And then suddenly, tomorrow

I'm not sure how this happens, but every year the festival feels like it's still months away until suddenly, it starts tomorrow. Literally! Tomorrow we kick off the 28th edition of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival - it's going to be a blast.

Of course, we've already had some great music this week with the series at the hmv Underground: Mike Downes and his trio on Monday; last night with Myriad 3 showing off their creative compositional approach and solid trio playing; and tonight with the great vocalist Eliana Cuevas. (6 pm show - join us in the basement of 333 Yonge Street.) Tomorrow we just ramp everything up a notch (or two or three).

You may have heard me mention in other posts or in interviews that I'm particularly excited about this year's lineup. With last names like Reeves and Holland and Scofield and McFerrin and Mehldau and Guiliana (and that's on our mainstage alone), I do feel as though we've got some of the most important names in jazz on our stages. We've also got a healthy serving of Canadian musicians who have had an important influence on the international stage: David Clatyton-Thomas, Jane Bunnett, Darcy James Argue and more.

We've got ticketed shows which should meet all budgets, and free shows both uptown (at the Shops on Don Mills) and downtown. At Nathan Phillips Square this year, we've also got some additional activities which I hope you'll enjoy with your family and friends of all ages: silent discos, dancing logos, giant musical notes and a piano available for your creative whims (or chopsticks - whatever).

I spent some time this morning putting together an email for my family with a few show recommendations, based on what I know to be their particular tastes. I do it every year. They always come to a few things, and they always discover someone new. I hope you'll do the same - take a look at our schedule, and choose a few shows to attend: some names you recognize, but also a new name or two. The opportunity to go on a musical adventure is, for me, one of the most enjoyable aspects of a festival.

And, if you're not sure where to begin, come to Nathan Phillips Square. We'll have three shows each day, vendors and artisans, sponsor activations and lots of volunteers who can help you navigate the busy schedule of activity. If you're looking for a more personalized recommendation, come to the compound (behind the mainstage tent) and ask one of our staff. (Go ahead - be vague - see if we can figure out what you're looking for. That guy who plays that thing with the extra piece that kinda twirls? That's Joey DeFrancesco, and he's at the Horseshoe Tavern on June 25th…)

So - here we go. My 5th festival; the festival's 28th. Every year is new, every year is different. I can't wait!

See you on the square…(except tonight - see you at the hmv Underground!)


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