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Promoter’s jazz fest plans for local artists

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Racking up gigs for local artists at Canadian venues is firmly in the sights of local promoter Cleveland “Outta Sight” Simmons.

In Toronto for a much-needed medical assessment, Mr Simmons checked out the scene and met artists at the city's renowned Beaches International jazz fest. Among them was Toronto promoter Lynne Cavanaugh, who surveyed Bermuda's best at the talent showcase held in May at the Fairmont Southampton Hotel — and wants to help them pick up shows back in her home town.

“It's happening,” Mr Simmons said. “We're developing good relationships with these people. What we want is a community exchange programme. I've talked to the players and they're ready for it.

“There's still fine-tuning to be done with the Department of Immigration.

“Once we get an agreement settled, it will be on.”

The idea of a Canada exchange took flight last year after a chance meeting between Mr Simmons and visitor Ric Levenston, who joined local street artists in St George.

A veteran artist, Mr Simmons and friends have pulled together the Bermuda Island Agency in a bid to secure bookings for local performers.

“The opportunity for our people to play in Canada is a big chance for them to grow,” he said.

Blues artist Brian Blain and promotor Lynne Cavanagh join local promotor Cleveland Simmons at the Toronto jazz festival (Photograph by Tom Sandler)
Local promotor Cleveland Simmons at the Toronto Jazz Festival (Photograph by Tom Sandler)

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Published August 08, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated August 08, 2016 at 7:49 am)

Promoter’s jazz fest plans for local artists

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