Calendar

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.
If you cannot see the calendar below, try our alternate calendar page or update your web browser.

Sep
7
Fri
2018
Jason Razo and The Standard Fusion Company
Sep 7 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Image result for Jason Raso ImagesOver the past two decades, eight albums and countless live performances, Jason Raso has shown that he not only has the skills to pay the bills, but more often than not, enough musical currency left over at the end of the month to make good on the debts other musicians have welched on.A Hartke Canadian Artist Search Winner (2010), Raso is a master of the four and six-string bass guitar whose music has been heard on public radio and jazz stations around the globe. And because seeing is believing, his virtuosity has also brought him in front of the camera to play for television viewers across Canada.

But the best way to experience what this talented performer has to offer is to see his one-man show in a festival setting. It’s here that concert goers will have the opportunity to understand why Exclaim Magazine describes Raso as a “…full-on orchestra of ground vibrating pleasure.”

No matter whether he’s deftly fretting through a well-loved standard, drawing in his audience with one of his melodic original compositions opening for a main stage mainstay or holding court as a featured artist, Raso is guaranteed to provide a performance music lovers will never forget.

Sep
8
Sat
2018
Luca Ciarla Quartet (Italy)
Sep 8 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Image result for Luca Ciarla ImagesA creative and surprising violinist, Luca Ciarla easily transcends the boundaries among genres to trace an innovative musical path, a magical acoustic seduction in perfect balance between written compositions and improvisation, traditional and contemporary sounds. He has successfully performed in jazz, classical and world music festivals and concert series in more than fifty countries in the world; from Montreal Jazz Festival to the Hong Kong Performing Arts Centre, from Celtic Connections in Scotland to the Villa-Lobos Festival in Rio de Janeiro, from Melbourne Jazz Festival to the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Italy. “…one of the most interesting violinists nowadays on the international scene, capable of browsing around different sounds and genres without ever losing his unmistakable style.” la Repubblica (Italy)A native of Termoli, Italy, Luca began playing violin and piano at the age of eight. By twelve he was studying at the conservatory and few years later began exploring jazz and improvisation. He received his violin degree in 1993 and then studied at the Fiesole School of Music and the Scuola di Alto perfezionamento of Saluzzo. In 1996 Luca moved to the United States to pursue a master’s at the Indiana University and to study jazz with David Baker. Subsequently he also completed a doctorate in musical arts at the University of Arizona where he taught violin for few years. Winner of several competitions in Italy and abroad, in 1999 he was awarded by the prestigious New York-based Chamber Music America. Over the years Luca Ciarla has worked with artists such as Greg Cohen, Chris Jarrett, Daniele Sepe, Joshua Bell, Edgar Mayer, Daniele Scannapieco, Danilo Rea, Sylvain Gagnon, Anthony Fernandes, Luciano Berio, Andrea Piccioni, Meklit Hadero, Simone Zanchini, Lello Pareti, Marco Siniscalco, Marina Rei, Blaine Whittaker, Mimmo Locasciulli, Luciano Biondini, Fabrizio Bosso, Sergio Cammariere, Rodolfo Maltese, Paola Turci, Luigi Tessarollo, Ferruccio Spinetti, Mark Rush. After recording with several prestigious labels, Luca Ciarla founds Violipiano, a production company that takes care of his artistic activity at 360 degrees. Since 2012 he enjoys giving master classes on creative string playing. Recently he has released his latest album, ViolinAir, launched in Rome at the Auditorium Parco della Musica and at Repubblica TV program Webnotte.

A bit of Grappelli in his playing….

Sep
9
Sun
2018
Antonino De Luca Trio (Italy)
Sep 9 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Sep
14
Fri
2018
Mike Murley/David Braid Quartet
Sep 14 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Image result for mike Murley ImagesAn engaging, lyrical saxophonist, Mike Murley is one of Canada’s most celebrated and well-respected jazz artists. Currently active as a leader in various formations from duo to septet, Murley also maintains a busy schedule as both a sideman and an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto Jazz Program.  He has played on fourteen Juno Award-winning recordings since 1990, seven as a leader or co-leader, seven as a sideman.  His most recent Junos include The North (2018), Metalwood’s Twenty (2017) and his trio’s Test of Time (2013).Since moving to Toronto from his native Nova Scotia in 1981 Murley has enjoyed a career that has spanned a wide stylistic spectrum.   Recordings with legendary Canadian artists such as Ed Bickert, Guido Basso, and Rob McConnell showcase the saxophonist’s talents in the mainstream standard repertoire.  On the more contemporary side, Murley has collaborated frequently with the younger generation of improviser/composers including pianist David Braid and guitarist David Occhipinti.  He is also well known for his work with the three-time Juno Award winning electric jazz group Metalwood.  In addition he has recorded and performed with numerous other Canadian and international artists including John Abercrombie, David Liebman, Paul Bley, John Schofield and Kenny Wheeler.

Image result for David Braid ImagesHailed in the Canadian press as “one of his country’s true renaissance men when it comes to music” (The Ottawa Citizen), and “a jazz genius to call our own” (Maclean’s Magazine), composer and pianist, David Braid is an eight-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, “The North”.Braid concertizes his original music and improvisations in the UK, Scandinavia, Continental Europe, Russia, China, Australia, The United States, and Canada.

Combining the discipline of European classical music with the spontaneity of jazz, Braid’s music is described as “brilliant” (Montreal Gazette), “wide-ranging, exploratory” (South China Morning Post), “une force poétique” (Le Soleil) and “hauntingly beautiful” (The Globe & Mail).

David Braid is a Steinway Artist, a Special Associate Artist of Sinfonia UK, an Artist-in-Residence at the University of Toronto, a Research Fellow at the University of Leeds, and a visting adjunct professor at the Danish National Academy of Music (Odense). He is a recipient of the Ontario Foundation for the Arts’ prestigious prize: ’Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award for Keyboard Artistry.’

Lele’s Tune

Sep
15
Sat
2018
Dave Thompson Quintet
Sep 15 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
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delicate jazz guitar that dances at the right moments” – cbc.ca

Dave Thompson is one of Kitchener-Waterloo’s finest musicians of any musical gendre. This man can play any style with anyone and can hold his own with the best guitarists in the country.  He began as a freelance guitarist in the late 1980s and currently tours with  Juno-winners Kellylee Evans and Susan Aglukark. Dave has performed in jazz festivals, clubs and concert venues across Canada and the USA, while continuing a presence on the local scene. He is a regular at the Stratford festival, playing in the pit for both ‘Tommy” in 2013 and “Jesus Christ Superstar” in 2012. Dave has opened for George Benson, Richard Bona, Chris Botti and others as a member of Kellylee Evans’ group, and has toured every province and territory Canada (including Nunavut) and several US states.

Dave studied jazz composition (with Herb Pomeroy) and guitar at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and has worked in concert halls, festivals, summer resorts, clubs, musical theatre, radio and TV, as well as on many CDs as a sideman, producer or arranger. He credits former bandleader Kenny Munshaw with much of his early experience and development as a working musician. His guitar and writing influences include Joe Pass, Pat Metheny, John Scofield, Alex Lifeson, Duke Ellington, Reg Schwager, Joni Mitchell, Wes Montgomery, Gil Evans, Sting, George Benson, Lyle Lovett and many more.

Dave Thompson lays down a scorching solo a a member of the Tim Louis Trio on “Something’s Breaking”……http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGMQDs0mtpc

Sep
21
Fri
2018
Rob Fekete Quintet Featuring Laura McNabb
Sep 21 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

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Robert C. Fekete is a Canadian Jazz pianist and composer who shares his musical philosophy with others through performance and audio recording. His roots are planted firmly in classical and jazz traditions; however he aspires to build a bridge between modern popular music and older musical art forms without losing his focus on the relevance and necessity of art in the world. Robert recognizes the importance of recruiting young people to the jazz art form. He conveys this message through his musical compositions and when he performs live.

Robert has been performing and composing professionally since 1989.

Robert is a Mohawk College music program Alumni.

Robert also finished an undergrad, teachers college, and a Master of Music degree from the University of Toronto.

