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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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Ethan Ardelli Quartet
Nov 17 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Ethan Ardelli Quartet Photo

Originally from Sydney, Nova Scotia, Ethan Ardelli is a Juno award winning drummer and composer based in Toronto.

Ethan graduated from the University of Toronto in 2006, and has since been one of the most in demand jazz artists in Canada.  Ethan has had the pleasure of working with acclaimed international artists Dewey Redman, Mark Turner, Mark Feldman, Jeremy Pelt, George Mraz, Mulgrew Miller and Greg Osby.

Ethan won the 2006 Grand Prix de Jazz at the Montreal International Jazz Festival as part of the David Virelles Quintet and has played on two Juno award winning albums, Jane Bunnett’s “Radio Guantanamo” and Mike Downes’ “Ripple Effect.”

Since 2014, Ethan has been leading his own ensemble showcasing his original compositions.  The quartet features saxophonist Luis Deniz, pianist Chris Donnelly and bassist Devon Henderson.  Their debut album entitled “The Island of Form” will be released in November 2018.

As well as leading his own ensemble, Ethan is currently a member of the Darren Sigesmund Quintet, Nancy Walker Quintet, Alexander Brown Sextet, Brian Dickinson Trio and the Harley Card Quintet.  Ethan is currently on faculty at the Humber College Community Music Program and has also been on faculty at The Univeristy of Manitoba in Winnipeg.

Ethan Ardelli -drums

Luiz Deniz – alto saxophone

Chris Donnelly – piano

Devon Henderson – bass

Here is the Ethan Ardelli Quartet with Shangri La Pearl

Alain Caron (UZEB) Trio (Montreal) SOLD OUT
Nov 18 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
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Canadian bassist Alain Caron’s musical career began at the early age of 11 when he won an amateur contest, he soon joined some top 40 bands performing American, south-American and French standards. AT the age of 14 he discovered the music which would become his life’s passion – jazz.

Opportunity knocked in 1977 when he met the Michel Cusson Group. Caron found himself in the company of like-minded musicians – who could appreciate jazz and its origins, as well as looking ahead to the future; they emerged in the early 1980s with super fusion group UZEB.

After moving to Montreal, still playing with UZEB, he started extensive studio work and also started playing quite a bit in jazz clubs in and around town. The self-taught musician took correspondence courses, and eventually, journeyed south to attend Berkley College of Music. While in Boston, he was quickly introduced to some outstanding young musicians, co-students, as well as, seasoned well established professional jazzman. Soon performing nightly, in the Boston area, with David Kikovsky, Tom Harrell, Sal Nestico, Frank Tiberi, Jerry Bergonzi, Bob Moses, to name a few.

Back in Montreal, he decided to focus mainly on the group UZEB, gradually they evolved into a mature outfit, interested in intelligent fusion—impressive but always musical.
Between 1981 and 1990 UZEB had recorded ten albums and sold over 400,000 copies, performing concerts in more than 20 countries.

Caron soon took off on his solo career, launching his own imprint NORAC RECORDS;
In 1993, he produced the first of his 7 solo albums to date ¨Le Band¨ who won a Félix award for best album of the year then toured in Canada and Europe. ¨Rhythm And Jazz¨ ¨ was released in 1995 followed with ¨Play in 1997 and Call Me Al¨ in 2000.

He also toured world-wide with friends Mike Stern, Frank Gambale, Biréli Lagrène, Didier Lockwood, Tiger Okoshi, Billy Cobham, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Dennis Chambers, Alex Acuna, Don Alias and Gino Vannelli performing concerts in more than 30 countries.

Alain Caron -bass

John Roney – piano

Mark Kelso – drums

This is a full concert, but worth watching at least a bit of it to see what Alain can do with the 6 string bass.

Andriy Tykhonov
Nov 23 @ 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.

Jam Session!!
Nov 24 @ 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.

Joy Lapps – Larnell Lewis Group sponsored by Diva International
Nov 24 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


Joy Lapps is a musician, composer and arts educator. Her efficiency with the tenor pan and her diverse performance range have led to great audience receptions, and flattering recognition from seasoned professional pannists. She performed at various festivals including Toronto’s Afrofest, Muhtadi’s International Drumming Festival, Toronto’s TD Jazz Festival and Antigua’s Moods of Pan Festival.

Joy performs primarily with her quartet and often expands this formation to an even larger musical project.  She is also a member and supporter of the Toronto-based steelband, Pan Fantasy.

