Live Music at The Jazz Room

Featuring International jazz acts that play the world’s top clubs (the Saturday program features artistic direction from Mark Kelso). For the latest news and & promotions, click here.

Please note that only Grand River Jazz Society events are shown below.
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Barbra Lica sponsored by Diva International
May 24 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
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Barbra Lica is a fast-rising Canadian jazz vocalist and songwriter, and has been receiving accolades for her unique vocal ability that stresses subtlety and grace. Based in Toronto, Barbra’s live shows have captivated audiences all over North America with her genuine warmth and confident stage presence.

Hot on the heels of her 2017 Juno-nominated recording, ‘I’m Still Learning’, Barbra Lica is back with her fifth and most ambitious offering to date – ‘You’re Fine’ (November 2018). Having spent the last couple of years touring clubs and festivals, Barbra found herself in Nashville where she was blown away by the sounds of old country and western swing. She dedicated the next year to song writing trips between Nashville and Toronto, collaborating with new songwriters and work-shopping with her band to find a new space for contemporary jazz, one that borrows and fuses elements of American country music.

Barbra Lica – voice
Joel Visentin – piano/accordion/voice
Mark Godfrey – bass/voice
Tom Fleming – guitar
Will Fisher – drums

No video, but a cut from the new record….

This performance is part of the WOMEN IN JAZZ series, sponsored by DIVA INTERNATIONAL, makers of the Diva Cup

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Manuel Valera Trio (NYC)
May 25 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

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Photo Credit – Jimmy Katz

Grammy-nominated pianist and composer Manuel Valera was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. Well known on the New York City modern jazz scene, Manuel has garnered national American reviews and lent his talents as a pianist and composer to such notable artists as Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D’Rivera, Jeff Tain Watts, and Joel Frahm. He has travelled the world, performing in over 30 countries at some of the biggest international venues and festivals.

Manuel Valera – piano

Mark Kelso – drums

Roberto Occhipinti – bass

Saina Singer and George Koller + special guest Mark Mosca
May 29 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm


This very special concert will feature Saina, George and Mark in a sumptuous blend of world, jazz, and indigenous musics.

Saina Singer
Saina is a Siberian ethno singer from the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). Her repertoire includes songs of the Siberian indigenous peoples that she learned directly from elders while traveling to concerts in the most remote parts of her homeland. She learned old Evenk, Sakha (Yakut), Chukchi, Even and Yukaghir songs. These songs were dedicated to important events, rituals and everyday chores of their lives. They have been passed down by Siberian people for centuries from generation to generation, from mothers to daughters. Saina not only carefully keeps the traditional way of singing, but also improvises and adds some new colors by using some modern musical instruments. However, the artist tries to keep the authentic sounds for most songs and uses traditional musical instruments like the khomus, and drum.

George Koller
Bassist, Composer and Producer George Koller has accumulated hundreds of wildly diverse performing and recording credits in his expansive musical career. A prolific composer and producer, yet recognized primarily as a bass player, George plays a variety of instruments, notably Indian stringed Instruments. He has performed professionally and extensively within most genres, best known for his work in jazz, free jazz, folk, world and world fusion. For over three decades, he has performed and/or producer over 1500 cds, and his playing of Indian stringed instruments has been featured in several films. In the last decade, he has produced music for Yoga and Indian Classical music artists. George was presented with the 2007 national jazz award for “bassist of the year”.

Mark Mosca

Born in Toronto, of Trinidadian descent, Mark Mosca knows his way around a pan.  His passion for music is evident as he flexes his versatility with ease, whether as a solo artist, instructor, producer and arranger, or member of his band, Canefire.  He is known around the world as one of the best, youngest players and arrangers of the steel drum.  And as genius as he is on that instrument, it is one of many that he plays with ease.He is a unique and captivating performer that aims to push the steel drum art form to new heights.  The list of contemporaries that he’s played with reads like a who’s who in the of musical talent realm both here and abroad, (Andy Narrell, trumpeter Nick Ali, and Canadian Jazz great, George Koller, just to name a few).  Mark has wowed audiences at several local and international Jazz Festivals, and was featured on the Jazz for Haiti Charity CD where he composed and recorded an original piece in 2010.  He has also opened for the likes of Smokey Robinson and Chaka Khan.  Mark Mosca is synonymous with Music.  And he’s just getting warmed up.


Saina Singer:  voice, khomus (mouth harp), drum

George Koller: bass, piano, voice

Mark Mosca: pan steel drum







David Tiviluk with the Arrangements
May 31 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


Lakeview Diner #2 (1)

Photo Credit – Peter McLennan

David Tiviluk steeped himself in the music of the 1960′s during his adolescence which instilled within him a deep musical love for simple, beautiful melodies and harmonies.  His entry into the love of jazz happened at that time upon hearing Dave Brubeck’s Take Five.

The thread of this love of beautiful melodies and harmonies was deepened and broadened during his time singing in the chorus with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Charles Dutoit with whom he recorded Carmina Burana for London Decca records. At this time he began composing songs and simultaneously started hearing parts, influenced by working with choir and orchestra.  Moving to Vancouver, he sang with the Vancouver Symphony in the Vancouver Bach Choir and occasionally on the jazz scene there, performing music he’d written with jazz ensembles. In Kitchener Waterloo he sang with the KWS in the Grand Philharmonic Choir.

He seeks to create trans-genre music which interweaves seamlessly and touches the transcendent, like his musical hero J.S. Bach. He has brought together some of KW’s finest musicians for this  presentation of his original music, jazz standards and jazzy pop arrangements with a touch of latin and world music.

Andriy Tykhonov–piano
Andy Klaehn–saxes, flute, clarinet
Andy Macpherson–drums, percussion
David Cheon–guitar, banjo
David Tiviluk–voice, composition
Matthew Lima–bass
Additional vocals: Stephanie Kramer, Jacob Degroot-Maggetti, Eric Heibert-Rempel 


Teri Parker Quartet
Jun 1 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Teri on Ryan’s roof, Toronto, 2016

Teri Parker is a jazz pianist, keyboardist and composer based in Toronto. She leads her own band, the Teri Parker Quartet, and co-leads the Parker Abbott Trio with pianist Simeon Abbott. Both of these groups play frequently in jazz clubs in Toronto and feature all original music. She is also a member of several other bands including Idioteque (Canada’s finest Radiohead tribute band) and the DeHarms (with singer-songwriter Carlie Howell). As a composer Teri actively writes for her own bands, and in 2015 received a Toronto Arts Council grant to write new music for her quartet, which can be heard on their debut album In the Past, released in fall of 2017.

Teri’s main group is the Teri Parker Quartet and features Allison Au on saxophone, Mark Godfrey on Bass and Mack Longpre on drums. The group has been playing since 2012, developing their sound through years of rehearsing, performing, video/audio demos and resulting in their first full length album In the Past. The band will celebrate the new release with a tour of Ontario; with shows in Toronto (Burdock), Guelph (Manhattan’s) and Ottawa (Brookstreet).

“Saturn” after Erik Satie

Teri Parker – Piano and Compositions
Allison Au – Alto Saxophone
Mark Godfrey – Double Bass
Mack Longpre – Drums

Mark Godfrey

Patricia O’Calahan + David Braid sponsored by Diva International
Jun 2 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm


Photo Credit – Andrew MacNaughtan

Following a 2019 Juno Nomination for Best Vocal Album, this concert features award-winning vocalist Patricia O’Callaghan, and multi-Juno winner composer/pianist David Braid blending genres of Classical, Jazz, and Popular Song. They offer a mixture of pieces ranging from Kurt Weill to Leonard Cohen.  Featuring the crystalline, many-hued voice of O’Callaghan, singing in English, Spanish and French, along with hauntingly beautiful compositions by Braid.


Patricia O’Callaghan is something of a wandering minstrel, with six solo albums and many interesting collaborations along the way. A speaker of French, Spanish, and German, her early recordings focused on European cabaret, but one of Patricia’s most unique talents is the ability to blend a variety of languages and musical genres seamlessly together in her concerts, and completely embody whatever style she is singing at any given moment. “This Toronto soprano can sing a 100-year-old German tune so lustily that you almost don’t need a translation to know that someone’s about to get his throat cut or get laid or both.” (The National Post) “O’Callaghan sings her diverse material as if it was always meant to go side-by-side and by the end of the evening, it’s easy to believe her.” (Chart Attack)


“Sophisticated and authentic” – New York Observer
“Refreshingly uncategorizable” – Paris Transatlantic

Hailed in the Canadian press as “one of his country’s true renaissance men when it comes to music” (The Ottawa Citizen), composer and pianist, David Braid is a nine-time Juno nominee, and winner of three Juno Awards for his solo piano recording, “Verge”, large-ensemble recording, “The David Braid Sextet Live”, and small-ensemble recording, “The North.” His debut classical composition, “Corona Divinae Misericordiae” received a Juno Nomination for Classical Album of the Year.

