Toronto Jazz Fest 2018 – Five Free Concerts You Shouldn’t Miss

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At the start of 2009 and ten years into her career, Macy Gray found herself a free agent and on the verge of “The Sellout.” Sure, she sold 15 million albums, scored two Grammy Awards, two MTV awards and with “I Try,” had one of the most successful singles of all time, but after 2007’s Big, she found herself alone, with no one to answer to but herself. Big was the slickest album of her career and she considered going even further away from the true, gritty, whiskey-voice Macy, following instead of leading. In other words, selling out.

Venue: OLG Stage on Hazelton Ave
Date: Sunday June 24 at 7:30pm
Ticket Price: Free Admission

A triple threat talent, Katie Thiroux has garnered considerable attention for her bravura bass playing, assured singing and compelling compositions. With the release of her debut album, Introducing Katie Thiroux (2015), her substantial gifts as a bandleader and recording artist are now also on view. Audiences and critics agree as this release received many awards including “Debut Record of the Year” from the Huffington Post, All About Jazz, Jazz Journalists Association and “Top 5 Debut Records of the Year” from NPR Jazz Critics Poll.

Venue: OLG Stage on Yorkville Ave
Date: Monday June 25 at 5:15pm
Ticket Price: Free Admission

Drawing on the band’s global background (Greece, Argentina, Japan, Colombia, USA), the group combines South American rhythms with jazz improvisation, cinematic arranging, sophisticated audience participation, mid-century classics and world “chansons” sung in 6 languages. Founded in 2010 in New York, Banda Magda has toured in more than 22 countries and 5 continents.

Venue: OLG Stage on Hazelton Ave
Date: Tuesday June 26 at 5:15pm
Ticket Price: Free Admission

Bassist and composer Brandi Disterheft is fast becoming one of jazz’s brightest lights. She has made a huge impression on thousands of listeners, for both her imaginative live shows and her well-conceived recordings. Brandi’s premiere album, Debut, won her the 2008 JUNO award (Canada’s Grammy), and her CV already catalogues successful concerts as far away as Japan and Haiti, and at jazz festivals from Vienna to Chicago, and a performance at Carnegie Hall.

Venue: OLG Stage on Cumberland St.
Date: Saturday June 30 at 6:00pm
Ticket Price: Free Admission

Hilario Duran’s “Contumbao” explores the entire spectrum Of Cuban music with the authenticity and vibrancy of Duran’s unique musical vision into the foreseeable future. Internationally recognised as a jazz pianist, composer, arranger and bandleader of the highest order, the Cuban-Canadian Duran has been based in Toronto for the past two decades, but his musical heart and soul have remained closely connected to the land of his birth.

Venue: OLG Stage on Hazelton Ave
Date: Saturday June 30 at 8:00pm
Ticket Price: Free Admission

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