Toronto-based musician and composer, JIM GELCER, is thrilled to be giving his first LIVE public performance since Covid shut-down music venues on Thursday November 4, at the venerable Jazz Bistro. Jim will be joined on stage by Rob Piltch (guitar), Ross MacIntyre (bass), Rob Neal Christian (sax, flute, piano). Pictured below. Jazz Bistro takes great care to observe all safety protocols. And the ambiance is warm and the food is delicious. Reservations (416-363-5299) are definitely recommended if you plan to attend!
I sat down today with Jim at the Aroma Café on Bloor St East, and asked a few questions about surviving Covid lockdown, what it feels like to be back performing LIVE, and his new side gig teaching students from around the world via an online learning academy.
Jim, you have a fun gig coming up November 4th at Toronto’s Jazz Bistro – is this your first live show since Covid restrictions have eased and audience capacities have increased? Yes and no. I had a couple of shows last summer when they first eased the restrictions a bit, and there have been a few private events as well, but this is really my first club date as a band leader in 18 months.
You’re performing with 3 other great musicians: Rob Christian on sax, flute & piano; Rob Piltch on guitar and Ross MacIntyre on bass. Are you looking fwd to working with your fellow musicians after all this time? Absolutely! Especially this killer band. I’m a connector. And one of the things I like to do is bring people together who I think should know each other and would enjoy playing or working together. I’ve worked with each of these musicians individually, but never all three together and I think it is a wonderful combination of talent.
Did the Covid isolation period offer any positive opportunities such as time to compose or arrange, listening to other musicians’ work? Yes, indeed! I was quite busy during Covid with film scores, production, and songwriting collaborations. In fact, I’ve just finished co-writing three Christmas songs with Jon Mullane, a songwriter from Nova Scotia, that will be released on his upcoming Christmas album (look for it on his Spotify, or wherever you listen to music).
You studied music as well as philosophy, so has a serious music education helped you with your career? So many new/young musicians have never picked up an actual instrument or learnt how to sight-read music – do you think there is still a need for traditional learning or do you feel music’s future lies with computers? A couple of years ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to teach music at the Toronto District School Board. I am so grateful for that, as it sustained me during Covid, and got me into teaching, which I had not done much of previously. During the pandemic I also started teaching privately, and have had students from as far and wide as Germany, Ukraine, Hawaii, and all over North America. So, yes, I believe that there is still a need for traditional learning.
Please tell us how to get tickets to the Jazz Bistro gig Thurs. November 4th – how much is the cover? Call 416-363-5299 to make a reservation. Cover is $15 and it all goes to the band. www.jazzbistro.ca
And if people want to learn more about you and your music, do you have a website or social media they could follow? Yes, I’m on Facebook (facebook.com/jgelcer). I’m also on Instagram and Twitter as @jimgelcer. And I’m even on Wikipedia! My website is www.gelcer.com
So good luck, Jim, with the show at Jazz Bistro, and continued success with your music students around the world. (www.outschool.com)