Archive for jazz – Page 2

Yamaha Presents: Jimmy Cobb * Postponed

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 | 8:30PM

Yamaha Presents: Jimmy Cobb * Postponed
Advance $65 / Door $70 *

Featuring
Jimmy Cobb – drums

Special Guest Javon Jackson – saxophone
Mark Eisenman – piano
Pat Collins – bass

We are saddened to announce that we have just received unfortunate news from Jimmy Cobb.

“Regrettably due to a recent medical issue, I will not be able to perform at Hugh’s Room Live on Wednesday March 10, 2020. This comes with a great disappointment. I look forward to performing in Toronto in the future, and I thank you for your understanding.” – Jimmy Cobb

“The entire team of Hugh’s Room Live is saddened by the need to cancel Jimmy Cobb’s performance for Drum Week. We, however, wish Jimmy all the best in his recovery and hope we can look forward to his performance on our stage in the future.“ – Mary Stewart. General Manager

For those who had purchased tickets for Jimmy Cobb’s concert on March 10, please call our box office at 416.533.5483 for a full refund until a future date can be announced.

Born on January 20, 1929 in Washington D.C., Cobb came up working on the nation’s capital jazz scene in the early ‘50s with artists that include tenor saxophonist Buck Hill and Pearl Bailey before going on the road for the first time, at age 21, with popular saxophonist Earl Bostic’s group, where he met pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Keter Betts and jazz diva Dinah Washington. Cobb would later tour with Washington before moving to New York in the mid ‘50s, and taking up residence in a Harlem building whose tenants also included Dizzy Gillespie and Errol Garner. By 1957, Cobb joined Cannonball Adderley’s band, appearing on Sophisticated Swing that year. It was Adderley who introduced Cobb to Miles, and by the end of 1957 the drummer replaced Philly Joe Jones in the Miles Davis sextet, remaining in the band through 1963 while appearing on Porgy & Bess, Sketches of Spain, the historic Kind of Blue, Live at Carnegie Hall, Live at the Blackhawk and Someday My Prince Will Come. Cobb was one third of the Wynton Kelly Trio from 1963 to 1968 alongside bassist Paul Chambers and also worked with guitar great Wes Montgomery from 1962 to 1965.

In 1983, Cobb led an all-star session on the independent Contempo Vibrato label called So Nobody Else Can Hear. Produced by his wife Eleana Tee. It featured trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, saxophonists Pee Wee Ellis, bassist Walter Booker, and tap dancer-singer Gregory Hines, with spoken word introduction by Bill Cosby. In 1998, the drummer released Cobb’s Mob, which featured guitarist Peter Bernstein, pianist Richard Wyands and bassist John Webber. That same crew returned in 2003 with Cobb’s Groove. In 2006, Cobb was feted as part of the Marsalis Music Honors Series with a self-titled release produced by Branford Marsalis and featuring pianist Ellis Marsalis. He followed with 2007’s Cobb’s Corner, 2009’s Jazz in the Key of Blue and 2014’s The Original Mob with Bernstein, Webber and pianist Brad Mehldau. Since 2002, Cobb has been a member of the all-star group Four Generations of Miles, which has included bassists Ron Carter and Buster Williams, saxophonists George Coleman and Sonny Fortune and guitarist Mike Stern. A recipient of the NEA Jazz Master Award in 2009, Cobb spent a great deal of that year touring with his So What Band (trumpeter Wallace Roney, alto saxophonist Vincent Herring, tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson, pianist Larry Willis and Buster Williams on bass) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Miles Davis masterpiece Kind of Blue. He remains the sole surviving member of the group that produced the timeless classic Kind of Blue, the most acclaimed and best-selling jazz album of all-time.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes, ticketing and sustainability fees.

* Ticket Price: $65.00
* Service Fee: $4.00
* Sustainability Fee: $5.00
* HST: $9.62

* Total Ticket Price: $83.62

Postmodern Jukebox’s Casey Abrams

Monday, March 9, 2020

Postmodern Jukebox’s Casey Abrams
Advance $20  / Door $25*

Doors: 6:00pm
Performance: 8:30pm

Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and American Idol season 10 finalist Casey Abrams, has built a strong following through the years with four album releases (Casey Abrams, Tales From the Gingerbread House, Put A Spell on You and Jazz). Casey spent the last year touring internationally as part of the renowned collective Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox.

