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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Derek Hines Quartet sponsored by Diva International
Feb 15 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


Wonderful local singer and chef brings an amazing band to his yearly Jazz Room show.  Derek sings jazz as it should be sung, with skill and emotion.  Year of touring have honed Derek’s art to a fine edge.

For this show, Derek has assembled an all star cast of musicians…

Derek Hines – vocals

Jason White – piano
Jill McKenna – bass
Ernesto Cervini – drums


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

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Richard Whiteman Quartet
Feb 16 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
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Photo Credit – Emma Segal

Toronto native Richard Whiteman is an extremely versatile player, fluent in styles ranging from the stride masters of the twenties, through Bud Powell and Bill Evans, to modern giants like Keith Jarrett and Herbie Hancock. As a leader, he has released five CDs (with a sixth on the way), and has received raves from as far away as Japan, where his “GROOVEYARD” disc was rated one of the Top 500 Jazz Piano Trio records of all time.

For over twenty years, Richard has performed at major Toronto jazz venues, and has also played with orchestras (The Canada Pops Orchestra) and big bands (including The Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra), in new music concerts (Hemispheres Music Projects), classical crossover groups (The Galaxy Trio) and musical theatre (“Forever Plaid”), and at countless “casual” engagements with Canada’s finest jazz musicians. He has also toured Canada with his trio and performed in Brazil, Egypt and San Antonio, Texas.

Some of the stellar musicians Richard has worked with are Don Thompson, Kenny Wheeler, Marcus Belgrave, Pat LaBarbera, Ken Peplowski, Nick Brignola, Ed Bickert, Jane Bunnett and Dutch Django-style star, Tim Kliphuis. As well as leading his own groups, Richard is a member of the The Al Henderson Quintet and is much in demand by vocalists, including John Alcorn, Jackie Richardson, Dee Daniels, Bonnie Brett and Heather Bambrick.

In addition to his busy club, corporate and touring schedule, Richard is also an educator, teaching jazz piano and leading ensembles at both Humber College and York University in Toronto.

Richard Whiteman  -bass

Harold Danko -piano

Pat Labarbera – saxophones

Andre White – drums

The Richard Whiteman Quartet at the Rex…

Florian Hoefner Trio
Feb 22 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


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“A composer-bandleader of insightful resolve.” New York Times (USA)

“A harmonically daring pianist … reaching toward new sonic territory.” Downbeat (USA)

“Sublimely evocative music.”  The WholeNote (Canada)


Born  and raised in Germany, trained in New York City and now based in Canada, jazz pianist and composer, Florian Hoefner, draws from a myriad of influences that culminate in his unique brand of modern jazz. Praised as a “composer-bandleader of insightful resolve” by the New York Times and a “harmonically daring pianist […] reaching toward new sonic territory” by Downbeat, Florian Hoefner has made his mark as an inventive creator and performer of exciting contemporary Jazz.


With his quartet, the Florian Hoefner Group, he has released 3 albums on Origin Records that have received rave reviews around the globe. “Luminosity,” his latest release that features tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake, has been described as a “starkly picturesque album … that makes profound statements from quiet moments” by Downbeat and as a “total experience” by the New York Jazz Record. It has been nominated as Jazz Recording of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards 2017. The Group also received the Stingray Rising Star Award after their performance at the Montréal Jazz Festival 2015.


As a member of the Germany-based collective, Subtone, he has released 4 critically acclaimed albums on labels including ENJA Records and performed on 4 continents including festivals such as Jazz Baltica (Germany), ACACIA Jazz Festival (Ethiopia), Jazz in Situ (Ecuador) and Tremplin Jazz d’Avignon (France) where the group was awarded the jury and audience awards. Florian’s work as a sideman has led to numerous additional CD releases including a collaboration with guitarist, Kurt Rosenwinkel on Fresh Sounds Records. He has shared the stage with the likes of Joe Lovano, Seamus Blake, Rich Perry, John Riley, and New York Philharmonic clarinetist, Mark Nuccio.


A two-time winner of the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award, Hoefner’s compositions and arrangements can be heard on many commercial albums by artists including Till Brönner, Jasmin Tabatabai and Peter Fessler. His big band compositions have been performed by the New York Jazz Orchestra, the Lucerne Jazz Orchestra, the German Youth Jazz Orchestra and the DanJam Orchestra.


