Cairo to Toronto
'Cairo to Toronto' has been nominated for a 2009 Juno Award in the World music category. This is Maryem and Ernie Tollar's third CD. It makes a liar out of whoever said 'East is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet'. Here they meet effortlessly in friendship and mutual admiration, engaged in the creation of a wonderful body of work which combines beauty, passion and meaning. That's what makes great art and that is what this is. Drawing on a broad and diverse palette of musical colours, Maryem, Ernie and their friends create an aural map that takes you - the listener - into new sonic territories. The term 'world music' is often overused but here it is an appropriate description of what lies within this CD. All thte participants - hyphenated Canadians of various breeds and musical proclivities and Egyptian guests as well - are fearless. Working in an atmosphere where Jazz, Folk, Arabic and more combine, they have created something that clearly is of this planet but with no fixed domicile. It is universal in it's sound and in the sentiments it expresses. In that sense it is also the definition of Maryem and Ernie Tollar's careers. At home in Classical, Folk, Jazz, Pop and the traditional music of many cultures, Maryem has used her remarkable voice to embrace everything from opera o Prince. She has been hailed by Bollywood and Canada's contemporary classical composers and ensembles; by Nuevo flamenco guitarist Jesse Cook to Toronto's world renowned Tafelmusik. Ernie has performed with an 'A' list of Toronto's jazz and world music ensembles including Trichy Sankaran's Trio and the Neufeld-Occhippinti Jazz Orchestra. He has been featured on more than one hundred recordings and is currently pursuing studies in Indian and Middle Eastern music in India, Egypt and Toronto. That is what they do but this is who they are - composers, performers, songwriters and catalysts for an alchemy that produces musical gold from unlikely sources. This is their third recording and, as it should be, the best one so far. But 'so far' is the operative phrase. Listen to the work on this CD as a report from a journey into new and uncharted territories - an interim report that is both the summation of what has been traveled so far and a hint of what is yet to come.