When jazz aficionado Israel Asper dreamed up the Izzy Asper Jazz Performances 25 years ago, he wanted Winnipeggers to experience the best and brightest jazz artists right here in Winnipeg. And that’s who we personally choose for you. We're celebrating our twenty-fifth season with three brilliant weekends at the Berney Theatre at the Rady Jewish Community Centre, and in honour of Izzy's fondness for the New York jazz scene, one special "club date" at the Fort Garry Hotel.
Our season opens December 2 and 3 with the DJANGO FESTIVAL ALLSTARS, a dynamite band from France who are wrapping their North American tour at the Berney Theatre. As the Wall Street Journal puts it, “Imagine a stage filled with five contemporary Reinhardt descendants, and you’ll get a sense that the collective talent pool on the bandstand is larger than the Arc de Triomphe!”
On March 16 and 17, we welcome the CANADIAN JAZZ COLLECTIVE, one of the hottest new bands on the circuit. Co-led by saxophonist Kirk MacDonald, guitarist Lorne Lofsky, and the Izzy Asper Jazz Performance’s Artistic Advisor Derrick Gardner, this septet packed European clubs, including London’s famed Ronnie Scott’s, in spring of 2022, culminating in their first studio recording, Septology.
For all of you who love a great jazz singer, our season closes May 4 and 5 with the powerhouse TAMMY McCANN QUARTET. Based in Chicago, McCann melds classical technique, a gospel aesthetic, and a knack for making her lyrics come to life. This is your chance to hear “a voice that soars in all registers, at all tempos, on all occasions...a voice that inspires wonder!” (Chicago Tribune)
You may purchase single tickets to any of these concerts, but we hope you’ll consider a subscription to all three concerts at the Berney Theatre. A subscription offers you the best value, and your seats are reserved. Scroll down for ticket pricing and a purchase link.
Our special club date is Sunday, April 14 when we present “A Little Sondheim” featuring Winnipeg singer Zachary Rushing. Sondheim is widely acknowledged as the most innovative, most influential and most important composer and lyricist in modern Broadway history. He has been a powerful creative force for Zachary Rushing, who will pay homage in the new jazz club on the lower level of the Fort Garry Hotel. It feels a lot like an upscale New York club, one of Izzy Asper’s favourite places to be. We’ll release tickets for “A Little Sondheim” early in 2024.
Thanks for helping us keep the spirit of jazz alive!
Charlene Diehl, Producer
Derrick Gardner, Artistic Advisor
Izzy Asper Jazz Performances
CHARLENE DIEHL started playing the piano before she learned to read, and music and books have been twin passions throughout her life. She was associated editor of dig! magazine through its 13-year run, and has been the Producer of the Izzy Asper Jazz Performances since 2019, when she took over the reins from Bev Aronovitch. She is also a writer, editor, former English professor, and the long-time Director of the Winnipeg International Writers Festival.
DERRICK GARDNER is an internationally-acclaimed trumpeter and composer whose performing credits include stints with the Count Basie Band and Harry Connick Jr.’s Big Band. He has performed and toured with a who’s-who of jazz, and appears on over 40 recordings, including several featuring his own bands. Recent recordings include Still I Rise! with the Big dig! Band, Pan Africa with the Jazz Prophets, and Septology with the Canadian Jazz Collective. He was hired in 2011 as the Babs Asper Chair in Jazz Trumpet at the University of Manitoba, and in 2021 returned to his hometown of Chicago where he is the Interim Director of Jazz Studies at Northwestern University.
Check back soon for a sampling of music from the current season of the Izzy Asper Jazz Performances.
There are three ways to purchase single tickets or subscriptions:
Call Shira Newman at the Rady JCC: 204-477-7534
E-mail Shira Newman at: [email protected]
(One subscription + $130 tax receipt)
(One subscription + $390 tax receipt)
(Two subscriptions + $1,040 tax receipt)
Student (with ID): $60
Adult – $45
Student (with ID) – $20
*ALL PRICES INCLUDE TAX
Israel Asper was a passionate jazz afficionado. He had a vision of creating a jazz series in Winnipeg modeled after the one at the New York’s famous 92nd Street Y. In 1999 he approached the Rose and Max Rady Jewish Community Centre, one of the many organizations housed in the Asper Jewish Community Campus, with the idea of partnering to bring jazz greats to Winnipeg to perform.
