Christian Bridges hosts Open Stage Mondays
Signup at 7pm.
Every Monday, all artists are welcomed to sign up and share their songs, poetry, prose or comedy act on Toronto's longest-running open stage; local artists, or those visiting Toronto are encouraged to attend. Here are some of the artists who started their careers at the Free Times open stage: Jason Fowler, Jory Nash, Kat Goldman, Ron Sexsmith, Emm Gryner, Laura Fernandez, Sarah Slean, Noah Zacharin, The Lemon Bucket Orkestra.
More about Christian Bridges
Will Fisher Coastal Quartet
$5.50 tallboys from Steam Whistle.
At age 24, drummer/composer Will Fisher has studied and performed throughout North America, building a reputation as one of Canada’s top young drummers. Named a “young bright light on the cusp of a great career” by CBC Radio, Will released his debut album Portage and has received two nominations for Jazz Recording of the Year from the East Coast Music Association (ECMA) and Music Nova Scotia (MNS). He has performed and recorded with mix of artists including: Kirk MacDonald, Rich Brown, Joel Miller, Nancy Walker, Kieran Overs, Jim Lewis, Bernie Senensky, Nathan Hiltz, Joshua Van Tassel, Jennah Barry, Ian Sherwood, Aidan Knight, and Coco Love Alcorn.
Growing up in rural Nova Scotia, Will came to Toronto’s Humber College to study drums, where he received a Bachelor of Applied Music in Jazz Performance. Upon graduation, he was offered a full scholarship to the University of Louisville as a member of the Jamey Aebersold International Masters Quartet, where he studied drums and composition and completed a Masters of Music in Jazz Performance.
While studying, Will has performed with a number of jazz legends including: Eddie Gomez, Lou Donaldson, Antonio Hart, Eugene “Snooky” Young, Jamey Aebersold, Terence Blanchard, Chris Potter, Kurt Elling, and Don Thompson. During this time Will received a number of awards including the CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award, Chico Berardi Award (Nova Scotia Talent Trust), and Humber Sabian Cymbal Award. When not pursuing music, Will can most likely be found canoeing, sailing, or sitting on a patio in a town near you.
More about Will Fisher
The Cookers was started in March of 2010 as a way that 5 like-minded musicians could play together on a weekly basis and create an environment where original music could be played in a club setting. As the weeks progressed, the musicians involved began to see the potential for so much more. The group had become part of an artistic community, through regular performance and was trying to further this ideal in the face of a challenging artistic climate. Band members' students were coming down regularly to hear their teachers, garnering inspiration from the experience, and a group of regulars began showing up each week as word got out. Though several of Toronto's long-standing jazz clubs are gone, the Cookers hoped to create some kind of an alternative, no matter how small; a place where down-the-middle Canadian jazz could be heard on a regular basis.
Johnny O'Neal, born October 10, 1956 in Detroit, Michigan, is an American
Neo-bop jazz pianist and vocalist. His playing ranges from the technically
virtuosic to the tenderest of ballad interpretations. Though unique in style, he
is influenced by many jazz elders, including Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum. He
has led many recording dates with jazz heavyweights such as Russell Malone and
many others. He is a 1997 inductee of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.
In 1974, Johnny moved to Birmingham, Alabama and worked as a musician, never
needing a day job to make ends meet. In Birmingham he worked with local noted
jazz musicians, such as Jerry Grundhofer, Dave Amaral, Cleveland Eaton, and Ray
Reach. He moved to New York City to perform with Clark Terry in 1981, and also
landed a regular job at the Blue Note, accompanying such greats as Dizzy
Gillespie, Ray Brown, Nancy Wilson, Joe Pass and Kenny Burrell. He was a member
of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers for two years from 1982-1983 and made his
Carnegie Hall debut in 1985.
More about The Cookers | More about Johnny O'Neal
Tuesday, July 29th
Tuesday, July 29th
Patrice Barbanchon is a trumpeter, composer, and educator who has performed extensively across North America. Born in St. Boniface, Manitoba, Patrice started playing the trumpet at age 12. He was introduced to this instrument by his band teacher at the time, Hubert Grernier. Monsieur Grenier, a trombone player, was very persistent in helping Patrice with his early development as a trumpet player. Patrice played his first gig under the direction of Grenier, performing O'Canada at a Winnipeg Jets game back in 1992. Monsieur Grenier's style of teaching fit very well with Patrice's personality, and because of this, Patrice was inspired to begin his journey into the world of music and trumpet artistry.
In high school, Patrice immersed himself in every musical opportunity that presented itself. His music teacher, Reno Gerl, was a trumpet player, and for this reason, Patrice was very much looking forward to working with him. Patrice soon realized that Mr. Gerl was not only an excellent trumpet and band teacher, but went above and beyond to help Patrice with his advancement as a trumpet player. Once again, Patrice was blessed with another amazing and inspiring teacher to help him light the path. Mr. Gerl eventually recommended that Patrice take lessons with another fantastic Winnipeg-based trumpet player, Jeff Johnson. Patrice learned a great deal from Jeff who eventually passed him onto studying with two of the finest trumpet players in Canada, Dr. Richard Gillis (University of Manitoba) and Brian Sykora (Principle trumpet, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra). Patrice was actively involved in the Winnipeg music scene where he had the pleasure of performing regularly with the likes of Ron Paley, Gilles Fournier, Scott Hamilton, Rob Siwik and many other great Winnipeg based musicians.
Patrice moved to Toronto, Canada in 2002. As a leader, Patrice released his first album "Trio Nouveau Live" in 2003 and is currently working on releasing his second album. As a sideman, Patrice has been a full time member of the Toronto Jazz Orchestra since 2009, and is a current member of the Latin ensemble Conjunto Lacalu. Patrice received his Bachelor of Music Performance from Thompson Rivers University, and his Diploma of Jazz Studies from Humber College, where he studied trumpet with the likes of Steve Crowe, Brian O'Kane, Steve McDade, Denny Christianson and John McCleod. He has had the pleasure of playing alongside musical giants such as Paquito D'Riviera, Byron Stripling, Rob McConnell, Phil Nimmons and Guido Basso. Patrice is currently a full time faculty member at Pickering College, where he has been teaching instrumental music since 2006.
More about Patrice Barbanchon
Wednesday, July 30th
Wednesday, July 30th
Kurt is a versatile musician and graduate of the Humber College music program. Kurt has continued studies with many of Toronto's top musicians including Mike Downes, and Jim Vivian. A versatile musician, Kurt's musical experience includes jazz and blues, musical theatre, jingle and recording sessions, as well as performing with a variety of singer/songwriters. Kurt has many years of teaching experience, and enjoys fostering a love of music in young people by helping them discover their own passion while providing them with a solid foundation to build from.
Peter Boyd & Noah Zacharin
$5 tallboys from Kensington Brewing Company.
Peter Boyd has been a songwriter for over thirty years. Drawing on gospel and blues from Chicago all the way back to the Delta and re-invented upside-down-and-backwards, Peter's songs are a sepia-tinged glimpse into his messy, not-fully-developed soul where faith has as much a chance as folly to send you careening into the abyss.
Peter's new CD 'Beulahland' is garnering great reviews, most recently a rave from Greg Quill in the Toronto Star - "stunning and powerful blues-rooted original songs and astonishing guitar wizardry. Among the best of the year's roots/blues crop."
Noah Zacharin was born in Montreal and resides in Toronto. He was given his first guitar at age 9, wrote his first song at 13, began performing at 14, and is happy to say that he still loves playing music. He has been called "a wonderful songwriter and performer, and stunning guitarist" (Paul Mills, Borealis Records, Producer (Stan Rogers, Oscar Peterson), a "wonderful, adventurous guitarist" (Blues Bytes), "a poet, a songwriter, a singer we have been waiting for" (Penny Lang), "a great guitarist/singer/songwriter...a wonderfully musical player" (Randy Finney, President and Founder Toronto Fingerstyle Guitarist's Association), "in a league of his own" (Brian Gladstone, AD Winterfolk Festival), "one of the best songwriters this country has produced" (the late great Rick Fielding, recording artist, radio host) and "deserving to be mentioned in the same breath with names such as James Taylor and David Wilcox" (Minor 7th).
