A bit ironic, I suppose, that for my first post in many months, I’m going to talk about a project called Words since, you know, I haven’t written many here recently…
It’s been quite a whirlwind these past eight months. In the fall I was in Victoria and Montreal, all while writing a major composition and preparing for a big show. Plus there was transition at work - everything got a bit complicated schedule and brain-space wise, and I clearly fell off the blog writing horse.
While things haven’t exactly quieted down on my calendar (a trip to New York, another big show), I feel like we’re back in a bit of a groove, and I’m excited to be back at the keyboard in this capacity - there’s lots to write about in these next few months: four TD Discovery Series Special Projects presentations, the Israeli Jazz Showcase and, before you know it, we’ll be announcing the lineup for the 2016 TD Toronto Jazz Festival - our 30th anniversary festival.
Activity begins this week with Amanda Tosoff’s Special Project - a concert celebrating the release for her newest recording, Words.
As a leader, Amanda Tosoff has performed across the country and has released four CDs (five with Words). As a side musician, she has performed with some of the biggest names in Canadian and international jazz. She has proven herself comfortable in a variety of settings, from small combo to big band or more: a few weeks ago she was part of a 70-or-so-piece orchestra on stage with Emilie Claire Barlow at Massey Hall! Amanda’s approach, whether playing standard material or original compositions, is always interesting; the tracks I’ve heard from Words are no exception: she has made pre-existing poems sound fresh and new, taking full advantage of the musical and textural possibilities of each instrument and musician on the album.
For Words, Amanda has written original compositions to compliment text from poems by Tim Bowling, Toronto's own Laura Lush, Halifax-based poet Carole Langille, and the classic poet William Wordsworth. The panel which selected Amanda’s project as one of four worthy of support remarked on the originality of the concept and compositions; they also remarked on the quality of the performances. And how could Amanda go wrong with a band like Felicity Williams and Holly Clark (voice), Alex Goodman (guitar), Jon Maharaj (bass), Morgan Childs (drums), Drew Jureka (violin) and Andrew Downing (cello)?
Words will be performed on Thursday, March 10, 8 pm at The Music Gallery - an ideal venue for the release, in which Amanda’s compositions will be enhanced by the natural acoustics. For more information, visit the concert page.
I look forward to seeing you there, and to kicking off the first of four outstanding Special Projects.