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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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The R&B Jazz Songbook Concert featuring Carlos Morgan and the Soul Patrol
Oct 20 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm



Solroc Music and Juno Award winning recording artist, Carlos Morgan, perform his newly created, Jazz interpreted renditions of classic R&B and Pop songs, as well as, his award winning music and favorite Jazz standards inside Waterloo’s prestigious and world renowned Jazz venue. You don’t want to miss this concert. We hope to see you there.

Carlos Morgan – Vocals

Darryl Joseph Dennie  – Piano & Musical Director

Roger Williams – Upright Bass

Jessy Ryan – Saxophone

David Richards – Drums

Here is a video of Carlos discussing this new project.

Nancy Walker Quintet
Oct 21 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


Nancy Walker is a Canadian musician based in the Toronto area. Her work as a pianist and composer reflects her view of the times we live in – at times intense, at times poignant, at times cerebral. Her most recent recording as leader is ‘Til Now Is Secret (Addo Records). Showcasing ten of her original compositions, the recording features multi-reed player Shirantha Beddage, guitarist Ted Quinlan, bassist Kieran Overs and drummer Ethan Ardelli, and was made possible with the help of the Ontario Arts Council.
Over the years Nancy has built enduring jazz relationships. As the pianist in the John Geggie Trio, Nancy held the piano chair in the house rhythm section for The Ottawa International Jazz Festival’s nightly jam sessions for over a decade. With bassist Geggie, Nancy has performed in concert with drum legend Billy Hart, contemporary drum heavyweight Matt Wilson and saxophone dynamo Donny McCaslin.  She has recorded and performed in concert with the cream of Canada’s jazz vocal crop, from Vancouver’s Karin Plato to Toronto’s Emilie-Claire Barlow, and has worked frequently alongside Toronto saxophonists Kirk MacDonald and Pat Labarbera.  Nancy can be heard on recently released recordings by Kirk MacDonald Jazz Orchestra, Fair/Galloway Quintet, John Geggie + Donny McCaslin (this Plunge Records release garnered rave reviews and made several “Best of” lists), and Swedish guitarist Mikko Hildén.
Nancy Walker Quintet
Nancy Walker – piano and compositions
Shirantha Beddage – multi reeds
Ted Quinlan – guitar
Kieran Overs – bass
Ethan Ardelli – drums
Mary Catherine Quartet – CD Release “You’re Gonna Hear From Me”
Oct 27 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm



Described as a performer who “hits the high notes on jazz history” (therecord.com), 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 at: Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival, The Rex (Toronto), Jazz Bistro (Toronto), The Jazz Room (Waterloo), Brantford International Jazz Festival, Manhattans Music Club (Guelph) and The Registry Theatre (Kitchener). She has also toured New Zealand as a performer, and has been a featured soloist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony.
Mary-Catherine has also made a name for herself in smaller pockets of Ontario, as a regular at Collingwood’s Jazz at the Library and Southampton United Church’s Jazz Series, and a headliner with the Canadian Big Band Celebration (Port Elgin). As a solo performer, Mary-Catherine also frequently performs house gigs at Timeless Café (Waterloo), Churchill Arms (Waterloo), and Rhapsody Barrel Bar (Kitchener), to name a few.
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.

Don Buchanan, Piano

Pat Collins, Bass

Jason Hunter, Sax

Steve James, Drums

Here she is with “A Simple Conversation”

Joe Sullivan Quintet (Montreal)
Oct 28 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


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…

Francois Jalbert & Jerome Beaulieu Duo (Montreal)
Nov 3 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


Modeled after the great Django Reinhardt, François Jalbert made his own name by taking first place in the Montreal Guitar Grand Prix in 2006 and 2008 in the jazz category.  The  young Québécois musician and composer returns to the Jazz Room with his quartet and compositions from Sens unique, his first album as a bandleader.

Francois has been nominated for the TD Grand Jazz Award and the Galaxie Rising Star Award, both at the Montreal Jazz Festival.  He is an incredible player, very reminiscent of Joe Pass, but with a strong Gypsy flavour.

Here is Francois at the Montreal Jazz Festival playing solo and sounding like Joe Pass

Here he is in a trio format, much more in the Gypsy style.

