On what would have been an off day for me, I decided this past Tuesday to check out some of the great local acts during the Toronto jazz festival, as well as attend an interview with an iconic guitar player.
The iconic guitar player that was interviewed was none other than Bill Frisell, noted for his risk taking albums, conceptualized projects, and highly original tone and approach to the guitar.
For the free show I was treated to the Latin jazz stylings of vocalist Eliana Cuevas backed by an amazing quartet of musicians such as pianist (and real-life husband) Jeremy Ledbetter, bassist George Koller, drummer Mark Kelso and percussionist Daniel Stone. The rhythms were infectious and spicy from start to finish. Eliana’s voice was melodic, beautiful, and soared to the heavens. The backup band really accompanied her well and performed as a well-oiled, tight-knit unit. Among the highlights were her original songwriting compositions (I can’t remember the titles since they are in Spanish) and her inventive take on a classic bossa nova standard, “The Girl From Ipanema”.
(L: Jeremy Ledbetter; C: Eliana Cuevas; R: George Koller)
(Drummer Mark Kelso and Me)
(Jeremy Ledbetter and Myself)
Walking west I decided to catch the tail end of Ernesto Cervini’s quartet at the Rex Hotel, featuring saxophonist Quinsin Nachoff, pianist Adrean Farrugia, bassist Mark Cashion, and drummer/leader and composer Ernesto Cervini. In the short set I knew what to expect from such a stellar band. Great songwriting, well-pulsated grooves, and a great sense of modern swing feel from start to finish.
(From Left: Adrean Farrugia, Quinsin Nachoff, Mark Cashion, and Ernesto Cervini)
To cap off the night I decided last minute to go to a new venue in the jazz festival this year called the Musideum. In this new, intimate venue I get to hear a piano/bass duo coming from the likes of Mark Kieswetter on piano and Ross Macintyre on bass. Coming off fresh off the heals of a great first recording, they primarily played brand new material for an upcoming CD comprising of obscure jazz, standards, and original compositions. Mark’s piano playing swung, has great emotional feel, and is forward thinking throughout. Ross’ bass playing had a rhythmic pulse that was invigorating and his tone is one of the richest to come out of the city of Toronto. As a unit, they managed to gel well together and even have humourous moments in the music to keep it fresh and exciting. Among the highlights of their repertoire was the Denny Zeitlin Opener “Repeat”, Ross’ dedication to his father’s birthday by playing the Beatles hit “When I’m Sixty Four”, and Mark’s original music such as “Sufferin’ on Dufferin” and “Totem Bar”.
(Mark Kieswetter and Ross Macintyre)
Again, it was another great day of great local talent and jazz music at the festival, so be sure to come out and support great local talent and music!!!!
OFFICIAL TD TORONTO JAZZ WEB SITE:
ELIANA CUEVA’S WEB SITE
ERNESTO CERVINI WEB SITE
MUSIDEUM OFFICIAL WEB SITE