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Upcoming Events List

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
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Andy Klaehn
May 25 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Andy KlaehnAndy Klaehn is a dynamic, multi-talented, professional musician, bandleader, and master teacher. He is a highly sought after alto, soprano, 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 also a founding member of the renowned Top Pocket Jazz Quartet.

Andy was born in Kitchener, Ontario where he studied classical clarinet under K-W Symphony clarinettist, Victor Sawa, a renowned world class performer. Andy’s interest in jazz and contemporary music led him to enrol at Humber College in Toronto where he studied under Eddie Sossin and Pat Labarbera. Andy has played with many jazz legends, including Woody Herman and Buddy Rich and is internationally recognized as a performer and teacher.

Andy has performed for appreciative audiences at the Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival, the Hillside Festival, the Guelph Jazz Festival, the Thursday at Noon Concert Series in Guelph, and at the legendary Rex Jazz and Blues Bar in Toronto.

In his numerous travels, Andy has shared the stage with many musical giants, such as Maynard Ferguson, Moe Koffman, Kenny Barron, Carol Welsman, Barry Elmes, and Peter Appleyard. He has also played with the Stratford Festival Orchestra, the K- W Symphony, and as a sideman for Bo Diddley, in addition to being a show band musician for Carnival Cruise Lines.

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. In addition to teaching, Andy also maintains a busy performance schedule in the live music scene.

Andy Klaehn – reeds

John Zadro-keyboards
Dan Brennan-bass
Andy McPherson-drums

Whitney Ross Barris
May 26 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


WHITNEY ROSS-BARRIS is a Toronto-based jazz singer and actor who has performed on stages all around the world.   She sings an eclectic mix of classic jazz standards, dark and colourful singer-songwriter covers, and vintage-sounding originals with a playful and sultry edge.

Following the release of her debut album, “Everybody’s Here,” Ross-Barris recently released her second album, “The Bright Lunch Trio” with her group of the same name, featuring guitarist Nathan Hiltz and bassist Ross MacIntyre. The album of original music by Ross-Barris and Hiltz continues to receive regular support by Canadian radio stations (JAZZFM.91, CBC Radio One).

She lives in Toronto’s Leslieville district “with the coffee snobs”, where she “whiles away the tedious hours chasing her three adorable young hellions”.

Tara Kannangara
Jun 1 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


“Tara has the goods to back up the ambitious scope of her musical projects: clarion voice, solid lyrics, heavy trumpet chops and the kind of depth and sincerity that will keep you interested and wanting to dig deeper into what it is she’s offering.” -Elizabeth Shepherd

Categorizing her diverse sound is a difficult proposition. Juno- nominated artist, Tara Kannangara’s preferred tag is “Groove-Based Indie Jazz,” for elements of melodic indie pop are seamlessly meshed with fresh jazz grooves. Similarly, the mellow feel of her trumpet playing neatly complements the subtle nuances of her unaffected vocal style.

Growing up in Chilliwack, BC, she studied classical piano and singing from an early age. She was active in musical theatre and choirs, then picked up the trumpet in high school, concentrating on classical before later moving into jazz. Tara studied at the University of Victoria and concentrated on classical trumpet and vocals; later, Tara moved to Toronto to pursue jazz studies at the University of Toronto where she came into her own as a performer and songwriter.

As a bandleader, Kannangara is quickly making a splash on the Toronto jazz scene and continues to perform all across Canada and throughout the United States with notable performances at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC and New York City’s Jazz Gallery. Tara’s group has been awarded the 2016 Julian Award for excellence in emerging Canadian jazz artists, the Sting Ray Rising Star Award as a part of the TD Montreal Jazz Festival and her debut album “Some Version of the Truth” has been nominated for a 2016 Juno Award for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year.

Tara – trumpet and vocals “Show Me Where to go”

Eliana Cuevas
Jun 2 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm



Through years of touring around the world, across Canada, and collaborating with Juno Award-winning performers, Eliana Cuevas has grown into an accomplished singer-songwriter and bandleader with unlimited colours in her compositional and lyrical palette. Among her honours are the National Jazz Award for Latin Jazz Artist of the Year (2009), a nomination for Best World Music Solo Artist at the Canadian Folk Music Awards (2008), a Toronto Independent Music Award for Best World Music Artist (2007), a nomination for Best Latin Song (‘Llegó from ESPEJO) at the Independent Music Awards (2014) and, most recently, an Independent Music Award for Best Latin Album for ESPEJO (2014) and another Toronto Independent Music Award for Best World Music Artist (2014).