Francois Jalbert – guitar

Jerome Beaulieu – piano

Ted Quinlan Quartet
Nov 4 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm



Ted Quinlan is regarded as one of the most versatile guitar players in Canada. His skills are highly in demand as a jazz player, session musician, writer and educator. Ted is the Head of the Guitar Department at Humber College’s Music Program in Toronto.

As a busy sideman Ted has performed with Chet Baker, Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Smith, Joey DeFrancesco, Michael Brecker, Dave Holland, Maria Schneider and Dave Liebman.

His debut CD As If received a Juno nomination for Contemporary Jazz. His other numerous recording credits include his performances on Doug Riley’s Con Alma, Radioland Records’ Tribute to Wes Montgomery, Phil Dwyer’s Road Stories, Dave Restivo’s Prayer for Humankindness and Ted Warren’s First Time Caller.

Ted is the recipient of the 1998 Jazz Report Award for Guitarist of the Year.

Check out this guitar duel between Ted and Phil Tessis

Top Pocket
Nov 10 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


Top Pocket makes their annual visit to the Jazz Room . One of Waterloo’s best-known, and most popular Jazz bands since the late 80′s, this quartet has ranged from be-bop, fusion, Latin, and traditional jazz. These guys play with tremendous versatility and depth!

The original line-up at the Coyote and the Circus Room included current members Michael Bergauer on bass and Don McDougall on drums in addition to Conrad (CJ) Griffith on vocals, Ray Dlugokecki on sax and Dave Lonsbury on guitar.  Today, the pocket contains:

  •  Robin Habermehl – Woodwinds
  • Paul Stouffer – Keyboards
  • Michael Bergauer – Bass
  • Don McDougall – Drums
Harley Card Quintet
Nov 11 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


“Card’s musical sensibility is fully formed and urbane. His writing reflects a sense of history and is therefore worldly wise.”  -Raul d’Gama Rose- All About Jazz

Harley Card is a Toronto based guitarist and composer. In addition to leading his own groups, Harley is a member of  and co-composer for the innovative Canadian bands; Hobson’s Choice, God’s Gift To Yoda, and Stoptime.

As a contributor to the creative music scene in Toronto since 2003, Harley has played with many artists including; Richard Underhill, Alex Dean, Alex Samaras, David Virelles, William Carn, Michael Herring, Bernie Senensky, Michael Davidson, Don Scott, Matt Newton, Daniel Jamieson, Felicity Williams, Dave Clark, Carlie Howell, Jon Challoner, Sarah Jerrom, Colin Power, RJ Sachnanathan, Trent Reschny, Kurt Neilson, Dan Fortin,  Ben Dietschi, Dan Gaucher, Caitlin Smith, and Ernesto Cervini, among others.

A graduate of Applied Music from Mohawk College, and Jazz Performance from the University of Toronto, Harley was also a semi finalist in the 2008 Montreux Jazz Festival Guitar Competition. Harley has also been the recipient of multiple grants from the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council for recording and composition projects.

Harley Card- Guitar

Dave French – Saxophone

Matt Newton -Keys

Jon Maharaj- Bass

Ethan Ardelli – Drums


Here is the Quintet with “April Song”

Jason Raso Funktet (Very Special CD launch show!)
Nov 16 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

The Jason Raso Funktet

Join us for a very special show, featuring not only Jason’s one and only Funktet doing a full live show, but the launch of the new CD “The Jason Raso Funktet Live At The Jazz Room”!  Recorded live earlier this year, the new album brings together the same Funktet that will be performing at this show:

Alexis Baro (trumpet)

Brent Rowan (sax)

Thomas Hammerton (keyboards / piano)

Tyler Wagler (guitar)

Adam Bowman (drums)


Click here to see and hear “Loaned Veil” recorded as part of the Funktet Live At The Jazz Room! 


Over the past two decades, eight albums and countless live performances, Jason Raso has shown that he not only has the skills to pay the bills, but more often than not, enough musical currency left over at the end of the month to make good on the debts other musicians have welched on.

A Hartke Canadian Artist Search Winner (2010), Raso is a master of the four and six-string bass guitar whose music has been heard on public radio and jazz stations around the globe. And because seeing is believing, his virtuosity has also brought him in front of the camera to play for television viewers across Canada.

