Concert Event Reviews

Our 19th Annual Jazz Fundraiser celebrating St. Andrew’s Day, Scotland’s national day and our ninth year at the Old Mill Toronto, took place on 30th November 2017 and featured an élite gathering of the finest international jazz masters in a heartwarming “Jazz Cèilidh." Presented by JAZZ.FM91 and supported by Humber Music and the University of Toronto Faculty of Music, the evening opened with a complimentary Cocktail Reception generously sponsored by Peller Estates and the Old Mill Toronto and arriving guests were entertained with student group performances by the Alexa Belgrave Trio from U of T, followed by the Felix Fox Pappas Trio from Humber Music.

Everyone then took their seats for the main event and honorary trustee Ted O’Reilly, now retired from his many years of MC duties, welcomed our superb headliners – Howard Alden, Guido Basso, Terry Clarke, Mike Murley, Ken Peplowski, Russ Phillips, Scott Hamilton, Rossano Sportiello,
Neil Swainson and musical director Warren Vaché. Following a number of earlier suggestions, we elected to make a few programming changes, giving our patrons more of the music they love and less on-stage activity. As a result, Chef Martin’s delicious 3-course dinner was enjoyed uninterrupted, the Grand Raffle draw was moved to the display area and apart from the Ken Page Lifetime Achievement Award presentation, the music was continuous and captivating. Warren arranged inspired sets and groupings and after a standing ovation for the Grand Finale, everyone agreed this was our most successful event to date. The trustees were thrilled with the feedback but still believe even “the best” can leave room for something better and gladly accept a new challenge for this November!
St. Andrew’s Day “Jazz Cèilidh”
Photos by Ted O’Reilly

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Back in 2016 we realized a dream shared several years earlier by Jim Galloway and WholeNote publisher-editor in chief, David Perlman, to stage performances of Jim Galloway’s Wee Big Band in The Garage of the Centre for Social Innovation building at 720 Bathurst Street.

Presented by the Ken Page Memorial Trust and WholeNote Media and under the leadership of arranger-guitarist Martin Loomer, the Wee Big Band made its CSI debut in April of that year. Since then several more concerts have taken place, one during Valentine’s week 2017 featuring international guest, cornetist Warren Vaché, which was made possible through the generosity of the Toronto Duke Ellington Society. We plan to keep Jim’s legacy alive with seasonal concerts and to invite a special guest to join the band on occasions. If you would be interested in sponsoring a guest musician, please let me know.