TORONTO – From Bourbon Street to Yonge Street, TD Toronto Jazz Festival, running from June 22 – July 1, kicks off with a celebration of gospel, soul and R&B on opening weekend with free performances throughout Yorkville that includes gospel queen CeCe Winans, the energetic No BS! Brass Band, saxophonist Jake Clemons, the soulful R&B songstress Macy Gray, Shakura S’Aida and 20 additional free concerts all weekend long.
Gospel royalty Cece Winans is a 10-time GRAMMY winner who has continued to impact gospel and R&B throughout her 35+ year career. A gifted songwriter and singer, Macy Gray has been playing by her own rules since kicking off her musical career with her debut in 1999 and the smash hit “I Try.” No BS! Brass Band fearlessly combine elements of James Brown, John Coltrane, Michael Jackson and Led Zeppelin into their fiercely original sound. Dividing his time as a saxophonist with Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, singer-songwriter Jake Clemons also tours the world with his own music. He brings his latest solo project to the Festival stage in support of his album Fear & Love. The powerhouse vocals of Shakura S’Aida have made her a staple in the Toronto blues scene over the course of her 30-year career.
Opening night of the Festival, Friday, June 22, brings a special edition of Friday Night Live at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), where guests can travel through generations of jazz as the museum is transformed into a jazz club. Performances include Clairmont The Second backed by live jazz band JAZZ MONEY; jazz-influenced electronic music of Anomalie; dance group Holla Jazz as they take guests through the paces with steps such as the Charleston, apple jacks and stomps; Angela Turone Trio; Jesse Barksdale Trio; Woodshed Orchestra; and a whole host of DJs that will keep the museum swinging.
The lineup on opening weekend also includes a ticketed performance by jill-of-all-trades, psychonaut and Renaissance womyan, Maylee Todd accompanied by producer and keyboardist Kyvita. Maylee has been called many things, but her music is consistently described as stimulating.
The music continues throughout the Festival with over 165 free shows spread across Yorkville at locations including the OLG Stage on Cumberland St., OLG Stage on Yorkville Ave., OLG Stage on Hazelton Ave., Isabel Bader Theatre, The Village of Yorkville Park, Heliconian Hall, Church of The Redeemer, Hotel InterContinental, ONE Restaurant, Sassafraz and Yorkville Village The Lane.
The opening weekend lineup joins previously announced artists including:
Seal with opener Rennie Adams Saturday, June 23 | Sony Centre
The iconic R&B singer performs his classic hits and jazz standards from his new album.
Liona Boyd & Friends – A Tribute to Yorkville in the Sixties Saturday, June 23 | Church of The Redeemer
The First Lady of Guitar pays homage to Yorkville in the ‘60s along with a special tribute to Gordon Lightfoot.
The Bad Plus Sunday, June 24 | Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre
The Bad debuts with their new pianist Orrin Evans, bringing the same spirit that has established the group as a leader in contemporary jazz.
Alison Krauss Monday, June 25 | Sony Centre
The most decorated female in GRAMMY history, Alison Krauss performs from her latest album, Windy City.
Lake Street Dive Monday, June 25 | Danforth Music Hall
This retro-soul group is on a hot streak after releasing their sixth studio album, Free Yourself Up, which has received praise from fans and critics alike.
Gregory Porter with Molly Johnson opening Monday, June 25 | Elgin Theatre
A voice that carries soul for the ages, Gregory Porter performs songs from his latest album Nat King Cole & Me. One of Canada’s greatest jazz vocalists, Molly Johnson opens.
Blues Revue Featuring Bettye LaVette Monday, June 25 | Koerner Hall
One of the most powerful voices in soul music, Bettye LaVette performs her creative renditions of Bob Dylan classics as she headlines our first ever Blues Revue.
Snarky Puppy Tuesday, June 26 | Danforth Music Hall
After a decade of relentless touring and recording in all but complete obscurity, Snarky Puppy has gone from the best-kept secret to one of the most respected names in instrumental music.
Savion Glover featuring Marcus Gilmore Tuesday, June 26 | Koerner Hall
Tap virtuoso from Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk and a masterful percussionist go toe-to-drum in a performance where dance and rhythm collide.
Elise LeGrow Tuesday, June 26 | Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre
Toronto’s very own Elise LeGrow demonstrates her powerful vocal range and ability performing music from the legendary CHESS Records catalogue including material from Etta James, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry and more.
Tuesday, June 26 | Horseshoe Tavern
A searing hot music duo from Los Angeles, their futuresonic funk-pop sound will “have you on your knees, beggin’ for more” (Quincy Jones). Opening for KNOWER is electro-jazz keyboardist Anomalie, who recently played a sold-out show at the Drake Underground this past April.
Béla Fleck & The Flecktones Wednesday, June 27 | Danforth Music Hall
Béla, Victor Wooten, Roy “Futureman” Wooten and Howard Levy are the original Flecktones and they reunite this year to celebrate their 30th anniversary.
Cécile McLorin Salvant Wednesday, June 27 | Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre
This year’s GRAMMY winner for Best Jazz Vocal Album, Cécile is one of the rising stars in jazz today. Jazz icon Wynton Marsalis has praised Cécile’s voice saying, “you get a singer like this once in a generation or two.”
Holly Cole Thursday, June 28 | Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre
With a career spanning over 30 years, she is considered one of Canada’s greatest jazz singers and will be performing songs from Holly, her first studio album in five years.
Herbie Hancock Friday, June 29 | Sony Centre
One of the most inventive creators in music, the legendary musician performs classics like “Watermelon Man” and “Cantaloupe Island.”
The TD Toronto Jazz Festival returns this summer from June 22 – July 1, 2018. As one of the premiere jazz festivals in North America, it transforms the city for 10 days as the sounds of jazz fills concert halls and the streets of Yorkville come alive. From jazz legends, emerging artists and established musicians, come celebrate the 32nd edition this summer!
For more information, visit www.torontojazz.com
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