I'll be heading out the door shortly for the first official night of the 2014 TD Toronto Jazz Festival. The adrenaline is flowing; and after having enjoyed today's Mayors' Arts Lunch - with 500 or so other artists, arts workers and arts supporters - I'm feeling particularly pumped about launching into the festival.
Josh Grossman's blog
I'm not sure how this happens, but every year the festival feels like it's still months away until suddenly, it starts tomorrow.
If I needed a refresher on how great music should sound, I got it yesterday evening at the hmv Underground.
With the official start of the festival only days away, the title of today's post might refer to the behind-the-scenes toiling required to get this year's festival ready for launch. But I hope you don't mind if I take a more personal tack today.
In preparing for the Artistic Director's Guide to Jazz and for various media interviews, I've spent a fair bit of time over the past few weeks thinking about why the musicians appearing on our stages this year are important, and what makes their music great. Here are a few of what I found to be common traits:
So I spent some time today looking at lists of the worst pop songs of all time. (Never you mind why.) And I discovered this:
Over the past few weeks, I had the privilege of sitting opposite four outstanding local musicians in the Radio Regent studio to record the Artistic Director's Guide to Jazz - Live! Over four sessions, we chatted about 16 of the musicians performing at this year's festival - singers, guitarists, solo performers and R&B acts - but we also got into some of the fundamentals and philosophies behind music-making. Each of the conversations was fascinating in its own way.
Overall, I left the event feeling pleased and looking forward to the final preparations coming over the next two months. Until about halfway through the drive back to the office...
And suddenly, it's time to reveal our 2014 lineup!
Today I'm writing about where I'll be on Thursday night - and that's the Jazz Bistro, joining the CD release celebration for Beverly Taft meets the Nathan Hiltz Orchestra, the last in the latest round of TDJ Special Projects.