Since 2018 Florian is working with a new Canadian trio with Andrew Downing on bass and Nick Fraser on drums.  The group is performing a completely new repertoire of his originals and arrangements of folk songs from different parts of the world. Their debut album will be released in September 2019 on Alma Records.

 ”The Maid on the Shore”

Florian Hoefner – Piano

Andrew Downing – bass

Nick Fraser –  drums

Steve D’Angelo Quintet
Feb 23 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
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Photo Credit – Mike Rocha
“Delightful , Infectious , Wonderfully Rhythmic and Melodic
 This Music is  Fun to Listen to and Definitley Danceable
 Sideways or any otherways “  -Ralph Hopper
                                            OKCU 93.1 -Ottawa ,Canada

Steve D’Angelo is an Emmy award winning composer and guitarist . He has composed and arranged
music for hundreds of TV shows ,films and documentaries  . He has written and arranged for Blues legend Taj Mahal , New Orleans icon Dr John and the world acclaimed acapella group Lady Smith Black Mambazo . He has toured with inuit singer Susan Aglukark , Canadian RnB diva Liberty Silver
and performed with Canadian Jazz greats Doug Riley and Guido Basso .
Performing  with bandmates Steve Lucas on bass ,Lorenzo Castelli on drums,Todd Pentney on keys and Arturo Avalos on percussion Steve will be playing selections from his latest recording “Dancing Sideways” a thrilling fusion of jazz, world music and funk .Steve D’Angelo – guitar

Todd Pentney – keys
Steve Lucas – bass
Lorenzo Castelli – drums
Arturo Avalos – percussion

Comedy Festival
Mar 1 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Comedy Festival
Mar 2 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Brownman plays the Music of Miles Davis (in the Walper Hotel) @ TWH Social After Dark
Mar 2 @ 9:00 pm – 11:30 pm

The Comedy Festival takes over the Jazz Room on Saturday, March 2.

If you want to satisfy your jazz fix, there is another option.  TWH Social After Dark (in the Walper Hotel) presents the music of Miles Davis performed by the multi-award winning trumpeter Brownman and his band.

Please note:  Annual Passholders to The Jazz Room can attend this show at no charge


The Marie Goudy 12tet featuring Jocelyn Barth Sponsored by Diva International
Mar 3 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

A native of Toronto, trumpet player/vocalist Marie Goudy started her professional career at the age of sixteen. By the age of nineteen, she had already played with many notable musicians including Benny Golson, Cleo Laine and Maria Schneider. Since then she has performed with Michael Buble, Donny McCaslin, and many others.

She graduated from the University of Toronto’s Masters in Jazz Performance program in 2017. She has made her mark on the Toronto music scene playing jazz, funk, mariachi, folk and Latin music, and was a featured soloist in the 2018 SOCAN Awards. Marie has played on three JUNO-nominated albums with folk-funk singer/songwriter Alysha Brilla and toured to France, Chile, Yellowknife, and Singapore with that group.

Marie currently leads the Marie Goudy 12tet, a large jazz ensemble that is quickly rising through the Toronto jazz ranks. This group’s first album, “The Bitter Suite” featuring vocalist Jocelyn Barth and produced by John MacLeod, will be released in October of 2018.

Jocelyn Barth is one of Canada’s exciting emerging vocalists. As a jazz singer, Jocelyn is known for her emotional expressiveness and sensitivity. She delivers a lyric with intention, depth and authenticity while maintaining the playfulness of phrasing that comes from her instinctively instrumentalist-like approach to singing. While happy to keep it simple, she loves to stretch out into an explorative, improvisational adventure with her bandmates.

Marie Goudy – trumpet, compositions
Jocelyn Barth – voice
Brad Eaton – trumpet
Megan Jutting – trumpet
Matt Woroshyl – saxophone
Alison Young – saxophone
John Nicholson – saxophone
Conrad Gluch – saxophone
Charlotte Alexander – French Horn
Paul Tarussov – trombone
Zach Smith – trombone
Chris Platt – guitar
Josh Smiley – piano
Alex Lakusta – bass
Keagan Eskritt – drums


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

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Tim Moher Octet
Mar 8 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


Born into a musical family, along with his older brother, Peter, an accomplished pianist. In high school, Tim’s music teacher brought the class on a trip to hear Maynard Ferguson’s Big Band in Toronto. This experience ignited Tim’s passion for jazz.

He went on to receive an Honours Bachelor of Music, B.A. and B.Ed from The University of Western Ontario.

