Artists

Friday Sept 28/19 – Jordan John

“Dynamite! The handsome lad vocally suggests Al Green via Smokey Robinson. Among impressive up-and-comers, John is definitely one to watch.” – Christopher Loudon – JAZZ TIMES
Prakash John – Bass
Legendary bassist for George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic, Lou Reed,Alice Cooper, James Brown, The Blues Brothers, Paul Shaffer, Dr. John, Junior Wells, Mike Bloomfield, Gene McLelland, Rory Block
Dylan Burchell – Guitar
Up ‘n Coming 20 year old guitar wiz
Julian Psihogios – Drums
22 year old drummer extraordinaire

To say that vocal sensation Jordan John is a more powerful and polished lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist than many players twice his age would tell just a fraction of the story.  Adept on drums, keyboards, guitar and bass, he has already compiled a longer list of credits, and displays more assuredness and maturity, than many performers twice his age.

Be it performing in front of 20,000 + as a lead singing, guitar wielding frontman, opening for The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin (at her personal request), jamming at age 16 on drums with the artist formally known as Prince, singing the American National Anthem at the 2011 Toronto Honda Indy, performing as interim bassist for famed Canadian rock trio, Wide Mouth Mason, Jordan’s talent and energy is sure to delight and amaze both avid and casual music listeners.

Garnering praise from the who’s who of the music industry such as world renown producer David Foster, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, John Mayall, Steve Jordan, Keith Richards, Robbie Robertson, you may begin to register the proper amount of astonishment his musicality can command.

In addition to his work as a frontman in the U.S. & overseas in Europe, Jordan’s diverse multi-instrumental ability has allowed him to perform and/or record at the highest level on drums, guitar, bass & B3 Hammond organ for the following Canadian, American & U.K. artists…

Johnny Reid, Colin James, Jeff Healey, Burton Cummings,  Wide Mouth Mason, Ronnie Spector, The Trailer Park Boys, Deborah Cox, Divine Brown, Lucky Peterson, Matt Schofield, Pinetop Perkins, Elise LeGrow to name but a few……


October 19/19 – ALEX PANGMAN
AND HER ALLEY CATS

“It would be hard to find a box of musical bonbons more beguiling than this collection of post-Jazz Age treats…Her earnest vocals and sharp Alleycats band make each song sparkle.” – TORONTO STAR REVIEW BY JOHN TERAUDS

Although Alex Pangman grew up a couple of generations late to have sung with Teddy Wilson, the vibrant young vocalist is proud to be known as Canada’s Sweetheart of Swing. With pipes aplenty, Juno nominee Pangman possesses the requisite taste, talent and the historical knowledge of an avid record collector to breathe new life into the sturdy standards of the classic jazz era.

A superb song stylist with growing compositional chops, the gifted Toronto scenemaker has built a loyal fanbase amongst jazz listeners and dancers alike through her critically acclaimed work with her stacked Alleycats in the studio, nightclubs and concert halls across Canada including three stellar showcases at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. (Her Alleycats band includes Peter Hill on piano, Glenn Anderson on drums, Chris Banks on bass, and John Macleod & Brigham Phillips on cornet/trumpet, Ross Wooldridge on clarinet & sax, and/or Drew Jurecka on violin and reeds, with Jesse Barksdale on guitar.)

Alex’s dedication to her music goes far beyond was might be called a passionate pursuit – it’s more like a life-long obsession which began in her teens upon first discovering Louis Armstrong and Jack Teagarden along with amazing singers like Mildred Bailey, Julia Lee and Maxine Sullivan. “An exciting new world with this immense songbook opened up to me.”

Alex quickly began delving deeper into the sophisticated shellac of the 20s and 30s which eventually led to a fortuitous connection with guitar great Jeff Healey who knew a rare talent when he heard it. In very short order, Healey produced her impressive 1999 debut They Say (Sensation Records) as well as the 2001 follow-up, You Can’t Stop Me From Dreaming. While facets of Ella Fitzgerald, Connie Boswell and Ruth Etting could be discerned in Alex’s zesty delivery, that crisp clear voice was unequivocally her own.

