With the City of Culture initiative, Toronto Downtown Jazz celebrates Toronto as a cultural destination generally, and a must-see destination for jazz lovers in particular. This series of eight concerts, each featuring a different artist in a different venue, performing an outstanding cross-section of jazz and jazz-related music, highlights some of the incredible musicians whose talent is on display here in Toronto every day throughout the year – and on our stages at the annual TD Toronto Jazz Festival, celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2022.
Born and raised in Brazil, Aline Morales arrived in Toronto in 2003 and since then has been a tireless promoter of the traditional rhythms of northeastern Brazil. Her music draws upon a wide range of influences, exploring lush, eclectic arrangements, seamlessly blending traditional and modern instruments. Recorded at Lula Lounge in Toronto’s Little Portugal neighbourhood. Lula Lounge is one of the city's most exciting live music venues and restaurants - a home to Toronto's incredible world music scene. Here you can experience latin, salsa, jazz, reggae, indie and more - Lula is part music club, part restaurant, part community center and home to musicians and music lovers of all kinds.
The City of Culture initiative has been made possible by the generous support of Reconnect Ontario, from the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. We’re grateful for the continued support of our title sponsor, TD, and we’d like to thank our media partners JAZZ.FM91 and The Toronto Star.
Click here for the complete list of City of Culture concerts and mini-documentaries.
Aline Morales Quintet
Aline Morales - vocals & percussion
Jessica Deutch - violin
Phill Miles - guitar
João Leão - keys
Chino De Villa - drums
A leading force in Canada's Brazilian music scene, Juno-nominated Aline Morales delivers a personal and intimate perspective on contemporary Brazilian pop - incorporating global folkloric and jazz elements with vintage Tropicalia and MPB. Morales' strikingly clear and confident vocals shine alongside her evocative compositions and the lush arrangements contributed by long-time collaborator, producer and guitarist David Arcus. Also a highly-regarded percussionist, Morales has changed the face of Brazilian music in Canada through a wide range of projects, showcasing her strength and versatility as bandleader and instrumentalist.
In Brazil, Aline received her musical training performing in a variety of both traditional and modern bands, including one of Brazil’s best-known maracatu groups, Nacao Estrela Brilhante do Recife, led by Aline's mentor Mestre Walter de Franca. Since immigrating from her native Belo Horizonte in 2003, Morales has had a huge impact on Canada's Brazilian and global music scenes. As co-leader of Toronto's first maracatu drumming ensemble, Maracatu Nunca Antes, then as leader of her own 30-member strong percussion troupe, Baque de Bamba, she has been a tireless promoter of the traditional maracatu rhythms of north-eastern Brazil. Also a member of Kuné, a project spearheaded by the The Royal Conservatory of Music in 2017, Aline continues to tour and record with the ensemble and to contribute to popular Toronto projects such as Forrónite.
While she has done much to advance the profile of Brazilian percussive arts in Canada, Morales first gained national attention after her debut album "Flores, Tambores e Amores" earned widespread critical acclaim in 2011 and reached first place on Canada’s folk/world radio charts. Morales' sophomore release, "Toadas do Norte" to be launched in 2021 on the Lulaworld Records label continues the exploration of Brazil's musical legacy as it intersects with contemporary forms and other folkloric traditions. Heavily influenced by música popular brasileira (MPB), the post-samba fusion combining Brazilian regional music with jazz, rock and pop that emerged in the artistically adventurous Brazil of the 60s, Aline continues to embrace new fusions between her rich Brazilian musical heritage and the various global influences that she and Arcus encounter as participants in Toronto vibrant music scene. Recorded live off the floor to analog tape, Toadas de Norte is infused with a warmth and feeling of immediacy as it incorporates psychedelia, tropicalia, cumbia and other Afro-Latin forms, pushing beyond common stereotypes of Brazilian music.
Aline has brought her solo project to stages for the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, Koerner Hall, Lula Lounge, Lulaworld at Dundas West Fest, Luminato, The National Arts Centre, MixTO, PANAMANIA, Harbourfront Centre and Mundial Montreal. Notable collaborations have included performances and recordings with Rommel Ribero, Claudio Rabeca and OKAN.