David Braid concertizes his original music and improvisations in the UK, Scandinavia, Europe, Russia, Central Asia, China, Australia, and Canada.

Described as “brilliant” (Montreal Gazette), “enchanting” (The Age, Australia), “une force poétique” (Le Soleil) and “hauntingly beautiful” (The Globe & Mail), Braid’s music combines the discipline of European classical music with the spontaneity of jazz.


Patricia O’Callaghan – vocals

David Braid  - piano

This performance is part of the WOMEN IN JAZZ series, sponsored by DIVA INTERNATIONAL, makers of the Diva Cup

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Big Band Theory
Jun 7 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


Photo Credit – Suzie Fowler

Can we fit them all on the stage? Yes, we can! and hopefully there will still be room for the audience! Don’t worry, there always is, but come early to get a seat as this show is always crowded.

KW Big Band Theory is celebrating the end of 8 years of local contemporary, big band music. There have been many BBT collaborations over these first 8 years. They have hosted and played with Don Thompson with whom they recorded their debut album “Evidence”. Last season they shared the stage with John MacLeod of the Rex Hotel Jazz Orchestra. As well this year, BBT teamed up with the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra and Derek Hines for a tribute to Frank Sinatra.

For this special night, the band will be presenting big band arrangements of genre-resisting, JUNO award winning guitarist, composer, and band leader Michael Occhipinti. These arrangements were originally featured by the Neufeld – Occhipinti Jazz Orchestra (N.O.J.O.) back in 1995 – 2005 on 5 recordings each receiving Juno nominations and the 1995 self-titled debut album awarded Best Contemporary Jazz Recording. In 2010, N.O.J.O. explored the music of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” masterpiece recording. KW Big Band Theory has been working hard to bring some of these arrangements to life for the KW jazz community. You are in for an interesting sonic ride with Occhipinti’s complex, adventurous, and sometimes humourous arrangements and BBT’s passioniate, expressive and often explosive sound.


Ken Hadley Flute, soprano & alto sax

Ken Foster, tenor Sax

Tim Moher, tenor sax

Gabriella Ellingham, alto, clarinet, flute

Taylor Ellingham, baritone sax, bass clarinet



Randy Brown, trumpet

Paul Ellingham, bass trombone, tuba

Rob Gellner, trumpet

Steve Hagedorn, trombone

Robin Jessome, trombone, MD for this gig

Kevin Kalbfleisch, trumpet

Alan Ralston, trumpet

Kathryn Scobie, trombone

Jim Edwards trombone



Lukas Bouda, guitar

Jeff Daniels, piano

Andy Macpherson, drums

Michael Occhipinti, guitar

Greg Prior, bass


BBT plays “The Count is In”

BBT plays “The Count is In”

One Word featuring Paul DeLong
Jun 8 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

BOF-Quebec2 copy 2

Photo Credit – Ralph Angelillo

One Word, features Paul DeLong on drums, Will Jarvis on bass, Kim Ratcliffe on guitar, Eric Boucher on keys, and Aaron Solomon on violin. They’ll be playing fusion classics by the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, Tony Williams Lifetime, Allan Holdsworth, Jeff Beck, and the Dregs.

Hope/Proto cosmos

Paul DeLong-drums
Eric Boucher-keys
Kim Ratcliffe-gtr.
Will Jarvis-bass
Aaron Solomon-violin
Confabulation sponsored by Diva International
Jun 14 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

The Confabulation couch clouds 72

“complex, orchestrated music, complete with unusual time signatures,
backed by the stellar Confabulation…
There’s a lot to absorb, but the melodies get embedded in your head.”  - Penguin Eggs 

Bassist and multi-instrumentalist David Woodhead is one of the most accomplished and truly original musicians in Canada, and his whimsical and rambunctious Confabulation is a thrill-ride for players and audiences alike.

As a versatile and sympathetic session player, his work can be heard on well over 250 albums including many by Canada’s finest contemporary folk artists. In concert he has played the Montreux Jazz Festival with Don Ross and Oliver Schroer, the Calgary Folk Fest with Gil Scott-Heron and worked with saxophone legend David Sanborn.

