To all of our friends and supporters who attended and/or helped with last year's Etobicoke Jazz Festival, I want to personally extend a heartfelt thank you for all your assistance. It turned out to be a great success with the inclusion of Humber College and Odeeum where we featured some outstanding music, probably the highlight of the fall in Etobicoke!

      As a musician, in the past I have played numerous jazz festivals in and around Toronto and always wondered why we, the great music lovers of Etobicoke, didn’t have a jazz festival of our own! With this inspiration, I became and remain committed to bringing the best jazz festival to this province, not only by presenting brilliant talent but also by giving an opportunity to the younger musicians as well as their great music educators. They deserve a chance to perform and display all the great talent that we have in our neighbourhood. After all, we probably have the best music programs in the country, as well as a massive talent pool of world-class players.

      I would especially like to thank my three co-directors, Judith Johnson, Colleen Noble and Eric Boucher. Needless to say without their over and beyond help, the event would have never happened. This year I was blessed with the help of some key people that came on board as a result of an intership from the Humber College Music Business Program, namely Miriam Clarke, Marco Riquero and Paul Dunn, who worked tirelessly and have decided to remain on board for 2019. As always there are many more friends and supporters who have lent a hand.

       Thoughts of Year Four

It is hard to believe that four years have elapsed since our inaugural festival in 2015. We have come so far since our humble beginnings and yet we still strive to uphold the spirit and principles that led us to form the EJF (Etobicoke Jazz Festival) in the first place. The big difference this calendar year of 2018 was that we now boasted, "Three Bus Stops on the Lakeshore"

Starting from the west, our old stalwart The 101 Longbranch Legion featured our look at jazz luminaries from years past.

Our centre Bus Stop, for the first time was the new nightclub facility, Odeum club. At this beautiful location we not only presented jazz that was current, such as last year's JUNO jazz winner, Mike Downes, and guitarist Lorne Lofsky but also rising stars such as Kalyna Rakel and the fantastic pianist/vocalist Laila Biali.

Finally and once again for the first time, at our easternmost Bus Stop, Humber College, where the future of our festival resides.

It is my passionate belief that youth in both music and the arts must be nurtured and allowed to thrive. This was and remains the foundational idea upon which the EJF was built and with this in mind, we present in addition to Humber students, talent from the University of Toronto, The Etobicoke School of the Arts and The 91.1 Jazz FM Youth Orchestra.

A you can see 2018 brought music for everyone's musical palate. - Curtis

Etobicoke Jazz Festival Founder: Curtis Smith

A life-long Etobicoke, Ontario resident, Curtis, has crossed the country playing with many acclaimed ensembles. He is best known to scores of jazz aficionados in Toronto as the drummer for the Jive Bombers, a big band featuring a veritable who's who of the city's finest players and educators. Locally, he is also remembered as a member of the blues powerhouse "The Pie Guys", who had a historical 20 year run at the venerable Blue Goose Tavern in south Etobicoke. Curtis also founded the ensemble "Jazz West", who have been a mainstay at Kanu Bar & Grill ( and its predecessor Zee Zee K's ) for a decade. Playing a bevy of regional jazz festivals over the years, Curtis recognized the lack of options for Etobicoke residents and set out to rectify the problem. With the help of his dedicated co-directors Colleen Noble and Judy Johnson, he founded the Etobicoke Jazz Festival in 2015. Now into its fourth year, the EJF provides its fans with an array of different acts, both local favourites and international showstoppers.

A musician's musician with a knack for creativity, Curtis is now also hitting his stride as a filmmaker and entrepreneur who is making a creative mark on his native Village of Islington.

Davie T. Turchet

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