Anders Hagberg Quartet If you caught Yggdrasil in one of its appearances at the XRIJF, you've heard the wonderful range of sounds Swedish musician Anders Hagberg coaxes out of his soprano saxophone and flutes. When he plays the gigantic contrabass flute, it's a thrilling journey, filled with percussive breathing and scat-singing, and sounds like the workings of several musicians. (RN) andershagberg.se
Buddy Guy You might get the idea from just listening to a song or reading about him, but when you see Buddy Guy live, that's when you know why he's a legend. He's high up on the list of Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time," and guys like Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Jeff Beck have gone crazy over his licks. But you don't really understand it completely until you see Guy go wild on a Stratocaster, masterfully toying with every emotion and squeal in a blues-filled, rocking solo. (JC) buddyguy.net
Brian Kellock & Tommy Smith See listing for Wednesday, June 25.
Cyndi Cain See listing for Wednesday, June 25.
Hey Mavis The problem with recent neo-folk injection pop is that there ain't no ominous; ain't no intimidation. It's too nice. Akron's Hey Mavis ain't too nice and leans heavy on its sound with a rockin' energy, profane lyricism, and stance. There's still the dust and sunlight and cobwebs in the cracks between the notes, but Hey Mavis could be single-handedly taking the boredom out of folk music in the spirit of the hard-core troubadour. (FD) heymavis.com
Honey Island Swamp Band Musicians know how to find one another — like an unavoidable magnetic force. After Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans, four Crescent City evacuees bumped into one another in San Francisco. The musicians were familiar with each other from working the scene back home, so they started Honey Island Swamp Band. The band's "Bayou Americana" finds a sweet-spot common ground among Swamp Blues, New Orleans rhythm & blues, and a more western-tinged roots music. (JC) honeyislandswampband.com
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble Get together eight sons of jazz trumpeter Phil Cohran, and of course some really cool is going to happen. The Chicago-based brass ensemble creates music ranging from hip-hop to funk, a little bit of world, and naturally, jazz. Well-composed, layered brass over a drum beat, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble's music is hip, immersive, and the soundtrack for big city scenes. (JC) hypnoticbrassensemble.com
Ian Shaw Brit vocal sensation, Ian Shaw has been crowned Best Vocalist by the BBC Jazz Awards twice. The cat has a seasoned voice with arresting emotion, bravado, and a scat style so stretchy it brings to mind a swinging batch of silly putty. (FD) ianshaw.biz
Ivan Jansen Aruba Jazz Project See listing for Wednesday, June 25.
Joey DeFrancesco This très cool cat was copying Jimmy Smith verbatim when he was knee-high to a B3, and was signed to Columbia Records by the time he was 16. DeFrancesco's name is practically synonymous with the instrument, given his lush coloring and his furious note flurry. I mean, DeFrancesco and Studiologic have developed his own signature model organ called Numa. (FD) joeydefrancesco.com
Manuel Valera The leader of the vibrant New Cuban Express, Manuel Valera is a formidable pianist who filters his Cuban musical heritage through a powerful vision of contemporary and forward-looking jazz. His latest album "Expectativas" garnered a Grammy Award nomination. The album's title means expectations, and when Valera plays, mine are always high. (RN) manuelvalera.com
Nate Rawls A long-time trumpet professor at the Hochstein School of Music and a Duke Ellington Award winner, Nate Rawls leads his bands — The Sound Spectrum Band and Nate Rawls Big Band — through classical, jazz, blues, big band standards, and Top 40 hits. (JC) naterawlsband.com
Phaedra Kwant Phaedra Kwant is a five-string bassist and singer-songwriter from the Netherlands who has taken her unique sound to festivals all over the world. She started out on cello at the age of 8 but switched to bass at 12. Kwant studied at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam but she honed her jazz skills through further study with Victor Bailey, Richard Bona, and Christian McBride. (RN) phaedrakwant.nl
Selwyn Birchwood Band Selwyn Brichwood got his start playing guitar for Texas bluesman Sonny Rhodes when we has 19 years old. Today, the Florida-based musician works with drummer Curtis Nutall, bassist Huff Wright, and Regi Oliver, saxophone, for pure, deep river blues. (JC) selwynbirchwood.com
Shine The seven-piece party band Shine has a song list a mile long. The band plays everything from 60's to the latest Top 40 hits. This is serious business for the professional band. (JC) weareshine.com
Soul Stew Marvin Gaye, James Brown, and Teddy Pendergrass are no longer with us, but their music will never die as long as Soul Stew is on stage. Powered by vocalist Michael Dunston and featuring the top studio musicians in Toronto, Soul Stew will see to it that you get up offa that thing. (RN) myspace.com/torontosoulstew
The Brain Cloud See listing for Wednesday, June 25.
XRIJF Nightly Jazz Session with The Bob Sneider Trio See listing for Friday, June 20.