Calendar

Live Music at The Jazz Room

Featuring International jazz acts that play the world’s top clubs (the Saturday program features artistic direction from Mark Kelso). For the latest news and & promotions, click here.

Please note that only Grand River Jazz Society events are shown below.
If you cannot see the calendar below, try our alternate calendar page or update your web browser.

Sep
21
Fri
2018
Rob Fekete Quintet Featuring Laura McNabb sponsored by Diva International
Sep 21 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

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Robert C. Fekete is a Canadian Jazz pianist and composer who shares his musical philosophy with others through performance and audio recording. His roots are planted firmly in classical and jazz traditions; however he aspires to build a bridge between modern popular music and older musical art forms without losing his focus on the relevance and necessity of art in the world. Robert recognizes the importance of recruiting young people to the jazz art form. He conveys this message through his musical compositions and when he performs live.

Robert has been performing and composing professionally since 1989.

Robert is a Mohawk College music program Alumni.

Robert also finished an undergrad, teachers college, and a Master of Music degree from the University of Toronto.

He currently teaches at Mohawk college and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

Laura McNabb is a recent graduate of McMaster’s Music Cognition program, during which time she had the opportunity to study jazz voice with Rob Fekete. A performer at heart, she has helped to establish an a cappella community at McMaster, starting 3 performance groups with singers from various academic and professional backgrounds. She co-chaired  the second annual Canadian A Cappella Conference (CanACC) and led Macappella to the quarter finals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCAs) in both 2017 and 2018. Laura has spent this summer performing in the Riversong Festival in Parry Sound under the direction of Brenda Muller. She is looking forward to starting her graduate studies with the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto, where she will prepare to teach Music and French at the intermediate-senior level.

Hamilton-born Tenor and Soprano Saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Mike Filice graduated from The Humber College Jazz Program in 1991.Following a brief tenure in Toronto, Mike moved to New York City in 1997 where he studied with saxophone legend Dave Liebman and began a diverse freelance career performing with, among others, Bill Stewart, Kenny Werner,Dominic Duval, recording with John Ballantyne and Carlos Darosa and accompanying luminaries like Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross.
Resettling in Toronto in 2008, Mike continues to distinguish himself as one of Canada’s most adventurous improvisers, nourished and inspired by his love of world music, classical music and the Avant Garde. Among his many talents, Mike is also known as one of North America’s leading woodwind technicians owning and running his own shop, and earning the trust and respect of a diverse clientele that includes Brandford Marsalis and David Liebman.

Clark Johnston started his professional career as a bassist in 1994 and has since had the opportunity to work with the likes of Peter Appleyard, Gene DiNovi, Reg Schwager, Don Thompson, John Sherwood, The Mike Malone Jazz Orchestra, as well as the Darcy Hepner Jazz Orchestra–just to name a few. He holds a master’s degree in music composition from York University and is currently on faculty at Mohawk College and McMaster University.

Dave O’Neill is a performer and educator of all things musical. He has toured Eastern Canada and parts of the U.S., performed at numerous venues, music festivals, theatre productions, conducted clinics, workshops, does motivational speaking, and has extensive experience in the recording studio. Dave has taught privately for the last thirty years, spent four years on the part time music faculty at Mohawk College, and is a supply teacher for the Waterloo Region District School Board. He is endorsed by Headhunters Drumsticks. Dave holds B. Ed. from OSIE/U. of Toronto, a B. Mus. in Jazz Performance from U. of Toronto, as well as a Dipl.Mus. from Mohawk College. He has studied with drummers Bob McLaren, Barry Elmes, Ernie Porthouse, John Cheeseman, and Memo Acevedo.

Sep
22
Sat
2018
Mike Downes Quartet
Sep 22 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
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 Mike Downes bass logo

 

“This bass ace is incapable of letting you down” – Midwest Record

JUNO award winner Mike Downes has been a prominent Canadian bassist, composer, arranger and educator since the early 1980s.  His musicality, emotional depth and melodic approach to the bass have thrilled audiences in Europe, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Israel, Iceland, the United States and Canada. In addition to leading his own groups, Mike has performed with virtually all of Canada’s top jazz musicians, including Molly Johnson, Oliver Jones, PJ Perry, Lorne Lofsky, Don Thompson, Kirk MacDonald, Robi Botos and Pat LaBarbera. He has performed with international artists Pat Metheny, Chris Potter, Michael Brecker, John Abercrombie, Peter Erskine, Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Dave Liebman and many others.

