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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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David Jean Trio
Sep 20 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


David Jean is a 19-year old guitar player and singer-songwriter with a jazz background. He has released a solo album and is continuing his artistic efforts in many directions such as arranging and producing.

Although rock music is his predominant direction, he still very much loves to play in any kind of genre or style that is accessible to him. He’s played for local artists such as Big Band Theory, Tim Moher and David Alexander while continuing his solo efforts.

David is currently taking a break from his studies at Humber College’s music program and plans to make more music in the meantime.

  • David Jean – Guitar
  • Ben Green – Drums
  • Thomas Hainbuch – Bass


Rémi-Jean Leblanc Quartet
Sep 21 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

photo credit: Hamie Robitaille

Montreal-based Rémi-Jean LeBlanc has been active on the Canadian music scene since 2005 and has collaborated with an array of musicians in Montreal and other Canadian cities including Yannick Rieu, Jean-Michel Pilc, Marianne Trudel, Steve Amirault, Carol Welsman and Elizabeth Shepherd. R-J has also toured with different projects in Europe, China, Japan, Mexico, the US and Canada and has performed with international artists such as David Binney, Seamus Blake, Greg Osby, Terri Lyne Carrington, Ari Hoenig, Gilad Hekselman, Ben Wendel and Billy Hart.

He has put out a third album as a leader in 2018, Déductions. The album features NYC guitarist Nir Felder, cuban pianist Rafael Zaldivar, Montreal-native Sam Joly on drums and offers an energetic, introspective take on rock-infused jazz.


Ottawa Citizen interview with Peter Hum

Album review in La Presse de Montréal


Jazz for Hope: Annual HopeSpring Fundraiser featuring the Tom Nagy Band with Derek Hines
Sep 26 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

This event is brought to you by HopeSpring Cancer Support Center.

Hot Jazz on a cool night. A fundraiser for HopeSpring.

HopeSpring provides free programs and services for those affected by cancer. It’s the Tom Nagy Band doing their first non-holiday gig for HopeSpring! Come hear some choice jazz standards. Cost: 55.00  Includes delicious appetizers and a cash bar.

Doors open at 7:00pm, music starts at 8:00pm.

  • Derek Hines – Vocals
  • Jason White – Piano
  • Rob Gellner – Trumpet/Flugelhorn
  • Tom Nagy – Bass
  • Don McDougall – Drums


Buy tickets

The Jillian McKenna Project
Sep 27 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Photo by Bashkim Hasani_1945 copy.jpg

Jillian McKenna is a Canadian bassist and composer from Hamilton, Ontario. Regardless of style, Jillian’s impactful sound on the bass resonates through whatever music she is a part of. No stranger to versatility, she can be found playing in jazz combos, big bands, pit bands, bluegrass groups, alongside singer-songwriters, and performing a variety of new and original music. With a passion for listening, Jillian’s ability to cohere with every musician she plays makes her a sought after musician in today’s industry.

Jillian began studying jazz at Mohawk College in Hamilton, ON under many influential Canadian jazz musicians, among them being Pat Collins and Adrean Farrugia. Very quickly she began working as a professional musician in and around both the Toronto and Hamilton scenes. In 2015 she moved to New York City on a scholarship to attend the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in Manhattan. It was there where she had the opportunity to work with a number of esteemed artists including Peter Washington, Reggie Workman, David Wong, Ben Williams, Matt Wilson, and Joel Frahm to name a few. Over the years she has appeared at a number of music festivals  including, but not limited to, the Carthage Music Festival  (Tunis, Tunisia), the Bern Jazz Festival (Bern, Switzerland), the Toronto Jazz Festival (Toronto, Canada), and the Niagara Jazz Festival (Niagara, Canada) as a part of many different projects. In 2017 Jillian began leading her own band, The Jillian McKenna Project.

Adrean Farrugia (piano)

Mackenzie Reid (drums)

Jill McKenna (bass)

Check out:

“Love for Sale”

“If I were a Bell”

Sponsored by Diva International

Gabriel Palachi Trio
Sep 28 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Image result for Gabriel Palatchi


Join Argentinian pianist, composer, and Billboard Magazine Emerging Artist Gabriel Palatchi for an eclectic and explosive musical journey with an original blend of cultures that features latin jazz, tango, funk, middle east and more!

He spent his formative years in Buenos Aires studying classical piano, and being mentored by some of the great maestros of blues, tango, jazz and Latin jazz.  After graduating in 2007 from Berklee international School, Argentina, he spent several months in Cuba where he studied latin jazz with the master “Churho” Valdez before he moved to Mexico. His forth album is “Made in Canada” (2017). For the past 8 years Gabriel has been performing at major international music festivals, touring throughout Mexico, Canada and Europe. 

Gabriel Palatchi – piano & synths
Sarah Thawer – drums
Marc Decho – bass

Check out:

Teaser 2018 Live

“What Da Funk”LIve

Live from Artswell Festival

Velha Guarda
Sep 29 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm





Multi-instrumentalists Louis Simão and Carlos Bernardo have come together to form VELHA GUARDA, a new group that features their own compositions which draw heavily upon the sounds of Brazilian music and jazz, while also presenting new arrangements of Portuguese folk songs collected by musicologists in the early to mid-20th century.

