Archive for jazz

Ray Montford

Saturday, October 19, 2019 | 8:30pm

Ray Montford & Friends
$25 Advance / $30 Door

Ray Montford & Friends return to Hugh’s Room for a rare Toronto Show, one year after the release of Ray’s new album ’Share My Sky’, which is now available on vinyl as well.  For this show, Ray will perform an intimate solo acoustic set, followed by a longer electric set with his stellar band.  The repertoire will feature music from Ray’s entire catalogue.  Joining him will be: Lynn Moffatt – vocals, Ben Riley – drums and Mat Falvai – bass.
Ray Montford’s powerful original tunes are characterized by a wild and raw beauty. Often inspired by the human condition, his instrumental compositions paint haunting canvasses that are rich in imagery, leaving an indelible mark on the listener. Blurring boundaries between rock, blues, jazz and folk, the most striking aspect of Montford’s artistry is that he finds countless ways to convey emotion through his compositions and soulful playing. In the end, it’s all about taking the listener on an unforgettable journey.
Share My Sky, Ray’s new and eight studio album, finds the guitarist expanding his sonic range and compositional depth to offer his most personal and emotional statement to date.

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Jazz + Blues with Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley

Friday, September 20, 2019 | 8:30pm

Jazz + Blues with Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley CD Release
$25 Advance / $30 Door

Diana Braithwaite
Born in Toronto, Canada, Diana Lee Braithwaite grew up crooning jazz and blues classics that were played by her elder brother jazz pianist, Victor Cornell Braithwaite.

When Diana Braithwaite sings, you hear passion, with sultry stories of life beautifully expressed through music. Braithwaite is a descendant of the Wellington County pioneers in Canada. With roots in the southern United States her ancestors escaped slavery through the Underground Railroad and lived for four generations in Wellington County, the first African-Canadian pioneer settlement in Ontario, Canada. Growing up, Diana spent summers in Montreal, Quebec, in a place called “Little Burgundy”, the historic African-Canadian neighbourhood where her father and the great jazz musician Oscar Peterson were both born. Dubbed “a national treasure” by JAZZ FM’s Radio host Danny Marks, Diana Braithwaite combines elements from Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Esther Phillips and others to create her own unique appealing and expressive jazz and blues style.

Chris Whiteley
Kansas born multi-instrumentalist Chris Whiteley has had an illustrious music career spanning some 40 years. Whiteley’s extensive touring career includes working with many renowned jazz and blues legends such as Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson and countless appearances on television and radio including a special guest appearance on Saturday Night Live with the international recording jazz artist Leon Redbone. A multiple award-winning international touring horn player, Chris Whiteley is also a sought-after recording artist and has appeared on over 250 recordings over his successful career as a trumpet and cornet player. Whiteley, who blows his trumpet with a clear tone and a sublime unique jazz style, has received numerous Canadian Maple Blues Awards as both songwriter and horn player of the year and a Jazz Report Magazine Blues Album of the Year Award. In 2010 Whiteley was awarded the prestigious BLUES WITH A FEELING AWARD, for lifetime achievement in the blues. In January 2014 Chris Whiteley won the Maple Blues Award for the top blues horn player in Canada–for the 7th time.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVYQCOASWow

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T.U. Jazz Fest Opening Night: Robi Botos Trio

Tuesday, September 3, 2019 | 8:30pm

T.U. Jazz Fest Opening Night : Robi Botos Trio and Precious Cargo
$20 Advance / $25 Door

ROBI BOTOS

Robi has been hailed as one of the most diverse multi-instrumentalists of this generation. From the hard-bop style of Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock, to the swing of Oscar Peterson and the heartfelt melodic expression of Mulgrew Miller and Cedar Walton, Robi has managed to master the technique of his idols, all while showcasing his musical expressions in a voice that is purely his own. While Robi is known for being a strong player in the traditional jazz and funk fields, he always incorporates an element of the music he grew up listening to into his playing. Says organist, trumpeter and pianist Joey Defrancesco: “Robi is one of the most swingin’, soulful, funky, world class players I’ve ever heard, and he has a technique like you can’t believe. Definitely one of my very favorite players!!!”

Born of Romani descent in Hungary, Robi taught himself first to play drums as a young child, and got his first taste of being a professional musician working throughout Budapest. When he turned 20, Robi decided to move his wife and children to Canada to further pursue the career he was born for. Now 20 years later, Robi has solidified himself as one of the most sought-after pianists in the country, and holds 2 JUNO Awards, as well as countless global prizes including the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) Award, and 2 nominations in the Canadian Screen Awards.

In 2018, Robi released a brand-new record that pays homage to his Hungarian upbringing, the early days of his career, and the music that he has dedicated his life to. “OLD SOUL” sees Robi not only venturing into a number of different genres (jazz, funk, soul, gospel and more!), but he also plays on a number of different instruments including the Harpejji. Robi is joined by some familiar faces such as longtime collaborators Mike Downeson bass and Larnell Lewison drums, as well as Seamus Blake on saxophone. Also joining them for the first time is Cory Henry (Snarky Puppy), Ingrid Jensen, and Lionel Loueke). Robi’s ability as a composer is (once again) highlighted on this record with a majority of the tracks being his original material. “Old Soul” pays tribute to his homeland as he takes you down memory lane with visions of his childhood neighbourhood and through some of his favourite spots in his hometown. This record makes you feel like you have a personal connection with one of the most diverse and eclectic artists of our time. Robi is the 2019 JUNO Award-winner for Jazz Album of the Year: Solo for OLD SOUL.

 

PRECIOUS CARGO

Based in Toronto, Precious Cargo is lead by vocalist Genna Cole and made up of students in their fourth year of the Bachelor of Music program at Humber College. Specializing in a wide range of genres, including pop, folk, and indie jazz, the band taking inspiration from artists such as Florence and the Machine and Becca Stevens to blend creative originals music with re-imagined covers as the members each bring their own unique voice and style to the group. Cargo is excited to be performing in and around the Greater Toronto Area and eagerly look forward to sharing their sound with fellow musicians and music lovers.

 

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Romani Jazz

Wednesday, August 7, 2019 | 8:30PM

Romani Jazz with Special Guest Drew Jurecka
Advance $25 / Door $30 *

Inspired by gypsy roots, Romani Jazz seamlessly blends the traditional folk melodies of the  “Roma” people with the musical and improvisational elements of jazz to produce a unique , fusion acoustic experience. The concept of RomaniJazz was a result of the combined imagination of an eclectic group of Canadian musicians (George Koller, Robi Botos, Jozsef Botos and Nenad Bogdanovic) who share the same passion for exploring and interpreting Roma folk melodies in an unconventional way. As musical storytellers, they are able to take their audience on a nomadic journey into uncharted territory.

To join the journey, make sure to get your tickets early. Hugh’s Room Live is honoured to play host to this line-up of masters as they take the stage for the first time at Hugh’s Room Live this February. Tickets available right now.

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Debi Botos

Saturday, July 27, 2019 | 8:30PM

Debi Botos

Advance: $20.00 / Doors: $25.00 *

From an early age, Debi Botos has cultivated an interest in Hungarian Gypsy music (where she was born). Now 23, as a self taught musician, Debi continues to explore and experiment with the sounds of the Legendary Django Reinhardt. Through gigging around the Toronto Circuit and growing up in a very musical Botos Family, she has found a sound that is both contemporary and an homage to the Greats. Debi has had amazing opportunities to meet and play with some of the most influential musicians in this style. Incorporating colourful and inventive sounds from her Hungarian Gypsy roots to the music of Django Reinhardt, she is creating a beautiful fusion of swing and free improvisational music. She will be joined by her family and good friends on stage singing and playing authentic Hungarian Gypsy folk music as well, all with a jazzy twist. Ever-evolving, Debi has written multiple compositions (that she will be debuting) infusing both these styles and creates a moving yet very enjoyable atmosphere that feel electric, traditional yet modern and continues to amaze her audiences at venues and concert halls across the country.

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Mark Lettieri of Snarky Puppy

Friday, July 19, 2019 | 8:30pm

Mark Lettieri of Snarky Puppy
Advance $25.00 / Door: $30.00

Mark Lettieri is a guitarist, composer, and producer based in Fort Worth, TX.  Proficient in a multitude of styles, he records and performs in virtually every genre of popular music with both independent and major-label artists. He also composes and produces original instrumental music under his own name.

Born in the San Francisco Bay Area, Lettieri came to Texas via Texas Christian University (TCU), studying advertising and public relations, and competing in track and field. A passionate guitarist since middle school, he began his music career in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area upon graduating from TCU.

Playing in the vibrant Metroplex gospel and R&B scene led Lettieri to join jazz/world group Snarky Puppy in 2008, where he contributes as guitarist, as well as arranger and composer. The group has earned three GRAMMY Awards: Best R&B Performance for “Something” feat. Lalah Hathaway in 2014, and twice for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album (Sylva in 2016, and Culcha Vulcha in 2017). Snarky Puppy tours constantly, having performed on every continent except Antarctica.

Outside of Snarky Puppy, Lettieri has released four albums as a leader: Knows (2011), Futurefun (2013), Spark and Echo (2016) and most recently, Deep: The Baritone Sessions in (2019). Spark and Echo reached #11 on Billboard’s Jazz Albums Chart, and #2 on iTunes’ Jazz Chart, with Deep debuting at #21 on the Billboard Jazz Albums Chart. Due in large part to Lettieri’s vibrant social media presence, these records have created a sizable buzz among fans of instrumental music worldwide. He performs this music live with the Mark Lettieri Trio, featuring Wes Stephenson (Funky Knuckles) on bass and Jason “JT” Thomas (Snarky Puppy, Forq) on drums.

In 2018, Lettieri joined up with Vulpeck spin-off group The Fearless Flyers, featuring Cory Wong and Joe Dart of Vulfpeck on guitar and bass respectively, and drummer Nate Smith (Chris Potter, Pat Metheny) The quartet has released two EPs, The Fearless Flyers in 2018, and The Fearless Flyers II in 2019.

As an in-demand session guitarist and touring sideman, Lettieri has logged miles with neo-soul icon Erykah Badu, gospel singer Anthony Evans, and American Idol: Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips. He’s also performed with a myriad of other artists, including Nelly, Anthony Evans, Chrisette Michele, Myron Butler, N’dambi, Bilal, and even comedians Dave Chappelle and Harry Shearer.

Recent recording work includes David Crosby, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Adam Levine, Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Tori Kelly, Ledisi, Tamela Mann, Eric Roberson, Lecrae, Lupe Fiasco, Keyshia Cole, Xzibit, as well as numerous radio and television jingles. Lettieri is also a member of SKP, a production collective led by GRAMMY Award-winning producer Symbolyc One (Kanye West, Beyonce).

He can also be seen on television, in the house band for the Marcus & Joni Show, a Christian morning talk/variety show broadcast in over 200 countries Daystar Television Network.

Lastly, Lettieri serves as a clinician and gear demonstrator, often on behalf of companies he endorses; namely J. Rockett Audio Designs, Supro, Grosh, Collings, Paul Reed Smith, Jim Dunlop, and TC Electronic.

www.marklettieri.com

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Huntertones

Friday, June 28, 2019 | 8:30pm

Huntertones
Advance $25.00 / Door: $30.00

Honest, genuine, skillfully executed music without limitations that is uplifting and cannot be quantified.” – Jon Batiste

Huntertones brings people together around the globe with fun, imaginative and fearless music. Their high energy, horn-driven sound features genre bending composition and unconventional covers. Every show is a social experience celebrating the joy of music.

The band formed in Columbus, Ohio and is now based in Brooklyn, NY. They’ve performed in over 20 countries world wide and continue to tour the US and abroad. Their latest release, Passport, is a collection of songs inspired by their experiences sharing music with people from all over the world.

Soulful, tasty and groovy. I dare you not to dance or be in a good mood during and after listening to this beautiful music.” – Lionel Loueke

​Dan White: Saxophones
Jon Lampley: Trumpet/Sousaphone​
Chris Ott: Trombone/Beatbox
Adam DeAscentis: Bass
John Hubbell: Drums
Josh Hill: Guitar
Justin Stanton: Keys/ Trumpet

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Elizabeth Shepherd + Michael Occhipinti

Monday, June 24, 2019 | 8:30PM

Elizabeth Shepherd + Michael Occhipinti 
Advance: $25.00 / Doors: $30.00

Featuring Marc Nelson (drums) and Remi-Jean LeBlanc (bass)

Blending jazz with soul, funk, and her own boundless creativity, Elizabeth Shepherd’s voice has been called “Arrestingly soulful….irresistibly hip” and she has been hailed as “a jazz virtuoso blessed with a pop sensibility”. Along with artists like Esperanza Spalding, Robert Glasper, and Jose James she is seen as part of a wave of jazz musicians bringing the art form to a new generation of music fans.

