Since starting as Artistic Director back in January, I've been practicing that oft-heard celebrity line, "Do you know who I am?" Always at home, always in jest, and always within earshot of my loving wife, who typically shakes her head, rolls her eyes, and walks into the next room. I've not actually ever used the line in public (and those who know me personally recognize that I could never really pull it off), and, frankly, the answer would most likely be "no" anyway (i.e. "No I don't know who you are").
Josh Grossman's blog
I hope everyone had a good Labour Day weekend. I know I did - I spent two nights and three days at the Detroit Jazz Festival, taking in all kinds of music and experiencing what is considered to be North America's largest free jazz festival. I had a great time, checking out musicians like Take 6, Mulgrew Miller, Tower of Power, Tia Fuller, Danilo Perez, Terence Blanchard, the Yellowjackets, the Maria Schneider Orchestra, Freddy Cole, Kenny Barron, Trio M, and Ledisi. Not all of the music worked for me, but most of it did.
An interesting article caught my eye today in The Toronto Star. In an interview with Ashante Infantry, saxophonist and Dap-Kings member Ian Hendrickson-Smith talks about his dream - soon to become reality - of opening up a jazz club in Brooklyn (see the article here).
Yes, it's time to once again talk jazz clubs.
With only a few weeks left in August (no matter how I look at the calendar, I can't seem to change this!), it feels as though summer is starting to wind down. Meanwhile, things are slowly starting to ramp up here - the chatter among Artistic Directors is picking up, submissions are starting to come in, and agencies are sending out their rosters - but we're still another ten months away from our 25th festival.
I was invited to participate in last weekend's Music Business seminar at JAZZ.FM91 and, because it's summer and the humidity has drastically reduced my synapse firing speed, I thought I would post my talk here rather than come up with a new blog topic. It was a great weekend featuring presentations by Ralph Benmergui, Jaymz Bee, Brad Barker, Richard Underhill, David Basskin, Mike Denny and me, covering topics ranging from getting your music on the radio to being media savvy to learning about grants and record labels.
One of the compliments I most enjoy receiving, when finishing up a gig with my big band, the Toronto Jazz Orchestra, is: "You look like you're having so much fun!" And frankly, it's true - on almost every gig, we're having a blast. To go along with great music there's lots of joking on the bandstand, bad jokes being told on the microphone (you're welcome...) and an overall relaxed vibe. I'm not sure I'd be in the music business if I wasn't having fun so much of the time.
Alright...it's been two weeks since we wrapped up the 2010 TD Toronto Jazz Festival...when do we get to start planning 2011?!
Well my faithful festival followers, the party's over. It's been four days since we closed up the 2010 TD Toronto Jazz Festival, the tents are packed up until next year, and I've caught up on some sleep...so I thought I would bring you up to date on the last few days of the festival.
Friday July 2 - Day 8
As I write this morning, I'm finding it hard to believe that it's already day eight...that today is our last day of activity on Nathan Phillips Square...that there are only two days left...it's been quite a ride!