Josh Grossman's blog

Oh to be a student again...

My wife and I chat often about the process of booking a jazz festival. She wishes that I would be a bit more flexible in terms of what I consider the standard required to appear onstage at a major jazz festival. Not that she wants me to be booking music that is clearly sub-par; she wishes instead that there might be some room for artists who are up-and-coming - who may not be up to snuff quite yet but for whom a jazz festival appearance might provide a big boost.

Are we there yet?

My brain kinda hurts. According to my very fancy spreadsheet, I'm now through 401 official submissions. And, when you add in all the other stuff I've been checking out, it's a lot of music. The problem is so much of it is good.

Grants grants grants

I must be careful to not bite the hand which feeds me but...well...isn't grant writing fun?


I had the pleasure of being the guest speaker a few weeks ago for the Improvisation, Community and Social Practice (ICASP) Reading Group in Guelph. It was a fun session: I made a short presentation dealing with my philosophies - and the challenges to those philosophies - behind booking a jazz festival, then Ajay Heble, Artistic Director of the Guelph Jazz Festival, asked me a series of in-depth questions about how I approach my job. (Some of them were toughies: what is jazz?

JUNOs, Duos


Celebrating local musicians

I had the pleasure of being in the audience at The Rex Hotel yesterday evening for a retirement celebration in honour of Katie Malloch. Katie is retiring in March after a long career as an on-air host with CBC radio. Her most recent tenure was with CBC Radio 2's Tonic, but she has been on the air promoting jazz since the late 1970s. The evening was full of positive energy and gratitude for Katie's commitment to outstanding jazz, and to Canadian jazz musicians in particular.

Ten down...

We had a bit of extra excitement around here on Tuesday with the announcement of the first ten acts to go on sale for the 2012 TD Toronto Jazz Festival. In case you missed it, you can read the press release here, or just head over to our homepage. A little secret - although we only announced ten shows, we've actually got 12 on sale: Benny Green (solo piano) and Los Amigos Invisibles are also confirmed.

The city so nice...

I'm still catching up on sleep and family time since returning Tuesday from four nights in New York, where I attended the annual APAP conference and took in a ton of music, including a number of acts at the 2012 Winter Jazzfest. As is usually the case when I get back from New York, I'm finding some of the differences between that city and Toronto in stark contrast. And it's particularly frustrating to return to the office on the day that a report is released bemoaning the low per-person funding assigned by the City of Toronto to the arts...

Ringing in the New Year

After a glorious couple of weeks off, we've launched right back into planning mode here at jazz festival headquarters. The next few weeks will be busy ones, as we get ready to announce the first few confirmed artists for the 2012 festival, and I head to New York to take in the APAP conference and Winter Jazzfest. But before all that, I'd like to wish you a Happy New Year - I hope these past few weeks have been full of joy and relaxation.

Time to recharge...

Welp, we've reached the time of year at which my brain has essentially shut down, so this will be my last blog post until January - I'm taking some much needed (if not well-deserved) time off starting next Wednesday.

It certainly has been a different few months - the arrival of our daughter at the beginning of August has meant life has been a bit turned upside down. As I reflect on the past four months, I realize that I haven't been out to as many shows as I would have been during the same period last year, but here's a list of some of the shows I did see:


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