JULIET DUNN – Executive Director / Artistic Producer / Co-Creator
Cosmopolitan doesn’t even begin to describe the formidable and talented Juliet Dunn. Juliet’s lineage is Jamaican/English being born in the UK before emigrating with her family to Vancouver, BC Canada. As a young woman she returned to Europe and settled in Paris, France.
It was here that she put out her first CD single and was the lead in the French film, “L’Amerloque” (The Yankee). After 13 years in France, Juliet returned to Canada and performed in for film and television productions as well as in 2 seasons with the renowned Shaw Festival Theatre. After having relocated to Ontario, Juliet formed her own jazz band (Juliet Dunn Quartet) and started to perform around the Niagara Region. Later, with her husband and musical partner Peter Shea, Juliet performed as a lead jazz vocalist all over the world in both French and English.
Today, Juliet is very active in the Niagara region; along with her husband Peter Shea, Juliet has been running the Twilight Jazz Series in Niagara for 6 years (www.twilightjazz.ca) bringing together both local and international jazz musicians. She also performs regularly in festivals and at various venues and after her 3 years as the radio host of ‘SUNRISE’ on JAZZ.FM91.1 she decided to focus her energy on the TD Niagara Jazz Festival full-time.
Juliet and Peter are proud to bring this new and exciting summer Jazz Festival to the Niagara Region featuring preeminent Canadian and internationally acclaimed jazz musicians via concerts, educational initiatives, activities and free events.
Juliet Dunn works tirelessly to keep jazz alive and it is exciting to anticipate where her energy, efforts, and talents will take her in the future. Without a doubt, Juliet Dunn is vital to the Jazz scene of Niagara and beyond.
PETER SHEA – Co-Creator / Artistic Consultant
Born and raised into an Irish/Icelandic family Peter Shea began his lifelong love affair with music surrounded by a family of musicians and music lovers. In 1995 Peter graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in Jazz Performance and Composition.
Peter Shea’s extensive resume includes performing on keyboards for the hit Toronto Second City dinner theatre show “Tony and Tina’s Wedding”; touring across Canada with comedian Sean Cullen; performing for a month at the world famous Edinburgh Comedy Festival on both keyboards and drums, including several live performances on BBC Television and Radio; performing on keyboard with the Jersey Boys in Toronto; a cross-Canada tour with the famous Montreal “Just for Laughs” Road Show including the Pantages and Massy Hall theatres.
He has also had the unique privilege of performing with many great Canadian jazz artists including Phil Dwyer, Pat LaBarbera, Graham Lear, Heather Bambrick, Mike Malone, Kevin Turcotte, June Garber, Davide Direnzo, Mike Daley (Jeff Healey Band), Duncan Hopkins, Gord Sheard and more.
Along with his wife and musical partner, Juliet Dunn, Peter Shea has performed in over forty countries as a bandleader, vocalist and keyboard/piano player.
Currently, Peter and his wife Juliet run the Twilight Jazz Series in Niagara (now in its 6th year – www.twilightjazz.ca) and the duo also created and run the TD Niagara Jazz Festival. (Currently, the ‘Best New Festival’ in Ontario (2017) and in its 4th year. www.niagarajazzfestival.com)
With his long musical lineage, Peter Shea is considered one of Niagara’s eminent jazz pianist, percussionist, vocalist, composer and arranger.
