April 17-20 at Toronto's Rex Jazz Bar, Felix Pastorius (bass), Davide Direnzo (drums), and Hugh Marsh (violin) will play some of the music we've performed and recorded with Jeff Coffin (sax) and Tom Reynolds (piano) as IN ORBIT.  Jeff is busy on tour with the Dave Matthews Band and Tom is away too, so getting our band together will have to wait for another time, but in the meantime we're going to have a blast welcoming the amazing Felix Pastorius to town!  Felix was in Toronto last fall to perform with ES:MO, and he's truly a musician not to miss!


CRANBROOK BC, Yvette Tollar and I are coming to you May 2nd to play the music of John Lennon and Joni Mitchell!  Tickets and info are HERE.  We then head to Kaslo BC to play at the Langham Theatre May 3, and the wonderful Vernon Jazz Club May 4th!


Speaking of ES:MO, Elizabeth Shepherd and I are in the process of finishing our new album, which will come out in the fall.  But look for a new video in late May, and we'll be doing shows in Edmonton and Saskatoon May 10 and 11!

NOJO, the Neufeld-Occhipinti Jazz Orchestra, celebrated its 30th Annversary at Hugh's Room on March 15th.  It was a wonderful reunion, with so many original and long time members there and a full house.  I'll be posting video of the concert on the NOJO page soon!

Keep your eye on Hugh's Room, where I do some of the programming.  There's lots of great music that I'm not involved in, but usually once a month you'll find me directing a unique night such as the upcoming Women Sing Elton, Men Sing Beyonce (April 27th).  These shows have me bring together a variety of vocalists with a house band I direct, and while we pay tribute to those artists, each singer interprets the music however they want to.  The results are always a blast!

I had an absolute blast playing with Don Byron, Rich Brown, and Jinu Isac at the Rex in February.  It was such an adventure that I've created a page just to share some of the video audience members sent me HERE.


The Kitchener-Waterloo Guitar Orchestra premiered Michael Occhipinti's commissioned composition “ERASER” on December 9th.  Check out the video below!

ES:MO will be finishing its 2nd album in January, and we're building summer tour dates now.  Look for new gigs to be posted soon and a release date, but we'll be in western Canada in May.  Want us to come to you?  We love festivals and clubs, but house concerts are also among our favourite things to do, so get in touch with us!

Welcome to the home of Michael Occhipinti, guitarist, composer, and versatile collaborator.  Michael won a JUNO Award (Canada's Grammy) in 2022 with Avataar, for Jazz Group of the Year, and was nominated  for Jazz Vocal Album of the Year with Elizabeth Shepherd for ES:MO's The Weight of Hope.   Both were part of the CBC Music Juno Awards Jazz Showcase, which you can see HERE.  Michael has worked and recorded with artists as diverse as Don Byron, Bruce Cockburn, and classical pianist Stewart Goodyear, and is the leader of numerous projects including The Sicilian Jazz Project, ES:MO (Elizabeth Shepherd & Michael Occhipinti), Shine On: The Universe Of John Lennon, In Orbit (featuring Jeff Coffin & Felix Pastorius), NOJO (Neufeld-Occhipinti Jazz Orchestra), and The Triodes.   Moving between jazz, global music, funk, pop, blues, r&b, and Chamber Music, and performing everywhere from worldwide festivals to your living room, please click on the various pages to discover Michael Occhipinti's many musical identities.

Previous events

Guitarist Michael Occhipinti and Yvette Tollar are multiple JUNO Award nominees, celebrated for their ability to blend jazz, soul, and popular music in highly personal and imaginative ways. Together with bassist Jill McKenna and drummer Tony Ferraro, they'll perform the music of Joni Mitchell and John Lennon in a concert that is not to be missed!

Michael Occhipinti has been acting as AD for a series of shows inspired by the late Michael Wrycraft, with previous incarnations being Women Sing Bowie, Men Sing Dolly, and Women Sing Prince, Men Sing Swift. Now it's Beyonce and Elton John's turn, and for each Michael assembles a great collection of diverse vocalists who each make the songs their own, it is not a tribute act!


30 years ago, also on the Ides of March, the Neufeld-Occhipinti Jazz Orchestra made its debut before going on to win a JUNO Award, and a JUNO nomination for each of its five albums of original music. The group has been dormant for almost a decade aside from a few shows, but is reuniting for this very special celebration of their innovative and critically acclaimed music.

PROJECTS and Groups


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