TORONTO, ON (Aug. 22, 2011) â€“ Harbourfront Centreâ€™s SoundClash Music Award presented by NOW Magazine has a winner! With the help of public votes and a panel of judges, Harbourfront Centre and its lead summer partner the Toronto Port Authority are pleased to announce Saidah Baba Talibah as the winner of this summerâ€™s newest music competition!
Talibah is a founding member of the soul/rock group BlaxÃ¤m and was prominently featured on their 1998 EP, â€œKiss My Afro.â€ She is the daughter of the internationally renowned jazz/blues singer and actress Salome Bey, whom she credits greatly for her talent and ambition. Her debut album (S)Cream came out earlier this month on Last Gang Labels/Universal and received venerable response from Giant Step, OkayPlayer, Exclaim!, AOL Spinner and NOW Magazine. NOW Magazine even featured her new album as a â€˜Disc of the Weekâ€™ and gave it a prestigious 4-N rating.
Talibahâ€™s SoundClash Music Award entry was filtered from over 250 entries submitted in April 2011. With only five shortlist spots available in the competition, a group of specially selected music industry experts (jurors) narrowed down the list to Saidah Baba Talibah, Miles Jones, Worst Pop Band Ever, Kids & Explosions, and Young Empires. Each band performed live on the WestJet Stage during the Hot Spot Summer at Harbourfront Centre this past July.
“When the late Miles Davis used to try to describe good jazz music, and he wasn’t sure why it was so good, he would say that it just has â€˜that thingâ€™. The French might call it â€˜je ne sais quoi.â€™ Clearly, in a live performance format, Saidah has this indefinable thing!â€ says Harbourfront Centreâ€™s Lead Artistic Programmer, Dalton Higgins. â€œShe showcased her sassy vocal chops, coupled with great live musicianship, gutsy songwriting and costuming (no, that tradition ain’t fully dead), so she clearly deserved to win.”
As the winner of the competition, Taibah will receive $5,000 plus additional prizes and is set to perform at the upcoming Hot & Spicy Food Festival on Sept. 2 at 8 p.m. on the WestJet Stage. In second place, Kids & Explosions take away $3,000 and the remaining cash prize of $2,000 goes to Young Empires. Honourable mentions to Miles Jones and the Worst Pop Band Ever for making the shortlist and for participating in Harbourfront Centreâ€™s first major music award!