Tim has been featured as a jazz, classical, and ragtime soloist with many musical groups including, Orchestra London, The Royal City Saxophone Quartet, The Wellington Winds, and The Band of the Ceremonial Guard in Ottawa. Additionally, Tim is the newest member of the Kitchener-Waterloo band, the ‘KW Big Band Theory’.

Locally, Tim managed entertainment and continues to perform at The Food and Drink Show, along with performing at wedding ceremonies, receptions, and corporate events.

With a greater focus on creativity and composition in the past two years, he produced his inaugural CD in 2013 alongside Rick Hutt of the Cedartree Recording Studio that featured all original music.

After 30 years of performing fresh and inventive sounds across the region, Tim aspires to become a full time performer and writer. Presently, a retired music teacher for the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, he continues to work on bringing music to the people through his various entertainment ventures including the Belmont Village Bestival.

At the Jazz Room

David Occhipinti’s Camera Ensemble sponsored by Diva International
Mar 9 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


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“David Occhipinti has created an absolute gem. His writing is unique, his playing is completely original and stunning. I just wanted to keep listening…
His music is an absolute work of art!”
-Jim Hall

David Occhipinti has released five CDs as a leader that feature his unique voice as a composer and as a guitarist.

On David’s release, Camera (2012), he combines elements of contemporary chamber music with improvisation. The recording features David’s compositions and guitar playing, with a unique ensemble, consisting of: clarinet, bassoon, marimba, guitar, violin, viola, cello, and bass. The recording also includes a suite for guitar and string quartet.

“David Occhipinti has created an absolute gem [Camera]. His writing is unique, his playing is completely original and stunning. I just wanted to keep listening… His music is an absolute work of art!” -Jim Hall

David has multiple nominations for JUNO awards including his CD Forty Revolutions (2007), and Duologue (2003), his first of two duo CDs with saxophonist Mike Murley. Another collaborative effort called Bristles (2014), whcih David produced and mixed, was also nominated for a JUNO and given four stars in the internationally acclaimed Downbeat magazine.

As a composer, David has received numerous commissions to compose for solo artists, chamber groups and large ensembles. His compositions appear on CDs by Beverley Johnston, Random Access Large Ensemble and many others.

 ”Promised Kiss”

David Occhipinti – guitar

Aline Homzy

Michael Hutchinson

Virginia MacDonald

Dan Fortin

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

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Joni NehRita + Mary-Catherine Pazzano + Penderecki Quartet sponsored by Diva International
Mar 15 @ 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm


Toronto-born Jamaican-Canadian singer/songwriter/musician Joni NehRita has become a staple on the regional scene of KW/Guelph since relocating there a decade ago. She is known for steadily releasing great music & being an engaging performer. While her musical tastes are eclectic, she is best known as a soul/R&B artist and as a jazz vocalist.

The release of her 3rd album, Bloom showcases her best writing and production yet. The songs are infectious, poignant and groove hard.  It is noticeably more “pop/funk” than her previous releases yet the themes of social consciousness and inner reflection that has connected her to her listeners remain. NehRita has a gift for writing well-crafted songs that are deeply personal.  Much of her music hearkens back to a time when soul and funk music made you dance while also serving up social commentary and a call for change.


Pazzano shines throughout with energy and luscious tone, as she soars with her quartet. Pazzano possesses a gorgeous, classically trained contralto voice capable of projecting the full gamut of emotions, as well as an uncanny skill with rendering the lyrics of current music, jazz standards and show tunes.”

–Lesley Mitchell-Clarke, The WholeNote Magazine (December 2017 Issue), reviewing album “You’re Gonna Hear From Me”

Described as a performer who “has her audience enthralled throughout the entire show” (Thornbury Paper), and a musician who sings as if she is “reciting poetry” (Meaford Express), Mary-Catherine Pazzano is a jazz vocalist based in Kitchener, Ontario. Mary-Catherine’s performance highlights include headlining: Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival, The Rex (Toronto), Jazz Bistro (Toronto), The Jazz Room (Waterloo), Manhattans Music Club (Guelph) and The Registry Theatre (Kitchener). She has also toured New Zealand as lead vocalist, and has been a soloist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. Mary-Catherine has shared the stage with jazz notables Mark Eisenman and Pat Collins, as well as the world-class chamber ensemble Penderecki String Quartet.

