City of Culture featuring the Jay Douglas Quintet

Thursday, January 20, 2022 - 7:00pm
Ticket Price: 

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.

In a career spanning more that 45 years, Jay Douglas has developed a wide-ranging repertoire of Blues, West Indian Rhythms and Jazz Standards combined with fancy footwork and incredible on-stage charisma. A vital part of the outstanding soul, funk and reggae scenes on Toronto's Yonge Street in the 1970s, he has spent the past 15 years performing around the world, including as bandleader for the acclaimed "From Jamaica to Toronto" project, earning awards along the way. Recorded at the iconic Reggae Café in Toronto’s vibrant Little Jamaica neighbourhood, an ethnic and cultural hub for Caribbean and African immigrants, and a global hotbed for reggae culture. Today the area features the largest concentration of Black-owned businesses in Toronto, including barber shops, restaurants, Black aesthetics and hair shops, recording studios, music stores and more.

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.

Jay Douglas Sextet
Jay Douglas - vocals
Wendy Irvine - backing vocals
Mike McNeil - keyboards
Eddie Bullen - keyboards
Maurice Gordon - bass
Everton Pablo Paul - drums

Jay Douglas first took to the stage in Montego Bay, Jamaica many years ago as a teenager. With over 45 years of showmanship, he has developed a wide-ranging repertoire of American blues, West Indian rhythms, jazz standards, fancy footwork, and plenty of stage charisma. Back in the early ‘60s, Jay fronted tough R&B band “The Cougars,” who, with their skill and verve, lit up Toronto’s Young street bars in the 70’s with Soul, Funk & Reggae. Jay has since shared his gift at various venues all the way from Hong Kong to the Mediterranean.

On top of numerous television appearances (It's Happening, Music At Midnight, Breakfast Television) and acting roles (Heaven Before I Die, starring Omar Sharif), Douglas has earned prime-time support slots for a veritable “Who's Who” of musical legends including Fats Domino, Joe Tex, Percy Sledge, Melba Moore, bluesman Roscoe Gordon, soul stylists The Manhattans, The Drifters, Reggae icons Toots and the Maytals, Sly & Robbie, Steel Pulse, Ziggy Marley, The Fab 5 band, actor/comedian Jim Carrey, and others, too many to mention.

A Toronto based performer, area, the city of Toronto invited Jay to perform at several events during the recent 2015 Pan Am games. His noted awards are: winner of NOW Magazine’s "Best R&B Act" (2006) in Toronto. The Annual Canadian Reggae Awards also knighted Jay, “Male Reggae Vocalist for 2007,” and in 2012, he was given the prestigious Harry Jerome Award for “Best Male Entertainer.” Bolstered by the overwhelming media support for “The Jamaica to Toronto” concert launch in July, 2006, at Harbourfront Centre, Douglas acted as catalyst and band leader for this compilation of musicians from the 60s, which has also been successfully performed in Montreal and Vancouver. Jay who also performed at the Havana Jazz Festival a few years ago, is also a two-time Juno nominee.

The multi-talented craftsman has since found time to release his well received CD “A Touch Of Magic,” which carries contributions from Jamaican music institutions Sly and Robbie. This CD was followed by “Whirl Stimulation,” then his 2011 release, “Lovers’ Paradise,” featuring the hit song, “Hallelujah.”

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