“Root Structure”

Mike Downes – bass
Robi Botos – piano
Larnell Lewis – drums
Ted Quinlan – guitar
Sep
23
Sun
2018
John Coltrane Tribute featuring the Pat La Barbera/Kirk MacDonald Quintet with special guest Joe LaBarbera
Sep 23 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
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A Celebration of the Music of John Coltrane

Pat LaBarbera/Kirk MacDonald Quintet with special guest Joe LaBarbera

Kirk and Pat have been performing an annual tribute to the iconic saxophonist/composer John Coltrane for over 25 years. The band focuses on Coltrane’s original music and recorded legacy, covering all periods of his illustrious career.

Kirk MacDonald/Pat La Barbera Saxophones

Brian Dickinson Piano

Neil Swainson Bass

Joe La Barbera Drums

Sep
27
Thu
2018
Samuel Blais Quartet (Montreal)
Sep 27 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
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After many tours in Europe, Asia and America, as well as collaborations with some of the biggest names in jazz (D. Liebman, L. Grenadier, D. McCaslin, D. Weiss, D. Binney, Ben Monder P. Woods, etc.), the timing for Samuel Blais’ new record couldn’t be better. Inspired by his travels and numerous collaborations, this new album proves to be a testimony of the incredible maturity of the young artist and composer. So much has evolved and changed since his last CD, which came out in 2014, co-produced with saxophonist David Liebman, who has performed with legends like Miles Davis and Elvin Jones. The music lies somewhere between contemporary classical music, improvised jazz and progressive rock. « Equilibrium » is an album which finds its balance through melody, rhythm, duality, contrasts, intensity, fragility and a complete devotion to the music. This is not a jazz record, it is the tales of a few moments, a few stories, glimpses of happiness, sadness or hope captured in the beauty of the moment, the present. Thanks for listening!

 Leading-edge music coloured by a wide-variety of influences, Blais’ compositions reverberate with a contagious energy. Sometimes melodic and fragile, other times intervallic and groove oriented, his work will not leave you unaffected. Rooted in the authenticity of the moment, his ever-evolving music offers a fresh approach, that speaks directly to the curiosity in you. Will you dare to listen?” 

Here is the band ……https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-48GiB_2ijs

Samuel Blais, baritone and alto saxophone, compositions
Jerome Beaulieu, piano
Olivier Babaz – bass
Alain Bourgeois – drums
Sep
28
Fri
2018
Elizabeth Sheppard Quartet sponsored by Diva International
Sep 28 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
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Velvety-voiced pianist Elizabeth Shepherd arrived on the international scene in 2006 when her debut album Start To Move was voted one of the top jazz albums of the year by the listeners of the influential Gilles Peterson Show on BBC Radio Worldwide. Since then, the Montreal-based soul-jazz innovator has established herself as one of the most alluring and imaginative artists on the scene today. Versed in equal parts Stevie Wonder, Salvation Army brass bands and classical sonatas, it is perhaps no surprise that this globetrotting talent has developed such a distinct and unique voice.

Elizabeth has been hailed as “a jazz virtuoso blessed with a pop sensibility”, praised by critics worldwide for her arrestingly original writing and soulful delivery. 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.

Here she is with Shine On doing John Lennon’s “Across the Universe”. I apologize for Gomeshi at the beginning and end,  but  it is a lovely video….

 

Sep
29
Sat
2018
Stefan Bauer Quintet (NYC)
Sep 29 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
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His eight CD’s to date bear witness to his flexibility and his productivity (with Adam Nussbaum, Barry Romberg, Bernie Senensky, Charlie Mariano, Chris Bacas, Christoph Haberer, Claudio Puntin, Howard Levy, Kenny Wheeler, Laurent Roy, Todd Isler, Marcio Doctor, Matthias Nadolny, Michal Cohen, Mick Goodrick, Paul McCandless, Pepe Berns, Ramesh Shotham, Rick Shadrach Lazar, Roland Schneider, Ted Poor, Thomas Alkier, Tim Hagans. Tim Wells, Volker Heinze , Jim Vivian, Ugonna Okegwo). Aside from travelling his native Germany annually with his own ensembles, he had opportunities to tour in Africa, India, and West and Eastern Europe, often with drummer/conceptualist Christoph Haberer’s ‘Drümmele Maa’, with composer Klaus Koenig, and with his own formations. Festival appearances from Abidjan to Zürich, and during the Olympics in Seoul/South Korea in 1988.
Oct
5
Fri
2018
Mary Catherine Quartet
Oct 5 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

mary-catherinePazzano shines throughout with energy and luscious tone, as she soars with her quartet. Pazzano possesses a gorgeous, classically trained contralto voice capable of projecting the full gamut of emotions, as well as an uncanny skill with rendering the lyrics of current music, jazz standards and show tunes.”