Nick Maclean Quartet featuing Brownman Ali
Nov 17 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


NICK MACLEAN is “one of the most gifted young Toronto pianists to come along in the last few years ” (Adrean Farrugia, Juno winning jazz pianist) and has quickly become one of the most in demand 20-something piano players in that city’s bustling jazz scene.  Nick received his Bachelors of Music from Humber College in 2013, having studied with David Restivo, Bernie Senensky and Nancy Walker. He then went on to do a Masters in Jazz Performance at the University of Toronto researching synthesizer pedagogy while studying under David Occhipinti, Andrew Downing, Chris Donnelly and David Braid. Braid in particular had an enormous influence on how Maclean approaches playing and composing especially as it relates to solo piano performance. Additional musical influences include the likes of Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Brad Meldau, Weather Report, Snarky Puppy, Kneebody, Hiromi Uehara, Art Tatum, Miles Davis, Avishai Cohen (bass), Vijay Iyer, and Michel Camilo.

For this show, he will be joined by trumpet virtuoso – Brownman Ali.

Here is Nick with “Survival Instinct”

Johanna Sillanpaa (Calgary)
Nov 18 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


It’s smart, it’s soulful, it’s jazz. For every style of music that Johanna Sillanpaa explores, there’s a vibrant color in her voice to match. Sillanpaa’s vocals are expertly clear, gently raw, and yet intensely bold. She performs thoughtful jazz you can dig your heels into. She and her ensemble have played everywhere from intimate jazz joints across North America and Europe all the way to performing in front of the 60,000-plus crowds of the Montreal Jazz Festival.

Beyond filling venues in Canada and abroad, Sillanpaa’s previous solo albums have also drawn their fair share of accolades and award nominations. Johanna’s music has garnered 2007 and 2012 nominations for Western Canadian Music Awards as well as Best Female Vocalist and Group/Duo of the Year at the 2010 Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards.

There’s no mistaking that this highly acclaimed Swedish-born artist has truly come into her own with her latest solo album ‘From This Side.’ The recording features Canadian JUNO Award-winning jazz bassist George Koller, internationally renowned trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, TD Grand Jazz winning pianist Chris Andrew and three-time WCMA nominated jazz drummer Tyler Hornby. From modern jazz arrangements to catchy originals all in the name of jazz, her latest musical statement is sure to captivate audiences everywhere.

Here she is with “A Thing Called Love”

Lily Frost
Nov 24 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

A prolific songwriter, Lily Frost currently has 12 albums under her belt, under 5 different labels — Warner, Nettwerk, Aporia, Boxton and Marquis.  Lily Frost comes from the Montreal underground mod scene.  She moved to Vancouver and went from busking rockabilly to spearheading the Cocktail nation with her band The Colorifics who led the Blue Lizard Lounge scene throughout the 90’s.

Lily then signed to Nettwerk as a solo artist before moving to Toronto where she was born.  She has been working hard with Aporia and Marquis for the past decade.

Lily is a dramatic, stylish performer who draws from the aesthetic of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the soundtracks of Quentin Tarantino, and the hot and bothered emotional drama that goes on between us fascinating humans.  The poetry of Rimbaud, the erotica of Anaïs Nin, and torch singers like Julie London and Juliette Greco all serve as strong influences.

Frost has toured from Paris to Los Angeles and has shared stages with the likes of Pink Martini, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Coldplay and many more. Her awards include the Video Silver Sun through Bravo, a Gemini nomination for her theme song co-write for the hit TV series “Being Erica”, and Vancouver Female Vocalist of the Year in 2003.

Trevor Giancola trio
Nov 25 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


Guitarist Trevor Giancola is becoming a staple of Toronto’s thriving jazz and creative music scene.

He has performed as a member the Mike Murley Quartet, the Kelly Jefferson Quartet, Boptarts featuring Seamus Blake, Trevor Falls Collective, The Trevor Giancola Quartet and Trio, Josh Cole 4tet, Monk’s Music, and others.

He has shared the stage with Seamus Blake, Neil Swainson, Mike Murley, Adam Arruda, Sophie Millman, Dave Douglas, John Abercrombie, Donny McCaslin, Kelly Jefferson, PJ Perry, Pat Labarbera and many Toronto based musicians.

Trevor has been featured on CBC Radio 1, BT Breakfast Television, and Canada AM with Sophie Millman.

The Trevor Giancola Trio showcases original music and has been performing at clubs and Jazz Festivals since 2004.

Here is Trevor at the Rex