He currently teaches at Mohawk college and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

Laura McNabb is a recent graduate of McMaster’s Music Cognition program, during which time she had the opportunity to study jazz voice with Rob Fekete. A performer at heart, she has helped to establish an a cappella community at McMaster, starting 3 performance groups with singers from various academic and professional backgrounds. She co-chaired  the second annual Canadian A Cappella Conference (CanACC) and led Macappella to the quarter finals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCAs) in both 2017 and 2018. Laura has spent this summer performing in the Riversong Festival in Parry Sound under the direction of Brenda Muller. She is looking forward to starting her graduate studies with the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto, where she will prepare to teach Music and French at the intermediate-senior level.

Hamilton-born Tenor and Soprano Saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Mike Filice graduated from The Humber College Jazz Program in 1991.Following a brief tenure in Toronto, Mike moved to New York City in 1997 where he studied with saxophone legend Dave Liebman and began a diverse freelance career performing with, among others, Bill Stewart, Kenny Werner,Dominic Duval, recording with John Ballantyne and Carlos Darosa and accompanying luminaries like Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross.
Resettling in Toronto in 2008, Mike continues to distinguish himself as one of Canada’s most adventurous improvisers, nourished and inspired by his love of world music, classical music and the Avant Garde. Among his many talents, Mike is also known as one of North America’s leading woodwind technicians owning and running his own shop, and earning the trust and respect of a diverse clientele that includes Brandford Marsalis and David Liebman.

Clark Johnston started his professional career as a bassist in 1994 and has since had the opportunity to work with the likes of Peter Appleyard, Gene DiNovi, Reg Schwager, Don Thompson, John Sherwood, The Mike Malone Jazz Orchestra, as well as the Darcy Hepner Jazz Orchestra–just to name a few. He holds a master’s degree in music composition from York University and is currently on faculty at Mohawk College and McMaster University.

Dave O’Neill is a performer and educator of all things musical. He has toured Eastern Canada and parts of the U.S., performed at numerous venues, music festivals, theatre productions, conducted clinics, workshops, does motivational speaking, and has extensive experience in the recording studio. Dave has taught privately for the last thirty years, spent four years on the part time music faculty at Mohawk College, and is a supply teacher for the Waterloo Region District School Board. He is endorsed by Headhunters Drumsticks. Dave holds B. Ed. from OSIE/U. of Toronto, a B. Mus. in Jazz Performance from U. of Toronto, as well as a Dipl.Mus. from Mohawk College. He has studied with drummers Bob McLaren, Barry Elmes, Ernie Porthouse, John Cheeseman, and Memo Acevedo.

Sep
22
Sat
2018
Mike Downes Quartet
Sep 22 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Sep
23
Sun
2018
Kirk Macdonald’s John Coltrane Tribute
Sep 23 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Sep
27
Thu
2018
Samuel Blais Quartet (Montreal)
Sep 27 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
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Recently awarded with the “Jazz Revelation for 2011-2012 by Radio-Canada” Samuel Blais has won several classical music competitions starting around age 15. He studied at the Montreal Conservatory of Music for 3 years after which he moved on to Jazz at McGill University where he completed a bachelors degree in Jazz Performance which led him to continue his musical education at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music in New York, obtaining a Masters degree in Jazz Performance.  The 3 years he spent in New York allowed him to perfect his art and to perform with worldwide renown musicians such as Greg Osby, David Liebman, Jim Black, Larry Grenadier, Nate Smith, Donny McCaslin, Jamie Baum, Ari Hoenig, Terri Lyne Carrington etc. Samuel Blais performed extensivly in the USA and Canada, as well as in France, Belgium, Mexico and Hong Kong.

