by carl wilson

Orders in the Court

I'm generally averse to reprinting press releases but this is of note and perhaps some of you will want to analyze in detail. There have been other contenders since the closing of two of the city's three main jazz clubs (which had their own problems, mainly fuddyduddyness, but at least kept the city on the touring map) - and I'd be happy to hear which ones people feel are working best - but this is the first one that smacks of, well, real money.

I pause only to register my cringe at the word "sophisticates." And squirming-in-my-seat discomfort at the gratuitous mention of the Rolling Stones. Other reactions? Music world, how's it shaping up on that "radar screen" you got for Christmas?

Introducing Toronto's Newest Jazz Club

Patrick Taylor, jazz impresario and Executive Producer of the TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival, and Nick DiDonato, Founder and President of Liberty Entertainment Group, are pleased to announce the opening of Toronto's newest jazz club, Live At The Courthouse.

Located at 57 Adelaide Street East, The Courthouse will host live music six nights a week beginning Tuesday, March 20, 2007. The Courthouse will be transformed into an intimate venue designed for jazz sophisticates and music lovers. "The opening week of The Courthouse is a tribute to the Montreal Bistro and Top O' The Senator," states Taylor. "Following in their footsteps, we hope this will become another great home for local and touring artists alike."

For DiDonato, this represents an opportunity to present more live music acts to the City of Toronto and obtain some much needed international exposure. "We witnessed the buzz created by acts such as the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and Tragically Hip when they performed at the Phoenix Concert Theatre and believe these concerts showcased the City of Toronto's concert and entertainment scene to the world.

"We hope to receive the same international attention when we create a 'world class' jazz club at The Courthouse, an historic Toronto landmark and an ideal venue to present live concerts. By combining a great venue and state-of-the-art sound with one of the greatest jazz promoters, this venue is definitely going to be on the music world's radar screen."

To help kick off the opening of The Courthouse, from Tuesday, March 20 to Saturday, March 24, musicians will present a different style of jazz every night to celebrate the rich and diverse talent the city has to offer. A grand opening gala will take place the following week on Thursday, March 29 with special guest performers.

Designed to comfortably seat 150 guests, with a capacity to hold over 400, the historic Courthouse features 25' high ceilings, original hardwood floors, four authentic fireplaces and a mezzanine furnished with three iron-laced balconies. In addition, a custom built acoustic stage will be enhanced with a state-of-the-art sound system and a 7' Grand piano.

Live At The Courthouse is Toronto's newest home for live music. Continuing in the tradition of the city's great clubs, Live at The Courthouse will present the best in local and international entertainment.

| Posted by zoilus on Wednesday, January 17 at 4:11 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (14)



yep. I was enjoying Mr. Spin's comments... and am definitely welcoming the new venue - every city needs different styles of clubs/venues to cater to the different levels of engagement, right? Some people don't have time, or even care to watch an artist develop and just want a straight up (little thought) evening, and I think we were just agreeing on that actually.

Regardless, it will hopefully change the landscape, and those who prefer venues like the Rex, will simply continue enjoying those venues.

Posted by becs on January 22, 2007 6:37 PM



pao - i don't think we were arguing at all, just hashing out what this thing means. Like I say, give it a year and see what happens. BTW, the Rex is still the best (only) place in the city to pay yer 2 quid and listen to people work at their jazz.

It's always a balance between the people who listen and those who think a jazz club is about background music with food. The problem is that the diners/talkers pay the big bills and the listeners usually nurse a drink for 3 hours. Try talking at certain NYC jazz clubs and you will be out the door on your ass.

Posted by original spin on January 20, 2007 7:50 AM



Stop it. You two sound like kids fighting on the playground.

The Courthouse, my initial reaction... a sigh.

Come to our new hip jazz place... bring lots of money... we'll bring the current top ten, we're just like Montreal... blah blah blah

I can't afford it. Ya it's cool someone else can and is sinking money into it and it'll be where the hotels send their clientele... bully for them.

