Fusion/JazzRock/Nu Jazz

What's so good about the Montuno Police?

Submitted by Josh Grossman on Wed Jan 22 9:59am

Take six of Canada's top musicians with a foundation in jazz, mix in influences from Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and Arabic musical traditions, add great writing and exciting soloing and what do you get? The all-night dance party that is Rick Shadrach Lazar and Montuno Police. And this Saturday night, as part of the Geary Lane Jazz Series, they'll celebrate their 25th anniversary.

Donna Grantis

Canadian guitarist Donna Grantis leads a five-piece group that is wholly unique in today’s music scene. Backed by an acclaimed rhythm section, Donna’s incendiary guitar playing is highlighted against the percussive rhythms of tabla master Suphala to create a sound described by The Minneapolis Star Tribune as, “New millennium jazz-rock fusion, sorta like Jeff Beck meets a post-modern Mahavishnu Orchestra.”


Moodset is a jazz and R&B collaborative project comprised of Alexa Belgrave on keys, Jacqueline Teh on vocals, Madeleine Ertel on trumpet, Caleb Klager on bass, and Mackenzie Read on drums. All are students or alumni of the University of Toronto Jazz Performance program. They have hosted Jazz and R&B jams around Toronto, which have fostered a sense of community among jazz and pop/R&B musicians, and have performed at various venues in Toronto such as Yauca’s Lounge and Alchemy Food & Drink.

Keith Jarrett

Keith Jarrett, considered by many to be a genius, is among the most creative musi­cians working in contemporary jazz. He burst onto the scene in the early 60s, first with Charles Lloyd and then with Miles Davis. He went on to launch a prolific solo career marked by several phases and rich collaborations. Jarrett's improvisational solo concerts from the 1970s are widely viewed as classics. He has also made scores of straight-up jazz recordings with his trio as well as classical recordings. Keith Jarrett enjoys a virtual cult following all over the world.

Courtney Pine

Deeply steeped in the traditions of the Caribbean, this very personal project sees Courtney on top form, bringing together musicians from Africa, the Caribbean and Europe for vibrant exchanges that tell tales of life from a truly multi-cultural view point. It’s an exhilarating mix of Meringue, Ska, Mento and Calypso as played through the lens (saxophone) of a UK born artist with strong, proud Afro-Caribbean roots. No one better embodies the dramatic transformation in the British Jazz scene over the past twenty years than Courtney Pine.

Shafton Thomas Group

STG is an original, Toronto-based modern jazz group whose incendiary melodic agility and powerful grooves bend the mind and bob heads. Comprised of Shafton Thomas on acoustic and electric bass and compositions, Kristjan Bergey on tenor sax, Paul Morrison on keys, and Mackenzie Longpre on drums,


Rudder is a NYC-based instrumental band. Founded on deep musical relationships and friendships lasting over a decade, this quartet brings an aggressive, driving rock and jam vibe to a purely instrumental setting. Rudder is equally led by its’ four members.

Robb Cappelletto

Fresh off the release of his debut album !!!, guitarist Robb Cappelletto leads his high-energy trio through virtuosic performances that never forget to put groove first and foremost. The group's visceral approach seamlessly integrates modern jazz, R&B and latin vocabularies with rock influence and a strong blues feeling, proving there is indeed hope for the future of electric jazz.