As an audience favourite, Joy brings her genuine and bright personality to performances where she is known for gripping audiences. Joy has released four recordings including  “Praise on Pan: How Great Thou Art” (2004), “Make a Joyful Noise” (2006) and “It’s Christmas Time” (2007).  She most recently released an EP of original compositions entitled “Morning Sunrise” (2014) and is currently focused on writing and arranging new music for her ensembles.  She also recently completed a Masters in Music Composition at York University and looks forward to a new chapter of creation, collaboration and performance.


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Toronto native Larnell Lewis is a musician, composer, producer, educator and clinician. One of Canada’s most well-known and in-demand drummers, Lewis has garnered international status with his most recent works with the three-time Grammy Award winning band, Snarky Puppy. He is a part-time music professor at Humber College, has been featured on the cover of Modern Drummer (September 2016), and has performed with such artists as Fred Hammond, Lalah Hathaway, Lisa Fischer, and Laila Biali.

Larnell 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, Andrew Craig, Laila Biali, Rinsethealgorithm, Eddie Bullen and many others.

Larnell is sponsored by Yamaha Acoustic and Electronic Drums, Yamaha Hardware, Promark Drum Sticks, Evans Drum Heads, and Zildjian Cymbals.

Joy Lapps-Lewis – Steelpan
Larnell Lewis – Drums
Andrew Stewart – Bass
Lucian Gray – Guitar
Rob Christian – Woodwinds
Courtenay Frazer – Keyboards

This performance is part of the WOMEN IN JAZZ series, sponsored by DIVA INTERNATIONAL, makers of the Diva Cup.

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Here is the Joy Lapps Project with “Rise Up”

The R & B Jazz Songbook featuring Carlos Morgan
Nov 30 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Carlos Morgan @ Le Balcon

Solroc Music Presents: “The R&B Jazz Songbook” Ft. Carlos Morgan. “The R&B Jazz Songbook” is a musical concept created, produced, co-arranged and executive produced by Carlos Morgan and co-produced, co-arranged and musically directed by Darryl Joseph-Dennie f/ Solroc Music. Morgan and Dennie arrange and classic, timeless R&B …


Hilario Duran’s “Contumbao”
Dec 1 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Hilario Durán Contumbao - Summer 2018 Tour Schedule

Hilario Duran’s “Contumbao” explores the entire spectrum Of Cuban music with the authenticity and vibrancy of Duran’s unique musical vision into the foreseeable future.

Internationally recognised as a jazz pianist, composer, arranger and bandleader of the highest order, the Cuban-Canadian Duran has been based in Toronto for the past two decades, but his musical heart and soul have remained closely connected to the land of his birth.

Highlighting the creative spectrum of Hilario’s musical career, he will be joined by a group of musicians who are in demand in a Toronto’s scene: Roberto Riverón on Bass, with more than 25 years of music making career. Percussion: Jorge Luis Torres “Papiosco”, named “The Child Prodigy” by the late Tata Güines, one of the most important Cuban percussionists. Drummer for this event will be Amhed Mitchell.

Joni NehRita sponsored by Diva International
Dec 7 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm






Toronto-born Jamaican-Canadian singer/songwriter/musician Joni NehRita has become a staple on the regional scene of KW/Guelph since relocating there a decade ago. She is known for steadily releasing great music & being an engaging performer. While her musical tastes are eclectic, she is best known as a soul/R&B artist and as a jazz vocalist.


The release of her 3rd album, Bloom showcases her best writing and production yet. The songs are infectious, poignant and groove hard.  It is noticeably more “pop/funk” than her previous releases yet the themes of social consciousness and inner reflection that has connected her to her listeners remain. NehRita has a gift for writing well-crafted songs that are deeply personal.  Much of her music hearkens back to a time when soul and funk music made you dance while also serving up social commentary and a call for change.


She shines brightly during her live show & demonstrates her strength in be able to reach and connect with an audience.  You know she feels the music and she leads you into feeling it too.
Raji Sohal from CBC 3 Montreal may have put it best, “I can attest that in live performance her voice and stage presence are stellar and come off as endearingly natural.  Joni had me hollering and cheering like I haven’t at an R&B show in a while.”

This performance is part of the WOMEN IN JAZZ series, sponsored by DIVA INTERNATIONAL, makers of the Diva Cup

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John MacMurchy
Dec 8 @ 11:22 pm – Dec 9 @ 12:22 am

“It’s an honest sound that John uses to converse with the listener. Nothing is hidden. It’s all there on the table. Heart. Experience. Pleasure. Life.” -Sheldon Zandboer

John MacMurchy is a performer, composer and recording artist based in Toronto. A woodwind player, John concentrates on clarinet, tenor saxophone and baritone saxophone and is fluent in jazz and classical repertoire. He has released four full length records to critical acclaim and international airplay. John has worked with international artists as varied as Warren Vache, Howard Alden, Guido Basso, Henry Mancini, Cleo Laine, Linda Ronstadt, Carol Channing, Peter Appleyard, John Dankworth as well as being in demand as a sideman on the Toronto scene.