Louis Simão is an award winning, Toronto-based musician who has been composing, performing and recording as a multi-instrumentalist in a variety of genres for twenty-five years. In addition to performing as a sideman (Nelly Furtado, Kiran Ahluwalia, Michael Occhipinti’s Sicilian Jazz Project, Luis Mario Ochoa, Justin Rutledge, Guinga, Henrique Cazes, Patricia Cano and Sophie Milman), in 2016 Simão released his much-anticipated solo album, “A LUZ” (The Light), which garnered him Song of the Year at the 2017 International Portuguese Music Awards (IPMA) as well as the 2017 World Solo Artist of the Year by the Canadian Folk Music Awards.

Performing on guitar and a number of other instruments such as the oudbouzouki and viola da gambaCarlos Bernardo is a Brazilian multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger who resides in Paris, France. In addition to having co-written and co-produced Patricia Cano’s “This is the New World”, and co-written and arranged her sophomore album “Madre Amiga Hermana”, Carlos has released two CDs under his own name, worked with a multitude of Brazilian and French artists and composed extensively for theatre in France and Brazil.

Joining them on this journey are some of the most remarkable musicians Canada has to offer. Luis Orbegoso on percussion and vocals (Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Stevie Wonder, Jerry Gonzalez, Hilario Durán, David Virelles, Chucho Valdéz, Jane Bunnett, Alex Cuba and Patricia Cano); Rich Brown on electric bass (Carol Welsman, Jane Siberry, Glenn Lewis, Andy Milne’s Dapp Theory, Steve Coleman & 5 Elements, Vernon Reid, Rudresh Mahanthappa & Donny McCaslin); Marito Marques on drums (Grammy Winners Ivan Lins and Carlos do Carmo, Adonis Puentes, Hilario Duran, Jeff Coffin, The Wilderness of Manitoba and Sara Tavares).

Louis Simão – vocals, accordion & piano
Carlos Bernardo – guitars & vocals
Luis Orbegoso – percussion & vocals
Rich Brown – electric bass
Marito Marques – drums


Sam Kirmayer
Oct 4 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

“No pretense or posturing, only musical sincerity.”

Guitarist and composer Sam Kirmayer, plays straight-ahead jazz  with “ fearlessness and momentum” – Katie alloch (CBC Jazz Beat & Tonic) . One of CBC Music’s picks for the “ 35 best Canadian jazz musicians under 35” , he has performed with some of Canada’s finest musicians including André White, Joel Miller, Mike Rud and Kevin Dean, who has praised him for his “excellence, honesty and power of emotion.”

Kirmayer’s 2017 debut O pening Statement, a mixed set of original compositions and well chosen standards, features a strong supporting cast of New York based pianist Sean Fyfe and Montreal stalwarts bassist Mike De Masi and drummer Dave Laing. In a 4 star review, All About Jazz called Opening Statement “ strong-minded, well-spoken and worth relishing many more times than once.” The album went on to win the Julian Award of Excellence for Emerging Canadian Jazz Artists from CJSF 90.1 FM.

“Kirmayer chose wisely when he picked sidemen for his new project that casts his warm tone and lyrical focus in a different setting… The simpatico and eloquence that they’ve achieved on High and Low sound like the hallmarks of a seasoned band. ” — Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen (“High and Low” liner notes)

Featuring Ben Paterson (Organ) (NYC) and Dave Laing (Drums)

Combining a joyful swing feel with an impeccable touch, Ben Paterson has quickly established himself as one of the most exciting young pianists/organists on the Jazz scene today, garnering international acclaim for his superb musicianship and engaging performances. Originally from Philadelphia, Ben studied both classical and jazz music before moving to the great city of Chicago, absorbing the unique blend of Jazz and Blues that can only be found in the Windy City. Now based in New York, Ben is poised to bring his unique talents and style to a wider audience, performing regularly at top notch venues around town, and at clubs and festivals around the world. Notable collaborations include work with NEA Jazz Master Von Freeman, Bobby Broom, Johnny O’Neal, Red Holloway, Eldee Young, Jerry Weldon, Peter Bernstein and Ed Cherry to name a few, with performances opening for groups like Steely Dan and B.B. King.

Also on drums, Dave Laing, born in Kitchener Ontario and grew up in a musical family. He was introduced to jazz music by his father and to the drums by his older brother. Dave studied at McGill University in Montreal and began his professional career shortly thereafter. In the past twenty five years he has recorded, toured, and performed with such national and international stars as Jimmy Heath, Junior Cook, Ed Bickert, Denzal Sinclaire, Ben Monder, and Ranee Lee. He currently resides in Montreal where he also teaches at McGill University.


