Avant/Free/Improv/Experimental

The Thing Is

The Thing Is was formed in 2006 by composer and vocalist Tova Kardonne in Toronto, Canada. With the musicians she met in jazz/fusion workshops at the renowned Humber Jazz program, she formed a band around her unique fusion of jazz with the Balkan and South African influences of her childhood. The unique richness of her sound has attracted guest appearances from some of Toronto’s most acclaimed jazz virtuosi, including Bill McBirnie, Dave Restivo, Ted Quinlan, and Jim Vivian.

Francois Houle 5

To celebrate his 20-year association with celebrated jazz label Songlines Records, Canadian clarinetist François Houle presents a double-bill with his ongoing duo with brilliant French pianist Benoît Delbecq, and his new stellar band, an International collaborative project with some of Canada’s most celebrated expatriates, and colleagues from New York City and Berlin.

François Houle (Vancouver), clarinets
Taylor Ho Bynum (NYC), cornet
Samuel Blaser (NYC-Berlin-SUI), trombone
Michael Bates (Vancouver - NYC, USA), bass
Harris Eisenstadt (Toronto - NYC, USA), drums

Nick Fraser

Nick Fraser (drums) has been an active and engaging presence in the Toronto new jazz and improvised music community since he moved there from Ottawa in 1996. He has worked with a veritable "who's who" of Canadian jazz and improvised music including Mike Murley, Rich Underhill, P.J.

Trio M

Featuring protean pianist Myra Melford, galvanizing bassist Mark Dresser and supremely musical drummer Matt Wilson, Trio M brings together three visionary jazz artists with extensive track records in adventurous ensembles. Documented on the acclaimed 2007 Cryptogramophone CD “Big Picture,” the volatile ensemble explores compositions contributed by every member while maintaining a commitment to spontaneous improvisation.

Lerner, Brubeck, Fraser (the Ugly Beauties)

"Ugly Beauties is the self-titled debut CD of Toronto-based master improvisers pianist Marilyn Lerner, cellist Matt Brubeck and drummer Nick Fraser. Recorded in the summer of 2008 at the Glenn Gould Studios at CBC Toronto, the 15 tracks feature both partially written and totally improvised music with composition contributions from each member of the trio.

Hat & Beard

"Hat and Beard" is Eric Dolphy's tribute-through-looking-glass piece for Thelonious Monk on the classic Blue Note recording, Out to Lunch! Like its namesake composition, this pair pays Monk's perennially vanguard music fair respect by re-envisioning it in an unconventional way. Ken Aldcroft and Dave Clark have absorbed huge chunks of Monk's songbook, and traipse both down well-trodden paths with familiar material like "Epistrophy" and through the thornier thicket of little-tackled gems like "Brilliant Corners".

Atomic

Fredrik Ljungkvist - reeds
Magnus Broo - trumpet
Håvard Wiik - piano
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten - bass
Paal Nilssen-Love – drums

Atomic was established in 2000 by five musicians from Sweden and Norway.

Alex Samaras

Toronto vocalist Alex Samaras, one of Canada's leading jazz vocalists, is as visceral as he is versatile. Whether singing standards, wayward covers, art song, or his own compositions, his performances are totally embodied and brimming with disarming candour - he is known as a "singer's singer" within the Toronto community.

David Occhipinti

Guitarist/composer David Occhipinti has four CD’s featuring his own compositions: David Occhipinti (1997) and Syzygy (1999) and Intersection (2003) and Forty Revolutions (2007) which was nominated for a Juno award. David has two duo CD’s with Mike Murley, Duologue (2002), and Duologue Vol. 2 (2005). Their first CD was nominated for a Juno Award.

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