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Last Fridays

Last Fridays (later named the Jam) was an evening of food, story telling, poetry and live music performance that was held on the last Friday of each month, from 2008 to 2013. The event was created by the FOCUS Media Art Centre to make up for the lack of venues and cultural spaces for families and community members to come together to celebrate and enjoy a night of live entertainment. The venue of the event was moved around the community and involved the participation of different artists and community members who wanted to showcase their talents, including the Youngsta's, the FOCUS Media Arts Centre's house band.

February 29, 2008

Our first Last Friday event was in February and we celebrated Black History Month with spoken word, skits and singing by Be Current and Ania Soul. The turn out was great and the audience enjoyed all of the performances.

Ania Soul People Host Long Shot

March 27, 2008

In March, Last Friday featured African story-teller, Clem Marshal, and East meets West musical fusion by poet and song writer Cyrus Sundar Singh. The Last Friday in April was host to Regent Park’s own The Voyce, an up-and-coming hip-hop artist, and the legendary pianist John T Davis, who performed with the likes of James Brown and Bruce Cockburn. Roy Morency, a drumming instructor at FOCUS Media Arts Centre, had the honour of performing alongside Davis for the closing song.

Story Telling Cyrus Mario John T Davis

May 30, 2008

On Friday May 30th in celebration of Asian Heritage Month Last Friday featured a variety of culturally diverse arti sts from the Asian community. The event was staged outside in the North Regent Park field and featured: Inner Truth - Taiko Drummers Dojo Drummer, Northern Legs - Southern Fist Lion Dance, Impact - Indian Dancers, Masia One - a Toronto Hip-Hop artist,Sun Sun - a Toronto Hip-Hop artist, Daiki Soul - a jazz fusion band. There were over 200 people at the ending the event

Hip Hop Spoken Word Japanese Band The Chinese Lion Dance

June 27, 2008

In celebration of Canada Day, FOCUS Media Arts Centre organized a “Last Friday’s” music performance event on June 27th. The event was held outdoors in the baseball field of North Regent Park. The event featured music performances from Start Select and Muhtadi and the World Drummers. Start Select is a fusion rock band in the area. Muhtadi is mostly non-professional musicians who come together to perform and learn drumming under the mentorship of a master drummer, named Muhtadi. Approximately 300 people attended the music performances and film screening.

Band Drummers Band North Regent

December 19, 2008

On December 19th, the FOCUS Media Arts Centre house band Da Youngstas made their debut at Last Friday held at the Magic Oven restaurant (Queen & Parliament Street). Despite a fierce winter storm, the Youngstas performed in front of a packed (standing room only) audience and they rocked the house! The evening was followed by a performance from singer songwriter Marni Levitt and everyone had a great time.

Magic Oven Marini Levitt Singing Young Drummer

January 30, 2009

Last Fridays continues to be a popular event in the community. On Friday January 30th, 2009 sixty people braved the cold and came out to FOCUS Media Arts Centre to enjoy the rhythms and stories of First Nation singer/song writer Marc Nadijan. Later in the evening the audience was entertained by The Youngstas, comprised of lead singer Tajah, Trevonne on the keyboards, Anderson and Oshane on drums, Iain on lead guitar and August on bass guitar.

Jan Jan Jan Jan

February 27, 2009

On Friday February 27th, FOCUS Media Arts Centre dedicated the Last Fridays event to Black History Month. The event, held at the Daniel’s Presentation Centre, featured African drumming by Kwanza, an African Fashion Show, the soulful singing of Ania Soul, legendary blues singer John T Davis, poetry from Stolen from Africa, and of course, The Youngstas. 80 people were in attendance.

Da Youngstas Food Logic African Fashion Show

March 27, 2009

On March 27, 2009 Last Friday featured a Poetry Slam featuring nine aspiring artists from Rosedale Heights. The poetry tackled a variety of social justice themes including prostitution, violence against woman. The evening also featured the guitar melodies of Singer Songwriter Monique Barry and the R & B cover hits from the Focus house band da Youngstas.

April 25, 2009

On April 25, 2009 Last Friday featured the Caribbean rhythms from singer songwriter Hippy Mama and her son. We were also entertained by jazz flutist Wes Sharp and Blues singer John T Davis. Of course ending the night of performances was our very own Youngstas. The event was held at the Daniels Presentation Centre 60 people attended the event.

Singing Singing J T Davis Poems

May 29, 2009

On May 29, 2009, FOCUS Media Arts Centre joined the Regent Park Diversity and Settlement Committee in co-presenting Last Fridays’ Asian Heritage Month. The event was held just outside FOCUS Media Arts Centre in the North Regent Park Field and featured a variety of artists including an Asian Drumming Band based in Guelph, R & B artist Kaysun, a Chinese lyrist, Mr Mohammed - a resident South Asian singer and the FOCUS Media Arts Centre House Band. Over 100 people attended the event.

November 27, 2009

November’s Last Friday s’ event was held at the Daniel’s Presentation Centre on November 27th. Backed up by the FOCUS Media Arts Centre House Band, the event began with the lyrical rhymes of Toronto Hip Hop artist Mind Bender. Afterwards, the Youngstas performed a set of their own. Following the Youngstas, singer songwriter? performed. She delighted the children in the audience with a number of songs that the audience were encouraged to sing along to. The featured artist of the night was singer songwriter Marnie Levitt. Marnie, no stranger to Last Friday, entertained the audience of 30 people with soulful folk music. All in all November’s Last Friday was a great evening.

