Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Petr's picks for the festival (the long list)

A lot of friends and musicians have asked me a similar question over the last month: 'what shows should I not miss'? It is hard to be on top of what is going on, and even more so, to know about the hidden treasures which are scattered over the week's festivities. I decided to share with you some of the shows I think are going be really special.

I will try be fairly brief and over the next few weeks (if it has not happened already), I will feature these artists more exclusively on my blog.

Local talent:

Daniel Ko, Ottawa's young alto saxophonist will be returning from Berklee College of Music in Boston with a quartet, and he is sounding like an updated re-incarnation of Charlie Parker.
Folk Goes Jazz - Megan Jerome, Dynamite Motel, Erin Saoirse Adair and John Carroll. Some of the city's best singer/songwriters team up to share songs and musical approaches.
Swing Dynamite & The Jivewires - We haven't done anything like this and I think it'll be a riot. Join Swing Dynamite who will be teaching how to swing dance at noon and then will be joined by the Jivewires for a good old fashion swing dance
Zak Frantz will be doing a residency at Delta City Center June 26-29 with Tim Bedner and Montreal's Joel Kerr
Jack Pine Fire will be on the late night OLG stage. This is a great bluegrass cross over band.

The Improv Invitational Series at the Fourth Stage is where most of the gems are hiding:

Maya Homburger and Barry Guy - are appearing twice in different groupings on June 24th & 25th. They are the source. A lot of improvisational concepts come from them, this will be great!
Marc Ribot - A guitar hero across genres. He is at home with John Zorn but also with Elton John. He is playing with Allen Toussaint the next night but here he is playing a solo show - I am really looking forward to this
June 24th
Iva Bittova - Another solo show by an incredible eastern European artist who is not well known here but nonetheless extraordinary! She plays violin and sings.
Big Satan - Tim Berne on sax, Marc Ducret and Tom Rainey - three monster improvisers, need I say more!
Colin Stetson - bass saxophone, circular breathing while throat singing contrasting melodies into a processed microphone. He's played with Tom Waits, Bon Iver...etc
Roddy Ellias Trio featuring Marc Copeland - Roddy, who we all know and love as an incredible composer and guitarist, teams up with piano jazz legend Marc Copeland who is a staple of ECM records... this will undoubtedly be beautiful!
Becca Stevens - great singer who partners often with Gretchen Porlato, she brings a killing New York band with her
Kneebody - They are one of the only groups in the "modern jazz" cattegory that I think are doing something really strong and new... virtuosic!
European Jazz: there will be some really strong improvisers from Europe
- Benoit Delbaq, Angelika Niesier, IPA, Mederic Collignon, Helene Labarriere...

At the risk of naming everyone on the list I will stop there

Studio Series

I would not miss a singe one of these shows!

OLG Late Night

The shows here I think will be really special are:
Forro In The Dark - this star-studded Brazilian group plays every wednesday in New York and they go at it for hours on end. They are one of the grooviest bands around. Also, the tenor saxophonist also plays a lot of Pifano (diatonic brazilian flute) chromatically - it's pretty amazing to watch
Soul Rebels - a kickin' brass band from New Orleans
The Barr Brothers - Boston to Montreal transplants, these guys are really putting some good music out there in the more indie rock vein
Eliane Elias - great pianist who has worked with Brazilian music for a long time, I know she will be great!

Great Canadian Series

Some great saxophonists lead bands:
Phil Dwyer, Joel Miller and David Mott: all completely different approaches but all really strong!
L'Orchestre des Pas Perdus, the Montreal based large ensemble are a powerhouse - they blew me away in November!
Ray Bonneville is a great soulful guitarists, singers and songwriters.


Thimar - Dave Holland John Surman and Anouar Brahm at the First Baptist Church. I grew up with this project and cannot wait to see this!
Projeto Coisa Fina - 12 piece band from Brazil will occupy Mercury Lounge on June 22, that will surely be a party!

You can find out more about where and when all these artists are performing on the jazz fest website

See you all soon

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