Michael Occhipinti‘s chameleon-like guitar playing has been called “magical” with a sound and approach that is distinctly his own. A nine-time JUNO Award nominee, Michael Occhipinti’s many musical projects showcase both his own genre-crossing original music , and his brilliance at interpreting everything from Sicilian Music to iconic songwriters.

Elizabeth Shepherd and Michael Occhipinti have been featured in each other’s projects for almost a decade, with Elizabeth at the centre of Michael Occhipinti & Shine On: The Universe of John Lennon, and Michael touring as a member of Elizabeth’s group, including a May European tour promoting her brilliant last album MONTRÉAL. As co-leaders, they mix their respective repertoires, as well as paying tribute to songwriters they love such Canadian luminaries Bruce Cockburn and Gordon Lightfoot. Elizabeth Shepherd and Michael Occhipinti will be recording their first duo record of new material in June 2019, centred around poets nominated for the famed Griffen Poetry Prize

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees.

Los Variants

Friday, June 7, 2019 | 8:30PM

Los Variants
Advance $20.00 / Door $25.00 *

Los Variants is the brainchild of Vince Maccarone. This seven-piece super multicultural collective combines elements of Jazz, AfroFunk, Cuban and Middle Eastern melodies to create a seamless mosaic of international groove. Los Variants’ personnel is made up of some of Canada’s top musicians such as Michael Occhipinti on guitar, Algerian superstar Fethi Nadjem on violin, Justin Gray on bass and bass veena, Vince Maccarone on drums and Chendy Leon on percussion and vocals. Each show also features special guest artists ranging from Lady Sol, Yeti Ajasin, Demetri Petsalakis and Andrew McAnsh. The members of Vince Maccarone’s Los Variants have won and been nominated for numerous awards, including a couple Junos and Doras over their collective and individual careers. Now, these award-winning performers will be bringing all of their rich musical history to Hugh’s Room Live on June 7, 2019. Be prepared to move and groove at a Los Variants show, folks. Tickets are on sale right now.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.

Leonard Cohen Koans

Sunday, June 2, 2019 | 8:30pm

Leonard Cohen Koans with Jane Siberry
Advance $40.00  /Door $45.00 *

Australian vocalist Ali Hughes plays Toronto’s beloved Hugh’s Room this June, celebrating Leonard Cohen with her critically acclaimed narrative concert, LEONARD COHEN KOANS!

Buoyant and vigorous in its celebration of the music and spirit of the iconic legend, LEONARD COHEN KOANS is a must see for Cohen lovers and newcomers alike – the critically acclaimed show being hailed as

Heart-stopping” (www.theatermania.com)

Spine-tingling” (SX Magazine)

“… Hands down the best I’ve ever heard!” (nytheater.com).

Supported by outstanding jazz musicians, LEONARD COHEN KOANS moves from ethereal to full throttle in a heartbeat through a thoughtfully curated collection of Cohen’s famous poetry, prose and song.  As well as lesser known gems such as ‘The Guests’ and ‘The Butcher’, you will hear Cohen favourites – ‘If It Be Your Will’, the magnificent ‘Chelsea Hotel #2’, and the undeniable masterpiece ‘Suzanne’ – in all new arrangements highlighting the dynamism and intimacy in his incredible musicality.

Inspiring, passionate, intimate and sincere, LEONARD COHEN KOANS gives you another chance to savour the creative spirit with which he so exquisitely courted the world.

“… Ali & the thieves majorly succeeds!!”  –Amber Gallery, nytheater.com NYC

“…  Sensual, enigmatic… intense warmth, startling range.”  -Veronica Hanlon, SX Magazine

“… Exceptionally well-crafted…***1/2 out of ****” -Michael Giltz, Huffington Post NYC

Opening guest and moderator for Q+A at end of show: Jane Siberry