The TD Toronto Jazz Festival (June 20-29, 2013) enjoys a spike of popularity under the leadership of its new artistic director Josh Grossman (he’s done 2 editions so far, I believe).
He is quite a skilled blogger, too – to be commended in today’s mobileverse.
One of the merits I credit Josh with – besides his openness about the whole process of directing such a complex event – is his keen interest into what public wants. He can be approached everywhere he goes (I didn’t use the privilege yet but I may) and he is constantly taking the pulse of the audience.
He recently tweeted about it:
It’s just like voting at election time: if you vote, you’re allowed to comment on the results. So go ahead and tell Josh who you’d like to see at the Jazz Fest!
Meredith Monk – I went to see her in New York last year; a moment I was waiting for since 1990. Fortunately she is still performing at age 70.
The Souljazz Orchestra – the fabulous afro/funk/salsa/world ensemble from Ottawa took the world by storm in 2012 with their album Solidarity
Lucian Ban – this New York pianist of Romanian origin was in Toronto this year to present his “Enesco Re-imagined” project (which he toured world wide, earning rave reviews). I missed that concert but I know Lucian from my university years in Cluj, Romania and am excited to have him on this side of the pond.
Harry Tavitian – the legendary Eastern European pianist. It’s a shame that so many years have passed since Harry crossed the Atlantic, and the North American festivals tend to ignore that part of the world. Hopefully Josh will lend his ears to the fabulous riches of Harry’s music, intellect and culture.
Nightlosers – there has never been a more juicy, flavorful impregnation of the blues as in this Transylvanian band’s works. Nightlosers (founded 1994) laid the foundation for the “Eastern European world music” invasion, and encompasses elements of blues, Transylvanian, gypsy and Hungarian music. It’s an explosive mix that sets their shows apart. Their last Toronto visit was in 2009. The latest album (a free download on their site) can safely be played end-to-end at any NYE party.