Zacharin's recordings have garnered praise from fans and critics alike. silence spoken here (1997) was called "an understated classic...musical versatility and lyrical depth" (Xpress-Ottawa); Scene Roots and Blues dubbed aLIVE! (2000) "a real gem"; and a review of crow dark wind (2001) in Minor 7th elicited the following: "like Bruce Cockburn, Ry Cooder, and Bonnie Raitt, Noah Zacharin possesses a virtuoso command of the guitar...world-wise songwriting."
More about Peter Boyd | More about Noah Zacharin
Thursday, July 31st
Thursday, July 31st
Kevin Quain is a musician, songwriter, playwright and bar fly. Between local weekly "house gigs", out of town dates and festivals, he performs well over 200 shows a year. He's best known as leader of the "garage jazz cabaret noir" ensemble Mad Bastards. Their Sunday night residency, and Quain's two independently released CDs have won a cult following that spans from Los Angeles to Yellowknife to Tokyo, bringing international musicians and movie stars to Toronto's venerable Cameron House to witness the mayhem firsthand.
He is also the resident accordionista for several bands including itinerant Tex-mex combo Rancho Misterio, country & western quintet The Cameron Family Singers and the gospel ensemble The Hellrazers. He plays guitar and accordion in folk singer Michelle Rumball's band. He can occasionally be seen as a guest bass player for beloved country stringband The Backstabbers, and he hosts The Mad Bastard Cabaret, a weekly open stage event in Kensington Market.
More about Kevin Quain
Glen Hall & Bernie Koenig
Having had creative musical encounters at free jazz pioneer Eric Stach's Studio 105 in London, Ontario, drummer/vibraphonist Bernie Koenig asked saxophonist/flutist Glen Hall to record some duets in the summer of 2013. Their playing, freely conceived and performed, was like listening to good friends discussing shared ideas and passions. The session produced what sounded like a recording of overheard conversations. The resulting recording was so strong that British free jazz label, Slam Records, decided to give it an international release, the first time the label has released a recording by Canadians. Ranging from raunchy to restrained, earthy to abstract, Koenig and Hall's interaction are full of feeling, intelligence and life force. Their Musideum concert marks the Toronto release of their Slam Records CD, "Overheard Conversations".
Don't Worry Darlin with Shannon Hoff
$5.50 tallboys from Junction Craft Brewery.
Junction Craft Brewery
Junction Craft Brewing is committed to brewing highest-quality, hand-crafted beers. We brew only with the natural ingredients of Water, Yeast, Barley and the world's finest Hops. Our signature brew is Conductor's Craft Ale, a 'hopbacked' hybrid ale utilizing British, German and American brewing techniques.
Jitensha + Wil Gillespie
David and Erin met in Vancouver, BC in June 2012. After playing music together for a year and a half, they formed Jitensha in January 2014. They released their first EP, Jitensha Acoustic Live, in February 2014 and their first album, Buck Moon, in May 2014. Hoping to grow as artists, thinkers and dreamers, Jitensha continues to search for inspiration and the chance to bring music wherever they go!
Will Gillespie is known for his range and versatility as a writer and performer, charming stage persona and his broad palette of chord voicings and guitar techniques. He has been a writer since he could hold a pen and a performer since he could speak. In the last few years there has been a more mature perspective to many of his lyrical observations and he continues to hone his craft, attempting to re-create the sounds of real emotions and moments as a song, where the melody, arrangements, lyrics and delivery all say the same thing. "Theatrical" is another term often used for Will as a performer and the songs he writes. There is a definite element of theatre in his approach to both the writing and especially the performance, taking on the character of each song.
More about Jitensha | More about Wil Gillespie
Friday, August 1st
Friday, August 1st
Part of the Music:India Summer Series
Autorickshaw is a critically acclaimed, cutting-edge Canadian world music ensemble. Formed in 2003, Autorickshaw has toured the world, with stops in Canada, the US, the UK, Europe and India. Led by the stellar vocals of Suba Sankaran, the reboot of Autorickshaw features a heavier, layered sonic landscape, with a full drumkit, electric guitar, strings, percussion as well as signature tabla and electric bass. Driving and danceable, the new sound includes sensual reinterpretations of Indian folk songs, groove-driven Canadian pop, vintage bollywood, and hypnotic south Asian traditional repertoire with a twist.