MARIA MAVRIDIS – Sponsorship & Fund Development
Maria has a passion for attracting tourists to the Niagara Region. Her family has owned business in Niagara for over 30 years and still going strong! She works in the family restaurant, Corks Winebar & Eatery as the Manager, and Events Coordinator. Carrying on a promise to her late mother, she is actively involved in the community, with fundraising. “When approached by Juliet, I jumped on board without hesitation. If Juliet & Peter are behind something, I want to be with them!” Her organizational skills along with her extensive experience with events are what will drive the success of the Funding Committee to ensure that the Niagara Jazz Festival grows bigger and better annually. Maria keeps busy as Sales Manager for BlauAire Technologies, Board Member on Niagara Nursery School & CC, Sales & Sponsorship for Something-Something Productions, and Clocktower Entertainment. She is a mother of a two-year who has taught her to slow down sometimes and enjoy the beautiful region we call home, Niagara. CONTACT: email@example.com
BARBARA WORTHY – Production Assistant / Consultant
Barbara Worthy is an independent creative arts producer. For two decades she produced the Bell Canada Shaw Festival Series and the Bank of Montreal Stratford Festival Series for CBC Radio, and was the writer/producer for the award- winning international series Legends and Myths of Canada’s First Nations for CBC Radio’s Ideas She has produced numerous dramas, documentaries and variety programs for CBC, BBC, ABC, RNZ, and international broadcasters worldwide. Her work in theatre includes a 20-year association with the Shaw Festival, (acting, writing, directing and founding mentor for the Shaw Theatre School). In the Niagara region, Barbara acts as a facilitator, emcee for local events, and as creative liaison for many local arts groups and organizations. She is also an instructor at both Niagara College and Brock University. She is currently producing a series of multimedia videos interpreting Canadian history.
LENORA GILBERT – Liaison (Volunteer)
A fondness for music of all genres precedes Lenora’s passion for Jazz that heightened just a few short years ago, when Manteca brought her behind the stages of the TD Niagara Jazz Festival as a volunteer. In her second year with the TD Niagara Jazz Festival she has immersed herself in a cultured world of art, food, wine and wonder; deriving great satisfaction in the opportunity to learn while contributing to her community as the Executive Liaison for the festival. Surrounded by connoisseurs of a life that welcomes all, the festival has enriched Lenora’s life in many ways.
As Community Council Coordinator by day she takes pride in every opportunity to honour and support Council Members that constitute the foundation of the Three Fires Program. Recognizing the value of volunteer contributions to the community from both perspectives
LESLEY MITCHELL-CLARKE – Media & Public Relations
Lesley Mitchell-Clarke and LMC Media are familiar names in the realm of media relations, promotion and production of musical and theatrical events, as well as arts journalism. For the past twenty-five years she has been based in New York City and Toronto, specializing in jazz specific music publicity. Lesley was an account executive with the New York City public relations firm, Third Floor Media and during her tenure there (and also with LMC Media), she represented the artists signed with many major recording labels including Concord Records, Atlantic Records, Sharp-Nine, GRP, Koch, Brownstone, DRG, RCA Victor/BMG, Nonesuch Records, Telarc, Columbia, and for several years, most of Warner Bros. jazz, covering both international CD promotions, tours and “live” performances.
A few of the major jazz artists with whom she has worked directly include Marian McPartland, Joshua Redman, Janis Siegel (of The Manhattan Transfer), Blossom Dearie, Fred Hersch, Larry Goldings, Brad Mehldau, Wallace Roney, Jeanie Bryson, Terence Blanchard, Kevin Mahogany, Cyrus Chestnut, Helen Merrill, the late Susannah McCorkle, Jackie & Roy, Blossom Dearie, Winard Harper, Giacomo Gates, John Alcorn, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Dave Young, Lenny Solomon, Bill Mays, Roger Kellaway, Oliver Jones and the late multi-Grammy nominee Mark Murphy.
Favourite events for whom Lesley has acted as Media Director include The Distillery Jazz Festival, The Art of Jazz Festival, The Markham International Jazz Festival, The New York and Toronto JVC Jazz Festivals, The Playboy Jazz Festival an numerous events in conjunction with John Schreiber’s Office (JVC/Festival Productions).
Being an entrepreneur, Yugbodh (YB) comes with over 10 years experience in events, productions and marketing. Currently, he is pursuing MBA at Brock University. For this years festival, he is involved in coordinating with vendors and supervising all the events for the festival. He is a soccer enthusiast and a spirited dog-lover. For him, music is an escape and is always evolving!
