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Prior to setting up this blog, here’s some notable shows and dances I’ve been to:

January 17/13:  We started the new year at Toronto’s Old Mill in the Home Smith Jazz Bar – we met some good friends and celebrated a wonderful evening starring “Broadsway” with the great vocal styling’s of  Heather Bambrick & Julie Michels with Diane Leah on piano.  Each of the gals were featured in a number of difference genres – great show – great fun!  The Home Smith Jazz Bar is great cozy room with great sight lines – it’s been described as “A little bit of England far from England”. We enjoyed the food (when it finally arrived!) and the wine was perfect. (I must note the Home Smith Bar was very apologetic about the slow meal service – they gave us a whole bottle of wine to make up for it – cheers – glad we were taking ttc.

January 27-Feb 3/13:  The Jazz Cruise 2013 (www.thejazzcruise.com) on Holland Amercian’s m/s Westerdam -first class all the way.  Sailing from Fort Lauderdale traveling to Nassau, St. Thomas, St. Barts and Half Moon Cay.  This is a fully chartered  jazz cruise  (no bingo here) .  The top jazz musicians are hired and you can hear jazz all day & night long – in all the bars, lounges, crow’s nest, on the deck and in the large Vista Lounge.  Music is non stop all day until around 2 am.  It doesn’t get any better folks – you get to hear your favourite artists up close & personal – we saw artists such as Kurt Elling, Houston Person, Freddy Cole, Ann-Hampton -Callaway, Eddie Palmieri-Brian Lynch, Clayton Brothers, Phil Woods, Gary Burton, New York Voices, Jeff Hamilton, Joe LaBarbera, Alturo Sandoval, Shelly Burg, Joey DeFrancesco, Ken Peplowski, Wycliffe Gordon, Niki Haris, Byron Stripling, Randy Brecker, Karrin Allyson and a few more – they perform in a variety of venues and sometimes they are with their own quartet or trio and sometimes in a big band situation or solo.  I cannot say enough about The Jazz Cruise – you really have to experience it as I cannot fully articulate just how wonderful it is.   Looking forward The Jazz Cruise 2014.

February 24/13:  Colleen Allen & Trevor  Giancola performed at World Music Sunday at St. John’s United Church in Scarborough, Ont.  A great performance by the multi-talented Colleen Allen who makes her magic on the alto, tenor and soprano sax and Trevor Giancola who plays  wonderful jazz guitar – the two go so well together, especially with the great acoustics in the church.  It was an enlightening experience!

April 20/13:  Playback (50’s & 60’s dance band) at the 614 Legion, in Scarborough.  Great fun dance band – we danced all night long with our swing dance buddies.  Dinner & Dance $15pp – great deal too,

May 5/13:  Balmy Beach Club Dance – hosted by our dear friends, Ken & Doreen.  This dance was been going on for more than 50 years!!  We always meet people we know, and this time was no exception – a dear friend from my old Route 66 days, Al and his wife Cathy, were there as well.  We all had a great time dancing – swing, waltz & foxtrot –  and the three of did the old “continental” line dance – what a blast! 

July 19/13:  Colleen Allen CD release, entitled Flashlight, at the Jazz Bistro.  Colleen on soprano, tenor & alto saxes, Rob Piltch guitar, George Koller on bass, Ethan Ardelli on drums and Chris Donnelly sitting in on Piano.  Special guest was Marc Jordon on vocals.  Colleen started with a tune from her first album called Slanty Planty on soprano sax – she did a kickin straight ahead jazz solo, Rob Piltch did a tasty bluesy jazzy guitar solo and finished up with a piano solo.  Bird Theme featured Colleen on tenor sax (great sound) – George danced his way through the time – what a great bass player.  Colleen did a killer solo in If I Should Lose You and ended the piece with an amazing drum solo by Ethan – well done.  Colleen’s grandfather played saxophone and she has his actual soprano – how cool is that?  Marc Jordon did an outstanding rendition of Almost Blue as did Colleen on tenor.  If I Were a Bell &  Secret Love completed the 1st set.  2nd set included tunes from the new and old CD as well as Marc singing Let it Be Me and, of course, Coronation Street – solo’s and vocal delivery were outstanding.  I Could Have Danced All Night, Laments (written by Don Thompson),  and a tune that Colleen wrote called Chase’n’me (Chase Sanborn).  Great synergy between all the players – we had a great time in the newly renovated Jazz Bistro (formerly Top of the Senator) Great sight lines, great food, great service, great jazz!

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