Saturday, August 17, 2019

Allison Au

Millennium Bandstand Saturday, August 17, 2019 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm Award-winning saxophonist, composer and arranger, Allison Au (pronounced “ow”) weaves a mosaic of influences into her seamless and soulful sound - steeped in jazz, yet skillfully laced with elements of classical, pop, R&B/hip hop, Latin, and world music. A 2016 Juno winner, Allison garnered her 3rd Juno nomination earlier this year as "Best Jazz Album of the Year: Group" for her latest release "Wander Wonder." Formed in 2009, The Allison Au Quartet has won the 2017 Montreal Jazz Festival TD Grand Prix de Jazz, the 2017 Halifax Jazz Festival Sting Ray Rising Star Award, and was named a 2017 Finalist for the Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Jazz Artist Award.

Anwar Khurshid Trio

Varley Gallery Patio Saturday, August 17, 2019 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm Anwar is credited for sitar playing in the Oscar-winning score of the recent film, Life of Pi. Songs from his album with blues musician Paul Deslauriers are regularly featured on BluesFM, JazzFM, and the CBC. A classically trained musician from Pakistan, Anwar made Canada his home 20 years ago. Because of Anwar's attention to the nuances of vocal music and his high technical ability, his instrument becomes much like a voice. His sound influences range from Indian classical, to blues, Chinese and Arabic music.

BMC Organ Trio

Millennium Bandstand Saturday, August 17, 2019 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm The BMC Organ Trio is a soul-jazz trio from Toronto focused on original interpretations of 1960s Hammond organ “Chitlin Circuit” soul jazz. Inspired by organist Jimmy Smith and guitarist Grant Green, the trio is co-led by three of Canada’s leading instrumentalists and like-minded tone junkies in search of the perfect blend of the classic and contemporary. BMC Organ Trio is Ben Bishop (guitar), Morgan Childs (drums), and Jeff McLeod (organ)!

Elena Kapeleris

Varley Gallery Patio Saturday, August 17, 2019 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm Elena Kapeleris is a Toronto-based saxophonist, vocalist, composer, bandleader, and educator - whose love of music has lead her from Jazz to R&B, Blues, World Music and more. As a graduate of Humber College (Jazz Performance), she has studied saxophone with world renowned Pat LaBarbera, composition with Don Thompson, and voice with Shannon Gunn. Elena is a highly sought-after member of diverse local jazz and blues ensembles, including the Jay Danley Ethiopian-jazz Project.

George Koller and Secret Space Program

Millennium Bandstand Saturday, August 17, 2019 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm One of Canada’s most prolific and in-demand composers, producers and bassists, Toronto-based George Koller has performed on over 900 albums, and has toured with the likes of Peter Gabriel, David Clayton-Thomas, Chaka Khan and Laila Biali. With his Secret Space Program project, George performs impressionistic jazz, blending trad. jazz with world, free and contemporary styles - while focusing on depth of spirit and spontaneous interplay between musicians and audience.


McKay Stage/Garden Saturday, August 17, 2019 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm GUH is a band that has managed to defy conventions and categories for the length of their 28 year long bizarro career. The Toronto (and now Guelph and Belleville) collective has operated with a dedicated core group of musicians as well as a revolving door membership system since its beginning, acting as a place to roll around for the city’s more experimentally bent players. To narrow it down (ha!), their genre-bending songs have been described as being: jazz, rock, reggae, pop, latin, polka, bop, and “what-the ____ -was-that”? They call it GUH.

John Finley

McKay Stage Saturday, August 17, 2019 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm From opening for The Rolling Stones at Maple Leaf Gardens, sharing the bill at Shea Stadium with The Temptations and Junior Walker & the All Stars, and as vocalist for the L.A. supergroup Rhinoceros, John Finley was just getting started as a formidable songwriter. In 1973, Three Dog Night covered his song “Let Me Serenade You”, bringing John’s songwriting to charts worldwide. Throughout the 70’s, artists as diverse as Johnny Nash, Melissa Manchester and Ben Vereen recorded and released John’s songs as well. Now back in Canada he's performing in blues, jazz and R&B settings across the country.

Lauren Falls

Varley Gallery Patio Saturday, August 17, 2019 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm Bassist Lauren Falls has come a long way from her hometown of Port Alberni, BC to earning her Masters Degree at the Manhattan School of Music, while also making an impact on the New York jazz scene. Having completed undergrad jazz studies at Humber College, Lauren has recently returned to Toronto, and the local jazz community is happy that she has. She has shared the stage with the likes of Mike Stern and Seamus Blake, and been mentored by the likes of James Moody, Billy Childs and Geri Allen. Falls is also an accomplished composer, having performed her original music extensively across Canada and the US. with her self-titled group.

Michael Kaeshammer

Millennium Bandstand Saturday, August 17, 2019 9:00 pm - 10:30 pm Internationally acclaimed Michael Kaeshammer has toured the world with his talents as a singer, songwriter, pianist & producer. A spellbinding and JUNO Award winning artist, Kaeshammer’s performances are intimate and inviting affairs. His new album, SOMETHING NEW, is a new musical adventure. It features original songs about love, life, travel and politics. As a trademark, Michael is unafraid of crossing genre boundaries and uses his many influences to take the listener along on a most memorable journey.

The Bright Lunch Trio

Varley Gallery Patio Saturday, August 17, 2019 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm The Bright Lunch Trio is a Toronto-based jazz group made up of a singer from the Prairies (Whitney Ross-Barris), a guitarist from the Maritimes (Nathan Hiltz) and a bassist from the local burbs (JUNO award winning, Ross MacIntyre). Long ago, when singer, Whitney Ross-Barris flat-out lied to guitarist, Nathan Hiltz about being able to write songs, he quickly called her bluff, and six years later (fall ’17) they released their debut, self-titled album The Bright Lunch Trio, a collection of original songs, combining the proud traditions of jazz and the Great American Songbook.

The Worst Pop Band Ever

McKay Stage/Garden Saturday, August 17, 2019 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm @WorstPopBandEver With influences ranging from Wayne Shorter to Levon Helm to J Dilla, The Worst Pop Band Ever is a Toronto-based quintet that combines a love of improvisational jazz and modern popular music. Despite their name, the band features award-winning musicians who have shared stages and/or recorded with such esteemed artists as Ernie Watts, Blue Rodeo, Sultans of Swing, Shuffle Demons, and Laila Biali. Whether it’s blending acoustic bass with turntables, or analog synths with a saxophone, WPBE sets out to twist both originals and covers, straddling genres and butting heads with expectation.

Tia Brazda

Millennium Bandstand Saturday, August 17, 2019 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm Tia Brazda’s jazz-pop gems have pay homage to the golden era, while remaining daringly modern. Her retro style and distinctive voice have garnered comparisons to Billy Holliday and Amy Winehouse, while her mix of jazz and pop, she quotes is, “sort of Ella Fitzgerald meets The Everly Brothers”. Tia honed her unique sound in the jazz rooms of Toronto. Her 2012 debut EP Cabin Fever, and 2015 album Bandshell, both met with resounding #1 iTunes Jazz Chart success. Her latest album Daydream (2018), sees her versatility reach bold new directions, where bossa nova, soul, pop, jazz and the tango-infused French chanson “Un amour bohème”, are all superbly interpreted.