He was the long-time bassist for Canadian folk legend Stan Rogers, worked extensively with Loreena McKennitt, Valdy, and visionary violinist and composer Oliver Schroer. Recently he has toured the US, UK and Australia with master songwriter James Keelaghan.

The band is the perfect vehicle for his genre-defying musical eclecticism: melodic fretless bass, harp-like fingerstyle ukulele, intriguing time signatures and some unexpected chord changes. All are blended seamlessly together in riveting compositions that range from the quirky to the kick-ass to the contemplative.

Not surprisingly, the Confabulation is also a showcase for Toronto’s hottest musical innovators, counting among its 20-odd alumni artists such as Jaron Freeman-Fox, Rich Brown, Anne Lindsay and the Shuffle Demons’ Richard Underhill.

“Red Rain”

Doug Wilde – Keyboards

Colleen Allen – Reeds

Rich Greenspoon – Drums

Bob Cohen – Guitar

Anne Lindsay – violin

Dave Woodhead – Bass


This performance is part of the WOMEN IN JAZZ series, sponsored by DIVA INTERNATIONAL, makers of the Diva Cup

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Dave Young Quintet
Jun 15 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

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Multiple award-winning bassist, composer and Order of Canada recipient, Dave Young, is, without a doubt, one of Canada’s most valuable and beloved musical exports. Whether performing as part of a symphony, or as an integral member of an iconic jazz trio (with the likes of the late Oscar Peterson), or leading any of his dynamic ensembles, Dave remains a total musician, with artistic soul in abundance.

1993 Juno Award – “Best Mainstream Jazz Recording”
“Acoustic Bassist of the Year” – 1996, 1997 & 1998
“Musician of the Year” – 1997 & 1998
“Bassist of the Year” – 2003 & 2004

At the Rex

Dave Young – bass

Kevin Turcotte – trumpet

Terry Clarke- drums

Brian Dickinson – piano

Joe Huron Quartet
Jun 21 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
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Joe Huron at the guitar (Judy Watson photo)
Joe Huron Trio at Fitzy’s – Barrie.  Not great video, but you get the idea….
Michael Occhipinti & Shine On sponsored by Diva International
Jun 22 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

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Shine On: the Universe of John Lennon is a spectacular group performing music by John Lennon and the Beatles uniquely arranged by Michael Occhipinti. The musicians in the group collectively boast over 20 JUNO Award nominations, and include the distinct voices of Elizabeth Shepherd, Yvette Tollar, and Dominic Mancuso, paired with the singular talents of Mark Kelso (drums), Kevin Turcotte (trumpet), Roberto Occhipinti (bass), and Michael Occhipinti (guitar). Shine On came together in December of 2010 for a concert to mark the 30th Anniversary of John Lennon’s passing. Taking utter delight in the audience’s enthusiasm and the chance to work together performing an iconic repertoire, the musicians recorded and released the album The Universe of John Lennon in the summer of 2012, and have since appeared at festivals and venues from St. John’s to Victoria to New York.

Michael Occhipinti – guitar

Kevin Turcotte – trumpet  

Elizabeth Sheppard – piano/vocals

Mark Kelso – drums

Yvette Tollar – vocals

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This performance is part of the WOMEN IN JAZZ series, sponsored by DIVA INTERNATIONAL, makers of the Diva Cup

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Heather Bambrick Quartet
Jun 26 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm


Heather Bambrick is a JUNO-nominated vocalist, voice actor, and broadcaster who’s performed with some of world’s finest musicians, including Fred Hirsch, Guido Basso, Gene DiNovi, Peter Appleyard Rob McConnell, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and others.  Her vocal talent is internationally recognized not only for her recordings but also for her work on several Emmy-winning animation series, and as an award-winning broadcaster on JAZZ.FM91 in Toronto.

Heather will be performing at The Jazz Room in celebration of her newest recording Fine State, set for release in June, 2019.

She will be joined by Canadian Jazz stalwarts:

Piano–Adrean Farrugia

Bass–Pat Collins

Trumpet & Flugelhorn–Chase Sanborn.


Melissa Stylianou + Heart (NYC)
Jun 27 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Heart headshots

Join us for this very special show featuring Canadian Expat, Melissa Stylianou (living in New York City), and her exceptional band.

