Big Band

Toronto Jazz Orchestra

Formed in 1998, the Toronto Jazz Orchestra is an 18-piece big band made up of graduates from Toronto’s top university and college jazz programs – some of Toronto’s best young jazz musicians. Performing exciting and interesting big band music – from the leading edge of contemporary composition to the classic tunes of the past – the Toronto Jazz Orchestra seeks to educate, entertain, and increase the public’s understanding and appreciation of jazz.

John MacLeod and the Rex Hotel Orchestra

In 2003 the Rex Hotel Orchestra made its debut performance at the Rex Jazz Club in Toronto. Under the leadership of veteran jazz trumpet player/composer/arranger John MacLeod, the RHO is a collection of the top jazz and studio musicians in Canada. All of the music that they perform is written specifically for them by the leader or other members of the band. In addition to concert and jazz festival appearances, they have performed once a month at the Rex continually since their inception.

The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra™® Directed by Scotty Barnhart, Guest Vocalist Carmen Bradford

The Basie Orchestra is one of the most thriving big bands in history With 17 Grammy awards, our musicians have grown up with the Kansas City Swing style of Count Basie and add their own voice to the band. With 19 performers, 17 sidemen, 1 vocalist, and 1 bandleader, we've become the premier jazz band. Check out the Kansas City style swing for yourself. Our Orchestra celebrates the big band experience through the completely original and identifiable Count Basie repertoire. Come and experience our musical heritage.

Jazz Vespers w/ The Brian Barlow Big Band

Enjoy Jazz Vespers at Christ Church Deer Park. This evening service of music, a reflective reading, prayers for our city and the world, and a jazzy congregational hymn! It is one of our most popular services - with wonderful music, and with some of the finest jazz artists in Canada

Swing Shift Big Band

Swing Shift Big Band was started in August of 1996 to preserve the sounds and energy of the big band era, and it is evident that they have succeeded, as the band has now become one of the top rated big bands not only in Ontario, but all of Canada. Both major radio stations in Toronto for big band music, Jazz FM91 and AM740, have played all three Swing Shift CD’s on a regular basis in the last 9 years, and the station’s long time on-air personalities, respected big band experts, have rated Swing Shift Big Band as one of the finest big bands in the province, perhaps the entire country.

Paul Read Orchestra

Paul Read established PRO (The Paul Read Orchestra) in 2006 in order to give voice to his creative expressions for large ensemble. Comprised of many of Canada’s top players, PRO has been featured at the Port Hope Jazz Festival, the 2008 IAJE conference (Toronto) and numerous times at the Rex Jazz Club. The orchestra’s first CD was recorded in May, 2010. Arc-en-ciel (working title) is due for release this summer.

Composer/Leader: Paul Read
Reeds: Andy Ballantyne, Tara Davidson, Alex Dean, Quinsin Nachoff, Bob Leonard
Trumpets: Jason Logue, Chase Sanborn, Lina Allemano, Brian O'Kane

John MacLeod's Rex Hotel Orchestra

2011 Juno Award Winners: John MacLeod’s Rex Hotel Orchestra w/ Mike Murley, Perry White, Johnny Johnson, Andy Ballantyne & Bob Leonard (Reeds); Al Kay, Terry Promane, Rob Sommerville & Colin Murray (Trombones), John MacLeod, Brian O’Kane, Jason Logue & Steve McDade, Dave Dunlop (Trumpets), Janet Anderson & James MacDonald (French Horns), Joey Goldsteen (Guitar), David Braid (Piano), Jim Vivian (Bass) & Ted Warren (Drums).

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