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Ross Porter

Photo: Janet Jardine


ROSS MURRAY PORTER, C.M., is a Canadian broadcast host, music authority, event producer, published author and President Emeritus of JAZZ.FM91.

Host of Music To Listen To Jazz By, Saturdays 9AM to 11AM, Ross Porter is acknowledged by jazz lovers from coast-to-coast as Canada’s preeminent jazz broadcaster.

Ross is widely known for a distinguished career as a Radio and Television broadcaster and producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. For eleven years, Porter hosted a daily national show on CBC Radio 2, and covered pop culture for CBC Television's The National and CBC Newsworld's On the Arts, becoming integral to the careers of many of Canada’s most successful performers, including Diana Krall, Molly Johnson, Jane Bunnett, and Holly Cole.

As an executive for CanWest from 2002 to 2004, Porter developed, launched, and spearheaded programming for Canada’s national music channel COOLTV, also managing day-to-day operations at CanWest’s 24-hour jazz station, COOL-FM.

Throughout his early career, he amassed an impressive list of commendations as a producer for network radio documentaries on music icons including Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Chet Baker, and created critically acclaimed television documentaries on the lives of legends Oscar Peterson, Joni Mitchell, Moe Koffman, Quincy Jones, George Harrison, Brian Wilson, and Diana Krall.

Recognized for his impeccable taste in music, his unique delivery, and his innate ability to articulate the colorful jazz landscape for radio listening audiences across the country as executive producer and host of CBC Radio’s highly successful daily “After Hours” jazz show, Porter also shared his passion and unique understanding of the jazz genre with international air travelers as host of Air Canada’s in-flight audio jazz channel for several years.

His lengthy list of background credentials also includes stints as a respected print journalist, serving as a music columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press and as a jazz reviewer for The National Post. In 2006, McLelland and Stewart published Ross Porter’s first book,The Essential Jazz Recordings: 101 CDs. A consistent best seller ever since, it is now in consecutive printings.

After assuming the position of President and CEO of JAZZ.FM91 in 2004, Porter repositioned the station as an important force on the broadcast landscape, regionally, nationally and internationally. As a first priority at the management helm, he eliminated the station’s $800,000 debt and was responsible for delivering some of the highest ratings in the station’s history.

He relocated the station to its current home in the trendy Liberty Village area of Toronto, and supervised its design which features a live performance hall at its centre, to allow many of Canada’s best performers to appear live in front of an audience, for broadcast around the world.

As a strong advocate of new and social media, Porter commissioned the JAZZ.FM91 iPhone app which has since been downloaded almost 500,000 times, and the recently launched iPad app which has now achieved 50,000 downloads. He also created the station’s four on-line audio streams.

The number of high-impact community outreach initiatives he spearheaded has been extensive and include the creation of the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band, the Jazz 4 Kids music series, the Jazzology radio show (an accredited part of the curriculum at four post-secondary institutions) the JAZZ.FM91 Thinkers Series (an interactive lecture series showcasing eminent speakers who personify some of pop culture’s pivotal moments), and the on-line teaching resource – the Canadian Jazz Archive. The station’s revitalized and expanded Sound of JazzConcert Series recently celebrated its 37th anniversary at the same time as Porter developed a parallel Cabaret performance series.

In 2005, Porter created the landmark annual fundraising event Jazz Lives (now held at Toronto’s Koerner Hall). For the last thirteen years the live concert hall event has been acknowledged as one the premier jazz events in the country featuring leading performers from around the world, and selling out every year just days after the talent line-up is announced. Pat Metheny, Branford Marsalis, Al Jarreau, Ramsey Lewis, John Scofield, Bill Charlap, Terence Blanchard are among the legendary jazz artists to have appeared in recent Jazz Lives concerts.

Winner of numerous honours and accolades throughout his illustrious career, Ross Porter was accorded the 2000 CanWest Award for his ‘Outstanding Contribution to Jazz’ by friend and mentor Izzy Asper. The prestigious National Jazz Awards named him ‘Broadcaster of the Year’ in both 2002 and 2004. In the Spring of 2009, Porter was nominated, by the Jazz Journalists Association, for the Willis Conover-Marian McPartland Award for Broadcasting.

His interest in music is diverse. In the late ‘70s, he worked as Road Manager for the Ottawa-based Cooper Brothers, an award-winning rock band who were signed to the prestigious Capricorn Records label in the U.S. Porter worked in the Cultural Industries in Manitoba where he was key in developing the careers of Fred Penner and the Crash Test Dummies. He was a member of the Oscar Peterson National Committee which commissioned Canadian artist Ruth Abernethy to create a commemorative statue at Canada's National Arts Centre. In June 2010, Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh unveiled the sculpture in Ottawa. He also chairs the Music Advisory Committee at Humber College in Toronto.