Melissa Stylianou has been turning heads and capturing hearts since the turn of this century, from her native Toronto to her adopted home of New York City, from intimate club residencies to top festival stages. Across her five solo albums (including 2014’s “No Regrets”, which JazzTimes called “Smart. Seamless. Stunning.”), Melissa has maintained a focus on storytelling, whether through her original compositions and lyrics, interpreting the music of songwriters like Paul Simon, James Taylor, and Björk, or finding a unique and personal way to present oft-sung jazz standards. From top stages and clubs in NYC (Jazz Standard, Birdland, Carnegie Hall, Dizzy’s at Jazz at Lincoln Center) to jazz festivals all over Canada, the U.S., and Europe, to her world-wide appearances with the NY-based vocal harmony trio “Duchess”, Melissa continues to endear audiences far and wide with her heartfelt singing and intimate performance style. Her newest endeavor is a trio album of jazz standards with Ike Sturm on bass and guitar legend Gene Bertoncini. DownBeat has called her a “sophisticated storyteller” and an “original”, while Grammy-nominated pianist Fred Hersch says: “Melissa has it all – a gorgeous instrument, superb musicianship and great taste.”

Godwin Louis, alto saxophonist, was born in Harlem, New York and began playing saxophone at age nine. Godwin grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut and Port au Prince, Haiti. Godwin was a finalist in the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Saxophone Competition. He has performed around the globe including: Mali, Senegal, Togo, France, Spain, United Kingdom, Italy, Russia, Azerbaijan, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Venezuela, Colombia, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia. Godwin is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute for Jazz Performance. Godwin has studied and performed with Herbie Hancock, Clark Terry, Roger Dickerson, Ron Carter, Al Foster, Jack Dejohnette, Jimmy Heath, Billy Preston, Patti Labelle, Toni Braxton, Babyface, Madonna, Gloria Estefan, Barry Harris, Howard Shore, David Baker, Mulatu Astakte, Mahmoud Ahmed, Wynton Marsalis, and Terence Blanchard just to name a few. In addition, Godwin has performed as a sideman, guest soloist and has conducted clinics and master classes worldwide. As a composer, Godwin has received the Jerome Foundation Emerging Artist Grant, and the Jazz Gallery’s “New Works Commission.” As an educator, humanitarian and ambassador, Godwin has traveled from Ghana to China to help promote cross-cultural understanding and introduce thousands to America’s indigenous art form, through public concerts, master classes, and jam sessions. Godwin is the founder of Experience Ayiti, a nonprofit educational, multidisciplinary arts organization.

Chris Dingman is among the most celebrated composers and sought-after vibraphonists of his generation. Hailed by the New York Times as a  “dazzling” soloist and a composer with a “fondness for airtight logic and burnished lyricism,” his integrative approach to composition lends his music a fluidity and accessibility that transcends genres and has earned him praise as “an extremely gifted composer, bandleader, recording artist, and much sought-after sideman.” (Jon Weber, NPR). Dingman has collaborated and performed with some of the greatest musical minds, including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and Anthony Braxton. His long-standing collaborations include cutting edge artists such as Ambrose Akinmusire, Steve Lehman, Jen Shyu, Tyshawn Sorey, Jimmy Greene, Ingrid Jensen, Fabian Almazan, Garth Stevenson and many others.

Ike Sturm is a bassist, composer and bandleader in New York City. He is the Music Director for the Jazz Ministry at Saint Peter’s Church in Manhattan and has performed with Alarm Will Sound, the International Contemporary Ensemble, Gene Bertoncini, Ingrid Jensen, Donny McCaslin, Bobby McFerrin, Ben Monder, Maria Schneider and Kenny Wheeler. His large-scale Jazz Mass album received a 4 1/2 star rating from DOWNBEAT magazine and was named among the “Best CDs of the Year.” His recent Shelter of Trees recording was described by renowned critic Bill Milkowski as “…undeniably beautiful.” The Ike Sturm Ensemble has toured across the U.S., Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.  Ike’s current band is an acoustic duo with guitarist Jesse Lewis called ENDLESS FIELD and released their eponymous album in June of 2017 on Biophilia Records. The band will be recording an album in the wilderness in August 2019 and has been featured live on National Public Radio (NPR).

Sinal Aberto Quartet featuring Luanda Jones
Jun 28 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


Come finish the eighth season with the Brazilian stylings of Sinal Aberto featuring Luanda Jones.