Matt Yuyitung's blog

ART the Band talks Jazzfest and Herbie Hancock

Toronto’s ART the Band is a group that plays fast and loose with the traditional notions of jazz, melding several different influences together from funk to hip-hop to provide a more unique take on the genre. Consisting of trombonist Nick Marshall, guitarist Sean Clarey, bassist David Maclean, saxophonist Stuart Brignell, and drummer Austin Gembora, the band played at the Pilot Tavern during this year's TD Toronto Jazz Festival (the Festival).

Matt Yuyitung's top five festival highlights

From June 22nd to July 1st, this year’s TD Toronto Jazz Festival featured no shortage of highlights, from tons of free content to powerhouse marquee shows including names like Herbie Hancock, Holly Cole, Snarky Puppy, and Gregory Porter. Here are some personal highlights from this past year - moments that featured dazzling musicianship or which captured the artist at their best this festival.

1. "Chameleon" - Herbie Hancock

Matt Yuyitung reviews Herbie Hancock (TDJ News Corps)

As Herbie Hancock stepped out on stage at the Sony Centre on Friday night (June 29), he told the audience to prepare for a journey "to the unknown." And if there's anyone that's worth trusting with that type of promise, it's Hancock.

An artist whose restless creativity has placed at the forefront different genres such as funk and jazz fusion, who has recorded with everyone from Miles Davis to Joni Mitchell, and who even at 78 years old can bring groove like no one else, Hancock seems like the perfect candidate to take audiences on whirlwind adventures.

Matt Yuyitung reviews Snarky Puppy (TDJ News Corps)

By their very nature, Snarky Puppy can be unpredictable in the wildest ways. The Brooklyn-based band is a constantly rotating lineup of musicians, drawing from all over their catalogue for their setlists, and they're constantly reinventing and reinterpreting their own work during performances. Striking a balance between singable melodies and technical chops, it's not uncommon to hear audiences shouting along to horn melodies in 5/4, and see crowd members groove along to weird beat divisions in 15/8.

Matt Yuyitung reviews Knower

"This is gonna be very sweaty."

Singer Genevieve Artadi wasn't wrong when she said that before Knower began their set Tuesday night at the Horseshoe Tavern, as part of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival.

Matt Yuyitung's weekend highlights (TDJ News Corps)

Now officially underway, the TD Toronto Jazz Festival has taken over downtown Toronto in various venues across the city. With the opening weekend behind us, here are some highlights:

Moon Hooch:

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