–Lesley Mitchell-Clarke, The WholeNote Magazine (December 2017 Issue), reviewing album “You’re Gonna Hear From Me”

Described as a performer who “has her audience enthralled throughout the entire show” (Thornbury Paper), and a musician who sings as if she is “reciting poetry” (Meaford Express), Mary-Catherine Pazzano is a jazz vocalist based in Kitchener, Ontario. Mary-Catherine’s performance highlights include headlining: Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival, The Rex (Toronto), Jazz Bistro (Toronto), The Jazz Room (Waterloo), Manhattans Music Club (Guelph) and The Registry Theatre (Kitchener). She has also toured New Zealand as lead vocalist, and has been a soloist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. Mary-Catherine has shared the stage with jazz notables Mark Eisenman and Pat Collins, as well as the world-class chamber ensemble Penderecki String Quartet.

Mary-Catherine has also made a name for herself in smaller pockets of Ontario, as a regular at Collingwood’s Jazz at the Library Series and a headliner with the Canadian Big Band Celebration (Port Elgin).

Mary-Catherine completed her Bachelor of Arts in Music and Drama from the University of Waterloo in 2010, as well as her Bachelor of Education from University of Toronto in 2012. Shortly thereafter, she focused her attention to a performance career.

When Mary-Catherine isn’t performing, she is committed to using her performance experience in an educational capacity. She operates a voice studio, and is Founder and Artistic Director of Jazz in the Schools, a program dedicated to bringing music education to high school students in need of a creative outlet. She also founded and directs Jazz for Adults, a program designed for older adults to realize their passion for singing and playing jazz in a collaborative, encouraging atmosphere.

Mary-Catherine released her debut studio album, “You’re Gonna Hear From Me” on October 27, 2017, on the label Glorious Feeling Records. The album contains original songs, material from the Great American Songbook, and lesser known jazz standards. The album has received radio airplay on JazzFM, CBC, community and commercial radio stations across Ontario, Québec, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and nationally syndicated U.S. shows in Florida, California, and Minnesota. Songs from the album have also been added to CBC’s worldwide Jazz Songbook Stream on cbcmusic.ca. The album received a rave review in the December issue of The WholeNote Magazine.

Oct
6
Sat
2018
Jeremy Ledbetter Trio
Oct 6 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Oct
12
Fri
2018
New Vibes Quintet
Oct 12 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

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There are very few vibes players around that inspire me the way that Andy Macpherson does with the creative lines that he weaves. Andy, Tom, Dan and Gary put me in a mood that I definitely did not want to leave…” – Larry Larson

Andy, Jerzy, John and Dan are bringing their style of standards to the Jazz Room with guest drummer Jay Boehmer.  Jay is a Canadian drummer, composer, and bandleader with Kitchener roots who as been performing on the Toronto jazz scene since 1990.  Composing at the piano with the spirit of a drummer, his music ranges from straight-ahead swing to offbeat rhythmic grooves.  Jay is a classmate of Andy’s from Humber School of Music days, NVJQ is excited to welcome him to the stage.

Andy Macpherson – percussion & vibraphone
Dan Brennan –  bass
Jay Boehmer – drums
John Zadro – piano
Jerzy Kaplanek – violin.

Oct
13
Sat
2018
Roddy Elias Trio (NYC)
Oct 13 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Oct
19
Fri
2018
Top Pocket COREtet
Oct 19 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

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Entering its 33rd year as a band, Top Pocket has been a big draw on the local (Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph) music scene for many years. With two albums to their credit [2014’s “11:11” and 2016’s “rocket in my (top) pocket”] they are known for performing ALL ORIGINAL material that runs the gamut from bebop, to latin jazz to fusion; and for approaching their performances with a laid back whimsy. Their live shows are not only musical and entertaining, but fun! The Top Pocket COREtet is excited to be making it’s annual appearance at the Jazz Room asoCome on out and support local talent.