Casey Abrams was born in Austin, Texas and spent his early years in Chicago, then later moved to California to attend Idyllwild Arts Academy. An extraordinary musician, Abrams studied classical bass, piano, improvisation, music history and took part in numerous jazz ensembles. After graduating, he then studied music at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Since American Idol, Abrams has toured with his fellow season 10 American Idol castmates, collaborated with Haley Reinhart on the holiday classic, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (A Top 10 iTunes video and Holiday chart debut) and recorded his debut album.

Featuring
Quinton Zigler – Keyboards / Trombone
Matt Parker – Saxophone
Jeremy Viner – Saxophone and Clarinet

website: https://caseybassy.comhttps://postmodernjukebox.com/
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUlRavyDP6o

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes, ticketing and sustainability fees.

* Ticket Price: $20.00
* Service Fee: $4.00
* Sustainability Fee: $5.00
* HST: $3.77

* Total Ticket Price: $32.77

Yamaha Presents: Sarah Thawer Band

Sunday March 8, 2020

Yamaha Presents: Sarah Thawer Band
Advance $20 / Door $25 *

Doors: 12:30pm
Performance: 2:00pm

Toronto’s Sarah Thawer has become one of the most in-demand drummers on the scene,  playing jazz, Latin, gospel, hip hop, funk, r&b/soul, fusion, Indian and world music.  She has backed up Jon Batiste for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, backed up Teegan and Sara on the Stephen Colbert Show, and been featured in numerous drumming magazines and at conferences around the globe.

She studied jazz and world music at York University and was the recipient of the Oscar Peterson Scholarship, the highest award given by the institution, in addition to graduating with the Summa Cum Laude distinction.

She has shared the stage with many popular artists including AR Rahman, Del Hartley, D’bi and the 333, Rich Brown, Re.verse, Salim-Sulaiman, Benny Dayal and Funktuation, Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, Mitch Frohman, Thompson Egbo-Egbo, Maria Mulata, Grisha Goryachev, Roger and Sam Grandinson, S S Thaman, Steve Koven, Vijay Prakash to name a few.

Sarah has also been featured on various television and radio stations such as CBC News newscast, Jazz FM 91.1, OMNI TV, Rogers Daytime, Vijay TV and various others.

Website: https://www.sarahthawer.com/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-mPjbhEsAk

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes, ticketing and sustainability fees.

* Ticket Price: $20.00
* Service Fee: $4.00
* Sustainability Fee: $5.00
* HST: $3.77

* Total Ticket Price: $32.77

Miss Emily

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Miss Emily
Advance: $25.00 / Doors: $30.00 *

Doors: 6:00pm
Performance: 8:30pm

In the 1990’s a 12 year-old Emily Fennell was making her way around Southern Ontario, singing at county fairs and winning competition after competition. She was literally finding her voice. While the other young vocalists were dazzling crowds with standards like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” or “I Will Always Love You,” Emily was stunning judges and audiences into silent amazement with K.D. Lang’s version of the Patsy Cline song “3 Cigarettes and an Ashtray”. That song choice and her spellbinding performance of it, says almost all you need to know about the woman who would become Miss Emily. She is never predictable and always willing to take a risk.

Her music spans genres, crosses barriers and creates bridges. Her voice soars to emotional heights and reaches down into the grittiness of the soul. Her performances are foot-stomping, heart-wrenching adventures in rhythm, blues, jazz and rock and roll. For 15 years Miss Emily has captivated listeners across Canada, the US and the United Kingdom with her unique combination of passion and talent.

That passion and talent was cultivated by an unparalleled work ethic. It began with playing night after night after night in bars and nightclubs where she learned her trade and gained a loyal following. Later, she graduated to regional theatres and starred in several Broadway-style shows. This willingness to step outside her comfort zone and learn new techniques paid off by giving her opportunities to become a regular at large outdoor venues like Ottawa Bluesfest. Then, in 2011 in front of 25,000 people outside the tiny town of Bobcaygeon she opened for The Tragically Hip and began a relationship that would change the direction of her career.