Joni NehRita -vocals

Mary-Catherine Pazzano – vocals

Jerzy Kapanek – violin

Jeremy Bell – violin

Christine Vladjk – viola

Katie Schlaikjer – cello


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

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Phillipe Lemm Trio (NYC)
Mar 16 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
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New York based drummer Philippe Lemm was born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands where he started his musical journey at the age of 16. At the age of 19 he was admitted at The Amsterdam Conservatory. In his second year at the conservatory Philippe started touring internationally with jazz trumpeter Saskia Laroo as well as leading his own group Wazabe. At the end of his studies in Amsterdam Philippe was extensively playing with renown Dutch jazz musicians like; Karel Boehlee (Toots Thielemans), Jorg Kaaij (Jazz Orchestra of the Concert Gebouw) and Peter Tiehuis (Metropole Orchestra).

In 2011 he was a recipient of one of the most prestigious scholarships in The Netherlands; Huygens Scholarship, which allowed him to continue his studies at Manhattan School of Music with John Riley. Philippe graduated in 2013 and receives his Masters Degree from this prestigious institute and becomes the first Dutch drummer that earns his Masters Degree for Jazz Drums from the Manhattan School of Music.

Philippe performs on drum set and percussion alike, covering a broad range of styles reflecting his wide interest in everything music and his natural feel for groove and texture regardless of genre.

Currently Philippe is working with the New York based group Life Size, Angelo Di Loreto Trio, Olli Hirvonen Quartet, Sharik Hasan New York Quartet, Pat Carroll Group, Roman Rofalski Trio and vocalist Andrea Wood to name a few.

Phillipe Lemm -drums and percussion

Angelo Di Loreto -piano

Jeff Koch -bass

“At Kennedy Centre…”

The Mingus Appreciation Society
Mar 22 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
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Robin Jessome’s newest project is the Mingus Appreciation Society.

“Working on this Mingus thing I have been listening to (jazz trombonist) Jimmy Knepper who plays on a whole lot of Charles Mingus stuff. He is one of those guys that can bridge that early raw emotion with the bebop intricacies. That’s really interesting to me.”

Jessome wanted to bring his other band project — Blunt Object, an 11-piece ensemble based in Toronto — to Waterloo, but with a smaller stage, the logistics of accommodating of a large ensemble might have proved tricky. He pared it down to a seven-piece collective with members hailing from Toronto, Hamilton and Kitchener.

“I could gone with a quartet and played some tunes and played it safe but I like to be a little adventurous so I am always looking for an excuse to play intriguing music that I don’t play very often, so I thought I may as well put this together,” says Jessome.

Kitchener members include Jessome on trombone; Robin Habermehl, saxophones; Andriy Tykhonov, piano; and Mike Rajna on drums, in addition to Toronto’s Jesse Malone and Hamilton’s Tom Altobelli on bass.

“I met (second sax player) Francis Smith for the first time the other day on the recommendation of someone else,” says Jessome.

“The word got around and this brings an interesting dynamic to the group where everyone has some loose connection to each other but there’s also a bit of that nervousness and working without a net. You trust everybody but you don’t exactly know what anyone is going to do at any time. It’s exciting!”

Jessome says the group’s repertoire includes “fun stuff” like “Haitian Fight Song,” “Moanin’,” plus “Jelly Roll,” “Self Portrait in Three Colours,” and “Open Letter to Duke” from 1959′s “Mingus Ah Um.”

“It’s in the spirit of Mingus,” says Jessome. “You mould it, shape it and let it evolve on its own. Personality-wise my two saxophonists will be completely different players and I like the way those two things collide. You never know what’s quite going to happen sometimes. There’s something about being uncomfortable that makes me comfortable!”

-KW Record

At the Waterloo Jazz Festival

Laila Biali Quartet Sponsored by Diva International
Mar 23 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter and pianist Laila Biali melds “traditional jazz with contemporary pop so effortlessly that neither style seems out of place on the same record” (Spinner Magazine). Sought after for tours with GRAMMY winning artists Chris Botti, Paula Cole, Suzanne Vega and Sting, Laila has also headlined festivals and venues spanning five continents including Carnegie Hall. In 2016, Laila was a featured performer at the first-ever global TEDSummit. Her studio recording, Tracing Light, received a JUNO nomination for “Best Vocal Jazz Album of the Year”, and her follow-up, Live in Concert, was named one of the “Best Albums of 2013” by DownBeat Magazine. In September of 2017, Laila became the host of CBC Radio’s national show, Saturday Night Jazz. Her new self-titled album releases January 26, 2018.

