Violin virtuoso gets set to descend upon the Alpha Art Gallery
Drenched in sweat, the crowd noise still ringing in his ear from where he’s just left them dazzled and riotous, the man they call Dr. Draw finally takes a breath and lowers his instrument.
He has a moment to remember the words Bon Jovi rocker Richie Sambora once told him. They mix in with the audience screaming for an encore. “You play like Jimi Hendrix,” he was told. Once again he raises not a guitar set to unleash a “Purple Haze”, but a violin. He turns back towards his fans, bow at the ready and, like the legendary guitarist, prepares to set his instrument ablaze.
“Crowd control isn’t typically a concern at violin recitals, but then Eugene Draw isn’t your typical violinist,” Toronto Life's James Calvert once wrote of a man who defies any musical equation.
He's right. This music is like the equation sitting on the MIT blackboard that will never be cracked. It’s like somebody placed a prized album collection into a blender and hit mix as any given performance can find Draw moving between Bowie and Beethoven, disco and classical, while he thrashes about the stage. He radiates so much energy that you wonder, after his show, how the lights are still on in a three block radius from the venue. Surely he must have sapped some of that juice to become the lightning bolt you’ve just witnessed.
Best reinforce the foundations over in the ByWard Market as the Dr. Draw storm descends upon Alpha Art Gallery Saturday night.
Draw's dedication to his instrument goes back to his childhood in Moscow. As a boy, you’d have been hard pressed to remove his pit bull like grip on the violin. He’d sometimes practice up to six hours a day. After his parents moved the family to Canada when he was nine, he would eventually enroll in the prestigious Royal Conservatory of Music. Perhaps not wanting to confirm to the strict regimen of the school, he decided his education was better found on the streets. There, it wasn’t long before the violinist earned a different kind of doctorate.
Draw started turning heads in the streets of Toronto when he began busking as a teenager. It was here where he was given the nickname “doctor” by those who’d come down from the nearing office towers to hear him play. He’d soon move off the sidewalks and into city clubs where word of mouth started to spread about his genre-clashing stage shows. He’d make indie music history here in 2007 as all three of his albums charted on the official Top 30 Nielsen Soundscan sales chart on August 9, 2007 for the second time that summer including the #3 position on Aug. 9 for his latest CD Adagio, which ranked #70 nationally. He’s also charted at #25 in Toronto for his 2005 CD Train 64 and at #26 for his four-year-old debut The City.
World performances have included shows for the Prime Minister of Singapore as well as various Louis Vuitton events in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and South Korea. Draw also represented Canada at the World Exop in Shanghair, China in 2010.
Draw’s sure to be enchanting performance at Alpha Art Gallery will also include live painting by artist Patrick Nunziata and TopShelf will have an open bar where they’ll pour the signature drink of the night “Blood Mood”. Ambient illumination by cameral lights and candles will set the mood nicely but don't be surprised if Draw's playing speed promptly whooshes out the flames.
Tickets are available now at Eventbrite but best snag them quick because this one of a kind show is sure to be a sell out.