On a cool fall Thursday evening on September 26th, I decided to head down to the Rex to catch a very special initiative that is happening in the jazz community in Toronto. It is the celebration of a new web site and online community called “Toronto Jazz Central”, headed by Josh Grossman, artistic director of the Toronto Jazz Festival and conductor of the Toronto Jazz Orchestra.
The evening was filled with musicians, club owners, educators and fans of jazz music, kicking off what could be a very promising future for jazz in Toronto, Canada, and the entire world. Toronto Jazz Central was formed “to support and advocate the jazz community of Toronto, while growing an audience locally, nationally, and internationally”, says Grossman. Josh Grossman also states that Toronto Jazz Central is a community that is “non-partisan”, “non-profit”, and “egalitarian”, fostering a sense of connectivity and community through this new initiative.
According to Josh Grossman, Toronto Jazz Central was modeled after the success of two sites located in New York and Boston, which are Search and Restore and Jazz Boston respectively.
The website, which will be launching in December of 2013, consists of three level tiers of memberships which people can sign up for. General fans can pay $25 for a year and be able to cast a vote, get free access to concerts, be notified of listings, and access profiles of jazz musicians. Musicians pay $25 but they get the bonus of uploading music, video, pictures, and gig listings to further promote their work and craft to a huge global online audience. Industry professionals pay $100 for the year.
The musical entertainment was none other than a superlative duo consisting of Kirk MacDonald and Pat Labarbera, two tenor saxophonists who are at the top of their game and bringing the history of John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins to Canadian audiences. They were later joined by pianist Bernie Senensky for a great take on “On Green Dolphin Street”.
For further information and to sign up, go to
(KIRK MACDONALD AND PAT LABARBERA)
(JOSH GROSSMAN AND ME)