Wednesday, 15 June 2011


The Young Blood

If you are an Ottawa resident you may know of some of these great young musicians and if you are from out of town, you may want to take a stroll down to confederation park during the day, or head over to the Rideau Center.

I am super excited to talk about these musicians! There are many but here are a few to focus on:
Friday June 24th at noon, the Lucas Haneman Trio is taking stage at Rideau Center. About a year or two ago, I walked into the music store Long and Mquades because I needed to get something. The store is often full of enthusiatic musicians trying out guitars, effects pedals, drums and what not. Well as I was searching for reeds I started to forget what I went in there because I heard this incredible guitar sound - beautiful relaxed lines coming out at a brisk tempo... some really soulful stuff. Well it turns out that was Lucas and I've been a die hard fan ever since. It wasn't much later that Roddy Ellias told me about Lucas - this amazing young guitarist he was teaching. Lucas is bringing his Montreal sidemen Evan Tighe on drums and Paul Van-Dyke on bass

Monday June 27th at noon at the OLG stage, Craig Pedersen will be leading his quartet. I first met Craig in Mike Essoudry's Mash Potato Mashers. I was talking to Mike on the phone and he kept telling me how excited he was about this new trumpet player that he's been playing with. Next time I played and got to stand next to Craig I knew what Mike was talking about. He is a calm, thoughtful trumpet player with the technique of a studied traditional brass player and an ear for all the fresh sounds that are coming out of the improvised world. Craig has been co-leading the Improvised Musicians of Ottawa which have been doing some really creative concerts. With a great sound, Craig leads this quartet inspired by John Zorn amongst others. He'll be accompanied by the persistent Linsey Wellman on saxophone, the solid bassist Alex Mastronardi and the multi-style multi-talented drummer Mike Essoudry. Here is a great song Early Winter by Craig recorded recently.

At noon on Saturday June 25th at the Rideau Center, Renee Yoxon will be sharing the stage with guitarist Rene Gely. Now Renee is a young singer that I heard about last year from Steve Berndt (The Jivewires) when I was looking for someone to do the vocal workshop. Steve highly recomended Renee and she did an amazing job... she was funny, very skilled and really stylistically aware. She has been singing regularly below the Mercury Lounge singing standards, and she does this really beautifully. She is joined by Rene Gely, with whom she recorded a really nice duo record that came out last year. Rene plays nilon string guitar in a way that encompasses all these different genres... you can tell he has really checked out a lot of music. This project is a mixture of roiginals and standards. I loved the record of these two interacting and it'll be nice to hear them live.

One more musician I have to mention if we are talking about Young Blood is Daniel Ko. Daniel is a really talented alto saxophonist who has recently been awarded a slew of high profile awards including a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston. Daniel has been studying with Mike Tremblay and every time I have heard hime over the last few years he just gets better and better. He has a bright future ahead of him and who knows if he'll come back so catch him while you can. He will be playing on Thursday June 30th at noon with Steve Groves in their project Modern History, and he will also be joining Don Cummings' Bakc Talk Organ Trio + 1 in the Great Canadian Jazz Series opening up for Daniel Lanois Black Dub.

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