Eliana has release 5 albums of original music to this date and in Europe she also released an anthology of her music with Minor Music Records: Cohesión (2001), Ventura (2004) Vidas (2007), Luna Llena (2009), Espejo (2013), and most recently Golpes y Flores (2014).  She has performed with Juno-winning Latin artists Alex Cuba, Jesse Cook and Jane Bunnett. Cuevas also continues to collaborate with diverse ensembles including Caribbean Jazz powerhouse CaneFire, the Jorge Miguel Flamenco Ensemble, and Juno-nominated jazz composer Darren Sigesmund, touring venues as far as Australia and Japan.

Eliana Cuevas – vocals

Jeremy Ledbetter – piano

Mark Kelso – bass and percussion

Bernie Carroll Project
Jun 8 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Following their triumphant performances at The Jazz Room during The Winter Jazz Festival in 2016, and The Registry Theatre in 2017, The Bernie Carroll Project returns to The Jazz Room.

Veteran Drummer Bernie Carroll will be joined by outstanding local Jazz musicians Dave Wiffen, Tenor Saxophone, Flutist Doug Wicken, Bassist Al Richardson and Pianist Ralph Hetke. Collectively, the band represents well over 150 years of playing Jazz in all of its formats, from duos to 18 piece big bands – and everything in-between.

An eclectic mix of music from some of the Jazz legends… Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and others, will be featured alongside original tunes penned by band members Doug Wicken and Dave Wiffen.

From subtle, expressive ballads, to energetic, foot-tapping, wailers The Bernie Carroll Project is one band that you don’t want to miss

To hear music by this terrific band, paste this link in your browser…  http://www.dougwicken.net/sounds-and-samples/




Mark Kelso Trio
Jun 9 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


Originally hailing from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Canadian drummer Mark Kelso has made Toronto, Canada his home for quite some time. Not only is he a skilled musician who plays drums and percussion, but he is also a singer, producer, composer and band leader as well. Mark has also been the Head of the percussion dept at Humber College in Toronto since 2005.

Aside from playing many TV and radio jingles and movie soundtracks Mark has also been featured in Drums ETC, Canadian Musician, Drumhead, Drum Scene and Modern Drummer magazines. Mark has also been a featured clinician/performer at the Montreal Drumfest, IAJE, Musicfest, KOSA, Percussive Arts Society, Regina Drum Festival, The Stickman drum experience, Whack Bam Thudd festival, Victoria Drum Festival and the Cape Breton Drum Festival.

Mark Kelso – drums, vocals

Brian Dickinson – piano

Mike Downes – bass

At the Montreal Drumfest.

Stubble Jumpers Organ Trio
Jun 15 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


Ted Warren – drums

Kelly Jefferson – tenor sax

Jeff McLeod – organ

Jocelyn Barth Trio
Jun 16 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
With David Restivo at Lula Lounge | Photo courtesy of George Gardiner and JAZZ.FM91

Jocelyn Barth is one of Canada’s exciting emerging vocalists. As a jazz singer, Jocelyn is known for her emotional expressiveness and sensitivity. She delivers a lyric with intention, depth and authenticity while maintaining the playfulness of phrasing that comes from her instinctively instrumentalist-like approach to singing. While happy to keep it simple, she loves to stretch out into an explorative, improvisational adventure with her bandmates.

Jocelyn’s innate musicality and versatility have put her in increasing demand in a variety of settings as a featured artist and a session musician. She recorded on Canadian music icon Jane Siberry’s albums Ulysses’ Purse and Angels Bend Closer and performed with Siberry at the launch of Ulysses’ Purse in Toronto in 2016. Jocelyn has worked with experimental vocalist and conductor Christine Duncan on multiple projects, including the soundtrack for the award-winning feature film The Witch. Additionally, with Duncan’s improvising mass choir The Element Choir, she performed with Inuk throatsinging dynamo Tanya Tagaq at Massey HallNathan Phillips Square and The Great Hall and recorded on Tagaq’s Juno-nominated album Retribution.

