JUNO Winner Steve Strongman is making waves internationally and at home in Canada. His breakthrough 2012 release A Natural Fact is being recognized as a standout blues and roots record with a whopping three 2012 Maple Blues Awards (Recording, Songwriter & Guitarist of the Year) of the six for which it was nominated. The record was also recognized with the aforementioned JUNO Award for Blues Recording of the Year and also took home the Canadian Folk Music Producer of the Year award.
For more information visit www.stevestrongman.com
A member of Bruce Cockburn’s touring trio, Jenny Scheinman is a singer, violin player, composer and arranger. Jenny has taken the #1 Rising Star Violinist title in the Downbeat Magazine Critics poll and has been listed as one of their top ten overall violinists for a decade. She has toured and recorded with Bruce Cockburn, Norah Jones, Madeleine Peyroux and others. Jenny has just released the album, The Littlest Prisoner.
For more information visit www.jennyscheinman.com
One of Canada's finest artists, Bruce Cockburn has enjoyed an illustrious career shaped by politics, spirituality, and musical diversity. His remarkable journey has seen him embrace folk, jazz, rock, and worldbeat styles while traveling to such far-flung places as Guatemala, Mali, Mozambique, and Nepal, and writing memorable songs about his ever-expanding world of wonders. 'My job,' he explains, 'is to try and trap the spirit of things in the scratches of pen on paper and the pulling of notes out of metal.'
For more information visit www.brucecockburn.com
The JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band is for middle and secondary school students, providing an opportunity for young, talented musicians to participate in a formal audition process, and to potentially join a city-wide band. The programme helps exceptional student musicians to hone their skills while interacting with a new and diverse group in a professional setting. Led by Musical Director Jules Estrin, an educator and professional musician, they perform several times throughout the year
Organic’s signature brand of B3 jazz blends hard bop and blues sensibilities with original compositions and blistering improvisation. The band features Juno-nominated and Juno-award winning musicians Nathan Hiltz (guitar), Ryan Oliver (tenor sax), Bernie Senensky (organ) and Morgan Childs (drums).
For more information visit www.organic-jazz.com
Mark McLean is a Canadian drummer, songwriter and pianist. He is one of the most dynamic and versatile studio and touring drummers in the jazz, R&B and pop realms. Mark had a single criterion when it came time to expand his horizons beyond the groove and record his long awaited breakout as a powerhouse composer and lyricist: it had to Feel Alright. Mark’s credo is, 'I want to be known as a musician whose instrument just happens to be drums'.
For more information visit www.markmclean.com
In our world of 'flash-in-the-pan' singers and ‘here today, gone tomorrow' pop stars, it is a treat to hear a beautiful tune rendered soulfully and with an authentic depth of emotion that only a seasoned artist like Michael Dunston can bring. 'Dunston's admiration for Donny Hathaway is immeasurable and his affinity for the material is obvious. Michael has a smooth unfaltering voice very much like Hathaway's. Michael performs with a sextet under the direction of Music Director and bassist Dave Young.
For more information visit www.michaeldunston.com
Miss the rollicking musical gumbo of HBO's Treme? With Craig Handy & 2nd Line Smith, the tenor saxophonist ingeniously combines the sousaphone patterns and second-line drum rhythms of Crescent City parade bands with the organ-tenor-guitar instrumentation of small groups that were once staples of the jazz chitlin circuit. He then takes this funky two-way-pocky-way fusion a step further by applying it to tunes associated with the late organ master Jimmy Smith. Recorded for Okeh (Sony Masterworks) 2014.
For more information visit www.craighandy.com
Avataar marries Hindustani raag and taal, hardbop jazz, Brazilian lyricism, electronica, atmospheric textures and ambiance, Javanese gamelan, and contemporary improvisation. The resulting convergence is a mesmerizing blend of rhythmic hypnotism, sonic landscapes, and soaring melody that marries old and new musical sounds. Joining Sundar Viswanathan (saxes/flutes) on stage are: Giampaolo Scatozza (drums), Felicity Williams (vocals), Justin Gray (bass), Michael Occhipinti (guitar) and Ravi Naimpally (tabla).
