Mandy Goodhandy, Canada’s first trans woman stand-up comic, will also be the first trans woman to sing at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival on Friday, July 1 at 9pm at Toronto`s newest live comedy and music hotspot, 120 Diner (120 Church St.). Tickets are $20 at the door or $15 in advance. 120 Diner hosts a series of concerts that showcase the pre-eminent sounds of jazz with nightly performances during the festival from Friday, June 24 until Sunday, July 3. For additional information, please visit www.120diner.com or call 416-792-7725.
“I am honoured to be the first trans woman to sing at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival,” states Mandy Goodhandy, owner of 120 Diner. “I will be channelling my inner chanteuse as I take to the stage and will be singing a cross section of songs that have great meaning to me.”
Mandy will be getting back to her music roots at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival by presenting a variety of songs peppered between some of Toronto’s best comics from “Comedy Kapow,” an event presented each Friday night at 120 Diner. A graduate of Sheridan College’s Musical Theatre Program, Mandy has had years of experience as an entertainer including singing, dancing and stand-up comedy. She will be joined by Reuven Grajner on piano/vocals and Patrick Skrzypek on bass.
“For me, one of the most exciting aspects of the jazz festival each year is the breadth of diversity represented on stage and in the audience,” states Josh Grossman, Artistic Director, TD Toronto Jazz Festival. “We welcome everyone to enjoy this music, regardless of age, ethnicity, culture, economic background or gender identity. I am constantly reminded that music is a universal language – it has the power to bring people together – and we’re proud to have Mandy performing under the TD Toronto Jazz Festival umbrella.”
Mandy has selected a song list that reflects her journey as a trans woman:
My Way – This song will open the show with Reuven singing and Mandy joining as slide show images depict her transition from male to trans woman.
Where Have all the Flowers Gone? – Since it is Pride weekend and the evening after the trans march, this song will include a slide show to document trans lives lost.
I Believe – In addition to being a song of hope for the future of trans people, it is a salute to Mandy‘s deceased father who never would have accepted her trans existence. As this was one of his all-time favourite songs, it is ironic that she dedicate this song to him.
On the Street Where You Live – This is an all-time favourite song of Mandy‘s from her musical theatre days. She never had a chance to sing it because both her singing teacher and her music theatre director at Sheridan College told her she sounded too much like a woman and insisted on training her voice to add more bass.
Unchained Melody – This song reminds Mandy of her first and only gay love, who she lost to AIDS. It will also be a memorial to four more of her very close friends that she lost to AIDS.
King (Queen) of the Road – The only up tempo fun song in the set, it will end Mandy’s show.
Reuven Grajner (piano & vocals): An award-winning Pianist/Singer/Composer/Arranger based in Toronto, Reuven performs and writes music in various styles including with his dream-pop trio Selfoss and a cappella quartet Yonge Guns. Reuven has performed, recorded, and toured as both a bandleader and sideman for a variety of local and international artists extensively throughout Ontario, as well as the USA, and Europe. Expanding his musical horizons, Reuven was selected as one of three jazz pianists into the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto.
Patrick Skrzypek (bass): Patrick is an arranger, composer, and bass player based in Toronto. He has performed at the Rex Jazz and Blues Bar, the El Mocambo, and the Horseshoe Tavern playing a variety of music. Patrick has been a part of the Prince Edward Country Jazz festival and currently plays with the Hannah Barstow Trio. He has been a student of Jim Vivian, Terry Promane, David Occhipinti, and Jon Maharaj and is currently finishing his final year studying Jazz Performance at University of Toronto.
120 Diner and the TD Toronto Jazz Festival
There is an amazing daily line-up with a variety of diverse artists including rising stars Gabi Epstein and Kelly Holiff and seasoned stars like Judith Lander and Debbie Fleming, as well as Kate Unger, Ori Dagan, Ryley Murray Trio, Shannon Butcher & Ross MacIntyre, LJ Folk, Lady Be Good, Stu MacDonald, Brownman Akoustic Trio, Mel Côté, Stacey MacIntyre, Lisa Particelli, The Ault Sisters, Jacelyn Holmes, Janet Whiteway, Aucoin, Davidson & Samaras, Julie Michels & Kevin Barrett and Geneviève (Gigi) Marentette.
The complete schedule of TD Toronto Jazz Festival at 120 Diner is attached and high res images can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4kghd9qzhb2toi5/AACE2YIuEj0d4ahyW3_eNKCva?dl=0
About 120 Diner
Owned by Mandy Goodhandy and Todd Klinck, 120 Diner seats 60 and has a stage for live music, small cabaret shows and comedy. The vast menu features a unique twist on comfort food created by chef Richard Henry at affordable prices. 120 Diner is located at 120 Church St. and is closed on Mondays and open from 5pm to midnight, with bar service until 2am, on Tuesday through Saturday and open from 5pm to 9pm, with bar service until 2am, on Sunday. Get social with 120 Diner on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Visit www.120diner.com for a complete schedule of nightly shows and to check out the menu, and call 416-792-7725 to make a reservation.