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Wednesday, January 25th

Wednesday, January 25th


Robbie Burns Nite

Free Times Café (320 College Street)

Haggis, Tatters and Naps


Peter Boyd & Noah Zacharin

The Emmet Ray (924 College Street)
Peter Boyd (guitar/voice), Noah Zacharin (guitar/voice)

Peter Boyd
Peter Boyd has been a songwriter for over thirty years. Drawing on gospel and blues from Chicago all the way back to the Delta and re-invented upside-down-and-backwards, Peter's songs are a sepia-tinged glimpse into his messy, not-fully-developed soul where faith has as much a chance as folly to send you careening into the abyss.

Peter's new CD 'Beulahland' is garnering great reviews, most recently a rave from Greg Quill in the Toronto Star - "stunning and powerful blues-rooted original songs and astonishing guitar wizardry. Among the best of the year's roots/blues crop."

Noah Zacharin
Noah Zacharin was born in Montreal and resides in Toronto. He was given his first guitar at age 9, wrote his first song at 13, began performing at 14, and is happy to say that he still loves playing music. He has been called "a wonderful songwriter and performer, and stunning guitarist" (Paul Mills, Borealis Records, Producer (Stan Rogers, Oscar Peterson), a "wonderful, adventurous guitarist" (Blues Bytes), "a poet, a songwriter, a singer we have been waiting for" (Penny Lang), "a great guitarist/singer/songwriter...a wonderfully musical player" (Randy Finney, President and Founder Toronto Fingerstyle Guitarist's Association), "in a league of his own" (Brian Gladstone, AD Winterfolk Festival), "one of the best songwriters this country has produced" (the late great Rick Fielding, recording artist, radio host) and "deserving to be mentioned in the same breath with names such as James Taylor and David Wilcox" (Minor 7th).

Zacharin's recordings have garnered praise from fans and critics alike. silence spoken here (1997) was called "an understated classic...musical versatility and lyrical depth" (Xpress-Ottawa); Scene Roots and Blues dubbed aLIVE! (2000) "a real gem"; and a review of crow dark wind (2001) in Minor 7th elicited the following: "like Bruce Cockburn, Ry Cooder, and Bonnie Raitt, Noah Zacharin possesses a virtuoso command of the songwriting."

More About Peter Boyd | More About Noah Zacharin

Thursday, January 26th

Thursday, January 26th


The Acoustic Guitar Project Toronto

Gallery 345 (345 Sorauren Avenue)
Rosanne Baker Thornley (voice/guitar), Keith McKie (voice/guitar), Blair Packham (voice/guitar), Julian Taylor (voice/guitar), Suzie Vinnick (voice/guitar)

An evening of music celebrating the simplicity of a song with Toronto singer-songwriters, Rosanne Baker Thornley, Keith McKie, Blair Packham, Julian Taylor and Suzie Vinnick.

This is Toronto's first year as a participating city in The Acoustic Guitar Project, (TAGP), a global music initiative and concert series. How it works : TAGP appoints a Curator from cities they have invited to participate from around the world (there are currently 50 cities involved), providing the Curators with an acoustic guitar and a simple recorder. Each year, each Curator invites five local songwriters to participate in the project. These songwriters are given the guitar for one week and asked to write an original song and record it live with no editing; shoot a video describing their experience writing the song; sign the guitar; take a photo with the guitar and then pass the guitar onto the next songwriter in their city. The songs, photos and videos are uploaded to where all TAGP participants can be found and heard. When all five musicians have completed their songs there is a concert where these songwriters perform their music, including the songs they have written for the project and share the stories behind them.

Julian Taylor
Persistence and a never-give-up, hard-working ethic are two traits at the core of Toronto native Julian Taylor’s success. Taylor is a Canadian, award-winning, singer-songwriter who began his career as a teenager; playing at local, open stages around the city.
Those humble beginnings have led Taylor down a storied path that includes; the release of seven albums, ten top-forty singles and has seen him play more than two thousand live shows in the last decade.
A true music fan and gifted performer, Taylor’s sound is a culmination of every musical genre that has touched him throughout his life. Equal parts troubadour and soul singer, Taylor emits a raw, emotive and distinct delivery.

Tickets | More Info | More About Julian Taylor | More About Rosanne Baker Thornley | More About Suzie Vinnick

Friday, January 27th

Friday, January 27th


Winter Warm Up with Melanie Peterson & Kunle

Free Times Café (320 College Street)
Melanie Peterson (voice/guitar), Kunle (voice/guitar), Chris Birkett (guitar/voice), Alison Jane (voice/guitar), Mitchell Girio (voice/guitar)

Melanie Peterson
Melanie Peterson is a Toronto-based singer-songwriter along the lines of Joni Mitchell, Alanis Morisette, Gordon Lightfoot and Sarah Mclachlan. With her aching vibrato and prarie roots, she creates a blend of music which she descirbes as " a deep love affair between folk/pop melodies and spiritual ideals". Her EP After The Fall is available now on itunes.

Adekunle Olorundare, popularly known as Kunle, is a Nigerian born singer/songwriter. Kunle plays soulful guitar, but with a wide range of influences from rock to Celtic. As he often says, music has no boundaries.

