You had me at hello...

I was chatting last week with trumpeter Jeremy Pelt at The Rex Hotel about how he lined up his two-night stint. His answer was simple: “I called Tom.” I’ve had similar conversations with a number of musicians. For example: when my big band, The Toronto Jazz Orchestra, performed in 2005 with vocalist Kurt Elling—who at that time had already garnered something like four Grammy nominations and international acclaim—I asked him why he hadn’t been to Toronto in so many years. His answer: “No one asked me.”

Getting back to my conversation with Jeremy, he mentioned how he’s sometimes surprised by the gigs he gets in smaller towns - much less metropolitan than Toronto. The reason those gigs happen, he suggested, was that the jazz fans of those smaller towns agitated—they vocalized their desire to see him in their town.

As Artistic Director of Toronto Downtown Jazz, I feel it’s my responsibility to be aware of who is making waves on the Canadian and international jazz scenes, and get them playing in Toronto. But it’s impossible to keep track of everyone. Plus, who’s to say that what I want to book is what you want to hear? So - here’s my appeal for today: if there is a particular jazz musician that you’d like to see in this city (or see more of), let me know. Go to our Blogger page and leave your suggestions as a comment, or send me an email. We won’t use all of your suggestions, but I’m always open to checking out a new artist. And, if we hear about a certain artist from enough of you, we’ll do our best to make it happen.

We want to help create a vibrant year-round jazz scene in Toronto and your input is vital in making that happen.


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