Ross Porter studied at the University of Ottawa, Algonquin College and the Schulich School of Business. On June 28, 2013 he was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada for lifetime achievement.

After celebrating his 40th anniversary in broadcasting, Porter has stepped down to take on the role of President Emeritus after serving as JAZZ.FM91's President and CEO for 14 years. Porter looks forward to now spending more time with his family.

Terry McElligott

Photo: Frank Nagy

A little bit about me, Terry McElligott:

I attribute my early interest in radio to my mother. She had radios all over the house. She tuned in a lot.

Chance Occurrence #1: a radio station tour, age 12, that connected some dots, and got me focused on a career in the medium.

Chance Occurrence #2: my very first on-air job was producing a jazz program. By the time JAZZ.FM91 was in the planning stages, I was long, long gone from radio but jazz always caught my ear.

Chance Occurrence #3: a passing remark that Toronto was soon going to have a jazz radio station. Here we are today.

Some other things about me: I like to get out on my bicycle. I take a lot of photos. I love anything that flies. I know that travel is the best education, and I really, really like jazz. Can’t play a note, myself, but I sure do admire anyone who does.

Terry can be heard as the host of Midday Jazz, every weekday from 10AM - 2PM.

Contact Terry at terry@jazz.fm

 

Brad Barker

Photo: Frank Nagy

Growing up in Nova Scotia, Brad attended St. Francis Xavier University getting his Degree in Jazz Studies as a bass major. This led to a 10 year career as a professional musician, spending 6 years recording and touring with The Pursuit of Happiness.

Brad then moved on and studied broadcasting at Humber College, which soon turned into securing various jobs at Toronto radio stations. When the opportunity to work at JAZZ.FM91 came Brad’s way in 2001 he jumped at it. Being Operations Manager and Music Director at one of the few 24 hour-a-day jazz radio stations in the world and the chance to work with JAZZ.FM91’s members and volunteers makes for a unique and very rewarding experience.

Brad is the host of Afternoon Drive, heard weekdays 2PM to 6PM.

Contact Brad at bbarker@jazz.fm

John Devenish

John is a musician and actor with professional experience on stage, in film, on television and radio.

He was the male narrator for The Globe and Mail’s Facts and Arguments podcasts, also the Dear Sweetheart series featuring letters home from a Canadian soldier overseas during WWI, and did  voice work for a short film feature in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald's Titanic celebrations series.

He has contributed to major art installations in Toronto’s Nuit Blanche, The Encampment installation in Ottawa’s Major’s Hill Park and was project coordinator for the public art piece, The Community Totem, in Toronto’s Cy Townsend Park. John was on the inaugural Wychwood Barns Community Association Board of Directors and continues to be active in social and developmental service sectors.

John loves radio, loves to connect with and engage with people and find out what makes them tick and how they are inspired. He loves music, and all of its diverse genres, having been introduced at an early age in a dynamically musical family.

Share your evenings from 6PM to 9PM, Monday to Friday, with John Devenish, our Dinner Jazz host on JAZZ.FM91.

Contact John at john@jazz.fm

Joe Sealy

Joe Sealy

For several years, Joe Sealy has enjoyed a successful career as a musician, actor, composer, music director and recording artist.

He won a Dora Mavor Moore award for music direction in the Toronto production of Ain't Misbehavin'. Joe has performed with a wide variety of notable performers such as Sammy Davis Jr., and John Candy, and with jazz greats, Joe Williams and Milt Jackson., and won a Juno award for Africville Suite. Most recently, Joe was the music director of the highly acclaimed Tonya Lee Williams Gospel Jubilee television special and a CBC radio Words & Music Special called East Coasting.

Joe is the host of Joe's Jazz, heard Tuesdays at 9PM on JAZZ.FM91.

Heather Bambrick


Heather Bambrick

Photo: Frank Nagy

Heather Bambrick is a JUNO-nominated vocalist, voice actor, broadcaster, and educator, who has collaborated with Phil Nimmons, Fred Hirsch, Gene DiNovi, Guido Basso, Lea Delaria, Anne Hampton Callaway, Jackie Richardson, Ian Shaw, Rob McConnell, Peter Appleyard, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, and many others.  She is also a founding member of the Jazz/Cabaret ensemble Broadsway.

Heather’s recordings It’s About Time and Those Were The Days have received critical acclaim and ECMA nominations.  Her latest album You’ll Never Know was nominated for a 2017 JUNO Award for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year. Heather’s been a featured guest on numerous recordings, including those of Peter Appleyard and the Breithaupt Brothers, and she has been awarded Canada’s National Jazz Award for Vocalist of the Year.

