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.

Tim Moher Octet
Feb 23 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

The Tim Moher Octet will be playing jazz and some “Celtic Jazz” originals with a sprinkling of favourite standards in this evening of eclectic music from funk, soft jazz, to straight ahead jazz tunes. Tim (soprano, alto, tenor saxes and EWI – electric wind instrument) will be joined by Paul Stouffer (keys), Rich Brown (Bass), Shane Guse (Fiddle), Robin Jessome (Trombone), Andy Macpherson (Drums), David Cheon (Guitar) and Rob Gellner (Trumpet/Chapman Stick). Also joining in on a couple of tunes will be vocalists Candy Young and Derek Hines.

Tim Moher – saxes, EWI

Paul Stouffer – keys

Rich Brown -bass

Shane Guse – fiddle

Robin Jessome on trombone.

Andy Macpherson  – drums

David Cheon – guitar

Rob Gellner – trumpet/Chapman Stick

Derek Hines – vocals

Candy Young – vocals

Here is a cool video link

Here is Tim with the Celtic influenced “Cliffs”

Juliet Dunn
Feb 24 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Juliet Dunn’s vast career thus far includes jazz vocalist, recording artist, radio host, actress, producer, booking agent, emcee, public speaker and much more.  In 2014 she started up the TD Niagara Jazz Festival which is now in its 5th year.   She runs the festival with her life partner and musical partner Peter Shea along with the Twilight Jazz Series which they co-created and have been running for 7 years.

Juliet lived, worked and performed in Paris, France for 13 years, came to Niagara to perform at the renowned Shaw Festival Theatre, hosted her own radio show on Jazz.FM 91 for 3 years, and now spends her time between performing and producing various events.

Juliet loves both sides of the stage and loves to keep her plate full with a variation of activities.  She also regularly volunteers in her community in Niagara.

As Juliet lived for many years in Paris she has a deep connection with the French culture and this comes through as she vocalizes to the French classics with her French band:  ‘Le Trio Parisien’.

Juliet and her band will transport you to the smokey jazz cafés of Paris with songs you’re sure to recognize:  Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Josephine Baker, Maurice Chevalier and more.

Sit back, relax and enjoy songs performed in both French and English as Juliet takes you on a trip to the original ‘City of Love’.

Juliet Dunn: Vocals
Denis Keldie: Accordion
Peter Shea: Piano
Adrian Juras: Bass
TBC: Drums

Here is a Juliet Dunn compilation video

Robin Jessome’s “Blunt Object” Sunday Matinee
Feb 25 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Blunt Object is a Toronto-based 11-piece jazz ensemble performing energetic, creative music; balancing unique improvisors with quirky and compelling arrangements. Featuring the music of Carla Bley, the ensemble presents engaging music with a refreshing sense of humour.

Featuring: Ben Dietschi, Gordon Hyland, Conrad Gluch – saxophone

Jesse Malone, Tara Kannangara  – trumpet

Josh Bird, Robin Jessome  – trombone

Eric Probst  – tuba

Tom Altobelli  – bass

Andy Slade  – piano

Robin Claxton  – drums

To learn more about the band, listen to their music or view videos, visit their website.


Jason White
Mar 2 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Jason White


Jason White operates at the forefront of music-making and teaching in Waterloo Region. A co-founder of the acclaimed Jazz Room music venue, a resident pianist with the K-W Symphony, and a frequent collaborator with dancers, visual artists, architects, actors, and playwrights, his various performance projects have been seen in many venues running from jazz clubs and art galleries to 2,000-seat concert halls and back yards.  He has premiered more than 30 new works and will perform 10 new piano commissions in 2016, by composers from Canada, Germany, the United States, and Australia.  He is a frequent performer with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Academy Orchestra.

His integration of brain science, experiential learning, and drawing out a student’s intuitive skills has put Jason in high demand as an educator.  He tours Canada to adjudicate competitions, runs workshops at universities, creates youth jazz ensemble programs for Summer festivals, and is a Registered Music Teacher through ORMTA.  He has worked with many international artists and young students as a coach and music director in contemporary opera and musical theatre.

Jason is an examiner with Conservatory Canada, and holds a bachelor’s degree in composition from Wilfrid Laurier University. He holds a master’s degree in contemporary piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where he graduated with highest honours.

