Archive for Toronto

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.

 

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Tim Booth’s Toronto Art Orchestra 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 | 8:30pm

Tim Booth’s Toronto Art Orchestra
Advance $20.00 / Door $25.00 *

One of Canada’s top jazz orchestras is returning to the Toronto stage in what will truly be an all-star event.

Toronto Art Orchestra (TAO), led by bass trombonist and jazz educator Timothy Booth, includes many of Canada’s first-call jazz players, including Colleen Allen, Bruce Cassidy, Andrew McAnsh, and John McLeod.

The ensemble features vocalists Jessica Lalonde and Tanya Wills. TAO will present the works of two of the greatest jazz orchestra composers of all time: Maria Schneider and Bob Brookmeyer.

Attend in-person or online

The Toronto Art Orchestra concert will also be video-streamed with professional production values by JazzOvation.org (formerly TheJazzBox.ca) — a platform for Canadian jazz composers and performers that currently serves more than 60 artists. Be on the lookout for a growing series of upcoming JazzOvation concerts, featuring the best of Toronto’s – and Canada’s – jazz artists, as they perform at our finest jazz venues.

About Tim Booth

Tim Booth has been on the Canadian music scene for over 30 years, performing with a wide array of groups in the Montreal and Toronto areas. He has played with such artists as Aretha Franklin, Pavarotti, Yes, John Pizzarelli, George Burns, Chris De Burgh to name just a few. He has also played such musicals as Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Showboat, Ragtime, Miss Saigon. Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. In 2006 he created the Toronto Art Orchestra, a jazz orchestra devoted to playing the greatest jazz master’s works.

For more information, contact

Timothy Booth,
Founder, Toronto Art Orchestra and JazzOvation.org
timothybooth9@gmail.com

Danielle Knibbe CD Release

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 | 8:30PM

Danielle Knibbe
Advance $15.00 / Door $20.00 *

Blending folk, roots, and country sensibilities, Danielle Knibbe’s songs win, and then all too often, break your heart. There’s an intimacy and familiarity to her music; her stories may not be about you, but you’ll think they are.

Tackling topics like mental illness, loss, heartbreak, estrangement, and countless others, Danielle Knibbe has developed a following by being as genuine and open in her songwriting as she is onstage. Her songs invite the listener into what feels like an intimate conversation between friends. Her knack for penning insightful yet straightforward lyrics has already gained her recognition, earning her a spot at the Banff Centre for the Arts inaugural Singer-Songwriter Residency. Although she was one of the youngest songwriters in the program, she was given the nickname “The Lyric Doctor” due to her natural instinct for getting to the heart of a song.

Her new album The Ribcage & The Heart is full of examples of Danielle’s lyrical skill,with three of the songs having been selected for print in American Songwriter’s monthly lyric contest. This new album, mixed by Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Basia Bulat) and featuring Fats Kaplin (John Prine, Jack White), showcases the depth, insight, passion, and potential of this up-and-coming songwriter.

Get your tickets immediately to the special CD release party by Danielle Knibbe.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.

Avataar + Surefire Sweat

Thursday, March 14, 2019 | 8:30pm

Avataar + Surefire Sweat
Advance: $20.00 | Doors: $25.00

Avataar

Avataar’s music has drawn comparison to Mahavishnu Orchestra, Keith Jarrett with Jan Garbarek, late Coltrane, and Oregon. The resulting confluence is a mesmerizing blend of rhythmic hypnotism, sonic landscapes and soaring melody that marries ancient and modern musical sounds. Cleverly layered and cinematic in scope, the music drives and swirls through a vast sonic palette. The album is questing in nature – the concepts of impermanence and universal consciousness feature in many of the compositions, as do first-rate musical interpretations and improvisations highlighting guitar, saxophone and vocals.

