Toronto's 2005 Distillery Jazz Festival proudly presents

Justin Time Recording Artist
Nick "Brownman" Ali &

15-man latin-jazz-urban orchestra
Fri May 27

2 shows - 8pm & 10pm
Ticket info at | Fest pass $25 adv or $30 at the gate | Ticket King 1-800-461-3333
*JUST ANNOUNCED* - single ticket to JUST this performance can be obtained at the door - $15 - no festival pass required

View the event poster

The band will be playing large-ensemble orchestrations specially crafted for this show by the 2002 Canadian National Composer of Year from the music of CRUZAO, Ali's multi-award-winning 5-piece Latin-jazz-urban outfit.  A 6-piece horn section, 2 bass players, 2 stellar Latin vocalists, and 3 percussionists will be laying the foundation over which the luminous Phatt Al (from God Made Me Funky) and Enlight (of Gruvasylum fame) will treat the crowd to some of Canada's finest freestyle rapping.  Also featured in this monsterous ensemble are Richard Underhill (2003 Juno winner),lead trumpeter extraordinaire Jason Logue (of NOJO), heavy hitter and National Jazz Award nominee Daniel Barnes, percussionist of the year Luisito Orbegoso and 2 of the finest electric bassists in the country facing off - Marc Rogers and Paco Luviano.  From the group's opening notes it will be clear that this is an ensemble of epic proportions.

"The idea was to thematically explore and expand on the initial latin-jazz-urban concept of CRUZAO, to delve deeper into those sonic qualities and inflate the ideology from 5 to 15 men", says Brownman. "Having these top-shelf latin musicians, jazz artists and  hip-hop brothers all stand as one, and play together with grand unified motion, is a staggering and pride-filling experience to witness both as composer and bandleader."

Last year's show was considered by many to be the best of the year at this distinguished venue; this year's event could establish it as a tradition not to be missed by those who wish to experience live some of this country's most unique music.  Giving it even more potential is the fact that Ali will have just returned full of inspirations from a prestigious tour of South America with members of the legendary IRAKERE and some of the continent's leading jazz players.

The double bill starts at 8:00 PM, with the second set beginning at 10:00 PM.
Single-show tickets are $15; Festival passes are $25 in advance and $30 at the gate.
Visit for more ticket information.

Sebastian Cook, Publicity
Please direct all media requests to Sebastian Cook

View the event poster

A one of kind big band.
A latin-jazz-urban orchestra.

authentic latin rhythms
jazz harmonies
urban ideology
and big band lineage
in a chordless setting.
(CRUZAO was recently named by New York University's
jazz department as the first chordless latin-jazz group in history)

"...latin-jazz-funk - monstrously
joyfully, energetically big..."
- NOW Magazine

"...a one of a kind big band..."
- Toronto Star

"... four concepts so smoothly mixed
by this young fearless jazz leader..."
- Toronto Hispanos

Brownman trumpet / electric trumpet /
flugelhorn / compositions
Trinidad From CRUZAO - National Jazz Award winner
Jason Logue lead trumpet / flugelhorn Canada From NOJO
Marcus Ali alto sax / flute / bass clarinet Trinidad From CRUZAO
Jeff King tenor sax Canada From CIMARRON
Jamie Stager trombone Canada From CACHE
Rich Underhill baritone sax Canada JUNO winner (Album of the Year)
Paco Luviano 5 & 6 string electric basses Mexico From CRUZAO's original bass player
Marc Rogers 6 & 7 string electric basses Canada From GRUVASYLUM
Daniel Barnes drumset / timbales Canada National Jazz Award nominee
Luisito Orbegoso congas / additional perc Peru National Jazz Award nominee
Ruben Esguerra bongos / campana / add. perc. Colombia From CHIVA
Ricky Franco latin vocalist Mexico From MARRON MATIZADO
Yani latin vocalist Cuba From CAFE CUBANO
enlight freestyle rapper Trinidad From GRUVASYLUM
PHATT al freestyle rapper Jamaica From GOD MADE ME FUNKY
N.I.Gel freestyle rapper (special guest) Jamaica From POCKET DWELLERS

This show guarantees to be a musical spectacle
for both young and old, jazz or latin student or fan.

       Trinidadian-Canadian Justin Time Recording Artist Nick "Brownman" Ali & CRUZAO have achieved much in the Canadian jazz community to date including being awarded the 2002 Canadian National Jazz Award for "Composer of the Year", NJA nominations in 2002, 2003 & 2004 for "Electric Jazz Group of the Year", and 2003 "Trumpet Player of the Year".  This group has also been awarded the Montreal Jazz Festival's coveted "Grand Prix du Jazz" award, CBC Galaxie's Rising Star award and  the "Canadian Independant Music Artist award".  The group's debut CD "Shades of Brown" (Justin Time Records 2002) spent 3 months as number 1 on the college and community radio stations Canada-wide upon it's release and, along with Jane Bunnett, are one of the only Canadian latin-jazz recordings recognized in New York City.  As a sideman this young hornman has just under 150 CDs to his credit making him one of the most in demand session musicians in Canada.  As a leader his group CRUZAO has toured this country's jazz festival and club circuit extensively and has been called by the Globe and Mail "the busiest jazz unit of 2002".  Europe welcomed the NICK ALI TRIO in 2002 and 2003 as the group toured the continent and recorded a record for release on a European label.  He has headlined the Havana Jazz Festival twice as Cuba as a featured soloist, the Montreal Jazz Festival to 120,000 with GRUVASYLUM and the various American festivals, Buffalo's jazz festival calling him "the Canadian/Trinidadian jazz trumpet monster".

Jon Kay
Management to Nick "Brownman" Ali & CRUZAO
New York City, New York