The idea was an immediate hit with jazz fans and The Asper Foundation Performances Jazz Series was born. The Berney Theatre at the Campus was swinging from fall to spring with top notch musicians from Winnipeg and around the world. For the 2000-2001 season, The Asper Foundation updated the Berney Theatre with a state-of-the-art sound system and a Steinway concert piano, donated by Mark and Zita Bernstein and family, and launched a subscription campaign for the series.
Here is a complete listing of artists who have performed at the Izzy Asper Jazz Performances since the series' inception.
Click the headings below to view the brochure for each season (if available).
Oran Etkin Trio, Marry Stallings Quartet, Joe Locke Quarter with Kenny Washington, Brandon Goldberg Trio
Trio Bembe / Karly Epp & Karl Kohut / Laila Biali / Bruce Barth
Steve Wilson Quartet / Ignacio Berroa Trio / Duchess / Emmet Cohen Trio / Joe Locke Quartet
The Marcus Roberts Trio / Jazzmeia Horn Quintet / Raoul Midòn Trio / Vanguard Jazz Orchestra / Cannonball Adderley’s Fiddler on the Roof
The Christian Sands Quartet / The Pedrito Martinez Group / René Marie / The Clayton Brothers Quintet / The Hot Sardines
The Robi Botos Quartet / The Cyrille Aimée Quartet / Alicia Olatuja Quintet / The Spike Wilner Quintet / A Tribute to Ray Charles
The Mike LeDonne Quintet / The Omer Avital Quintet / Celebrating the Music of Nina Simone, Abbey Lincoln & Joni Mitchell / The Aaron Diehl Quartet / A Tribute to Stevie Wonder
The Etienne Charles Sextet / The Warren Wolf Quartet / Featuring Russell Malone / Regina Carter’s Southern Comfort Quintet / Carmen Lundy
Brian Lynch & Eric Alexander w/Xavier Davis, Steve Kirby & Quincy Davis
Vanessa Rubin / The Brubeck Brothers Quartet / Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band / Catherine Russell and Allan Harris
Marcus Printup, Gary Symulian, Edward Simon / Christian McBride & Inside Straight / The Hot Club of Detroit w/Cyrille Aimee / Anat Cohen Quartet / Bill Charlap Trio w/Freddy Cole
Brian Lynch and Don Braden / Clayton Brothers Quintet / Randy Brecker / Aaron Goldberg Trio / Dee Daniels
Allan Harris / Wycliffe Gordon, Jumaane Smith / Joe Locke Quartet w/Kenny Washington / Cyrus Chestnut & Jackie Ryan / Oliver Jones
Houston Person Quartet / Karrin Allyson Quartet / John Pizzarelli Quartet
Kenny Barron & Mulgrew Miller Duo / Stefon Harris and the Oceanic Jazz Orchestra
Bobby Watson & Horizon Band / Lionel Loueke Quartet w/Gretchen Parlato / Steve Turre Quintet / Monty Alexander Trio / Kurt Elling Quartet
James Carter Quartet w/Cyrus Chestnut / Taylor Eigsti Quartet / Clayton / Brothers Quintet / Jon Faddis Quartet / Christian McBride Quartet
Cedar Walton Quartet / Jeremy Pelt Quartet / Houston Person Quartet / Lincoln Center All Stars / Nnenna Freelon
Kenny Barron Quartet / Hilario Duran & Papa Mambo / Stefon Harris Quartet w/Mulgrew Miller & Terreon Gully / Joe Lovano Quartet / Oliver Jones / Dave Young
Dave Frishberg / Gene Bertoncini Duo / Steve March Torme / Bob Dorough / Carol Welsman / Peter Leitch / Tierney Sutton / Cyrus Chestnut / Phil Nimmons
Junior Mance / Buddy Greco / Bill Mays / P.J. Terry / Adam Makowicz / Scott Hamilton / T.S. Monk / Barbara Carrol /Jay Leonhart / Bill Charlap / Daryl Sherman / Dick Hyman & Derek Smith
Ray Bryant / Vanessa Rubin / Monty Alexander / Warren Vache & Eddie Higgins / Gene DiNovi Trio / Louis Bellson / Carol Welsman / Bud Shank & Conte Candoli / Russel Malone & Benny Green / Clark Terry
Oliver Jones Trio / Karrin Allyson / Dave Young & Ron Paley / Clark Terry & Ron Paley Big Band / Ray Bryant Trio / Jay Leonhart / Peter Appleyard w/the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra / Dave Frishberg / Jackie & Roy
For further information or to contact us about performing in the Izzy Asper Jazz Performances, please contact:
Izzy Asper Jazz Performances
Rady Jewish Community Centre
B100-123 Doncaster Street