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.
Elena Kapeleris is a saxophonist, vocalist, composer, bandleader, and educator, whose love of various styles of music has lead her from jazz and blues, to R&B and music from around the world. She’s played in the bands of Rita Chiarelli and Jully Black, performs regularly with Surefire Sweat and is a member of the Toronto Blues Society’s Women’s Blues Revue Band. Recorded at The Olde Eton House, a longstanding gathering point in Toronto’s vibrant Greektown neighbourhood. Also known as Greektown on the Danforth, this is the largest Greek neighbourhood in North America and one of the most cosmopolitan areas of Toronto. Here you’ll find a fantastic array of Greek food and shopping, but also an outstanding diversity of restaurants and retail showcasing cultures from around the world, plus year-round entertainment options.
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.
Elena Kapeleris Quintet
Elena Kapeleris - vocals & tenor saxophone
Virginia MacDonald - clarinet
Jeremy Ledbetter - piano
Kieran Overs - bass
Mark Micklethwaite - drums
Elena Kapeleris is a Toronto-based saxophonist, vocalist, composer, bandleader, and educator, whose love of various styles of music has lead her from Jazz, to R&B, to Blues, to World Music and more. As a graduate of the Humber College Jazz Performance program, Elena has studied saxophone with world renowned saxophonist Pat LaBarbera, composition with the great Don Thompson, and voice with Shannon Gunn.
Elena is currently a member of blues singer Rita Chiarelli’s touring band, Yetunde Ajasin’s Afrika Libre, Kellylee Evans band, Jully Black’s group, The Jay Danley Ethiojazz Project and Larry Graves’ Surfire Sweat. Kapeleris also leads multiple projects of her own, and is in the process of writing her second album. She is currently a private instructor of voice and woodwinds at Centennial College.
During Elena’s career, she has performed with many other recognized artists such as Brandi Disterheft, Pat LaBarbera, Neil Swainson, Hilario Duran, Rich Brown, Tanya Tagaq, Eric St-Laurent, Sly Juhas, Colleen Allen, Rebecca Hennessy, Shakura S’Aida, Christine Duncan, Ted Quinlan, and many more. She has played Massey Hall and the NAC in Ottawa multiple times with the Women’s Blues Revue. Kapeleris has performed with these great artists at many different venues in the city, as well as clubs and Jazz and Blues Festivals around the world.