Singing Singing Singing Singing

December 18, 2009

On Friday December 18, 2009 FOCUS Media Arts Centre celebrated the holiday season by hosting a Last Friday event. Although this was not the last Friday of the month, December 18th was the last friday before the start of the winter holiday season. The evening started off with a sprited drumming performance by the Samba Kidz, a children's drumming program based in the St. Jamestown neighbourhood. As part of the performances children in the audience were invited to participate in a short drumming workshop. Following the drumming the audience was entertained by lead singer August Kiew and the Focus House Band, da Youngstas. Since their last performance in November da Youngstas added several new songs to their growing repertoir No stranger to Last Friday's, singer songwriter Marni Levit was once again able to bless the crowd with a set of original music. As the night drew to a close, Toronto artist David Phinn aka Uncledropsi rapped and sang over music that he had composed on a CD. He was also accompanied by the Youngsta's drummer extraordinary Oshane Duncan. All and all it was a great night of food and music.

Drumming Singing Singing Singing

January 29, 2010

January the 29th Last Fridays' was held on site at FOCUS Media Arts Centre. The evening was filled with great entertainment and excitement. Things started out slow but as the night progressed things started to pick up. The house band (Da Youngsta) opened up the night with the Bangles, Manic Monday. We heard great vocals from Dominique Lorde who bought down the house with a redition of Amazing Grace. Chadene Dyer touched us with her poem on life. During a short food break we heard from NDP candidate Cathy Crowe who was interviewed by Catch da Flava radio member William. Afterwards we give it up to Mark Hanes whose political humorous songs and innovative playing on the synthesizer got the crowd laughing. Steve J’lin blew the crowd away with his great performance singing songs like Blame it on the alcohol. While the crowd was being entertained by these great performers, they were munching down on tasty Jerk chicken, coleslaw, salad, plantain provided by Ritz a Caribbean restaurant. Overall Last Fridays’ event was great. We hope to see you all out for this month’s Black History month, at the presentation centre.

Drumming Singing Steve Singing

February 26, 2010

Like all of our previous Last Fridays' events, Friday February 26th held in honor of Black History Month, was spectacular. The event was held at the Daniel's Presentation Centre. We had some new and some familiar faces in the crowd which made a great audience. This month we filled our tummies with Jerk chicken and rice and more performers than usual. The evening started with the Regent Park House Band da Youngstas. They were followed by Da Newz poetry of Kim Miller and traditional African drumming by three members of Matadi, a Toronto based drumming collective. Toronto artist's Ekko Effect livened up the crowd with some energy filled rapping. He was followed by rap artist Kris P. The first half of the evening was brought to a close by the soulful R&B singing of Toronto artist Steve J'lin.

In the second half of the evening, Raswell and Ekow of the band Subnodes, reignited the crowd with their unique brand of progressive hiphop. The multi-talented duo's performance consisted of rapping, guitar and key board playing. For the final songs they invited members of the Youngstas to come up on stage to jam, and that they did, including Oshane who took up the challenge with a freestyling rap.

The final two artists of the evening was Dennis Passley and no other than the great Glen Ricketts. Glen is a two time Juno Award nominee (the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy Awards) for R&B/Soul Record of the Year (1986 & 1987). Glen entertained us with his stories about hanging out in Regent Park and the music business and sang some of his hit regaae songs. The February Last Friday closed with soulful saxophone playing with Tenor Sax player Dennis Passley. Dennis invited the Regent Park band, Youngstas, to provide back up. All and all the February 26 Last Friday was another great evening of food, poetry and music.


March 26, 2010

FOCUS Media Arts Centre did it again! We held another fabulous show at the Daniels Presentation Centre last Friday March 26. This time the show was dedicated to Latin music. The event got started around 6:30 pm with jerk chicken, chicken wings, fried chicken, and rice both brown and white. In other words the audience was well fed. Thanks to the Corner for catering the event. Following the food the event started off with the FOCUS Media Arts Centre house band, da Youngstas. The audience was then entertained Rino Manfredi who led an interactive workshop on Brazilian drumming. Before we knew it Rino was conducting an orchestra of Brazilian drummers made up of the audience. Let’s just say it was GREAT! Rino was followed by Latin and Flamenco music provided by Alvaro Oyarce. Afterwards we were treated with the hilarious musical stylings of Mark Harris and the house band the Youngstas. The audience was well engaged in the performances and the event ended at 9 pm. Overall Last Friday was fun and interesting like the others. Don’t forget to come to Last Fridays’ on the last Friday of each month.

April 30, 2010

April 30th, 2010 Last Fridays event took place at the Daniels Presentation Centre, which featured muscians and dancers.


October 29, 2010

On October 29th, we held our Last Friday event at 246 Sackville Street, the new seniors and family residential building in partnerships with the Daniels corporation. We had a variety of performances from: Da Youngstas, Ania Soul, Marnie Levitt, COBA, RPSM (Regent Park School of Music). It was a great turn out with some really awesome free spicy food to go along with it. Da Youngstas started and closed the show after weeks of intensive practice. Be sure to check out our website for more information about the location and time for the next Last Fridays event!


April 29, 2011

On the Last Friday of April we had several preformers rock the house of the new seniors building on 246 Sackville Street.


May 27, 2011

On May 27th, the Regent Park community was treated to some awesome music at the Daniels Presentation Centre by various artists.

CoversPlayingDancingFocus House Band

June 24, 2011

On June 24th, we had several preformances outside of the Daniels Presentation Centre. The weather faired well, even with a warning of rain, not a drop fell and the preformances went really well. The turn out was pretty good, nearing the main event everyone got up from their seats and started dancing to the groves of Snooki and his family band.

Focus House Band SingingFamily BandDancing

To View More recent Last Fridays Events, click here.


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