The TDJ News Corps

Toronto Downtown Jazz (TDJ) is pleased to present the annual TDJ News Corps, an initiative geared towards post-secondary students who are interested in writing about jazz. Successful applicants to the TDJ News Corps program are given full media accreditation for the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, granting them unprecedented access to the festival – attending and reviewing concerts for free, interviewing artists and experiencing the festival from behind the scenes. In addition, TDJ News Corps members are assigned a mentor – an experienced music journalist.

Check this page during the festival as the TDJ News Corps members post their articles – concert reviews, artist interviews and other editorial content.

The 2013 TDJ News Corps is:

Gregory Porter turns his audience into "Beliebers!"

The scene inside the Enwave Theatre Thursday night was less reminiscent of a jazz performance than it was of a Justin Bieber concert. The crowd was filled with girlish screams and whistles and an air of swooning excitement as the acclaimed Gregory Porter was set to take the stage.

Jason Moran's Fats Waller Dance Party featuring Meshell Ndegeocello: What's Old is New Again!

Pianist Jason Moran knows how to set the scene. His June 26th show at the Horseshoe Tavern, featuring Meshell Ndegeocello, was a vibrant night dedicated to the music of Fats Waller.

Robert Glasper Experiment: Changing the Face of Jazz

Robert Glasper’s last Toronto show (fall, 2012) was one for the books. Midway through his performance Glasper and his band were hustled off the stage to allow for another group that the venue had scheduled to perform at the same time. Outrageously unprofessional - and just plain crazy.

A few months later, Glasper took to the Grammy stage to receive his 2012 Best R&B Album Award. Returning this year to Toronto for the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, there was no question of being shooed off the stage this time around.

Ted Quinlan and Mike Downes thrill festival crowd with intimate show at Mezzettas!

Guitar virtuoso, Humber College professor, and acclaimed professional sideman Ted Quinlan headlined an intimate performance at Mezzetta Restaurant and Tapas Bar on June 25 along with fellow Humber professor, bassist Mike Downes. Both Quinlan and Downes have storied careers in jazz, performing the world over and playing with top names such as Oliver Jones, Diana Krall, Chet Baker, Moe Koffman, Guido Basso and Doug Riley.

In the Name of Jazz: Ranee Lee speaks on her humble start in showbiz and the state of jazz today.

Last Sunday the Jazz Bistro, situated at 251 Victoria Street in Toronto, was the scene of much excitement as one of Canada’s great jazz vocalists, Ranee Lee, took the stage along with her husband and accompanying guitarist Richard Ring.

An Order of Canada recipient and winner of numerous awards both musically and theatrically, Lee is a quadruple threat: an accomplished singer, actress, author, and dancer, as well as a university professor.

Dr. John - A Big Shot For Real!

A cluster of Dr. John fans - adorned in Mardi Gras beads and replicas of the colorful feathered headdress worn on his Locked Down album cover - waited impatiently, even howling at one point, for the second part of the Mavis Staples/Dr. John double bill. While they howled other fans snapped photos of the two skulls staring at the audience from the top of a black piano that silently announced that the "Night Tripper" would soon be in the building. Beside me a couple gossiped about a Dr. John show they had attended where his accompanying act “tried” to steal the show. Dr.

Mavis Staples - A force of nature

The double bill of Mavis Staples and Dr. John was one of the most highly anticipated concerts of the 2013 TD Toronto Jazz Festival. It was a rare opportunity to see two venerable legends perform in one night. And it turned out to be a spectacular evening.

Me & the Rex: A Jazz Journey!

I have never questioned my love of jazz. I’ve never questioned my jazz preferences. I listen to it every day and simply enjoy it, clumping it all together under one nonspecific label. But this year’s TD Toronto Jazz Festival has got me questioning what jazz is to me, and how where you hear music affects your experience of that music.

I arrived at the Rex Jazz & Blues Bar with my mother (yes, I hang out with my mother). As a child she nurtured my love of jazz. I particularly remember weeks on end when all she would listen to was Miles Davis’ Tutu.

Maylee Todd's Got It!

Maylee Todd made her solo debut in 2010 with the album Choose Your Own Adventure. CYOA affirmed her status as a performer prepared to take risks. Her latest release, Escapology, takes her distinctive grooves further by combining neo-soul, R&B, funk and electronic sounds. Escapology — defined as “the practice of escaping from restraints or other traps" — is a fitting title.

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