Surefire Sweat

Surefire Sweat is made up of a diverse and multi-generational roster of Toronto-based artists. The music, composed by Juno-nominated drummer, Larry Graves, is original drawing on an amalgam of Funk, Jazz, Brass Band, Blues and Afrobeat. Inventive arrangements act as a vehicle for the all-star cast of musicians to engage listeners through improvisational explorations and danceable arrangements.

 

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.

Romani Jazz

Monday, February 25, 2019 | 8:30PM

Romani Jazz
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.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.

Don Ross: Louder Than Usual

Sunday, February 24, 2019 | 8:30PM

Don Ross: Louder Than Usual
Advance $45.00 / Door: $50.00

Canadian guitar legend, Don Ross, has been touring internationally for the last 30 years, bringing his trademark groove-based style to audiences in Canada, the USA, Europe, China, Japan, Korea, Russia, India and Australia in the process. His new project, Don Ross: Louder Than Usual, is a new collaborative unit that Don has started to achieve some of the arrangements of many of his tunes that, though they work well in the solo context, were actually conceived as working well with a full band.

The core of the band is a quartet consisting of Andrew Craig on keyboards, Jordan O’Connor on bass, Marito Marques on drums and Don Ross on guitar and vocals. The band got its start in 2018 when Don was invited to perform in ensemble at the Ottawa Jazz Festival. Their sold out show was very well received, and made the band eager to showcase further.

Don Ross was born and raised in Montreal to an Indigenous Canadian mother and a Scottish immigrant father. His bilingual, multicultural upbringing was, perhaps, one of the most quintessentially Canadian experiences one could hope for! He eventually graduated with a Music degree from Toronto’s York University, and then embarked on an award-winning solo composing, recording and performing career that has taken him to dozens of countries over the course of 18 CD releases. In addition to guitar, Don plays about a dozen other instruments, but is certainly well-known primarily for his groundbreaking work as a solo “fingerstyle” guitarist. His music shows affinity for the music that influenced him along the way, including the traditions of urban music (jazz, funk, R&B, soul), traditional music, world music, and 20th and 21st century composers, such as Steve Reich, Keith Jarrett and Pat Metheny.

Don Ross: Louder Than Usual is a quartet that can grow to a larger group with the inclusion of a four-piece horn section, led by luminary wind player and bandleader, Colleen Allen. The band consists primarily of Toronto-based musicians. Despite living on Canada’s East Coast, Don still considers Toronto (where he lived for many years) as his musical home, and from whose awesome talent pool he often chooses his collaborators. Given the realities and expenses of touring however, Don plans to form regional versions of Louder Than Usual in order to open up performance possibilities in other parts of the world.

* Advertised pricing excludes pricing and fees.

MOXIE

Monday, February 11, 2019

MOXIE
Advance $15 / Door $20 *

MOXIE is the music of a new era, where fluidity, cross-pollination, and innovation are the future and salvation of Irish music. -The Irish Examiner

After a year of hibernation below surface in Dublin, MOXIE have crafted their intricate acoustic Irish music into a fresh Urban Style. They are now ready to present their genre defining, boundary busting Neo-Irish Music to the world.

Moxie consists of five young lads with traditional backbones deliver a new brand of Irish music heavily influenced by Electro, Jazz, House, and Rock putting them at the forefront of new music from Ireland. Delivering an energetic, wild and unique live show, Moxie have been inspiring audiences and musicians with their new palette of 21st century Irish music. The band includes Cillian Doheny (tenor banjo/guitar/electric guitar), Jos Kelly (button accordion/keyboard), Darren Roche (button accordion/percussion/keyboards), Ted Kelly (tenor banjo/electric tenor guitar) and Josh Sampson (drums).

Come check out this emerging style of music from an innovative new group at Hugh’s Room Live this February. It’ll be a rare performance in the City of Toronto and tickets are available right now.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.

