Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Ten music events in Toronto this week: May 23 to May 29

Chilly Gonzales (a.k.a. Jason Beck) at home in Paris.

Alexandre Isard

A weekly feature that highlights the 10 best music happenings in Toronto. Here's what's on this week, May 23 to 29.

Timber Timbre (and Cold Specks) Spooky-music specialists Timber Timbre team up with the harrowing, bluesy indie siren Cold Specks for a very reasonably priced double bill. May 23, 8 p.m. $18.94. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., or 416-872-4255.

Pete Seeger: A Song and a Stone The iconic folk musician is the subject of a 1972 documentary film about his music and his concern for the Hudson River. May 23, 24 and 29. $12. Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, 506 Bloor St. W., or 416-637-3123.

Story continues below advertisement

Jessy Lanza By day she's a mild-mannered Hamilton piano teacher, but by night she's a hip electronic-R&B chanteuse. May 23, 8 p.m. $12.50. The Garrison, 1197 Dundas St. W., or 416-519-9439.

John Otway The charismatic but under-talented English frontman from the 1970s drops in for a screening of a charming documentary (Rock and Roll's Greatest Failure: Otway the Movie, at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, May 25, 6:30 p.m.) and a couple of gigs. May 23, 9 p.m. $22.60. This Ain't Hollywood, Hamilton,; May 24, 8:30 p.m. $20. Rivoli, 334 Queen St. W., 416-596-1908.

21C Music Festival The festival of new music continues, with a master class from Feist collaborator Chilly Gonzalez (May 24, 2 p.m., free) and a 70-minute solo from fellow pianist Marc Andre Hamelin (May 25, 3 p.m., $32). To May 25. Koerner Hall and Mazzoleni Concert Hall, 273 Bloor St. W., 416-408-0208 or

Sun Parlour Players Passionate folk-rocking multi-instrumentalists are a top-notch live act and the duo's songwriting improves with each release. May 24, 9 p.m. $12. Adelaide Hall, 250 Adelaide St. W., or 416-205-1234.

TSO: Beethoven Symphony 6 The Lithuanian-born violinist Julian Rachlin arrives for a program that includes Beethoven's refreshing "pastoral" symphony. May 28 and 29, 8 p.m. $33 to $145. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., or 416-593-4828.

Jack Johnson Surfboard songster warms up the spring outdoor music calendar. May 28, 7:30 p.m. $51.25 to $84.50. Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., 1-855-985-5000 or

Pretzel Logic Steely Dan cover band gets back, Jack, and does it again. May 29, 10 p.m. Orbit Room, 580 College St., 416-535-0613 or

Story continues below advertisement

Bidiniband With his crew, the author and rock progressive Dave Bidini launches the politically conscious new album The Motherland. May 29, 7 to 9 p.m. Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., 416-850-4579.


Canadian Children's Opera Company: East O' the Sun and West O' the Moon May 29 to June 1. Enwave Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W., or 416-973-4000

Skrillex: Mothership Tour May 30 and 31. Echo Beach,

Matthew Barber June 3. Dakota Tavern, 416-850-4579 or

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings June 6. Massey Hall, 416-872-4255 or

Story continues below advertisement

Elvis Costello June 14. Massey Hall, 416-872-4255 or

Brad Paisley and Friends July 2 (rescheduled from May 18). Molson Amphitheatre, 1-855-985-5000 or

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (with Steve Winwood) Aug. 26 (on sale May 31, 10 a.m.). Air Canada Centre, 1-855-985-5000 or

Chris Isaak Aug. 27 (On sale May 23, noon). Massey Hall, 416-872-4255 or

The War on Drugs Sept 15. The Phoenix,

The Black Keys Sept. 16. Air Canada Centre, 1-855-985-5000 or

Boz Scaggs Sept. 27. Massey Hall, 416-872-4255 or

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at