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.

Mary-Catherine Quartet
Dec 13 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

“Mary-Catherine Pazzano shines throughout with energy and luscious tone, as she soars with her quartet. Mary-Catherine possesses a gorgeous, classically trained contralto voice capable of projecting the full gamut of emotions, as well as an uncanny skill with rendering the lyrics of current music, jazz standards and show tunes.”

–Lesley Mitchell-Clarke, The WholeNote Magazine (December 2017 Issue), reviewing album “You’re Gonna Hear From Me”

Described as a performer who “has her audience enthralled throughout the entire show” (Thornbury Paper), a musician who sings as if she is “reciting poetry” (Meaford Express), and “a talented jazz and ballad singer with an attractive voice and subtle improvising style” (Scott Yanow), Mary-Catherine Pazzano is a jazz vocalist based in Kitchener, Ontario. Mary-Catherine’s performance highlights include: Birdland (New York City), Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival, The Rex (Toronto), Jazz Bistro (Toronto), The Jazz Room (Waterloo), and The Registry Theatre (Kitchener). She has also toured New Zealand as a lead vocalist, and has been a soloist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. Mary-Catherine has shared the stage with jazz notables Mark Eisenman and Pat Collins, as well as the world-class chamber ensemble Penderecki String Quartet.

  • Mary-Catherine Pazzano, vocals
  • Mark Eisenman, piano
  • Pat Colins, bass
  • Steve James, guitar
  • Jason Hunter, trumpet


Here is “A Cottage For Sale” recorded at The Jazz Room

Sponsored by Diva International

Saturday Afternoon Jazz Jam – Perform on the Jazz Room stage
Dec 14 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Please join Steve Montgomery and Lukas Bouda as they host and coordinate the jam session at the Jazz Room on Saturday from 3 – 5 PM.

Now in Season 9 of the Jazz Room, the Jazz Jams are still free to attend and/or to play on stage. It is still open to all age groups. Both listeners and performers are welcome.

When you arrive, please sign in even if you are just listening. The Jazz Room is sponsoring the Jazz Jams to help involve the community more in jazz.

We have a drum set and grand piano for use by all during the jam session. Steve will bring cymbals for the drum set. If you plan to perform on stage with any other instrument, please bring your own instrument – do not ask to use another person’s instrument. Drummers bring your own sticks.

We supply original Real Books for charts on stage: three copies of concert C, two copies of Bb and one copy of Eb. For playing in the jam, we will perform  any songs from the Real Book, Volume 1. Songs played at each jam session change.

So that you can plan ahead, here are the dates for the Jazz Jams which  will always be the second Saturday of the month, as follows:

  1. September 14, 2019
  2. October 12, 2019
  3. November 9, 2019
  4. December 14, 2019
  5. January 11, 2020
  6. February 8, 2020
  7. March 14, 2020
  8. April 11, 2020
  9. May 9, 2020
  10. June 13, 2020
Ted Quinlan Group
Dec 14 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Ted Quinlan is regarded as one of Canada’s top guitar players. His skills are highly in demand as a jazz player, session musician, writer and educator. 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. It was followed by “Streetscape” which features him in a trio setting and “Around the Bend”, a duo collaboration with piano great Brian Dickinson. His latest recording “Absolutely Dreaming” is scheduled for release in the fall of 2019.

Ted’s other numerous recording credits include his performances on Mike Downes’ Juno winning CD’s “Ripple Effect” and “Root Structure”, Doug Riley’s “Con Alma”, Radioland Records’ ” Tribute to Wes Montgomery”, Phil Dwyer’s ” Road Stories”, Dave Restivo’s ” Prayer for Humankindness”, Ted Warren’s ” First Time Caller”, David Clayton-Thomas’ “Combo” and “Canadiana” and Nancy Walker’s “New Heiroglyphics” and “ ‘Til Now Is Secret”. Ted is the former Head of the Guitar Department at Humber College’s Music Program in Toronto.

Ted Quinlan: Guitar

Brian Dickinson: Piano

Kieran Overs: Bass

Ted Warren: Drums

Listen to Ted in Absolutely Dreaming

The Woodhouse featuring Barbra Lica
Dec 15 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

The Woodhouse featuring Barbra Lica. With over 10 years of sold-­out shows throughout Canada, The Woodhouse amazes audiences with their unique arrangements of holiday classics mixed with jazz, pop, and Latin. Described as a “little big band” with their quintet plus vocals configuration, they have received 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 Order of Canada recipient Don Thompson on vibraphone as well as Nova Scotia vocalist Jennah Barry (Ron Sexsmith, Rose Cousins) who was featured on Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Cafe.

This year, The Woodhouse will be collaborating with Juno-nominated vocalist Barbra Lica who was named one of Canada’s Top 5 Jazz Singers by the CBC. They are excited to be bringing new arrangements and a few surprises to their highly anticipated annual holiday tour.

The Woodhouse features:

James Ervin: Trumpet

Nevin Dunn: Sax

Matt Giffin: Piano

Søren Nissen: Bass

Will Fisher: Drums

And special guest Barbra Lica: Vocals

Here is Woodhouse playing Marshmallow World and What Are You Doing NYE

Tom Nagy Christmas
Dec 20 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Tom brings his typically irreverent Christmas show back to the Jazz Room.

Is it his 7th year, 8th year, or 9th year?  Oh, we lose count!  No matter.

We once again expect  the unexpected,  great fun, and the usual big crowd, in the last gasp before Christmas!


Jason White Trio
Dec 21 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Jason White

Jason White brings a set of game changing charts to the stage. Drawing from the intensity of Hendrix, surfacing the compelling bass heads of The Bad Plus, and hitting that nerve where classic jazz meets Zappa and now meets the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. Never bound to the traditional jazz formulas, this group promises to keep you on your toes but with the traditional piano, bass, and drums trio format.

The Legends of Soul – Featuring Carlos Morgan
Dec 27 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Solroc Music Recording Artist & Juno Award Winner, Carlos Morgan, performs some of the best R&B and Soul songs from the 60’s – 90’s, as well as,  his award winning music. Morgan, along with his band, will perform songs from Marvin Gaye, Barry White, Jackie Wilson, Al Green, Michael Jackson and many more iconic R&B/Soul artists.

  • Michael McNeil (Piano & Keyboards)
  • Omar Martin (Guitar)
  • Kemy Siala (Bass)
  • Chris Blair (Drums)
  • Carlos Morgan (Vocalist)

Listen to Carlos “The Compilation Legends Of Soul Concert

Dec 28 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Playdate, a co-led band with pianist, Adrean Farrugia and saxophonist, Tara Davidson.

Award winning pianist and composer Adrean Farrugia is one of Canada’s most distinct voices on the piano.

Since the late 1990s Adrean has been in high demand as a freelance performer and educator. Keeping a busy touring schedule, mainly as a sideman, Adrean has toured extensively across Canada and the United States as well as in venues across Europe, Australia, the UK, Israel and in Japan.

Adrean has performed/recorded with some of jazz’s greatest and most diverse artists including: Ernie Watts, Adam Nussbaum, Larry Carlton, Curtis Fuller, Tom Scott, Bob Brookmeyer, Randy Brecker, Eric Alexander, Cyrille Aimee, Molly Johnson, Jane Bunnett, Ron Blake, Joel Frahm, Matt Penman, Dafnis Prieto, Kinan Azmeh, Brad Goode, Kenny Wheeler, Darcy James Argue, Don Thompson, Lorne Lofsky, Kevin Turcotte, and Pat Labarbera.

Tara Davidson is a multiple JUNO Award nominated alto and soprano saxophonist who has performed around the world at such prestigious venues as New York City’s Carnegie Hall, the acclaimed North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, the International Jazz Festival in Lima, Peru, the JZ Jazz Club in Shanghai, China, and The Kennedy Center, in Washington, D.C.

As a bandleader, Davidson has produced six recordings since 2004 and performed on approximately thirty recordings as a side person. Four of her six recordings as a leader or co-leader have been nominated by the JUNO Awards for “Album of the Year” in the “Traditional”, “Solo” and “Group” jazz categories.

  • Alex Samaras (Vocals)
  • Tara Davidson (Alto and Soprano Sax)
  • Adrean Farrugia (Piano)
  • Andrew Downing (Acoustic Bass)
  • Ernesto Cervini (Drums)


Listen to Adrean and Tara, “Blue Dharma” and “Going Solo

The Grand River Jazz Society presents NEW YEARS EVE at The JAZZ ROOM
Dec 31 @ 7:00 pm – 1:00 am



Photo Credit: Peter Brown

6:30PM                        DOORS OPEN

7:00PM – 9:30PM       JASON WHITE, a Jazz Room favourite, on the piano during dinner

10:00PM – 1:00AM     THE JITTERBUGS  will help us dance the night away……

‘THE JITTERBUGS’ is a swing jazz, jump and jive style combo that has been enjoying success since they first formed around the year 2000. The JitterBugs approach jazz by featuring music from the times when jazz and the dance floor were one. Call it vintage jazz, call it jump’n jive, put whatever label on it you must, it all boils down to the same thing ……jazz that entertains and excites.

PAUL MITCHELL Trumpet   LARRY SMITH Guitar  PETER HYSEN   Trombone, bass trombone, tuba, acoustic bass player    AARON MACDONALD Saxophone    BRIAN MCHUGH Drums    DOUG BALFOURA Piano






 Starter (Choose one)

  • Roasted butternut squash soup with sour cream and scallions
  • Lion Brewery Caesar Salad

Main Course (Chose one)

  • Grilled 10oz NY strip steak served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, steamed mixed vegetables with carmelized onion and mushroom gravy topped with brie cheese
  • Cajun dusted roast atlantic salmon with roasted garlic mashed potato, steamed mixed vegetables and pesto cream sauce
  • Seared chicken breast “supreme” served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, steamed mixed vegetables, with grainy mustard gravy and goat’s cheese
  • A vegetarian option is available by request.

Dessert (Choose one)

  • Homemade apple pie with vanilla ice cream
  • Chocolate or Vanilla cheesecake with cherry sauce

Note that serving times for dinner will be staggered this year to smooth out the load

Once you’ve purchased your Ticketscene entrance ticket,  Jane Cowan will be in touch about your meal preferences, serving time preferences and table reservations.

We’re looking forward to seeing you at this Jazzy evening!



Tim Louis and the Ambassadors
Jan 3 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

As a jazz singer and pianist, Tim Louis offers something very special. His voice is his own and his talents appeal to those of us who crave warm retro feelings but want something fresh and new.

Louis has been described as a quadruple-threat talent: singer, songwriter, pianist, and MP!

Born in New Jersey, Louis first studied under jazz great Kenny Barron, earning a BA in Music from Rutgers University before moving to the New York scene, eventually working alongside the iconic Teo Macero.

A move to Canada brought with it a period of youthful exuberance as he took his musical talents and dallied in rock and country bands, looking for where he felt he belonged. Truth be known, he was also following a Canadian gal to her home in Kitchener-Waterloo. They married and she was instrumental to bringing him back to jazz. Yet it’s his appreciation for other genres of music which distinguishes his personal style. He interprets other artists through his jazz filter – injecting their influence into his definition of contemporary jazz.

He brings his usual top-shelf local talent and favourites to the stage!

Tim Louis – piano, vocals, Jimmy Boudreau – drums, Paul Mitchell – trumpet, Dave Thompson – guitar, Dave Wiffen – saxophone, Matt Lima – bass

Here is Tim at the Jazz Room: Play it Cool   Mood Swings    Full Moon and Empty Arms