I joined the Tower of Power party late. I had heard about them for years, but for whatever reason hadn't checked them out. Once I did, I was hooked. Their high-energy funk, soul and R&B recordings were impossible to resist. When I finally saw them live in Detroit in 2010, I was floored - they sounded even better in person.
The short answer is this: Spectrum Road is an all-star quartet assembled to celebrate and pay tribute to the music of The Tony Williams Lifetime. The Lifetime, assembled by legendary drummer Tony Williams in 1969, performed a unique blend of jazz, rock and funk, and also traveled into the free jazz world heard on many recordings of that era.
The Soul Rebels Brass Band is the real deal. When they talk about carrying on the marching band and New Orleans Brass Band traditions, they mean it - each of the eight members was born in New Orleans, and each spent years training in high school, university and professional marching and brass bands. So when they get on stage, they bring the choreography, calibre and energy of the best brass bands around. Check out this teaser:
Before we begin, I must reveal my bias. I'm a trumpet player. And so any other trumpet player with outstanding sound and technique is going to rank fairly high on my list. But that's not all that's good about Roy Hargrove...
The Youth Jazz in the City project creates opportunities for talented young jazz musicians ages 14 – 18 to rehearse, perform and study with some of the finest professional jazz musicians in Canada. Students audition from across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and are selected to perform with one of two GTA Honour Combos and/or participate in a Summer Jazz Workshop for Youth. The project provides gifted young players with stepping stones towards national and international performance opportunities.
The 2012 Youth Jazz in the City Honour Combo A will be announced in May.
The Sho Yamamoto Trio (recently renamed The Moment Jazz Trio) is a young jazz ensemble from Osaka Japan who established themselves in 2010. The members of the band are: Yamamoto Sho -Alto Sax, Takeuchi Masashi -Piano, Izumi Masahiro -Bass. Within a year they had released their first recording entitled "That's A Moment" and had begun performing at various jazz clubs in Japan. In the summer of 2011, the Moment Jazz Trio competed in the annual Sapporo City Jazz Contest and out of more than a hundred entries, were awarded the Grand Prize.
For over 40 years, Tower of Power has been creating their own kind of soul music. Since 1968, Tower of Power has delivered their unique brand of music to their fans, appearing before sold out crowds as they tour the world each year. Tower’s sound can be hard to categorize, but the band's leader and founding member, Emilio Castillo, has labeled their sound as "Urban Soul Music."
Raoul and The Big Time, performed their first show in the back room of the legendary Queen Street West haunt The Cameron House in 1998. Since that time they have released four recordings, been named Best Toronto Blues Artist by NOW Magazine and are Maple Blues Award winners. They have performed all over the country including Montreal Jazz, Vancouver Folk and Ottawa Blues Festivals and with a number of blues legends including Bettye LaVette, Colin James, Billy Branch and Curtis Salgado.
The Boxcar Boys are a Toronto-based group of five young performers featuring Juno-nominated Rob Teehan on sousaphone, clarinetist and tunesmith John David Williams, jazz master Karl Silveira on trombone, folky fiddler Laura Bates, and soulful Ronen Segall on accordion. They deliver a veritable gumbo of wild gypsy, old-jazz, klezmer, and folk music always performed with a good-time New Orleans spirit.