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Tara's Recommendations

This is a list of resources mentioned by Tara Kannangara during her interview with Hillary Chu. The resources are listed alphabetically.

Audra McDonald, "My Man's Gone Now"


Audra McDonald's CD Way Back to Paradise, available through UTL's subscription to Naxos Music Library.

One of two performances identified by Tara as "extraordinary performances by extraordinary women" is Audra McDonald's performance of "My Man's Gone Now" from Porgy and Bess by George Grshwin with lyrics by DuBose Heyward: "I just get…goosebumps every time I watch her perform it. To this day it hasn’t shifted…"

McDonald (b. 1970) won a 2012 Tony Award for her performance in The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess on Broadway (originally at the American Repertory Theatre August-September 2011, then on Broadway from January 12, 2012 to September 23, 2012). A recording of the New Broadway Cast (2012) is available at the Toronto Public Library, or you can listen to McDonald's performance of "My Man's Gone Now" with the Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle at the orchestra's 2002 New Year's Eve Concert via the Library's Medici TV subscription.

For more by Audra McDonald, see Naxos Music Library and various other recordings available at the U of T Music Library and the Toronto Public Library.



Meltdown Upshot, available at the Music Library.

Founded in San Francisco in 1994 as a solo improvisational project by Rob Fisk, Deerhoof has featured various members musicians over the past 27 years: Rob Fisk (guitar, 1994-1999; bass, 1994-1997; harmonica, 1994), Greg Saunier (drums, vocals, 1994-present), Satomi Matsuzaki (bass, 1995-present; guitar, 1995-1997, 2005-2006), Kelly Goode (keyboard, 1997-1999), John Dieterich (guitar, 1999-present), Chris Cohen (guitar, 2002-2006; bass, 2005-2006), and Ed Rodríguez (guitar, 2008-present). 

You can listen to them perform on meltdown Upshot, a joint 2016 album with Ensemble dal Niente, through the Library's Naxos Music Library subscription:

Ensemble Dal Niente and Deerhoof. 2016. meltdown Upshot. New Amsterdam Records. 

Also check out their videos and recordings on Bandcamp, YouTube, SoundCloud, and at the Toronto Public Library.

John Cleese, "Creativity in Management"

In Tara's own words, "...he [Cleese] was talking to a bunch of…corporate fat cats about what creativity means. It’s kind of hilarious, why he’s there. But the things that he said were so important, and he talked about how important it is to play. And when I say play, I mean be playful with creation.” The workshop "Creativity in Managment" was delivered by John Cleese on January 23, 1991 at Grosvenor House Hotel in London, England. He discusses similar topics in his lecture “Creativity, group dynamics, and celebrity," co-written with Elizabeth (Beta) Mannix, and published in Professor at Large: The Cornell Years (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2018). You can read this eBook through the University of Toronto Libraries, or borrow a physical copy from Robarts Library.

Lido Pimienta

Lido Pimienta is a musician of many talents. As described on her website, she is: "Afro/Indigenous/Colombian/Canadian/punk/folklorist/traditionalist/transgressive/diva/angel. There are so many layers to Canadian-Colombian singer Lido Pimienta’s identity that you might get lost in them. But if you did, you’d be missing the point."

Tara often collaborates with Pimienta, including, most recently, the NPR Tiny Desk (Home) Concert by Pimienta with various musicians, including Tara Kannangara on trumpet (October 13, 2020). 

Pimienta won the Polaris Music Prize in 2017 for her album La Papessa, which was "the first 100% independently released, non- English or French album to win the $50,000 prize." She was nominated again in 2020 for her album Miss Colombia. You can borrow both albums from the Toronto Public Library and listen to her perform "Quiero que te vaya bien = I want you to do well" on the following CD at the Music Library:

Verdejo, Adrian, Marcus Takizawa, Lido Pimienta, Kvesche Bijons-Ebacher, Steve Ward, Kris Davis, John Hebert, et al. 2014. Musicworks: #120. Toronto: Musicworks.

Also check out Pimienta's YouTube channel, which includes a documentary on the making of her latest album: "The Road to Miss Colombia."

Nina Simone, "I Wish I Knew (How it Would Feel to be Free)"


Nina Simone, The Colpix Singles, available through UTL's subscription to Naxos Music Library Jazz.

Nina Simone's rendition of "I Wish I Knew (How it Would Feel to be Free)" at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1976, is one of two performances identified by Tara as "extraordinary performances by extraordinary women." Watch her complete performance on the Internet Archive.

For another performance of this song by Nina Simone, see her Live at the Olympia, Paris (1969), using the Music Library's subscription to Qwest TV. Also see various recordings by Simone in the Music Library and Naxos Music Library: Jazz for more.


Pantayo made the Polaris Music Prize shortlist in 2020 for their debut self-titled album.

As Tara describes them, Pantayo is “an all Filipino queer percussion group that has done a lot of work in musicology…they’re making some of the most interesting, unique work that I’ve ever heard. I remember seeing them at first, being like ‘what is this?...wait a minute. This is heavy. This is like really good.’” 

Formed in 2012, their current members are Eirene Cloma, Michelle Cruz, Joanna Delos Reyes, and Kat Estacio. Past members include Christine Balmes, Marianne Rellin. Read more about them on their website.

Pantayo appear on two CDs held at the Music Library:

Pantayo and Yamantaka/Sonic Titan. "Crystal Cavern (battle)". Musicworks: #123. 2015. Toronto: Musicworks.

Pantayo. "Duyug" ; "Bahala Na" ; "Binalig". Musicworks: #128. 2015. Toronto: Musicworks.

You can also read about them in the essay “Sonic collectivities and the musical routes of Pantayo” by Christine Balmes et al., published in Diasporic intimacies: queer Filipinos and Canadian imaginaries (Evanston, ILL: Northwestern University Press, 2018), available as an eBook and from various U of T Libraries.

Venus Fest

As Tara describes in her interview, Venus Fest is "a great organization…that promotes a lot of…non-binary, women, queer artists, and a really great space for new work that kind of comes from everywhere." Founded in 2017, they are a Toronto, not-for-profit music festival and concert series. See their website, YouTube channel, and Lido Pimienta's video "The Future of Music", produced for Venus Fest (October 1, 2020).

Women from Space

Founded by Bea Labikova and Kayla Milmine, Women from Space is an annual music festival based in Toronto that celebrates women during International Women's Day Weekend (this year, March 6-8, 2021). Check out their website for this year's exciting line-up of performers. Read more about last year's event in The Whole Note.

Tara Kannangara
Tara's Recommendations