- About Us
- Visiting Toronto
- Contact Us
I Like Music
I mean, I guess that's an obvious enough statement, given what I do every day. It's just that I've been reminded why exactly I like music so much on several occasions in the past few weeks. It really clicked about half-way through the first set of the In The Current show last Wednesday at Gallery 345. The concert was the culmination of months of work by bass player, composer and arranger Mike Downes. He expanded a previously composed work, arranged other tunes and created new compositions; he rehearsed and arranged to record the 11-piece band; he did the marketing required for the concert...enough to leave anyone pretty exhausted. But there, in the middle of the set, was Mike Downes, smiling away, as if it had all been so easy, having a great time.
And in that moment I realized - I know how that feels. I know the sensation of toiling away at a major musical project, to feel like I'll never get it all done...only to have it come together beautifully. I know what it's like to be in the middle of an ensemble of outstanding musicians. And I know the joy of finally having a new composition, a new CD, a new concept come to fruition. The feeling is hard to describe.
I actually feel lucky to have been in the audience for several of these types of shows in the past few weeks: Andrew Downing and John Southworth, Tova Kardonne, Ori Dagan, David Occhipinti, Kid Koala and Daniela Nardi (and those are just the shows I saw) have all celebrated CD releases or new projects. These musicians always put on good shows; but there was just something extra in the air at each of these events.
If you haven't yet experienced a premiere or a CD release in person, I encourage you to do so. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention a few of the shows at this year's TD Toronto Jazz Festival that might have some of the same energy. The following artists and ensembles are celebrating new releases:
- June 23: Get the Blessing
- June 25: The Robert Glasper Experiment, Francois Houle
- June 26: Eliana Cuevas, Bill Frisell, Peter Appleyard and the Sophisticated Ladies, The Soul Rebels Brass Band, Treasa Levasseur
- June 27: Spectrum Road
- June 28: Esperanza Spalding
- June 29: Tedeschi Trucks Band, Karl Jannuska
- June 30: Joan Osborne, Matt Andersen, Hobson's Choice
- July 1: Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars
And a number of artists and ensembles are making their festival debuts (many of the artists mentioned above, actually) but here are two big ones:
Whether or not these musicians had new projects on the go, they would be worth seeing. But I'm willing to bet there will be something a bit special about these shows in particular. And if you're in the audience on any of those nights, I hope you might get a sense of what it is that reminded me why I like music.