Believe it or not, opening night of the 2015 TD Toronto Jazz Festival is only a week away! The artists are all booked, the shows all announced, and we're picking up steam. I'm looking forward to twelve or so great days of concerts, socializing and seeing how my body reacts to several nights in a row without much sleep. I believe coffee and I are going to become even better friends. (Which reminds me - best espresso near Nathan Phillips Square?)
I wanted to take a minute to acknowledge three new partners who are contributing to the festival this year. It's our pleasure to work with a variety of presenters and promoters each year - they help to make each festival a success - and it's particularly exciting to team up with someone new.
The Toronto Public Library
We're pleased to present a festival preview concert at North York Central Library featuring the Tara Davidson Trio on Tuesday, June 16 at 7 pm. Admission is free, but we recommend that you call to reserve a seat: (416) 395-5639. (Complete information available here.) Our thanks go to Elizabeth Lai for helping to coordinate this event. And, of course, the library has lots of great resources for jazz lovers - books, recordings and more. If you like some visual art with your jazz, Elizabeth has recommended the following books:
The cover art of Blue Note Records
Blue notes in black and white: photography and jazz
Blue Note jazz: photography of Francis Wolff
Manifesto is a non-profit, youth-powered platform designed to put local artists on the map and unite, inspire and empower diverse communities of young people through arts and culture…and they've been a huge help breathing new life into our Groove and Graffiti program this year. They hooked us up with the fantastic Tina Khan and her Graffiti Club at Central Tech, where aerosol masters Mediah and Elicser led the students in the creation of a graffiti mural; and they've programmed the on-site musical component of Groove and Graffiti, Saturday June 20 at Nathan Phillips Square starting at 2 pm. The afternoon is called Dopalicious and features some outstanding DJs, instrumentalists and vocalists, while Mediah, Elicser and Central Tech students create eye-catching aerosol art. It's all free, and sure to be a party. Complete details are available here. Our thanks to Jesse Ohtake, Judi Lopez, Dwayne Dixon and everyone else at Manifesto for helping to make this happen.
Regent Park School of Music (RPSM)
Although technically not a first time partner - RPSM students have performed in the past as guests with artists like Nikki Yanofsky - this year marks a true collaborative effort between the festival and RPSM. On Sunday, June 21, we'll have students from the RPSM Steel Pan, Woodwind, Brass and Community ensembles performing at Nathan Phillips Square…and you're invited to join in! After each short performance, RPSM faculty members will be on hand to create a sort of instrument petting zoo, inviting the public to try out the steel pans, or play recorders and hand percussion for a march around the square (led by Dave Clark and the Woodshed Orchestra). Activity gets underway at 2 pm - come join the fun, celebrate these young musicians, and make some music of your own. Complete information is available here. Our thanks to Richard Marsella and his crew for helping to bring this all together - 35 students + faculty + steel pans = many logistics!
These new partners - along with the many returning partners - enhance the festival each year in many ways. Please join us at one of these events to celebrate their contributions!