Laila Biali – piano, vocals

Larnell Lewis – drums

George Koller – bass

“Lets Dance” (Bowie)

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

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Denise Pelley Sponsored by Diva International
Mar 29 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


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Denise has performed with many great artists including acclaimed trombonist Ray Anderson, Gospel/Blues legend Jackie Richardson and Flamenco guitarist Jesse Cook.  She has opened for Aretha Franklin at the John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario.

Denise has performed with symphony orchestras and festivals which have included the du Maurier Downtown Jazz Festival (Toronto), Ottawa Jazz Festival, The Royal Canadian Big Band Festival (London), Bluesfest (London), Waterloo Jazz Festival and Sunfest (London), among others.

Denise also enjoys acting and has been part of The Grand Theatre (London) seasons performing in the Fats Waller musical Ain’t Misbehavin’, Wang Dang Doodle with Denis Simpson and A Streetcar Named Desire.  Denise’s one-woman show, Jazzabel premiered in September 2004 at the McManus Theatre (Grand Theatre), London, Ontario to sold out audiences!  In October 2005 Jazzabel was performed in Washington, DC at the National Museum for Women in the Arts and in February 2006 to audiences in New York City at Urban Stages Theatre.  As well, she was premiered in the February 2006 issue of O (Oprah Winfrey) Magazine.  Denise’s recording credits include seven CD’s.

At the Registry Theatre in Kitchener. A bit of a documentary by the late Philip Bast

Denise Pelley

Don DiCarlo

Ken Foster

Larry Ernewein

Sandy MacKay

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

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Sean Harkness-Mike Herriott Quartet
Mar 30 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
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International guitar artist Sean Harkness is in high demand as a performer/composer on solo guitar, and accompanies an astonishing array of world class vocalists, musicians, and ensembles. Sean’s multiple awards include the coveted MAC, Bistro, and awards. Harkness represents Washburn guitars and DR Strings, and has eight commercial releases as an artist, many on Windham Hill Records [BMG/RCA/Sony]. Sean has an active international touring schedule – most recently including Africa, the Caribbean, and Japan – of concerts, clubs, festivals, corporate events, and intimate private home salons or fundraisers. A musician’s musician of exceptional versatility, Sean is often requested to teach Guitar Master Classes and music workshops.

Canadian trumpeter, Mike Herriott, a respected multi-instrumentalist in both the classical and jazz genres, is in demand as a lead trumpeter, jazz improviser, orchestral soloist, bassist, arranger and composer. He has toured extensively through North America and South East Asia and has shared the stage with a host of luminaries, including Maynard Ferguson, Rob McConnell, Doc Severinsen, Arturo Sandoval, Michael Buble, Slide Hampton, Kenny Wheeler, Phil Nimmons, Maria Schneider, Seth MacFarlane and more.

His recording career is diverse, including CDs, radio, television and film soundtracks including the Canadian Brass (JUNO nomination 2011), the Vancouver Winter Olympics Opening and Closing Ceremonies (EMMY WINNER 2011), Michael Bublé, Jann Arden, Paul Brandt, and for Warner, Universal, Sony, Disney, CBC, CTV, and NBC.

As soloist, Mike has performed with the symphony orchestras of Victoria (BC), Vancouver, Calgary, Windsor, Newfoundland, Mississauga, Kingston, Okanagan, Chilliwack, as well as with a number of big bands including Prime Time (Calgary), Hard Rubber Orchestra (Vancouver), Monday Night Big Band (Victoria), Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, Ron Paley Big Band (Winnipeg), University of Sherbrooke Big Band, Jazz East Big Band (St. John’s), the Rolf Becker Big Band (Shanghai), and the JZ Big Band (Shanghai).

Mike Harriot – trumpet

Mark Kelso – drums

Marc Rogers

Sean Harkness

Alysha Brilla sponsored by Diva International
Apr 4 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm


“Alysha’s music is the sound of summer. It’s pop, a bit jazzy and bit bluesy. That’s what makes it fun.’James Keelaghan

Twice Juno Award nominated singer-songwriter, producer and community organizer Alysha Brilla is a critically acclaimed Indian-Tanzanian Canadian artist who just released her third self produced album, “HUMAN”. Brilla’s new music draws on the influences of her unique background. An ancestral journey to her father’s homeland in 2015 delivered inspiration for Brilla to write and produce the 10 new songs on “Human”; a lyrically timely record blending Indian & East African sounds with a contemporary aesthetic. The first single from this newest release, “No More Violence”, is currently charting in the top 3 of the CBC Top 20 Countdown.

