THE DISTILLERY JAZZ FESTIVAL at various venues in the Distillery District (55 Mill ), May 20-29. $30, advance $25, nightly pass gets you into all venues. Afternoons free. www.distilleryjazz.com.
When a festival runs over the course of two weekends, featuring more than 100 acts performing everything from cabaret to free jazz and fusion, deciding who to see can be a bit daunting, so here are some Distillery Jazz Fest picks to help you out.Michael Occhipinti Friday (May 27) at Nightclub Nebula, Dancemakers Creation Centre, 9:30 pm.
Occhipinti's sure to please with his amazing guitar antics - everything from African, folk and blues played with crazy rhythms and wild arrangements.
Andrew Downing and David Tronzo Sunday (May 22) at Nightclub Nebula, Dancemakers Creation Centre, 10:45 pm.
Tronzo's legendary slide guitar and Downing's sublime double bass make this a hot gig. Joining them: Brodie West on alto sax and Lina Allemano on trumpet. Should be a festival highlight.
Inside Out Trio Saturday (May 28) at the Canteen Cabaret, 9 pm.
Having worked with everyone from Gil Evans to Joe Henderson, Barry Romberg is a true Toronto treasure, offering a straight-up set that'll suit the blues-based fans very well.
The BeBop Cowboys Monday (May 23) at the Canteen Cabaret, 4:30 pm.
The Cowboys take over with the quirky jazz that Steve Briggs and Howard Willett have perfected. Joining them will be Andrew Collins on mandolin and the great John Showman of the Creaking Tree String Quartet on fiddle. A downtown hoedown is guaranteed to break out.