During his studies, Samuel had the opportunity to study with David Liebman, Dick Oatts, Greg Osby, Rémi Bolduc, Steve Slagle, Frank Lozano, Jan Jarczyk and many more.  He was awarded scholarships from Manhattan School of Music, McGill University, Canada Council for the Arts, Quebec Council for the Arts, MusicAction as well as from the « L.A. Friends of Jazz » while on tour with the McGill Jazz Orchestra I.
After producing his first record in 2008, « Where to Go »(FND080), he comes back with a new record called « New Angle »(FND104).  This new CD has been acclaimed by critics and was nominated for Best Jazz Record at the ADISQ Gala and even won a Prix Opus for Best Jazz Album 2010-11.
Here is Samuel with “Three Steps”
Sep
28
Fri
2018
Elizabeth Sheppard Quartet
Sep 28 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
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Velvety-voiced pianist Elizabeth Shepherd arrived on the international scene in 2006 when her debut album Start To Move was voted one of the top jazz albums of the year by the listeners of the influential Gilles Peterson Show on BBC Radio Worldwide. Since then, the Montreal-based soul-jazz innovator has established herself as one of the most alluring and imaginative artists on the scene today. Versed in equal parts Stevie Wonder, Salvation Army brass bands and classical sonatas, it is perhaps no surprise that this globetrotting talent has developed such a distinct and unique voice.

Elizabeth has been hailed as “a jazz virtuoso blessed with a pop sensibility”, praised by critics worldwide for her arrestingly original writing and soulful delivery. Along with artists like Esperanza Spalding, Robert Glasper, and Jose James she is seen as part of a wave of jazz musicians bringing the art form to a new generation of music fans.

Here she is with Shine On doing John Lennon’s “Across the Universe”. I apologize for Gomeshi at the beginning but is a lovely video….

Sep
29
Sat
2018
Stefan Bauer Quintet (NYC)
Sep 29 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
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His eight CD’s to date bear witness to his flexibility and his productivity (with Adam Nussbaum, Barry Romberg, Bernie Senensky, Charlie Mariano, Chris Bacas, Christoph Haberer, Claudio Puntin, Howard Levy, Kenny Wheeler, Laurent Roy, Todd Isler, Marcio Doctor, Matthias Nadolny, Michal Cohen, Mick Goodrick, Paul McCandless, Pepe Berns, Ramesh Shotham, Rick Shadrach Lazar, Roland Schneider, Ted Poor, Thomas Alkier, Tim Hagans. Tim Wells, Volker Heinze , Jim Vivian, Ugonna Okegwo). Aside from travelling his native Germany annually with his own ensembles, he had opportunities to tour in Africa, India, and West and Eastern Europe, often with drummer/conceptualist Christoph Haberer’s ‘Drümmele Maa’, with composer Klaus Koenig, and with his own formations. Festival appearances from Abidjan to Zürich, and during the Olympics in Seoul/South Korea in 1988.
Oct
5
Fri
2018
Mary Catherine Quartet
Oct 5 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

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“As impressive as these artists were…  it was singer Mary-Catherine Pazzano who truly stole the show. Whether she was scatting her way through a fast number or slowing things down for a powerfully belted tune, Pazzano had the audience enthralled throughout the entire show. Her performance was probably best summed up in the quiet moments that occasionally appeared between the notes, when the room sat in anticipation of her next line – completely silent and breathless.”  – Jon Svec: Reporter, Thornbury Paper

A jazz vocalist from Kitchener-Waterloo, Mary-Catherine has been described as a rising star of the Canadian music scene (kwjazzroom.com). Since her childhood, Mary-Catherine’s passion has been singing and performing jazz standards. She loves exploring the endless repertoire of the Great American Songbook, and making the sublime lyrics her own with a nostalgic, yet modern, flair.

Performance highlights include a jazz tour in New Zealand in July 2014, the 2013 Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival, annual concerts at Kitchener’s Registry Theatre, and performances at high-profile jazz clubs such as Toronto’s The Rex and The Jazz Room in Waterloo.

Mary-Catherine has been extremely blessed to play with some jazz notables, including her bass player Mike Grace (who has performed with the likes of Dave Brubeck, Mel Tormé and Rosemary Clooney). Mike and Mary-Catherine perform frequently as a bass/voice duo.

Mary-Catherine was a soloist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in 2010.

A firm believer in spreading the “jazz gospel”, Mary-Catherine has chosen to use her qualifications as on Ontario Certified Teacher to teach children and adults out of her private voice studio. Committed to quality public music education, Mary-Catherine also teaches jazz workshops and school jazz programs in local high schools.

