Josh Grossman's blog

Robi Botos Movin' Forward

In last week's blog post, I had the pleasure of talking a bit about Alexander Brown - trumpeter extraordinaire - and his Special Project presentation this Wednesday at Lula Lounge. Today, Robi Botos gets the spotlight - his Special Projects presentation is this Thursday at Jazz Bistro.

Music music everywhere!

I'm fairly tired today, but I'm coming off a bit of a high - last night's Israeli Jazz Showcase at The Rex was pretty fantastic. Toronto was represented by Kobi Hass and his crew; Guy Mintus and his trio impressed; Anat Cohen blew us away with a great mix of repertoire, showing off her abilities as composer and performer on clarinet and tenor saxophone. It was a packed house, an appreciative audience, and well worth the effort required to mount such an event.

The Israeli Jazz Showcase

While jazz is almost certainly not the first thing to come to mind when one thinks about Israel, the country has produced some of the most exciting emerging and established artists on the international jazz scene: bassists Avishai Cohen and Omer Avital; Cohen siblings Anat (clarinet and sax), Avishai (trumpet) and Yuval (sax); flautist Hadar Noiberg; pianists Shai Maestro and Omer Klein; guitarist Gilad Hekselman; and many more.

It's Special Projects time!

We're about to enter an exciting flurry of activity, with four Special Projects presentations and the Israeli Jazz Showcase all coming up before the end of April. I look forward to the Special Projects each year; since creating the initiative in 2010 we've supported 13 fantastic performances by local artists.

Do the shuffle

Okay, first - I don't mean do the creep. That's something different:

Congratulations, and here we go…

Something about keeping New Year's resolutions and blogging more or something…

Anyway, three quick items of business.

More on generosity

We're already eight days in, but I think I can still safely say - happy new year! I hope you all had a chance to relax and unwind.

Some lessons in generosity

As you may have already read elsewhere, I had the honour of sitting on the jury which decided who would receive the inaugural Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Jazz Artist Award. (TAFEJAA for short. Hmm. Needs work.) This past Tuesday evening, I also had the honour of announcing the winner at the awards prevention reception - congratulations once again go to Chelsea McBride for taking the prize, and to the two other deserving nominees, Ernesto Cervini and Alexis Baro.

Pick me! Pick me!

I've had the honour over the past few weeks - through my work here at TDJ and through my work with the Toronto Arts Council - to sit on various panels making decisions about grants and awards. I say honour because the decisions made by the various panels had a direct impact on the pocket books of the applicants - a task not to be taken lightly.

You kids get off my lawn!

I've been enjoying, these past few weeks, being out and about more frequently to hear live music. I've been able to hear lots of good stuff - Avi Granite at The Rex, Tara Davidson's CD release at the Jazz Bistro, Boom Crane at The Rex, and even Opera Atelier's Alcina at the Elgin Theatre. This past Monday night, I was one of many musicians (as it turns out) in the audience for the Dirty Loops show at the Opera House.

I need to process this show with you.

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