Jazz Performance and Education Centre


2017 - 2018 Season Events

Soul Stew featuring Michael Dunston
Guest Vocalist - Alana Bridgewater
February 17th   Studio Theatre   8:00 pm
Soul Stew
Soul Stew, Toronto’s legendary Rhythm and Blues, Soul, Jazz Funk ensemble. A fixture of the Toronto music scene, Soul Stew is made up of some of the finest musicians in Canada. Formed in 1990 by Toronto first call studio musicians as a house band at the Bamboo, Soul Stew became the band synonymous with the College Street music scene with their 10 yearlong residency at the College Street Bar.

The musicians in Soul Stew have collectively and individually performed and recorded with The Boss Brass, Gorillaz, Bruce Cockburn, Paul Butterfield, The Parachute Club, Jane Bunnett, Holly Cole, Marc Jordan, Gino Vanelli, Tito Puente, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Aretha Franklin and Nelly Furtado to name just a few.

Soul Stew plays a mixture of Blues, Jazz, R&B, Funk, a bit of Reggae and a lot of Soul, recalling the classic sounds of the legendary recording bands (a la The Funk Brothers from the movie Standing in the Shadows of Motown) of Stax, Motown, Philly, The Meters, Muscle Shoals, and the Hi Rhythm section of Memphis.

Band Personnel

Michael Dunston - Lead Vocals, Percussion
Alana Bridgewater - Guest Vocalist
David Gray - Guitar, Background Vocals
Matt Horner - Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, Background Vocals
John Johnson - Tenor, Alto & Baritone Sax
Mark Kelso - Drums, Background Vocals
Roberto Occhipinti - Bass, Background Vocals


Carn / Davidson 9
March 3rd   Studio Theatre   7:30 pm
Carn Davidson 9
The Carn / Davidson 9 was formed at the beginning of 2010 as a collaborative project between JUNO nominated artists, trombonist William Carn and saxophonist Tara Davidson. CD9 draws on the body of compositions by its co-leaders. This collaborative project is an opportunity for both artists to “reimagine” their compositions for this chamber jazz instrumentation, shining new perspective on their existing repertoire. This 9-piece chord-less ensemble utilizes its seven horns as both melodic and harmonic devices, anchored by bass and drums.

Band Personnel

Tara Davidson - Woodwinds
Kelly Jefferson - Woodwinds
Perry White - Woodwinds
Jason Logue - Trumpet
Kevin Turcotte - Trumpet
William Carn - Trombone
Alex Duncan - Bass Trombone
Andrew Downing - Bass
Ernesto Cervini - Drums
Hilario Duran Quintet - Contumbao
March 3rd   Studio Theatre    7:30 pm
Contumbao   Hilario Duran   Jay Danley   Roberto Riveron   Mark Kelso   Jorge Luis Torres
  Contumbao        Hilario Duran     Jay Danley  Roberto Riveron  Mark Kelso   Jorge Luis Torres

HILARIO DURAN "CONTUMBAO" Juno Nominated – Jazz Album of the Year:
Contumbao", spans the entire spectrum of Cuban music featuring his authenticity.

The Quintet

Hilario’s formal music training, combined with a deep understanding of traditional Cuban music, as well as a love for jazz, allowed him to play a key role in the integration of Afro-Cuban music and jazz; he represents an important aspect in contemporary Cuban music as well as in Cuban music history. “Contumbao”, in a quintet formation comprises an extraordinary collection of musicians providing an exciting experience in art. Duran teams up with bassist extraordinaire and Grammy nominated Roberto Riveron, with more than 25 years of music making. Jay Danley, Canadian born with a solid reputation performs the Tres Guitar, one of Cuban main instruments. Percussion: Jorge Luis Torres “Papiosco”, named “The Child Prodigy” by the late Tatagüines, one of the most important Cuban percussionists. Papiosco, who now makes Toronto his home, comes from a long line of virtuosic Rumberos who helped define the shape and direction of Cuban music.

The Music: Afro-Cuban Jazz

Hilario’s original compositions reflect a wide range of influences from Cuban classics (Lecuona, Amadeo Roldan, Ignacio Cervantes); jazz (Stan Kenton, Quincy Jones); Latin jazz (Perez Prado, Dizzy Gillespie, Mario Bauzá, Tito Puente, Chico O’Farrill, Chucho Valdes); traditional and modern Cuban melodies and rhythms; Afro-Cuban prayers. Maestro Duran recorded this new material in his native country, the island of Cuba; at the EGREM studios in Havana. The repertoire to be performed presents the return to Hilario’s roots and his ancestors. It is Afro-Cuban Jazz with elements of Bembé 6X8, Güajira and Son Montuno enriched with the Tumbao, which means a typical Cuban ostinato melody used to comping most of the styles of Cuban music.

Band Personnel

Hilario Duran - Piano
Jay Danley - Guitar
Mark Kelso - Percussion
Roberto Riveron - Bass
Jorge Luis Torres - Percussion
Jazz Exiles
March 17th   Studio Theatre   7:30 pm
Mark Kelso   Mark Rogers   Luis Denis   Jeremy Ledbetter   Elmer Ferrer
Mark Keslo       Mark Rogers             Luis Denis       Jeremy Ledbetter    Elmer Ferrer
Mark Kelso & the Jazz Exiles are an exciting Jazz/Funk/Fusion group of musicians helmed by Toronto drummer/composer Mark Kelso. Featuring Mark Rogers on bass, Jeremy Ledbetter on Keys, Luis Deniz on Sax and Elmer Ferrer on guitar, these players create an intense and creative musical playground for their original music.

Formed to continue in the improvisatory nature of groups like Weather Report, Yellowjackets, Pat Metheny Group, Miles Davis and Snarky Puppy while also dipping into the funky grooves of bands such as Earth Wind & Fire, the music of the Jazz Exiles is energetic, funky and wild.

Kelso says, "After playing with the guys now, I have a better understanding of each individual voice so I am able to write more specifically for them yet still allow them lots of creative freedom to do their own thing!"

Band Personnel

Mark Kelso - Percussion
Mark Rogers - Bass
Luis Denis – Alto Saxophone
Elmer Ferrer – Guitar
Jeremy Ledbetter - Keyboards
The Dave Young/Gord Sheard Brazilian Quintet
March 17th   Studio Theatre   7:30 pm
Dave Young   Gord Sheard   Reg Schwager   Mark Kelso   Luanda Jones
Dave Young     Gord Sheard      Reg Schwager         Mark Kelso           Luanda Jones
The Dave Young/Gord Sheard Brazil Connection features some of Canada’s top musicians performing a repertoire drawn from the classic Brazilian popular song tradition (featured composers include A. C. Jobim, Chico Buarque, Gilberto Gil, and many others), as well as original compositions that reflect the musical backgrounds of its of Brazilian- and Canadian-born members. Dave Young is simply one of the foremost musicians on the North America scene. Throughout his exceptional career, the Juno-award-winning bassist has performed internationally with a virtual Who’s Who of jazz (and classical) luminaries including the venerable jazz giant Oscar Peterson.

Pianist and composer Gord Sheard has been a member of Manteca, Rick Shadrach Lazar and the Montuno Police, and the bands of Chuck Mangione, Alain Caron, and Liona Boyd, and is the Head of Composition in Humber College’s prestigious music program. He has made an extensive study of Brazilian music, and holds the degree of PhD (Ethnomusicology), with a specialization in the popular music of Brazil. His 2013 CD release All Saints’ Bay was recorded with Brazilian musicians in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Rio de Janeiro-born vocalist.

Luanda Jones is the scion of a musical family – her mother is a well-respected vocalist, composer, and guitarist, and her father was an in-demand Rio drummer and percussionist. She has performed in numerous concerts and festivals throughout Brazil, and has made a significant mark on the Canadian musical scene since her arrival in Toronto in 2005; in addition to performing with Sinal Aberto and her own trio, Luanda has shared the stage with such luminaries as Guido Basso, Guinga, Benjamin Taubkin, a and Fred Martins, among others.

A leading figure of the Toronto jazz scene, Reg Schwager is a four-time winner of Canada's National Jazz Award for Guitarist of the Year. He has performed and recorded with numerous premier jazz artists, including George Shearing, Mel Tormé, Gary Burton, Diana Krall, Peter Appleyard, Rob McConnell and Fred Martins, among others. Reg possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of Brazilian instrumental and popular music. In addition to having toured, recorded and collaborated on songs with Rio de Janeiro-based vocalist Fernanda Cunha, he has worked with some of Brazil’s most famous artists, including Guinga and Hermeto Pascoal.

Mark Kelso, a Humber faculty member (Head of Percussion), Mark has been the head of the drum dept. since 2005. He is one of Canada’s most in-demand drummers for both live performances and recording. The Jazz Exiles was nominated for a Juno award. He is the artistic Director for the Jazz Room in Waterloo. In his spare time he also runs "Groovy Drums Studio".

A very small sampling of the many high-profile musicians he has performed with includes Gino Vannelli, Michael Bublé, and Holly Cole.

Band Personnel

Dave Young - Bass
Gord Sheard - Piano
Reg Schwager - Guitar
Mark Kelso - Percussion
Luanda Jones - Vocalist
JPEC at a Glance
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