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.
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Larnell Lewis was first introduced to drums in church at a very young age. This is where he began to learn to play a variety of styles including gospel music. He worked tirelessly to not only develop his understanding of rhythm, but also studied electric bass and piano to further his knowledge of the melodic and harmonic aspects of music making.
During his time at Humber College, Larnell was the 2004 recipient of the Oscar Peterson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music, the highest award given by the institution. Although his roots lay in gospel music, Larnell is known for his ability to accurately execute a variety of musical styles. As a result, over the last few years, he has been called upon to perform with a wide range of artists/musicians such as Fred Hammond, Michael Brecker (Verve Records), Dave Leibman, Steve Gadd, Dave Holland (LoJac Music), Tim Ries (Rolling Stones), Salome Bey, Denny Christianson (Justin Time Records, and Head of the Humber College Music Program), Phil Dwyer, Sharon Riley and Faith Chorale, Glenn Lewis, Jully Black, Matt Dusk, and is currently playing with Andrew Craig, Laila Biali, Rinsethealgorithm, Eddie Bullen and many others. Larnell is sponsored by Yamaha Acoustic and Electronic Drums and Hardware, Vater Drum Sticks, Evans Drum Heads, and Zildjian Cymbals.
- Larnell Lewis – Drums
- Marc Rogers – Bass (Nellie Furtato, Sarah Harmer, Holly Cole, Matt Dusk, etc.)
- Elmer Ferrer – Guitar
- Michael Shand – Piano (Kollage, Matt Dusk)
- William Sperandi -Trumpet
- Rob Christian -Reeds
“CaneFire is sweeter than Caroni brown sugar and don’t doubt me” – Trinidad Guardian
“Edge is what separates CaneFire from their contemporaries in the Caribbean jazz scene” – Errol Nazareth
CaneFire was formed in 2005 by Ledbetter, who had cut his chops as musical director for Trinidadian calypso legend David Rudder. Jeremy wanted to shatter the stereotypes associated with Caribbean music and particularly the steelpan. Here this often-abused instrument is rescued from the sins of a thousand “island music” caricatures and plays its leading role with pride and integrity.
In recent years CaneFire has taken their unique brand of Caribbean Latin Jazz from Newfoundland to the Yukon, to South America and the Caribbean. They have released two albums of original music, both of which have garnered rave reviews and seen time on radio charts in Canada and abroad.
Jeremy Ledbetter – Piano
Mark Mosca – Steelpan
Yoser Rodrigues – Bass
Alexis Baro – Trumpet
Braxton Hicks – Reeds
Chendy Leon – Drums
David Wiffen is one of our favourite jazz players in the local music scene–though his musical reach extends far beyond Waterloo Region. In addition to being on faculty at WLU’s music school, he has toured with the Tommy Dorsey Big Band, and the Peter Appleyard Orchestra, also sharing the stage with Aretha Franklin and Nathalie Cole at various times. David can play any style – jazz, rock, blues, and classical music and his muscular, soulful sound makes him the “go to” tenor man in the region.
“If you’re a fan of the jazz standard and swing era, love a voice that envelopes you like a warm embrace, and music that’s executed perfectly by some of Toronto’s finest jazzers, pick up the new record.” – Errol Nazareth, CBC Radio’s Big City, Small World
Although she loves the sweet melodies and hot rhythms of this music, Beverly’s main goal is to communicate the essence of the song and its story to audiences. She’s always learning more about the music and lyrics of the jazz age, and what they have to teach us about life and love. These ideals – and 21st century life experience – inform her own lyric writing, and her song-writing partnership with guitarist Nathan Hiltz.
Described as “charming,” “delightful” and “100% pure beautiful jazz” by various arts journalists, Beverly has performed at a wide range of venues including: The Rex Jazz & Blues Bar, The Dominion on Queen, The Distillery Historic District, The Gladstone Hotel, Jazz Bistro, The Montreal Bistro, U of T’s “Friday Jazz at Oscar’s” Series, and jazz festivals in Barrie, Markham, Muskoka, Orangeville, Orillia, Peterborough, Port Hope, Southampton, Warkworth, and beyond, as well as Toronto City Hall, The CNE, The Celebrate Toronto Street Festival, and the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, to name a few. A dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada, Beverly has performed in Los Angeles and San Francisco California as well as Sarasota, Florida and several cities in Japan.