For more information visit www.sundarmusic.com
Wordless stories of the deep south, gut wrenching cry of the old times, Petr Cancura's JUNO Nominated, Independent Music Award winning Down Home features a down to earth, fresh sound as he collaborates with some of the best musicians on the scene. Petr (saxophones, banjo) is joined by Kevin Turcotte (trumpet), William Carn (trombone), Michael Herring (bass) and Nick Fraser (drums). This quintet will take you on a journey you don’t want to miss!
For more information visit www.petrcancura.com
Bruce is one of the world's foremost performers on the EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument), a wind synthesizer. In his early career, Bruce performed at Toronto's main jazz venues and in studios. He has appeared in concert with Duke Ellington, Quincy Jones, Dionne Warwick, Anne Murray, Marvin Gaye, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and many others. After a world tour in 1980, Bruce lived in South Africa for a period of time and immersed himself in the African music scene. His quartet Mbaqanga, plays South African Township style music.
For more information visit www.brucecassidymusic.com
Myriad 3 was an accident. Chris Donnelly, Dan Fortin and Ernesto Cervini had never played together until a few substitutions and a twist of fate put them on stage together for the first time in late 2010. Since then, the trio has completed multiple tours of Canada, the US and Europe, including opening for Earth, Wind & Fire at the Ottawa Jazz Festival in 2014!
For more information visit www.myriad3.com
Don Francks has recorded several albums including, Jackie Gleason Says: No One In This World Is Like Don Francks (with guitar Legend Lenny Breau) and Lost and Alone (featuring orchestral arrangements by conductor Patrick Williams). His latest CD, 21st Century Francks is currently available at his shows. Tony Quarrington is a Juno Award winning producer, arranger, guitarist and singer-songwriter who joins Don onstage for a fantastic performance. Tony is also a prolific composer and has a large number of releases under his own name.
Melissa Lauren is an accomplished singer and songwriter who is making her mark on the Canadian music scene. With a strong influence in jazz and blues, Melissa has developed an original style of her own; melting together old school sounds with modern flare. Melissa’s latest album, The Other Side, was released in March 2012 to great review and is a collection of original compositions and jazz standards. Her album pays tribute to the jazz and swing sounds that shaped her musical style.
For more information visit www.melissalaurenmusic.ca
In the search for a creative and personal style, Cuban born Toronto-based Alexander Brown has reconciled Cuban and African musical expressions with a fresh and contemporary style of jazz. He has performed with Jane Bunnett, Hilario Duran, Archie Alleyne, Don Thompson, Amanda Martinez, Luis Mario Ochoa and many others. Alexander is one of the most vital Latin trumpet players on the Toronto jazz scene.
For more information visit www.alexbrowntrumpet.com
Jim Hall (1930 – 2013) is one of the most influential guitarists of all time, and performed with such luminaries as Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans, and guitarists he influenced including Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell. This tribute concert brings together Terry Clarke (drums) and Don Thompson (vibes) who were both members of Jim Hall's trio, Neil Swainson (bass), who performed with Jim while with George Shearing, and guitarist David Occhipinti who studied with Jim Hall and was featured at his memorial at New York's Blue Note.
For more information visit www.terryclarke.bluemusicgroup.com
The Mike Downes Parallel Streams Ensemble is an 11-piece jazz group featuring some of the top musicians in Canada. Led by Juno winner Mike Downes, the group showcases his melodic compositional approach that takes full advantage of the textural possibilities of the ensemble while drawing inspiration from the collaborations of Gil Evans and Miles Davis. The group will perform music from their 2014 Addo Records release entitled, In the Current.