Facebook Event | More about Autorickshaw
Saturday, August 2nd
Saturday, August 2nd
Jordana Talsky: Tribute to Sarah Vaughan
Arrangements by Mark Kieswetter.
Cited as "a new name on the vocal jazz scene whose powerful voice has been turning heads, " Jordana released her debut album "Standard Deviation" in November 2013. The album features a seamless mix of pop and jazz material and has received national airplay and acclaim.
Jordana's passion for and proficiency at singing was displayed at an early age. As a member of the Canadian Children's Opera Chorus, she performed with several ensembles, among them the Canadian Opera Company, Toronto Symphony and National Ballet of Canada, gaining experience in radio, TV, and theatre en route.
In high school she attended the renowned Claude Watson Arts Program at Earl Haig Secondary in Toronto, majoring in voice. She also began classical training that continued through her time in Montreal as a student at McGill. There, she branched out of the classical genre, joining a funk band (Kokoro), an acapella group (Effusion) and a Gilbert & Sullivan theatre company (Savoy Society). She became a regular performer at Maggie's Supper and Jazz Club in London, Ontario while studying law at the University of Western Ontario.
Upon returning to Toronto, she worked hard to develop her own sound and immersed herself in various projects. In 2010 she was selected as an emerging artist in the Young Centre for the Performing Arts' inaugural Emerging Artists Program, in which she co-wrote a multidisciplinary piece that was showcased at that season's Collisions Dance Festival. In 2012, she was chosen to perform in Discoveries, a popular showcase of emerging Canadian talent presented at Hugh's Room, one of Canada's premier live music venues. She is also an alumnus of the prestigious Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.
Russell Leon Band
Russell Leon's current sound is a stark contrast from his acoustic musical roots in rural Ontario. Living off the grid, (no running water, telephone nor electricity) Russell was surrounded by artists and creative thinkers. His musical inspiration was rooted in live performances, late night jam sessions, and battery operated sound systems that wore out his Led Zepplin, Simon and Garfunkel and Neil Young records. Russell Leon's latest recording State Of Mind, is a musical journey through an electro/acoustic soundscape that begs comparison to Beck, Flaming Lips, or a tripped-out Death Cab For Cutie - a stark contrast to his past recordings.
More about Russell Leon
Sunday, August 3rd
Sunday, August 3rd
Live music as part of the "Bella did you eat" Sunday brunch.
1st seating - Reserve between 10:30 – 11am, music at 11:45
2nd seating - Reserve at 1:15pm Club (1:00 Bistro), music at 1:45
Buffet includes over 50 Homemade Items - Potato latkes, blintzes, lox eggs & onions, challah, french toast, sour cream, apple sauce, bagels, lox & cream cheese mix, salmon patties, gelfilte fish, cheese, salads galore, fresh fruit, cheeses, cakes, sweets, tea, coffee and much more! Children 12 and under 1/2 price, 3 and under free.
We are the Horables! We like to play Klezmer, Django style jazz, polkas, Gypsy dance tunes, rags from the age of steam and the occasional Cajun tune just to scare the horses. You can find us playing at a community festival, such as Winterfolk or the Roncesvalles Polish festival, at the Wychwood Barns or Brickworks farmers market, or at a bar or restaurant like the Free Times Cafe or the Gladstone Hotel. We rose from the ashes of a band known for it's activism as well as it's music, the all woman Klezmer band Pomegranate.
More about The Horables
$5.50 tallboys from Wellington Brewery.
The songs of Graham Playford travel the roads connecting small towns and big cities. A new voice on the Canadian landscape, the Ontario born singer/songwriter traveled throughout Canada and the United States before settling in Montreal. Limitations and opportunities established with his degree in classical guitar performance and extensive touring with Tequila Mockingbird challenged Playford to create his own sonic tapestry. Founding a recording studio and producing other artists opened up new avenues of inspiration. A gifted lyricist, he continues documenting the back roads to the heart of roots, rock, folk and blues.
More about Graham Playford