Josh Grossman's blog

We'll take it!

Note: This entry will be a bit on the short side - I've got an important family commitment this morning and so my time is a bit limited.

Day three - and our first full day of programming - included emerging artists and veterans, new compositions and standards, long-established groups and new partnerships. And some fantastic weather.

That's a big clarinet

My day yesterday started with the pickup of a contrabass clarinet and a euphonium. Which, frankly, is a sentence I never thought I'd write.

Jazz hands activate

Well that was a pretty good start…


I'll be heading out the door shortly for the first official night of the 2014 TD Toronto Jazz Festival. The adrenaline is flowing; and after having enjoyed today's Mayors' Arts Lunch - with 500 or so other artists, arts workers and arts supporters - I'm feeling particularly pumped about launching into the festival.

And then suddenly, tomorrow

I'm not sure how this happens, but every year the festival feels like it's still months away until suddenly, it starts tomorrow.

Now THAT'S how you do it!

If I needed a refresher on how great music should sound, I got it yesterday evening at the hmv Underground.

The road to here

With the official start of the festival only days away, the title of today's post might refer to the behind-the-scenes toiling required to get this year's festival ready for launch. But I hope you don't mind if I take a more personal tack today.

What makes a master?

In preparing for the Artistic Director's Guide to Jazz and for various media interviews, I've spent a fair bit of time over the past few weeks thinking about why the musicians appearing on our stages this year are important, and what makes their music great. Here are a few of what I found to be common traits:

How to write the best music ever (apparently)

So I spent some time today looking at lists of the worst pop songs of all time. (Never you mind why.) And I discovered this:

Talking about music

Over the past few weeks, I had the privilege of sitting opposite four outstanding local musicians in the Radio Regent studio to record the Artistic Director's Guide to Jazz - Live! Over four sessions, we chatted about 16 of the musicians performing at this year's festival - singers, guitarists, solo performers and R&B acts - but we also got into some of the fundamentals and philosophies behind music-making. Each of the conversations was fascinating in its own way.


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