Jazz musician McConnell dead at 75
TORONTO — Canadian jazz musician Rob McConnell, who led Toronto’s jazz popular Boss Brass orchestra during his lauded career, has died of cancer. He was 75.
The London, Ont., native took up valve trombone in high school and began his career in 1954 in Edmonton, where he played with saxophonist Don Thompson.
He formed the Boss Brass in Toronto in 1968 and guided the group through the tremendous growth that occurred over the following years, including a Juno win in 1978 for their “Big Band Jazz” album.
It was one of five Juno Awards for McConnell.
He also won three Grammy Awards, was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1998, and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in ’97.
Grammy organizers called McConnell “a true renaissance man in the genre of jazz.”
Berry, model split ‘some time ago’
NEW YORK — A representative for Halle Berry says the actress has broken up with Canadian model Gabriel Aubry.
Publicist Meredith O’Sullivan says in an email Monday that Berry and Aubry “split some time ago.”
The statement says the couple remain close friends and are committed to their two-year-old daughter, Nahla.
The 43-year-old Berry won a best actress Oscar for the 2001 film Monster’s Ball. Other screen credits also include Die Another Day and the X-Men films.
TV academy honours CSI, Glee
LOS ANGELES — A CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode about prejudice and an Alzheimer’s documentary with Maria Shriver are among eight programs to be honoured Wednesday for demonstrating the power of TV.
The third annual Television Academy Honors spotlighting shows found to exemplify “television with a conscience” will be hosted by Dana Delany. The announcement was made by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Presenters were scheduled to include former vice-president Al Gore, Joel Grey and Shriver, the first lady of California and a former NBC News correspondent.
“This is about the television community and the people who work in it putting their heart and soul into their work,” said academy chairman and CEO John Shaffner. “None of these stories would be told if someone didn’t say, ’I have to do this.”’
In the vast media sea, he said, the Academy Honors are “here to keep our mind on the main thing: TV can really matter and make a difference,” Shaffner said.
Gotti grandson eyes career boost
NEW YORK — The grandson of mobster “Dapper Don” John Gotti is launching a music career and says his album will include a tribute to the late Gambino crime family head.
Carmine Agnello has dropped his given name and is recording a hip-pop album as Carmine Gotti.
The 24-year-old says he’s no longer the kid seen on the A&E reality show Growing Up Gotti, starring his mom, Victoria Gotti. He calls himself “matured” and “clean-cut.”
He says his memory of his grandfather is of someone who was always there for him and his family.
Carmine Gotti’s debut album arrives this summer.
Stars wrap up work on ‘24’
LOS ANGELES — Eight seasons in, 24 was 86’d. But cast and crew were still counting their blessings at the drama series’ finale party.
All told, through to the last episode on May 24, there will have been nearly 200 hours of 24. To date, there have been 18 Emmy wins.
“I think over the course of the eight years, we’ve had 16 marriages and 30-something children have been born,” said star Kiefer Sutherland, who portrays federal agent Jack Bauer. “We were like a family. So, it’s very hard to say goodbye.”
Dozens of the show’s cast and crew members joined Sutherland to celebrate in Hollywood Friday night. Among them was longtime show regular Mary Lynn Rajskub, (Bauer’s go-to colleague Chloe O’Brian), who recalled her final day on the set.
“When they said, ‘Cut!’, I don’t know what I was thinking,” Rajskub said. “And then they said, ‘This is Mary Lynn’s series wrap.’ And I just looked around. The crew was surrounding me. And I just kind of burst into tears.”