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Festivals

Kick Off the TD Niagara Jazz Festival with the Best

Some of Canada’s top artists will be performing across the region

St. Catherines — Some the best jazz talent Canada has to offer is Niagara bound for the third-annual TD Niagara Jazz Festival.

Kicking off with a Flagship Event at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines on July 29th, headlined by world-renowned Canadian instrumental jazz orchestra Manteca — debuting brand new material live —and also featuring the Dave Restivo Trio and an “All-Star Jazz Celebration,” Niagara music fans will get a flavour of the talent that will be performing over the rest of the weekend.

“With amazing wines and extraordinary people, Niagara is one of our favourite places to play,” says Matt Zimbel, co-founder and bandleader of Manteca. “We have been working with the students at Laura Secord High since 1992, including during last year’s PanAm Arts Festival, and we are regulars at Brock University. It is also a great honour to be booked by Juliet Dunn — a musician, broadcaster and now festival director we respect so much. We have just finished our 12th recording to be released in the fall and the show we perform at the festival will be the first time we are touring the new music.”

An institution in Canadian jazz, Manteca has sold more than 100,000 albums. Based in Toronto, the nine-member artist collective creates unique and original sounds with buildings blocks from jazz, world, funk, folk and contemporary orchestral music.

“Manteca is so much a part of why I do what I do today,” says Peter Shea, Artistic Director and Co-creator of the TD Niagara Jazz Festival. “I can’t put into words how inspirational they have been and how excited I am to see them on stage in Niagara. It is both an honour and a dream come true to have Manteca headline the TD Niagara Jazz Festival.

Opening up the Flagship Event, Dave Restivo is one of Canada’s most respected and influential jazz artists. A pianist, percussionist and composer, he is a three-time winner of the National Jazz Awards' Keyboardist of the Year Award, is a Juno Award winner and is listed in the current edition of Canadian Who's Who. The Edmonton Journal's Roger Levesque has called David Restivo “… simply one of the most exceptional jazz pianists of his generation that Canada can boast of.”

“Not only Manteca, but David Restivo as well!” continues Peter Shea. “He is the type of pianist that makes you stop what you’re doing and allow yourself to drown in his deeply beautiful and extraordinary music. Manteca and David Restivo are both national treasures and are not to be missed!”

David, who currently teaches at Humber College, is well known for his work with artists such as Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass, Marc Jordan and the Mike Murley Quintet, and has performed and recorded with Mel Tormé, Jon Hendricks, Dave Holland, and many others.

"I am greatly looking forward to my debut performance at the TD Niagara Jazz Festival, and to sharing music from my new Modica Music release, ‘The Waves,’ with you," says David.

The Flagship Event will also feature various performers, such as Alex Pangman, Liberty Silver and Jeffery Arthur, who will be featured throughout the first set to give fans a “sneak peek” of the Festival weekend. Other featured performers throughout the festival weekend will include John Sherwood, the Heavyweights Brass Band, the Sultans of String, Colin Hunter with the Joe Sealy Quartet and many more. The full festival line up will be released on International Jazz Day, April 30th.

“We are incredibly proud of the way the community has come on board to support and help grow the TD Niagara Jazz Festival,” says Juliet Dunn, Festival Executive Director and Co-creator. “Our first two years have been fabulous, and our third year is shaping up to be the best yet. But none of it would be possible without the hard work, dedication and support of our devoted team, our volunteers and our sponsors and partners. To kick off this year's festival we have an incredible line up of jazz artists and we are thrilled to present them in the brand new FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. We hope you enjoy the show and the whole festival weekend.”

Featuring 40 acts and 150 artists and performers, the TD Niagara Jazz Festival takes place July 29th to 31st at 15 venues across Niagara. Tickets are now on sale! Visit niagarajazzfestival.com for tickets, weekend passes and packages. Join the TD Niagara Jazz Festival on Facebook, Follow it on Twitter @jazzniagara and share some pictures on Instagram @theniagarajazzfestival.

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