The Royal Conservatory of Music has announced part of the lineup for its 15th concert season, which includes performances by Samara Joy, Terence Blanchard, Christian McBride, Brad Mehldau and Robi Botos.
More than 30 live concerts were announced to be coming to Koerner Hall in Toronto in the coming year, with the entire lineup of more than 80 events to be revealed this June.
“Night after night, audiences have shown us how starved they have been for live music played by great artists in an exceptional hall,” said Mervon Mehta, executive director of performing arts at the Royal Conservatory. “We are also acutely aware of how devastating the past three years has been on musicians and how thrilled they are to return to making music for all of us. The 2023-24 season is filled with some of our dearest friends and 16 artists and ensembles who will make their debuts with us. As usual, Canadian talent sits comfortably alongside their international counterparts and our students continue to shine ever brighter. We encourage you to come to your favourites but also to try something new. You will not be disappointed.”
This season’s jazz series features performances by established stalwarts as well as up-and-coming stars.
Oct. 21, 2023 — Robi Botos and Friends
Juno Award-winning pianist and the RCM’s inaugural jazz artist in residence Robi Botos takes a trip through Roma-inspired jazz piano with the help of some special guests. Botos will be joined by rising star vocalist Joanna Majoko and his frequent collaborators, trumpeter Tim Reis, bassist Mike Downes, drummer Larnell Lewis and more to be announced.
Nov. 4, 2023 — Christian McBride
Eight-time Grammy-winning bassist Christian McBride is widely regarded as the standard-bearer for jazz bassists in the 21st century. He returns to Koerner Hall for the Toronto debut of his new project: a quintet of rising young instrumentalists, including saxophonist Nicole Glover, guitarist Ely Perlman, pianist Mike King and drummer Savannah Harris.
Dec. 9, 2023 — Terence Blanchard’s E-Collective with Turtle Island Quartet
Oscar-nominated and seven-time Grammy-winning trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard and his electric ensemble are joined by the double Grammy Award-winning Turtle Island Quartet. The E-Collective features guitarist Charles Altura, pianist and keyboardist Taylor Eigsti, drummer Oscar Seaton Jr. and bassist David “DJ” Ginyard.
Jan. 27, 2024 — Brad Mehldau: Solo
For his return to Koerner Hall, Grammy-winning pianist Brad Mehldau plays a solo night of new jazz works commissioned by the Royal Conservatory, Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall and Cal Performances. The pieces reflect the influences of French impressionism in 13 passages.
Feb. 24, 2024 — Samara Joy
Grammy-winning sensation Samara Joy has a rich and velvety yet precociously refined voice, which has already earned her fans like Anita Baker and Regina King, appearances on The Today Show and millions of likes on TikTok — cementing her status as perhaps the first Gen Z jazz singing star. The winner of the Grammy for best new artist makes her debut at Koerner Hall.
May 11, 2024 — The Jon Cowherd Trio and the Larnell Lewis Band featuring Joy Lapps
Larnell Lewis, Joy Lapps and the Jon Cowherd Trio share a soulful double bill. The Jon Cowherd Trio features three of the most imaginative, sensitive, and wide-ranging artists in modern jazz, who are also Koerner Hall favourites: pianist and Hammond B3 player Jon Cowherd, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Brian Blade. Grammy winner Larnell Lewis has established himself as one of the most diverse and in-demand drummers in the world. Internationally lauded artist and composer treats the steelpan as a tool for engagement, anchoring her artistry in a profound, community-centred musical tradition.
“As we celebrate the 15th season of Koerner Hall, I am immensely proud of all that has been achieved to bring artists of the highest calibre to this incredible venue, and I am very grateful for the generosity of our donors and patrons who support and share our passion to unite people with beautiful music,” said Peter Simon, president and CEO of the Royal Conservatory.
In keeping with recent seasons, Koerner Hall will continue live-streaming select performances.
Tickets and subscriptions go on sale Friday, Feb. 24, at 10 a.m. ET. See the full lineup at rcmusic.com.