Since 2001, Heather has firmly entrenched herself in the world of broadcasting on JAZZ.FM91, producing and hosting both “Sing, Sing, Sing” (which eventually became the highly popular “Sunday Afternoon Jazz”), and "Wake Up! with Heather Bambrick". She has twice been named Broadcaster of the Year  at the National Jazz Awards.  Heather is also one of Canada’s busiest voice actors, appearing in commercials and animated series for various networks, including Emmy-nominated series Wild Kratts, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Justin Time, and Doozers.

The native Newfoundlander is a graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Music (Performance, Jazz Studies), and has taught at U of T, Humber College, and the Royal Conservatory of Music.  She continues to work as a clinician and adjudicator at music festivals across Canada.

Heather can currently be heard hosting Sunday Afternoon Jazz, from 12:00 - 4:00 pm, and on Thursday nights at 9:00 as the host of Jazzology.

Contact Heather at heather@jazz.fm

Ian Shaw

Award-winning jazz singer Ian Shaw is also an accomplished radio presenter. Ian has been hosting The Ronnie Scott’s Radio Show since 2012, bringing his knowledgeable, witty and engaging style to the show. Over the years Ian has made many appearances on radio including presenting on London’s Jazz FM, hosting Big Band Special, on the UKs BBC Radio 2, and is a frequent Compére and host for broadcast events and award ceremonies.

Ian performs regularly at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and has done so since the early 90s when he was encouraged as a jazz singer by non-other than Ronnie Scott himself. He began his career a decade earlier on the Alternative Cabaret Circuit, alongside a galaxy of British comedians, while also playing in piano bars across the UK and internationally. Now, with more than a dozen albums to his name, including three American releases, he is widely regarded as one of the most distinctive, original and creative jazz singers that the UK has produced, as well as being a talented pianist, songwriter and record producer.

You can hear Ian every Friday night at 9pm hosting the Ronnie Scott's Radio Show.

Jamie Cullum

Jamie Cullum's willingness to defy convention has served him well during his lifelong pursuit of musical fulfillment.  He began playing piano and guitar at the age of eight; in his mid teens, Cullum was in & out of rock bands playing guitar, drums and piano; he was also the drummer in a hip-hop combo, eventually finding his way back to jazz through the samples used in his favorite hip-hop recordings; and Cullum spent the end of his teen years living in Paris, where he honed his skills performing in local jazz clubs before going on to become the biggest-selling British jazz artist of all time.  Cullum has won an enviable reputation as a magnetic live performer, playing freewheeling concerts that emphasize spontaneity and improvisation—and which rarely employ a set list.

Jamie is the host of the Jamie Cullum BBC Radio Show which can be heard Saturday's at 11am and again on Monday's at 9pm.

Danny Marks

Danny Marks

Photo: Don Dixon

If there's a popular song from 1900 to now, chances are Danny Marks has heard it, and can sing it. And maybe even put a new spin on it: Johnny Cash performing Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love, or Elvis launching into reggae. An aficionado of the great blues singers of the '30s and '40s, Marks was one of the first guitarists to incorporate blues roots into rock music.

His big brother went out of his way to collect old recordings, and Danny grew up listening to rare blues, R&B and rock and roll records few people heard in the Toronto area. His tastes – and guitar licks – grew as he encountered such widely diverse guitar talents as Chet Atkins, Chuck Berry, the King Family, Andres Segovia and Los Indios Tabajaras.

Tune in to Danny Saturdays from 8 PM to midnight for BLUZ-FM on JAZZ.FM91.

Contact Danny at dmarks@bluz.fm

Laura Fernandez

Laura Fernandez
Photo: Frank Nagy

Singer-songwriter and artist Laura Fernandez was born In Madrid, Spain, lived in Switzerland as a child, spent her youth in Calgary, Alberta and her adulthood here in Toronto and traveling worldwide. True to her international roots Laura writes songs in English as well as Spanish and her musical compositions are a reflection of her many influences.

Laura is also an award winning artist and illustrator and has many published children’s books. Her work has been seen internationally on billboards, ads and packaging as well as in books and magazines. She has painted many portraits and her work hangs in private collections and in museums.

Laura comes to JAZZ.FM91 as a passionate enthusiast of jazz, and especially Latin Jazz, which has surrounded her throughout her life and is a part of her cultural upbringing. She is honoured to be part of the JAZZ.FM91 team and hopes to share the love and passion she has for this music with Café Latino listeners everywhere!

Laura can be heard on Café Latino, Saturdays from 4 to 6PM

Contact Laura at laura@jazz.fm

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