Friday, June 24, 2011

25th Toronto Jazz Festival, June 24-July 3

The 25th edition of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival kicks off tonight with a 25th Anniversary Street Party. At 8:30pm, the legendary Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, will perform a FREE concert at the newly renamed David Pecaut Square (formerly Metro Square) at King and John.

For Mainstage admittance there is limited capacity and wristbands will be distributed at 4pm. There will also be two 12 x 8 ft LED screens to be set up outside the tent so that everyone can enjoy the show. King St. will be closed between John and Simcoe from 8pm-1am.

Also performing tonight at the Festival Mainstage are opening act Jordon John & The Blues Angels, and closing group Tyler Yarema & His Rhythm. Meanwhile, Dave Brubeck will be performing at Koerner Hall.

Over the next 10 days, the 2011 TD Toronto Jazz Festival will present 350 concerts with 1,500 musicians at 40 locations to 500,000 people.


The TD Toronto Jazz Festival Takes It Back To Where It All Began

Toronto – The TD Toronto Jazz Festival will be descending upon the Entertainment District for an opening night like this city has never seen. Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin will kick off the Festival’s 25th year with a FREE concert at Metro Square, Friday, June 24, 9:30pm, presented by OLG. Opening act Jordon John & The Blues Angels will get the party started at 8:30pm in the Mainstage Marquee with their bluesy, roots signature sound to warm up the crowd for the much anticipated Ms. Franklin. This concert will have limited capacity. Wristbands will be distributed at 4 p.m. on a first come, first serve basis – two 12x8 ft. LED screens will also be onsite so one and all can enjoy this unprecedented Toronto performance.

Tyler Yarema & His Rhythm will have the last word, gracing the outdoor stage at 11pm for yet another FREE show. Juno award-winning singer and piano powerhouse, Yarema will take to the streets for the ultimate opening night party, presented by Alma Records.

Jazz legend Dave Brubeck will also help to ring in the 25th Festival season with a performance at Koerner Hall, June 24, 8:00pm, presented by Panasonic. With a career that spans over six decades and a bona fide Festival favourite, Brubeck is always welcomed back to Toronto with open arms… and a sold out show.

To truly celebrate the evening in style, King Street West will be closed between Simcoe Street and John Street between the hours of 8:00pm – 1:00am. What would an anniversary commemoration be without a street party for all of the Festival’s closest friends?

The Festival is excited to welcome its first ever comic, Reggie Watts; the first opera singer to grace a Festival stage, Jessye Norman; and a world premiere performance with Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo as they perform their latest release, Songs of Mirth and Melancholy. Toronto will be the first to see this duo perform on stage.

Confirmed for 2011 is Return to Forever IV, the fourth instalment of this groundbreaking ensemble that started in the early 1970s. Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, and Frank Gambale with special guest Jean-Luc Ponty will grace the stage of the Sony Centre on Tuesday, June 28 for a dynamic electro-acoustic show. Performing songs from the RTF classic Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy, this remarkable group of musicians is looking to throw in a few new twists for an adventurous and compelling show to remember.

Also confirmed is banjo master Bela Fleck (Thursday, June 30) with his blend of blu-pop and jazz fusion. Performing with The Original Flecktones (Victor Wooten, Futureman and Howard Levy) on the Toronto Star Stage, in the Mainstage Marquee, this tour is in support of an upcoming release, their first recording in over 19 years.

Paco de Lucia, world renowned flamenco guitarist, will set the Sony Centre alight on Monday, June 27 as he plays with unparalleled speed, precision and passion. Pat Metheny calls him, “the greatest in the world, period.”

“The Entertainment District is where it all started for the Jazz Festival. What better way to celebrate 25 years of jazz in this great city than at the heart of the entertainment district”, states Patrick Taylor, Executive Producer and CEO. “To move forward in jazz, respect must be paid to the traditions of the past and that is exactly what we are doing in 2011. Let’s break new ground with a venue that connects the future of the Festival to its past. ”

"It's not just Toronto that has designs on John Street – the whole world wants to come to this street” states Councillor Adam Vaughan. “The Jazz Festival will be a great new addition to this exciting neighbourhood."

The TD Toronto Jazz Festival, running from June 24 – July 3, 2011, will commemorate in style over 10 jam-packed days with 350 concerts, 1,500 musicians in over 40 locations and 500,000 people from near and far. This year’s Festival is not to be missed and a must-see summer event as the Festival joins forces with the Entertainment District to create a new and exciting vision for this Toronto hot-spot. Catch a great show or settle in for a few days, but be sure to join us as we celebrate with some of the biggest names jazz has to offer.

Some of the featured performances include:

Friday, June 24
-Aretha Franklin at David Pecaut Square, 8:30 p.m.
-The Dave Brubeck Quartet at the Royal Conservatory’s Koerner Hall, 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 25
-Average White Band plus Stax! featuring Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn & Eddie Floyd at David Pecaut Square, 8:30 p.m.
-Dave Holland Quintet at Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre, 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 26
-Spanish Harlem Orchestra (Dubmatix opening) at David Pecaut Square, 8:30 p.m.
-Randy Weston's African Rhythms at CBC’s Glenn Gould Studios, 6 p.m.
-Mose Allison Trio at Enwave Theatre, 7 p.m.
-Atomic at The Music Gallery, 8 p.m.

Monday, June 27
-Paco de Lucia at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 8 p.m.
-The Robert Cray Band at David Pecaut Square, 8:30 p.m.
-Kurt Elling at Enwave Theatre, 7 p.m.
-Jacky Terrasson, Glenn Gould Studio, 6 p.m.
-Dee Dee Bridgewater & the Toronto Jazz Festival Orchestra at Koerner Hall, 8 p.m.
-Koptor at The Music Gallery, 8 p.m.
-Soulive at the Horseshoe Tavern, 9:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

Tuesday, June 28
-Return to Forever IV, Sony Centre, 8 p.m.
-Los Lonely Boys/Los Lobos, David Pecaut Square, 8:30 p.m.
-Bad Plus, Enwave Theatre, 7 p.m.
-Vijay Iyer, Glenn Gould Studio, 6 p.m.
-Jessye Norman, Koerner Hall, 8 p.m.
-Gord Grdina Trio with Mats Gustafsson, Music Gallery 8 p.m.

Wednesday, June 29
-Molly Johnson/Legendary Count Basie Orchestra at David Pecaut Square, 8:30 p.m.
-Eliane Elias, Enwave Theatre, 7 p.m.
-Kenny Barron, Glenn Gould Studio, 6 p.m.
-Branford Marsalis & Joey Calderazzo, Koerner Hall, 8 p.m.
-Colin Stetson and Hat & Beard at The Music Gallery, 8 p.m.
-Reggie Watts, Yuk Yuk’s 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

Thursday, June 30
-Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, David Pecaut Sqare, 8:30 p.m.
-Tigran Hamasyan with opening by Ugly Beauties, The Music Gallery, 8 p.m.

Friday, July 1
-The Roots, David Pecaut Square, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 2
-Bootsy Collins, David Pecaut Square, 8:30 p.m.
-Marianne Trudel Septet, The Music Gallery, 8 p.m.
-Lee Fields & the Expressions, Horseshoe Tavern, 10 p.m.

Sunday, July 3
-Trio M at The Music Gallery, 8 p.m.
-Francois Bourassa Quartet at David Pecaut Square, 5:30 p.m.

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