TD Toronto Jazz Fest 2022: Gregory Porter at Koerner Hall

My first time back in Koerner Hall in over 2 years and the Gregory Porter band set to perform for me and a sold out audience of festival goers. The band for this performance, Chip Crawford – piano, Emanuel Harrold – drums, Jahmal Nichols – bass, Ondrej Pivoc – Hammond organ, Scooter Brown, alto saxophone.

I have always thought of Gregory Porter as a provider of soulful, spiritual music. The addition of Ondrej Pivoc on the Hammond organ put this performance into the realm of church music with Gregory Porter preaching the gospel of love and peace.

Gregory Porter and his band at Koerner Hall, Toronto. Photo by Paul J. Youngman
Gregory Porter and his band at Koerner Hall, Toronto. Photo by Paul J. Youngman

Opening the concert with “Painted on Canvas” Porter sounded in good form, along with the band, who sounded wonderful. The band took to the stage first with Porter following behind moments later and receiving a thunderous applause on taking the stage. The band dug deep and offered up joyous musical backing. They followed that spiritual with “If Love is Overrated” and that set the tone for this musical genius to put on a spectacular show.

Gregory Porter and the band played some of my favourite tunes, including “Liquid Spirit”, “Take Me To The Alley”, “Musical Genocide”, “Hey Laura” and “There Will Be No Love”.

Gregory Porter and his band at Koerner Hall, Toronto. Photo by Paul J. Youngman
Gregory Porter and his band at Koerner Hall, Toronto. Photo by Paul J. Youngman

The band lets loose on “Musical Genocide” and I thought the interplay between piano and drums was exceptional. Jahmal Nichols has his moment on this tune as well, he had a smile on his face throughout the concert, on “Musical Genocide” he is in the zone and obviously enjoying the spotlight.

Gregory Porter spoke of loss, love and water under bridges, the audience listened and in some cases responded, offering heartfelt sympathy for Porter’s loss of his brother during the early part of the Pandemic.

Gregory invited the audience to join his band for the encore tune “You Can Join My Band” and the audience did their part by singing along.

A wonderful concert, a spiritual performance and a beautiful way to cap off my 2022 Toronto Jazz Festival.

Paul J. Youngman
Paul J. Youngman
An independent journalist, based in Toronto, Canada. A professional musician and a fan of music, dance and the arts. I have written short stories, lyrics, poetry and reviews. I have been published in numerous online webzines. I’ve taught drumming and played in bands; I have felt the passion to create. I enjoy expressing that passion, the artistic experience, in words, reporting on the shows and musical experiences that I have witnessed.

More from author


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related posts


Featured Posts

Omar Sosa’s 88 Well-Tuned Drums: A Film by Soren Sorensen

Anyone approaching this film about the iconic Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa, by the award-winning filmmaker Soren Sorensen will be almost immediately struck...

Danilo Pérez featuring The Global Messengers: Crisálida

Danilo Pérez began forming his worldview - and aligning his music to it - ever since he came under the sphere of influence of...

The Feeling Messengers, Past and Present (Part II)

Miguelo Valdés & The New Messengers Of Feeling Miguel Valdés, or “Miguelo”, as he has since become known, was born in the province of La...

The Feeling Messengers, Past and Present (Part I)

Preamble Within the current renaissance of popular Cuban music, coupled with the seemingly eternal presence of its first cousin American Jazz, we are once again...

In Conversation with Carlos Cippelletti

Pianist, composer and arranger Carlos Cippelletti, is a promising young Spanish, Franco-Cuban artist from the last generation of Afro-Cuban jazz musicians born outside the...

Celebrating Jane Bunnett: Spirits of Havana’s 30th Anniversary

After dark they gather, the spirits of Havana. Is that a ghostly, but fatback-toned rapping down in the barrio where the great composer and...

Piazzolla Cien Años: Lord of the Tango@100

There is a now famous photograph of the great Ástor Piazzolla that is iconic for so many reasons. Chief among them is the manner...

Omara Portuondo, Multifaceted Gem of Cuban Music

My moon app announces that in 14 hours the Supermoon of May will be here. During a full moon I often get inspired to...

Ray Barretto · Barretto Power

Barretto Power: A Celebratory Reissue on its 50th Anniversary It was 1970 when Fania Records released Barretto Power, one of a series of seminal albums...

El Gran Fellové: Part 3- When my Parents…

When my parents bought their home in 1968, Sunset Beach was just another sleepy little beach town It spanned about one mile in length, sandwiched...

Join our mailing list

Participate in contests, giveaways and more