Here is what you need to know for today:
We have one of our most soulful guitarists in Ottawa, Steve Groves, lead a group along with the young Daniel Ko. They take the stage at noon at the OLG stage. The name of their band is Modern History and it's a great group with the equaly soulful (former New Orleans bassist that played with Tracy Chapman) Vitas Poukstaitis, Brian Brown on piano and veteran drummer Don Johnson.
The Rideau Center has J.P. Allain, a veteran pianist and his trio. He has played and backed up just about everyone in town and this is a chance to have such an experienced pianist play tunes for you.
NATIONAL ARTS CENTER (NAC)
We are packed at the NAC tonight... ti's going to be a fun one.
5pm, Fourth Stage: First we have the OMRI MOR ANDALUJAZZ PROJECT. If you are wondering what Andalus music is or where it is well I'll tell you because I did too at first. It is the south of Spain/north of Africa, Arabic-based region that has a unique combination of African and Spanish influences. Here is an example:
This is one of Omri's influences. Here is a video of his group. The Israeli will be here with a trio.
7pm at the Fourth Stage is GORD GRDINA TRIO PLUS MATS GUSTAFSSON. Gord Grdina is a Vancouver based guitarists and oud player that is incredible at both instruments and is a fierce virtuosic improviser. If you've seen The Thing or Atomic then you have experienced Mats Gustafsson... this will be killer! Mats also did a great interview for us... check it out Mats Gustaffson Interview.
9pm at the Fourth Stage will be KAZUTOKI UMEZU KIKI BAND. They are huge in Japan. They are fierce and deadly. Based partly on the New York improv scene of the 70's-90's, part on the punk scene and the rest pure energy.
9pm At the NAC Studio is APEX: RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA & BUNKY GREEN is going to be simply outstanding. Two saxophones, drums, bass and a piano: Rudresh is an up and coming alto saxophone virtuoso who teams up with his mentor Bunky Green. The rest of the band is killin' also. If you want to hear exciting virtuosic jazz... this is it!
GREAT CANADIAN SERIES
The Great Canadian Saxophone series within the Great Canadian Series continues with JACEK KOCHAN QUARTET FEATURING SEAMUS BLAKE. Jacek is a seasoned Polish-based Canadian drummer that has played with everyone from Gary Thomas to Dave Liebman. He is a powerhouse of a drummer but is capable of modern improvised asthetics as well. His group features one of the greatest modern tenor players who was raised in Vancouver, and has made his mark in NYC, Seamus Blake. I did a feature on Seamus that features an incredible solo performance. If you like saxophone... do not miss this!
MAIN STAGE - BLUES & SOUL DAY!
The Main Stage Duties will be shared today by two great Blues bands.
7:30pm JAMES COTTON. If you like the history of the blues you will have great respect for the man you are about to hear. He’s come a long way from learning how to make chicken and train sounds in Mississippi. Orphaned at nine, he learned his craft playing outside juke joints, touring with Howlin’ Wolf. He cut his first record at the legendary Sun Studios, writing the history of the blues along with people like BB King.
9pm, LUCKY PETERSON takes the stage. This multi-instrumentalist was raised in Buffalo and currently lives in Dallas. When this man was five years old he was discovered by the legendary Willie Dixon. Since then he’s appeared on the Tonight Show and The Ed Sullivan Show. The multi-instrumentalist learned from musicians like Jimmy Smith, and has collaborated with Etta James and Mavis Staples.
LEE FIELDS AND THE EXPRESSIONS will be at OLG at 10:30pm. This is the show to go to if you like classic Soul and R&B. Lee Fields does this better then anyone and at the OLG stage it's going to be a party.