  • Sam Kirmayer – guitar
  • Ben Paterson – organ
  • Dave Laing – drums


On a Clear Day

High and Low

Luis Deniz Group
Oct 5 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Luis Deniz, a winner of the Grand Prix de Jazz General Motors 2006 at the Montreal Jazz Festival (David Virelles Quintet) and Galaxie Rising Star 2010 at the Halifax Jazz Festival (Rich Brown & Rinsethealgorithm), Grammy Nominated and Juno Award Winning (Hilario Duran Latin Jazz Big Band), alto saxophonist Luis Gonzalez Deniz was born in Camaguey, Cuba in 1983.

In 1993, Luis started his musical studies at the Escuela Vocacional de Arte Luis Casas Romero in his hometown of Camaguey, where he subsequently continued at the Escuela Profesional de Musica Jose White. Luis later moved to the Cuban capital, where he gratuated at the prestigious Escuela Nacional de Musica (ENA), the alma mater of several of Cuba’s most prominent musicians.

Luis has also shared the stage with international figures such as Barry Harris, Howard Johnson, Ray Vega, Steve Turre, Randy Brecker, Donald Harrison, Ingrid Jensen, Mark Feldman, Gary Versace and Hermeto Pascoal.

One of the highlights of Luis’s career as an educator has been to be a part of Toronto’s prestigious Humber College, where he has been a faculty member for over a year, as a private saxophone teacher and small and large ensemble instructor.

With an impressive career as a sideman and saxophonist, Luis continues to develop his own talents; in 2010 he was awarded a Canada Council for the Arts Grant to study with innovative saxophonist Greg Osby in New York City.


  • Luis Deniz – sax
  • Roberto Occhipinti – bass
  • Rafael Zaldivar – piano
  • Amhed Mitchell – drums
Sonic Perfume – presented by NUMUS
Oct 6 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

NUMUS presents: Sonic Perfume


The instrument group Sonic Perfume could be described as a free-jazz-garage-rock-fusion group, but that isn’t quite right. Just like their music, the boundaries are crossed; splitting members between Ontario and Michigan, Phil Albert, Patrick O’Reilly, Patrick Booth, and Jonathan Taylor as Sonic Perfume constantly mix the idea of composition and improvisation in their performances, mashing up often contradictory sound aesthetics, and drawing on the many sounds and styles that we love, such as ambient/electronic, jazz, metal, pop, many folk musics, and 20th Century ‘classical’ music. The group creates memorable, often sing-able, and always adventures journeys through time with their audiences, specifically taking influence and direction from the spaces and people present during performances.

Sonic Perfume is an adventurous quartet that spans across the lines and borders of jazz as well as geographical locations. Splitting members between Canada and Michigan, Patrick Booth,Jonathan Taylor, Phill Albert, and Patrick O’Reilly continue to push their unique jazz and creative music forward, creating a compelling group sound.

  • Patrick Booth – sax
  • Jonathan Taylor – drums
  • Phill Albert – bass
  • Patrick O’Reilly – guitar
Venuti String Quartet (8:30 PM) followed by Dialectica Saxophone Quartet (10 PM)
Oct 11 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Two shows for the price of One!

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The Venuti String Quartet is made up of some of the most sought after freelance musicians in Toronto. Their members frequently perform with many of the major orchestral ensembles in Toronto, including The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, The Canadian Opera Company, The National Ballet of Canada and Tafelmusik. They are a highly versatile group comfortable performing not only the great classical repertoire but also jazz, contemporary and many other musical genres such as K-pop, hip hop, tango and disco.

They have worked with artists and ensembles including Quartetto Gelato,  Payadora Tango Ensemble, Jill Barber, Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company, The Hogtown Syncopators, The Gryphon Trio and The Art of Time Ensemble. The Venuti String Quartet can be heard frequently as recording artists for film and various recording projects including Royal Wood’s, Donovan Wood’s and Justin Gray’s most recent records. Upcoming shows for the quartet include performances in Massey Hall, Aeolian Hall, National Arts Centre, the Harbourfront Centre,  the Toronto Music Garden Summer Concert Series and the Indian River Music Festival in Prince Edward Island.





Check out:

Introduction to the quartet

Turceastra by Taraf de Haidouks


Sponsored by Diva International

Dialectica is an all-female saxophone quartet from Toronto. With both jazz and classical saxophonists, Dialectica explores a new musical identity through the fusion of these two genres.

Formed in 2015, Dialectica plays a unique repertoire of all-original, Canadian music by saxophonist/composer Shannon Graham and Mexican-Canadian composer Javier Vazquez, in a style that combines jazz, classical, and Latin music.

They released their self-titled debut record in April 2018. Dialectica appears in Canadian film maker Atom Egoyan’s new film “Guest of Honour” which premiered at TIFF 2019. The first track of their record, “The Puppetmaster” plays an important role in the story.

Dialectica’s mission is to challenge the assumptions people make about the saxophone, saxophonists, and the arbitrary divisions between genres of music. Can the world handle more than one female saxophonist in one place? Can the saxophone find a new identity beyond the days of Careless Whisper and Baker Street?

Shannon Graham- tenor saxophone
Jennifer Tran- soprano saxophone
Samantha Etchegary- alto saxophone
Olivia Shortt- baritone saxophone


Check Out:


“The Puppet Master”


Sponsored by Diva International