Miss Emily’s new record takes the listener on a tour of her experiences and musical influences under the guidance of The Hip’s Gord Sinclair as producer/co-writer/bass player and bandmate Rob Baker as lead guitarist/co-writer.

In Between featuring Gord Sinclair and Rob Baker is the fifth album from Miss Emily. It’s a record that beckons the listener to walk with her as she soulfully strolls the humid streets of Memphis, wanders across the jazz-cool avenues of New York City or dances through raucous and funky block parties in Motown.

One listen and you’ll be compelled to join Miss Emily, Gord Sinclair and Rob Baker on a journey that reveals the vast emotions of love, loss, joyful redemption and everything In Between.

website: https://themissemily.com/
video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E61WxdPFlqg

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees.

* Ticket Price: $25.00
* Service Fee: $4.00
* Sustainability Fee: $5.00
* HST: $4.42

* Total Ticket Price: $38.42

Alfie Zappacosta

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Alfie Zappacosta
Advance $50.00 / Door $55.00

Doors: 6:00pm
Performance: 8:30pm

Alfie Zappacosta is undeniably one of Canada’s premier songwriters and performers with chart topping hits and a recording and acting career that has spanned 40 years. He continues to evolve as an artist by “doing it his way”, an effort that has been rewarded with an impressive song catalogue and a discerning loyal fan base.

Alfie Zappacosta decided on a music career in his teens and set his sights upon being a guitarist. When his vocal dexterity and song writing proficiency were uncovered by a publisher while writing for his first original band “Surrender”, events would be put in motion to champion Zappacosta (dropping his first name) as a solo artist and bring him to the world’s attention. “Start Again”, “Passion”, “When I Fall in Love Again” and “Nothing Can Stand In Your Way” became staples on Canadian adult contemporary radio and Zappacosta became a personified Rock Star.

In 1987, Walt Disney’s Danger Bay would bring Zappacosta an episode written specifically for him titled “Rock Star”. In the same year, he penned and sang “Overload” exclusively for the multi-platinum soundtrack “Dirty Dancing” and Loverboy would record Zappacosta’s “That’s Where The Money Goes” for their Wildside album. In 1988, he was awarded JUNOs for “Album of The Year’ and “Most Promising Artist”, an American Music Award for “Most Popular Album of The Year” and named the Canadian Publishers Music Association’s “Best Rock Star”.

Zappacosta’s distinctive baritone voice did not go unnoticed by artistic directors and in 1990, he was called to deliver his greatest challenge of his career – singing Andrew Lloyd Webber. Alfie’s portrayals of Christ in Jesus Christ Superstar and Che Guevara in Evita would bring a new audience and support his efforts to delineate his pop/rock image – a moniker that never reflected his authentic personality. The release of “Innocence Ballet” in 1996 would introduce Alfie Zappacosta (taking back his first name) and give center stage to his true rich vocals, his mastery at romance, his astute take on relationships and his advanced knowledge of music. Alfie is rewarded for his efforts with numerous award nominations in the Smooth Jazz genre and a performance with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra in 2005.

Zappacosta has polished his live concert performances exposing his sophisticated, intimate and intense personality. His performances deliver a blend of acoustic, jazz and pop music prompting the listener to engage soulfully.

And the hits that originally brought Zappacosta to the world’s attention? – Alfie hasn’t turned his back on any of these songs. You will hear them in his program performed the way they were originally written and meant to be heard.

website: https://zappacosta.ca/
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWL-xpYRATM

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.

Russell Malone

Friday, February 7, 2019

Russell Malone
$65 Advance / $70 Door

Doors: 6:00pm
Performance: 8:00pm

In the 1990’s a 12 year-old Emily Obviously, we are in the capable hands of a master. Absolutely fluid touch and beautiful integration between moving lines and harmonic cadences. The sound of the instrument is well balanced throughout the entire register. The relaxed quality of everything that’s being played gives it such a warm feeling. To play that stuff is extremely hard. This is an absolute master, the best of the best.” – Kurt Rosenwinkel, responding to Russell Malone’s solo performance of “Remind Me”

Russell Malone is one of the signature guitar players of his generation. The leader of ten albums since 1992, Malone is as well-known on the international circuit for helming a world-class quartet and trio as he is for his long-standing participation in Ron Carter’s Golden Striker Trio, and his recent consequential contribution to the musical production of the likes of Sonny Rollins and Dianne Reeves, who recruited Malone for his singular tone, refined listening skills, limitless chops, and efflorescent imagination.

In all these circumstances, Malone addresses the tradition on its own terms, refracting the vocabularies and syntax of such heroes as Charlie Christian, Chet Atkins, George Van Eps, Johnny Smith, Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, Kenny Burrell, Pat Martino, and George Benson into an argot entirely his own. A master of all tempos, a relentless swinger, he spins his stories — in idioms ranging from the urban and downhome blues, country, gospel, various corners of the American Songbook, and hardcore jazz—with a soulful, instantly recognizable instrumental voice, and seasons them with sophisticated harmonies that are never “too hip for the room.”

“I take pride in being open enough to play with anybody,” says Malone, citing encounters with such diverse artists as B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Andy Williams, James “Blood” Ulmer, and Ornette Coleman. “I love to swing, but I don’t look down my nose at other styles of music, or other musicians. I’ll play with anybody, if the music is good.”

Born in 1963 in Albany, Georgia, where he was raised, Malone received his first guitar a green plastic four-string—at 4. He began playing in church at 6, and discovered jazz at 12, when he heard Benson perform on a PBS special with Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson, Red Norvo, Milt Hinton, and Jo Jones. In short order, he purchased Benson’s Cookbook and Benson Burner, and Montgomery’s Smokin’ at the Half Note and Boss Guitar. “Those four records set me on a path that I have not deviated from,” Malone says.

After high school, Malone left Albany for an extended engagement in Houston with organist Al Rylander, who had employed the talented youngster for almost a year in a local club. In 1985, he moved to Atlanta, where he built a reputation sidemanning with, among others, saxophonist-blues singer Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Little Anthony, Peabo Bryson, O.C. Smith and Freddy Cole, and leading units at Walter Mitty’s, a local club where touring musicians jammed after gigs. Two of them, Branford Marsalis and the legendary pianist John Hicks, encouraged Malone to come to New York City. He first visited the Apple in 1985, and began to network with generational peers, sitting in on various bandstands, jamming late nights at the Blue Note, and attending Barry Harris’ Jazz Cultural Theater.

From 1988 to 1990, Malone worked with Hammond B-3 icon Jimmy Smith, who “told me that he didn’t want me to play like my idols, gave me permission to speak with my own voice.” He garnered more visibility during a 1990-94 tenure with Harry Connick, who made it his practice to feature Malone’s singing and guitar playing at the start of his shows. In 1992, he signed with Connick’s label, Columbia, which released Russell Malone and Black Butterfly, on which Malone addressed the mix of genres-old-school and contemporary pop, original jazz, spirituals, and, of course, the blues—that continue to characterize his mature tonal personality.

During a 1994-98 stint with Diana Krall, he performed on three of Krall’s CDs, appeared in the Robert Altman film Kansas City, participated in Roy Hargrove’s Latin Grammy-winning Crisol band, and recorded Wholly Cats (Larry Willis, piano; Rodney Whitaker, bass; Yoron Israel, drums) for Japan’s Venus label. In 1998 he led the first of three recordings for Verve, including a personal favorite, Heartstrings, on which string arrangements by Johnny Mandel, Dori Caymmi, and Alan Broadbent and an all-star rhythm section—pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Christian McBride, and drummer Jeff Watts—enfold a succession of blue flame guitar solos.

Malone made five recordings with pianist Benny Green—three of them trios with McBride between 1997 and 2004. All the aforementioned were close to bass legend Ray Brown, who first recorded with Malone in 2000 on Some of My Best Friends Are… Guitarists, and employed him in a crackling trio with Monty Alexander until his death in 2002, a few weeks after they made Brown’s final, eponymously titled recording. In 2003, Brown’s heir to the bass throne, Ron Carter, who had known Malone since both performed in Kansas City, recruited him for The Golden Striker, a bass-guitar-piano date with the late pianist Mulgrew Miller. Malone continues to play on Carter’s projects, and recently has spent consequential time in Dianne Reeves’ two-guitar unit with Romero Lubambo.

In 2004, Malone launched a still-ongoing relationship with MaxJazz with Playground, followed by Live at the Jazz Standard, Volumes 1 and 2, and the 2010 trio recital, Triple Play, with bassist David Wong and drummer Montez Coleman. Reviewing the latter, jazz journalist Doug Ramsey noted Malone’s “warmth, conversational phrasing and lack of hurry,” adding that, “in the absence of another chording instrument to collaborate or contend with, Malone is free to make harmonic choices without concern for clash or collision.”

“There was a period where I wanted validation, felt I needed to do certain things in order to get people’s approval,” Malone says. “I lacked the confidence to speak with the voice that was in me. But at some point, you have to accept who you are. No one will ever out-do me at being Russell Malone.”

Malone’s latest recording is “All About Melody” on High Note Records.

website: https://russellmalone.net/
video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJqukUBpTj4


* Advertised pricing excludes taxes, ticketing and sustainability fees

POSTPONED Sonia Johnson with Special Guest Ori Dagan

POSTPONED

 

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Sonia Johnson with Special Guest Ori Dagan
Advance $25 / Door $30 *

Doors: 6:00pm
Performance: 8:30pm

Multitalented singer-songwriter Sonia Johnson gained recognition with albums such as Le Carré de nos amours (Juno Winner, Vocal Jazz Album of the Year 2012), Triades – with singers Annie Poulain and Charles Biddle Jr. (ADISQ Nomination 2013 and Junos 2014), Le cœur à l’endroit, her previous solo project co-created with pianist and arranger Marianne Trudel. Graduated from the University of Montreal with a Master’s degree in jazz interpretation and composition, she has had successful collaborations as a composer or singer with artists such as Laila Biali, Félix Stüssi & Les Malcommodes, Steven Taetz, Vincent Réhel, Rodrigo Simoes and Orchestre National de Jazz de Montréal.

After carrying out a pilgrimage of free experimentation between jazz and pop music, Sonia is revealing herself between shadow and light with Chrysalis, her first album in English launched last november is acclaimed by the critics around the world. From the slumber of the caterpillar to the flight of the butterfly, she’s deploying multi-colored wings on this audacious musical road trip. Poetic and soulful, definitely slowly woven with long silk yarn!

website: https://soniajohnson.com/en/
youtube: https://youtu.be/0Y16mJBWS5w
youtube: https://youtu.be/YmfHUPJ7yrE

 

Ori Dagan
Award-winning jazz singer-songwriter Ori Dagan is taking jazz to new and exciting places. His rich baritone voice and impressive abilities as an improviser produce an instantly recognizable sound. In live performance, he surrounds himself with Canada’s finest musicians, performing a fresh mix of material which is always in the moment. Dagan’s 2017 recording “Nathaniel: A Tribute to Nat King Cole” was the first visual album in jazz history, netting him an official showcase at South-By-South-West in Austin, Texas, a headline spot at the TanJazz Festival in Tangier, Morocco, and performances at the first Public Diplomacy Week in Seoul, South Korea.

website: https://www.oridagan.com/
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHXwaDg8Inw

Join us on February 2 as we gather at Hugh’s Room Live to witness the live show by Sonia Johnson with Special Guest Ori Dagan. Tickets available right now.

Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Sammy Miller and The Congregation

Monday, January 13, 2020 | 8:30PM

Sammy Miller and The Congregation
Advance $20.00 / Door $25.00 *

Sammy Miller and The Congregation are on a mission, crisscrossing the country like a vaudevillian revival show with evangelic fervor for music. The seven-piece band is pulling people out of their solitary lives and putting them in the moment with a bracing dose of joyful jazz performed with infectious theatricality. The New York City-based, familial collective has captured its frenetic energy and unflinchingly optimistic songwriting on its debut album, Leaving Egypt.

“We want to get people back in a room together,” Sammy Miller says. “I love the idea of being unhinged, sincere, vulnerable, and breaking down walls through humor. Music is an uplifting gift, and I want to be generous in sharing it with people.”

