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Your Guide to the 2009 TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival

Ten music-filled days and nights have everyone dancing in the streets during the TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival. —By Danielle Milley

Catch Kool & The Gang hit all the right notes on the mainstage at Nathan Phillips Square (photo by Silvia Mautner.)

Catch Kool & The Gang hit all the right notes at Nathan Phillips Square (photo by Silvia Mautner.)

The TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival is sure to have feet tapping and fingers snapping as it slides into town this summer with more than 350 concerts. This year’s event, which runs from June 26 to July 5, brings together more than 1,500 musicians at 40 venues as part of the city’s biggest musical showcase. There’s something for every hep cat and cool chick no matter their taste, with free daytime concerts, ticketed mainstage performances every evening and late-night jazz extending the musical euphoria at some of the hippest venues in the city.

Tony Bennett

Catch Tony Bennett singing and swinging away.

For more than two decades, the festival has been bringing the biggest and best names in jazz to Toronto and this year is no exception. From top-selling international acts to the large Canadian contingent, this year’s bill is jam packed. Legendary crooner Tony Bennett brings his unforgettable voice and stage presence to the Canon Theatre on July 5. Known for such classics as “Steppin’ Out with My Baby,” Bennett is an eternal crowd pleaser.

Sonny Rollins

Jazz aficionados won't want to miss saxophonist Sonny Rollins.

Saxophonist Sonny Rollins takes to the stage at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on June 26. With more than six decades of improvisational experience, the Grammy Award winner is sure to bring down the house. Come back on June 29 when the Gary Burton Quartet Revisited—with Pat Metheny, Steve Swallow and Antonio Sanchez—takes to the same stage.

Celebrate good times as Kool & the Gang play the mainstage at Nathan Phillips Square (at Queen and Bay streets) on June 29. Famous for ‘70s hits like “Celebration,” the band proved they still had it after more than 30 years with the release of their 2007 album, Still Cool.

Other mainstage performers include retro-funk royalty Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings (June 26), jazzy jam-band superstars Medeski, Martin and Wood (June 27), zydeco’s most popular performer Buckwheat Zydeco (June 28), British sensation Jamie Cullum (June 30), piano grandmaster Dave Brubeck (July 1), Al Di Meola World Sinfonia ‘09 (July 2), saxophonist Branford Marsalis in a double bill with the Dave Holland Quintet (July 3), Curtis Stigers and Elaine Elias (July 4) and Japanese saxophonist Sadao Watanabe (July 5).

Shuffle Demons

Be sure to check out Canadian jazz-fusion band, Shuffle Demons.

Everyday at noon, head to Nathan Phillips Square for the free Lunchtime Concert Series where the likes of the John Stretch Trio (June 27), Jane Bunnett (June 30) and Kollage (July 3) serenade midday jazz lovers. Or, come back at 5 p.m. and unwind with an Afterwork Concert featuring Soul Stew (June 26), Shuffle Demons (July 1), Five Alarm Funk (July 5) and more.

Night owls can get their fill of swing—until 4 a.m.!—with jam sessions at Supermarket, The Pilot , Dominion on Queen, Lolita’s Lust and The Social.

And the cool vibes don’t stop there, baby—Cabaret at the Old Mill (21 Old Mill Rd., 41-236-2641) and Jazz by the Lake at Harbourfront Centre fill out the program, ensuring that everyone gets their music fix.

TIP! Three- and five-show passes for mainstage concerts are available at a discounted price; call 416-928-2033 for details.

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