Experimentation.     Collaboration.    Study.

Experimentation.     Collaboration.    Study.


talks, performances, readings, listening sessions


     ///come thru come thru

Luv, Not Likes 2

Presented by the Afrosonic Innovation Lab

LUV, NOT LIKES celebrates the foundations of sound system cultures in Toronto. We honour the unsung heroes of Toronto’s Black music scene. We sit down with the owner of Henry's Records and Jay Douglas.

Henry & Jay interviewed by MUSCLE & Sound by Errol Lewis & Pat KoolMan

From his early teens spent living in downtown Montego Bay and with pocket money sent from overseas Henry started his musical collection, his first 45 was Rosanna by Jackie Opel (from Barbados but recording in JA) – on the Beverley Label for around 76 pence, his early indoctrination was moulded by listen to local radio station RJR known as radio fusion.

He later moved to Albion District a suburb about 3 miles from MoBay and started listening to WLAC Radio in Nashville, Tennessee via short wave radio, playing all new soul and R&B records especially enjoying DJ John R.

While still in primary school his neighbour Walter Francis worked at a local record store on Strand Street in MoBay which was owned by the famous Jamaican musical family the Khouri’s, owners of Federal Records. Walter and Henry soon became good friend and Walter allowed him to listen and view the imported record labels and that was where you could find Henry most evenings after school. Little did Henry know that this early interest was to become a passion as he honed his skills in all facets of the recording industry.

Another learning curve was by attending local house parties where Walter was a popular DJ and Henry gladly became his assistant. When Walter wanted to dance Henry stepped behind the turntable to play the pre-selected songs in the order that Walter instructed, it did not take long for Henry to develop his own sense of musical co-ordinating.

While attending high school Henry soon became the school’s DJ playing Walter records,  It didn’t take long for Henry to became very popular not only at school but in and around house parties in MoBay. He also was partnered with Carl Rosegreen (of Soul to Soul fame) in a sound system called Super Tones Disco specializing playing at clubs and parties in the MoBay area.

Henry migrated to Toronto after a brief stay in Freeport, Grand Bahamas in the early seventies and became familiar with all the record stores as he was now earning his own funds to start purchasing his collection. Theo’s Records a black owned store on Bathurst Street along with Kops Records soon became two of his favorite hang-outs especially on new arrival days. One of the first major personal influences in Toronto was someone Henry met at Theo’s Aston Barnes and became a very close friend and music associate. 

Henry ironically landed a part-time job at Kops Records where he was exposed to a wider genre of music styles and record labels and part of his salary was spent purchasing records and growing his personal collection. This opportunity also started him off into the self employment field as he began to buy and sell records to his friends; eventually this led to him sharing a warehouse space with his former boss and mentor Martin Kopels where he operated on Saturdays and Sundays while still maintained his full-time job. Three decades   later Henry Records is still operating in the same complex at 130 Shorting Road in Scarborough.

His buying escapades have taken him to such places as London, Kings Lynn, and Manchester in the U.K. He has also traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean, Canada and the US searching for rare musical gems.

Some of his favourite recording artists are the Blues Busters, Billy Stewart and Baby Washington.

JAY DOUGLAS is a 3 times Juno Awards nominee, a music producer and band leader of the Jay Douglas All-Star Band. He has performed at various festivals worldwide, including the likes of Rastafest Festival in Toronto and the 4 Seasons Reggae Cruise in Atlanta, Georgia.

He has worked with international reggae stars such as Beres Hammond, Freddie McGregor, Marcia Griffiths, Luciano, Ken Boothe, Leroy Sibbles, Fab5 Band, General Tree, Jesse “Dub Matix” King, Ziggy Marley, Lyn Tait and the great Ernest Ranglin. Jay has been involved in a lot of community work including working with Councillor Josh Colle to establish Reggae Lane in Toronto.

His professional career was ignited as the frontman of “The Cougars”, a popular group in the Caribbean nightclub scene in both Toronto and Montreal that performed regularly throughout the 60’s and 70’s playing a mix Ska, Rock Steady, Reggae, Rhythm and Blues, Soul and Funk.

As a solo artist Jay has performed around the world.

MUSCLE is an entrepreneur and a Toronto native. He established 2 Lined Music Hut on April 1st, 1996, in his bedroom as a means of distributing Urban and Caribbean music across the city. In 2000, he inaugurated the first physical location, and by 2002, the second location in Malvern Town Centre was opened.

The Malvern Town Centre phase was pivotal for 2 Lined Music Hut, as it marked a significant expansion of knowledge in the entertainment business, encompassing aspects such as ticket sales, event promotions, and social media marketing. After 15 years at Malvern Town Centre, Sheldon decided it was time to change the business's direction. He departed from the mall and secured an office and studio space.

