The Toronto Jazz Orchestra turns 20 this year, and to celebrate, they’re going into the studio to record their first album in 9 years!
From Josh Grossman, artistic director of the TJO:
“Since 1998, the Toronto Jazz Orchestra has been producing some of the most exciting big band concerts in the city. During that time, our musicians have become some of Toronto’s busiest music professionals; our focus has evolved to primarily original, Canadian compositions; and our performance schedule has evolved to major productions (like the Big Band Tap Revue or the Big Band Gospel Project), performances at concert halls throughout Ontario, and collaborations with guest artists like Phil Nimmons, Ingrid and Christine Jensen, Kevin Turcotte, Seamus Blake, Geoffrey Keezer and Kurt Elling.
In 2018, we’ll turn 20. And to celebrate, we’re going to record a new CD called, um, 20. (We need to work on our titles.)
What’s so special about this new CD, you ask? 20 aims to capture the evolution and maturation of the band, and reinforce our commitment to performing Canadian big band music. But 20 is also a deeply personal project. When I started the band in 1998, I wanted to perform repertoire which inspired me as a young jazz musician, and which an audience wouldn’t hear anywhere else. And now, for the first time in nearly 20 years, I have a body of my own work – original compositions and arrangements – which I feel is ready for the recording studio.
And we’re taking this project seriously. From May 26 to 28, we’ll head to Revolution Recording, one of Toronto’s top studios, along with the outstanding support team of producer Roberto Occhipinti and engineer John “Beetle” Bailey. Repertoire will include 4 PN, a suite written to celebrate the 90th birthday of Phil Nimmons; my arrangement of Oscar Peterson’ Bossa Beguine, featuring tap dancer Allison Toffan; and Georgie and Rose, the most recently completed composition, inspired by my kids.
The Ontario Arts Council has supported the project with a recording grant, and while the grant is generous, it’s not quite enough to get it all done – so we’ve created this campaign. We aim to raise $10,000 to complete the first phase of the project (the in-studio recording); if we raise $20,000, we could have a copy of 20 in your hands by the end of the year.
So – join the celebration by making a contribution today. Pre-order a CD, join us in studio or invite us into your home for a private concert (hide the fine china) – any contribution helps.
For nearly 20 years, we’ve had the support of some very loyal people. Whether you’ve seen us before or this is your first introduction to the Toronto Jazz Orchestra, thanks for contributing to 20. We look forward to sharing with you soon this exciting new CD.”
Please consider contributing to the campaign! This is sure to be a fantastic record.