Jay Douglas and Kollage take center stage at the 17th annual Commffest Film & Arts Festival being held this weekend at Toronto’s St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts.
The two musical artists will join forces for A Tribute to Blues and Jazz at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 17, at the centre, located at 27 Front St E, Toronto. The event features an evening of music celebrating Canada’s shared history with the U.S. Singer Douglas’s untold musical history will be played out on stage with selections from his ground-breaking new album Confession. The album was inspired by his early love for blues and R&B, then a new style of music in post-WWII America coming out of Memphis and New Orleans. All this music had a big impact on Jay as a young artist growing up in Jamaica — an influence that would eventually travel with him to Canada. Jay has been awarded Toronto Reggae Awards’ Male Reggae Vocalist of the Year, and the earned the BBPA Harry Jerome Awards’ G98.7 Entertainment Award.
Also on the bill are Kollage, featuring Alexis Baro, who will take the audience on a musical journey back in time to the mid ’50s and early ’60s when new current within jazz emerged in the U.S. called hard bop. The new music incorporated influences from rhythm and blues, gospel music, and blues with an emphasis on a heavy backbeat. It was this style of music that inspired the original founders of Kollage — Archie Alleyne and Doug Richardson — to form this Canadian musical institution.