Sammy Miller and The Congregation has been described as a mashup of the sensibilities of Ben Folds and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The band freely mixes vocal and instrumental tracks live and on record, asking the audience to go along for the ride with the lead melody being carried by vocalists half the time, and instruments the other half.

The seven-piece group is a community of adventurous and charismatic superstar musicians who are conservatory-trained but who have not lost their childlike wonder and awe for playing music. The band lineup is Sammy Miller, drums and vocals; Sam Crittenden, trombone; Ben Flocks, tenor sax; Sammy’s sister Molly Miller on guitar; Alphonso Horne, trumpet; Corbin Jones, bass and tuba; and David Linard, piano. Independently, the band members have performed and recorded with notable artists including Wynton Marsalis, Lady Gaga, Jason Mraz, and Beyoncé.

Sammy convened the band in 2014, and 2015, he earned a Grammy Award nomination for his work as a drummer with Joey Alexander. Since the band’s inception, the Congregation has played nonstop around the world. Select highlights include performances at Umbria Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Jazz At Lincoln Center, The White House, The Kennedy Center, Prokofiev Concert Hall in Russia, and at the Newport Jazz Festival where the group received a standing ovation. The seven-piece band has also garnered prime critical acclaim from such venerated outlets as Los Angeles Times, Wall Street JournalSF WeeklyVanity Fair and Jazz Journal, among other publications.

In addition to these accolades and accomplishments, the award-winning theatre incubator Ars Nova selected The Congregation for the “Makers Lab” to develop their genre-bending show, Great Awakening. Sammy Miller and the Congregation have also done an exuberant TEDx video illustrating their philosophy on jazz and showcasing their irresistible theatricality and musicality.

Sammy started playing drums at age five in a group with his five siblings. “After school we would teach ourselves rock songs, disco songs, and country songs — ”everything was fair game” he recalls. When he got a little older, he discovered an all-consuming love of comedy and jazz. As a kid, he’d go to the library and check out 30 CDs a time, alphabetically exploring the jazz section from Ahmad Jamal to Zoot Sims. He also became obsessed with comedians such as Chris Rock, Lenny Bruce, and Bobby Slayton. “I’ve always loved the risktakers in entertainment — the people who would rather get it real than right,” Sammy shares.

Starting his career at an improbably young age, Sammy was cast on Mad TV at 11 years of age. At 18, Sammy moved from LA to New York City; at 21 he started studying for his master’s in jazz at Juilliard. “When I was at Juilliard, I realized jazz couldn’t just live in a conservatory vacuum. It needed to provide its initial function of being an expansive creative outlet where the rules are there for you to break and improvisation went beyond notes and into an experience,” Sammy says.

He soon found a cadre of jazz students who felt similarly — outliers who were fiercely individual on their instruments, but also craved a manner of expression beyond the solo. “We all went to Juilliard and have these credentials, but we didn’t like the insular feeling of the jazz scene. We were seeking warmth and connection,” Sammy says. These misfit creatives descended on venues around NYC where the genre was not played. “I wanted to find a new audience,” Sammy says. “We played in dive bars where people were scared of jazz.”

Their live show grew to be something of a mix between a comedy troupe and a dazzling rock band that played a vigorously reimagined strain of jazz. “We let ourselves be free on the bandstand and we took the audience with us,” Sammy says. The band’s boundless energy, inclusive ideals, catchy songwriting, and revue style presentation made them a word-of-mouth buzz band. The septet expanded its reach through adopting the rock band philosophy of touring endlessly in a van to build a fanbase.

The Congregation’s 9-song debut album, Leaving Egypt, opens with the lone drum figure of “Searching For Ragtime.” Here, the music is stripped down to its essentials, its heartbeat. The journey from there spans rollicking gospel-tinged jazz, rowdy and funky New Orleans second-line music, smoky back alley blues-jazz, and stately balladry. The album concludes bookended with a tender solo piano track “When I’m Gone”.