Kunle's first love is his guitar. His unique finger picking and percussive style of play surprises audiences in West Africa. He writes his own acoustic songs and accompanies his guitar with rich vocals. When he wants to add some blues, he loves brining out his harmonica. He can also play the piano and double bass.

Music has been special for Kunle from a very young age. He was inspired by his primary school proprietress, music teacher and his Dad's broad record collection. His first guitar, at 15, was a cut up cardboard box with wooden broom twigs as strings and frets mimicking Don Williams. But for a lot of his life, music took a back seat to studying sciences and maths. Growing up in a middle-class Nigerian family meant that education was paramount. His family encouraged him to pursue a 'professional' career. After completing high school, Kunle went on to study marine engineering. He became a tugboat engineer and to this day still loves the sea.

While studying and then working as a marine engineer across Africa, Kunle continued to search for opportunities to learn guitar and music. He joined a church choir and chased down people who could teach him something new, borrowing guitars from friends. Mostly, he taught himself. In the 2010, Kunle's love of music won over and he left his maritime career.

Based in Accra, Ghana, and starting with church choirs, Kunle gradually became confident in his self-taught style. He started to write, telling stories through song. In 2011, he broke into the contemporary music scene.

Kunle can now be seen playing at venues across Accra, the centre of Ghana's arts and music culture. Kunle regularly performs with Kojo Serenade, Kyekyeku and Olumiday. He has performed for the Foreign Minister of Germany on an official visit to Ghana and for dignitaries at the British High Commission and United States Embassy. He has played alongside the famous French classical guitarist, Thibault Cauvin. Kunle is the house guitarist for Live on the Terrace, at the award winning Villa Monticello in Accra. He has written the score for a full-length movie to be released in Ghana in 2014 and for several short-length films for organizations, such as the Ghana Goethe Institute. Kunle has a personal repertoire of over two dozen songs.

In 2014, Kunle released his first EP, Ibga Adara Kale (The Best is Yet to Come).

Kunle sings in Yoruba, English, Pidgin and German. He also speaks a little Japanese and is learning French.

VK Artist Promotion & Bookings
VK Artist Promotion & Bookings is a Toronto based promotions and booking agency pleased to be working with talented, professionals musicians offering live music entertainment services to event planners, corporations, and individuals, in order to create exciting and memorable events.

Facebook Event | More About Melanie Peterson | More About Kunle

Saturday, January 28th

Saturday, January 28th


Joel Sheridan

Free Times Café (320 College Street)
Joel Sheridan (voice)

Joel Sheridan
Born and raised in Toronto, Joel Sheridan graduated from George Brown College's Musical Theatre program, and studied at the Banff Centre, School of Fine Arts (Banff, Alberta), where he was awarded a scholarship for its Drama program, and worked with many of North America's most distinguished theatre professionals and teachers. Since returning to music in 2005, Joel has performed with many of North America's top jazz musicians, captivating standing-room-only audiences at some of Canada's premier clubs, concert venues, and jazz festivals, including 6 consecutive seasons at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival.

Facebook Event | More About Joel Sheridan

Sunday, January 29th

Sunday, January 29th


Jewish Brunch Buffet with Gloria Valentine & Nina Shapilsky

Free Times Café (320 College Street)
Gloria Valentine (voice), Nina Shapilsky (piano)

Live music as part of the "Bella did you eat" Sunday brunch.
1st seating - Reserve between 10:30 – 11am, music at 11:45
2nd seating - Reserve at 1:15pm Club (1:00 Bistro), music at 1:45

Buffet includes over 50 Homemade Items - Potato latkes, blintzes, lox eggs & onions, challah, french toast, sour cream, apple sauce, bagels, lox & cream cheese mix, salmon patties, gelfilte fish, cheese, salads galore, fresh fruit, cheeses, cakes, sweets, tea, coffee and much more! Children 12 and under 1/2 price, 3 and under free.

Gloria Valentine
Gloria is a multi-faceted actress and singer specializing in Yiddish songs who has been entertaining audiences for many years. She has performed across Canada, in the US and in Israel, in concert, in clubs and in cabaret shows. Gloria has acted in TV, film and theatre. Selected credits include Kojak on television, The Children's Hour on stage and Tony and Tina's Wedding for six and a half years for The Second City. She performs her cabaret show, Bella Did Ya Eat, once a month at Free Times Café as well as other venues.

Nina Shapilsky
Nina Shapilsky is an award-winning concert pianist and composer. A talented and versatile musician and composer with improvisations from classical through folk to pop and jazz.


Monk's Music

The Emmet Ray (924 College Street)
Michael Davidson (vibraphone)

Michael Davidson
Michael Davidson is a Toronto-based vibraphonist in the improvised, jazz, and creative music scene.

He works with many of the active jazz and improvised music players in Toronto including: David Occhipinti, Nick Fraser, Brodie West, Ryan Driver, Rob Clutton, David French, Harley Card, Andrew Downing, Alex Goodman, Jim Vivian, Darren Sigesmund, Ethan Ardelli, Fabio Ragnelli, Felicity Williams, Dan Fortin, Jon Maharaj, Allison Au, Rebecca Hennessy, David Braid, and Michael Herring.