Jocelyn Barth -vocals

George Koller – bass

David Restivo – piano

William Mukuna Trio
Jun 22 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

William Mukuna is a guitarist based in the Greater Toronto Area. Fusing elements of World music, Afro-beat, Latin rhythms, Hip-hop and Jazz improvisation - the trio takes you through a musical journey that brings music from the World together.  The guitarist was featured on Jazz FM 91.1 on the jazzology program hosted by Larry Green.  Deeply influenced by the West African griots and Brazilian composers, through his original compositions, William uses folk melodies to tell his story.  The guitarist is also in demand as a performer, musical director, clinician and educator.  He performs as a sideman with other artists from the GTA and international touring groups.  He has  performed at the Brantford Jazz Festival, Toronto’s Afrofest, festivals in Calgary, in Montreal, Nuit d’Afrique in Québec, in Vancouver and Hot Springs, BC

Here is the Will  Mukuna Trio

Dave Young Quintet
Jun 23 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


“To my way of thinking, Dave Young is one of the most talented bassists on the jazz scene. His harmonic sympatico and unerring sense of time have kept him in the foreground of the jazz picture.”   –Dr. Oscar Peterson

“…Flawless time, big buoyant tone and bold solo ideas…keen instincts and depth of musicality. The results of (his playing) are a testament to his ability to listen and adapt his concept of time from player to player.”
–Bill Milkowski, JAZZ TIMES

Toronto-based and Winnipeg-born multiple award-winning bassist and composer Dave Young, is, without a doubt, one of Canada’s most valuable and beloved musical exports. Whether he’s performing as part of a classical symphony, or as an integral member of an iconic jazz trio (with the likes of the late Oscar Peterson), or leading any of his dynamic ensembles, Dave remains a total musician, with artistic soul in abundance. He first began studying the guitar and violin at age ten, but a turn of events at his first gig (a University dance band) compelled him to pick up the bass. Equally comfortable in the worlds of orchestral classical music and jazz, Dave is a multiple threat. As a classical musician, he has been a member of The Edmonton Symphony, The Winnipeg Symphony and The Hamilton Philharmonic. As a jazz artist, he is a chameleon-like bassist, who often shines brightest in collaborative efforts with other musicians. Because of his technical skill, few bassists (jazz or otherwise) are able to dig in, swing hard and still render a lyrical arco solo as Dave can.

Dave Young – bass

Terry Clarke – drums

Kevin Turcotte – Trumpet

Kelly Jefferson – tenor sax

Bernie Senensky – piano

“Easy does it”

Jazz Festival!! Sienna Dahlen and Amanda Tosoff
Jun 26 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Sur la place des Festivals, la chanteuse Sienna... (PHOTO OLIVIER PONTBRIAND, LA PRESSE)

Sienna Dahlen

“My first thought when hearing her enigmatic swooping vocals was of Jeff Buckley… The whole album has an enchanted feel; the songs are personal but not confessional, and the orchestration develops them perfectly. There’s unflinching clarity and also beauty in these songs of love and loss.“  -Alison Bentley, London Jazz News, UK

Amanda Tosoff

Amanda Tossoff
Amanda Tosoff is a B.C.-raised Toronto-based pianist, composer, and bandleader, with five albums to her credit. Along her fascinating career path, Amanda has performed with such internationally recognized artists as Ingrid Jensen, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Phil Dwyer, Christine Jensen, Brad Turner, Kelly Jefferson, and Jodi Proznick. She has also opened for jazz legends Bobby Hutcherson, Renee Rosnes, Oliver Jones, and Brazilian singer Luciana Souza, and her groups have recorded for CBC Radio programs Hot Air, Tonic, Jazz Beat, and Espace Musique’s series, Portraits Jazz.Tosoff has earned critical kudos, the respect of her peers, and such prestigious awards as the CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award at the 2007 Vancouver International Jazz Festival and the General Motors Grand Prix de Jazz at the 2009 Montréal Jazz Festival. In 2010, her quartet was awarded a full scholarship to attend the Banff Centre Winter Workshop, and in 2011 Tosoff received a Canada Council grant to live and study in New York City. Most recently, she was awarded a graduating scholarship – given out to promising graduates – after completing her Master’s degree from the University of Toronto.
Jazz Festival!! Jerzy Kaplanek – Jazz Violin Tribute
Jun 27 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Jazz Festival!! Geoffrey Keezer and Gillian Margot
Jun 28 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

