click to see larger version Photo: Zoltan Harsanyi
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Order of Canada to Jazz Players
click to see larger version Over the years several Canadian jazz musicians have received various Order of Canada distinctions. Although we apologize in advance if this list is incomplete, it includes: Oscar Peterson, Oliver Jones, Phil Nimmons, Joe Sealy, Jane Bunnett, Rob McConnell, Archie Alleyne, Diana Krall, Lorraine Desmarais and Ian McDougall.
This year the honour was given to sax player Phil Dwyer, and it seemed fitting to include this photo of Phil with Don Thompson, another recipient, taken during their duo tour in spring of 2013.
Phil's Vancouver Island home newspaper encapsulates some past and future life highlights for Phil here, along with the Ottawa Citizen Jazz Blog here.
January 2014
Vancouver Loses The Jazz Cellar; Edmonton gains PJ Perry residency
click to see larger version The Jazz Cellar will close Feb 26 2014
Sax man Cory Weeds' Jazz Cellar opened with the Mike Allen Trio in Aug 2000 and its farewell celebration will include the same trio with Mike on sax, Darren Radtke-bass, Julian MacDonough-drums, and special guests Miles Black (piano), Adam Thomas (bass), Cory Weeds (tenor), Oliver Gannon (guitar), Chris Davis (trumpet), Jennifer Scott (voice) and Hugh Fraser (trombone). They are sold-out for the evening, but the first two sets will be recorded by CBC's Hot Air.
See media perspectives from the Globe and Mail here and the (Vancouver) Straight here.
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Edmonton has always had The Yardbird Suite!
With a long history that precedes its current location (since 1984), The Yardbird Suite (run-by-volunteers) has kept jazz alive in Edmonton since 1959. Now Brittany's Lounge has shown themselves jazz-savy enough to get PJ Perry for a Wednesday night residency.
Find Brittany's here and the stalwart presence of The Yardbird Suite here.
Jan 2014 Update for Brittany's: Wed 8-11 and Fri 5-8pm.
November 2013
Musicians Initiate Harbord St Jazz Festival Aug 16-17
click to see larger version For the 2nd year, a group of enterprising T.O. jazz musicians organized a neighbourhood festival involving seven restaurant-bar venues and eleven performances including Fri and Sat evening street performances. The community spirit of several sponsors and contributors assisted these musicians in highlighting their talents and spreading the sounds of jazz through this neighborhoods' streets.
September 2013
Two of our Canadian Drummer Masters
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Archie Alleyne
Turns 80, January 2013!

Born Jan 7, 1933 and raised in Toronto's Kensington Market neighbourhood, Archie was one of the first local black musicians to take the stage in the early 50's in the clubs along Yonge Street, helping to break down barriers for countless others who followed. One of his first gigs was at the Parkside Tavern and eventually as the house drummer at both the Colonial Tavern and for more than a decade (55-66), at the Town Tavern, where he was the drummer of choice for the greats of the time including Sonnie Stitt, Billie Holiday, Stan Getz, Bud Freeman, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, and Lester Young. Additionally he maintained regular engagements in recording studios, for big bands and touring as a sideman internationally.

Archie put music on the sideline in the 70's partnering in the popular Underground Railroad restaurant, but he returned to the drums in 1982 forming a quartet and returning to international touring. Formed in 2000, Archie's multi-talented & popular sextet, "Kollage", has been his most recent mark on the Toronto jazz scene and has become yet another part of Archie's legacy and impact with both players and fans. (Note: Kollage is scheduled at The Rex March 2014.) This decade also blessed Archie with the entrance of Elvira (see above right photo) into his life!

For the last 25 years while focused on his intention of giving back, Archie has become an unofficial documentarian of Toronto's black music scene: his "Syncopation: Life in the Key of Black" series highlights the talents of black artists past and present, with live music and photographic exhibits showcasing some of those who helped break new ground for those playing today. In 2003, he launched The Archie Alleyne Scholarship Fund which provides scholarships and bursaries to young people looking to get into a career in music. For his contributions to the music scene, Alleyne was named to the Order of Canada in 2011, and has earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Urban Music Association of Canada and a Toronto Arts Award among his many accolades.

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Norman Marshall Villeneuve
turns 75 May 2013

Born in Montreal on May 29, 1938, this self-taught drummer came of age in the 60's playing in Montreal clubs and meeting jazz icons like Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones and Art Blakey. Over the years, beyond regular tours with Oliver Jones, Renee Lee, and Dave Young, Norman has played with luminaries such as Duke Ellington, Junior Mance, Cootie Williams, Frank Motley, Jackie McLean, Ray Draper, Anita O'Day, Blossom Dearie, Nelson Symonds, Charlie Rouse, Big Joe Miller and "Wild Bill" Davison.

Following his mid-70's move to Toronto, NMV soon established himself as The Man On The Scene, leading his "Jazz Message" Quintet and hanging in the clubs spreading his infectious and passionate commitment to the jazz scene, always enthusiastically and generously mentoring the next generation of jazz players. In 2013, Norman established the Norman Marshall Villeneuve Percussion Award, which will be awarded annually to a second year percussion student who excels in academics and leadership and has a passion for jazz.

Norman returned to Montreal in the fall of 2013 (with new wife Louise on his arm) and can often be found at Montreal's House of Jazz keeping his hard bebop style at centre stage. (Note: He returns to Toronto in April 2014 for engagements 'round town!) Find more on NMV's website.

July 2013
TD Toronto Jazz Festival - June 20-29, 2013
New Venues Announced
The 2013 Festival has some change-ups, including
Free-for-all Friday schedule
for Fri June 21 when all Festival venue performances are FREE.

See the Festival's line-up at TO's newest club addition, Jazz Bistro with one or two shows nightly.

.... and there's four jazz dates booked at The Horseshoe Tavern.

Check-out the complete list of all Festival Venues and performances scheduled.

See our Other Jazz Links page for some of the 2013 Summer Festivals coming up.
May 2013
Apr 18, 2013 - Bill King: Sharps, Flats & a Camera Lens
Bill King has been a stalwart musician, band leader, and photographer in his lengthy tenure on the Toronto jazz scene. This recent article (courtesy Cashbox Magazine Canada, Apr 2013) highlights some of his journey to date. "If only they could talk," his piano and camera could speak volumes about many of the chapters of his life.
Apr 22 2013
Wed Apr 3, 2013 - Jazz Bistro Media Launch
click to see larger version Jazz Bistro's "Front Line" - Although the players were at center stage, greetings at the front door of TO's much-anticipated Jazz Bistro came from Sybil Walker, Van Lee, and Joan Hunter!
Their soft-opening week led off Tue Mar 26 with Alex Pangman's Have a Little Fun CD Release, Wednesday's Sinal Aberto appearance and concluded with three nights of Lew Tabakin's (Eisenman/Wallace/Clarke-backed) Quartet.
This Jazz Bistro front line photo was taken on Media Launch official opening night Wed Apr 3.
See Jazz Bistro website for performance schedule.
Opening Media Release/History
Apr 5 2013
Sat April 13, Koerner Hall Concert
Dave Young-Terry Promane Octet PLUS Heavyweights Brass Band ...
Old lions meet young tigers as monster percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo and sublime trumpeter Claudio Roditi, former members of Dizzy's United Nation Orchestra, join two Toronto-based bands for our Dizzy celebration. "Heavyweights band puts the fun in funky." (Toronto Sun);
JazzTimes describes Dave Young's playing as "flawless time, big buoyant tone and bold solo ideas."
March 19 2013
Fri April 12, Hugh's Room: "The Three Kings of Blues"
Check out our Other Jazz Links page for more Blues & Jazz! and Hugh's Room for more info.
March 2013
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