Toronto's TONE Festival Details 2022 Lineup with Mary Halvorson's Code Girl, JOYFULTALK, Kee Avil

Amirtha Kidambi, Bernice, Gordon Grdina, Anteloper, Sick Boss and more will perform

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished May 11, 2022

Following a pandemic hiatus, Toronto's TONE Festival makes its awaited return to action next month, and organizers have now rolled out the lineup for their fourth edition.

From June 10 to July 6, a host of homegrown and international talent will guide audiences through the exploratory depths of jazz, rock, and electronica with eight shows taking place across five different Toronto venues: Cinecycle, BSMT 254, the Tranzac, Array Space and the Baby G.

Tickets to all performances — which you can discover in detail below — range from $10 to $25, and are available now.

TONE's 2022 program, assembled by festival co-founders Tad Michalak (Burn Down the Capital, Intersection) and Karen Ng (Guelph Jazz Festival), opens June 10 with an evening at Cinecycle headlined by Montreal experimental singer-songwriter (and recent Exclaim! New Fave) Kee Avil, with support from T.O. ambient duo KARLA and Output 1:1:1, the latter billed as a "live experiment in desolation."

June 12 will see Halifax's JOYFULTALK return to Toronto as a four-piece, supporting new album Familiar Science. The BSMT 254 performance will see support from Charles Spearin (Do Make Say Think, Broken Social Scene) and saxophonist Nick Dourado as Budi.

Later that week on June 16, the Tranzac will play host to Vancouver avant-rockers Sick Boss, who come East with an expanded lineup that includes cellist Peggy Lee, violinist Josh Zubot and trumpeter/electronics manipulator JP Carter. The evening begins with a pair of opening improv sets where Sick Boss members will be joined by special guests Tania Gill on piano, Cheldon Patterson (aka SlowPitchSound) on turntables, and German percussionist Samuel Hall.

A week later (June 23), TONE shifts to Array Space for a performance of lo-fi improv between vocalist Amirtha Kidambi and percussionist Matt Evans, a duo that craft "gnarled sonics designed to cleanse." T.O. no-input mixer masters Mira Martin-Gray and Kieran Maraj will also take part.

The following evening (June 24) brings Gordon Grdina's Nomad Trio to the Tranzac in support of their 2020 free jazz set Nomad, with the Juno-winning Vancouver guitarist/oud player joined by pianist Matt Mitchell and drummer Jim Black. They'll be joined by Toronto's Brodie West Quintet — who shared sophomore LP Meadow of Dreams earlier this year — and experimental duo BLOOP, featuring trumpeter Lina Allemano and Mike Smith on live processing and effects.

TONE's penultimate June performance will bring Mary Halvorson's Code Girl ensemble to Toronto for the first time on June 26. Melding melds avant-jazz and rock with folk influences, the NYC guitarist and composer's band also features Amirtha Kidambi (vocals), Adam O'Farrill (trumpet), Brian Settles (tenor saxophone), Michael Formanek (bass) and Tomas Fujiwara (drums). Support at the Sunday performance will come from beloved T.O. experimental pop outfit Bernice.

The fest's 2022 lineup is rounded out by a pair of shows in July. The first of these (July 3 at Tranzac) features Nordic trio FIRE! led by free jazz saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, Toronto folk doom trio Völur with special guest tanbur player Reza Houshvar, and eclectic improv legend Brian Ruryk.

The second and final event (July 6 at the Baby G) is led by Anteloper, the duo of trumpeter Jaimie Branch and drummer Jason who will release their Jeff Parker-produced Pink Dolphins this June on International Anthem. The evening also marks the debut of Toronto free jazz figures Surrealsurreal, the duo of alto saxophonist/bassist Jeremy Dennis (Tranz Defonce/Preanderthals) and percussionist Cyril Penney.

If you're in search of experimental goodness before TONE's 2022 Toronto takeover, the festival is presenting a May 13 evening at the Tranzac with Brooklyn underground improvisers Chris Pitsiokos, Luke Stewart and Jason Nazary, supported by Toronto's Colin Fisher Trio and Luge. Rescheduled from March 2020, tickets for the performance are now available.

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