The West End Riverboat Band is musical paradox, combining the musicianship and roots of traditional New Orleans jazz with the vivaciousness and raw energy of a contemporary rock band. Their ambitiously diverse repertoire spans music from the past 200 years, drawing tunes from Brazilian choro to klezmer, country ballads to Chopin; and ultimately, transmuting these songs into the stomping dance soundtrack of a hedonistic New Orleans Mardi Gras celebration.

The West End Riverboat Band has toured Ontario, contributed to Toronto’s vibrant music scene for almost 5 years, and have released two albums: “May 25, 2018” (2018) recorded live at Grossman’s Tavern on Friday afternoon, and “Sidewalk Blues” (2022) recorded live at Legion Hall Branch 344.

Benson Lee, banjo, has played in Toronto’s jazz and blues communities since 2013, including a weekly residency with Toronto’s New Orleans jazz legacy band the Happy Pals and guest spots with celebrated New Orleans jazz musicians Dr. Michael White and Gregg Stafford.

John David Williams plays a variety of traditions on the clarinet and can be heard on Juno-nominated and Canadian Folk Music Award winning albums. He’s been a member of the Boxcar Boys, Jaron Freeman-Fox and the Opposite of Everything, Lemon Bucket Orchestra and Vinta.

Chris Adriaanse has been a busy bassist in Toronto jazz for over 10 years. He can be seen in clubs most nights playing in many different styles of jazz, world folk and pop music. He has toured across Europe and North America and appears on many recordings with artists such as Tia Brazda, Doug Tielli, Simone Morris, Delta Will, Tom Richards’ ‘The Big Butter and Men’, and his own group, Astrosurf.

Listen to our brand new album, Sidewalk Blues, here. And buy it to support our music making!

Cover photo by Reenie Perkovic