AboutThe Jazz Performance and Education Centre (JPEC) is the result of a collaboration between business people, musicians and arts professionals who are passionate about jazz in Toronto.
Officially incorporated in 2008, the concept for the Jazz Performance and Education Centre was born in 2007 when jazz aficionados Raymond and Rochelle Koskie assembled a committee of fellow enthusiasts to address the need for a full-time jazz venue in the city. Over the course of that first year, the committee identified what continues to be its primary goal: to create a venue similar to Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York. This first-class, multi-purpose facility will feature performances by top local, national and international jazz talent; educational programming in which fans of all ages can learn about jazz; recording facilities; and a Hall of Fame and Archives which will encompass and preserve Canada’s outstanding jazz heritage and tradition. The facility will enhance Toronto’s reputation as one of the best cities in North America in which to experience live jazz.
JPEC’s inaugural season (2009-2010) featured a variety of exciting programming:
- The first annual Jazz Gala, in honour of Lincoln Alexander, and featuring some of Canada’s top jazz talent including Archie Alleyne (drums), Peter Appleyard (vibes), Guido Basso (trumpet and flugelhorn), Arlene Duncan (vocals), Michael Dunstan (vocals), Molly Johnson (vocals), Jackie Richardson (vocals) and Joe Sealy (piano)
- Concerts at Glenn Gould Studio and the St. Lawrence Centre featuring the Oliver Jones Trio, Dianne Reeves, the Ingrid Jensen Quintet, the Kurt Rosenwinkel Trio and the Bill Charlap/Renee Rosnes Duo
- A series of lectures, hosted by the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, led by local jazz musicians and writers including Heather Bambrick, Mark Barnes, Jack Chambers and Andrew Scott
Building on the success of the 2009-2010 season, our 2010-2011 season featured the second annual Jazz Gala at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, honouring Chief Justice Warren Winkler. Five concerts at Glenn Gould Studio showcased Fred Hersch and Norma Winstone, Lee Konitz, Robert Glasper TASA, and Seamus Blake. Educational outreach programs were presented at various schools, and a concerted effort to reach students at various colleges and universities was launched.
The 2011-2012 season started with our third annual gala, entitled "Jazz at the Movies", and headlined, among others, performers such as Jackie Richardson, Denzal Sinclaire, Heather Bambrick, and the Mario Romano Quartet. Concerts featured Lionel Loeke, Lucien Ban and John Herbert, Tom Harrell, and the amazing "Brazilian Duo" of Luciana Souza and Romero Lubambo. Also featured was the JPEC Jazz Tentet featuring: Denny Christiansen, William Carn, Terry Clarke, Pat Collins, Brian Dickinson, Mike Murley, Mark Promane, Ted Quinlan, Shirantha Beddage and Don Thomson. Later, JPEC partnered with the Jewish Community Centre's Miles Nadal featuring the Lionel Loueke Trio.
The 2012-2013 season presented JPEC's 4th Annual Gala "Tapestry" with Joe Sealy performing "Africville Stories" – from his Juno award-winning "Africville Suite" – featuring Jackie Richardson, Paul Novotny, Mark Kelso and Mike Murley. "A Salute to Motown" with world-renowned and award winning jazz musicians and vocalists, including Soul Stew, Toronto's legendary R & B, soul, and jazz, band: Musical director Roberto Occhipinti is joined by Alana Bridgewater, Michael Dunston, Kervin Barreto, David Gray, Joaquin Nunez Hidalgo, Matt Horner, John Johnson, Mark Kelso, and Michael Shand.
For 2013-2014 JPEC organized the "Paintbox Bistro/JPEC Series". Performers included: Roberto Occhipinti, Joe Sealy, Pat LaBarbera, Joaquin Nunez Hidalgo, Hilario Duran, Cindy Church, Brian Dickinson, Luis Deniz, George Koller, Neil Swainson, Mark Kelso and Derek Gray. The kick off to JPEC’s 2013 season was the highly successful “Tapestry, a Musical Landscape” at the Toronto Centre for the Arts.JPEC at a Glance (2017) Click here