BGJI Quartet at Toronto Jazz Festival, June 27

By 
Nick Balkin
June 15, 2011
Joe Manzoli
Caili O'Doherty
Shin Sakaino
Isaac Haselkorn

The Berklee Global Jazz Institute Quartet is headed to the TD Toronto Jazz Festival to mentor and perform with high school musicians from Toronto's Youth Jazz in the City program, as well as Sapporo Jazz Festival artists Shohei Yamaki and fulare_pad from Japan. They'll all perform together at the Youth Jazz Showcase on Monday, June 27, 12:30 p.m. at the Rex Hotel, 194 Queen Street West. The quartet will perform again at 5:30 p.m. that afternoon at Boiler House Restaurant, 55 Mill Street, in the Distillery Historic District of Toronto. Both concerts are free and open to the public. 

BGJI Quartet guitarist and Toronto native Joe Manzoli is a product of the Humber Community School's Youth Jazz in the City program, which creates opportunities for young Canadian jazz musicians to study and perform with professional jazz musicians. Manzoli, who in high school won MusicFest Canada's prestigious National Musician Honor Award three years in a row, sees this as a chance to give back to the program.

"I'm excited for this collaboration because it connects my past and present." said Manzoli. "Humber played a role in my decision to attend Berklee. This is a great opportunity to put into practice many of the ideas the BGJI faculty have been teaching us, namely giving back to the community." 

The quartet is composed of Manzoli on guitar; two-time DownBeat Student Award–winning pianist Caili O'Doherty (Beaverton, OR); drummer and recipient of Berklee's Terri Lyne Carrington Endowed Scholarship and Louie Bellson Award Isaac Haselkorn (Belmont, MA); and acoustic bassist Shin Sakaino (Tokyo, Japan), who has performed with McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Cobb, Benny Golson, and others. 

The Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI) is a unique focused area of study designed to foster creativity and musicianship through various musical disciplines, with Grammy Award–winning pianist and composer Danilo PĂ©rez as its artistic director. The BGJI provides a comprehensive contemporary music environment where students are given opportunities to explore their creativity to the highest level possible, advance the power of music as a tool for the betterment of society, and connect musical creative thinking with the natural environment. BGJI students are mentored by jazz masters, perform at international jazz festivals, and develop the skills needed to become role models for a new generation of musicians and inspire leadership in others.

The TD Toronto Jazz Festival has become known as one of North America's premier jazz festivals, produced annually by Toronto Downtown Jazz, a Canadian-registered charity. What began in 1987 as an eight-day showcase of jazz now attracts in excess of 500,000 loyal patrons annually over 10 days. Attractions include more than 350 performances with more than 1,500 musicians performing at approximately 40 locations around Toronto. The heart of the festival is now located at Metro Square in the heart of Toronto's Entertainment District, with an impressive 1,200-seat fully-licensed Mainstage Marquee and outdoor stage, where many extraordinary events are offered free to the public.