I used to save my pennies just to get to the Senator a few times a year (not the Senator's fault, I just don't make a lot, but at least it was accessible).

Why can't anyone have a place that is less dear to attend? Some place I can go, spend my pittance, as a highlight of my week or month, that offers Toronto/Ontario/Canadian jazz musicians?

I'm not looking for big names to see. I want to go someplace to hear people work at their jazz.

Good luck to the Courthouse. I'm sure it'll be just what the opera, symphony, stage patrons needed. Have fun.


Posted by pao on January 20, 2007 12:10 AM



Incidentally, I hear Sybill's having a hell of a time at Opal - that new place on Queen St. trying to balance the people who want to dine and chat and those who come "mtl bistro style" to eat and listen...

Posted by becs on January 19, 2007 4:16 PM



True Becs - Money doesn't talk it swears. I always thought Sybil did a great job at the Senator even with the financial limitations she had to face. Fact is, it's damn hard to make money from jazz. Let's hope for the best and reconvene in a year and see how it goes!

Posted by original spin on January 19, 2007 3:35 PM



True - Money doesn't talk it swears...I always thought Sybil Walker did a good job at the Senator even though her "benefactors" probably wanted less Bernie Senensky and more Diana Krall. But, as we know, time will tell. It's always a balance when it comes to such unpopular fare.

Let's hope for the best!

Posted by original spin on January 19, 2007 3:32 PM



ha ha original spin. i work for a cdn jazz label and I think all my comment betrays is that like most people, I didn't bother to read the whole crap release - and i'm a publicist. but think what you like... often in venues like this, no matter the booker, the people who are the money give much input to what they can or can't do...

see you on the jazz circuit. i'll be the one at the back of the room.

Posted by becs on January 19, 2007 2:30 PM



Hey Becs - I agree it's a brutal press release, but to suggest that Pat Taylor has no expertise in the jazz field simply betrays the fact that you don't know who Pat Taylor is.

Posted by original spin on January 19, 2007 7:54 AM



I'm actually with you, becs. I'm hoping that the piano is an indication they're actually interested in jazz rather than jazzy background music, and it all may work out well. On the other hand, the "world-class," "sophisticates," etc., language makes me worry that this is all going to be oriented to high-end Diana Krall fans and not have any grit at all. The proof will be in the booking. Meanwhile, one-and-a-half-cheers for the Courthouse, I guess.

Posted by zoilus on January 18, 2007 6:15 PM



Hey Carl - there are many bad press releases floating out there (as we all know!!) and the only thing I can say about this one is that while I share your nerves on this type of project - where people have money to develop a type of venue that our city needs, but lack in expertise of the field - I also think that it breathes a little more diversity on the scene and that HAS to be a good thing. I went to some launch in November for a place called In The Mood where they were "re-branding" to be "jazzier" and they didn't even have a piano, let alone a stage to really showcase the artists who work their butts off to tour and play and share their music. At least this venue has one attractive feature. Let's hope they spend their money on hiring a good talent booker...

Posted by becs on January 18, 2007 5:30 PM



I wonder what the styles showcased in the opening week will be...

Posted by andrew on January 17, 2007 9:18 PM



Reeks of hyperbole, and what it sets off on my radar screen is a sense of dread. I can't figure out what the namedropping intends to achieve, and they're literally inviting comparison to two legendary Canadian (not just Toronto) jazz institutions. There seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of what a jazz club should achieve. The harping on regaining attention for the city, and NOT its musicians scares me, quite frankly.

I hope this bodes well for the city, and that the programming will be balanced among touring acts, established Toronto veterans and up-and-comers. I wonder how long the piano will stay in tune.

Posted by Ryshpan on January 17, 2007 6:32 PM



Is there some clause in Toronto's municipal bylaws which requires all press releases put out by Toronto venues to contain the phase "world-class"? I'm just askin'.

Posted by DJA on January 17, 2007 4:55 PM



"Radar screen"

Posted by Jean Oulette on January 17, 2007 4:28 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson