Music: Jazz


Aspects of African Canadian Music
Music | History | Calypso | Classic | Female | Folk | Jazz | Rap | Reggae | Soul | Steelpan | World

Blues/Jazz/Acid Jazz/Fusion


Shannon, Jacintha, Saidah, Dean, Troy, Tuku, Adrian and Washington are the group Blaxam. In a recent interview in the inaugural issues of the Toronto publicationUmoja, band member Jacintha explained that the group's name "represents us coming together and doing this thing". Their music is also a "coming together" of genres. African music, Funk and Rock blend into a unique sound dubbed "Blue Groove". They are currently working on an album and their demos get plenty of airplay on community radio.

Salome BeySalome Bey (singer, writer, actress)

Canada's foremost interpreter of the Blues is celebrated for her unique contributions to the stage. Productions such as "Madam Gertrude" and "Indigo" both of which she wrote were critically and publicly acclaimed. " Indigo" won her a Dora Mavor award for performance. Her long list of credits include: TV specials, recordings and performances - solo and with such artists as Dan Hill, Moe Koffman and Bill Cosby. Salome Bey has been the recipient of many accolades including the 1991 Toronto Arts Award.

Four the Moment

Four The Moment (Delvina Bernard, Kim Bernard, Andrea Currie and Anne-Marie Woods is an all-woman a capella group from Nova Scotia. Their powerful and provocative songs are about struggles, dreams, Black pride, Black Nova Scotians' history and experience, slavery and Africa. The bluesy gospel sound of Four The Moment draws on the diverse threads of Black music while it "penetrates, echoes, and soothes".

Terry Jenoure

Celafi describes Terry Jenoure as a multi talented vocalist, violinist and composer. Her works consist of a mixture of avant-garde gospel music, pop and jazz. Her debut LP was entitled "Give You This", and she has played with such well known musicians as John Carter and Archie Shepp. She is presently pursuing a Ph.D. in education.

Molly JohnsonMolly Johnson

Toronto jazz artist and AIDS activist Molly Johnson and her band Infidels have been making music in Toronto for over a decade. Citing Black Canadian jazz musicians like Jodie Drake, Bobbie Sherron and Salome Bey among her influences, Johnson is a versatile musician. The driving force behind "Kuumbaya" an annual concert of which the proceeds go to people living with AIDS across Canada, Johnson has been lauded by her peers. Of the singer, fellow Toronto artist, Clifton Joseph has written: "The sister is a player, a shaker and mover, a social and cultural political instigator.

Muhtadi and Friends

Muhtadia and Friends, a calypso-jazz band that has been spicing upToronto's night life, was formed the mid 1980's. The band was born out of the natural fusion of Toronto's many cultural styles. It blends the music of Canada, the U.S. and the Caribbean into a unique feel called "Torontoroc". Muhtadi, the group's founder has been teaching and performing in Canada since 1974. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Muhtadi plays with the Desperadoes steel band in Trinidad during the island's annual Carnival.

Tiki Mercury-ClarkeTiki Mercury-Clarke

Performing across many musical genres including folk, jazz and gospel, the multi-talented Tiki Mercury-Clarke sings in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and German. She performs inspirational music which has had an influence on African Canadian history. Mercury-Clarke's current CD is called "Breaking the Silence".

Jackie Richardson

Blues/Jazz singer and actress Jackie Richardson has been performing for over twenty years. Her stage credits include "Raisin in the Sun", "Three Penny Opera", "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" and "Ain't Misbehavin'" for which she was nominated for a Dora award.

Oscar PetersonOscar Peterson

It has been said that internationally renowned musician Oscar Peterson is to jazz music as Liszt is to classical. In his book, Oscar Peterson - The Will To Swing, Gene Lees wrote that a famous musician once said about Peterson: "In their own time, it was said that Liszt conquered the piano, Chopin seduced it. Oscar is our Liszt."
Born in Montreal, jazz pianist Peterson has played both solo and in critically aclaimed trios with such greats as Herb Ellis, Ray Brown, Edmund Thigpen, Louis Hayes and Sam Jones. One of the greatest pianists in the history of jazz music, Peterson combines classical technique with jazz improvisation to create his brilliant, unique style.

Peterson's discography, performances, compositions, awards and accolades fill the pages of literally hundreds of books, magazine articles and music texts and bibliographies. He has been lauded by critics and music associations around the world and was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1972 and a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1983. He was Chancellor of York University from 1993 to 1995.

As for the comparison to Liszt, Gene Lees points out the following: "Oscar studied in Montreal with a Hungarian pianist of international repute named Paul de Marky. De Marky studied in Budapest with Stefan Thoman. Thoman studied with Liszt."

Joe Sealy

Joe Sealy is well known on the Toronto scene as a pianist, accomplished composer, arranger, music director and actor. He has won a Dora award for his performance in "Ain't Misbehavin", and his credits include "Spring Thaw", "One More Stop on the Freedom Train", "Madame Gertrude" and "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom".

Randy Weston

Jazz pianist Randy Weston's music "is...the result of a studious and inspired intelligence that is creating a fresh synthesis of African elements with jazz techniques," according to New York critic Stanley Crouch. Weston's influences include such notables as Count Basie, Nat Cole, Duke Ellington and Thelonius Monk--with whom he developed a close personal friendship and lifetime musical affinity. Since the early sixties, Weston has made his home in Morocco which has nurtured his unique personal style.