MARY GARRATT – Volunteer Coordinator
Mary was born and raised in Toronto and lived in Montreal and Plymouth, England as well. She moved to St. Catharines 30 years ago to raise her family of 2 girls. Her husband passed away over three years ago and since then she has been looking for volunteer opportunities throughout Niagara. She belongs to Bell Canada retirees who do a lot for the Henley Rowing Association, she is a Rotarian in the NOTL club and she has been an active volunteer for The Shaw Guild for 15 years. Although her career at Bell Canada was mainly secretarial, in Toronto, she has also been involved in the collections end of the business in St. Catharines and Hamilton. Early retirement brought Mary into the hospitality and retail businesses in the past 15 years so her life is full with lots of variety! Her love of music and dance keep her busy, and she also teaches aquafit! She belongs to the Niagara Peninsula Miata club so if you’d like a ride – Zoom, zoom! She loves to travel and has a lot of places on her bucket list – Paris 2019? 🙂 Looking forward to a great year of Jazz!
WENDY DEVRIES – Events Committee Chair (Volunteer)
JOAN KING – Events Committee / Board (Volunteer)
Since retiring from over 30 years of teaching, Joan King has dedicated her retirement to bringing some of the most important elements of education to the community. Through her work with Big Brothers Big Sisters, she has acted as a mentor in the lives of children benefiting from a consistent positive role model to help develop social skills and build a foundation and love for learning.
Joan has also spent the last 11 years growing the participation base for the NOTL Terry Fox Run. Not only has the run become a yearly event that’s brought the community together, it’s promoted a healthy physical outlet and raised over a quarter million dollars towards cancer research. In addition Joan has offered her time to the TD Niagara Jazz Festival, which brings music and culture to the area and inspires a love of the arts across generations.
Anyone who knows Joan can attest to her contagious enthusiasm to enrich the lives of not only the children, but everyone around her.
DARLENE KERTCHER – Administrative Assistant / Events Committee (Volunteer)
Darlene Kertcher worked many years as an Intensive Care RN. When she decided to retire she knew she had to relocate to Niagara to live in wine country, where there are many opportunities to volunteer. Darlene started volunteering with the TD Niagara Jazz Festival December 2016 with the Twilight Jazz Series. Since then she has become an administrative assistant with the Festival and is enjoying everything involved with producing a music festival. Darlene does not have a musical background but thoroughly appreciates all the artists, singers and musicians alike.
DEBBIE LEVERE – Jazz Correspondent / Volunteer Committee (Volunteer)
Debbie Levere worked for many years in the telecommunications industry doing everything fromsales and tech support to instructing and technical writing. When she decided to retire, she knew she had to live in Niagara. Debbie is now pursuing her interests in wine and music. She has worked at several local wineries and is currently at Calamus Estate Winery. On the music side she likes to attend live performances whenever possible and is a regular at the Twilight Jazz Series and jazz jams in St. Catharines. Although not a musician herself she has a lot of respect for the people who are. She has planned many live jazz events at the winery, allowing others to enjoy the music she loves. She now combines her interest in writing with her love of music by contributing articles to various media sites for the TD Niagara Jazz Festival. Sometimes she is even sipping on some wine while writing! Live, love jazz!
CARM LENARTOWICH – Volunteer Supervisor (Volunteer)
Carm’s parents were amazing music lovers & enthusiasts, especially jazz and big band era of the 40’s.Music was so much a part of her childhood growing up. Records or radio constantly filling their home with rhythm and song. She watched her parents dancing together… they were excellent ball room dancers. Her father (Charles) played drums with a dance band. His nickname was CHAZZ 🙂
She enjoyed hearing musicians practice at their house, as she was too young to attend their ‘gigs’. Hearing a good beat she would tap her feet, bang on a table…or just jump up and dance with her mom. Her Dad’s favourites to name a few; Duke Ellington, Moe Koffman , Dizzy Gillespie, Peter Appleyard, Oscar Peterson, Stephan Grapelli and so many more that I can’t recall. The TD Niagara Jazz festival has displayed true homage and amazing tributes to many of these jazz greats! My children also appreciate live music, and especially jazz of course. Both display expressions of style & true sense of rhythm …that would make their grandfather proud.
