Monday Jun 20 2022


6:00 pm - 9:00 pm





Twilight Jazz and Blooz Series Part 2: Dames at the Distillery with the Melo-Tonins featuring Lesley Mitchell-Clarke

📅 DATE: Monday, June 20, 2022
🕑 TIME: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm (Doors open at 5:00 pm)
🏟️ VENUE: Spirit in Niagara Distillery
🗺️ ADDRESS: 458 Lakeshore Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON
💵 PRICE: Early Bird: $39 + HST; At the Door: $49; Musicians/Arts Workers/Students: $19 + HST - Buy Now!
🎟️ SEASON PASS: 5 Shows: $169 + HST

To donate and help support the festival:

Donations to the TD Niagara Jazz Festival (Registered Charity: #80107-7033-RR0001) help us continue to bring live music to Niagara and beyond. Thank you for supporting the arts!


Show description coming soon

The evening’s performance will feature:

Tickets are non-refundable. Artists and venues are subject to change.


  • Guests who will be purchasing food at the venue must select “Yes” when prompted during ticket purchase. Those who will be consuming beverages only (or nothing at all) must select “No”, and will be seated in the theatre selection.
  • Once you have purchased your ticket online a copy of the receipt will be sent to you. you do not need to print this receipt since we will have your name on our guest list as a paid ticket holder.
  • Price does not include food but food IS available on site. Please check out the delicious menu HERE
  • Tables are reserved for Guests who will be dining. Regular seating is provided for guests who prefer to just watch the show and purchase a beverage. If you will be dining during the show please contact Darlene ( or call at 289-259-4997) so that we can let the kitchen know to be seated at a table.

Please visit our Health and Safety page for updates on our current guidelines.

Season Pass holders must contact Darlene ( or call at 289-259-4997) before the show’s date to reserve their seating. Please arrive to claim your seat by 5:45PM, otherwise the seat will be made available for sale for General Admission.

For more details, please email Darlene at

Hosted by Spirit in Niagara Distillery



Although Lesley Mitchell-Clarke is a familiar name in the realm of media relations and arts writing, she has also been nearly a life-long performer, and has worked in virtually all phases of the entertainment business, beginning as a ten year old principal singing and dancing actress with the Los Angeles area “Sherman Oaks Children’s Repertory Theatre” – along with cast-mate, Melanie Griffith. Born into a show business family (Lesley’s father is the late veteran jazz bassist and Emmy Award-winning comedy writer and producer, Whitey Mitchell and her Uncle was the late jazz bass legend, Red Mitchell), Lesley leapt into her professional career directly following an early graduation from High School at age 16. She has worked as a busy singer/dancer, and traveled with a number of name acts, including Mitzi Gaynor, Tommy Sands, Fabian and Robert Goulet. Lesley has appeared in numerous television shows, features and TV Movies and after touring the Orient extensively with her own musical group, Lesley owned and operated a recording studio in Los Angeles where many jazz projects and much of the vocal work for Hanna-Barbara Cartoons was recorded. Lesley has also worked in production on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson”, “The Hollywood Squares” and “The Midnight Special” as well as numerous productions for Merv Griffin, Dick Clark, Bob Hope, Mark Goodson and Chuck Barris.

Additionally, Lesley Mitchell-Clarke has been busy as art and music writer, contributing to publications such as L.A. Jazz Scene, Hot House and The Whole Note. Lesley was also an account executive with the New York City public relations firm, Third Floor Media, and during her tenure there (as well as independently) she handled a variety of accounts for many major recording labels and 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 Joshua Redman, Marian McPartland, Barbara Carroll, Ann Hampton Callaway, Janis Siegel (of The Manhattan Transfer), Blossom Dearie, Fred Hersch, Larry Goldings, Brad Mehldau, Wallace Roney, Jeanie Bryson, Terence Blanchard, Kevin Mahogany, Cyrus Chestnut, Ray Anderson and Helen Merrill. While at Third Floor Media, she was also the on-going publicist for the world-famous jazz venue, “The Village Vanguard”. Lesley Mitchell-Clarke’s continuing projects include beginning her second year as the Media Director for the TD Niagara Jazz Festival, and Hosting/MCing at various Festivals and events, including Oliver Vadas’ WEST END JAZZ series and The KENSINGTON MARKET JAZZ FESTIVAL.


Composer, arranger, conductor, pianist, electric bassist and accordionist

Tom Szczesniak first arrived in Toronto in 1973, following a stint with the U.S. Air Force Band in Washington, D.C. Since that time, he has performed as a musician on the scores of over 100 feature films, numerous television shows (such as “Earth: Final Conflict”, “Street Legal”, “The Road to Avonlea”, “Side Effects”, “SCTV”, “The Woflman Jack Show and “The Jim Henson Hour”) and over 1,000 commercials. As a player, he has also been much in demand by some of the finest international performing artists, such as Gordon Lightfoot, Anne Murray, Esthero (arrangements – Gold Album), Brian Adams, Little Richard, K.D. Lang, Lenny Breau, Joe Williams, Marc Jordan, Marvin Hamlisch, Dan Hill, The Rankin Family, Dionne Warwick, Bruce Guthrow, Smokey Robinson, Bobby McFerrin, Diahann Carole and Susan Aglukark, as well as jazz greats “The Boss Brass”, Gil Evans, Thad Jones, The Cape Breton Symphony, Nimmons and 9, Bruce Cassidy’s Hotfoot Band, The Canadian Pops Orchestra as well as performances for former U.S. Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Lyndon B. Johnson.

As a composer and arranger, Tom has used his writing skills to enhance a wide variety of cinematic, televised, commercial and theatrical productions, and has been an integral part of several highly-regarded music production houses, including Acrobat Music, Pursuit Communications and Trudel Productions. Music is an essential element of any “visual” art form, and Tom’s compositions have enhanced and illuminated over 100 feature films, as well as animated and “live action” productions such as “Ruby Gloom”, “Franklin the Turtle” (syndicated series and four full-length features), “Gerald McBoing Boing”, “Fraggle Rock”, “Sesame Street”, “Beetlejuice” (the ABC/Fox animated series), “The Care Bears”, “The Adventures of Tin-Tin”, “An American Tale”, “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and the animated CBS series, “Ace Ventura”. In 1993, Tom formed a company (along with the formidable musical multi-threat, Ray Parker), “ParkerSzczmith Music Inc”, and since that time, has been composing, conducting, playing and arranging under the auspices of this successful and award-winning company.

Tom has been honoured to be a multiple recipient of the Socan Award for “Film and Television Music” (1994/95/97/98/99 and 2000-2006), the Emmy Award for “Beetlejuice” 1991. In 1986, The International Film Festival of New York presented him with an award for his work on Ontario Lottery Commercials (“Together”).


Jordan O’Connor is a freelance Jazz bassist, composer, and film editor, currently studying to be a psychotherapist. Art begins the moment we ask a question. Over the years Jordan has worked with many artists in many idioms. What remains constant is the relationship between connection and expression. “Most of what I have learned” Jordan said, “is about unlearning. And that’s a humbling experience.” For Jordan, Jazz is about melody and improvisation; a mixing of romantic and modernist aesthetics, within the here and now experience of being in the moment playing. “This is something I bring to my work in film and will bring to my work as a counsellor. There is nothing like being on the edge of emotion.”


A graduate of the University of Toronto Music Department, Trumpeter and pianist Tim Hamel has been performing in and around Toronto, Canada in general and the world, with a wide variety of artists and ensembles for thirty years.  He is a founding member of the noted quartet, “The Cookers”, for whom he regularly writes and arranges new material…in fact, the group’s debut CD, for which Tim composed all of the music, received kudos, as well as a rave review from Geoff Chapman at The Toronto Star. Additionally, Time has received several JUNO nominations for his trumpet work with a wide variety of artists, with whom he works regularly.


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’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.

With his long musical lineage, Peter Shea is considered one of Niagara’s eminent jazz pianist, percussionist, vocalist, composer and arranger. 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.


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