Oct
6
Sat
2018
Jeremy Ledbetter Trio
Oct 6 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Oct
12
Fri
2018
New Vibes Quintet
Oct 12 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

new vibesjerzy-kaplanek

There are very few vibes players around that inspire me the way that Andy Macpherson does with the creative lines that he weaves. Andy, Tom, Dan and Gary put me in a mood that I definitely did not want to leave…” – Larry Larson

New Vibes  returns to the Jazz Room to celebrate their 15th year of live jazz in the Waterloo Region. The quartet has become a quintet  with the addition of Jerzy Kaplanek, violin.  Jerzy is well known a member of the internationally renowned  Prendrecki String Quartet and he brings sensitivity and virtuosity to his interpretations of jazz standards.

New Vibes plays jazz with a polished sound and fluid improvisation  as on Sugar and St. Thomas from their debut CD, Jazz at the Gallery.  The combination of vibes and violin is unique, and their two percussionists provide an extensive range of rhythmic expression.

Andy Macpherson – percussion & vibraphone
Dan Brennan –  bass
Gary Tomlin – drums
John Zadro – piano
Jerzy Kaplanek – violin.

Oct
13
Sat
2018
Roddy Elias Trio (NYC)
Oct 13 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Oct
19
Fri
2018
Top Pocket COREtet
Oct 19 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

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Entering its 33rd year as a band, Top Pocket has been a big draw on the local (Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph) music scene for many years. With two albums to their credit [2014’s “11:11” and 2016’s “rocket in my (top) pocket”] they are known for performing ALL ORIGINAL material that runs the gamut from bebop, to latin jazz to fusion; and for approaching their performances with a laid back whimsy. Their live shows are not only musical and entertaining, but fun! The Top Pocket COREtet is excited to be making it’s annual appearance at the Jazz Room asoCome on out and support local talent.

Today, the COREtet contains:

Robin Habermehl: Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bari Saxes and Flute.

Paul Stouffer: Piano and Synthesizer

Michael Bergauer: Fretted and Fretless Basses

Don McDougall: Drums

Oct
20
Sat
2018
Manuel Valera (NYC)
Oct 20 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Oct
26
Fri
2018
Kellylee Evans
Oct 26 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Oct
27
Sat
2018
Joe Sullivan (Montreal)
Oct 27 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

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Joe Sullivan comes from the Northern Ontario town of Timmins. He grew up in a large franco-ontarian family, where music was a part of daily life. He began his formal training on piano and later, at the age of fifteen, started playing the trumpet. During his youth, he led an active musical life that included classical piano competitions, rock bands and high school concert and stage bands. He also composed music for several theater productions. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in classical trumpet at the University of Ottawa in 1981. His interest in jazz led him to the Berklee School of Music, then to the New England Conservatory of Music, where he received a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies in 1987. Since then he has lived in Montreal and has been active as a performer, composer, arranger and bandleader. A prolific composer, Sullivan leads and has written extensively for both his jazz sextet and his jazz Big Band and is active with a variety of small groups.

He has served as conductor and arranger with the Kirk MacDonald Jazz Orchestra; has been a member of the Vic Vogel Big Band for some twenty-five years; has appeared as a trumpet soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal; and has performed with numerous jazz artists of international repute, including Slide Hampton, Don Thompson, Lorne Lofsky, Pat Labarbera, Kirk Macdonald, Rémi Bolduc, John Medeski, John McNeil, Alain Caron, George Garzone, and Ranee Lee.

He has received both the Prix Socan (1991) and the Prix DuMaurier (Joel Miller Group, 1997) at the Montreal International Jazz Festival as well as several awards from the Canadian and Québec arts councils. He currently directs the McGill Jazz Orchestra 1 and teaches jazz composition, arranging and trumpet at McGill University, where he is an associate professor.

Here is the Joe Sullivan Big Band…

Concerts On Demand

VFest! Ted Warren Commission NUMUS Neu Berlin Ensemble (Penderecki String Quartet and Patricia O’Callaghan)