Canadians have enjoyed a lovely relationship with Cuba for decades. It was our private island getaway, where we mingled with East Germans and Soviets drinking our Cuba Libres and listening to local musicians playing rhumbas and salsas for our dancing pleasure. After 1991 musicians from Cuba experienced a bit more freedom, and in 1993 Jane Bunnett, Canadian flutist* and soprano sax player, released Spirits of Havana, an album combining Canadian and Cuban musicians. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Spirits of Havana, Jane Bunnett will be performing with some of the original musicians from the album at Nathan Phillips Square on Thursday June 30th for TD Toronto Jazz Fest. If you are new to Afro-Cuban jazz, get ready for the awakening of each and every part of your body. It’s impossible not to feel those rhythms pulsing through you!
And sharing the double bill (at $35/reserved seat – this show is a steal!!!), is the Canadian Jazz songstress, Molly Johnson. Molly Johnson’s interpretations of jazz standards captivates us with her smoky impassioned vocals. Her latest release celebrates the music of Billie Holiday, one of Molly’s inspirations. Among many other recognitions, Ms. Johnson is an Officer of the Order of Canada for her international contributions to the arts and philanthropy and a Juno award winner. She is a Canadian icon that is not to be missed!
With two Canadian jazz greats sharing the bill, one can only hope that there will be some sharing of the stage guaranteed to take our collective breath away!
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Watch this space for more previews, reviews and photos of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival!