Join us for our Season 9 opener!
A great kick-off with the vibrant sound of Latin Jazz featuring La Banda Local.
La Banda Local is a sextet of musicians with roots in the Waterloo Region assembled for the special opening night of the Grand River Jazz Society’s ninth season at the Jazz Room in the Heuther Hotel. Jay Boehmer (drums), Lukas Bouda (guitar), Ken Hadley (flute, sax), Andy Macpherson (congas, vibes), Greg Prior (bass) and John Zadro (piano) are all friends connected through local groups New Vibes Jazz Quintet and KW Big Band Theory. For this special evening, this sextet will offer interpretations of Latin-jazz compositions by Methany, Jobim, “Chucho” Valdez, Zadro, Prado, Ahbez and others for an “extend the summer” kind of evening kicking off another season of great live music at the Jazz Room.
Alexis Baro was born into a musical family in Havana, Cuba. Classically trained, he took up the trumpet at the age of age 8 and completed his musical education receiving a teaching certification at the prestigious Amadeo Roldán Music Conservatory in Havana.
While in school he became a member of the Buena Vista Social Club super star Omara Portuondo’s band, and later at the age of 19 played lead trumpet for the National Radio and Television Orchestra.After moving to Toronto, Canada in 2001, he was discovered by iconic Canadian jazz drummer Archie Alleyne where he florished as a writer and performer for eight years as a member of the Canadian award winning ‘hard-bop” band Kollage. As a band member he was nominated for “Best Jazz Trumpeter” by the Canadian National Jazz Awards in the years 2006, 2007, and 2008. Baro has participated in more than 60 albums and can be heard as a feature solist on some of the most transcendent Latin albums made in Canada such as Hilario Duran’s Grammy Award nominated album “From The Heart”.He has performed with such artists as Nikky Yanofsky, David Foster, Michael Bubble, Paul Anca, Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, Brian Blade, Paquito d’ Rivera, Jimmy Bosch, Miguel Zenon, Hilario Duran, Robi Botos, Jesus Alemaney & Cubanismo, David Virelles, Andrea Boccelli, Gino Vanelli, Esthero, David Rudder, Juan de Marco & The Afro-Cuban All Stars, and Horacio “el negro” Hernandez.Highlights in his solo career include opening for Herbie Hancock, and tours of South America and the West Indies. He’s released five albums as a solo artist “Havana Banana”, “From the Other Side”, “Blue Skin”, “Guilty Pleasure” which won a Gold Medal “Global Music Award” in the jazz category November 2015 and his latest offering titled “Sugar Rush” which features a collection of new original Afro Cuban jazz compositions dedicated to the musical influences from the neighbourhood he grew up in Cuba.
- Alexis Baro – Trumpet
- Jeff King – Saxes
- Yoser Rodrigues – Bass
- Thomas Francis – Piano and Keyboards
- Max Senit – Drums
The Jazz Room is delighted to welcome Carol Welsman to our stage She is an internationally acclaimed singer and pianist whose expressive vocal styling and dynamic stage presence have captivated audiences around the world. She has sold over 60,000 CDs in Canada alone, something few jazz/pop artists in Canada have experienced. She has released 12 CDs to date, and 6 have received Juno Award nominations. She delivers a mix of American Songbook classics and original compositions in a style that ranges from sensuous and warm to infectiously energetic.
Her passion for jazz led her to Boston’s Berklee College of Music in the 80s, where she majored in piano performance. She later traveled to Europe, and studied voice with Christiane Legrand (sister of Michel) and teamed up as a songwriter with Romano Musumarra, writing lyrics for artists like Ray Charles, Pavarotti, Celine Dion and Nicole Scherzinger.
3 sold-out Japan tours with renowned clarinetist Ken Peplowski and Big Band paying tribute to Benny Goodman and Peggy Lee. Carol’s CD “Memories of You” won the Gold Award in Japan’s Jazz Critics’ Magazine in 2010, and over 60 concerts have been performed to sold out audiences in 1500 seat venues throughout Japan. Carol has enjoyed touring Italy, Brazil, and Canada as well as across the USA. She was invited to perform on “Larry King Live” for the 9/11/04 Commemoration, and Pop icon Celine Dion recorded Carol’s original song “Baby Close Your Eyes” on her “Miracle” CD (2004).
Don Heckman at the Los Angeles Times says: “Welsman is that rarest of discoveries: a fully formed artist with the musicality, imagination and looks to cruise to the top of the jazz vocal genre.”
PLEASE NOTE: This is a Thursday Night concert 8:00 PM start
The Jazz Room is delighted to welcome the return of Rebecca Binnendyke for her CD release of her second album!
Rebecca is on a mission to use her songs for greater good. The Canadian singer-songwriter is pairing the promotion of her second album,”I Don’t Belong To You”, with raising money for Plan Canada, a global organization dedicated to advancing children’s rights, equality and education for girls and the putting an end to female genital cutting. Rebecca’s authentic style and rich, clear voice is meant to be seen and heard from the stage. Come and see for yourself!
She has been featured with the Stardust Big Band, the Phoenix Jazz group, and The Big Band Theory. As well, she has performed with Jazz Room favourites such as Tim Louis, Dave Thompson, Jimmy Boudreau, Andriy Tykhonov, Robin Habermehl, Attilia Fias, and others.
Check out these video links including her stellar Jazz Room version of “Hallelujah”
Alison Young is a Toronto-based saxophonist, vocalist and composer. She was nominated for solo jazz album of the year at the 2019 Juno Awards. Since moving to Toronto in the early 2000s to study music at the University of Toronto, she has been an active presence on the jazz scene both as a leader and side-person, appearing regularly in the city’s jazz venues, theaters and festivals. Young has toured across North America, Europe, South America, the Caribbean and Asia with acts such as Joe Sealy, Big Rude Jake, The Heillig Manoeuvre, Johnny Reid and the Shuffle Demons, and has appeared on nearly 30 recordings, including JUNO nominated albums by Alysha Brilla and Shakura S’Aida. Her compositions have been featured on JazzFM, CBC Radio One and CBC Radio-Canada. In 2017, Alison was chosen as one of the ‘Best 35 Canadian Jazz Artists under 35’ by the CBC. Later that year, she was featured in Pat LaCroix and Ted O’Reilly’s book, Toronto Jazz Treasures alongside many of her musical heroes. “Wearing gleaming red stilettos and a black orchid over her left ear, she played with endless creativity and flair.” Ted Panken, Downbeat Magazine, February 2015.
Alison Young saxophone and vocals
Jeff McLeod piano
Ross McIntyre bass
Eric St. Laurent guitar
Chris Wallace drums
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Wall’s Piano Gallery