After getting a Songwriter of the Year nomination from the National Jazz Awards for her tune Melancholy Lullaby for the 2001 film Torso: The Evelyn Dick Story, Alex received two more nominations in the Vocalist Of The Year category and then a Ken Whiteley number she sang over the opening scene of the 2003 feature film Falling Angels won a Genie for Best Original Song.

While the gorgeously filmed videos for the aforementioned Melancholy Lullaby and One Night In Monte Carlo shot to the top of the Bravo! Countdown, Alex was busily scheduling collaborations with everyone from Grammy-nominated trumpeter Kevin Clark and the dashing Denzal Sinclaire to pianist Tyler Yarema and even Jim Galloway’s All-Stars. But Alex was never keen on being anyone’s “chick singer” and to underscore that point, she selected the repertoire, assembled her band and co-produced 2005’s Live In Montreal (Real Gone Gal) album which stands among her finest recorded performances.

The blessing of more frequent bookings would also prove to be a curse. Smoke-filled venues were definitely not the place for someone battling lung disease and Alex reluctantly slowed down to recoup. All the while, her interest in singing and playing music never waned. In fact, it was during her self-imposed exile that she stumbled onto the city’s bluegrass and string-band underground. Alex fit right in with the scrappy Cameron House crowd who shared her excitement for the enriching sound of a bygone era when the lines between jazz, blues and country were still blurry enough to ignore.

A hook-up with the Backstabbers’ frontman Colonel Tom Parker gave rise to the rollicking roots country combo Lickin’ Good Fried. But following the release of the group’s Say Uncle! debut, Alex’s physical condition worsened and a double-lung transplant was deemed essential. Fortunately a donor was found and the surgery was a complete success.

Alex roared back with a new recording project, 33 for the prestigious Montreal jazz label Justin Time. Released in April 2011 to wide critical acclaim, the title “33” refers both to Pangman’s age at the time of recording as well as to the fact that the carefully selected repertoire was popular in North America during 1933. Pangman’s cross-Canada tour which followed in the summer of 2011 – with support from the Canada Council for the Arts – helped to broaden her reach beyond the traditional jazz audience. Along the way, she has made the most of her heightened profile to be a strong advocate for organ and tissue donation.

As soon as Pangman returned home to Toronto, she was back at work on her next recording adventure: a session pairing her well-drilled Alleycats backing group with jazz guitar great Bucky Pizzarelli who famously traded fours with Les Paul and Stephane Grappelli. The fabulous Have A Little Fun album, issued in 2013, beautifully showcases Pangman’s impeccable taste in material and impressive growth as an interpretive stylist.

Just as word came that she would be sharing a Toronto Jazz Festival bill with Willie Nelson at Massey Hall, the state of Pangman’s health began to decline. A double-lung re-transplant was required and thankfully another donor was found. Good news from the surgeon is that it was an excellent match this time. While making a remarkably quick recovery, Pangman dreamed up her most ambitious project to date. Rather than play it safe, she decided to use those newly-acquired lungs to cut an album of entirely fresh material, with a cast of musicians she’d never met, at a studio she’d never seen in that wild ‘n’ wonderful city of New Orleans where jazz was born.


JANUARY 26 – Look ahead

Juno award winners Robi botos (keys), Paul Novotny (bass) & Daniel barnes (drums) are joined by juno nominee Allison young on sax and alana bridgewater on vocals. This will be the premier engagement for this highly talented jazz combo. Not to be missed!

At age five, Paul found the piano-sound to be mesmerizing, then with piano lessons he began his journey into music. During high school Paul played bass, drums, piano and trombone and attended two Stan Kenton jazz workshops. He graduated with a major in graphic arts and is in the hall of honour at Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School. This was the first sign of his interdisciplinary approach to the arts. At seventeen Paul began formal music study at Humber College in Toronto and at nineteen he was invited to play bass in the Brian Browne trio. Browne was the 1974 Canadian songwriting award winner — Paul began performing with him five nights a week while learning repertoire from the great American songbook.

