The TDJ News Corps

The annual TDJ News Corps is 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. This year’s mentors are John Terauds, founder of musicaltoronto.org and former Toronto Star writer; and Mark Wigmore, Senior Arts Editor at JAZZ.FM91.

Check this page throughout the festival for TDJ News Corps articles – concert reviews, artist interviews and other editorial content.

The 2016 TDJ News Corps is:

An Open Letter to the Jazz Festival

How time flies.

We have now come to the end of the 30th annual TD Toronto Jazz Festival. At times it seemed like it was over in a heartbeat, while at others it felt as though it would never end (mostly when I had to work at 7:30 a.m. all week). I learned a lot about myself, jazz, and writing, and will certainly take this TDJ News Corps experience with me as I pursue a career in journalism.

Saying Goodbye with Radiohead and Jazz

With my time at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival drawing to a close, I knew I wanted to go out with a bang. I decided to make my way to the Rex for the Toronto Jazz Orchestra's Radiohead Jazz Project. If there’s one thing I love, it’s when jazz fuses with other genres – the fact that it was Radiohead was simply the icing on the cake. After much begging and pleading, I managed to secure my spot at the show.

Was I ever glad I did.

Open Jam at the Rex

On Thursday night/Friday morning (June 30/July 1), I attended my first and only Late Night Jazz Jam at the Rex. The jams were hosted by the Chris Gale Quartet, and any musicians are invited to sit in on the sets.

And I do mean ANY musicians, because they let my friend and fellow TDJ News Corps member David Cruz sit in for a tune. (As well as Festival Artistic Director Josh Grossman, but I feel like listing him here might put my job in jeopardy.)

Jazz - Not Wasted on the Youth

Players from far and wide came to the Youth Jazz Showcase. Opening the set was the National Youth Jazz Combo, directed by Kirk MacDonald and featuring some hometown jazzers. Petros Anagnostakos played drums, Carter Brodkorb was on piano and Anson Cai was on saxophone. The only out-of-town player was Evan Gratham on bass, who hails from Vancouver and is in his second year of the NYJC. They played a swinging set which was met favourably by the audience. Brodkorb introduced the players and the tunes from the piano.

Joey and Ramsey Take Koerner Hall

Two of the most respected names in jazz piano took the stage at Koerner Hall on Thursday night (June 30). Joey Alexander, the 13-year-old from Indonesia, opened the show, while Grammy-winning Ramsey Lewis took the second half.

Experimentation for Meditation

When the name on the marquee reads “The Robert Glasper Experiment,” you never know what to expect. Glasper’s group routinely crosses the boundaries between jazz, hip hop, R&B, soul – you name it, he’s likely done it.

Wednesday (June 29) night’s performance at Nathan Phillips Square was an excellent display of musicianship. Glasper held down the piano and keyboards while Casey Benjamin rocked saxophones and the vocoder. Mark Colenburg joined on drums and Burniss Travis played bass.

Music & Conversation with Avishai Cohen

The Avishai Cohen Trio’s music takes listeners on a moving, high energy roller coaster ride. The group took part in the TD Toronto Jazz Festival in a concert at St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts on Thursday. They did not disappoint.

A Fond, Final Farewell

TDJ News Corps member Warren Schlote saw the Oliver Jones Trio on their farewell tour. It was an emotional evening, yet a fitting sendoff for one of Canada's most beloved jazz musicians.

Artist to Watch: Kandace Springs

It is certainly an unusual circumstance for a singer to be invited to perform with Prince based off of an online video. But even more unusual? Being put on a world tour with Gregory Porter prior to the release of a full length album. Despite her track record, Kandace was not an overnight sensation. Listening to her full length debut Soul Eyes you are hearing years of practice and experimentation.

Something Different at the Horseshoe Tavern

TDJ News Corps member Warren Schlote attended the Kiefer Sutherland Band's performance at the Horseshoe Tavern Monday night. While it may not have fit in the traditional realm of the Jazz Festival, it was a great performance.

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