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TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival Presents the Best of the Best in Jazz


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Winner of Best Jazz Festival for two consecutive years at the National Jazz Awards, the TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival, running June 22 - July 1, showcases the cream of the crop in jazz. The line-up reads like a list of who's who when it comes to awards.

On Tuesday, June 26, Academy Award winner Herbie Hancock, will take centre stage at the Four Seasons Centre as part of this year's inaugural GRANDMASTERS Series, presented by Panasonic. A true icon of jazz, Hancock is also a ten time Grammy Award winner. The GRANDMASTER series, honouring the best in jazz, also features 1996 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Dave Brubeck on Monday, June 25. Brubeck, a distinguished composer and pianist, is also the recipient of the 2007 Arison Award; an award given annually to an individual who has had a significant influence on the development of young artists. Keith Jarrett, recipient of two of the world's most prestigious music awards - the Polar Music Prize and the Leonie Sonning Prize - closes the series with a special performance on Friday, June 29.

The Toronto Star Stage at Nathan Philips Square also plays host to Grammy winners, including Chris Botti (Saturday, June 23); trumpeter Roy Hargrove (Thursday, June 28); and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Mavis Staples (Sunday, July 1). Just as impressive, Rolling Stones Magazine recently named Derek Trucks (Saturday, June 30) to its list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of all Time, putting him in good company with the likes of Jimi Hendrix and B.B. King.

Juno winners dominate the TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival, indicating that truly the best in Canadian jazz are represented. Winners of the 2007 Juno Awards include Hilario Duran (Friday, June 22) for Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year and pianist Jon Ballantyne (Tuesday, June 26). Vocalist Holly Cole (Monday, June 25), Don Thompson (Wednesday, June 27), bassist Dave Young (Monday, June 25), Mike Murley (Thursday, June 28), Phil Nimmons (Friday, June 29), Manteca (Friday, June 22), and pianist David Braid (Friday, June 29) are just some past Juno winners who will also be playing at locations across Toronto.

It's an honour just to be nominated! Although everyone loves a win, simply being nominated is a testament to the musician's talent. Let's applaud those who were nominated in their category. Singer, guitarist and two time Grammy nominee James Hunter will be kicking off the TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival with a preview concert Wednesday, June 20. Guitarist Mike Stern has been nominated five times for a Grammy in his three-decade career and performs at Live@courthouse on Sunday, June 24. Michael Kaeshammer's album Strut was nominated for a 2004 Juno Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year and will woo the crowds on Monday, June 25. Joshua Redman, a Grammy nominee in 1994, returns to Toronto (Friday, June 29) playing music from his latest release, Back East, featuring the last recording with his father, the late Dewey Redman. Nominated for a Tony Award in her breakout role in Mamma Mia!, Louise Pitre entertains cabaret fans for a two night engagement at The Savoy starting Friday, June 29.

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