Today, the COREtet contains:

Robin Habermehl: Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bari Saxes and Flute.

Paul Stouffer: Piano and Synthesizer

Michael Bergauer: Fretted and Fretless Basses

Don McDougall: Drums

Oct
20
Sat
2018
P.J. Perry
Oct 20 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
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PJ Perry has shared the stage with countless jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Shaw, Michel LeGrand, Pepper Adams, Kenny Wheeler, Tom Harrell, Rob McConnell, Slide Hampton, Herb Spanier, Bobby Shew, Fraser McPherson, Tommy Banks, Joe LaBarbera, Clarence “Big” Miller, Red Rodney and many more talented artists, too numerous to list here. Recently, he was a featured soloist on the hit 2010 Broadway production of Come Fly Away, highlighting the songs of Frank Sinatra and the choreography of Twyla Tharpe.

In 2007 PJ was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Alberta.

In autumn of 1999 Justin Time Records released a JUNO-nominated recording of PJ and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. PJ Perry has become recognized by critics, colleagues and listeners as being one of North America’s premier saxophonists.

Winner of a 1993 JUNO Award for Best Jazz Recording for his album My Ideal, PJ has received Jazz Report magazine’s Critic’s Choice Award for Best Alto Sax for a record-breaking seven years; from 1993 to 1999.

In 2016 PJ Perry was awarded the Order of Canada by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada.

Oct
26
Fri
2018
Kellylee Evans
Oct 26 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
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Six albums deep and Juno Award winner 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

Oct
27
Sat
2018
Joe Sullivan (Montreal)
Oct 27 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

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Joe Sullivan comes from the Northern Ontario town of Timmins. He grew up in a large franco-ontarian family, where music was a part of daily life. He began his formal training on piano and later, at the age of fifteen, started playing the trumpet. During his youth, he led an active musical life that included classical piano competitions, rock bands and high school concert and stage bands. He also composed music for several theater productions. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in classical trumpet at the University of Ottawa in 1981. His interest in jazz led him to the Berklee School of Music, then to the New England Conservatory of Music, where he received a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies in 1987. Since then he has lived in Montreal and has been active as a performer, composer, arranger and bandleader. A prolific composer, Sullivan leads and has written extensively for both his jazz sextet and his jazz Big Band and is active with a variety of small groups.

He has served as conductor and arranger with the Kirk MacDonald Jazz Orchestra; has been a member of the Vic Vogel Big Band for some twenty-five years; has appeared as a trumpet soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal; and has performed with numerous jazz artists of international repute, including Slide Hampton, Don Thompson, Lorne Lofsky, Pat Labarbera, Kirk Macdonald, Rémi Bolduc, John Medeski, John McNeil, Alain Caron, George Garzone, and Ranee Lee.

He has received both the Prix Socan (1991) and the Prix DuMaurier (Joel Miller Group, 1997) at the Montreal International Jazz Festival as well as several awards from the Canadian and Québec arts councils. He currently directs the McGill Jazz Orchestra 1 and teaches jazz composition, arranging and trumpet at McGill University, where he is an associate professor.

Here is the Joe Sullivan Big Band…

Nov
2
Fri
2018
Fresh Water Funk
Nov 2 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Nov
3
Sat
2018
Fawn Fritzen (Yukon)
Nov 3 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Nov
9
Fri
2018
David Cheon Trio
Nov 9 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Nov
10
Sat
2018
Avi Granite (NYC)
Nov 10 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Nov
16
Fri
2018
Larry Larson and the Jazz Guys
Nov 16 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Nov
17
Sat
2018
Ethan Ardelli Quartet
Nov 17 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Nov
18
Sun
2018
Alain Caron Trio (Montreal)
Nov 18 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Nov
23
Fri
2018
Andriy Tikhonov
Nov 23 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Nov
24
Sat
2018
Joy Lapps – Larnell Lewis Group
Nov 24 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Nov
30
Fri
2018
Carlos Morgan
Nov 30 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Concerts On Demand

VFest! Ted Warren Commission NUMUS Neu Berlin Ensemble (Penderecki String Quartet and Patricia O’Callaghan)