In January 2018, following the advice of the popular social media entrepreneur Gary Vee, the Entertainment Report Podcast was created. With over 300 episodes and numerous guests later, the Entertainment Report Podcast has become a top 5 podcast in its category worldwide.


Living the B-Side of the Archive

In collaboration with members of the Black History Month Florence Community

June 7th, 7pm, 2024 
The Recovery Plan, Via Santa Reparata 19/r.
Florence, Italy  50100

🎧Living the B-Side of the Archive 
In collaboration with members of the Black History Month Florence community, Living the B-Side explores the immateriality of our memories by drawing from collective embodied histories to build a sonic experience to be performed by the Afrosonic Innovation Lab. 

🎙️The Afrosonic Innovation Lab join the Recovery Plan as artists-in-residence to perform and explore the B-Side of the archive. Moved by a desire to witness and preserve Black Life, the Lab is invested in a sonic methodology of memory work. Their archival practice is focused on excavating and architecting Black joy, while being attuned and sensitive to the contours of pain and trauma we all navigate daily. During their residency at the Recovery Plan, they will explore how to recover memories of our loved ones and ancestors in ways that resonate with our spirit and recuperate immaterial practices of preservation.

🎙️L’Afrosonic Innovation Lab si unisce al Recovery Plan come artisti in residenza per esibirsi ed esplorare il B-Side dell’archivio. Mossi dal desiderio di testimoniare e preservare la Vita Nera, il Laboratorio è impegnato in una metodologia sonora del lavoro della memoria. La loro pratica archivistica si concentra sull’escavazione e la costruzione della gioia nera, mantenendo un’attenzione sensibile alle sfumature di dolore e trauma che tutti affrontiamo quotidianamente. Durante la loro residenza al Recovery Plan, esploreranno come recuperare i ricordi dei nostri cari e antenati in modi che risuonino con il nostro spirito e recuperino pratiche immateriali di preservazione.

_The Afrosonic Innovation Lab is a team of artists, creatives, and scholars actively engaged in the making of music, sound experimentation, and musicological analysis. We actively seek and cultivate projects globally which involve research creation, performance, publication, field research, and curation. While based in Toronto, the Lab works across a number of sites globally.

Zong! 15th Anniversary Edition Book Launch

Presented by the Afrosonic Innovation Lab

An evening with m. nourbeSe philip to celebrate the 15th anniversary edition of Zong!

March 23, 2024
It's Ok* Studios
468 Queen Street West Toronto, ON M5V 2B2

This very special event will take place at It’s Ok* Studios, and will feature a reading by m. nourbeSe with special guests and sounds from the Afrosonic Innovation Lab.
Remarks by Dr. Katherine McKittrick.

Another Story Bookshop will be on hand to sell books.

This is a free Toronto Lit Up event. Thank you to the Toronto Arts Council, Canada Research Chair in Black Studies, The Black Canadian Studies Certificate, and the York University Humanities Department for their support & Invisible Publishing.


Presented by the Afrosonic Innovation Lab

LUV, NOT LIKES celebrates the foundations of sound system cultures in Toronto. We honour the unsung heroes of Toronto’s Black music scene. For the inaugural event in this series, we sat down with the host of the Entertainment Report Podcast, Muscle.

MUSCLE interviewed by Mark V. Campbell &
Sound by GunznRozez Sound System
Feb 3, 2024  @University of Toronto Scarborough

1265 Military Trail , Toronto, ON M1C 1A4

MUSCLE is an entrepreneur and a Toronto native. He established 2 Lined Music Hut on April 1st, 1996, in his bedroom as a means of distributing Urban and Caribbean music across the city. In 2000, he inaugurated the first physical location, and by 2002, the second location in Malvern Town Centre was opened.

TASHA ROZEZ Hailed as the first-ever female sound clash champion, Gunz’N’Rozez has been active for over 20 years thanks to her vied for trove of dubplates from reggae and dancehall artists like TK and Vybz Kartel.

Mark V. Campbell is a DJ, scholar and curator. His research explores the relationships between Afrosonic innovations, hip-hop archives and notions of the human.

November 11th, 2pm, 2023 @ Jackman Hall, AGO

Presented by Hip-Hop Education Center, Northside Hip-Hop Archive, Afrosonic Innovation Lab and the Program for the Arts of the Jackman Humanities Institute.

Fab 5 Freddy Keynote @ AGO

Fred Brathwaite — better known as Fab 5 Freddy — with an introduction by Martha Diaz, discusses how his hip-hop archive was acquired by the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center. The archive spans eras and mediums to include audio, photos, fliers, VHS tapes, vinyl, and defunct merchandise. It, ranges from Yo! MTV Raps tees to rare footage of Basquiat, a New Jack City screenplay draft, and a tape reel recording from the night of Malcolm X’s assassination. 

