Is it too late to say happy new year? I'll risk it - happy new year!
The beginning of a new year seems to be a good time to reflect, and looking back, I realize that 2018 was a very full twelve months. The year started with my going full-time here at jazz fest headquarters; working with a great team, I completed and released a CD with my big band (and got, like, reviews and radio play and stuff!); the Festival grew its presence in Yorkville; my son started kindergarten; my dad finally retired (that's big - believe me); I was in Poland for the Jazz Juniors Festival, where I met Artistic Directors from throughout Europe and Asia and heard all kinds of interesting music (plus, Krakow!); got to New York for Jazz Congress (technically 2019, but still)...and now we're already in the thick of planning for the 2019 Festival!
I would say that through all of the activity, my work-life balance and time management skills did not, um, improve. So if there is one resolution I hope to stick to this year, it's actually setting aside the time to do the things I would like to be doing, no matter how small (or how big), at home, at work, and in the wider community. I'll keep you posted (or, I suppose, if you don't hear from me, you'll guess perhaps that it's not working...).
Speaking of the Festival (note - work on segues), we've now got four shows announced, with another two coming in the next few weeks. We still have a long way to go, and figuring out which artists to choose is always a challenge, but I'm excited by the pool of talent we have available to us, both at home and from abroad. This time of year is always the busiest, and can often feel the most "slogg-y" as we work through negotiations with artists, city planners, sponsors, and more, but I look forward to taking a giant step back when it's all done and seeing the big picture - I think the fundamentals are already in place for a great Festival. (Complete information on the shows we've announced on our website.)
Meanwhile, I encourage you to get out to see live music. I always come back from New York amazed by that city's musical offerings...but given the number of shows I don't get to during any given week in Toronto, the reality is there is a ton of great music happening here all the time. So go exploring! In particular, I invite you to check out the 2019 crop of TD Discovery Series Special Projects - as is the case every year, it's an interesting roster. I'll dive more into each project a bit later, but here's a summary:
- Moodset’s Live Writing Project - February 7, 2019 at Yauca's Lounge
- Thomas Francis’ "The Jazz Gene” - February 22, 2019 at Small World Music Centre
- Ernesto Cervini’s Tetrahedron featuring guitarist Nir Felder - April 9 & 10, 2019 at The Rex Hotel
- Spectrum Music’s Coding Chaos - May 2, 2019 at The Tell
I look forward to seeing you out and about!