I had the pleasure of being in the audience at The Rex Hotel yesterday evening for a retirement celebration in honour of Katie Malloch. Katie is retiring in March after a long career as an on-air host with CBC radio. Her most recent tenure was with CBC Radio 2's Tonic, but she has been on the air promoting jazz since the late 1970s. The evening was full of positive energy and gratitude for Katie's commitment to outstanding jazz, and to Canadian jazz musicians in particular.
Josh Grossman's blog
We had a bit of extra excitement around here on Tuesday with the announcement of the first ten acts to go on sale for the 2012 TD Toronto Jazz Festival. In case you missed it, you can read the press release here, or just head over to our homepage. A little secret - although we only announced ten shows, we've actually got 12 on sale: Benny Green (solo piano) and Los Amigos Invisibles are also confirmed.
I'm still catching up on sleep and family time since returning Tuesday from four nights in New York, where I attended the annual APAP conference and took in a ton of music, including a number of acts at the 2012 Winter Jazzfest. As is usually the case when I get back from New York, I'm finding some of the differences between that city and Toronto in stark contrast. And it's particularly frustrating to return to the office on the day that a report is released bemoaning the low per-person funding assigned by the City of Toronto to the arts...
After a glorious couple of weeks off, we've launched right back into planning mode here at jazz festival headquarters. The next few weeks will be busy ones, as we get ready to announce the first few confirmed artists for the 2012 festival, and I head to New York to take in the APAP conference and Winter Jazzfest. But before all that, I'd like to wish you a Happy New Year - I hope these past few weeks have been full of joy and relaxation.
Welp, we've reached the time of year at which my brain has essentially shut down, so this will be my last blog post until January - I'm taking some much needed (if not well-deserved) time off starting next Wednesday.
It certainly has been a different few months - the arrival of our daughter at the beginning of August has meant life has been a bit turned upside down. As I reflect on the past four months, I realize that I haven't been out to as many shows as I would have been during the same period last year, but here's a list of some of the shows I did see:
It's been a fairly intense few weeks, I feel. Between a full calendar of events, trips out of town, sometimes difficult news from around the world and gnashing of teeth in the jazz world, I'm feeling a bit run down. With that in mind, I propose a one-entry moratorium (at least) on any topic that may be contentious or lead to long, back-and-forth conversations on Facebook.
So - Christmas.
Okay, so, I feel like the first thing I need to address is "the post." The one that's getting all the attention right now: Nicholas Payton's post suggestion that jazz isn't cool, and that jazz is dead. But, to be perfectly frank, I don't want to, for two main reasons: first, lots of people are already saying lots of things about it, and I'm not convinced that I have anything interesting to contribute.
A few quick thoughts for today's post...
RIP Paul Motian
It's been a busy couple of weeks, so you may have noticed that I've fallen behind on my blogging. I had fully intended "The Audience Issue" to be a multi-week series of hard-hitting blogs, delving deep into some of the challenges facing today's jazz scene. You know, 60 Minutes style. But given the lack of continuity I think it's a bit closer to 37 Minutes or so. In any case, I'll wrap up the series today with a discussion on venue.
I'm in Montreal for a couple of days checking out L'Off Festival de Jazz so this will be a shorter post.