July 03

TD Toronto Jazz Festival(June 24th-July 3rd,2016)Wynton Marsalis,Gregory Porter, Molly Johnson,Michael Franti&Spearhead+Joe Jackson

By Bill Kwan


It was the 30th Anniversary of The Toronto Jazz Festival and we were privileged to attend “Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra” with Wynton Marsalis and his band at the beautiful Koerner Hall in downtown Toronto. It was a busy day and we really enjoyed the amazing band and Wynton’s showmanship.
Wynton Marsalis – Music Director, Trumpet
Ryan Kisor – Trumpet
Kenny Rampton – Trumpet
Marcus Printup – Trumpet
Vincent Gardner – Trombone
Chris Crenshaw – Trombone
Elliot Mason – Trombone
Sherman Irby – Alto and Soprano Saxophones, Flute, Clarinet
Ted Nash – Alto and Soprano Saxophones, Flute, Clarinet
Victor Goines – Tenor and Soprano Saxophones, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet
Walter Blanding – Tenor and Soprano Saxophones, Clarinet
Paul Nedzela – Baritone and Soprano Saxophones, Bass Clarinet
Dan Nimmer – Piano
Carlos Henriquez – Bass
Ali Jackson – Drums
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO), comprising 15 of the finest jazz soloists and ensemble players today, has been the Jazz at Lincoln Center resident orchestra since 1988. Featured in all aspects of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s programming, this remarkably versatile orchestra performs and leads educational events in New York, across the U.S. and around the globe; in concert halls; dance venues; jazz clubs; public parks; and with symphony orchestras; ballet troupes; local students; and an ever‐expanding roster of guest artists. Under Music Director Wynton Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center
Orchestra performs a vast repertoire, from rare historic compositions to Jazz at Lincoln Center‐commissioned works, including compositions and arrangements by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Thelonious Monk, Mary Lou Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Charles Mingus, and many others.

We made it just in time for Gregory Porter! and that’s the beautify of TD Toronto Jazz!…….So much great music going on ! Next stop was The Mainstage Concert Series at Nathan Phillips Square at Old City Hall for Gregory Porter. Sure you’ll discover your jazz grove, but there’s The Blues, Gospel, Swing, Rock, R&B, Soul, Hip-Hip, Pop, Calypso, Funk, Big Band, Cabaret, Torch-Songs and Flamenco. There’s something for everyone. Gregory Porter’s brand of soul and R&B had the fans on their feet. And his rendition of “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” was one of the high lights of the concert.


Molly Johnson was dressed in a glamours yellow dress during a hot summer concert session with her Torch Songs in front of a capacity crowd at The Mainstage at Nathan Philips Square. It may have been outside in a tent but we felt like we were in a smoky lounge sipping martini with a Humphrey Bogart theme.


We had the pleasure of seeing Michael Franti in San Francisco during the Superbowl 50th anniversary celebrations. This was a “must see’event, as Franti has the energy of a dozen musicians. He had the fans dancing, singing and jumping up and down. Franti paid homage to the fallen musician and celebrities during multiple songs. Franti did a great version of the 70′ “Muhammad Ali-The Black Superman” by Johnny Wakelin. It was July 1st and what a way to celebrate Canada Day.


What can you say about an iconic “punk rocker”, “jazz musician”, “a swing and big band musician”! Joe Jackson’s musical career has spanned over 40 years with his debut album in 1979 “Look Sharp” and he has evolved into one of the most diverse and respected musician in the world. Jackson closed the Toronto Jazz Festival with his catalog of music to the delight of the capacity crowd on a beautiful Saturday night.

We would like to thank Anna Tom for the invitation to The 30th Anniversary of The Toronto Jazz Festival and we look forward to the 31st edition in 2017.

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