Indira Nanavati Cadena, the owner of the Toronto restaurant La Rev and an avid supporter of the city’s jazz scene, has died. She was 36.
At the beloved Mexican restaurant and music venue in Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood, Cadena hosted many musicians and patrons who have spoken highly of her support for local music and her efforts to make both musicians and audiences feel welcome.
“Indira cared deeply about the experience of everyone who walked through the doors of the establishment, especially the artists; one significant respect to detail was the acoustic piano which was always kept in tune,” vocalist Ori Dagan wrote for the website BlogTO. “She couldn’t always pay the musicians what she believed they were worth, but she always paid as much as she could, and made sure every musician received food, drink and her gratitude.”
Cadena was also a musician herself who was trained on classical piano and enjoyed singing old love songs, particularly those by Nina Simone and Billie Holiday. Friends say that before her death, she had just started writing her own songs and was getting ready to make her first album.
“She sang a little jazz, old stuff, but she loved classical the most,” said Jaymz Bee, who brought JAZZ.FM91 supporters to La Rev many times over the years during the station’s jazz safaris. “People are still trying to get their heads around it,” he added. “She was so young.”
The cause of death has not been confirmed.