by Josh Grossman
At last night’s annual player’s party at The Rex Hotel (thanks to Bob, Tom and the whole crew for hosting a great event), a number of people asked me – “how can you look so calm two days before the festival?” There are two main answers. First, I’m lucky to have a fantastic group of colleagues who run a very tight ship – I can truly concentrate on my job (Artistic Direction) knowing that the festival will run as smoothly as it does every year (regardless of torrential downpours, such as the one currently taking place outside my window…). It’s a great team. And second, let’s face it: this is a good deal. For the next ten days, I get to hear incredible music, meet outstanding jazz musicians and supporters, and immerse myself in the music I love. Blessed, spoiled, lucky – whatever you want to call me, it’s the reason for seeming calm last night.
(Speaking of Noah’s Ark, please permit me a couple of words to whomever is in charge of the weather: the breeze is lovely, the temperature is nearly perfect. But maybe if the taps could be turned off tomorrow by about 4 pm…?)
Tomorrow night we kick things off with a free street party and a special performance by Aretha Franklin, and from there it’s nine days of musical feasting, all day and every day, whether at our official festival venues or in the local clubs. There truly is something for everyone, at every price point, so I hope you’ll join in the celebration. Read last week’s blog post for some tips on how to create a memorable jazz festival experience, and check our website each day for updates. For a complete list of programming pick up a brochure at Metro Square, a TD Bank branch or any jazz festival venue, or go to our online calendar.
I know what I’m most excited to hear, but I’m also looking forward to being surprised, and making a new discovery or two. The jam sessions are always unpredictable (in the best possible way) and I never know who I’ll meet even when walking from one place to another.
So – come out and get your jazz on. If you’d like to say hi, I’ll be at the beginning of each Lunchtime and Afterwork concert (they’re free!), and then running from place to place after that. I’ll also be leading four of the Ken Page Memorial Trust Workshops in the HMV Store at Metro Square – June 28 with Cathy Mitro, June 30 with Darcy James Argue, July 1 with Jay Cleary, and July 3 with Nicole Rampersaud.
I’m pumped – my tolerances for sleep deprivation and libation have been appropriately set, and I’m raring to go. I look forward to seeing you over the next ten days, and can’t wait to do it all again…
Here is your first daily update on activities at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. For the duration of the festival we’ll be sending you daily updates with brief reviews from the previous day, upcoming highlights, and any announcements and changes.
The 25th edition of your festival has a fabulous lineup of international artists that will have something for everyone. Let your ears guide you and discover a new artist!
TD TORONTO JAZZ FESTIVAL
Day One: Friday, June 24, 2011
Greetings Jazz fans,
Welcome to the daily update for the duration of the festival and a special welcome to our visitors from out of town!
For the 25th edition, fans will hear musicians from around the world showcasing an eclectic mix that demonstrates the richness of jazz.
To truly celebrate the evening in style, King Street West will be closed between Simcoe Street and John Street between the hours of 8:00pm – 1:00am. What would an anniversary commemoration be without a street party for all of the Festival’s closest friends?
Artistic Director Josh Grossman writes “Tonight we kick things off with a free street party and a special performance by Aretha Franklin, and from there it’s nine days of musical feasting, all day and every day, whether at our official festival venues or in the local clubs. There truly is something for everyone, at every price point, so I hope you’ll join in the celebration.” For more of Josh’s blog click here
and for a more comprehensive look at festival artists, Check out the Artistic Director’s Guide to the festival.
HIGHLIGHTS FOR DAY ONE (Friday, June 24, 2011)
**** FEATURED PERFORMANCES ****
8:30 pm – Aretha Franklin approx 9:30pm (opening Jordan Jones & The Blues Angels, Toronto Star Stage, Metro Square, FREE
8 pm – Dave Brubeck Quartet, Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W, $50 and $75
5 pm – CJQ w/ featured guest Harry Allen, Quotes Bar & Grill, 220 King St W, $30
6 pm – Danny Marks, Distillery District, Pure Spirits Patio, 55 Mill St, FREE
6 pm – Marg Stowe Trio, Distillery District, Mainstage, 55 Mill St, FREE
11 pm – Tyler Yarema & His Rhythm, Outdoor Stage, Metro Square, FREE
For full listings, please visit www.torontojazz.com
Josh Grossman’s blog
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