HIP HOP HERESIES | September 7th, 6pm, 2023

Presented by the Afrosonic Innovation Lab | Hosted at A Different Booklist

Dr. Shanté Paradigm Smalls in conversation with Dr. Mark V. Campbell

Join Dr. Shante Paradigm Smalls as they discuss the launch of their new book Hip Hop Heresies: Queer Aesthetics in New York City. In conversation with Dr. Mark V Campbell, Dr. Smalls will draw on their vast knowledge as a scholar, author and researcher of Black popular culture to explore and invite the audience into the queer aesthetics origins of hip hop in New York City.

Louis Chude-Sokei | December 2, 2022, 4pm

Music & Culture Speaker Series  | ONLINE

Louis Chude-Sokei is a Professor of English and director of the African American and Black Diaspora Studies Program at Boston University. Scholarly work includes the award-winning The Last Darky: Bert Williams, Black on Black Minstrelsy and the African Diaspora (2005), The Sound of Culture: Diaspora and Black Technopoetics (2015) and the acclaimed memoir, Floating in A Most Peculiar Way (2021). He is Editor in Chief of The Black Scholar, one of the oldest and leading journals of Black Studies and founder of the sonic art and archival project, Echolocution. Other projects include collaborations with German electronic musical icons, Mouse on Mars, and legendary choreographer Bill T. Jones. Chude-Sokei was also a curator of Carnegie Hall’s 2022 Festival of Afrofuturism.

Welmo Romero-Joseph | November 23, 2022, 7pm-9pm

Music & Culture Speaker Series

Welmo Romero-Joseph is an Afro-Puerto Rican poet, rap artist, and beat-boxer who uses his compositions for anti-racist purposes in the Caribbean Island. His work also intersects academic and community-based projects related to negritude and racialization in Puerto Rico. Further biographical information can be provided on request. Using an Afro-Boricua perspective Romero-Joseph will discuss the culture that gave rise to rap and reggaeton music in Puerto Rico.

Magdelys Savigne | October 25, 2022, 5pm-7pm

Music & Culture Speaker Series

Hailing from Santiago de Cuba, Savigne graduated with honours in orchestral percussion from Havana’s University of the Arts. She received a Grammy nomination for her contributions to Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, of which she is a former member. As the other half of the Afro-Cuban women duo Okan, Savigne has recently worked with Bomba Estereo, Lido Pimienta and Bianca Gismonti. For Okan’s 2019 debut album Sombras, she received a Juno nomination and an Independent Music Award, along with Elizabeth Rodriguez, Okan’s other half. In 2021, Okan’s sophomore effort Espiral won a JUNO Award for Best World Music Album of the Year.

Yosvany Terry | September 27, 2022, 7pm-9pm 

Music & Culture Speaker Series

Born into a musical family in Camaguey, Cuba. Yosvany went on to classical music training in Havana at the prestigious National School of Arts (ENA) and Amadeo Roldan Conservatory. After graduating, Yosvany worked with major figures in every realm of Cuban music including pianists Chucho Valdes, and Frank Emilio and the celebrated nueva trova singer/guitarist Silvio Rodriguez. From his earliest days in New York, Yosvany has been welcomed by a broad range of artists in the jazz and contemporary music community; playing with, Steve Coleman, Rufus Reid, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Roy Hargrove, Vijay Iyer, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Avishai Cohen, Baptiste Trotignon, Eddie Palmieri, and Gerald Clayton. Yosvany has continued his music education in New York, he studied composition, orchestration and counterpoint with Leo Edward, Rudolph Palmer. Yosvany has received a number of commissions as well as grants to support both his performance and composition work. He is a recipient of the prestigious Doris Duke Artist Award of the class 2015. His ‘New Throned King’ album received a Grammy Award Nomination for “Best Latin Jazz Album”. A key aspect of his work is educating the next generation of musicians both here, and in Cuba. He has taught at prestigious institutions across the United States and Canada. He regularly visits his alma maters in Cuba to give workshops and master classes. In 2015, Yosvany joined the full time faculty at Harvard University as Senior Lecture and Director of Jazz Ensembles in the Department of Music.

The Music & Culture Speaker Series*

The Music & Culture Performance Speaker series at University of Toronto Scarborough showcased the breadth and depth of a variety of professional relationships to music.  Invited speakers were asked to both speak to and perform their relationship to music-making, composition, and/or performance. The Fall 2022 speaker series was curated by Dr. Pablo D. Herrera Veitia, Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Afrosonic Innovation Lab. For this series we focused on Afro-Cuban & Afro-Diasporic rhythms, their social meaning and constructions of identity, nationhood, and futurity.