Across 10 days in Toronto, much of under a summer heat wave, I saw four shows of quite varying styles despite falling under the scope of the Jazz Festival. Roy Hargrove offered a bit of funk with his band, the RH Factor, while Trombone Shorty electrified the crowd at Nathan Phillips Square with some impressive and loud New Orleans brass.
Esperanza Spalding put in a long and intimate show on the one of the hottest days, storytelling and captivating an audience with her honest and genuine music. Lastly, the incomparable Nellie McKay, a singer and songwriter I have loved since the first time I saw her, put on a very memorable show at the Horseshoe, playing from her vast collection of original music and covers, and leaving the audience agape with a final, passionate plea.
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