The Ward Cabaret

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The Ward Cabaret
Advance $25 / Door $30 *

The Ward Cabaret reimagines the vibrant sound of Toronto’s first multi-cultural neighbourhood. JUNO Award-winning musician and composer David Buchbinder is joined by a collaborative team of musicians, singers, and actors for a musical event based on the songs and sounds of Toronto’s first cross-cultural community.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.

Eliana Cuevas + Jeremy Ledbetter Trio

Thursday, January 24, 2019 | 8:30PM

Eliana Cuevas + Jeremy Ledbetter Trio
Advance: $20.00 | Doors: $25.00

 

“A major international talent that’s on its way”

– THE TORONTO STAR

 

Through years of touring around the world, across Canada, and collaborating with Juno Award-winning performers, Eliana Cuevas has grown into an accomplished singer-songwriter and bandleader with unlimited colours in her compositional and lyrical palette. Among her honours are the National Jazz Award for Latin Jazz Artist of the Year, two Toronto Independent Music Awards for Best World Music Artist , an Independent Music Award for Best Latin Album, and a Canadian Folk Music Award for World Solo Artist of the Year. Eliana has released 5 albums of original Latin music to this date: Cohesión (2001), Ventura (2004) Vidas (2007),  Espejo (2013), and Golpes y Flores (2017).  With her latest album Golpes y Flores, Eliana has created a beautiful musical love letter to her native land of Venezuela that integrates Afro-Venezuelan rhythms with Eliana’s very own Latin Jazz approach featuring a sound that is both timeless and freshly contemporary.

Jeremy Ledbetter Trio

An engaging and fiery performer whose music knows no boundaries, Canadian pianist Jeremy Ledbetter has made a career from travelling the far-flung corners of the globe in search of the most fascinating and unique musical ideas out there, then seamlessly integrating them into his work as a pianist, composer, and producer. Jeremy is the driving force behind Caribbean Latin Jazz powerhouse CaneFire, and the longtime musical director and producer for calypso superstar David Rudder. Jeremy’s newest project, the Jeremy Ledbetter Trio, released their debut album “Got a Light?” in 2018.  The Trio features Ledbetter’s unique sound at the piano alongside fellow Canadian jazz heavyweights Rich Brown (rinsethealgorithm) and Larnell Lewis (Snarky Puppy).

Simply put, Eliana’s show with the Jeremy Ledbetter Trio at Hugh’s Room Live in January is more than worthy of your attention. Tickets available right now.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.

Don Ross

Friday, December 28, 2019 | 8:30pm

Don Ross: Louder Than Usual
Advance $45.00 / Door: $50.00

Don Ross began playing guitar virtually by accident.

There was always a lot of music around the house. Don’s dad is an operatically-trained singer. So, the Ross kids heard plenty of voice exercises around their Montreal home as well as classical music on the record player growing up (not to mention the occasional blast of the bagpipes when Don’s dad felt like waking up the neighbours with another musical skill he acquired growing up in Scotland!).

Don Ross was a very musical child, teaching himself some basic piano skills in his early years. But at the age of eight, when Don’s sister came home from boarding school with an old Stella acoustic guitar, he knew he had met his new best friend. Immediately recognizing the portability and “cool factor” of the guitar, Don and his older brother began teaching themselves tunes by the Beatles, Cream, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.

By the age of ten, Don Ross was playing less with a pick and more with his fingers. He was fascinated by the possibility of playing several lines at once: melody, middle voices, bass line. To achieve some of the musical ideas he had in mind, he started retuning the guitar to suit them, inventing new tunings that made things easier at first. But he also realized that he could expand the range of the instrument to make the low strings lower and the high strings higher. The possibilities seemed almost endless.

He began playing publicly (and for money) in his hometown of Montreal at the age of 15. Fortunately he looked old enough to drink by then and even played occasionally at some of the downtown pubs that featured live acoustic music! Around the same time he discovered the music of legendary Canadian singer/guitarist Bruce Cockburn. Don Ross was amazed that such an insightful lyricist could also be a tremendous guitarist. The musical future seemed very bright indeed. He was inspired to write his first strong instrumental tunes for solo guitar around this time.