Born in Mississauga, Ontario to an Indo-Tanzanian immigrant father and a European-Canadian mother, Alysha Brilla grew up in a household with unique discourse around the arts and social politics. Brilla is an arts educator; frequently conducting music and social justice workshops in elementary schools across Canada and internationally.  TEDx speaker and Oktoberfest Woman Of The Year Arts & Culture Award recipient, Brilla has been a mentor for YWCA’s “Rock Weekend”, helping marginalized female youth develop social skills through music. A multi-racial child of the Indian diaspora, Alysha’s art aims to unite people through the Canadian cultural kaleidoscope and bring light to social inequity issues in Canada and abroad. Her music and workshops feature strong themes of cultural diversity, gender equality and inclusivity.

Here is Alysha with “Rescue”

Jerzy Kaplanek Quartet sponsored by Norton Engineering
Apr 5 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Internationally renowned violinist Jerzy Kapłanek has established himself as a chamber musician, member of the celebrated Penderecki String Quartet, soloist, dedicated teacher, adjudicator, artistic director of QuartetFest and lately as a jazz violinist

He performs throughout Europe, Asia, and North and South America over 80 concerts each season. His album of works by Karol Szymanowski with pianist Stéphan Sylvestre was highly praised by The Strad magazine as “an outstanding release”. His discography with the Penderecki Quartet comprises over two dozen CD’s (Marquis, Eclectra, CBC, CMC, EMI labels), including the highly acclaimed recording of the complete string quartets of Béla Bartók.

Jerzy Kaplanek violin
Nancy Walker piano
Roberto Occhipinti bass
Ethan Ardelli drums


Rebecca Hennessy and the FOG Brass Band sponsored by Diva International
Apr 6 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Rarely do performers shine in all their radiant apparel, creating an unmatched nimbleness of sound, as Hennessy and her ensemble.  – The WholeNote

It’s a one-two punch beginning that says this is a different type of brass band… a uniquely enchanting recording.  – All About Jazz (4.5/5 Stars)

Rebecca Hennessy is a highly sought-after Toronto-based trumpeter, composer and bandleader who has been performing, recording and touring with various projects since moving to Toronto in 2003 from Vancouver Island, BC. As a leader and co-leader, Rebecca has released seven albums to date and has toured Mexico, Panama, Sri Lanka, Europe, USA and extensively in Canada. She has also performed and recorded with internationally recognized artists including Adele, Ron Sexsmith, Andy Kim, Owen Pallett, Broken Social Scene, Feist, Ab Baars and Ken Vandermark.

In July 2016, Rebecca Hennessy’s FOG Brass Band was nominated for both the Montreal Jazz Festival’s Grand Prix de Jazz and the Galaxie Rising Star Award at the Halifax Jazz Festival. Immediately following this tour, FOG recorded their first full-length album, Two Calls, funded by the Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts. FOG performs Rebecca’s original music, which merges the traditions of New Orleans party brass bands, Balkan folk music, country blues and high-energy jazz-rock together. These songs, in all their diversity, evoke her myriad musical and extra-musical influences, and feature Toronto’s most creative and exciting improvisers.

Rebecca Hennessy//bandleader, trumpeter, composer

Tom Richards//trombone

Jay Burr//tuba

Don Scott//guitar

Tania Gill//piano

Nico Dann//drums

Here they are at the Burdock

John Zadro Quartet
Apr 12 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

John Zadro

After numerous performances  as a sideman in ensembles over the past several years at the Jazz Room, this long awaited appearance features John on keyboard at center stage.  He will be showcasing original compositions and arrangements in which he attempts to capture the stylistic character of the great composers of jazz, ranging from master writers such as Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington and Horace Silver to more current artists such as John Medeski and Jeff Beck.

Kevin Breit and the Sisters Euclid
Apr 13 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
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Kevin Breit has recorded with Norah Jones, Rosanne Cash, k.d. Lang, Hugh Laurie, Cassandra Wilson, Holly Cole, Jane Siberry, Serena Ryder, Taj Mahal, Irma Thomas and countless others. Known for his inimitable guitar playing, exquisite lyrics and eccentric performances., Breit is a humble Canadian treasure. With multiple awards including a Maple Blues Award, Gemini Award, National Jazz Award, Canadian Folk Music Award and two Juno Awards for his recordings, as well as for his work on albums that have a collective 10 Grammy Awards, Breit’s unparalleled creativity is infinite.

Helpless (Neil Young)

Kevin Breit

Ian DeSousa

Mark Lalama

Gary Taylor

Perry White

Carmen Spada Trio (NYC)
Apr 19 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


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Carmen Spada graduated Summa Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music, in Boston, MA, obtaining a dual major in Piano Performance and Jazz Composition. While at Berklee, he earned the Berklee Achievement Scholarship, was nominated for the Boston Jazz Society Scholarship,

Though firmly rooted in jazz and world music, Carmen has enjoyed pursuing and establishing his solo career in a unique jazz crossover to pop niche, due to his success as a songwriter. He won the 2010 Rose Theatre Singer/Songwriter competition in Brampton, ON for best original song and lyrics with “Why You Make Me Fall In Love With You”, and was also awarded a creation grant from the Ontario Arts Council for his 2013 EP release, Buona Sera, featuring original songs and arrangements of Italian folk music for trio and sextet. His compositional style is currently focused on “contemporary standards”: songs featuring the commercial appeal of jazz standards through form and lyrics, but with a deeper and contemporary approach to harmony and melody.

Carmen singing and playing some Zydeco…

The Willows sponsored by Diva International
Apr 20 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm


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Hailing from Edmonton, Alberta, the tri-hair coloured trio met as young dance students. Together, they not only nurtured an appreciation for the performing arts, but became the closest of companions. Their passion for the performing arts eventually brought them across the country to Ryerson University in Toronto to complete their Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A) degrees in dance. Little did they know, they’d soon discover that their talents would extend beyond dancing.

The girls had no idea harmonizing was a skill until the positive feedback from their peers gave them the push they needed to break out into Toronto’s music scene as a bona fide trio act called The Willows. Soon The Willows were dazzling crowds with their unique set list, incorporating synchronized dance steps to add an element of theatricality that reminds audiences of years gone by, with a modern touch. From those first few open mic opportunities to headlining their own shows at venues across the country like Koerner Hall, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Danforth Music Hall, The Bassment, and Blue Chair Café, The Willows have combined their dance and classical music training to become Canada’s newest entertainment delight.

Andrea Gregario – voice

Kristy Deady – voice

Lauren Pederson – voice

George Koller – bass

Boy Oh Boy

Fern Lindzon sponsored by Diva International
Apr 26 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
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Fern has appeared in leading jazz clubs in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Victoria, Ottawa and Waterloo, and at several festivals in Ontario, notably the Barrie Jazz and Blues Festival, where she has been a favorite for several years and in 2011 presented a special concert in tribute to the great American pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams.

Fern’s embracing vision of music has further been evident in her work as the music director from 2005 to 2011 of the klezmer-swing Sisters of Sheynville, who appeared at world music events in Canada, the United States and Poland, and won the Canadian Folk Music Award in 2008 for Vocal Group of the Year. She received a Canada Council grant in 2009 to study Yiddish repertoire and improvisation with Marilyn Lerner in Toronto and has also studied improvisation with Alan Bern at Yiddish Summer Weimar in Germany. More recently, she has collaborated on special Jewish music projects in Toronto with singer Theresa Tova and trumpeter David Buchbinder.

“The Windmills of Your Mind”

Igor Willcox Quartet (Brazil)
Apr 27 @ 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
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Igor Willcox Quartet, is a jazz/fusion group formed by Igor Willcox (drums / compositions), Vini Morales (electric piano / synth), Wagner Barbosa (saxophone) and Glecio Nascimento (bass guitar). With elements of jazz, funky and fusion, the group plays originals compositions, exploring all musicality, spontaneity, and sinergy. The quartet has achieved great notoriety in the instrumental music scene, standing out and performing in the most important festivals and Brazilian Jazz clubs such as Bourbon Street, Sescs, Santos Jazz Festival, São Paulo Jazz Festival, Play Jazz Festival, Jazz no Hostel, Jazz nos Fundos, etc.

Igor Wilcox – drums

Wagner Barabosa – saxophone

Vini Morales – electric piano, synth

Glecio Nascimento – bass

Here is a teaser…

Concerts On Demand

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