Jazz Fest is almost upon us... the countdown is seven weeks and a day till the music begins. We've been busy preparing all the logistics to make sure everything goes smoothly and now it's time to turn to the music. I would like to get you engaged in all the different acts will see at the festival. We are going to call this the Backstage Pass. If you are a jazz and music buff you might now most, or even all of the groups that are playing, in which case do not hesitate to chime in with comments or missed facts. If you are curious about what is what than stay tuned as we will talk about all the different artists, the hidden gems, the underdogs or simply what's for dancing and what's for listening. You'll get to read some great interviews and more.
Also worth noting is the fact that we are about to release the Ottawa Jazz festival CD Valley Giants 2012, a collection of what is going on in Ottawa's jazz scene. If you stay tuned to here, you might just encounter a chance to win a copy of your own.
JAZZFEST RUN DOWNHere is how it works:
We have ten venues and all serve a different purpose.
FREE SHOWS:1. Rideau Center Rendez Vous - this is a venue in the Rideau Shopping Center, free to the public with daily shows at noon, add a second show at 2pm on the weekends. This year we have a lot of new young local talent, artists who are really going for something and pushing our local scene froward. One show I want to draw your attention is Folk Goes Jazz, where four great singer/songwriters will share their ideas songs. I love seeing how different artists work!
2. OLG Daytime - This amazing venue in the park is also free in the daytime featuring more great local performers. This stage is going to feature a few established larger jazz groups, some playing the music of the 20's, some from the 30's & 40's and some original music. A new addition this year will be a free Swing Dance lesson from Swing Dynamite, followed by a set with the Jivewires where we can all try out our moves.
3. Brookstreet Hotel - If you live in the west end, can't get downtown or what ever your reason may be, there is a great series of six shows at the Brookstreet Hotel featuring local and visiting artists Thursday through Saturday both weeks.
4. Delta City Center - This is also a free series featuring a house band of the Zak Frantz Trio (except for one night) from 4-6pm, where you can go after work before the shows start at the park.
Last of the free shows will be the entire Canada Day Program - right in the heart of the Canada Day Party!
FEATURED SHOWS:5. Concert Under The Stars - Our main stage with the biggest stars! On most of the days we have two headlining shows with nothing but the best! The shows are thoughtfully programmed to give you a night of New Orleans for instance as well as blues night.
6. OLG Late Night - The same venue that features our local acts during the day turns into a party at night. We have an opening act almost every night at 10:15pm and the main groups follow. This stage is packed with musical alternatives that mix and match with jazz and all other kinds of genres
7. The Studio Series - This is where you will find two-set shows in an incredible listening environment... really a stellar place to experience the music of Bradford Marsalis or Bill Frisell.
8. 4th Stage Improv Series - at the National Arts Center, this venue feels like a club but sounds like an arts center. There are not too many like it and it is here where you will find all the experimentation going on. Here is where we'll find some of my favorite artists: masters of their instruments, seekers of a new direction. From Europe, the US, Canada, local, I will tell you all about these!
9. First Baptist Church - Our first ever Artist In Residence Dave Holland will perform a great project called Thimar with Anour Brahem on Oud and John Surman on saxophones. We searched the best venues in the city and this one is the best!
10. Mercury Lounge Club Series - Last year we partnered with Mercury Lounge for two shows. They were incredible! Some of this music was born in the clubs and that's where it feels and sounds the best. The Mercury Lounge is the place for this!
Now that you know what venues we have, over the next seven weeks we'll take you backstage so you know just what to check out!