Education
Don eventually studied Music at Toronto’s York University. Strangely enough, he didn’t focus on guitar but rather on composition, electronic music, and sound recording. Upon graduating, he had visions of being a composer of orchestral and electronic music or film scores..certainly not any delusions of playing solo guitar for a living. What changed his mind was seeing the success of musicians like Michael Hedges, Steve Reich and Keith Jarrett, player/composers who followed their musical intuitions wherever they led and who fell more into the category of “artist” rather than “guitarist” or “pianist.”

Take Off
After graduation, Don Ross decided that the best forum for what he did as a composer would be to perform his guitar music himself. In 1988, he won the U.S. National Fingerstyle Guitar Competition. This earned him a fair amount of media attention back home in Canada, and within days he was scouted to record for Toronto-based independent record label Duke Street Records. He recorded his debut for the label, Bearing Straight, which was released in 1989. Two more recordings for the label followed, 1990’s Don Ross and 1993’s Three Hands. Don then signed with Columbia/Sony and recorded three more CDs for that label: This Dragon Won’t Sleep in 1995, Wintertide in 1996 and Loaded. Leather. Moonroof in 1997. In the meantime, Don won the Fingerstyle competition in the USA for a second time in 1996. To this day, he is still the only player to have won the competition twice!

Signing with Narada Records in 1999, Don Ross released his first completely solo-guitar CD, Passion Session. Recorded in a series of overnight sessions in Berlin’s Passionskirche (The Church of the Passion), the CD has gone on to top many of the “all time best acoustic guitar recordings” lists in publications like Acoustic Guitar Magazine. Some of the compositions on Passion Session, such as “Michael, Michael, Michael,” “Klimbim,” and “Tight Trite Night” have become standards in world guitar repertoire. Huron Street (2001) and Robot Monster (2003) followed, showcasing the depth of Don’s compositional history as well as his ongoing interest in electronic music, through collaborations with Berlin composer Christoph Bendel.

A New Digital Era
With the collapse of the conventional recording industry in the early 21st century, Don entered into a new venture with Milwaukee-based CandyRat Records and its founder, Rob Poland. The move to a completely internet-based model of releasing recordings resulted in the first ever CandyRat CD, 2005’s Music for Vacuuming. CandyRat has gone on to release recordings by dozens of international artists, primarily guitarists and songwriters. YouTube exposure has helped all of the CandyRat artists, and made an international star of Don’s good friend Andy McKee. Other recent projects Don has released in collaboration with CandyRat are Live in Your Head (2006), the thing that came from somewhere (2008, with Andy McKee), his all-vocal CD Any Colour (2009), the solo guitar albums Breakfast for Dogs! (2010), Upright and Locked Position (2012), and PS15 as well as two performance DVDs: Don Ross Live and Live in Toronto (with Michael Manring and Andy McKee).

World
Don has toured regularly since 1989, across Canada, the USA, a dozen European countries, Japan, Taiwan, China, Australia, Russia and India. He has played with symphony orchestras in Canada and Germany, and collaborated live and on recording with Andy McKee, Canadian singer/guitarist Brooke Miller, & Toronto bassist Jordan O’Connor. He also composes scores for television, radio and film, and does production and recording engineering for a variety of other musicians. In addition to acoustic guitar, Don also plays electric guitar, slide dobro and lapsteel guitar, voice, piano, keyboards, bass guitar and drums. He has just started learning to play the Megatar, a Chapman-stick style instrument. At this point, Don admits that learning a new instrument from scratch at this point in his career is “humbling. I’m a rank amateur Stick player, and I still completely suck at it!”

Don Ross grew up in Montreal, has lived at various times in Ontario, Nova Scotia, the USA, China and Quebec, and now resides in Toronto.