McKay Stage/Garden

Bywater Call

McKay Stage/Garden Sunday, August 18, 2019 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm Harnessing the sounds of southern soul, gospel and blues -- highly successful and Toronto-based -- Bywater Call is a 7-piece band featuring raw, powerful lead vocals and soulful slide guitar. In 2018, the band was named Toronto Blues Society Talent Search Winner, and placed runner-up in the Road to Memphis competition to represent Toronto at the International Blues Challenge. Following a busy summer festival season, and the fall ’19 release of their debut album, Bywater Call will be heading out on an early-2020, 2-month European tour.


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.

Hector Quartet

McKay Stage/Garden Sunday, August 18, 2019 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm Hector is the new project by Chris Gale, Toronto-based soxophonist, composer, producer, educator, leader and side-man. His driving style, rich tone and soulful approach have impressed crowds locally and around the world. He’s performed with the likes of Randy Brecker, Jeff Healy, The Arkells, Colin James, Blue Rodeo, The Shuffle Demons, the Powder Blues Band and many more. Long-standing member of The Worst Pop Band Ever, Chris is also co-founder of Hector Quartet – a soulful, energetic collective of Toronto all-star musicians.

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.

The Jerome Tucker Band

McKay Stage/Garden Sunday, August 18, 2019 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm Philadelphia’s Jerome Tucker is a lead vocalist and bassist who joined the US Navy, ending-up in the Gulf Coast and moonlighting for various Blues and Cajun artists. Following the Navy, he co-wrote songs with Ivan Neville, moved to Chicago and performed with the city’s greats. Today, Toronto is home, featuring his own band: Carl Harvey (guitar), Unionville’s Rob Christian (sax, flute & keys), Kingsley Etienne (B3), Neil Brathwaite (sax) and Rich Greenspoon (drums) - resulting in a polished explosion of funky soulful blues.

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.