Music, rhythm and lively beats fill our hearts, colour our world and lift the soul. Her volunteer work with the TD Niagara Jazz Festival helps support & build the local music community. She would like to thank Peter and Juliet for following their dream and by bringing us a bright and shining music festival. The TD NJF showcases beauty, talent and dedication of so many musical artists.
Extensive years of customer service and the love of Jazz has inspired me to offer help with the TD Niagara Jazz Festival. Working with such a great organization is truly awesome.
ALEX HILL – 2019 Niagara College Intern
Photo and Bio coming soon…
SEAGER WAKIL – Youth Marketing and Communications Assistant / Creative Design Team (Canada Summer Job Student)
EMILY YOCHIM – Youth Liaison and Marketing Assistant (Summer Experience Student)
18 year old Singer/ Musician/ Songwriter Emily is excited to be working for the festival for her second year in a row. She was a previous winner in the first ever ‘Jazz 4 The Ages’ Youth Competition as a solo vocalist. Currently a student at Wilfrid Laurier University, enrolled in Bachelor of Music and Social Sciences who is known for performing solo music gigs. Multi-instrumentalist, with a history of being involved in a variety of bands throughout high school, including: jazz combo, jazz band, concert band, vocal ensemble, school musicals and her own bands outside of a school setting. Over the years, Emily has competed in various competitions in Canada and the United States through the Ontario Conservatory or independently. Emily continues to perform regularly at local restaurants and lounges. She has performed for people such as the NRP, Ontario Government and even the FBI. Just this past year, she released a song with a friend and fellow musician that can be found on Apple Music, Spotify or Soundcloud called “Layover”.
ABSOLUTE EVENT MANAGEMENT – Logistics and Event Planning team
NIAGARA AV SYSTEMS – Sound & Stage
Since 2009 Niagara AV Systems has become the “go to” production company for corporate, Live and Special Events. Their newly relocated shop in Niagara Falls, Ontario boasts an extensive inventory of audio, lighting, video and staging equipment. Chris Thompson and Mike Webb have been members of the TD NJF for two years going on three.
MAUREEN PEETS – Social Media Strategist
Maureen Peets is the founder of Smash House, a boutique agency specializing in event, website and portrait photography and social media strategy. Maureen’s background includes working in events and marketing in the corporate world as well as working with arts organizations and artists, leading marketing, event and design projects.
RESIDENT PHOTOGRAPHERS (Volunteers)– Dan Brown, Cosmo Condina & Bill Beard
TECH SUPPORT + VIDEO – Trevor Lacas of Imagination Studios
VIDEO – Mike Odendahl of Movinpics
BOOK KEEPING – Simin
BOOK KEEPING ASSISTANTS –
RESIDENT DJ – DJ MARINKO
Jonathan Lowry, DJB
Jane Gardner, Carousel Players
Steve Solski, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre of St. Catharines
Tim Des Islets, Noisemaker
Deborah Slade, Brock University
Sara Palmieri, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre of St. Catharines
Annie Wilson, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre of St. Catharines
Gay Douglas and Associates
Chris Blake, Music Niagara
Sarah Lynch, Music Niagara
Alfredo Caxaj, TD Sunfest
Deanna Jones, In the Soil Arts Festival
Laurie Morrison, Niagara VegFest
Keri Cronin, Niagara VegFest
Renée Eaton, Terry Fox Foundation
Joanne Smale, Planet 3
Clifford Brown, Passion Niagara