The Porch Jazz Parade offers a fun romp through the streets with pit stops for half-hour concerts along the way. Dance in the streets or bring a portable lawn chair and relax. The Porch Jazz Parade will be led by Spencer Evans’ Goat Steppers Parade Band.
Winnipeg native and Toronto keyboardist Joel Visentin has a passion for the sound of the Hammond B3 organ. Originally a pianist the organ first grabbed him while he was studying music at Humber College. He had the immense fortune to see the great Doug Riley in concert at the Humber auditorium and ever since he has been striving to stand on the shoulders of Doug and other soul/jazz giants like George Benson, Jimmy Smith, Grant Green, and Jack Macduff. In 2015 he joined up with guitarist Adam Beer Colacino and drummer Jeff Halischuk to form his group JV’s Boogaloo Squad. The musical connection was electric and immediately all three recognized that they had stumbled on something greater than the sum of it’s parts. They have since worked their way up the club circuit becoming a regular fixture at Toronto’s jazz and blues ground zero The Rex. This summer they were asked to perform at the Markham Jazz Festival where they had the great fortune of playing before living Jazz Organ Legend Dr. Lonnie Smith. In the short time since their inception they have crafted a soulful sound that is simultaneously lost in the thrill of the moment and evoking a timeless musical nostalgia. With an extensive repertoire of classics from the soul hits of Stax and Motown as well as their own original music no two concerts with JV’s Boogaloo Squad are alike. This blend of the familiar and the unknown, the distant past and the pressing moment keeps music lovers coming back to see them again and again.
Sunday, March 31 2pm Chalmers United Church (212 Barrie St.) $20 (free for students with valid ID)
Juno-award winning Jazz Saxophonist, Composer and Arranger, Allison Au refuses to be defined. Born to a Chinese father and Jewish mother, and raised in the multicultural metropolis of Toronto, Allison found music as a young child. Exposed to a wide array of musical styles, she was captivated by the unhinged freedom of Jazz. Jazz became Allison’s lab for self-expression, exploration, and musical experimentation. Her work weaves a mosaic of influences into a seamless and soulful sound, a concoction steeped in the tradition of Jazz but skillfully laced with elements of Classical, Pop, R&B/hip hop, Latin, and world music.
Au’s music transports you to a place where instrumentals ring bold and emotions run free. Melodies cascade and collide, highlighting Au’s gift for layering voices and rhythms. Her writing showcases the color and character of each instrument, while providing ample room for her band mates to push her compositions to new heights.
Au earned her first Juno nomination for her debut album, “The Sky Was Pale Blue, then Grey” in 2013, and in 2016 seized the Juno for “Best Jazz Album of The Year: Group” for “Forest Grove.”
Formed in 2009, the Allison Au Quartet has toured extensively in Canada and the US. The group was awarded the TD Jazz Fellowship Scholarship (2011), The Alfred and Phyllis Balm Scholarship (2012), and The Margareta and Benno Nigg Scholarship (2013) for three consecutive artist residencies at the Banff Centre.
Most recently the Allison Au Quartet has won the 2017 Montreal Jazz Festival TD Grand Prix de Jazz, received the 2017 Halifax Jazz Festival Sting Ray Rising Star Award, and was named a 2017 Finalist for Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Jazz Artist Award.
Sunday, March 17 – Remi Jean LeBlanc Quartet 2pm Chalmers United Church (212 Barrie St.) $20 (free for students with valid ID)
Rémi-Jean LeBlanc has been based in Montreal since 2002 and for the last 10 years has been in the forefront of the Montreal jazz scene. LeBlanc has played and toured with a variety of fixtures from Quebec, including Steve Amirault, Elizabeth Shepherd, Jean-Pierre Zanella, Yannick Rieu, Jean-Michel Pilc, Marianne Trudel, Rafael Zaldivar, and l’Orchestre national de jazz, to name a few.
Rémi-Jean LeBlanc released an Album in 2018 with Bent River Records titled Déductions which was a project that brought together 4 musicians from completely different backgrounds. With Cuban pianist, Rafael Zaldivar, Montreal Rock drummer, Samuel Joly and New York jazz guitarist, Nir Felder, the album Déductions has a driving fresh rock edge that exhales maturity and sensitivity.
Sunday, February 17 2pm Chalmers United Church (212 Barrie St.) $20 (free for students with valid ID)
Jazz band Misc (formerly known as Trio Jérôme Beaulieu, and named Radio-Canada’s Breakthrough Jazz artist for 2013-2014) released their self-titled album on March 18th, 2016 via Bonsound. The album is available online (Bandcamp, iTunes and all the other digital platforms) and in stores.
The new album is the result of a true collaboration between the three musicians. In a more elaborate way than the two previous albums, they each contributed to the rythmic, melodic and harmonic arrangements to create an unique sound that sets this trio apart from the rest.
All three artists set the foundations of Misc during a residency at the Equivocal Manor in Burgundy (France). Pianist Jérôme Beaulieu, lover of the great outdoors, contributes majestic melodies to the project. Drummer William Côté adds a subtle, spirited rhythm while double bassist Philippe Leduc brings out the playfulness of each track.
Sunday, November 11th
Chalmers United Church (212 Barrie St.)
$20 (free for students with valid ID)
Way North is:
Rebecca Hennessy – trumpet
Petr Cancura – tenor saxophone
Michael Herring – bass
Richie Barshay – drums
That Way North enjoy playing together is obvious, and this feeling is contagious, drawing listeners into their love of roots musics mixed with improvising and jazz. This is a community minded band, and they are looking to uplift people with this music. This is jazz you can dance to!
Wednesday, September 19th
Saint Mark’s Church (263 Victoria Street) 7pm
$15 at the door
Natsuki Tamura – trumpet
Satoko Fujii – piano
Takashi Itani – drums
Unpredictable, wildly creative, and uncompromising… Fujii is an absolutely essential listen for anyone interested in the future of jazz.
― Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz
“One of the most original pianists in free jazz.”
― Steve Greenlee, Boston Globe
“She could be the most important creative musician of our time.”
― Michael Nastos, allmusic
In pianist-composer Satoko Fujii’s native Japan, reaching the age of 60 is traditionally so important that there’s a special word for the milestone―kanreki. It’s a moment to remember life’s accomplishments and to put former troubles behind you. The celebrant enters the next stage of life with the all joy and expectations of a newborn child. To celebrate her own 60th birthday, Fujii, already a prolific bandleader with more than 80 releases to her name, will intensify her recording schedule, releasing one CD a month for all of 2018. Rather than using her kanreki year to look back at a career that has spanned more than 30 years, Fujii will emphasize new works for current projects, debut special projects, and introduce new working bands in an unprecedented 12-month spree of new releases. “I probably should think and notice that I am not young anymore,” she says, “but I just keep doing what I want to do.”