Bernie Senensky
Mar 3 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


Bernie began playing piano at the age of eight, settling into his interest in jazz when he was 14, studying with Winnipeg jazz eminence Bob Erlendson. He began sitting in with local Winnipeg groups which included guitarist Lenny Breau and bassist Dave Young, eventually taking his considerable talent to Edmonton. His work leading a house band with the Holiday Inn Hotel chain eventually took him to Toronto where he took up residence in 1968, quickly establishing himself as an accompanist playing for and with a wide variety of visiting musicians including Pepper Adams, Chet Baker, Ed Bickert, Terence Blanchard, Ruby Braff, Randy Brecker, Al Cohn, George Coleman, Buddy DeFranco, Herb Ellis, Art Farmer, Sonny Greenwich, Slide Hampton, Herbie Mann, Frank Morgan, Joe Pass, Art Pepper, Bucky Pizzarelli, Dizzy Reese, Red Rodney, Jack Sheldon, Zoot Sims, Sonny Stitt, Lew Tabackin, Clark Terry, Kenny Wheeler, Joe Williams, and Phil Woods.

He has recorded with many important jazz artists, played in piano duets with Oscar Peterson and Marian McPartland, and performed with major name bands and ensembles including Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers, Rob McConnell’s Boss Brass, the Maynard Ferguson Orchestra, the Elvin Jones Quartet, and the Herbie Mann/Al Grey All-Star Septet.

He formed his own trio in the early ‘70s, and began occupying the piano chair in The Moe Koffman Quintet in 1979 when the band was the number one small jazz combo in Canada. He had played with Moe on occasion prior to that and “was always impressed with his utter musicality and his complete mastery of the flute, alto, and soprano saxophones”. As part of The Moe Koffman Quintet, Senensky ultimately had the opportunity to contribute many of his own compositions to the band’s repertoire for more than twenty years, and continues to keep the memory and the music of Moe Koffman alive today as leader of his Tribute to Moe Koffman Band.

The Bernie Senensky Trio with “Little Miles”

Derek Hines Big Band
Mar 9 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Hines_ Derek 1.JPG

Derek, who lives in downtown Kitchener, said he wakes up singing. Sings while cooking breakfast, while working on anything. Hines interprets his world through music and he pays tribute to those who have passed with song, people such as his mother who died of cancer but had always wanted her son to record the church music she loved.

In November 2017, Hines released his first album “The Long Journey Home” a collection of gospel music arranged Big Band style. This music is Frank Sinatra meets Mahalia Jackson.

His love of music was born in an unexpected place.

“When I was really young my mom and dad would take me to the barn,” recalled the adopted son of chicken farmers living near Wellesley. What do you do with a three or four year old while you’re trying to feed hens and muck stalls?

“They’d bring a black and white TV and I’d watch Sesame Street and music,” he said.

Hines was also influenced by his mother, who was highly musical.

She loved the old religious tunes and there was a lot of Irish music in the household, a salute to her mother’s heritage. His dad preferred the country stylings of Boxcar Willie.

It was an interesting musical background and one that Hines would continue as he experimented with everything from Christian music to musical theatre to rock until he finally found his jazz groove.

Derek in a trio format (this show is a big band…) with “A Foggy Day”

Ineke van Doorn and Marc van Vugt (Netherlands)
Mar 10 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


Dutch Grammy winners jazz singer Ineke van Doorn and guitarist Marc van Vugt return to Canada in the spring of 2018. Inspired by the French Provence countryside they wrote news songs about friends, friendships and their loved ones. Vandoorn and van Vugt have taken the duo playing to a different level. Seamlessly and effortlessly they are switching roles and by times you are wondering who is doing what. Never losing their sense of lyricism and harmony, free as a bird they are playing their songs.

As part of their tour van Doorn and van Vugt will be artist-in-residence at the University of Toronto and Capilano University in Vancouver. Concerts will be played in Toronto, Waterloo, Edmonton, Saskatoon, 6 cities in Alberta and B.C., the Vancouver area, Ottawa and Montreal. They will also perform their music with two different big bands and a jazz choir.

Ineke van Doorn – Voice and Piano

Marc van Vugt -  Guitar

Mark Kelso – Drums

Soren Nissen – Bass

HWO + Joni NeRita
Mar 16 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


HWO+JO Smaller file size.jpg


HWO is original music penned by Thomas Hammerton, Tyler Wagler, and Dave O’Neill. In the mix are tunes by Radiohead, the Beatles, Tears for Fears, Genesis, Tom Waits, St. Vincent, Joni Mitchell, as well as favourite songs from the massive catalogue of the standards repertoire. We are excited to be joined by Joni NehRita for this show; HWO+JO.


Jamaican-Canadian singer/songwriter/musician Joni NehRitaÆs has been a staple on the KW/Guelph regional scene for a decade. Her musicÆs infectious blend of jazz, R&B/soul & reggae has been well supported by the CBC, and has had local commercial radio success.

She has even been a guest vocalist with the Hamilton Philharmonic & The KW Symphony. Joni has toured in Australia, the UK, the U.S., France, Germany and Oman.

Kite Trio (Montreal)
Mar 17 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


Kite has been establishing an alternative path for the modern jazz trio since it was formed by guitarist Eric Couture, drummer Eric Dew, and upright bassist Paul Van Dyk in Montreal in 2008. Five years of relentless rehearsing, composing, and touring have created a bold sound that often elicits comparisons to both 70s prog icons, “Gentle Giant” and to modern day alt-jazz giants, “The Bad Plus”. Each member of Kite is a gripping presence on his instrument, but it’s a determination to experiment in the face of jazz tradition and to put it all on the line for the band that makes Kite special.

Eric Coutue – Guitar

Eric Drew – Drums

Paul Van Dyk – Bass

Here is Kite Trio with “Tin Man”

Dave Buchbinder’s Odessa/Havana
Mar 23 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Award-winning trumpeter and composer David Buchbinder leads this Juno award-winning, 8-piece orchestra of top jazz and world musicians. David Buchbinder’s Odessa/Havana is an exhilarating, unparalleled project of musical discovery: the creative cross-cultural collusion of Latin and Jewish klezmer musical styles. Originating in Toronto, the Canadian hub of cultural diversity, the group’s sound is truly original. With delicately textured music and swinging, lyrical playing, Odessa/Havana radiates passion, and audiences can’t resist the urge to dance.

David Buchbinder: Trumpet
Hilario Duran: Piano
Aleksander Gajic: Violin
John Johnson: Saxaphone, Clairinet
Justin Gray: Bass
Marito Marques: Drums
Joaquin Nunez-Hidalgo: Percussion
Maryem Tollar: Vocals


Odessa/Havana with “Cadiz”

Jam Session!!
Mar 24 @ 3:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Saturday afternoon from 3 – 5 PM, practice your improvisation by playing jazz on the Jazz Room stage at the monthly Jazz Room jam session. It’ is a great opportunity for local musicians to meet and play together, share ideas and learn new tricks. If you ever wanted to play jazz music, but don’t have place or band to play with it’s your chance to do so. Please, pass this message to all your friends, so we will have great crowd at the Jazz Room.

The house band consists of Andriy Tykonov (piano), Robin Habermeyl (sax) and Steve Montgomery (drums). Jammers bring your own musical instrument, except for pianists and drummers. Drummers, bring your own sticks and brushes.

Every musician who wants to play will get opportunity to play. You can either substitute for a house band member, or play with the house band if you play a different instrument.

Sharon Minemoto (Vancouver)
Mar 24 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


Since the age of sixteen, Vancouver based pianist and composer, Sharon Minemoto has been performing to audiences around the world.​

In 1997, Sharon started her own quintet which performs her original compositions and has recorded four shows for CBC Radio as well as a CD released on Cellar Live Records entitled, “Side A”.

In addition to composing, she puts her arranging talents to work on standards and pop tunes for her trio which came out with their debut CD called “You Can See The Ocean From Here” in the spring of 2008.  Both albums spent considerable time in the Top 10 Jazz Albums on Canada’s Chartattack.

More recently, she has been working with her new quartet which includes Jon Bentley on saxophone, bassist Adam Thomas, and drummer Bernie Arai.

Sharon holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Performance from Capilano College in North Vancouver.  While she was a student there, she was selected from applicants across North America as the pianist for the IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators) College All-Star Band.

Since graduating, she has studied with pianist Geoff Keezer in 1999 and in 2000 she received a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to study composition with Don Thompson in Toronto.  From September-December of 2010 Sharon studied with pianists, Renee Rosnes and Kenny Werner in New York City with funding from The Canada Council for the Arts and the BC Arts Council.

Sharon Minemoto at Frankies


Cityscape Band
Mar 30 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Chelsea and the Cityscape is the Toronto-based jazz-pop sextet led by award-winning saxophonist/composer Chelsea McBride. Chelsea and the Cityscape began in 2011 as a way for McBride to express the moods she felt moving away to school in a big city as a bright-eyed millennial musician. Since then, their debut full-length album “What I Do” has been featured on CBC Radio, JAZZFM91 and Women of Substance Radio and Podcast. Blending her pop and rock roots with her jazz training, Chelsea’s unique songwriting style strikes at the heart of what it means to be a millennial in the big city.

“What I do”

Alex Goodman Quartet (NYC)
Mar 31 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

“a definite musical voice”Guitar International 

“a jazz phenomenon the world over”Birmingham Times

“fluid lyricism”Downbeat

In 2013, Alex’s CD Bridges was nominated for a JUNO, Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year, Canada’s highest musical honor. Since moving to New York in 2012, Goodman has recorded with artists including John Patitucci, Dick Oatts, Kevin Hays and Rich Perry and performed with a variety of notable jazz musicians like Charles Lloyd, Eric Harland, Ari Hoenig, Terell Stafford, Ben Wolfe, and John Riley. Alex was awarded a 2013 ASCAP Herb Alpert Jazz Composer Award, has written a book of solo guitar etudes and has composed extensively for jazz groups, chamber groups, orchestras, big bands, and string quartets.

Alex has performed at New York City’s top clubs such as Smalls, the Appel Room at Lincoln Center, The Jazz Standard, Mezzrow, 55 Bar, Smoke, and Cornelia Street Cafe, at prestigious international venues such as the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and Massey Hall in Toronto as well as at jazz festivals including Winter Jazz Fest in New York, the Montreal Jazz Festival and the Montreux Jazz Festival. Alex has also played across the world in countries including Bulgaria, India, Switzerland, Germany, Holland and Belgium. He is a graduate of the Master’s program in Jazz Performance at the Manhattan School of Music.

Alex Goodman and Adam Arruda are two Canadians who since relocating to New York City have contributed their talents to some of the leading groups in jazz today . For this concert they will be joining regular collaborator and acclaimed saxophonist Matt Marantz as well as the amazing Rich Brown on bass. The group will be performing original music from multiple members of the band.

Alex Goodman – guitar
Matt Marantz – saxophone
Rick Brown – bass
Adam Arruda – drums

“Lets Cool One”



Dan Faulk (NYC)
Apr 6 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Celebrated tenor/soprano saxophonist Dan Faulk has recorded on several CDs with many of jazz’s legendary masters including Barry Harris, Jimmy Heath, J.J. Johnson, Wayne Shorter, and James Spaulding. For nearly 2 years, Dan was a full-time member of the J.J. Johnson Quintet until J.J. retired from music in December ’97. Dan recorded on 2 CD’s with Johnson for Verve Records. Since July ’97, Dan has regularly been a featured soloist with Steve Turré and the Sanctified Shells. Dan has 3 CD’s as a leader. Dan’s first CD, Focusing In, made such an impact that it was chosen to be featured on the cover of the 1995 Bielefelder Katalog–Europe’s most widely-circulated and extensive jazz discography. In addition to his extensive performance career, Dan served as Director of Jazz Studies and a professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook 1999-2003 and as a professor at City University of New York-York College 2003-2004. He is currently focusing on his performance career and writing a book on jazz improvisation.

Dan was raised in the West, mainly in Arizona. At the age of 8, he began playing the alto

saxophone, but at 14, switched to his primary instrument–the tenor. Shortly after, he began to work and perform throughout the area in various musical settings. As a high school senior, Dan was awarded the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award and held the First Tenor seat in the 1st Arizona All- State Big Band Ensemble.

In 1987, Dan attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music and studied with tenor saxophonist Bill Pierce. A year and a half later, he transferred to New Jersey’s William Paterson College and continued his musical studies with Rufus Reid, Joe Lovano, Harold Mabern, Steve Turré, Norman Simmons, and other members of WPC’s outstanding staff. Also, during this time, Dan studied with the legendary pianist Barry Harris and the illustrious saxophonist/composer Benny Golson. In 1991, he finished his studies at William Paterson and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music. Dan received the jazz department’s Outstanding Senior Award. Soon after graduation, he was hired by WPC’s Director of Jazz Studies and Performance–the world-renowned bassist Rufus Reid–to join his co-led TanaReid quintet. Dan was a continual member of this ensemble for three years and recorded two albums with the group. Dan received his M.A. in Jazz History in 1999 from the prestigious Rutgers University and was selected for the Walter C. Russell Scholarship, a highly selective award given to outstanding graduate students.

Dan has performed with several groups including the Cindy Blackman Quartet, the Henry Butler Quartet, the J.J. Johnson Quintet, Ronnie Mathews’ Sextet, the Mingus Dynasty, the Smithsonian Jazz Orchestra, the James Spaulding Quintet, TanaReid, and Steve Turré and the Sanctified Shells to name a few. He has performed throughout the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Greece, the West Indies, Holland, Italy, Israel, Portugal and Turkey at many of jazz’s top clubs including New York City’s “Blue Note” and “Sweet Basil,” Oakland’s “Yoshi’s,” Toronto’s “Top of the Senator,” and Cologne, Germany’s “Subway.” Some of Dan’s highlight performances in the jazz festival scene have included the “Playboy Jazz Festival” in Los Angeles, France’s “Jazz a Vienne Festival,” Holland’s “North Sea Jazz Festival”, Canada’s “du Maurier Jazz Festival” (in Vancouver and Toronto), and NYC’s “Panasonic Jazz Festival.”

As a leader, Dan has toured with his own ensembles as well as with the collaborative group Quintet X. His first release, Focusing In, is available on the Criss Cross Jazz label. Dan’s 2nd release, Spirits In The Night, is available on the Fresh Sound Records label. Dan’s 3rd release, The Dan Faulk Songbook, Vol.1, is available on the Ugli Fruit Productions label. Dan is a prolific

Benny Lackner Trio (Germany)
Apr 7 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

“Benny Lackner has a distinctive compositional voice that sounds lucid and fresh. He’s found a cool way to write for this trio.”-Brad Mehldau

Born in Berlin to an American father and a German mother, Benny Lackner, moved to California at the age of 13. He received his BFA from the California Institute of the Arts under the direction of Charlie Haden and David Roitstein. From 1997 – 1998 he studied privately with his mentor, pianist Brad Mehldau. He has performed at numerous jazz festivals including the North Sea Jazz Festival, Montreux and Monterey. He has worked with artists such as the late Billy Higgins, Marc Ribot, BradShepik, Pheeroan akLaff and is now residing in NYC and Berlin where he is working with his internationally touring trio as well as a sideman and composer.

The Benny Lackner Trio just finished its fifth huge world tour playing 19 concerts in 19 cities starting with Auckland, NZ and ending in Lausanne, CH.  The trio featuring Benny Lackner (piano,  electronics),  Jerôme Regard (bass) and Matthieu Chazarenc (drums) was founded in New York City in 2002. Past concerts include five extensive Asia – Australia – New Zealand  tours taking them to places such as  Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong and Jakarta. Other tours included Brazil,  South Africa, Canada, Portugal, Spain, United States, Germany, France, Croatia, South Africa, Austria, Turkey, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The trio has headlined at jazz clubs such as the Blue Note in NYC, Joe’s Pub in NYC, Smalls in NYC, Birdland in Vienna and the A-Trane in Berlin, sharing the stage with John Scofield at the Traumzeit Jazz Festival,  the American Jazz Festival in Paris, as well as concerts at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Monterey Jazz Festival, Viersen Jazz Festival, Leverkusener Jazztage, the Augsburger Jazzsommer and the Düsseldorfer Jazz Rallye.

Siskiyou, the trio’s 5th album was released by Unit Records in April 2015 (






Andriy Tikhonov
Apr 13 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


Andriy Tykhonov has become a Jazz Room favourite having performed to capacity crowds numerous times since the venue’s inception.  Andriy’s enthusiasm, energy and musicianship are infectious and always leave the crowd smiling.  A graduate of the Jazz Department of the Glier State Music College of Kiev in 1995, Andriy Tykhonov is recognized as a prominent Jazz pianist now living in the Waterloo Region.  He has been a regular performer at various venues in Waterloo, Cambridge, and Guelph.  Moreover, he has been recognized for crafting three attention-getting CDs in the recent past, including “Live from the Floor”, “Live in Manhattans, “One More Time”.

Andriy’s performing genres include swing, bossa nova, samba, ballad, movie themes, ragtime, rock, blues, country and Russian and Ukrainian folk music. This diversity lends inspiration to his improvisation, adding depth to each tune without ever losing the color and intent of its genre.  Andriy plans to draw special guests from the community.  Don’t miss this performance of one of KW’s most beloved jazz players.

Rebecca Hennessy FOG Brass Band
Apr 14 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Rebecca Hennessy’s FOG Brass Band, is a New Orleans inspired brass band party with the intricacies of a modern jazz group. This band features the brassy fun-times frontline of tuba (Jay Burr), trombone (Tom Richards) and trumpet (Rebecca Hennessy), that will have toes tapping and bodies grooving alongside energetic electric guitar (Don Scott), rich piano harmonies (Tania Gill) and deep drum beats (Nico Dann) that will take one through sounds inspired by funky blues, old country, Balkan folk tunes and high-energy jazz-rock grooves.  Rebecca, formed FOG Brass Band in 2014, shortly after spending seven months on a creative residency in NYC. Since then, FOG has been performing and recording regularly and in 2016 was nominated as a finalist for the TD Grand Prix De Jazz at the Montreal Jazz Festival and was also nominated for TD Halifax Jazz Festival Singray Rising Star Award.

Here they are at the Burdock

Jazz FM Fundraiser
Apr 19 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Alysha Brilla and the Brillion Dollar band
Apr 20 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Jam Session!!
Apr 21 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Saturday afternoon from 3 – 5 PM, practice your improvisation by playing jazz on the Jazz Room stage at the monthly Jazz Room jam session. It’ is a great opportunity for local musicians to meet and play together, share ideas and learn new tricks. If you ever wanted to play jazz music, but don’t have place or band to play with it’s your chance to do so. Please, pass this message to all your friends, so we will have great crowd at the Jazz Room.

The house band consists of Andriy Tykonov (piano), Robin Habermeyl (sax) and Steve Montgomery (drums). Jammers bring your own musical instrument, except for pianists and drummers. Drummers, bring your own sticks and brushes.

Every musician who wants to play will get opportunity to play. You can either substitute for a house band member, or play with the house band if you play a different instrument.

Mike Downes Quartet
Apr 21 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

“As gifted a composer as he is a bassist.” – Chris Kosky, International Society of Bassists

“Mike’s time playing is delightfully inventive…his lines are clear, hip, and agile. His technique and intonation are extraordinary.” Kim Richmond, Jazz Player Magazine

“Emotionally direct, profoundly lyrical bass work.” - Stuart Broomer, The Whole Note

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 visiting jazz artists such as Pat Metheny, Chris Potter, Michael Brecker, John Abercrombie, Peter Erskine, Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Dave Liebman and many others.

Mike began playing bass at the age of eight, encouraged by his bass-playing father. He also studied trombone and piano and was quickly recognized as a upcoming talent. He began performing as a teenager in Winnipeg, Canada, playing in diverse settings from rock bands to big bands and from corporate functions to television and radio shows. After being named “Jazz Musician of the Year” in Silver Heights Collegiate, a high school reputed for its music program, he was offered a full scholarship to study bass and trombone at St. F. X. University in Nova Scotia. After two years at St. F.X. he completed a Bachelor of Music degree at McGill University in Montreal. He was already balancing a professional career with his studies. After graduating he was awarded a Canada Council Grant to study with bassists Dave Holland and John Clayton. Mike moved to Toronto in 1990, and later completed a Masters degree in Music Composition at York University.

Big Band Theory
Apr 27 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Big Band Theory

Can we fit them all on the stage??? Yes we Can!

The Big Band Theory had its genesis in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, without any clear idea where this project might end up. And… WOW! what an explosion of sound when seventeen of Kitchener-Waterloo’s (and beyond) most talented jazzers showed up for that first rehearsal in October 2011.

The band’s music ranges from the danceable swing music of Benny Goodman’s orchestra and Sammy Nestico to Jazz Rock of the 1970s right up to the extraordinary contemporary sound of the Big Phat Band of L.A. The Big Band Theory is an exciting band to listen to and hear live.

Music Director – Robin Habermehl

Vocals – Robin Habermehl


Ken Hadley Flute, soprano & alto sax

Mark Laver Soprano & alto sax

Robin Habermehl soprano, alto & tenor sax, vocals

Ryan Cassidy Tenor sax

Taylor Ellingham Baritone sax

Tim Moher Alto sax


Bruce Gordon Trumpet

Chris Alcantara Trumpet

Kevin Kalbfleisch Trumpet

Randy Brown Trumpet

Rob Gellner Trumpet

Paul Ellingham Bass Trombone

Robin Jessome Trombone

Ron Schirm Trombone

Steve Hagedorn Trombone


Andriy Tykhonov Piano

Andy Macpherson Drums

Greg Prior Bass

Stephen Zurakowsky Guitar


BBT plays “The Count is In”

MK Trio
Apr 28 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
John Tank – Special Mother’s Day Show!!
May 13 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Bernie Senensky – Piano
Jim Vivian – Bass
Greg Pilo – Drums

Concerts On Demand

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