Josh Grossman's blog

Four weeks to go!

In just four short weeks the 24th edition of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival - and my first as Artistic Director - kicks off with Maceo Parker's mainstage performance. Where has the time gone?!

I'm frequently asked about which shows I'm looking forward to most...and it's nearly impossible to choose! I'll be getting out to as many shows as I can over the ten days, but here are some that have me particularly excited (in no particular order):

Swing, Swang, Swung

I had the good fortune to be in the audience for Peter Appleyard's May 13 show at the Old Mill. Although the term "jazz legend" may at times be used a bit liberally, it is entirely accurate here: Peter is a Canadian jazz treasure and it was a pleasure to hear him play.

Thank you Rob

I'm not really sure what else to say this week. Thank you, Rob, for your music and your inspiration.

Rob McConnell
February 14, 1935 – May 1, 2010

Just the FACTs

With the demise of the Canada Council's Grants for Specialized Music Sound Recording, artists in the jazz and contemporary classical music genres (among others) are looking for new sources of funding in support of recording projects. With that in mind, I attended a session presented by FACTOR (the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings), to see if FACTOR might be a good alternative to the Canada Council's program.

Keeping up with Miss Jones

Ever since my first year as a student in the University of Toronto's Jazz Performance Program I've understood that New York City is a hotbed of jazz activity. I've not spent a lot of time there, though, so last weekend I made the first of what I hope to be semi-regular jaunts south of the border. I think it will be helpful to keep track of certain emerging trends, meet new musicians, venue owners and presenters, and help to keep Toronto on everyone's jazz radar.

Showtime...

Three months (since I started, anyway), hundreds of emails and dozens of phone calls later, we're ready for our close-up. This Tuesday, April 13, we'll be live-to-air on JAZZ.FM91 to announce the highlights from the 2010 TD Toronto Jazz Festival lineup. Things get underway around 2 pm; make sure you tune in!

Musical refreshment

I was going to wax philosophical in today’s blog posting...take on some subject or another such as whether and how musicians need to communicate with their audience...or the effect of the digitization of music and the written word on jazz recordings and magazines...or whether Facebook is a good tool for, well, anything...

Thank you Paul!

On Wednesday night I attended the University of Toronto jazz program’s tribute to Paul Read, who, after 17 years as director of the program, is stepping down at the end of this year. Simply called "Thank you, Paul!" , it was a great night—the 10 and 11 O’Clock Jazz Orchestras performed Paul’s arrangements and compositions, and the graduate ensemble added one tune (also a Paul Read original) to the mix.

Congratulations to our JUNO nominees!

The 2010 JUNO Awards nominations were announced recently and we’re pleased to see a number of names familiar to the local jazz scene on the list! Toronto Downtown Jazz offers congratulations to all of the nominees and especially the Toronto-based jazz musicians:

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.

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