Select album standouts include the singles “Shine,” “Date A Jew,” “Bluebird,” and “It Gets Better.” The track “Shine” boasts Sammy’s ingratiating vocals, undeniably uplifting lyrics, playful piano hooks, and an imaginative arrangement with dynamic horn and backup vocal-driven crescendos. Sammy sweetly tucks in some purposeful messaging in “Date A Jew.” This is a simmering narrative track that showcases the Congregation’s groove pocket and its subtle musical interplay. The balmy “Bluebird” exudes a Paul Simon-imbued folk elegance. “It Gets Better” bursts forth with a loping groove, and cleverly unfolds with moody passages that veer into the sunny side of the street.

Leaving Egypt was cut in four 16-hour days at the legendary United Studios where the many famed Count Basie sides were tracked. The band enlisted drummer extraordinaire Jay Bellerose (Alison Krauss, Ray LaMontagne, Robert Plant, B.B. King) to supervise and produce the proceedings.

The debut represents a milestone for Sammy Miller and the Congregation’s creative continuum. It captures the group’s vulnerability, communal nature, charming and warm wit, and playfully virtuosic musicality. “This is us,” Sammy says of the album. “I’m proud of it, and I’m eager to embark on our mission to bring joy to people’s lives through music.”

website: http://www.sammymillercongregation.com/

youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOtXFbstD3A

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Wintergarten Orchestra

Monday, December 30, 2019 | 8:30pm

Wintergarten Orchestra
$30 Advance / $35 Door *

Wintergarten Orchestra is known and loved for delivering popular songs from the USA, Berlin and Paris during the roaring 1920’s and 1930’s. Their influences include Cab Calloway, Paul Whiteman, Pasadena Roof Orchestra, Palast Orchestra. Needless to say, you’ll love this band if you’re a fan of movies like The Great Gatsby, Some Like it Hot Television series: Downton Abbey, Jeeves and Wooster or Boardwalk Empire.

This big collection of seasoned Toronto musicians are coming back to celebrate 2020 New Year’s Eve… somewhere in the world. We invite everyone to skip the madness of New Year’s Eve on the usual night, and join us for a night of spectacular music to ring it in ahead of the crowd. Brash horns, crooning vocals and soaring violins will take us back nearly a hundred years to the dawn of The Jazz Age!

website: https://wintergartenorchestra.com
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxAPBiF7Qmo&feature=youtu.be

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees.

* Ticket price includes a glass of bubbly for an early new year’s toast

Kellylee Evans: Winter Song

Friday, December 20, 2019 | 8:30pm

Kellylee Evans Winter Song
$35 Advance / $40 Door *

*MEMBERS-ONLY PRE-SALE ACTIVE UNTIL SEPTEMBER 25, 2019

JUNO Award-winning jazz vocalist Kellylee Evans warms up the Azrieli Studio just in time for the season with Winter Song: an enchanting night of holiday classics, new standards, and Kellylee’s own gems.

Six albums deep, Kellylee Evans is still shaking it up on Come On, her latest Decca album.

The stylistic connoisseur has tackled everything from jazz to R&B and pop in such previous tasty classics fight or flight?, Nina – her Juno-winning tribute to the legendary Nina Simone – and I Remember When.

Praised by the Latin Jazz Network for a “gorgeous voice (that) rises to the heavens in rapturous wonder as if in consanguinity with a chorus of angels” and by the Yukon Arts Centre for “a stunning crystalline voice, both powerful and emotive,” Evans now pushes her muse firmly into the soulful pop territory with Come On: a wonderfully refreshing album about love and life that comes on the heels of two nearly career-ending accidents: a freak lightning strike in her Ottawa kitchen and further effects of a concussion suffered during a fall at her home.

However, Evans is nothing if not resilient: the runner-up of the 2004 Thelonious Monk Competition offers views on love and loss in an alluringly rhythmic approach that has touches of psychedelic pop, resonating soul groove and that je ne sais quoi that is strictly Kellylee and forged by her jazz discipline.

From the stirring soul-stomper “Come On” – which combines an effervescent Motown feel with traces of psychedelia – and the funky groove-a-liciousness of “Hands Up” to the string-and-horn-spiced magnetism of “Know His Worth,” the 10 songs of Come On find Kellylee at her most magically potent.

website: http://www.kellyleeevans.com/
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPzjtRKRa8A

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.