Youth Jazz Showcase

Each year, Toronto Downtown Jazz brings together three groups, featuring emerging jazz artists from around the country and around the world, for two days of music, mentorship and fun. Day one, hosted by Youth Jazz Canada at Humber College, includes rehearsals, jam sessions and shared musical experiences; the Youth Jazz Showcase culminates on day two with a performance by all three groups. The 2015 Youth Jazz Showcase features the National Youth Jazz Combo, George Garzone's Berklee Quartet (from Berklee College, Boston), and North Pandemic Groove Quartet (from Sapporo, Japan). This year's Youth Jazz Showcase concert is Saturday, June 27, 12:30 - 2 pm on the Toronto Star Stage at Nathan Phillips Square. Complete details available here.

The National Youth Jazz Combo 2015

Director: Kirk MacDonald

Matt Lagan, Tenor Saxophone, Toronto, ON
Noah Franche-Nolan, Piano, Vancouver, BC
Evan Gratham, Bass, North Vancouver, BC
Teo Srnic, Drums, Toronto, ON

In the great tradition of small group jazz, Youth Jazz Canada’s National Youth Jazz Combo provides outstanding young jazz musicians with the opportunity to rehearse, perform and study with some of the finest professional jazz artists in Canada. This past spring talented high school musicians applied from across Canada and four outstanding players were selected to form the 2015 NYJC. Over the summer the group will rehearse and perform at a number of events including MusicFest Canada Nationals in Toronto, the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, the TD Halifax Jazz Festival, the Beaches Jazz Festival, and venues such as the Rex Hotel and The Jazz Bistro. In July, the NYJC will participate in the Halifax Creative Music Workshop and the Humber College Summer Jazz Workshop. The group is excited to premiere new commissions by Canadian composers Pat LaBarbera, Lorne Lofsky and Neil Swainson and will wrap up its performance season by recording in Humber College’s state-of-the-art recording studio.

George Garzone Berklee Quartet

George Garzone is well-known as a sought-after jazz educator, currently teaching at the Berklee College of Music. He has also previously taught at New England Conservatory, Longy School of Music, New York University, Manhattan School of Music, Northeastern University and the New School University. He has pioneered the triadic chromatic approach and students of his have included Joshua Redman, Branford Marsalis, Teadross Avery, Luciana Souza, Mark Turner, Donny McCaslin, Doug Yates and Danilo Perez, to name a few. Garzone has been rehearsing his original compositions with a group of top student instrumentalists from the US, Korea, and Canada.

George Garzone - sax
Jenny Xu - piano
Maxwell D. Salinger-Ridley - bass
Jongkuk Kim - drums

North Pandemic Groove Quartet

North Pandemic Groove Quartet is Yuya Monma (guitar), Takezo Yamada (trumpet), Shunsuke Ochi (bass) and Taihei (drums). They are the winners of the 2014 Sapporo Jazz Festival, taking first place over 300 contestants. All are in their 20's and come from Hokkaido, Japan. Their main musical focus is on jazz, funk and fusion and this year they released their first CD, North Pandemic Groove.

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