Winnipeg's Premier Bistro

Over the years, In Ferno’s Bistro has been privileged to showcase some of the best local talent here in Winnipeg. We have plans to continue to showcase local talent on a regular basis. Be sure to follow our events calendar and our Twitter feed for latest performance schedules.  Here are some of the artists that have performed at In Ferno’s Bistro. 
HEIDA FORSYTH is a gifted vocalist who has quickly become a favourite of Winnipeg audiences. Performing regularly over the last 4 years with many groups such as The Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, Steve Kirby’s Oceanic Jazz Orchestra, The Ron Paley Big Band, Rocki Rolletti and The Retro Rhythm Review, Heida lends her unique vocal ability with passion and honesty. Known for her success as a straight-ahead jazz vocalist, Heida more recently discovered and began performing in the world of Soul, Funk, R and B and Country creating an eclectic mix of repertoire wherever she performs.


LUKE is a jazz double bassist from Winnipeg. As of 2009, he is in the jazz studies program at the University of Manitoba, which is directed by his teacher, Steve Kirby. He was the 2009 winner of the Hnatyshyn Foundation Oscar Peterson Grant for Jazz Performance.



GREG LOWE was born in Winnipeg Canada on June 30th 1957. He picked up his brother’s guitar at age 10 and immediately began composing his own music. Initially inspired by blues and rock musicians he eventually found jazz, and proceeded to Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton to learn the basics of jazz harmony. In 1985 on return from a two week stint studying in New York with guitarists John Scofield, John Abercrombie and Steve Kahn, Lowe put a call into Prakash John, leader of Toronto’s premier R&B band The Lincolns, and shortly after began four years of touring coast to coast with many of Toronto’s finest players.

Upon returning to Winnipeg in 1990, he began recording his first CD “The Art Of Bending”, which lead to the international release of “Greg Lowe” by Jazz Inspiration/MCA in 1993 and “Thrilled Against My Will” by Jazz Inspiration/Allegro in 1996. Jazz Times reviewer Hillarie Grey wrote “making unexpected orchestration seem perfectly natural… Lowe’s work is deliberate and clever.”

Focusing on composition as much as guitar performance, Lowe’s body of work has grown to include large orchestra, chamber ensembles, theatre, television, dance, radio musicals and dramas. He has released seven CDs featuring original music in both electric and acoustic formats.



BRUCE is one of the most talented bassists in the city. He has toured across Canada and other parts of the world. Bruce has played with some of the best and we are excited to have him at Inferno’s.



Larry Roy

Over the last two decades, Larry Roy has established himself on the Canadian jazz scene as an artist, composer, producer and sought-after professor. He represents everything that’s good about jazz in Winnipeg. As well as teach jazz at the University of Manitoba, this versatile musician writes film scores and performs all over Europe and North America. Roy and long-time musical partner Steve Kirby recently released the album Wicked Grin.

Steve Kirby

Kirby was born in Maumee Valley, Ohio, and his family moved to St. Louis when he was two. He picked up guitar and electric bass while stationed at Fort Bragg, and following this he attended Webster University, receiving his BA in 1985. He worked locally in various ensembles and then got his master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music, where he played with Lester Bowie. In 1988 he returned to Webster, where he taught until 1993, and while there he won the 1992 Hennessy Jazz Search. In 1993 he returned to New York City and played with Oliver Lake, Claudio Roditi, John Hicks, Slide Hampton, Antonio Hart, Cyrus Chestnut, Joanne Brackeen, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Wallace Roney, Elvin Jones, Kenny Barron, Wycliffe Gordon, Steve Turre, James Carter, and Wes Anderson.

Kirby currently resides in Winnipeg, Canada and is the head of the Jazz Studies program at the University of Manitoba. In 2008 Steve released his first album as a leader “Wicked Grin” with Larry Roy, Stefon Harris, Will Bonness, Terreon Gully, and his wife Anna-Lisa Kirby.


When Rodrigo Munoz returned to Winnipeg following an eight-year sojourn in Chile (his home and native land), he not only brought back his welcome exuberance but also an even greater understanding of the intoxicating Latin jazz and big band music that has been his muse since he was a youngster studying classical guitar at the University of Manitoba. Munoz is one of those musical polymaths capable of precise, gifted work on a variety of instruments, but it is his understanding of the interplay between rhythm and melody that gives Papa Mambo its vibe and its soul.



BERT JOHNSON is a jazz pianist based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. A recent Masters graduate of the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Music, Bert is becoming a prominent figure in the Winnipeg music community and beyond. During April of 2009, Bert travelled to Edmonton with Jazz On Wheels (a group led by Prof. Steve Kirby, director of the University of Manitoba Jazz Studies Program) and performed at the Winspear Centre. In June of 2009, Bert made his debut appearance in the Winnipeg Jazz Festival with saxophonist Neil Watson. Having been a student at the University of Manitoba, Bert was fortunate to have participated in master classes hosted by many of today’s leading professional jazz artists such as Kurt Elling, Steve Turre, Lionel Loueke, Joe Lovano, and Bobby Watson.



