TD Toronto Jazz Festival presents Melody Gardot

Wednesday, June 28, 2023, at 8 p.m.

Melody Gardot

The TD Toronto Jazz Festival is excited to present the return of outstanding vocalist, guitarist and pianist Melody Gardot.

The story of Melody Gardot is remarkable. Blessed with a beautiful alto voice and grand insight as a songwriter, Gardot overcame a life-threatening accident early in her career, showcasing a jazz-oriented style and dusky persona that reflect not only her afflictions, but conversely the hope and joy of making personalized music that marks her as an original.

Born in New Jersey in 1985, she took up piano and played as a youngster on the Philadelphia nightclub scene, influenced by jazz, folk, rock and pop music. At age 19, while riding her bicycle, the driver made an illegal turn, hurtling into Gardot and leaving her in the street for dead. As she lay hospitalized for months with multiple head injuries and pelvic fractures, her love for music was the best therapy that she could receive. While in hospital, she wrote and recorded songs that would become the extended play, Some Lessons.

On her eventual release from intensive care, Gardot found the strength and determination to further her career. Hypersensitive to light and noise, she wore dark glasses. On stage, she also required a special seating unit and often wore a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) device to assist in alleviating her neuralgic muscle pain. Despite these hurdles, she recorded her debut full-length, Worrisome Heart, which was reissued in 2007 by the Verve label. Well-received, the album drew comparisons to Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell and Eva Cassidy.

In 2009, working with producer Larry Klein and arranger Vince Mendoza, Gardot followed up her Verve debut with My One and Only Thrill. The album peaked at number two on the Billboard United States Jazz Albums chart. She returned in 2012 with The Absence, featuring production from guitarist/composer Heitor Pereira, which continued her upward trajectory, landing in the Top 30 on the Billboard 200 and reaching the top of the United States Jazz Albums chart.

When she next returned to the recording studio, Gardot re-teamed with Klein and focused on music strongly influenced by R&B, blues and jazz in a set of original, socially conscious songs. The Currency of Man was released by Decca in June 2015. In 2018, she delivered her first full-length concert album, Live in Europe, recorded at a series of shows between 2012 and 2016.

In 2020, she again paired with Klein for Sunset in the Blue, which featured an all-star cast of studio contributors. The first single, From Paris With Love, featured a global orchestra of musicians hand assembled by Gardot from over 30 different countries and recorded in isolation during the first COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Sunset in the Blue was released on October 23 to critical acclaim as yet another benchmark record in the jazz tradition.

Buy your tickets today!


Elgin Theatre
189 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario