana to study traditional West African hand drumming, and over the course of two months, completed an Ethnomusicology course at University of Ghana. He also studied West African percussion with master drummers Kwasi Dunyo and Ledzi Agudzemegah in Dagbamete, a village in the Volta Region.
Over the past few years, Derek has received a number of awards, including Humber College's President's Medal for leadership, the Garfield Weston National Level Scholarship for leadership, the SABIAN Cymbals Award + Scholarship, the George McCrae Award for musical excellence, and the Principal’s Award for Student Leadership. In the spring of 2011, Derek was selected to participate in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead residency in Washington, DC. Working alongside talented young musicians/composers from around the world, this two-week long program culminated in performances on the Millenium Stage at the Kennedy Centre. Derek has studied privately with Mark Kelso, Steve Mancuso, Julio Davalos, Roman Diaz, Doug Sole, Don Vickery, Dan Weiss, Clarence Penn, Nate Smith and Larnell Lewis. He has performed with: Pat LaBarbera, Ingrid Jensen, Dave Holland, Tony Malaby, Vincent Herring, David Buchbinder, Jorge Miguel, Esmeralda Enrique, amongst many others.
Derek would like to thank MOPERC, SABIAN, Yamaha, and Vater for the instruments he plays.
Derek extends his deepest gratitude to the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, and Canada Council for the Arts for their support.
Derek will be performing at our upcoming Cantos Libres, September 30th, 2017 at Casa Maíz. 1280 Finch Avenue West.
Benjamin Barrile is an accomplished flamenco guitarist who also has extensive in jazz, classical and world music. In addition to leading his own group, Benjamin has performed and recorded for many artists including: The Café Olé - a multi-award winning group that incorporates a unique mix of flamenco and jazz. Benjamin is also a resident guitarist at Toronto based Carmen Romero's School of Flamenco Dance Arts and Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company. Benjamin has appeared on numerous television and radio broadcasts including CBC, CityTV, Jazz FM, and Telelatino. In 2000 Benjamin set off to Spain for the first of many times, a country that had long captivated his imagination, in search of flamenco and what would be the most significant journey of his life so far. He traveled to one of the major centres of flamenco in Spain today, Jerez de la Frontera, where he studied under many great maestros including Manuel Lozano "El Carbonero".
Benjamin will be performing during our upcoming Cantos Libres, September 30th, 2017 at Casa Maíz, 1280 Finch Ave. West.
Silvia Temis, currently based in Seville Spain, and based in Edmonton is the leader singer of an Alberta based quarted Notas de 4 and a duet with Flamenco guitar player Benjamin Barrile in Toronto. In both collaborations Silvia fuses Latin jazz, Cuban and Flamenco rhythms.
Born in Mexico, educated in architecture and design, Silvia discovered flamenco designing a flamenco show to then start studying flamenco dancing and then found a fascination for flamenco singing (cante). She further developed her singing with instruction at the renownedInstitution Cristina Heeren Foundation in Seville Triana.
Silvia performed at the Festival Flamenco du Montreal in 2013 and 2014 with Triana Project and Carmen Romero Company. She was also a part of the Toronto International Flamenco Festival in 2013 with the flamenco cuadro Triana Project, of which she is a cofounder. In 2014 Silvia was based in Calgary Alberta, where she is one of the organizer of the Calgary International Flamenco Festival and also taught flamenco dance and singing at Fiona Malena Academy and the Jewish Community Centre of Calgary. While in Calgary she performed with many local and international artists in the city. She was recently part of EXPO Latino Festival 2015 with Fiona Malena Ensemble as well as Salero Calo Flamenco group.
Silvia was a recipient of the Artist Entrepreneur program at Canada’s Music Incubator 2016 at Coalition Music. She continues to work passionately in bringing a genuine and personal approach to her singing. Silvia’s mission is to propel the collaboration between flamenco artists around Canada with musicians from different styles of music.
Silvia will be performing at our next Cantos Libres, September 30th, 2017 at Casa Maíz. 1280 Finch Avenue West.
This year, the Dia de los Muertos Collective is, once again, rolling up their sleeves to make the traditionally rich celebration of the Day of the Dead possible. For the past 8 years, musicians, dancers, sculptors, painters, food artists, artisans and performers of every discipline have filled the halls of the Artscape Wychwood Barns with the unimaginable sounds, colours and tastes that surround this timeless tradition.
At Casa Maíz, we have been honoured to be partners with this Collective for the past 5 years. We added our efforts and dedication to theirs in order to bring an authentic celebration to the community. Because of this, we are inviting everyone to attend the Fundraising Party which will take place on Saturday, September 9th at 7pm at our location (1280 Finch Ave. West). You will not only be contributing to making this year’s celebration possible, but you will be treated to incredible music, great people and amazing food. Donation $5.
Recaudación de fondos Día de los Muertos: Preparando la Celebración de Este Año
Este año, el Colectivo Día de los Muertos se encuentra en preparaciones para la tradicional celebración del Día de los Muertos. Durante los últimos 8 años, músicos, bailarines, escultores, pintores, chefs, artesanos y artistas de todas las disciplinas han llenado los salones del Artscape Wychwood Barns con los sonidos, colores y gustos inimaginables que rodean esta tradición.
En Casa Maíz hemos tenido el honor de trabajar al lado de este Colectivo durante los últimos 5 años. Sumamos nuestros esfuerzos y dedicación a los suyos con el fin de llevar una celebración auténtica a la comunidad. Debido a esto, invitamos a todos a asistir a la fiesta de recaudación de fondos que tendrá lugar el sábado, 9 de septiembre a las 7 pm en nuestro local (1280 Finch Ave. West). No sólo estarás contribuyendo a hacer posible la celebración de este año, sino que también disfrutarás de buena música, gente fantástica y deliciosas comidas. Donación $ 5.
Casa Maíz es un espacio cultural cuya misión es apoyar el desarrollo cultural sostenible y participativo de la comunidad Latinoamericana en Toronto y Canadá. Esta labor se lleva a cabo a través de las artes, la investigación, y la cultura en su amplio concepto y a través de la promoción de la creatividad, el espíritu crítico y la innovación de personas y grupos.