Paul has now performed with jazz luminaries Cedar Walton, Geoff Keezer, Kenny Wheeler, Scott Hamilton, Jo-Anne Brackeen, Lynn Arrial, Richard Wyands, Moncef Genoud, Junior Mance and Don Thompson. He has accompanied singers Roger Whitaker, Molly Johnson, Tabe Johnson, Jackie Richardson, Susannah McCorkle, Trudy Desmond, Alana Bridgewater, Michael Dunston, Carol Welsman, Barbra Lica and David Clayton Thomas. As a studio bassist, he played on the 2018 platinum selling video game soundtrack Cuphead .

In 2016 Paul began leading his own ensembles and released his jazz duo recording titled Look Ahead, with Robi Botos. The Hi-Def 24/96 surround-sound version is distributed in Germany by highresaudio.com. German magazine Audio-Test declared Look Ahead to be “A Diamond of Modern Sound” and referred to Paul as “The Highly Doped Canadian Bassist.”

Look Ahead establishes Paul as a concert bass artist with recent performances at Huntsville’s Algonquin TheatreThe Waterloo Uptown Jazz FestivalShowplace (Peterborough)The Leith Summer Festival, The Elora Summer Festival and The Burlington Performing Arts Centre.


MARCH 8 – THE GRYPHON TRIO

For over 25 years, the Gryphon Trio has firmly established itself as one of the world’s preeminent piano trios, garnering acclaim and impressing international audiences with its highly refined, dynamic and memorable performances. With a repertoire that ranges from traditional to contemporary and from European classicism to modern-day multimedia, the Gryphons are committed to redefining chamber music for the 21st century.

Creative innovators with an appetite for discovery and new ideas, Gryphon Trio has commissioned over 85 new works and frequently collaborates on projects that push the boundaries of Classical music. Christos Hatzis’ multimedia work Constantinople – produced by the Gryphon Trio in partnership with Banff Centre, Tapestry New Opera, Ex Machina, and Music Toronto – continues to enrapture audiences in venues such the Royal Opera House, Linbury Studio.

The Trio tours regularly throughout North America and Europe and enjoys longstanding relationships with organizations such as Music Toronto, Chamber Music Society of Detroit, and Ottawa Chamberfest. Triple concertos have allowed performances with major orchestras including NACO Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, and San Francisco Symphonies and tours with smaller orchestras such as the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra.

The Gryphon’s prolific recording catalogue includes over 23 releases on the Analekta, Naxos, and other labels, and is an encyclopaedia of works for the genre. Honours include 13 nominations and three Juno Awards for Classical Album of the Year, and the prestigious 2013 Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Deeply committed to community engagement, education and the development of next generation audiences and performers alike, the Gryphons conduct masterclasses and workshops at universities and conservatories, and are Artists-in-Residence at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music and Trinity College. Since 2010, The Trio’s ground-breaking outreach program, Listen Up!, has inspired and engaged 16 Canadian communities to collaborate on large-scale multi-faceted arts creation projects. The Trio has lead Orford Music’s Piano Trio Workshop since 2013. In 2020, The Trio will direct the classical music summer program at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

Gryphon cellist Roman Borys is Artistic and Executive Director of the Ottawa Chamber Music Society. Annalee Patipatanakoon and Jamie Parker serve as OCMS’ Artistic Advisors in addition to their responsibilities at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, where Mr. Parker is the Rupert E. Edwards Chair in Piano Performance and Ms. Patipatanakoon is Associate Professor of Violin and Head of Strings.


APRIL 18 – THE DREAMBOATS

GREAT BALLS OF FIRE!! The Dreamboats are bringing back good ol’ fashioned Rock n’ Roll! With a sound that is equal parts Chuck Berry & The Wonders, this quartet of handsome young Mississauga boys delivers a high energy, nostalgic show that has audiences dancing and singing the night away!

Sir Ritchie Hummins
Lead Vocals, Guitar

Fliggers B. Lewis
Lead Vocals, Bass Guitar

Matt Best
Lead Guitar, Vocals

Johnny G. Wiz
Drums, Vocals

They just ripped the whole place up! Their energy and level of fun was off the scale. The crowd reaction was phenomenal – we have not seen anything like it, the girls were screaming so loud!”

— Minty & The Beeb Blog