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Volume 18 Issue 9 - June/July/August 2013

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  • Festival
  • August
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Beat by Beat | In the

Beat by Beat | In the ClubsFriday Free-For-Allat JazzFestOri DagaNSummer solstice renamed: the Toronto Jazz Festival is callingFriday June 21 Free-For-All Friday, as participating venues all overthe city will charge no cover. Tough choices that night: DavidBuchbinder’s lush tones at Lula Lounge; the swinging hi-hat of NYCveteran Victor Lewis at The Rex; the sparkling voice of Molly Johnsonenchanting a packed house at the Jazz Bistro ... she will be back thefollowing evening, by the way, with tickets priced at .60.On Free-For-All Friday, trumpet player Brownman will be playingat the Mây Cafe on Dundas West, but if you miss that gig, sweat ye not:he plays a gig every single day of the festival, culminating in a twonightCD release event for his Brownman Electryc Trio CD featuringNYC bassist Damian Erskine.“It’s actually 13 gigs in nine days,” the Trinidad-born, New Yorkschooled,Toronto-based Brownman tells me. “Two private gigs don’tappear on the schedule ... It’s pretty crazy. One’s gotta stay organized.My book literally has an hour by hour breakdown of what I’ll be doingover those nine days. There’s so much going on behind the scenes!Like all the logistics of flying in the mighty Damian Erskine, whoappears on the new Electryc Trio CD and who will be the featuredbassist during the two-night CD release extravaganza on June 28 and29. Dealing with his airport pickups, hotel accommodations, tryingto set up a bass masterclass for him that I’ll host, and a hundred otherdetails means essentially every hour of each day has to be carefullyplanned out. And, of course, the entire week leading up to the fest isstacked with rehearsals. For every one of those gigs, there’s a correspondingrehearsal. The one that makes me the most nervous is the bigFreddie Hubbard Tribute to launch the fest. We’re doing two sets ofFreddie’s material — his acoustic material in the first set, and a set ofhis electric stuff — and only have a single rehearsal to mount all thosetunes. That’ll be a nail-biter for sure. But the cats are some of the bestin the city, so I’m not that worried. I’ll definitely need to be taking myvitamins that week.”A leader of no fewer than seven groups, Brownman dabbles in manyvarieties of jazz, from Latin to electric, and is also actively connected tothe urban music scene.“You’ll notice I’m at Mây for a lot of the Jazz Festival dates. I did a hiphop show there in winter and ended up hanging out with the ownersuntil 4am that night. That led them to ask me if I’d be interested inbooking and curating their whole Jazz Festival program. It’s a greatspace with huge potential for live music and they were happy to giveme artistic licence to book as I pleased, so that led to the exhaustingwork of putting that program together. It’s a strong cross-section ofsome of the city’s finest multi-faceted jazz artists and will hopefullyprovide the city with another venue with strong jazz programmingduring the TD Fest.”Speaking of strong programming, it is tough to choose just onequick pick for every day of the festival, but here goes:!!Thursday June 20, 8pm: country music legend Willie Nelson withan opening set by Canada’s “sweetheart of swing,” Alex Pangman.Massey Hall. .50-5.!!Friday June 21, 7pm and 9:30pm: homegrown talent too rarelyheard: Mary Margaret O’Hara with Yvette Tollar. Musideum. Free-For-All Friday!!!Saturday June 22, 8pm: gospel and soul queen Mavis Staples andthe pride of New Orleans, Dr. John. Nathan Phillips Square. .50!!Sunday June 23, 10pm: blues legend James Cotton at theHorseshoe Tavern. .85.!!Monday June 24, 7pm: solo jazz piano master, Fred Hersch.Enwave Theatre, Harbourfront. .39.!!Tuesday June 25, 7:30pm: 19-year-old sensation Nikki Yanofskyat Koerner Hall. -.50.!!Wednesday June 26, 8:30pm: octogenarian treasure Don Francks& Friends at Dominion on Queen. $TBA.!!Thursday June 27, 7:30pm: Canadian Jazz Quartet: Gary Benson,guitar; Frank Wright, vibes; Duncan Hopkins, bass; Don Vickery,drums; with NYC’s Randy Sandke, trumpet. Home Smith Bar at theOld Mill Inn, .!!Friday June 28, 8pm and 10:30pm: arguably Italy’s greatestjazz export of all time, the exceptionally polished vocalist RobertaGambarini at Jazz Bistro. .10.!!Saturday June 29, 7:30pm: Gord Sheard’s Brazilian Experience:Brian O’Kane, trumpet; Colleen Allen and Andy Ballantyne, reeds;Alastair Kay, trombone; Rick Shadrach Lazar, percussion; AlineMorales, percussion and vocals; Rob Gusevs, keyboards; Collin Barrett,bass; Max Senitt, drums; Gord Sheard, piano and accordion. .45.INDEX OF advertisersAldeburgh Connection 94Alto Vocal Arts Academy 54Amadeus Choir 25Artists’ Garden Cooperative/Plein Air 17ATMA 5Bach Children’s Chorus 57Brookside Music Association 68Brott Music Festival 69Canadian Children’s Opera Company 54Canadian Flute Association 42Canadian Opera Company 11Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra 20Christ Church Deer Park Jazz Vespers 33Church of St Mary Magdalene 13City of Toronto Historic Sites 10, 59, 68Claim Your Voice Studio 56Classical 96.3fm 93Cosmo Music 29Domoney Artists Management 38, 70Elmer Iseler Singers 23, 70Etobicoke Centennial Choir 58Festival of the Sound 71Frank Horvat 40Gallery 345 37, 40Harmony Singers 58Heliconian Hall 60Hymn Society, Southern Ont Chapter 59I FURIOSI 12INTERsection 14IRCPA/Lula Lounge 45Jazz on The Mountain at Blue 33Jubilate Singers 58Kawartha Concerts 48Kindred Spirits Orchestra 19, 41, 57Lemon Bucket Orkestra 43Liz Parker 60Long & McQuade 30, 55, 58Lula Lounge 41Lula Lounge/Jorge Miguel 41, 44Matthew Kelly 60Metropolitan United Church 21, 59Mississauga Symphony 20Music at Port Milford 8Music Mondays 73Music Toronto 9Musique Royale 74National Youth Orchestra of Canada 7, 45New Adventures in Sound Art 8New Music Concerts 13No Strings Theatre 45, 58Norm Pulker 60North Toronto Institute of Music 58Ontario Philharmonic 18Orchestra Toronto 59Oriana Women’s Choir 24Orpheus Choir 57Pasquale Bros 60Pax Christi Chorale 24Penthelia Singers 59Peter Mahon 22Prince Edward County Jazz Festival 9Remenyi House of Music 21Roy Thomson Hall 4Royal Conservatory 42Sheila McCoy 60Sinfonia Toronto 17Steinway Piano Gallery 15Steve Jackson Pianos 33Stratford Summer Music 3, 76, 77Summer Opera Lyric Theatre 27Sunfest London 15Tafelmusik 2, 77, 78The Sound Post 11Toronto Downtown Jazz 51, 77Toronto Mendelssohn Choir 23Toronto School of Music 55Toronto Summer Music 21, 96Toronto Symphony 40, 58, 95Univox Choir 39Urban Flute 37Voices of Colour Music 56Westben 27Women’s Musical Club 19York University Faculty of Fine Arts 56You and Media 60Young Voices Toronto 5934 | June 7 – September 7, 2013

A toast to jams: Between the Festival’s mainstage actsand the club series one will find far more than swingand bop: blues, country, roots, soul, folk, hip hop, avantgarde and electronica. There’s really only one thing thisreporter wishes there was more of: jam sessions. Jazz by itsvery nature is about improvisation and nowhere does thisbecome more quintessential than when fate unites playersfrom across continents to collaborate on the likes of “ItCould Happen to You.” On the bright side, when the festivalis over you can enjoy some jazz jams all year long in Toronto.Chalkers Pub is the home of Lisa Particelli’s Wednesdaynight 8pm to 12am session, GNOJAZZ, which stands forGirls’ Night Out Jazz (where gentlemen are welcome too).Now in its eighth year and still going strong, the vocalistfriendlyevening is a cherished place for singers of all levelsto hone their performance chops, form musical connectionsand become inspired by their peers. By providing a safemusical environment that includes the rock solid rhythmsection of Peter Hill on piano and Ross MacIntyre on bass,Particelli has given countless individuals a place to makemusic comfortably, thereby strengthening this communityimmeasurably. Most importantly, it is not a competitive divafestbut rather a friendly place for singers and listeners togather, share, learn and grow. Hundreds of singers have attended overthe years, including vocal teachers and students, professionals andamateurs alike.“The singers have been wonderful, of course, but it’s the loyallisteners that keep it going,” says Particelli. “These are people whosimply appreciate the talent of others and make a special point tocome out and support them. Without the support of listeners, the jamsession would not be able to survive, so we are truly grateful for ourregulars.”Over the years Particelli has instilled education into the jam invarious ways: celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month, organizing workshopsby guest artists and for the past three years by fundraising fora vocal jazz scholarship at Humber College. The money is raised byspecial concerts billed as “GNOJAZZ All-Star Vocal Showcases” andthe next one takes place as part of the Toronto Jazz Festival on Sunday,June 30 from 7pm to 10pm at Chalkers Pub. Congratulations to the2013 recipient of the scholarship, Daniella Garcia!Gathering inspiration from Lisa Particelli, some of the singers whohave been coming out to GNOJAZZ have started jam sessions of theirown, including Pat Murray who is starting up her “Jazz Jam-Gria” atBrownman: “Thirteen gigs in nine days.”417 Restaurant & Lounge on the Danforth, Tuesday nights. This isparticularly good news considering that The Rex Hotel, home of theClassic Rex Jazz Jam, has recently taken the jam out of their programming.At Jam-Gria, instrumentalists are encouraged to bring their axes,with vocalists also welcome:“Jam-Gria is an east end jazz jam that encourages all levels of musiciansto sit in with a house band of mentors or colleagues,” saysMurray. “It draws Toronto’s A-level players as well as those musicianstaking their first leap of faith into the world of improvisation. The newdigs at 417 are exquisite! Very chic decor and cuisine to die for!”Also on the east side of town, Laura Marks started a Monday nightsession called Bohemian Monday earlier this year at Rakia Bar.“Last New Year’s Eve I dropped in to the Rakia Bar New Year’s Eveparty,” recalls Marks. “The owner said that they’d like to set up aregular program of music there and asked me if I would work withhim on a jam that is mostly jazz but open to other genres. We startedin February and have gradually been building it ever since. Upuntil last Monday it was held every two weeks. Now it will happenevery Monday.”continues on page 51nils blondonUp-to-date information about you, our readers,is the lifeblood of our publication.❍ How often do you pick up the print version of The WholeNote?❍ How many times per month do you refer to the magazine?❍ How many other people use your copy of the magazine?❍ How often do you access website?❍ Which of the following statements describes you best?Please participate in The WholeNote Readership Survey and tell usabout your interests and preferences.Our advertisers and members need to know more about whoreads our magazine and/or visits the website.You could wait until September to complete our pull-out paperquestionnaire — or save the stamp and complete it online today! June 7 – September 7, 2013 | 35

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