Beverlly Taft – Vocals
Mark Kelso – Drums
Neil Swainson Bass
Adrean Ferrugia – Piano
The Phoenix Jazz Group performs jazz in a melodic fusion style. Group members are very versatile in a number of different genres. A review from The Jazz Society of Oregon stated ” they’re a Canadian quartet of musicians with impressive credentials whose program of all original music swings with ease “. Since their debut album ” Extensions ” was released in 2009, the music of The Phoenix Jazz Group has received ongoing airplay on Canada’s Premier Jazz Station Jazz FM 91.1 in Toronto as well as on jazz radio in the U.S and New Zealand. They recently released their second album ” Intrinsic Value “.
JOHN McLELLAND, Piano and Keyboards, has performed with many of Canada’s jazz notables including singers Trish Colter, Jackie Richardson, Heather Bambrick and instrumentalists Phil Nimmons, Rick Wilkins, Peter Appleyard, Dave McMurdo, Ted Warren, Duncan Hopkins and Mike Malone as well as American jazzers Louis Smith and Mike Grace. He holds Bachelor of Music ( Honours ) and Bachelor of Education degrees from The University of Western Ontario, studied at The Banff School for the Performing Arts and spent three years in New Zealand teaching Jazz and Improvisation at James Hargest College.
ANDY KLAEHN, Clarinet and Saxophones, is a dynamic multi-talented, professional musician, bandleader, and master teacher. He is a highly sought after soprano, alto and tenor sax player as well as a flute and clarinet player performing with various artists in a wide array of collaborations from duos to sextets. Andy is an active member of the Faculty of Music at the University of Guelph as well as a woodwind teacher in local private studios.
JOHN GODDARD, Percussion, is very active in both the jazz and classical idioms. During his career as a jazz drummer he has performed with a variety of recording artists including Carol Welsman, Peter Appleyard, Phil Nimmons, Shirley Eikhard and Heather Bambrick. His experience in the classical field has included gigs with a number of orchestra and theatre companies in South-Western Ontario. In addition to maintaining a private percussion studio he enjoys his positions as Director of the University of Guelph Concert Winds and instructor of Applied Percussion.
GREG PRIOR, Bass, is a feelance bassist who has performed with the Waterloo Chamber Players, Big Band Theory, as well as Michael Wood, Ernie Kalwa, Andriy Tykhonov, Tim Moher and many other artists. Before he moved to Waterloo from Calgary he performed with The Lethbridge Symphony, The Red Deer Symphony, and the Symphony of the Kootenays. He has toured with many artists at Jazz festivals throughout Canada and at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Greg studied and performed in Havana,Cuba with the Latin jazz ensemble Masacote. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from The University of Calgary and studied at the Banff School for the Performing Arts.
Visit www.phoenixjazzgroup.com for more information.
Peripheral Vision is one of the most exciting and innovative jazz quartets to have recently appeared on the international jazz scene. Based in Toronto, the creative leaders of the group are long time musical collaborators, guitarist Don Scott and bassist Michael Herring. They have assembled a synergistic musical unit designed to push the boundaries of jazz while engaging the listener with a grooving, toe-tapping immediacy. Their distinctive musical voice bridges tradition and innovation, with deeply felt influences ranging from jazz, rock, classical, and improv, with a focus on dynamic group interaction.
“Following his time with the a cappella act The Nylons, Micah Barnes has found his own voice, that of a highly personal singer/songwriter with a strong jazz sensibility.” - Montreal Mirror
Having cut his teeth in the cabarets and jazz clubs of Toronto while still a teenager Micah Barnes became a well loved singer songwriter on the Queen Street scene before joining The Nylons and touring the world. Recording with the A Capella Pop act brought Micah into the global music scene and landed him in Venice Beach, California where he launched a solo career touring the U.S.which led to his #1 international club hit “Welcome To My Head” and coverage in Rolling Stone Magazine as “an Indie artist to watch”.
Micah Barnes – vocals
Michael Shand -keys
RussBoswell - bass
Al Cross – drums
Micah with “Lullaby of Birdland”