For more information visit www.mikedownes.com
Whether you've heard guitarist Dave Stryker fronting his own group (with 23 CD's as a leader to date), or as a featured sideman with Stanley Turrentine, Jack McDuff, and many others, you know why Gary Giddins in the Village Voice calls him, ‘one of the most distinctive guitarists to come along in recent years.’ He was voted one of the top ten guitarists in the 2001 Downbeat Readers poll. He is joined on stage by Jared Gold (organ) and McClenty Hunter (drums).
For more information visit www.davestryker.com
Four-time JUNO Award winner, two-time Grammy nominee, and Officer of the Order of Canada, soprano saxophonist/flautist Jane Bunnett once again brings the soul of Cuba to the hearts of Canadian music-lovers. Along with her new and exquisite all-female sextet, Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, she will reveal the band’s fresh sound and unveil the new self-titled CD with summer festival stops across North America.
For more information visit www.janebunnett.com
A Fantastica Bateria is a global ensemble of percussionists and other musicians formed as a result of Chocolatte and Alan Hetherington's interest in percussion music and samba. They began working together in Brazil and decided to tour in 2011 with a group of international percussionists. The tour was successful and they recorded the musical ideas of Alan and Chocolatte. The result was a musical collective of two distinctive backgrounds, reflecting the growing samba movement, its development within its place of origin and throughout the world
For more information visit www.afantasticabateria.com
Green Sky Project brings together folk, classical and jazz traditions. They look to Balkan, Iranian and Indian traditional music as sources of inspiration. Drawing on the rhythms, melodic modes and inflections commonly found in Bulgarian music, Green Sky Project presents them in a contemporary context. This group consists of Anton Apostolov (guitar and vocals), Naghmeh Farahmand (percussion and vocals), Jacek Karlowski (tamboura), Hasheel Lodhia (bansuri ) and Sun Jung Park (piano). In 2013, Green Sky Project released their newest album, Star in a Jar.
For more information visit www.greenskyproject.com
Donné Roberts is a passionate guitarist, singer and songwriter from Madagascar. He performs mainly in Malagasy, his mother tongue yet this never proves to be a barrier because music truly transcends language. Donné came to wider recognition after he released his albums, Rhythm Was Born and Internation and for his contribution as one of the members of the African Guitar Summit project, which won a JUNO award in 2005. Donné was also the first black VJ on MTV Russia!
For more information visit www.donneroberts.com
Notes on Montreal, was awarded the 2014 JUNO for best Vocal Jazz Album! It is a cycle of beautiful music and lyrics, inspired by the arresting literature set in that wonderful city. It features the extraordinary Sienna Dahlen, one of Canada's most versatile and original vocalists. She is currently based in Toronto and works as a freelance musician and educator. The project was written and arranged by Montreal's Mike Rud, a long-time player on the Canadian jazz music scene. www.mikerud.com and www.siennadahlen.com
For more information visit www.mikerud.com
Barbra Lica has amassed an impressive list of performing credits including collaborations with Peter Appleyard, Joe Sealy and The Brian Barlow Big Band. She was recently named one of Canada's top five female jazz singers by Tonic host Tim Tamashiro on CBC - Radio 2 and was awarded first runner-up at the 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Competition in the United States. Barbra's debut album, That's What I Do, was released with a live-to-air concert celebration on Jazz.FM91.
For more information visit www.barbralica.com
The Carn Davidson 9 was formed at the beginning of 2011 as a collaborative project between JUNO Award nominated artists, trombonist William Carn and saxophonist Tara Davidson. This collaborative project is an opportunity for both artists to 're-imagine' their compositions for this chamber jazz instrumentation, shining new perspective on their existing repertoire. The Carn Davidson 9's debut recording, Nine, (Addo Records) received 3.5 stars from Downbeat magazine and was nominated Traditional Jazz Album of the Year at the 2014 JUNO Awards.
For more information visit www.taradavidson.ca