Sonja Gustafson sponsored by Diva international
Dec 14 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


London’s award-winning Jazz songstress Sonja Gustafson is a talented vocalist with a unique style and polish.  Her traditional approach reflects an appreciation for the forerunners of vocal jazz, bringing a cool verve to classic and lesser-known standards.  Honest and soulful in her delivery and grace, Sonja Gustafson is dazzling whether performing torch ballads, scatting with abandon, or crooning popular covers. Her collaborations with many of London’s top jazz instrumentalists led to the release of her debut CD “Sonja Gustafson” in 2007, as well as a double Christmas CD entitled “Comfort & Joy” released in December 2010. Both albums were well-received and can be heard on CBC radio and found on iTunes, or ordered at www.sonjagustafson.com.

Her audience is often surprised to learn that she is also an accomplished classically trained soprano with a MMus from UWO. She is a popular guest with symphonies, choirs and big bands alike and has been soprano soloist at First St. Andrew’s United Church in London, ON since 1999.  Sonja also has her own opera company, Diva Lounge Productions, which produces fully staged chamber operas.  But make no mistake, when it comes to jazz, she is the “real deal” according to her listeners and colleagues – her mellow jazz vocals are worlds away from her soprano roots. So whether singing in an intimate jazz club or in front of a symphony, this multi-faceted performer is an engaging songstress who connects deeply with her audience and shares her love of song with passion


No video, but audio for Maken Whoopie

Sonja Gustafson – vocals

Charlie Rallo – piano
Larry Ernewein -bass
Rich Brisco – drums

This performance is part of the WOMEN IN JAZZ series, sponsored by DIVA INTERNATIONAL, makers of the Diva Cup

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David Restivo quintet
Dec 15 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
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David Restivo is one of Canada’s most respected and influential jazz artists. He is a 3-time winner of the National Jazz Awards’ Pianist of the Year Award, and is listed in the current edition of Canadian Who’s Who.

He is well known for his work with Rob McConnell’s Boss Brass and Tentet, the Mike Murley Quintet, and legendary songwriter Marc Jordan.

He has also performed and recorded with Dave Holland, Jon Hendricks, Kenny Wheeler, John Abercrombie, Jerry Bergonzi, Mel Tormé, John Pizarelli, the Woody Herman Orchestra, Pat LaBarbera, Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, George Garzone, Howard Johnson, Ingrid Jensen, Christine Jensen, Kevin Mahogany, Randy Bachman (BTO/Guess Who), David Clayton Thomas, Molly Johnson, and many other outstanding artists. ​

David has served on the music faculty at the Banff Centre for the Arts and St. Francis Xavier University, and currently teaches at Humber College and the University of Toronto.


David was voted Toronto’s Best Kayboardist in NOW Magazine’s “Best of T.O.” readers’ poll in 1998 and received a Juno Award for his work on the 2001 recording The Rob McConnell Tentet (Justin Time).

“Hymn to Freedom”

Woodhouse + Barbra Lica sponsored by Diva International
Dec 16 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
  • The Woodhouse featuring Barbra Lica Photo #1
 With over 10 years of sold-­out shows throughout Canada, The Woodhouse amazes audiences with their unique arrangements of jazz and holiday classics. Described as a “little big band” with their jazz quintet plus vocals configuration, they have received featured programming and regular rotation on CBC Radio and JazzFM. Their debut album Home for Christmas was nominated for Jazz Recording of the Year by Music Nova Scotia and features special guests including Order of Canada recipient and jazz legend Don Thompson.


Barbra Lica is a fast-rising star in the Canadian Jazz scene and has been receiving accolades for a unique vocal ability that stresses subtlety and grace. A graduate of Jazz Performance from the University of Toronto, she has been named one of Canada’s Top 5 Jazz Singers on the CBC and was runner-up in the prestigious Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition in New York City. Her latest project, Kissing You, debuted in 2014 with dates across Canada and the U.S. as well as a feature performance at the Tokyo International Jazz Festival.


The Woodhouse is…


James Ervin – trumpet
Nevin Dunn – sax
Matt Giffin – piano
Søren Nissen – bass
Will Fisher – drums
Barbra Lica – voice


Here is The Woodhouse and Barbra…

This performance is part of the WOMEN IN JAZZ series, sponsored by DIVA INTERNATIONAL, makers of the Diva Cup

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Tom Nagy Christmas Special sponsored by Norton Engineering
Dec 21 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Jason White
Dec 22 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Steve McDade Sextet
Dec 28 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm