Josh Grossman's blog

July already?!

So, last night was a bit of a late night, so my vocabulary centers aren't firing on all cylinders. With that in mind, this blog post will be slightly abbreviated (as opposed to the exquisitely crafted (?!) verbosity of previous posts), so that my brain isn't too taxed and you don't have to decipher enormously long run-on sentences peppered with poor grammar such as what this sentence is turning into. Plus, it sounds as though my neighbour is rocking out to Guitar Hero so I'm a bit distracted...

Warning - Xylopholks sighted!

The following advisory was released this morning from Jazz Central Command. Please read it carefully:

What time is it?

Okay. I think I've officially lost track of what day it is. I'm just back from the Hard Rock Cafe and am unsure - is it Tuesday night? Wednesday morning? Does it really matter?

Teachable moments...

Day four of the festival was full of great music, some learning experiences and thankfully, with my stubborn "it's not going to rain" attitude, only about 17 seconds of rain.

Rain? What rain?

So I don't know if you noticed, but it rained a bit yesterday. A fair bit. Happily, the inclement weather didn't dampen (ha!) our spirits - day three of the festival was chalk full of well-attended musical excitement.

What a day!

To say that yesterday was an "eventful" day in Toronto is a bit of an understatement. Happily, though, we were unscathed at Nathan Phillips Square, and none of the music suffered. Here's a run-down:

And we're off!

Day one is done...and it was a great way to kick off the festival.

Here we go...

After ten months of preparation, hundreds of phone calls, countless emails, and logistics more complicated than early space vehicles, we're ready to go: tonight we launch the 24th edition of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. I'm looking forward to ten outstanding days of jazz, and am excited to experience the festival for the first time as Artistic Director. I'll be keeping up with my blogging each day during the festival, recounting highlights, challenges, and all-round shenanigans.

Getting an earful

Putting together a major jazz festival is a lot of work. As Artistic Director, it's my responsibility to listen to submissions; get out and hear live music; meet musicians; negotiate contracts; assemble lineups; and more, all while keeping the big picture in mind - balancing musical styles; balancing the local and Canadian talent with international artists; and ensuring that the festival will be accessible, interesting, and exciting for as many people as possible. And, along the way, a fair number of noses get out of joint. Why aren't more local artists booked?

Don't just do something, stand there!

Schmoozing is not my strong point. When not in front of a band with a microphone in hand (telling bad jokes, as my musician colleagues will suggest) I'm a bit of an introvert, so I'm not always the best at making small talk. It's been a pleasure, though, getting out and chatting to various people in the music business since I started as Artistic Director back in January. I've been reminded of one of the most important parts of being a member of the jazz community: the hang.

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