Michael leads a chamber jazz septet with cello, voice, bass clarinet, vibraphone, alto sax, double bass, and drums, which is his main compositional outlet.

He also co-leads the chamber jazz quartet Hobson's Choice, who in the words of CBC's The Signal host Laurie Brown,

"...has made a unique contribution to the Canadian scene with their debut album (of the waves). Just when I think I have the sound pegged, they switch things up."

Michael approaches improvising with passion and stunning sensitivity, as well as Monk-like wit. He is an active composer in the realm of jazz, and his inventive compositions are featured in The Michael Davidson Septet, and Hobson's Choice.

He has been composing seriously since 2001 and has received funding from The TAC, The OAC, and The CCFTA for his original projects. Recently, Michael composed and recorded a film score for the BravoFact film, "She Sings for Me."

His compositions have received praise from esteemed Canadian jazz drummer/ composer Barry Elmes,

"Not only are his songs creative and well crafted, each one has a story to tell."

Michael is also a devoted educator through his work at Humber College in the jazz program.

You can hear Michael playing around Toronto with The Michael Davidson Septet, Hobson's Choice, Pocket Camera, Monk's Music, The Dan Fortin Quartet, Bedroom, df md df trio, Ben Gunning, and Ryan Driver. These ensembles represent the diversity of Michael's musical interests, spanning from contemporary jazz to chamber to improvised. Both his original material and his interpretation of standard repertoire are evocative and communicative with the intensity of someone who, while madly in love with the tradition, has something new to say.


Vanessa Smythe & Friends

Free Times Café (320 College Street)
Vanessa Smythe (voice/guitar)
More About Vanessa Smythe

Whitney Ross-Barris Trio

The Emmet Ray (924 College Street)
Whitney Ross-Barris (voice)

Whitney Ross-Barris
Whitney Ross-Barris is an emerging solo artist on the Toronto Jazz scene and has been a professional actor for more than 12 years. She has acted in more than fifty stage productions with a performance career that has taken her all over Canada, the US and to Europe, from the top of Queen's Park in downtown Toronto to the bottom of the Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland.

More About Whitney Ross-Barris

Monday, January 30th

Monday, January 30th


Keagan Eskritt Trio

The Emmet Ray (924 College Street)
Keagan Evans Eskritt (drums), Evan Gratham (bass), Kaelin Murphy (trumpet)
Facebook Event

Michael Burton hosts Open Stage Mondays

Free Times Café (320 College Street)
Michael Burton (voice/guitar)

Signup at 7pm.

Every Monday, all artists are welcomed to sign up and share their songs, poetry, prose or comedy act on Toronto's longest-running open stage; local artists, or those visiting Toronto are encouraged to attend. Here are some of the artists who started their careers at the Free Times open stage: Jason Fowler, Jory Nash, Kat Goldman, Ron Sexsmith, Emm Gryner, Laura Fernandez, Sarah Slean, Noah Zacharin, The Lemon Bucket Orkestra.

Michael Burton
Long time singer-songwriter, club director, concert producer (including "Hearts Of Song"), festival and stage host far and wide, Michael Burton brings a lifetime of devotion to the exacting acoustic folk standards set by Canada's finest artists. With "Real Life" as the over-arching criteria, he draws on experiential and observational stories to fuel his songwriting. Using the acoustic guitar and voice, he delivers a credible, sensitive lyrical story experience for audiences. From his background of engineer, boatbuilder and mariner, and a long list of places he's called home (and always a busy arts proponent), Michael is delighted to present the "Hearts Of Song" concept and the wonderful lineup for your listening pleasure.

More About Michael Burton

Aryeh Kobrinsky Solo Bass (NYC) + Aryeh Kobrinsky Solo Bass + Digital Watch

The Emmet Ray (924 College Street)
Aryeh Kobrinsky (bass)

Digital Watch, David French (saxophone), Michael Davidson (vibraphone), Daniel Fortin (bass)

Aryeh Kobrinsky
Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba… Grew up in Fargo, North Dakota.

Since 2005, he has quickly established himself as a creative and versatile bassist on the New York jazz scene. Aryeh stands at the vanguard of a new generation of instrumental performers for whom the notion of genre is becoming increasingly ambiguous.

Having toured Europe, North Africa, Canada and the United States Aryeh has performed with a wide variety of artists including Tyshawn Sorey, Hal Crook, Andrew D'Angelo, Matt Wilson, Bob Moses and Dominique Eade.

Aryeh is a co-founder of Nowt Records, a not-for-profit cooperative independent label based in Brooklyn. Nowt released his debut album "A Hamster Speaks" in June, 2008. Aryeh can be seen performing regularly with projects/collaborations such as Hush Point; Dan Nettles Kenosha Kid; Pete Robbins Centric; Sara Serpa Quintet; Tony Falco's Internal Combustion Engine; and of course with his own quintet, BRINSK.

Facebook Event | More About Aryeh Kobrinsky