Toronto benefit concert raises money for Big Rude Jake during cancer fight
More than 20 musicians are coming together for a Toronto benefit concert for Big Rude Jake as the artist continues his battle with cancer. Since the 1990s, Jake Hiebert has been shaking up the neo-swing circuit in clubs and bars in Canada and around the world with a blend of jazz, blues, swing, ragtime, rockabilly and Cajun music along with poetry, irony and a sense of humour. In the spring of 2021, Hiebert was diagnosed with small-cell carcinoma of the bladder, a rare and aggressive form of cancer that had metastasized to other locations in his body. As Hiebert continues his fight, the Toronto music community is rallying to support him and his wife, Anna-Lisa, and his seven-year-old daughter, Hope. Saxophonist Alison Young, who has toured with Big Rude Jake in Canada and Europe, is serving as the music director for JakeFest at Lula Lounge on Thursday, June 9. Young will lead a band that will feature the talents of Glenn Anderson, Marg Stowe, Jacek Zorawkski, Kevin Barrett, Pat Carey, Jacob Gorzhaltsen, Jeff Halischuck, Clark Johnston, Paul Metalf, Carrie Chesnut, Sal Rosselli and Jamie Stager. The featured vocalists are Raoul Bhaneja, Sam Broverman, Tia Brazda, Ori Dagan, John Finley, Roberta Hunt, Michael Johnson, Tony Quarrington, Serafin LaRiviere and Lyne Tremblay. JAZZ.FM91 on-air host Jaymz Bee will be the emcee. The money raised from ticket sales will go toward providing a financial buffer for Hiebert and his family while he remains unable to work. There’s also a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Hiebert; it has nearly reached the halfway point of its $50,000 goal. Tickets for JakeFest are available at eventbrite.ca.