What is this thing called Jazz?

The second concert of our 2018-2019 series is a way to celebrate Valentine’s Day in advance on Monday February 4th – and it is already selling well.

Have you ever wondered what happens in a jazz  performance? Who plays the melody and why? What happens during the improvisation? Is there structure, form, harmonic progression and most importantly how do you follow it and what holds it together? Come and hear three top notch students from the  University of Toronto Jazz Studies Program. They will perform with Professor Gordon Foote, who will introduce well-known jazz standards and explain the road map of the performance.

A recent private event at Shaftesbury introduced some of us to the jazz pianist  Anthony D’Alessandro featured at this concert.  He wowed the crowd and many planned to come on the basis of his performance that evening. Anthony is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Piano Performance at the University of Toronto studying under Canadian jazz luminaries Dave Young, Mark Eisenman, David Restivo, David Braid, Steve Wallace and Mike Murley.  Anthony is a four time recipient of the Noreen & Phil Nimmons Scholarship in Jazz Performance, the University of Toronto President’s Entrance Scholarship, the University of Toronto National Book Award and was a finalist for JAZZ.FM91’s 2016 Peter Appleyard Scholarship.

You will want to order your ticket soon so that you won’t miss out – and you can find out how to do so here.


Thanks to all our supporters

Our most recent concert was a great success.  We sold out and enjoyed outstanding performances by Michael Bridge and Joseph Johnson.  People enjoyed the reception, visiting with friends and greeting and thanking the performers.

We also instituted our first audience survey and received 62 replies.  While response to our email invitations was an expected response, the second highest way to hear about our series happens when people forward the email  invitation along with an attached posted to friends and colleagues.  We owe all of you a huge vote of thanks for your help and encourage you to continue doing so.

Audience members can also subscribe to this website to receive updates.  We promise that these happen only occasionally before concerts or when there is news of our artists.  You may subscribe on the right hand side of this page – and you may also cancel at any time.

We wish you all the best in the coming holiday season. As a special treat you might also like to enjoy a reprise of Michael Bridge’s amazing performance on the digital accordion  – a more scenic presentation here but no less inspiring and we can guarantee you have never heard anything quite like it!

Another opening, another show!

Our 2018-2019 season arrives with our first concert on Monday, November 26,  when we welcome back Michael Bridge, accordion,  in partnership with  Joseph Johnson, Principal Cello Chair of the Toronto Symphony.  Both are amazing performers and you can read more about them here.

But we will let them introduce themselves. What they will do in combination promises to be wonderful. Tickets can be ordered here.

R.I.P. Peter Longworth

Peter Longworth

Classical pianist Peter Longworth has died at the age of 53 from cancer,

The London, England-born musician was a soloist and chamber musician who has performed in cities all around the world. He has been a soloist with the Vancouver Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Chicago Symphony and more. Over the years, he has also collaborated with conductors such as Edwin Outwater, Nikolas Caolie, Eduard Zilberkant and Bramwell Tovey.

Longworth is also a founding member of the Duke Piano Trio, an act he started with violinist Mark Fewer and cellist Thomas Wiebe. Together, they performed throughout the U.S. and Canada. Outside of that, he made many recordings for Azica Records including the complete Brahms violin and piano sonatas with Fewer. Academically, Longworth has been a faculty member of the Glenn Gould School in Toronto since 1991, inspiring an entire generation of classical artists.  (source:: CBC Music)

Peter appeared in concert in a previous season.  He also lived in the Shaftesbury community some years ago.  We shall miss him and send our condolences to his wife and family.



Thanks for your support!

Another series of concerts has ended with success.  Your volunteer committee celebrated with a pot luck supper to end another year of planning and organizing.  We are immensely grateful for your continuing interest and support and wish all of you a relaxing and pleasant summer. We shall  return early in the fall to let you know of another exciting year of performances – including one with a new twist.

