Jazz Toronto

5 up and coming jazz artists in Toronto

While many fans lament the end of the golden age of jazz in Toronto, there has undoubtedly been an influx of young local talent within the last decade. Some come from respected post-secondary music programs, while some seem to come out of nowhere with their own DIY projects.

The result is a diversity in sound; classical, fusion, lounge, and free form are all well represented here in the city with a plethora of bars and festivals to support it. Peak your interest? Here are five Toronto jazz artists to keep an eye on.

Eli Bennett
At the age of 25, this Toronto-based saxophonist has already garnered 35 international awards while also cultivating a career as a film composer. A graduate of the Humber program, Bennett has been crafting his own sound while onlookers anxiously await the release of his debut studio album in the fall. His next local performance will be at the Rex on October 22nd.

Barbra Lica
Recently selected as one of Canada's top 5 jazz singers by CBC, the Toronto born Lica sings an upbeat, easygoing brand of jazz but with a soulful twist behind it. This summer she's been touring the festival circuit with stops in Toronto, Markham, and an upcoming show in Niagara.

Patrick Hewan
Drawing from influences such as Keith Jarrett and Oscar Peterson, Hewan has been tearing up the local circuit with soulful and energetic performances. He marries this energetic performances with a very virtuosic understanding of classical piano. He'll be playing at Poetry Jazz CafĂŠ four times before the summer is up.

Andria Simone and Those Guys
Smokey is the first word that comes to mind when you listen to Andria Simone. Reminiscent of old school lounge singers, Simone can switch between funk, blues, and soul flawlessly while staying true to her own style. Her bandmates are no slouches either, providing a diverse soundscape with obvious jazz inspirations. Check out Brian Dhari's sax solo above below.

BBNG takes jazz to a new level with a grandiose fusion of new school electronic production, hip-hop and free form jazz. They frequently collaborate with Tyler, The Creator and Frank Ocean while also creating immersive and imaginative covers of artists such as Kanye West, My Bloody Valentine, and James Blake. While already three albums deep with a steady following, a Polaris long list nom, and a huge tour schedule, look for BBNG to catapult even further.

Writing by Jacob Thompson. Photo via barbralica.com.

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