Jam after work, jam at night

We've just announced two series of jam sessions - one verbal and one musical!

A new initiative this year, the Artistic Director's Guide to the Festival - Live! is a series of three sessions at which I'll chat with a guest about some of the artists performing at this year's festival. Each session, set in a local jazz pub, will cover a different set of artists in a relaxed setting and will feature sound clips and time for questions. Come on out to meet the Artistic Director (I'm really very nice) and learn more about this year's festival artists. And who knows - you might discover something new!

Each session runs 5:30 to 6:30 pm, and admission is free.

Thursday, June 10, Dominion on Queen, 500 Queen Street East at Sumach
Josh chats with Juno-nominated saxophonist Tara Davidson about the Jazz by the Lake series, which features Miguel Zenon/The Hliario Duran Big Band, Dave Douglas & Keystone, and the James Farm Project.

Thursday, June 17, The Rex Hotel, 194 Queen Street West at St. Patrick
Josh chats with vocalist and University of Toronto faculty member Christine Duncan about the Next Wave series, which features the Eric Boeren Quartet, Random Access Unplugged, the Element Choir, Fred Frith, and Doran-Stucky-Studer & Tacuma playing the music of Jimi Hendrix. Learn about the more "avant-garde" side of jazz!

Thursday, June 24, Trane Studio, 964 Bathurst Street at Follis
Josh chats with JAZZ.FM91 personality Walter Venafro about the Trane Studio series, which features the Andre Leroux Quartet, the Grace Kelly Quintet, the Terry Clarke Trio, Andy Milne & Dapp Theory, and the Sandro Dominelli Trio.

Looking for a piece of the festival's late-night action? We've confirmed three late-night jams upstairs at the Hard Rock Cafe (and hope to confirm a fourth in the next few days):

On Monday, June 28, the Jake Langley Trio hosts the late night jam following the Mike Stern Quartet show.
On Tuesday, June 29, Vanessa Rodrigues and Chris Gale hold down the fort after the Tony Monaco Trio performance.
On Saturday July 3, Robi Botos and his trio will swing into the wee hours after Christian Scott's show.

All late-night jams run 12:30 am to 3:30 am. Admission is $10 at the door; musicians performing at the festival get in free. The Hard Rock Cafe is at 279 Yonge Street; drop by to play a tune or check out the scene...you never know who will show up!

And, if you're relatively new to the jazz scene and you're wondering what it's all about, I think Yogi Berra sums it up best:

Interviewer: Can you explain jazz?

Yogi: I can't, but I will. 90% of all jazz is half improvisation. The other half is the part people play while others are playing something they never played with anyone who played that part. So if you play the wrong part, its right. If you play the right part, it might be right if you play it wrong enough. But if you play it too right, it's wrong.

Interviewer: I don't understand.

Yogi: Anyone who understands jazz knows that you can't understand it. It's too complicated. That's whats so simple about it.

Interviewer: Do you understand it?

Yogi: No. That's why I can explain it. If I understood it, I wouldnt know anything about it.

Interviewer: Are there any great jazz players alive today?

Yogi: No. All the great jazz players alive today are dead. Except for the ones that are still alive. But so many of them are dead, that the ones that are still alive are dying to be like the ones that are dead. Some would kill for it.

Interviewer: What is syncopation?

Yogi: That's when the note that you should hear now happens either before or after you hear it. In jazz, you don't hear notes when they happen because that would be some other type of music. Other types of music can be jazz, but only if they're the same as something different from those other kinds.

Interviewer: Now I really don't understand.

Yogi: I haven't taught you enough for you to not understand jazz that well.

Josh

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