Shaftesbury Salon’s Next Concert

Our next concert is a different one for us where several distinctive strands converge.

One of our members had an opportunity to hear a work performed in a European Festival and was immensely moved by the music and the poetry readings added to it.  The Windermere String Quartet, who have performed with us previously, know this work.  The timing of the concert is the week before Easter. Another good friend, Eric Friesen is available for the readings and loves the work. All of these strands have come together for us to present Haydn’s  The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross on Monday March 26, 2018 as our final offering for this season.

The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross (Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze) was originally written as an orchestral work by Joseph Haydn,  and was commissioned in 1786 for the Good Friday service at Oratorio de la Santa Cueva in Cádiz, Spain. Haydn adapted it in 1787 for string quartet and later in 1796 as an oratorio (with both solo and choral vocal forces), and he also approved a version for solo piano.

The seven main meditative sections—labelled “sonatas” and all slow—are framed by a slow Introduction and a fast “Earthquake” conclusion, for a total of nine movements.  It is a work of outstanding power and never fails to move its listeners. We are pleased to welcome back the Windermere String Quartet for the second time as well as  writer and broadcaster Eric Friesen.  We have chosen a number of readings for the occasion including those of a Canadian poet who will also be in attendance.

Yon can read more about the composition and the artists here.

Tickets are $28 and may be purchased here.

The Battle was a Tie!

Happy Holiday season – and a message to save the date for our next concert. It takes place on Sunday, February 11 at 3:00 pm and you can read about it on  the pages above,

The audience at our last concert was hard pressed to decide between the music of 1867 and 1967.  Which year was best?  Here are a few snippets for you to decide for yourself.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.

And it’s hard to resist toe tapping when performers like these get busy hands going.

Save the date now. You  can even order tickets right away for holiday gifts. We hope to see you in 2018.

Even more performers!

Our November 5 concert promises to be a memorable one.

The group features four stalwarts of the Canadian Roots Music scene. Tom Leighton – piano, accordion & vocals, Ian Bell – guitar, squeezebox, banjo and vocals, Michelle Rumball – guitar and vocals, Conrad Kipping – mandolin, fiddle, guitar and vocals.

Tickets are available now at $28. and you can order yours here!  And you can share this poster designed by Ian Bell with your friends.  (Just right click on it, copy it and add it to an email).

We’re up and running!

Get ready for our first concert of the Shaftesbury Salon Music Series as we begin our fifth consecutive season.  We welcome Tom Leighton and Ian Bell on Sunday, November 5 at 3:00 pm to give us a taste of Canadian music history of our last hundred and fifty years. You can  learn more about them  and order tickets here.

Ourwebsite has a new look and address so you may want to add https://shaftesburymusic.org to your bookmark collection.  If you would like to keep in touch, you may press the “follow button” on the right hand side menu and you will receive news updates from time to time.  You may cancel these notices at any time you wish.  If you received notices like this in the past, will you please subscribe again because our site address has changed.

Another Season Coming Soon

For the first time, we can tell you all the dates and artists of our coming season.  Stay tuned for an order form for the first concert arriving very soon.

We open with a celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary – and a battle between the music of signature years featuring two of Canada’s best folk artists, Tom Leighton and Ian Bell.  They are repeating their St. Lawrence Hall concert which allows the audience to weigh in on the music of 1867 versus 1967.  It takes place on Sunday, November 5 at 3:00 pm.





And just in time for Valentine’s Day we welcome, Patricia O’Callaghan and our good friend, pianist Robert Kortgaard along with Andrew Downing on bass for an afternoon of stunning cabaret on Sunday, February 11, 2018.

And on Monday March 26, 2018, we welcome back the Windermere Quartet to perform a rarely heard work of Haydn’s – The Seven Last Words of Christ.

Tickets for the first concert will be available soon – but we wanted you to be able to save the dates and welcome you back to our popular and eclectic concert season.  We hope to see you soon.