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CBC Radio One 99.1 Presents

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Art of Jazz welcomes legendary Brazilians Hermeto Pascoal and Egberto Gismonti, The Cindy Blackman Quartet, Sheila Jordan & Steve Kuhn, Randy Weston & Billy Harper, Kelly Lee Evans, Elizabeth Shepherd and more!

(For Immediate Release - April 15, 2008) Toronto, ON The 3rd annual Art of Jazz Celebration, taking place from June 4 - 8th in Toronto’s historic Distillery District, proudly announces this year’s line-up which will include: legendary Brazilians Hermeto Pascoal and Egberto Gismonti, the Cindy Blackman Quartet, Kelly Lee Evans, Elizabeth Sheppard and a duo series featuring Sheila Jordan and Steve Kuhn as well as Randy Weston and Billy Harper. Other highlights of this year’s event will include a tribute to CODA Magazine and Sackville Records founder John Norris, Canadian recipient of the Art of Jazz Lifetime Achievement Award, the popular ‘Jazz for Juniors’ program, as well as clinics and workshops. Tickets for all performances and events go on sale April 20th and are available online at or by calling 1-888-222-6608.

Featuring three outdoor stages with additional venues located throughout the Distillery District, The Art of Jazz Celebration is a unique celebration of jazz that has quickly emerged as a forward-thinking cultural event to watch.

"The Art of Jazz Celebration continues to carve out its own distinctive niche as we expand and explore jazz and its influence on all the art forms", said Art of Jazz President, Bonnie Lester. "We are honoured by the participation of this year’s line-up of gifted musicians, dancers, writers, painters, and educators all joining us to celebrate the art of jazz, a music that embraces tradition and change simultaneously and that speaks to the freedom to innovate."

On Thursday, June 5th, the Art of Jazz honours CODA Magazine and Sackville Records founder John Norris, who is this year’s Canadian recipient of the Art of Jazz Lifetime Achievement Award. This year marks the 50th anniversary of CODA and the 40th anniversary of Sackville Records. Hosted by Ted O'Reilly, the tribute to John Norris will feature the Wray Downes Quartet with special guest Phil Nimmons, the Joe Temperley-Dan Block quintet, a solo set by Randy Weston, and an all-star jam with Jim Galloway’s Wee Big Band.

On Saturday, June 7th Brazilian genius Hermeto Pascoal performs with the Art of Jazz Orchestra, conducted by Jovino Santos Neto.

On Sunday June 8th Art of Jazz celebrates the music of Egberto Gismonti with a string quartet and guests. Both musicians will receive this year's International Art of Jazz Lifetime Achievement Award.

On Sunday, June 8th, the Art of Jazz welcomes the Cindy Blackman Quartet. Most recognizable as the former drummer for Lenny Kravitz, Blackman is regarded as one of the best drummers in the world having played with the likes of Jackie McLean, Joe Henderson, Don Pullen, Hugh Masekela, Pharaoh Sanders, Sam Rivers, and Cassandra Wilson.

The Art of Jazz will host a duo series this year featuring Sheila Jordan & Steve Kuhn and Randy Weston & Billy Harper. Other highlights include: vocalists Jon Hendricks, Kelly Lee Evans and Elizabeth Shepherd, the ‘Jazz for Juniors’ program, clinics, workshops and no charge nightly jams from 10 p.m. - 1:00 a.m. in the Distillery’s Boiler House.


TICKETS ON SALE APRIL 20, 2008 - available at or call 1-888-222-6608 Tickets: $20 - $40 or $225 for an Art of Jazz Celebration VIP MEMBER pass - includes

access to all ticketed events,

access to VIP Lounge, Art of Jazz annual membership, 3 CD special edition Art of Jazz & Sackville Records compilation and 10% off all Art of Jazz events throughout the year

About Art of Jazz: Art of Jazz is an artist-founded, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the cultivation of jazz education and performance. Founded in 2005, the organization’s mission is three-fold: to provide jazz education and mentorship programs to a new generation of artists and audiences in Canada; to present innovative-year-round programming; and to build a permanent home for jazz in Toronto.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Various Artists
  • Press Release Date: June 4 - 8, 2008
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