Nikki Yanofsky performing at TD Toronto Jazz Festival - July 3, 2011. All images by: Norm Johnstone © 2011

This year at the Toronto TD Jazz Festival, the great, Nikki Yanofsky closed the festival on Sunday July 3, 2011 with an all-star band backing her up and also the great, “Robi Botos,” trio as the opening act.

Nikki performed some of the great all-time jazz standards such as: “Sunny Side Of The Street,” “I Got Rhythm,” “Sweet Georgia Brown,” a brand-new chart for her, and her ballad, “I Believe,” that was performed at the summer olympics in Vancouver, 2010.

The rhythm section was her touring rhythm section and was made up of the following personnel. Andy Dacoulis – guitar, Rob Fahie (musical director/bass), Richard Irwin – drums, and John Sadowy – piano, Nikki’s back-up vocalists were: Heidi Jutras, Stacie Tabb, and Nancy Martinez.

The 5-piece horn-section was made up of some of the top Toronto horn players on the scene today. Alex Dean – tenor saxophone, Colleen Allen – alto saxophone, Kevin Turcotte – trumpet, William Carn – trombone, and Dave Neill – baritone saxophone.

The first time I saw Nikki was in Ottawa on Canada Day when she was only thirteen years old….she is now seventeen years old and is such an energetic, passionate, vocalist. If you ever get the chance to see Nikki Yanofsky perform, do it, as I know that you won’t regret it!!–she’s awesome, she’s Nikki!!

For more information on Nikki, visit her website at: http://www.nikkionline.ca/

 

Justene Jaro at Performance World in Toronto, ON on March 12, 2011. All images by: Norm Johnstone © 2011

Hello all. I attended Performance World in Toronto, ON on March 12, 2011 and it was held at the International Centre on Airport Road. There were numerous hot-rod cars, souped-up cars, old cars, high-performance cars, and some wicked paint jobs!!–and then there was Justene Jaro. Justene was born in Tacloban in the Philippines on November 17, 1983.

Justene currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia and is a full-time model.

 

Viva Las Vegas

On February 19, 2011, in Entertainment, Travel, by admin

New York, New York in Las Vegas. All images by: Norm Johnstone © 2011

Hello all once again…I was recently in Las Vegas and enjoyed it just as much as I always do. Las Vegas is a truly amazing place–it has something for everyone and all ages. I did quite a big of photography on this trip and a lot of walking up and down, “the strip.”

On this trip I went and seen the great, “David Copperfield,”–his show is at the MGM Grand and is a remarkable show–I highly recommend checking it out if you ever get the opportunity. Also I went to see “O” by Cirque du Soleil and this was my second time seeing it…totally breathtaking and I would go back to see it again. “O” plays at the, “Bellagio.” Another show I went to see was , “Mystére” (also by Cirque du Soleil)-this show plays at, “Treasure Island,” and once again..a truly amazing show. The last show that I went to see was “Ká” at the MGM Grand (another one by Cirque du Soleil)–the stage alone is very unique as it moves in so many directions and is huge in size. There was a documentary on television the other night and it showed a lot of behind-the-scenes shots for Ká..very interesting especially after seeing the show.

I’m hoping to get back to Vegas again soon–it is definitely one of my favourite places to visit!!

Also, don’t forget to check out “Donny & Marie,” at the, “Flamingo,”–I went and saw them on a previous trip to Vegas…great high-energy, entertaining show!!

Viva Las Vegas!!

 

Amherst Island – Saw-whet Owl

On February 16, 2011, in Nature-Wildlife, by admin

A Saw-whet owl at Amherst Island. All images by: Norm Johnstone © 2011

Hello again…I was up early (before sunrise), and off to Amherst Island with a friend of mine. We took the 7:30 a.m. ferry across to Amherst Island and were walking in Owl Woods just before 8:00 a.m.

We came across a saw-whet owl, and this was my first one that I had ever seen. I had seen a few in magazines and books but never for real–it was a great feeling seeing this small owl and being able to get a few photos of it.

My friend Wes, had never seen one either, so he was quite happy about getting some photos of it as well.

We ended up seeing quite a few Long-Eared owls, however they were extremely difficult to get a clear shot, due to all the tree limbs and branches.

I’m hoping to get back to Amherst Island one of these days, and try and get an image of the Long-Eared owl…that would be great!!

 

Port Hope Jazz Festival 2010

On September 28, 2010, in Entertainment, Jazz, by admin

Amanda Martinez performing at the Port Hope Jazz Festival - Sept. 26, 2010

I had a wonderful weekend at the Port Hope Jazz Festival, in Port Hope, ON. It was held on September 24-26, 2010 and I was there on Saturday and Sunday.

Some of the groups that I heard perform were, “The Shuffle Demons,” “Alex Pangman & Her Alleycats,” “Terry Clarke Trio,”(featuring the great Phil Dwyer on Tenor saxophone), “Ross Wooldridge Tribute to Benny Goodman Sextet,” “TD CanadaTrust Young Jazz Showcase,” and the headliner for Saturday night, “Laila Biali Trio with Guido Basso and Phil Dwyer.”

On Sunday I saw the following groups perform: “Amanda Martinez,” “Marc Atkinson Trio,” “Dave Young Quartet,” and the headliner for Sunday was the “Brian Barlow Big Band with Heather Bambrick.”

For more information on the Port Hope Jazz Festival you can check out: http://www.allcanadianjazz.ca

 

Importfest 2010, Toronto, ON

On September 16, 2010, in Models, by admin

Marina - model at Importfest 2010, Toronto, ON Photo by: Norm Johnstone

I attended Importfest 2010 on September 11, 2010 at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto, ON. There were lots of cars, and lots of models. Here are a few images from the day. Enjoy!!
For more information about Importfest, checkout: http://www.importfest.com/
All images by: Norm Johnstone
© 2010

 

New Orleans – French Quarter Jazz Festival

On April 15, 2010, in Jazz, Travel, by admin

Irvin Mayfield performing at the French Quarter Jazz Festival in New Orleans on April 10, 2010 - Photo by: Norm Johnstone

I had a terrific time in New Orleans this year at the French Quarter Jazz Festival. The festival ran from April 9 – April 11, 2010. Some of the groups and musicians that I saw perform were: Leroy Jones and New Orleans Finest, Irvin Mayfield, Leon Kid Chocolate Brown, Lucien Barbarin, Pete Fountain, Magnolia Brass Band, Liberty Hall Stompers, Storyville Stompers (which included the great trombonist Craig Klein who performs with Harry Connick Jr.), Anais St. John & the Harry Mayronne Trio, Doreen Ketchens, and numerous others.

The French Quarter Jazz Festival is a great festival to check out as there are so many different groups to see and hear, as well as the very scenic Jackson Square, where the big-stage is.

The photo in this post is of the great, “Irvin Mayfield,” who I had the opportunity of meeting at his new club, “Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse,” which is located in the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon Street.  When I spoke to Irving at the club, I told him how much I enjoyed his rendition of one of my favourite ballads, “My One And Only Love,” from the album, “Love Songs, Ballads and Standards,” and he said, “Well you can’t go wrong with Ellis (Marsalis).”

Click on the image of Irvin Mayfield to see the gallery.

 

Busch Gardens

On April 5, 2010, in Entertainment, Travel, by admin

Vocalist performing in the show, "Rock A Doo Wop," at Busch Gardens, Tampa, Florida

While on my trip to Orlando, Florida I went to a few of the different theme parks in and around Orlando. On March 21, 2010, I went to Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida and really enjoyed this theme park. I had never been to Busch Gardens before and highly recommend checking it out. There is a lot to see and do there and there is a train called, Serengeti Express, that travels throughout the park that you can take a ride on and get off at the different stops to venture out and then get back on the train and continue your adventure.

There were a couple of shows that I went to called, “Rock A Doo Wop,” which is held in the Marrakesh Theatre (an outside theatre underneath a huge tent), and “Katonga” – Musical tales from the jungle, which is held in the Moroccan Palace Theatre (great air-conditioning to cool off in).

“Rock A Doo Wop,” features six singers backed up by a four-piece group and features music of the 50s and 60s. This show was very high-energy and totally worth checking out. The photo on this blog-post is of one of the vocalists in “Rock A Doo Wop.”

 

Photoshop World 2010 – Orlando, Florida

On March 31, 2010, in Photoshop, by admin

Image taken at David Ziser's pre-con at Photoshop World in Orlando, Florida

I just got back from yet another great Photoshop World in Orlando, Florida. Photoshop World is a 3-day conference with some of the best educators, photographers, graphic artists, authors, and photoshop experts in the world. These people really know their craft and really enjoy sharing and teaching the techniques required for today’s photographer. Some of the educators that I highly recommend to check out are: Joe McNally, Scott Kelby, Corey Barker, Bert Monroy, R.C. Concepcion, Russell Brown, Dave Cross, Terry White, Eddie Tapp, Matt Kloskowski, Katrin Eismann, Jeff Schewe, and David Ziser.  These people are definitely some of the best in the business when it comes to photography and digital manipulation.

The day before the conference begins, you have the option of attending a “pre-conference” class. This year I chose to attend David Ziser’s “On Location Wedding Photo Shoot.” We had two models for the shoot, a bride and a groom and we did some shooting at the Orange County Convention Center, before we headed off to St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Orlando, Florida for some more instruction, learning and photographing.

Over the last few years I have met many of these educators and have learned so much from each of them, and truly believe that Photoshop World is a very valuable experience.

To find out more about Photoshop World, you can check out the following link: http://www.photoshopworld.com/

Also for some great online training for photography, photoshop, lighting, blogging, web design, check out: http://www.kelbytraining.com/

The next Photoshop World is in Las Vegas and will be held from September 1 – 3, 2010.