Comfortably settled in his new home of Winnipeg, Marco Castillo, who was born in Brazil, has quickly become one of the city’s busiest musicians, bringing his blend of Brazilian music and jazz and funk to audiences in the ‘Peg. Building on the success of the first true Brazilian recording to be done and released in Winnipeg (“Brazilian Season”, 2008 – recorded by CBC), Castillo has now established regular gig’s on different venues in town, always packed with music fans and musical collaborators. And that’s natural for Castillo who has tons of experience playing all styles of music in Brazil.



Born 1943 in Winnipeg, Ron has lived and worked here most of his life. He began his musical life at the age of seven as a student of the steel guitar and was playing professionally at the tender age of 11. In his mid-teens, he became a close friend and colleague of jazz legend Lenny Breau, with whom he worked for about 10 years until Breau left Winnipeg. Ron played electric bass on Breau’s first recordings (for RCA Victor) – Guitar Sounds From Lenny Breau and The Velvet Touch – the latter recorded at Shelley’s Manne Hole in Hollywood. He has been a sideman on scores of other recordings with a diverse array of artists including The Guess Who.

TIM is a highly respected jazz guitarist with extensive live and studio experience across Canada. He has performed with The Moscow Circus, Disney on Parade and the Winnipeg Symphony.

GILLES’ versatility on 4, 5 and 6 string electric and acoustic basses positions him as one of the most in demand musicians in Winnipeg. His formal studies at St. Francis Xavier University were augmented with lessons from Dave Young, Michel Donato, Charles Fambrough and Victor Wooten. Gilles’ performance and recording credits include international collaborations with jazz greats Clarke Terry, Arturo Sandoval, Kevin Eubanks, Phil Nimmons and Stanley Cowell, and hometown talents Marilyn Lerner, Jennifer Hanson, Greg Lowe, and Walle Larsson. In the pop music realm he has supported artists such as The Wyrd Sisters, Scrüj McDuhk, Steve Bell, Jake Chenier, Al Simmons and Fred Penner.


Ken was born and raised in Montreal where he studied saxophone and music with several fine teachers including Dave Turner, Claude Brisson, and Ed Seigneur. He has pursued lessons and masterclasses with David Liebman, Paquito D’ivera and at the Banff School of Fine Arts. These studies have been supported by grants and scholarships.

Ken is consistently involved with young musicians and saxophonists both through his own teaching studio and workshops throughout the region. He teaches jazz ensembles and jazz saxophone at the University of Manitoba.


Veteran bassist Steve Hamilton has been a fixture on the Winnipeg music scene for over 20 years. Recipient of the Xerox Jazz Educator of the Year Award in 2008, he is well known as both a performer and educator. At this year’s festival, Hamilton’s talented group will be performing Hamilton’s original compositions, an organic mix of his many disparate influences from jazz, world music, and classical music.

KURT is an emerging guitarist and native of Winnipeg. Guitar has brought Kurt to several international festivals and inspired him to achieve an advanced level of education. Kurt is an alumni of the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts, where he was the recipient of the Manitoba Music Educators string scholarship and a student of Michael Daher. In 1995 Kurt was accepted into the University of Manitoba School of Music where he graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in guitar performance and was a member of the class of Ryszard Tyborowski. Upon completion of his Bachelor’s degree Kurt decided to further his education and was admitted into the studio of Dr. Alexander Dunn at the University of Victoria.

In October, 2001 Kurt was selected to perform in a public master class as a participant in the Guitar Foundation of America’s annual convention in La Jolla, California. In La Jolla Kurt presented his own arrangement of a Prokofiev violin sonata for David Leisner of the Manhattan School of Music. In 2004 Kurt graduated with a Master of Music degree, where his emphasis was on guitar performance, and he developed a deep appreciation for baroque string music and the capabilities of guitar arrangements. Kurt is presently enjoying a career teaching, performing, and advocating the classical guitar in Winnipeg, and is currently on faculty at the University of Manitoba Division of Preparatory Studies, the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and the Canadian Mennonite University.



AMBER is a vocalist, pianist, and percussionist in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She began classical piano and vocal training in elementary school, continuing through high school, performing in choirs and musicals. However, Amber only became seriously interested in jazz following a yearlong trip to Australia in 2004. Back in Winnipeg, she saw Steve Kirby, Larry Roy, and Alvin Atkinson Jr. perform at the Cool Monday Night Hang where she discovered her passion for improvised music. In 2005, Amber entered the University of Manitoba, where she was accepted for both classical piano and jazz voice. Since then, she has been developing her craft and taking full advantage of Winnipeg’s burgeoning jazz scene.