gk_profileWith his highly regarded discography, unique compositions, and acclaimed performances in a variety of configurations, multiple GRAMMY®-nominated pianist Geoffrey Keezer commands the attention typically reserved for the living legends of jazz. A native of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Keezer was playing in jazz clubs as a teenager, holding down the piano chair for Art Blakey at age 18, and touring in the company of Ray Brown, Joshua Redman, Art Famer, Benny Golson and Barbara Hendricks in his 20s. More recently he has toured with Wayne Shorter, Dianne Reeves, David Sanborn, Chris Botti, Sting, Joe Locke and Christian McBride; produced and arranged three GRAMMY®-nominated recordings with vocalist Denise Donatelli, and released a series of albums drawing influences from Hawaiian, Okinawan and Afro-Peruvian folk traditions. Geoffrey’s 2013 solo piano release, Heart of the Piano (Motema Records), seeks to redefine solo jazz piano as a personal and interactive showcase of melody, energy and groove, while his upcoming album “On My Way To You” is a stunning new set of music featuring his working trio with the addition of guest vocalist Gillian Margot.

Gillian Margot is the rarest sort of singer – the kind that makes people sit up and listen. She has an exquisite voice, a disarmingly wide range and a style that eschews jazz singer clichés in favor of an original, interpretive delivery grounded in a song’s lyrical and emotional content. Her voice can be heard in commercials and in film and television programs, from which it is clear that Ms. Margot feels equally at home in many musical worlds including jazz, R&B, and pop. She offers a stage presence and confidence honed through years of performing major venues on several continents with top-tier talent.

A native of Toronto (Canada),Gillian Margot started in jazz the hard-working, old-fashioned way. Performing several sets a night and leading a wide variety of ensembles, she also studied under a generation of jazz legends including Oscar Peterson, Freddy Cole, Carol Welsman, and Norman Simmons before expanding her talents beyond borders through collaborations with artists in the United States, Australia, and Asia, where she’s earned devoted followings.



Geoffrey Keezer – piano
Gillian Margot – vocal
Ross MacIntyre – bass
Isaiah Gibbons – drums

Jazz Festival!! Jaron Freeman-Fox Quartet
Jun 29 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Jaron Freeman Fox


Show update!!  This will be a cross disciplinary artistic performance. We will have visual artist Laurie Wanfor-Nolan painting a mural of the Jaron Freeman-Fox show in real time.

If you missed him last season,  you should take advantage of this opportunity.  Jaron and his band were a big hit with the Jazz Room audience with their mix of jazz, bluegrass and just plain strange stuff..

Bred in the mountains of Canada’s rural north-west, Jaron Freeman-Fox redefines what the violin is capable of, and gives you no choice but to take his mutant species of music on it’s own termsHaving produced or played on over 40 albums (Teresa DoyleJayme StoneAutorickshaw) and toured the globe many times over as a solo artist, bandleader or collaborator with artists such as Delhi 2 DublinBen Caplan, and Sam Lee, Freeman-Fox fuses his roots of fiddling and jazz with his musical studies in India, Sweden, and Indonesia, while playing the 5-string violins of his late mentor; fiddle pioneer Oliver Schroder

Folks may be intrigued by the fact that JFF has performed for 100,000 people and the young royal couple on Parliament hill, or that the Canadian Embassy was kind enough (or foolish enough) to send him off to collaborate with a troupe of nomadic Rajasthani gypsies at the Delhi International Arts Festival, or that his first ever album Manic Almanac : Slow Möbius won an Independent Music Award, or that he’s shared the stage with Canadian legends Marc Destrubé, Tanya Tagaq, Trichy Sankaran and James Kudelka.  Jaron however, is most proud of the fact that he’s broken three different fiddles on stage and zero bones, had his violin stolen by monkeys in Bali and got it back without contracting rabies, and has the honour of featuring his absolute favourite musicians in the world, in his band The Opposite of Everything.

Jaron Freeman-Fox – violin
David Atkinson – accordion/keys
Steven Foster – drums
Alan Mackie – bass

Here is JFF and the Opposite of Everything playing the Tom Waits classic Get Behind the Mule

Jazz Festival!! Steve McDade Quintet
Jun 30 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm