stephmatas's blog

Snarky Kids We've Come to Love

They’re the not altogether cool kids from high school band that you can’t help but love. They call themselves Snarky, as if to stick it to the jocks and valley girls who misjudged them in the hallways and gymnasiums of yesteryear. But last night, Snarky Puppy had the last laugh as the collective of jazz-fusion superstars buzzed with cool thanks to a monstrous sound that sent a capacity Nathan Phillips audience into a raging frenzy. It was a powerhouse performance from a group of multi-instrumentalist musicians on one of the first hot Toronto summer nights of 2015.

Kurt Elling Soothes Aching Hearts

The heartbreakingly brilliant Kurt Elling dazzled spectators at Koerner Hall on Tuesday June 23. His deep, comforting tone soothed weakened, love-struck souls. With every song and story of lost love and romantic turmoil, Elling’s music embraced listeners with the notion that the pains of heartache never truly fade.

The Chicago native felt right at home in our windy city on Tuesday as his passionate vocals echoed across Koerner Hall's beautiful stage.

Al Jarreau Takes the Stage

Al Jarreau is undoubtedly one of the most innovative jazz vocalists in the world with nearly 50 years of experience under his belt. And it was his funky fresh style that had the crowd bopping and boogieing at Nathan Phillips Square on Monday evening.

The crowd chattered anxiously waiting to hear one of most uniquely recognizable voices in jazz and R&B. When the seven-time Grammy winner approached the glowing purple backlit stage looking stylish in a crisp white blazer and flat cap, the audience teemed with excitement.

Review: Brian Katz & James Brown

On Friday June 19th at Baka Gallery Café, the dynamic Brian Katz and James Brown duo performed together for the first time in nearly twenty years. The quaint, dimly lit gallery showcased their incredibly synchronous sound for an intimate room of avid listeners. The crowd swayed and grooved with the rise and fall of the tempo, snapping along to their soulful melodies. The duo’s true passion for music was exemplified by the phenomenal speed and precision of their playing, and a harmonious display for fans.

The Musical Journey of Patricia Cano

The smooth, powerful and sweet vocal stylings of Patricia Cano will energize audiences Tuesday for the Lunchtime Series hosted at Nathan Phillips Square.

Born in Sudbury, from a young age Cano performed in community musical theatre productions. Her love for dance and performing eventually inspired her to study theatre at the University of Toronto. Cano says she had a phenomenal time there and developed exceptional experience meeting with theatre practitioners from across the world.

From the Streets of Toronto: Richard Underhill of the Shuffle Demons

Since their surprising Top 40 hit “Spadina Bus” in 1986, the Shuffle Demons have thrilled audiences all over the world with their quirky and original style - musically and otherwise. The Demons are a Juno nominated act and winners of five CASBY Awards; they've played jazz, folk, world and rock festivals across North America and Europe during 15 tours between 1986 and 1997. This is a group that has thousands of gigs under its belt, and it shows.

The TD Toronto Jazz Festival, Your Way

Artists flocking to the great city of Toronto for ten days of jamming at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival are guaranteed to ramp up the heat this summer. Sound your horns and tune your guitars for the extraordinary talents of local and international jazz musicians from June 18-29.

With only a few days to go until opening day, and with over 100 concerts and multiple venue choices, where will you begin? Whether you have twenty minutes in the afternoon or three hours at night, you can find a show that suits your musical taste, schedule and of course your pocketbook.

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